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keeping things square

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  • keeping things square

    i constantly have trouble keeping welded parts square after welding them. i set them up square using magnetic squares and clamps but after they're welded and unclamped they seem to twist or pull. i tack weld them first and double check them before final welding. the steel i'm using is 1 1/2 square tubing thats 1/8 thick. right now i'm just working on my own projects but have been asked by many people to do stuff for them. but i dont want to weld stuff for them that comes out lopsided or wobbly. mainly small stands, welding tables and just oddball stuff is what they're asking for. does anyone else have this trouble and how do you keep it from happening. i'm using a mm210 and i love the machine just not the end result. definetely not the machines fault. its either in my setup or the way i'm welding the parts. thanks for the help.

  • #2
    through out the magnets !

    those magents are no good, now how is your fit up and are you cutting them on a 45% what i do is tack one side then tack the oppsite site of the piece. then what my old forman taught me was check it for square then lock it in by another tack,

    its kind of hard to explain on the puter, takes some creative thinking

    and if you are doing a buch of these parts a JIG is very useful.then you can always do the tape mesure trick where you measure corner to corner

    but those magnets will throw you off, so if you are using 4 of them and there each off by 1/16 the end result is going to be off by a 1/4 of a in*

    a good investment is a corner clamp from blessy (make sure you get the one for welding )
    found that one out the hard way !!!

    good luck


    • #3
      yeah i'm not real happy with the magnetic squares. i'll definetely invest is some 90 degree clamps for sure. planning on making some cabinets like the gladiator garage works you can buy at lowes. just want them to come out right this time.


      • #4

        As arcdawg said the tacking opposite sides and measuring corner to corner for square is the best way to go. One other thing I have found that helps is to alternate your welds just like your tacks. If I am fabbing a large square for stand alone or as part of a cabinet system, I finish my tacks and double check for square. Then I alternate sewing up all the seams on one side by working form one corner to the opposite corner ; Turn the frame and repeat ; Last but not least run your seams for the inside corners. By the time all is done and cooled the frame should be square. Sound tedious? Not really. Just fun. If it's welding , it's fun! By the way: 1/8"
        wall square tube is bad to heat draw anyway. The hotter you can run the mig (even spray in position), the less distortion you will have. Why? The heat goes in fast, but is not a long input time. With the welder set cooler your are taking longer to sew up the bead. Consequently, the heat input time is longer (even though it is a cooler weld) the steel will draw up more. Also the cooler weld may not have the penetration you need. Run hot and run fast. Don't think too hard on this while learning. It comes in time. Best of luck!!!


        • #5
          i've never tried "spray" welding and not sure how its done. but i'll try turning up the heat and moving faster. i'll use some old scrap and spend a couple days practicing. would like to know how spray welding is done anyways. its probably hard to explain on here. just have to find out by trial and error. thanks for the advice.


          • #6

            Spary transfer is a GMAW process using a "hotter" gas mix and a high voltage setting in combination with the proper wire setting to create a transfer of molten metal droplets across the arc. The filler wire becomes so hot it turns into millions of tiny droplets. When you watch it transfer from the MIG torch to the work piece it literally looks like a silver/white spray from a paint can. The noise of the arc is also different. It does not crackle, but hisses a long steady hiss.

            The advantages of spray arc are deep penetration, fast travel speed, little if any spatter. The disadvantages are few: It is not practical on less than 1/8" material and can only be used on flat postion or horizontal fillets. There are "pulsed spray" machines making out of position welding possible, but is not possible with most standard GMAW machines.

            I believe you have MM210. I do not own one, but have seen others on this forum that do spray arc with this machine. If you want to try it then here's what to do. There are at least 3 common gases used for spray arc: 92% Argon/8% Carbon Dioxide, 98%Argon /2% Oxygen, 95% Argon/5% Oxygen. Try to get one of the 2 Argon/Oxygen mixtures because they will be hotter and spray easier. The Argon/C02 mix is good on higher amperage machines capable of 28+ volts.

            Set your gas flow around 20CFH. Crank the voltage tap to high or one down (6 or 7 if I remember) and adjust the wire speed up to until you are getting a reasonable crackling arc. Pull back onthe mig torch to increase your stick out near 3/4" -1" and see if the arc turns to spray. If not, then keep turning down the wire speed a little each time and repeat the process until you get the spray. Even in this mode you will get a momentary short arc until you increase your stick out. In this case the length between the torch end and the work piece. Given the choice the 95% Argon/5% Oxygen is probably the best bet for your machine.

            I like the spray arc mode for fabricating 1/8" and 1/4" plate and tube. I used to build dozens of high backed hand trucks or 2 wheeled dollies for a customer and sprayed every weld. The frame was 1" x 1" x 1/8" square tube, the plates were 1/4" mild steel, the axle shafts were 3/4" cold roll steel. I never used anything but spray and these trucks are still operating in an abusive enviroment 3 years later on 24 hour shifts. Spray arc is a valuable resource for in position fabrication of tube and plate. It is highly utilized and under publicized.

            Let me know how it works for you. Also if you plan to do any stainless wire (have a market for this-it is expensive filler), the 98% Argon/2% Oxygen is typically the shield used to run most stainless filler wires. You might kill 2 birds with one stone. I am going to add a post asking anyone doing spray witha 210 to respond to you on that or this post. That way we will see what gas they are effectively using.


            • #7

              Check out the post titled Spray with the MM210. Dan has replied and he gets good results with 98% Argon / 2% Oxygen. He also give you some wire speed settings. Check it out. Let us know how you do. Also the 98/2 is not so rare and may be in dealer in stock.


              • #8
                Hawk: similar situation but Al 1 1/4" tube with 1/8" wall not sure which alloy but I square the framework clamp, it tack it 2 places, check it, tack a 3rd place move to the next joint repeat and repeat till I have a rectangle frame. The concern is I weld opposite corners and then flip and weld opposite corners working continual opposites to keep heat input to a minamum and I still get some distortion, not real bad, maybe 1/32 but I want better. Always trying to improve technique. If it matters these are not 45 degree corners they are square bypass open end corners.


                • #9

                  I would not turn my hand for 45 cuts over open tube square bypass as you described. You are out 1/32" at what length? This is definitely negligible at 10 feet or maybe less depending on your standards. I think you are doing great! The nature of metal is to bend and warp with heat input. I'd say about all you can do is slow up your welding process to have a cooling session between welds. This may or may not help your distortion, but it will kill your productivity. The only other thing that comes to mind is to pinpoint where in the process time line are you closest to square: after tacking or after welding is completed. This may lend a clue as to what step or steps in the process may need modification. Once again 1/32" is not much over a moderate length. I recently read some articles from the AWS regarding distortion and how to combat it. The article dealt with larger plate and one sided welds. If you are interested, email me through the forum.


                  • #10
                    Hawk the measurements on this project are 34"x 12" overall the other part is a cube skeleton 12"x12"x8". The cube is off 1/8" from foreground lower right to background upper right. The rectangle is parallel through the long dimension but not end to end. As far as when it is squarest, I think at the end of tacking it is the squarest on the rectangle. On the cube, I weld it as two squares then lay in the centers to build the cube. This is where I think the problem lies, since I weld the two squares they are both off then it causes a draw in the final passes I think, it is hard to tell on a three dimensional item. I wish I had a cad program I would just email the whole schematic to you and let you tell me how you would weld it. I appreciate any help. Thanks pjs


                    • #11

                      If you can find a way to send the information, I'll be glad to examine and see what may work the best for the project. Since you don't have a AC or CC program can you scan drawings and send as PDF or photograph and send the files. I should be able to open anything you send.
                      [email protected]
                      or email through the forum


                      • #12
                        I'll get to the machinist monday and maybe my wife can do the digial photo's, it is still over my head. Thanks