Oldred I do not mean to throw a wrench in the works but could you show me the specs on .030 flux and.035 solid wire? Flux core wire, just like SMAW ( stick welding) is much more ductile than hard wire. Hard wire is good
I have built bridges, ski lift towers, high rise buildings and many other types of steel structures in my day. All using flux core, SMAW ( stick ) and sometimes dual shield. Even when I worked indoors building ski lift towers for CTEC-GARAVENTA, the largest ski lift manufacture in the world, inert gas welding was not an option. I am not attacking your experience. But I want to make sure everyone gets the correct information.
Suede please read this info below and make your own decision.
General Usage Rules
As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to use a compact 115volt input (or 230 volt) MIG wirefeeder/welder indoors on clean new steel that is 24 to 12 gauge thick. 12 gauge is a little less than 1/8" thick. 24 gauge is less than 1/16" thick. The smallest wire(.025") will make it the easiest to weld the thinnest(24 gauge) material. The .030" diameter wire will weld a little faster deposition rate. If you need to weld 1/8" to ¼" thick material with MIG, you will need the higher capacity compact machine which will require 230 volt input. The higher amperage range of this machine can better handle your welding needs in a single pass and you may not have to waste time with second or third passes. The 230 volt machine could also run .035" diameter wire. To MIG weld material more than ¼" thick, you need a higher capacity truly industrial machine. If most of your welding will be performed indoors on clean material that is less than 1/8" thick, a MIG machine that operates on 115 volts is probably your best bet for economic reasons in that a 230 volt input machine will be more expensive.
The flux-cored process is only recommended on materials as thin as 20 gauge, a bit thicker than the 24 gauge we said for MIG. In general, this process is best for welding thicker materials with a single pass, especially if you need to weld outdoors such as to repair a tractor out in the field. A 115 volt flux-cored machine using an electrode such as .035" Innershield NR-211-MP will generally allow you to weld steel up to ¼"thick. Note that this is more than double the thickness maximum of 12 gauge with MIG on 115 volts.
With the proper electrode on a proper machine, such as .045" Innershield NR-211MP, and a 230 volt input machine, you can weld steel up to 1/2" thick. Note that NR-211MP requires that the machine be setup for DC negative polarity.
While there are advantages and disadvantages to both processes, we will try to outline for you some of the most common.
* The best choice when cosmetic appearance is an issue since it provides lower spatter levels than flux-cored. The arc is soft and less likely to burn through thin material.
* The lower spatter associated with MIG also means no slag to chip off and faster cleaning time.
* MIG is the easiest type of welding to learn and is more forgiving if the operator is somewhat erratic in holding arc length or providing a steady travel speed. Procedure settings are more forgiving.
* If you are skilled and get specific proper guns, shielding gas, liners, drive rolls, and electrode, MIG can weld a wider range of material including thinner materials and different materials such as stainless, nickel alloys or aluminum.
* Since a bottle of external shielding gas is required, MIG may not be the process of choice if your are looking for something that offers portability and convenience. MIG also requires additional equipment such as a hose, regulator, solenoid(electric valve) in the wire feeder and flowmeter.
* The welders first job is to prepare the surface by removing paint, rust and any surface contamination.
* MIG has a soft arc which will not properly weld thicker materials (10 gauge would be the maximum thickness that MIG could soundly weld with the 115 volt compact wirefeed welders we are referring to or ¼" with the 230 volt input compact wirefeed machine.) As the thickness of the material(steel) increases, the risk of cold lapping also increases because the heat input needed for good fusion is just not possible with these small machines.
* The Self-Shielded electrodes are optimal for outdoor procedures since the flux is built into the wire for positive shielding even in windy conditions. An external shielding gas and additional equipment are not needed, so setting up is simpler, faster and easier.
* The flux-cored process is most suited for applications with thicker materials as it is less prone to cold lapping.
* It is not recommended for very thin materials (less than 20 gauge).
* When flux-cored welding, machine settings need to be precise. A slight change in a knob position can make a big difference in the arc. In addition, the gun position is more critical in that it must be held consistently, and at the proper angle, to create a good weld.
* This process creates spatter and slag that may need to be cleaned for painting or finishing.
And if I am wrong, please excuse me for butting in....
With a little practice you can make great welds with a flux core 110 welder. My Miller 135 will weld anything on my car I need....
Good luck Suede...!!!