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MIG - Gasless/Fluxcore Welding

Zed

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#1
Tips, tricks, etc, etc...

Just starting out with a little MIG unit. It works well and I can get pretty solid welds out of it. Nuthin too pretty yet so all and any advice welcome.
 

davycoppitt

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#2
I always wanted to learn how to weld, so I took a summer course at the local tech college. Told the instructor right away what I was doing and what i wanted to get out of the class so he let me do whatever I wanted instead of what was required for the welders to pass. Pretty sweet and cheap way to become a decent welder if you have anything in the area. I think it cost me about 300 bucks or so. One of the best things I have done.'

There is also tons of good youtube videos out there with tips and tricks.
 

D-FENZ

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My best advice would be practice, practice, practice... and get a grinder with some flexible and hard disks. Then get yourself a variety of scrap pieces and set them up in various positions and go for it. Check some photo examples of good and bad welds online so you know what you're looking for. It's easy to know when you have too much heat but too cold and you don't really have a weld at all. Always be on the lookout for pinholes and figure out why you're getting them and fix that problem.

Lots of times you will need to re-weld something. The grinder will cut it out for you. And grinding on a weld and its edges will reveal flaws and cracks that you may not otherwise notice. Sometimes a weld can look really crappy but is actually a good one. The grinder, using a flexible disk can make it look awesome and you look like a pro.

You said a little welder- check the duty cycle and do not exceed it with your weld cool-down times. Things get hot inside the welder too.

OMT: If you ever find yourself squinting your eyes performing any of the welding / grinding operations, you probably don't have enough eye protection.
 

Buck

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#4
#1 Safety Glasses

Your hands will heal, yep, you'll hurt your hands, but your eyes, they won't heal and i'll bet 'blind' hurts worse than any hand cut you will get

Gas Welder woulda been the better choice, internal flux core wire machines are not ideal unless you get yours dialed in

Practice, weld over welds until you're satisfied that your welds 'look' good, so no one razzes you, but,
Quality is better than quantity with welding


you'll get better with time but protect your eyes


p.s.
I've never met too many 'sane' welders, keep your ventilation adequate and you won't be in that 'club'

:dog:
 

D-FENZ

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#5
Gas Welder woulda been the better choice, internal flux core wire machines are not ideal unless you get yours dialed in...
This ^^^^^.
C02 is the most common shield. Weld puddles get a little runny but if your gas is argon, but everyone looks like a pro.

When you finally get everything dialed in, get yourself a good plasma cutter. Don't cut any corners here- a good one. It's probably more satisfying after you have fought with various oxy-acetylene torches and saws for a few years though before taking the plunge. They will cut anything with continuity- anything. Stainless, copper, aluminum, rusty... doesn't matter. And clean as a whistle cut too.

The last cutting project of note that I did with mine was on a powdercoated brush hog, 3-point mower. For safety reasons or whatever, the back of the mower was shielded all the way to the ground. It wouldn't let the weeds out so it mowed like shit. When the cut weeds finally would come out it was in big clumps. Anyway, took the plasma cutter to the back shield- again, this is powdercoated. The cut was fast and clean with no burrs and almost no burnt paint on the cut edge. No touch-up needed. I love it.
 

Goldhedge

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#6
Ditto on the plasma cutter.

I installed some sheet metal when replacing a furnace. Buddy of mine loaned me his unit.

Just Amazing!

No fire hazard like with a cutting torch (not that you'd use one on tin) and no jagged edges from tin snips.

"Clean as a whistle" D-FENZ


Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 8.44.56 AM.png
 

Alton

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Kinda weird...long, long ago in, it seems like another life, I learned to solder and and have done a fine job of it since then iron/dip soldering/soldering powder, pretty much have done it all but I have NEVER learned to weld or cut ANYTHING. Welding still tickles my imagination.
 

Uglytruth

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#8
As I get older I wear "computer glasses" to weld. They have a fixed focal length & help a ton. Trying to look through progressive bifocals kills me. They also make magnifying shield covers.

* Get a good automatic darkening helmet. Helps when setting up & the ajustability of tint is great as jobs change.
* Lots of good high quality welders available as demo units, craigslist, fb marketplace or at auctions.
* Buy your own gas bottle and just exchange them. Don't rent them.
* Problem is NOTHING metal becomes scrap so have ways to store steel, shafts, tubing, stainless, aluminum etc........
* Now your going to need a way to cut the stuff. Plasma, saw whatever
* Fab shops have TONS of drops that eventually make it to the scrap dumpster. If your building small stuff stop in & offer the OWNER cash to clean up some of the junk out of his shop. Might not get much over 36" long but your probably won't be needing much of that anyway. Then when you get a relationship build with him you can just order bigger stuff through him. His pricing is a lot better than you will ever get.
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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It’s too late to save you now. The meat of this vid starts at 3:00. I enjoy this Canuck, fairly funny and very sharp. He won’t give up his background but I guess a mechanical engineer. This one is about why you should learn with stick then move on to the other types.
 

Professur

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#10
I run a 170 solid wire with CO2. Does everything I need it to. Car bodies to quarter inch. The same rig will run flux core with a swap of the leads. I've also got stick welding under my belt for when I need heavier ... but seldom do. Mig has one weakness and that's the gas can blow away when welding outside in the wind. So you turn up the gas to get coverage, but then you can cause turbulence which is almost as bad as not having enough gas at all. Stick or flux core don't suffer from that weakness.
 

hoarder

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#11
I learned on stick and I still prefer stick. I've had 3 different flux core welders, a Harbor Freight, a Lincoln and a Hobart. All 3 are crap. If you think you can buy a cheap 2-300 dollar flux core welder and do whatever you need to do, think again. I spend nearly as much time working on the welders as welding with them. The main problem is just getting them to feed wire thru the tube.
A while back I had a project that entailed welding a considerable quantity of 14 gauge steel. I tried flux core, gas welding and stick welding. It was hard to say which was easiest and most effective. Probably stick. In any case, stick welding is way cheaper.
I never tried true MIG (metal inert gas). I suppose if you invest a grand or more on MIG and a cylinder you might be happy, most people I know who have tell me they love it.
 

ttazzman

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#12
I was a certified aws d1.1 in my early years......a few thoughts and tips are following

#1 good welds come from being able to run any welder at the hot side of the appropriate range.....developing a good weld puddle from both pieces of metal and adding the appropriate amount of filler

#2 90% of lay people welders run their choosen welders to cold...cold keeps them from blowing holes ...but really they are not in control of the puddle and moving tip correctly

#3 most lay people dont really "See" the weld puddle and work with it .....dont be afraid to get glasses behind the hood if you need it ...but see what your doing ....as stated before a good quality auto darkening helmet is a rookies best friend

#4 ...as a welder i liked to run stick 7018 ....but for a rookie nothing works as good as or welds as fast as a decent MIG setup....flux core or gas either one works

#5 wear protective clothing so you can get right up to your weld .......i would instruct a rookie to have his helmet within a max of 1' from the weld forcing him to observe, learn and see the weld puddle .....Learn to MOVE your spark around to create the weld puddle configuration you want ....rookies want to just pull trigger and run a steady gun ......i use a V or U shaped move on regular welds...and more of a figure 8 on wide gaps pulling out a bit on the crossover...(the V/U pattern the bottom of the V/U is the finished weld direction how smooth and uniform that U bottom is will be reflected in the final well finish look)

#6 practice...start with simple flat fillets...move to butts...etc....when you move up to verticles always go bottom to top

#7 adjusting a mig.....i usually on a new project will turn the heat up above where i think i need it.....then turn up the wire speed till its welding smooth ......too slow wire speed it will pulse.....too fast a wire speed it will push your gun away...i allways try to work Hot ...down to cold ....i can fix a hole ...its hard to go back and fix a not fully bonded weld

#8 MIG likes clean metal and always clean between welding passes.........so clean it first........if your welding old rusty painted etc metal like farmers do ..thats a job for 60 (6011) series stick welding

there are some starter tips.......practice makes perfect ... good luck...ask questions
 
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newmisty

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#13
I was a certified aws d1.1 in my early years......a few thoughts and tips are following

#1 good welds come from being able to run any welder at the hot side of the appropriate range.....developing a good weld puddle from both pieces of metal and adding the appropriate amount of filler

#2 90% of lay people welders run their choosen welders to cold...cold keeps them from blowing holes ...but really they are not in control of the puddle and moving tip correctly

#3 most lay people dont really "See" the weld puddle and work with it .....dont be afraid to get glasses behind the hood if you need it ...but see what your doing ....as stated before a good quality auto darkening helmet is a rookies best friend

#4 ...as a welder i liked to run stick 7018 ....but for a rookie nothing works as good as or welds as fast as a decent MIG setup....flux core or gas either one works

#5 wear protective clothing so you can get right up to your weld .......i would instruct a rookie to have his helmet within a max of 1' from the weld forcing him to observe, learn and see the weld puddle .....Learn to MOVE your spark around to create the weld puddle configuration you want ....rookies want to just pull trigger and run a steady gun ......i use a V or U shaped move on regular welds...and more of a figure 8 on wide gaps pulling out a bit on the crossover...(the V/U pattern the bottom of the V/U is the finished weld direction how smooth and uniform that U bottom is will be reflected in the final well finish look)

#6 practice...start with simple flat fillets...move to butts...etc....when you move up to verticles always go bottom to top

#7 adjusting a mig.....i usually on a new project will turn the heat up above where i think i need it.....then turn up the wire speed till its welding smooth ......too slow wire speed it will pulse.....too fast a wire speed it will push your gun away...i allways try to work Hot ...down to cold ....i can fix a hole ...its hard to go back and fix a not fully bonded weld

#8 MIG likes clean metal and always clean between welding passes.........so clean it first........if your welding old rusty painted etc metal like farmers do ..thats a job for 60 series stick welding

there are some starter tips.......practice makes perfect ... good luck...ask questions
Gr8 tips, thanks Taz.