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Flux core... should I just give up now??


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So, I'm trying to experiment with the welder I have... the only work I need it for is to weld in new floor pans, patch the dog legs, and fix the rear upper sill. The welder I have has an adjustable wire feed, but a series of buttons to adjust the power... it reminds me of the buttons on a blender, with a high/low and three variations within each high/low.

 

I started practicing on some 22ga sheet metal, with .030 flux core on the lowest power setting... it seems to blast right through the metal very easily, along with warping, splattering, and what-not. When playing with the settings, I only got more disastrous results. I was able to shoot a few spots that stuck, when going very quickly...

 

So, question time... should I give up trying to use the flux core and invest in some gas to use with the .023 for this thin stuff, or is there something I can do to improve my results with flux core? What do you guys recommend for getting the flux core to work with what I need to do?

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it would help if I knew which welder you had and the amp and wire speeds available

 

this is one good example of why some of the less expensive welders tend to be a bad value, dropping to the .023 wire should help, but its not a cure in all cases, 22 ga sheet steel is too thin for .030 wire in most cases, your normally SCREWED when the wires thicker than the sheet steel your welding, and 22 ga is.0253 thick

you NEED,two infinitely adjustable a dials that can finely adjust the welder amps, from zero to the max rated amps and infinitely adjustable wire speed, from dead slow to fast

having preset amps & speeds works great if those amps & speeds fall close to what you need and slight adjustments in technique can compensate, if not your basically fighting a loosing fight, and your skill won,t compensate

 

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/calculator.htm

 

http://www.engineersedge.com/gauge.htm

Edited by grumpyvette
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I bought a lincoln migpak 180 this summer, it comes with a gas kit and two spools of wire (one for gas, the other for flux) I tried the flux out cuz I didn't have the bottle yet. I did a floor repair with 22 gauge and found it very difficult to weld to the body of the car without blowing holes. I did manage to finish the job but it was dirty. I did the other side after getting some mig gas and oh man what a difference! Where I was blowing holes before just doing tacks, I could lay down a nice bead on that sheet metal. The gas helps cool it down a bit. Unfortunatly my welder only has the ABCDE power settings but it does have variable wire speed. I am still learning (and have a long way to go) but I was watching my buddy weld some 22 gauge at like setting B or C and a fast wire speed (about 5?) and he could lay down a nice bead but he had to pass over it FAST!

Flux core sucks compared to gas, the only use for flux is welding outside on a windy day.

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Try pulsing the trigger.Pull the trigger for 1 second or just enough to start a bead. Then let off just long enough to see the welds cherry red dissappear.Then repeat, continueing where you left off. Dont even lift your helmet, just watch thru the lense.Experiment with how long you can hold it on until you blow thru, then back off just a bit.

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it would help if I knew which welder you had and the amp and wire speeds available

 

Grumpy,

It's a SiP Migmate Super Dual Purpose. The wire speed is infinitely adjustable, but I question how infinitesimal it really is...

 

 

Luckily I did not go out and spend anything on this welder... it was given to me by my dad to get me started.

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Try pulsing the trigger.Pull the trigger for 1 second or just enough to start a bead. Then let off just long enough to see the welds cherry red dissappear.Then repeat, continueing where you left off. Dont even lift your helmet, just watch thru the lense.Experiment with how long you can hold it on until you blow thru, then back off just a bit.

 

I think I may try that method and see what it does for me... I was able to make a small weld that way the other day without burning through, but didn't try to do a string like that.

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Get gas. ask for C25, and use 0.030 wire. I have a similar welder, and it took me two years to get comfortable with it, and figure this out.

 

I can weld anything from 26g sheet steel to 3/16" plate to full penetration without blowing holes. It took a lot of time, experimentation, and practice, but I finally got this little welder figured out.

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Let me say this once.

 

 

REVERSE THE POLARITY OF THE LEADS IF YOU ARE USING FLUX CORE WIRE!!!!!

 

If you don't do this it will spit and blow out the metal that you are welding and you will not get a proper weld. Oh and make sure you have a couple of spare nozzles for the gun. It'll clag up a lot quicker than using gas wire because of the flux slag.

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when I suggest anyone think thru a welder purchase and avoid the cheaper non-name brand welders its due to experience, look Im not rich, and Ive been on a strict budget most of my adult life, both my kids make far more than I EVER did per hour already and their both still in college.

the reason I suggest saving up and buying the more expensive welders, is that the more expensive welder have far more adjust-ability, and in most cases have far more dependable wire feeds, consistent amps

Ive beat my head on the wall, trying to get decent welds using my friends cheap welders , and some I bought in the past,enough to know the difference)

theres not much that makes you realize the difference like use of two similar rated welders , and finding out that as an example,use of a miller or Lincoln, welder makes your welds look good, but your attempts with a harbor freight welder look like crap and your basically using the same skills, and that its not your lack of skill but the equipment thats the difference, now IM not saying cheap welders won,t produce decent welds, because if your application fall within the range of their preset (hi/low),or (A,B,C,D,E)range in wire speed,and amps you may be able to produce acceptable welds, but your chances increase dramatically when you control all the factors,individually with a rotary dial in the weld process

 

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/power-settings.htm

 

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/wire-speed.htm

Edited by grumpyvette
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mine, IS THE FULL SIZE ABOUT 5FT TALL BOTTLE, THAT cost $230, ONE TIME AND A FILL IS $34 or YOU CAN GIVE A $150 DEPOSIT AND PAY $15 A MONTH, PLUS $30 A FILL, AND GET YOUR DEPOSIT BACK ON BOTTLE RETURN

the small bottles run out to fast and you get to refill them far to frequently , if your welding much, not much gets you pissed off like starting a project and finding you need a new tank of gas 1/3rd of the way thru and then another before your finished

Edited by grumpyvette
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If you do your research there are some cheaper brands that are made in the same factory and are in fact rebranded welders using some of the parent brands older technology. You can get some great bargains with very good results with one of these welders. You don't need to use gas but just remember that if you use flux core wire it isn't much different to using an arc welder. You'll still have slag on your welds and it will produce a larger spark shower than if you use argon gas. This will still produce a good weld and if the weld isn't cosmetic and can be cleaned up properly then there is no problem doing it this way. Just make sure that you reverse the polarity of the the leads that you connect to the piece that you're welding. So the earth lead becomes the positive if you use flux core wire and the gun is therefore the earth.

 

Happy welding.

 

Steve

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Practice, practice, practice... I have 2 welders here in my garage, lincoln 110v 140, and lincoln 220v 180. I have successfully welded as thin as 22ga mild steel with .035 fluxcore, it does take a bit more experience than welding with gas, but I am happy welding with fluxcore for everything. I use .030 now (much easier than the .035 I must admit), I can run nice clean beads on 18ga no problem, and I don't change wire when welding anything between sheet up to 1/4" plate.

 

For slag, I use a wire wheel on my 4" angle grinder, works excellent.

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