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Thread: Arc Welding Conduit ?

  1. #1

    Arc Welding Conduit ?

    Hey guys I seen some of your stands and tree ladders you have made with conduit. Was wondering if EMT conduit can be welded with an SMAW/ stick welder?
    I had an older lincon arc welder given to me, never welded before but thought I would get some books and do lots of practice to learn. Any suggestions on info to learn from and what rods would you guys use for conduit, if I get there? Thanks.

    "Never Kick a fresh turd on a hot day" Harry S. Truman


  2. #2
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    You could probably do it but it would be tough Conduit is pretty thin, I would use 6011 or 6013 rod keep your voltage/amperage low that stuff burns hot good luck

  3. #3
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    welding conduit

    I believe there is a danger welding galvanized metal.Do more research to be safe! I am not an expert! I have done it make sure you have a fan to blow fumes away!hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Brazing is much much easier. It fills better and won't burn through so fast and is plenty strong. All my stands are brazed with 1/8" flux coated rods.
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    The fumes are brutal, and I needed to grind thru the galvinizing to get it to weld properly.

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    I would not even think of climbing on EMT!! You are asking for an accident. Besides the fact I don not think it can be welded??
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  7. #7
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    Under the galvinizing its nothing but steel so yes it can be welded. Make sure you remove the galvinizing first or you are asking for trouble. Doing it with a stick welder is gonna take some time to get down right but can be done.
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    Talking

    It can be welded. But by the time you grind off the galvanizing...there won't be much metal left if you use conduit. Use heavier pipe, watch the fumes and drink big glass of milk before and after you weld. Make sure you have GOOD welds....test it before you use it!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by elksnout View Post
    It can be welded. But by the time you grind off the galvanizing...there won't be much metal left if you use conduit. Use heavier pipe, watch the fumes and drink big glass of milk before and after you weld. Make sure you have GOOD welds....test it before you use it!!
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    Cool

    you can drink as much milk as you want, the smoke is still poison. i weld for a living, would never weld galvanized with out a mask. also, conduit is for electrical routing , not very strong, and welding it is not recomended. use regular tube, with a little heavier wall. done right, will never fail.as for your welder and practise, would recomend you take a course on welding, as you are placing your LIFE in a bad place in a tree, on a welding job you do not know is perfect.

    here in canada, if your welds are for sale, support people or go over the road, they have to meet a standard.home welding is not a standard.you need to be certified and your welds tested to meet this requirement.again, YOUR LIFE MATTERS.
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  11. #11

    Welding Galvy

    If a guy is going to SMAW with 6011 or 6010 why does he need to sand/grind off the galvenized plating/coating? Thought 6011 was refered to as "pig rod" by pipeliners & field welders because it doesn't need all the pretty clean up and such to get penetration and fusion?

  12. #12
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    You don't have to grind the galvanizing off, a simple sander will do the trick. Its not very thick at all. EMT is not rated for outdoor use and the coating is more or less just to keep it from rusting and looking like crap from the humidity in the air. We can't even install it in wet locations at all. I get scrap EMT, rigid, and IMC from work all day long so I play with it all. I tend to build more with the rigid and IMC but have used EMT in the past.

    You guys make it sound like the world is gonna end if anything is built out of this stuff. Granted I wouldn't try to build a lean to out of it over 8 foot but I've seen some of the cheaper store bought stands and the steel isn't any thicker. Those had to make it past some kinda safety tests. Then again I'm sure those were TIG or MIG welded and once again the issues of arc welding it come into play.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruttnwapati View Post
    If a guy is going to SMAW with 6011 or 6010 why does he need to sand/grind off the galvenized plating/coating? Thought 6011 was refered to as "pig rod" by pipeliners & field welders because it doesn't need all the pretty clean up and such to get penetration and fusion?
    Its not for cleaning the weld area as much as not getting zinc poisoning from the welding process of the galvanizing(drinking milk is the supposed cure of)

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002570.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletched View Post
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Iabow View Post
    Hey guys I seen some of your stands and tree ladders you have made with conduit. Was wondering if EMT conduit can be welded with an SMAW/ stick welder?
    I had an older lincon arc welder given to me, never welded before but thought I would get some books and do lots of practice to learn. Any suggestions on info to learn from and what rods would you guys use for conduit, if I get there? Thanks.

    none of my hunting stands are made out of conduit!
    just learning how to weld & already plan on putting your life on the line with your homemade hunting stands
    its your body & life, do what you want but I'd just go buy an approved hunting stand for anywhere from $50-$150 or even more if you want those pricer ones.

    whats your life worth ? I hope you say more than $50-$150!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by neo71665 View Post
    You guys make it sound like the world is gonna end if anything is built out of this stuff. Granted I wouldn't try to build a lean to out of it over 8 foot but I've seen some of the cheaper store bought stands and the steel isn't any thicker. Those had to make it past some kinda safety tests. Then again I'm sure those were TIG or MIG welded and once again the issues of arc welding it come into play.
    its not always about the thickness of the metal, but more about the metal properities & its strength. harden steel or alum. mixed with other metals to give that strength.
    while electric conduit might be a little weaker to allow it to be handbent for jobsite use.

    then theres some stands that use square tubing but within that square tubing has another metal tubing to meet the safety standards for hunting stands.

  16. #16
    Thanks guys. No I wasn't going to make stands just starting out, figured if I became good enough I could make some sticks like Ratherbear (thinks that's it) made. IF being the main word, wouldn't do it unless I had an experienced welder say the welds and strength were good. Have had a newer store bought stand break on me before 25' up, thank God I had a saftey belt on, wasn't fun.

    Was for sure planing on making a boat blind for duck hunting, trailer side bunks and bike trailer for hauling deer out with the conduit, not worried about strength so much with those. Thanks for the help, I know a guy who said he could teach me. I will diffently put safety first, thanks for telling me about the fumes off the conduit.
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  17. #17
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    All I got to say is "You must have a huge set" if your planing on standing 20' up a tree on some electrical conduit. Good luck, DON'T FORGET TO PAY YOUR LIFE INSURANCE PAYMENT

  18. #18
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    Sure you can weld conduit, but I can almost guaranty it will look like something that fell from the north end of a south bound cow. You would be lucky if none of the rungs fell out while you were trying to stand it against the tree. I wouldn't trust it to hold my weight no matter how drunk I was. And I have been welding most of my life. At least you may get a good buzz from the fumes.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2 View Post
    its not always about the thickness of the metal, but more about the metal properities & its strength. harden steel or alum. mixed with other metals to give that strength.
    while electric conduit might be a little weaker to allow it to be handbent for jobsite use.

    then theres some stands that use square tubing but within that square tubing has another metal tubing to meet the safety standards for hunting stands.

    Conduit and tubing are 2 different things. EMT or Electrical Metallic Tubing (what most of you guys are calling conduit) is rather weak and easily bent with a hand bender. Conduit (rigid or IMC) can be bent with a hand bender in 1/2 and 3/4 but not so easily with 1 inch. After 1 inch you have to use some kinda mechanical bender. I've built bumpers out of 1 inch rigid that has seen some heavy impacts off road that has held up just fine. I also have deer stands built out of the rigid that are strong or stronger than store bought ones I've owned. But like said thats real conduit and not tubing like often called conduit on here. You guys work in an electrical field for any period of time you learn rather quickly EMT is not conduit.
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  20. #20
    I guess if you have to ask you probably shouldn't be welding it. However as I stated before you can braze emt. The galv is so thin if you are working in a well ventilated area it is no problem. Notice my avatar picture .. it's an airboat I built over 20 years ago (I sold to Parmount Pictures for a movie they where going to make) and the guard and cage was built out of emt. In the last 35 years I have built many things including tree stands, airboats guards and swampbuggies parts from emt, If done proper it is extremely strong and durable. I would never ever consider buying a stand, all my stands are built from emt. They are strong ALL BRAZED (no bolts or cables) none squeaking tree stands that one could own, they have built on bow and gun holders and heavy duty strap seats that are very comfy. I have 22 stands that stay up year round. I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT
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  21. #21
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    I have been building Lock on stands out of conduit for lots of years.I use a small wire welder.When welding I use a fan blowing across the work area to blow the fumes away.I have locked them low on a tree and had two 2 200-230 pound men on them jumping up and down and they don't bend or move.I test them all this way before using.If using a stick welder lower the heat and slowly turn it up until it sounds like bacon frying.Test weld some different welds and cut them in half and look an test the strength.

  22. #22
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    Been a welder all my life. Certified to the max. I would not consider emt as a stand choice. I would use rigid and weld it with a tig rig using silicon bronze rod. Silicon bronze will weld through the coating like its not even there. Also most conduit is zinc coated now not galvanized. Stick welding emt is asking for problems even from a good welder. Mig, if it's what you have , but Tig is the way to go.
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  23. #23
    I dont know that I would build a stand out of EMT either. If I was going to weld EMT with a stick welder, I think i would go with a 3/32 7018 rod. It will be easier to run as a beginner and I think you get a stonger weld out of a 7018. A 6010 or 11 will burn hotter eat away metal faster than a 7018. Run your heat a hair cold and let her rip.
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  24. #24
    Thanks again for the input guys, that helps alot. Thought EMT and conduit were one in the same, was going to use the thicker walled conduit, except for the boat blind that's EMT.

    Like I said I seen pictures of some of the things guys on here made and got the idea to use the same material to make side bunks for my trailer, weld up my duck blind I have on my boat I made out of Emt and make a trailer to haul deer and gear out with my bike. I appreciate the warning to not use it for stands and such, I wouldn't do that to my family, I am a very safety conscious person or so I've been told. I did think the thicker walled stuff would be ok for a ladder if well braced, so glad I asked. Still plan to do the other stuff, that's why I was asking.

    I know little about welding so didn't know if I could weld conduit with the arc welder that was just given to me or if I had to have a mig or tig machine to do it. I appreciate the help guys, thought it is best to ask first then be sorry later.
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  25. #25
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    Tig welding with a silicone bronze filler rod is the way to go with EMT conduit, that is how I build ALL my stands and ladders. Of course you must know what you are doing, you can get this wire too hot and the weld becomes weak. If your weld is gold when you are finished you are fine, blackish gold TOOOO HOT!!!
    BUT with any stand NEVER leave the ground without a harness, climbing or hunting. I would suggest 3/4" EMT minimum on stands.
    I also use an exhaust fan when welding anything with a zinc/galvanized finish.
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