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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

Ok so I'm full of questions today. This one not as pressing though. More for general knowledge. Gave welding my first shot with a 110 Mig Welder last night. Using .030 flux core. I had the speeed set at what I felt was good. The heat was all the way up. My welds look like bird doo doo and luckily I was just playing around. They seemed to splatter and regardless of technique I used would not get any better. Is that because the heat is too high? Just wondering when I get a free moment I'd like to try again. Just looking for hints.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

Your heat is probably too low. Splatter can be caused by insufficient shielding gas (not enough/oxidized weld), dirty material (mig requires a pretty squeaky clean area), too much wire (too fast) or too little heat (they go together). In mig welding you can 'hear' the right setting of heat and wire speed for the material. A proper setup will sound very tight and have a high-pitched buzz. What thickness of material did you have? Without pre-heat, IMHO 1/8" is the max you'll be able to weld with 0.30 wire and a 110 wire feed. If you preheat your starting point to cherry red before starting, you could go up a size. If you go to 0.35 wire, you can probably go up another thickness of metal (0.35 wire carries about 40% more current than 0.3 wire at the same setting).

Try this: Clean everthing very well (i.e. grind to shinny metal). Make sure you have an excellent groung point. Pick a power setting that seems right (again, 1/8 to 3/16 should be set at or very near the max with 0.30 wire), and then adjust your wire speed until it gets that high-pitched, very tight buzzing sound. The wire speed will probably need to be fairly fast as well. If you have a manual with the welder, it should give you some pointers on setup and welding. After welding a couple of inches, you should be able to stop and have the material glowing red pretty good. If not, you aint got enough current going into it. If I don't preheat what I am welding, I always hang around a second or two on my starting point before before weaving my way along.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

Best hint I can give...

Practice, practice, and practice some more. I was able to pick up some scrap from our local metal supply. I walked in and bought some stuff for a project, then told them that I was currently taking a welding class, and asked if they had any scrap to practice on. They gave me a whole bunch of stuff.

The sound of the weld is key. A lot of people use "frying bacon" to describe the sound, but I have much better luck with a "buzzing sound"

When you think you have got the hang of it, weld some small stuff up and try to break it with a BFH and a vice. A lot can be learned from broken welds.

It was a slight blow to my ego to watch one of the picture perfect welds I created bust apart with a few heavy blows from a hammer. After looking at the broken pieces, I saw that there was not enough penetration. I cranked up the heat for the next few beads, and I haven't been able to break one since
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

Thanks guys. I'm going to leave the importing welding like shock mounts to someone a bit more experienced. I'll just play with scrap and maybe do my high lift mount. If not I will just practice.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 08:07 PM
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
weld some small stuff up and try to break it with a BFH and a vice. A lot can be learned from broken welds.


[/ QUOTE ] Awesome advice! So very true. My uncle has a metalsmithing business he has had for about 30+ years and he has really helped me alot in getting to weld better. That was the first thing he did to me [img]images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] after laughing at my bird poop welds.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 08:35 PM
 
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

Another thing you may want to try...

Check out a welding class at a local tech school or community college. My brother and I are finishing up a 15 week course right now. 3 hours a night, one night a week, $120 each.

For $120 I got to play stick welders, MIG welders, Oxy-acetylene cutting torches, and plasma cutters. I can only imagine how much the consumables I went through cost

Best $120 I ever spent


[img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 06:42 AM
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

I too highly recommend a welding class. There is so much that is not really intuiative or just common sense that you will learn from it. And it will stay with you too, once you have learned you will use it sooooo much.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 07:54 PM
 
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt w

practice, gun angle, electrode length and correct set up is key. set up will vary from person to person and from machine to machine and skill level. experiment around and take notes on what setting work good and which ones don't.

i have seen people just walking in the door start to produce good MIG welds after two long days of practice with a good basic set up. one of these persons was a lady whom had never touched a welder in their life.

for example the set up i use for 1/4" flat and horizontal using .035 solid core and 90/10 gas is voltage at 27, amperage at 210 which makes the wire speed about 535. this might be too fast/hot for some yet far too slow for others.

keep trying, you WILL get it!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 09:02 PM
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

it could be using the flux core wire. i've only ran a few beads with flux core right after i got my mig welder for Christmas. they didn't look very good so it was off to the welding supply for a tank of argon/CO2 gas. using solid .030 wire and the gas is soooooo much better.
also it seems you have to run flux core hot and can't use it on thin gauge material. set the wire speed to the chart in the instruction book or on the cover of the welder ... until you gain a little more experience ... then you can monkey with the wire speed.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 08:48 AM
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Re: O/T Welding question..avoiding the bird shEt welds

One thing that really makes a huge difference -- clean clean clean.

Even if the metal is new looking, no rust etc., hit it with a grinder. Make the area at least 1/4" on either side bright and shiney. The darker looking stuff on even new metal is mill scale -- and oil.
After it's bright and shiney, if you've handled it at all, you've left oily fingerprints on it -- good idea then is wipe it down with acetone or brake cleaner -- not carb cleaner -- just before you weld.

Any mill scale, oil, paint etc causes the arc to not touch all the surfaces - and gives it that "bird" look too. The most important thing is how strong it is rather than how it looks, but if the outside's "Birdy" the inside's got it too.

Flux core and shield gas can only do so much - mainly keep the oxygen in the air away from it.

Try it -- do a test weld on new material without grinding it shiney, then try it shiney -- what a difference!
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