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    Results 1 to 16 of 16
    1. #1
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States

      Learning to weld

      I hooked up my brand spankin' new Hobart Handler 210 today, and decided to see what I could do with it. Messed about with it for an hour or so. I was attempting to weld old trailer light housings to an old painted bumper, as I'd like to weld a set of trailer light housings to a trailer that the old housings came off.

      Here's where I need the help:

      1. There seems to be a fine line between spatter and no penetration vs burn-through on the thinner metal. I did one weld out of ten that had good penetration, and had the housing on the bumper strong enough that I couldn't break it loose. I ground the weld out, and had to grind through to separate them again. The other welds are either burning holes through the thinner metal, or I'm getting little rounded spatters that stick to nothing.

      2. I was using the sample spool that came with the unit, think it was .030 dia, and it was flux wire. I don't have any gas for it, and the way the wind is around here it wouldn't stick around anyway. What diameter is better for a learnin' person?

      3. My biggest problem, I can't seem to get a smooth feed. Half my sample spool disappeared because it kept snagging at the feed roller to the cable. The feed roller pushes it on through, but it snags something and starts wrapping around the inside of the welder housing. When this happened I'd shut the machine down, and I could either pull the cable backwards through the housing side or forwards through the handle side, then when I fed it back through it would work for a little while before doing it again. What am I doing wrong here?

      4. Last problem, how do you guys see what you're doing? I have a standard welder's mask, and I can see the spark through it, but I can't see the actual work in progress. I'm having to kinda guess about the arc being in the right place because the arc isn't making enough light to illuminate the area. I don't know how strong the filter is, but working in bright sunlight I can almost make stuff out like it's a dark night with a half-moon out. Is my filter too dark?

      Thanks for any advice anyone's willing to offer.
      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jul 2019
      Location
      Ohio
      Posts
      199
      Country Flag: United States
      I'm not a pro at all but I can say what my recommendations are for what you are experiencing. But the first thing I would try to do if you have it available to you is to take a class on mig welding at a trade school or community college. I did that and it was very helpful. Spending time welding different types material thickness and knowing what it sounds like when the settings are right helps quite a bit IMHO. but it just takes time to get the feel. An instructor will help you learn all about it. The settings on the inside of the Hobart door are actually pretty good starting points for different gauges of metal I think. If you don't have a school near by watch some youtube videos, there are some really good ones out there that will help. Before I start on a project I find some scrap material of similar gauge and use it to practice a bit and get the settings dialed in before doing the actual job.

      #1 get some backing material like a copper or brass plate and put it behind the thinner metal to take up some of the heat so you don't burn through. Also you can do tack welds instead of a continuous bead.

      #2 flux core wire is never going to work as well as gas shielded with solid wire. Get a small bottle of gas and change to solid core. .024 wire is good for thinner metal.

      #3 if your wire jams after the feed rollers and before the exit from the box, you have something binding downstream. Try to keep your hose path as straight as possible without tight bends can help. Also make sure you have the right tip on your gun for the wire size and that it's in good shape. Those will help if it wads up in the middle of a weld. If it wads up when you are just starting a weld you may be not starting on clean enough material for a good contact and the wire hits the target and pushes back before juice starts to flow.

      #4 I normally have a good light pointed in the area I'm welding to help seeing well enough to set up before I pull the trigger and start the weld. Are you using an auto darkening helmet? If not get one, they aren't expensive. After you start welding the work should be plenty bright to see but it may take some practice to get used to it.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Sep 2013
      Location
      Houston, TX
      Posts
      233
      Country Flag: United States
      welding sheetmetal with flux-core is is a futile effort; you’ll never get a clean weld. Do yourself a big favor, get a tank of CO2/Argon mix and some good welding wire (not flux-core) You’ll find it’s much easier. Also, when welding sheetmetal, you can’t lay a bead weld without burning thru the metal or warping the panel. The best method is a series of quick tack welds spaced a few inches apart, then cool the metal at add some more tacks in between the first. Repeat as needed until you’ve connected all the dots.
      Rodney Meyers
      72 Olds 442 Rest-mod clone

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks for the tips. I'll see about picking up some solid wire, and will go find a tank of shielding gas. I'll also pick up thinner wire and the appropriate tips. I wasn't going to bother with an auto-darkening helmet but I'll rethink that. The copper heat sink and extra lights are great ideas as well. I'll report back on the results next week depending on weather.
      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      And the results are in - BZZZZZZZZT! Can't find a bottle to buy near, and the only ones for rent are huge industrial-type bottles, so I'm going to have to ship one in. In the meantime, decided to give flux core another try and all the store I was at had was a small roll of .035. Everything I've read on welding says if you can do a halfway decent job with flux that you can do a great job with shielded solid, so since I'm having to wait another week or two anyway I may as well get a little more practice in.

      When the bottle arrives I'll get it filled with argon/CO2 and pick up the thinner solid wire for another shot.
      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      755
      Country Flag: United States
      Also take a look here. Very good series of instructional videos.
      https://www.arcacademy.com/videotrainingcourses

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks, I'll take a look at those videos.

      The 0.035 flux wire was a little better. I turned down the speed and the voltage, and was able to successfully weld stuff together strong enough that I couldn't break it apart with a sledge hammer. My test metal is scrap, so I don't mind doing destructive testing. Adding light helped with being able to see what I was doing, but the dinky flashlight wasn't enough. I'll need to get better lights. From the looks of the welds, I definitely need to wait till I get shielding gas to try again. If a welder presented me with the work I did I'd have fired him for being a crap welder. Still, it was encouraging that I can successfully get stuff welded together. I've never tried before starting this thread and have about 20 minutes of actual welding time under my belt. Not counting figuring out how to make the welder work to begin with, or fixing wire snags.

      Going to order a bottle tonight, as well as some .24 solid core wire.
      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jul 2019
      Location
      Ohio
      Posts
      199
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Vimes View Post
      Going to order a bottle tonight, as well as some .24 solid core wire.
      Around here, Airgas is the big distributor and they have small bottles in stock to purchase.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      2,307
      Country Flag: United States
      Vimes, are you running the welder on 110 or 220? My dad has a miller 211, and he says that the machine works better for sheet metal on 110, but for the heavier stuff he plugs into 220. I'll also add that solid core and shielding gas is really important to getting a clean weld.

      Another thing that wasn't addressed is how are you prepping the welds? You mentioned old trailer lights to an old painted bumper. If you don't properly clean the metal, you are introducing tons of impurities that will make it impossible to get a clean weld. I typically use either a flap disk or stone disk (depending on how smooth I want the finished product to be) then will wipe down with denatured alcohol. Clean metal is critical.

      Also, as mentioned, the settings that Hobart has are a great place to start off. You will adjust those settings based on how you tend to weld. I prefer to move a little faster, and bump up my voltage higher than a preset setting would be. If you find you weld slower at first, adjust those settings accordingly. Keep in mind that as the material heats up, it will weld differently. You will get different weld penetration the longer you weld on your material. So you may find you'll need to start off with more voltage initially, and dial that back as your piece is hotter. Find the speed that you feel most comfortable and adjust your settings to you. If you find you are burning through, dial back the voltage and wire speed. If you find that the welds are spattering too much you need more wire speed. If you find the welds are piling up like a caterpillar turn down the wire speed, or increase your voltage.

      I'd go to Lowe's and grab some cheap pieces of metal in different thicknesses. Grind them down and weld directly on top of the piece. When you are happy with those welds, try two pieces butted together that are the same thickness. Then you can try different thicknesses and focus most of the heat on the thicker panel.

      Move in a series of cursive e's or in a zig zag pattern. Tons of Youtube videos on it.

      Good luck and keep us posted. If you can grab a picture we can try to help identify what's happening.

      Cheers,
      Ryan


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE...SOLD
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Sep 2004
      Location
      Arizona
      Posts
      235

      Welding Tips and Tricks

      Go to Youtube and search for Welding Tips and Tricks Mig. Jody has a huge number of videos that you should watch. He starts with the basics and continue on from there. He also has his own site https://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com

      You can learn a lot from him.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks folks. The metal is clean, I have both wire wheels and an industrial style hand grinder, so I'm starting with clean metal. And on voltage, unfortunately it's 110 only until I can get an electrician out. A bottle is on the way for argon/CO2. On the wire, any brand recommendations? Will be ordering the solid core .024 as recommended.

      I didn't do the alcohol though, figured wire brushing both sides to clean metal would be enough. I was welding shiny to shiny, and it was looking crappy. Nothing like the clean welds I see from others. I will give the alcohol a try, as well as the training welds described. I'll also be reviewing all the welding links put in.

      Here are three pics showing my latest attempts. The initial ones I knocked the light housing off and ground both back down for a reattempt.

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      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Mountain Springs, Texas
      Posts
      4,072
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      That wire brush could be leaving behind all kinds of impurities. Something like a Roloc disc is likely a better choice to clean your metal.

      Welds look a little cold. Maybe turn up the heat.

      Don
      1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
      1957 Buick Estate Wagon
      1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
      1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      Location
      Jonesboro, Arkansas
      Posts
      2,501
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      I have a Hobart welder also. One thing your going to have to do when you go to the solid core and gas shielding is reverse the polarity in the welder. Ask me how I know, and how long before someone finally told me...

      Carl Wilson
      1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats. FiTech EFI, Tanks Inc. Tank with Deutschwerks fuel pump.

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Sep 2013
      Location
      Houston, TX
      Posts
      233
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks a good point on the polarity. For solid-core wire and shielding gas I run my MIG with (+) to the gun and (-) to the ground clamp. When you have the wire speed and the voltage set correctly it will sound like bacon frying in a pan; a steady, consistent buzz.
      Rodney Meyers
      72 Olds 442 Rest-mod clone

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks for the polarity tip. Update, I have a 125cf bottle courtesy of Tractor Supply. I'll probably get it filled this week, and pick up .024 solid core wire and tips, and I'll do the polarity swap as suggested. Kinda slow right now due to weather, non-car related projects, and my daughter's been in to visit for the last few weeks while her husband is at E6 training for the military. She flies back out this week and life around here goes back to normal.
      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      557
      Country Flag: United States
      Not much of an update - got the gas, 75% argon 25% CO2, and the .024 solid core wire. Now, waiting for a free day with no rain in which to try it out. Might be another month before I get an update, the way the weather is here.

      2021 Durango R/T
      2008 Colorado beater
      2003 Dakota project-o-mobile