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mig bead questions

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  • mig bead questions

    Hello all! I am glad to find this forum, I have learned much reading thru the posts! I have been mig welding for a little over a year, and am an automotive hobbyist. I have done sheetmetal work mostly, but have been doing more heavier suspension work lately. I just got my new MM 210-I really love it! Quite an improvement from my Hobart 135 hehe! My question is this. I am practicing welding 3/16" plate and have set the welder as the guide suggests. i am using .030 solid mig wire and a 75/25 gas mix. On my test beads I am getting nice penetration, and I am pulling my bead. My beads appear like a line of caulk. Alot of weldors get a bead that is like stacked coins on there side. I do use a small half-circle torch movement. How would I make my beads "prettier"? Would it be with different torch movements?? I am open to any sugestions-sorry for the LONG post! Thanks so much!

  • #2
    experiment and practice

    I use a back and forth wrist twist and get the stacked coins effect you refer to..In any case try different wrist motions as you practice until you get the results that you like..

    Once you are getting there then make some coupons out of 3/16 x 2 1/2 strap..make em about 4" long and welded in the exact center...stick em in your vise and get on then with a sledge..they should bend with no apparent cracking or breaking visible..If you are fussy enough use some dye penetrant to see if any cracks show up..when you can do this well then go and make something..

    Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)


    • #3
      Thanks Grampa! I will try that for sure. If I understand correctly should I use a slight "twisting" wrist motion as I do my half circles? Thanks for your time!


      • #4

        If you can get to a local vo-tech for a basic welding class it will help..Certainly better if one can see the work..

        Some vo-tech schools allow one to come in at night and take courses on an as needed schedule..The one I went to had 40 hr sections people could do..

        Then practice practice practice..till you can get it done..and done well..

        Do well
        Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)


        • #5
          I do a similar stroke but I would call it a repeated Z weave. I also have the mm210 it is killer on mild steel and on Al w/spoolgun it is actually very fun compared to the bad wrap mig and Aluminum get. At least I like it.


          • #6

            There is nothing wrong with a good clean straight bead as long as the penetration is there and the undercut is filled. It sounds like you have all your settings just right. A lot of times the swirled or stacked beads you refer to are not art inspired, but the natural shape occuring from the slight side to side and forward push necessary to get a good toe wash in. The weld toe (far edge of weld) does not always get washed in (complete filling of the undercut) in certain situations. An example would be when running a hotter gas mix like 92 argon/8 carbon dioxide and pushing the upper limits of the wire. I am willing to bet if you change your technique to a push rather than pull and dial your wire speed to upper most limits at the dsired voltage, you will start seeing the bead effect you are chasing.


            • #7
              Thanks so much for the helpful replies everyone! I do want to practice pushing the bead-I am no good at that right now for sure!