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Old 12-22-2011, 09:27 AM
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Mig Welding

Ok fella's I need some input I don't use my Mig welder enough to know the wire speeds and amps. I am welding 18 gauge sheet metal together and also to 1 inch square tubing with 1/8 th inch walls. I need some starting points for wire speeds and amps. I have a 15 yr old Snap on Mig Welder it has 2 ranges of amps 90 and 130, I have welded some sheet but I don't want to just pile up the beads. I want a smaller bead with decent penetration. I know i am asking a lot here like asking how fast my car will go if I step on the gas. Just throw in your starting points I can go from there roughly..Im using .030 steel wire with Argon and Co2 mix. thanks

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Old 12-22-2011, 09:36 AM
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only thing i can suggest is get some scrap pieces of the same material
and just practice with some trial and errror on the lower amp ranges

if you can get 023 wire, it will be easier on the thin stuff
you may need a diffent a drive spool for the smaller wire
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:39 AM
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I am not a professional welder, by any means, although I have done time as a structural welder. I find that what works best for me, when trying something new, is practice on a piece of scrap the same thickness as what you plan to weld, until you get the bead that you are looking for. It shouldn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes of trial and adjusting. LOL , Matt types faster than I.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:20 PM
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Thanks fer the input guess i will have to waste some wire here and see what works

Seems like the weld piles up higher than it should for 18 gauge sheet, ill start at the lowest settings I can get and work op until i get a descent weld, thanks fellas..
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:05 PM
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I just got a Hobart 140 Mig before my last project, I was completely unfamiliar with its settings. I used a small piece of same thickness material to test before each new task as they mentioned up there. Start low and slow, then move up until you are happy with the bead.

Sometimes when the bead is tall, you are too far away from the material, move the tip closer. Wire speed also will pile it on.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:33 PM
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I was always told to use a scrap piece and adjust wire speed until your weld sounds like a egg frying in a pan.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsfyj
Seems like the weld piles up higher than it should for 18 gauge sheet, ill start at the lowest settings I can get and work op until i get a descent weld, thanks fellas..
I Weld probably different from others on here-when welding 18 Gauge sheet I do the opposite-I started with a couple of pieces of scrap, and learned where burn-through occurs, and then dial it back-I like hot, quick tacks to Weld sheet, and I quench with air-it shrinks less-

What everyone else has said here is true, watch how far away from the material you are, and, of sourse, make sure you have proper Gas coverage and stick out. Oh, and I keep a set of dykes around (the Pliers!)-nip that ball end off of the wire between Welds, it works better and you'll control the Heat (and not drive contamination into the Weld) better.

I have an absolutely amazing fabricator who works for me, and he said that he can Weld just about anything, leaving the Heat settings alone, by just adjusting the Wire Speed-his Welds make mine look like a Rookie, so I'm not going to disagree with him-
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swvalcon
I was always told to use a scrap piece and adjust wire speed until your weld sounds like a egg frying in a pan.
Yeah. Sort of a crackle buzz sound. Sounds good when you get it right. If it pops, you need to change something. Usually means the wire feed is too slow for the amperage. An inch bead will tell you if it's right. You really don't have to waste that much wire.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:27 PM
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Martin sr info

Brian Martin (Martin sr ) here on Hotroders has written an excellent guide on Mig welding . do a search ...Martinsr basics of basics mig, I printed off a copy a couple of years ago and put it in my welding notebook and told junior to read it and improve his welding.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:39 PM
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If your bead is piling up too high it sounds like you're not pushing your bead along fast enough. Hold the gun straight above (perpendicular) to the weld and push the bead along.

Fire up the welder while keeping your hand on the wire speed knob and start a weld on a practice piece of metal while adjusting the wire speed until it sounds like a nice sizzling piece of bacon in a frying pan.

If you're not getting good enough penetration then turn up your heat. Turning up the heat will probably require a little more wire as well.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:49 AM
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Been welding all my life,practice on scrap metal,should sound like frying bacon,keep the gas turned down no point in wasting it,and dont forget you need a good earth,been caught out many times with that!
You will get a nice strong weld if you keep the amperage high and move fairly quickly,trial and error im afraid!

Last edited by dave350v8; 12-26-2011 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave350v8
Been welding all my life,practice on scrap metal,should sound like frying bacon,keep the gas turned down no point in wasting it,and dont forget you need a good earth,been caught out many times with that!
You will get a nice strong weld if you keep the amperage high and move fairly quickly,trial and error im afraid!
Yup. It looks like everybody agrees that it is trial and error to get the setting right. I first started welding at about 12 years of age. My dad was a big help. NOT I told dad that my bicycle frame was broke. He said; "You know where everything is, figure it out. " And so began the story of my life. Learn most everything the hard way. Did my first valve job on a flathead Ford 6 @ the age of 14. Again, no help from dad. If you have kids, please take the time to help them out, so that they don't have to 'reinvent the wheel'. Love this site. Everybody willing to help out and give advice.
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