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JoeK

Mig welding help

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Wondering if someone can help a little bit. I'm getting very inconsistent welds. All 4 of these were done at the same time, same material, same settings, same prep, same body position, and I thought same hand speed. Yet I get 2 welds that look okay to me, and 2 that look like turds layed on top. post-39558-0-33318100-1432780638_thumb.jpgpost-39558-0-44724500-1432780674_thumb.jpgpost-39558-0-51047800-1432780693_thumb.jpgpost-39558-0-01051300-1432780713_thumb.jpg

This is with a Hobart Handler 125 with a CO2/Argon mix tank. This particular material is 1/16" x 1"x2" tubing. When I'm making a pass on the bad welds, there is popping, like the wire pops and breaks back and I have to wait for it to feed back in. It often seems to help if I kind of "push in" when this is happening, and then it can start a good puddle. I'm guessing it has to do with wire feed speed and hand speed, but not sure which is too slow. Any help is appreciated. I'd sure like get my consistency up before I start welding in my camber plates

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I would say distance from tip to puddle. If you are waiting for it to feed back in, you are too far and your feed speed to slow. I find body position plays a huge part for me. If I am comfortable, I am able to focus on distance, travel speed and puddle manipulation. If I am not comfy, it all looks like chewed gum.

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^ I would concur. Doesn't really look like contamination or bad prep, but too much stick-out and you can get more popcorn sound than a sizzle as the torch lobs globs of filler. I would turn up the wire speed a bit too, and pause briefly at the start of the bead. 

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Thanks guys, I'll try these tips. I usually get the gun in as close as possible with still being able to see around it. It's tough getting good body position but I'll try to be more patient and reset the work each time. Never heard of cutting it every time, but easy enough to do. I try have the stick out be really short, then pull the trigger and let it feed in to start the arc. I figure this gives it a little time to build up a small gas shield.

 

I'm sure I need to slow down and weld more scrap together for practice too.

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Another tip is to use both hands. One holds the gun, the other holds the first hand, and I use my pinky or the side of my hand to rest on the work. Smooths your movements and keeps the tip height consistent.

When you weld to the strut towers, be aware that there is a layer of sheet metal on top and then a much thicker plate on the bottom. Don't weld to the sheet, gotta burn through it to the plate.

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You've got 1 fillet weld and 3 butt welds. The fillet weld should be a slower pass with the gun pointing at the root and laid back about 50 degrees. Push the weld.

 

The 3 butt welds can be done with a faster pass again with the gun pointed at the root and laid back to about 75 degrees.

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Another tip is to use both hands. One holds the gun, the other holds the first hand, and I use my pinky or the side of my hand to rest on the work. Smooths your movements and keeps the tip height consistent.

When you weld to the strut towers, be aware that there is a layer of sheet metal on top and then a much thicker plate on the bottom. Don't weld to the sheet, gotta burn through it to the plate.

  

Yes, I typically use one hand to hold the gun and the other further forward holding the front of the gun. This is my guide hand, usually with one finger resting on the work to keep a consistent distance but also to guide the little "C" movement they talk about in alot of the videos I've watched on YouTube.

 

Also, I didn't know about the thicker plate underneath the sheetmetal, I guess I thought it was 2 layers of sheetmetal. Any idea how thick that plate is? I'm guessing I'll be able to see it when I cut out for camber plates.

 

 

You've got 1 fillet weld and 3 butt welds. The fillet weld should be a slower pass with the gun pointing at the root and laid back about 50 degrees. Push the weld.

The 3 butt welds can be done with a faster pass again with the gun pointed at the root and laid back to about 75 degrees.

I guess the terminology is a little lost on me. I thought butt welds were only when butting pieces together, basically end to end, like bodywork. Which one did you see as the butt weld?

 

I did weld this piece into car today. I turned up the feed speed a touch, took more time to find a better body and hand position (when possible, sometimes it just isn't), paused a heartbeat at the start of the weld, got better lighting and snipped the tip every time. All that, and I'm much happier with the results. Not perfect but acceptable, fairly consistent and I'm confident they will hold.

post-39558-0-83409600-1433045475_thumb.jpg

post-39558-0-22333200-1433045496_thumb.jpg

post-39558-0-13056500-1433045515_thumb.jpg

post-39558-0-47779600-1433045532_thumb.jpg

post-39558-0-75143900-1433045556_thumb.jpg

 

One tip I'd add for others. When I first started, I had a terrible time with consistency, usually with getting the arc started and maintained. The biggest improvement I made was getting a better ground clamp. The copper colored stamped sheet metal excuse for a clamp that came with the welder was replaced with one of those solid bronze heavy duty clamps and my welds improved instantly by at least double.

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  Also, I didn't know about the thicker plate underneath the sheetmetal, I guess I thought it was 2 layers of sheetmetal. Any idea how thick that plate is? I'm guessing I'll be able to see it when I cut out for camber plates.

You can just get under and look up at the towers from the bottom. If I were to estimate, I'd say about .100" thick.

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Another thing to look at is the liner when you start getting weird results.  If you bend the torch a lot it wears quicker.  Drive rolls lasted much longer than liners when I had my hobart handler.  When you're welding it should make a sizzle noise almost like bacon cooking.  If you don't have that you're moving too fast, wire speed too high, or not voltage is wrong.  That was my key indicator when using the handler was to adjust the voltage to get that noise and it worked much better.

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Keep hearing about the bacon sizzle. Might have to make BLT's for dinner, so I can pay attention to the sound of the bacon.

Don't be stingy with shielding gas.  Keep torch close to work with small wire stick-out.  Use proper amperage for material thickness.  The you will hear bacon frying when welding.  For better welds, lean heel of hand holding torch to near area of welding on work, to keep steady distance of torch to work.  Use glove to shield hand holding torch from heat and sparks.  A steady torch hand will yield better welds and just rotate the wrist to control torch.  Swing torch in small circles, making cursive "e"s to spread out the weld pattern.

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TO your original post-

 

Not enough wire speed, and you were traveling too fast.

 

 

Yes, a proper mig weld should sound like a consistent sizzle- like bacon.  Just keep at it!

 

 

I don't personally like drawing art while I weld, but if your "e"s are consistent, you'll get a nice looking bead.
"

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