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Which thickness governs

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  • Which thickness governs

    Afternoon all and Happy New Year,

    I am for the first time going to fire up my MM211. Never ever have I welded with anything before. When I follow the chart for manual setup or autoset I guess, if I am welding 2 different thicknesses of metal together, which thickness governs the setup? The thicker or thinner piece? Aside from the chart, is there a rule of thumb as far as selecting wire diameter size? I am welding a 1/8" patch to a 14 gauge piece of metal. Also and last question I promise.....Is grinding the weld area of a galvanized piece sufficient to keep the fumes away? How can I be absolutely sure the metal is galvanized? I have seen the crystaline look of a galvanized bucket, but is all galvanization the same?

    Thanks all and my apologies if this has been covered somewhere else as I did use the search option but didn't quite find the answers I was looking for.

    Happy Holidays


  • #2
    mig set up

    The thinner piece usually defines weld size
    .035 wire is a good size for most work in the home shop
    as for galvanized it is debatable, grinding still can burn the zinc and release it into the air as zinc oxide, best is to blast it in a closed system cabinet, in most cases i will just weld a galvanized part and make sure i have good ventilation, it takes a high exposure to feel any effects, and the danger of fumes is still really unknown.
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    • #3

      Thank you for the reply. I really do appreciate it. Ok, went downstairs, set the machine up manually no "autoset". Turned the gas on and the rate meter pegged. I figured ok, I need to back the knob out CCW and reduce the flow. It didn't move from pegged which I'm thinking is normal until I actually start to use the gas and then the flow would read correctly as I adjust. BUT, the other meter, the one I'm thinking that tells you what you have in the tank reads zero. Shouldn't that meter go up the second I open the valve on the tank?

      Please help. I know Miller is the "cats meow" when it comes to welding equipment and most people I'm thinking who purchase them already have a clue how to weld. I however do not have a clue how to weld or set this machine up. I am left at the mercy of their much to be desired set up instruction manual AND this stupid DVD. There is no way that I can see to back up to something you want to see again on the dvd or fast forward. You miss something, you have to watch the whole thing again. Its really a good thing Miller is closed today because when they open tomorrow, hopefully my cooler head will prevail.

      Any help on the regulator would be most welcome. AND if there are any Audio/Visual pros out there that can help me with this DVD, that would be great.




      • #4
        A dab of muratic acid (used for swimming pool pH control) will show if you have any galvanization left, it bubbles when exposed to zinc. Cleans zinc fast but you have HCl fumes so do this outside. Flush the acid off.

        Phosphoric acid (Prep n Etch, painting prep for rusted metal) will also react with zinc but it is slower. Safer as there are no fumes and the metal won't rust as easily. The iron phosphate it produces also wire brushes easily and inhibits rust.

        As far as setting up your machine, read the manual left right up and down. Shut off the TV and spend a few hours reading

        On shielding gas regulators, there are two types, one has two dials, the other one dial and a floating ball gauge. The twin dial is a double pressure gauge. The high pressure is cylinder level, the other is calibrated in CFH. If you have no cylinder pressure, you have either an empty cylinder or the cylinder valve is closed. The other dial is the flow pressure and it usually won't drop if you back out the adjustment until you have actual flow.

        The floating ball type will only read when actually flowing. And in both, set the gauge with actual flow.


        • #5

          Thanks for the TV tip there Keith. I have a twin gauge. No floating ball level here. The tank is not empty and the valve is definitely on. It is a brand new tank. I removed the regulator from the tank. Opened the valve as said in the instructions AGAIN to remove any dirt or debris. Gas fire outs. I reinstall the regulator, tighten it. Slowly open the valve as the instructions say, still nothing on the high pressure. Any other ideas other than to turn the TV off?



          • #6
            Neither gauge registers? Very odd but it could be the high pressure gauge is shot. Suddenly opening the valve can do this, it causes the needle's gear to jump off the rack as the Bourdon Tube straightens out rapidly from rapidly increasing pressure.

            You should be able to screw the low pressure screw in and get flow. If not, the regulator is defective and you will need service. Smith brand?

            Don't repair it yourself, 2000+ PSI turns things into high velocity projectiles.


            • #7

              Hey Keith,
              My apologies if I am coming or have came off a bit harsh. Its just I am now done with my vacation and I was not able to play with the 211. The low pressure will register and it does move when I adjust the knob, like you said it will only adjust up. It will not adjust down until I guess there is actual flow to the machine. BUT the high pressure, the tank gauge reads nothing. Yes it is a Smith piece. I went on their website and I do not even see a picture of my regulator. I just got done paying 1K for a welder only to be side lined by a comparatively speaking CHEAP regulator. I wish there was something I could do to this regulator to check it out or repair it. I am going to bring it to work tomorrow just to see if it is indeed the regulator. I have seen on this forum where regulator problems are not uncommon.
              I just wanted to make sure I was not overlooking the obvious.

              Again, my apologies Keith. Tired and beat. No welding and vacation is over.

              Have a good new year.



              • #8
                Use 030 wire in this unit.


                • #9
                  This unit?

                  Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                  Use 030 wire in this unit.
                  What are you saying may I ask? What does wire size have to do with my regulator not working correctly? Are you saying that the machine only works well with .030 wire?


                  • #10
                    Has nothing to do with your regulator. I was thinking of an analogy but can't at the moment but this is a small machine, it was designed to run a smaller wire optimally, its arc characteristics work best with that. It will burn this wire nice and toasty vs trying to chug a 035 thru it.


                    • #11
                      sounds like you just have a bad gauge. a new gauge is cheap. if you bought it new locally take the reg back to the dealer and have them replace it.
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                      • #12
                        Don't sweat the zinc fumes either if you are only doing a small bit of welding. Zinc is a required mineral in our diet, if you are only doing very small bits, you won't get sick.

                        I recently did some 1-1/4" galvanized pipe, I carefully removed all off the OD which was the weld zone but forgot about the ID. It fumed up pretty good, setting off the smoke detector in the shop and streaked white on the vise. But I didn't get sick. With all the ads of zinc lowering the duration of a cold, I may have protected myself .

                        But if you have more than a few inches to weld, remove the galvanization from BOTH sides.


                        • #13
                          Bad regulator, hi pressure side

                          You were right Keith. Bad hi pressure side on the regulator. taking it back to the dealer tomorrow and they will replace. Thanks again for your ear and the tip on the galvanize stuff.

                          Have a good day.