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  • Improvement question

    Well I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.So I thought I'd ask you guys about how I can improve my welding abilities (mainly MIG) ? I've taken some classes at city college (SF) and when I'm there practicing on scrap (1/4" + T joints) I think I do pretty well.When I attempt something at home or work on thinner metals I never feel comfortable and am always dissapointed.

    So to make a short story long I'm just looking for some advice on what I can do at home to improve my skills ? I've heard some people say to practice on tubing , is that a good idea ? What type of joints should I practice ? All of my questions are for mild steel with my Lincoln weld-pak 100 w/ c-25 and .030" wire.


    Thanx and look forward to learning from you guys,


    Rich

  • #2
    You got comfortable practing on 1/4"+ by welding on 1/4"+. Go get a buch of thin wall square tubing or sheet steel, cut it up and practice on that. I know it sounds like I am belittling you, but rest assured am not. 1/4" and .065 are two different thicknesses of steel and require a different touch, and different machine settings. Try some thin steel welds and post a PIC for all to see and comment on and you will get some pointers on your technique.

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    • #3
      Havik180,

      Thanks to Hawk, PJ and a few others I picked up my MM210 with the spoolgun just shy of a year. Everyone told me to practice, practice, practice. I also reviewed the tape that came with my welder probably every night for a week and just before I would go to my garage and try some welds. I went to a metal supply store and spent $30.00 on scrap and tried welding the pieces together (T joint, butt joint) on top of that I ran beads just along the surface of the metal. Trial and error was was the measure of the day. Its important to keep the basic techniques in mind. Stick out, angle, height away, speed, etc. Keeping the surface clean is super important as I have come to learn. Needless to say my steel welding became pretty good after a few months and just the other day I did some awesome beads in AL.

      Hope this helps
      MM210 w/3035
      Next up - Sync 200

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      • #4
        havik180

        Practice is fine but remember perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice welding incorrectly you will only have incorrect welds. They may look good but are they good where you cannot see? Good luck.
        The definition of courage. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through to the end no matter what." From "To Kill a Mockingbird"

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        • #5
          I suppose the best way would be to find someone that could instruct and guide you for a few hours on thin material and then go home and practice. If that's out of the question than practicing and coming here with photos will be your next best bet.
          Most everyone that had to learn on there own has had to deal with the same feelings your talking about, stick with it, don't be a quitter and you'll be richly rewarded.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the responses guys ! I recently got into the sheet metal union and now I'll have access to thinner metals so I'll bring some home. Just curious , what about joint types ? T's ,butt ,lap.... what kind would I learn from the most ?

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            • #7
              I don't like to butt weld thin material, I try to use a joint that will offer more strength, something like a lap joint or using a back up strip makes for a much better weld.

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              • #8
                Welcome and I would start you out on stringer beads on a flat piece to make sure the machine is set close to right {should have a crown on front and heat mark on the back-basically speaking** then go to a tee or lap these are the least difficult then a butt or outside corner save the edge welding for last.

                The machinery is familiar to me since I used to own one, if thin material is the area of practice I would get a spool of .023-.025 to work with. The larger wire will require more heat input and a more fluid puddle and hence you'll be all over the place. Set the flow of gas to 15-20cfh and set machine to chart settings. If you have a digital camera take some closeups and post them, but be ready for alot of view points. It sounds like your not really that far off, just need some help with the little details.

                I am certain your close,

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                • #9
                  here is an example of one of my welds. It is on 1/8" steel ,weld-pak 100 w/ .030 and c-25 (20 cfm).The settings were on D -voltage and 6 wire speed. The bead looks like it sits kinda high on the metal , so I slowed my speed.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    all the same settings but I slowed my speed . So what am I missing , doing or NOT doing ?
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Are you pushing or pulling the bead? Are you oscillating?

                      Pulling the bead{back hand** works best for me!

                      Oscillation will flatten the bead profile. Do a weave with a hesitation count of one-two and quick across the center and repeat for the entire length. If you don't hang out on the sides you will get an undercut. The trick is finding the rythem that allowes you to put down the right amount of filler material. There are several different weave patterns I like the [NNNN] some like the circle overlap, find what works for you.

                      Try these and see if it helps,

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                      • #12
                        I am pulling and using a zig zag pattern like the one shown but probably not a 1-2 count. Do the pix look like my setup is ok and I just need practice or should I change something ?

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                        • #13
                          I think your close. A longer hesitation on the side will help flatten the profile and move faster across the center, I almost whip through the center and let the count build back the center of the bead. Boil it down to this,{less time in the center and more time on the edges** will push more metal into the piece and less into a crown.
                          Weld well,

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                          • #14
                            you also might use a little more heat.this will allow you to move a bit faster with the same amount of penetration and a flatter beed.along with pushing your weld this should give you the desired results.
                            clifford welding & steel fabrication

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                            • #15
                              Thanks PJ and everyone else , I like this place already , feels like home !

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