Making dreams, reality. One bike at a time

A few welding tips and tricks

†††††††††††††††† There are a lot of so called experts out there who say to do this or that when it comes to welding. Iím going to try and give you some basics that I have learned through trial and error threw the years. I am NO expert, nor do I claim to be. I do however have some experience on what works and what doesnít. So here we go and as always if you find something I say wrong, please let me know so I can change it and make it right.


†††††††††††††††† Before we go any further, remember to clean your metal BEFORE you go to weld. Contaminates can and will weaken a weld quickly. You cant have it to clean. I canít stress enough how important it is to have no rust or crap when you weld.



†††††††††††††††† The first thing you need to learn is the different types of metal you will be working with. For most frames you will be dealing with in the aftermarket or street, they will be made of regular common steel. I remember reading in a forum one time that motorcycle manufacturers used chrome molly frames. This is not true. To correctly weld chrome molly is an intense process. You don't just slap a bead on it and go. Not to mention the cost overhead for the company would be to great for a good profit margin. So we will be talking about regular steel that you can pick up at the local metal shop.† Standard grade stock will work on any frame short of a drag bike.

†††††††††††††††† The tubing (read more on tubing here) that I normally use is .120 wall ERW (electronic Resistance Welded) for the frames and 1/4 inch plate for axle plates and mounts. Neck gussets are made from 1/8 because they are doubled, one on each side of the tube. You can read more on that in the Gussets page.† One of the biggest things to welding is welding two different thicknesses of† metal together. You have to remember to start your weld on the thick and drag it to the thin. If you go the other way you are going to get poor penetration and most likely a lot of burn through. If the thick (most likely a steering neck) is real thick, then, you will need to pre heat it before welding. 90% of all necks I use are stock necks from a pre made bike. The wall thickness is close to the tubing I use so pre heat is not necessary.

†††††††††††††††† As soon as you strike an arc the metal pulls to the weld. If you do a long bead then it pulls that much more. It is essential to clamp your stuff or tack properly to keep warping and pulls to a minimum. If you are butt welding tube to anything, do 4 tacks first. One on top, one on bottom one to the right and one to the left. Do it in that sequence to let the welds pull the piece center. Once it is tacked don't weld all the way around in one swipe. Start at the top, go counter clockwise 90 degrees. Move 180 to the right and start the next bead pulling down to the bottom 90 degrees. Now go back to the top and pull clockwise till the weld meats at the three o'clock position. Go back to the left and pull down from the weld to the bottom weld. Now you should have a bead all the way around and minimal warping.

†††††††††††††††† I use a MiG welder for my projects. I prefer MiG because it is in-expensive, easy to use, clean and that is what I am use to. I donít stick weld. In my opinion it uses to much electricity, makes a big mess and it is not needed with the stuff I work with. I don't TiG.† I don't know how to TiG and donít own a TiG welder. I would love to learn. At this time I canít afford one and to be honest other than a much nicer bead, a MiG will do everything I need.



More to come later!