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  • Newbie Welding patterns

    Hi i am completely new to welding and dont have any type of training other then messing around in my garage. I own a fairly new millermatic 211 and want to learn how to mig. So i been watching videos and reading on these different pattern techniques that people use when welding. The techniques i am referring to is the cursive e, circles, etc..

    So when i set my welder to the recommended settings for my material thickness it seems to feed really fast. When i watch videos of people performing these patterns it seems like they are taking their time. I have tried turning down the feed rate quite a bit but then i just get a lot of popping and doesnt maintain an arc. Do i need to turn down both voltage and feed rate to allow time to perform these patterns while welding? Also, wouldnt turning down the voltage settings and feed rate affect the amount of penetration? I don't get how people take their time laying these beads down.

  • #2
    What are you trying to weld?
    also in what position? Flat, horizontal, vertical?
    www.silvercreekwelding.com

    Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
    Miller extreme 12vs
    Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
    Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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    • #3
      Are you paying attention to the stick out ? That is how much wire you have sticking out of the gun . Watch some welding tips& tricks videos by Jody

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      • #4
        I find the recommended settings a touch fast for arc manipulation. If you try a straight drag, I think you'll see it even out a bit.

        Having said that, I generally don't do a straight drag or push either. What you need to work on is setting the machine yourself. You need to calculate wire feed speed and voltage yourself. Pretty soon, you'll be able to just look at what you're welding and set the machine really close to start off, then dial it in from there.

        Lots of things matter with mig welding. The only thing "easy" about it is doing a poor job.

        Shoot for almost straight in angle pitched slightly in your direction of travel. As mentioned before, short stick out, and get comfortable. Don't try and free hand it. Prop of something. And make sure you have a good solid ground.

        Keep in mind, turning down the wfs doesn't necessarily do what you think it'll do. Sometimes cranking up this wfs is what you need to drive that arc into the weld joint. It's counter intuitive but it's just how it works.

        Enough for now.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. I am just practicing in a flat position trying to just weld straight beads. I have not really practiced welding two pieces together yet, right now i am just getting the feel for straight lines. My stick out is no more then 3/8".

          A straight drag does look better when using the recommended settings but i have to move quick, at least i feel it's quick.

          I never thought about turning up the wfs to drive that arc into the weld. Ill give that a shot just to see what it does. I just thought that by turning down the wfs it would give me more time to manipulate it but i see that's not really the case.

          so can a setting that is set for say 1/8" material also work for material that is 1/4"? If so, would the setting for 1/8" material require you spend more time on 1/4" material since it's thicker to get penetration?

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          • #6
            The short answer is no. The machine doesn't give two hoots about what you're welding or your travel speed. You set it, it spits out wire at that voltage and feed rate. If you travel slow, what do you think is going to happen to your weld bead profile? That wire is coming, no matter what you do. Sit in one spot, same thing happens.

            Increasing or decreasing the diameter of the welding wire (or size of the arc as it would be) or the wire feed speed determines the amperage of the weld proportionately. So, if you set your machine to weld on 1/8" metal, then turn around and try to run it on 1/4" metal you're not going to get the same result. True enough, you can set a lot of machines to weld a wide range of materials and an experienced weldor can manipulate it to produce a successful result.

            Miller offers a weld settings calculator app for your phone that I find gives very accurate information. Remember that any chart or phone app or whatever you use to find general weld settings is a guideline as all machines weld differently. So use it as a starting point.

            Back to your 1/8" vs 1/4" example....for me anyways, when I get up to the 1/4" range, I'm looking to go spray arc transfer instead of short circuit anyway, and those settings are WAY hotter than what you're doing now...something like 24v where as short circuit in the same size material is around 19.

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            • #7
              Theres lots of ways to manipulate the weld pool but usually for flat I would just run stringer beads (no side ways movement) or a slight weave. For verticals a whipping motion of a sort of J is often used. Penetration is a mis used word especially when people and manufacturers talk about mig welders. Fusion is what matters. Penetration is achieved be bevelling or grooving your work pieces (usually just for butt joints) On thin gauge sheet metal, say 16 gauge and under its possible to get a full penetration weld with a tight fit up. On 1/8 you can put a slight gap (called a square butt joint) and still achieve full penetration. Anything thicker for a butt joint you should be bevelling the plates. With stick you set the amperage based on the rod. You could then weld as thick as you want by doing multiple passes. In theory you should be able to have the mig set low and do the same thing. But remember how I said fusion is whats really important. MIG in short circuit is really bad for fusion on anything but thin material. Thats why Ryan said anything over 1/4 is good to use spray transfer. If you did multiple passes on thick plate using short circuit the weld would look good but its weak. Theres no fusion or bonding of the weld metal. Hope that doesn't confuse you too much. But for now just stick with straight stringer beads or a small weave.
              www.silvercreekwelding.com

              Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
              Miller extreme 12vs
              Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
              Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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              • #8
                And good metal prep. It's a good idea to remove the mill scale when you're doing short circuit mig. Honestly, it's always a good idea to remove the mill scale, but some processes are more forgiving than others. Short circuit mig ain't it though.

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                • #9
                  Hey thanks for all the tips. So now this brings another question, so from what i been reading the miller 211 is not really capable of spray transfer for 1/4" material but it is rated for up to 3/8, is it not recommended to use this machine for material this thick if it's not beveled?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jereli View Post
                    Hey thanks for all the tips. So now this brings another question, so from what i been reading the miller 211 is not really capable of spray transfer for 1/4" material but it is rated for up to 3/8, is it not recommended to use this machine for material this thick if it's not beveled?
                    The new 211 inverter can do spray. Someone posted pictures a while back. 0.030" wire, C10-C8 gas. Should it be used to do so? Probably not since you will run up against the duty cycle pretty quickly. But it can do it. And you're gonna toast tips and the stock M100 gun real fast doing that. Better get an M25 replacement gun for it if you want to do spray alot. I think I saw a 10' water-cooled gun with the Miller connector somewhere, it was around $300. Then no worry about melted front-end parts.

                    The auto-set settings are meant for welding "hot" in the 1G flat horizontal position. You can reduce the auto-set settings a thickness or two to have more "time", but then you will be negatively affecting weld penetration because in doing so (reducing settings, namely the wirefeed speed), you are reducing the amperage, which when other things are held constant, is largely responsible for penetration.

                    If you do 3/8" material, you will be depositing a lot of filler metal. Whether or not you bevel depends on what you want to accomplish. If you wish for a deep penetrating root fusion, then it will be lacking if you don't bevel, since most of it will pile up on the surface. I would bevel if possible. You can even weld 1/2" if you bevel both sides. But definitely watch the duty cycle. I didn't and like an idiot I toasted my 211, but it was under warranty. Ended up selling the refurbished one and now I use HTP ProPulse MIG's which will shut the machine down if you attempt to go past the point-of-no-return. Smart-welders is what I call them, LOL.
                    HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                    HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
                    HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
                    HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
                    HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
                    HTP Microcut 875SC

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                    • #11
                      I ain't no smart weldor, that there's fer sure.

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                      • #12
                        Thus is the nature of every new "WeldEr" out of the box since the dawn of Electric Welding 100 years back.
                        Ain't run across 1 in 60 years who wasn't ready to weld Nuke containment overhead the first hour, even though they can't yet coat a 4 inch square laying on the bench horizontal after somebody set the machine up. It got worse as time went on thanks to Hot Glue Guns and it's become horrible with the arrival of Magic Inverters that do all the hard work.

                        I'm just a dumb old slagfag without so much as a golden elbow, let alone a golden arm who has a library of things that don't work and an absolute belief not a one of the new kids won't be bored with welding in 6 months and have the machine on a shelf collecting dust if they don't flip it on Craigs List.

                        I just sit back and wait till they get their fill of the light show and sparks, might go as far as squirting a hose at one who has his polyester garments fully lit off.

                        When they can lay down stringers and build a 6" square box without burning themselves to the ground or setting the building on fire I might get to instructing.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jereli View Post
                          Hey thanks for all the tips. So now this brings another question, so from what i been reading the miller 211 is not really capable of spray transfer for 1/4" material but it is rated for up to 3/8, is it not recommended to use this machine for material this thick if it's not beveled?
                          It all depends on the type of joint. For butt joints Anything over 1/8 should be bevelled no matter what machine. Fillet welds (lap joints, tee joints, outside corners) aren't usually bevelled. Also you don't really need spray transfer for 1/4" material. Just crank the machine up and giver. You'll probably get into more of a gobular transfer anyways. Spray transfer only works in flat and horizontal anyways. Again manufacturers are confusing newbie welders with their silly machine ratings. I could weld 1" plate with that machine. Would I want to? No, but it can be done. Its all about proper joint geometey and knowing the proper way to do it. I suggest you read into welding joint geometry. Your question is basically too vague. Show a picture or a drawing of what you want to do.
                          www.silvercreekwelding.com

                          Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                          Miller extreme 12vs
                          Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                          Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Franz© View Post
                            Thus is the nature of every new "WeldEr" out of the box since the dawn of Electric Welding 100 years back.
                            Ain't run across 1 in 60 years who wasn't ready to weld Nuke containment overhead the first hour, even though they can't yet coat a 4 inch square laying on the bench horizontal after somebody set the machine up. It got worse as time went on thanks to Hot Glue Guns and it's become horrible with the arrival of Magic Inverters that do all the hard work.

                            I'm just a dumb old slagfag without so much as a golden elbow, let alone a golden arm who has a library of things that don't work and an absolute belief not a one of the new kids won't be bored with welding in 6 months and have the machine on a shelf collecting dust if they don't flip it on Craigs List.

                            I just sit back and wait till they get their fill of the light show and sparks, might go as far as squirting a hose at one who has his polyester garments fully lit off.

                            When they can lay down stringers and build a 6" square box without burning themselves to the ground or setting the building on fire I might get to instructing.
                            I was beginning to think it was just me? That's really what's being called out. Someone needs instruction the manual doesn't provide or answer for questions about? It used to be easy when they included a VHS tape with the purchase but not anymore, lol.
                            If a guy started a You Tube Channel just answering questions? I could do a job like that, less typing more talking and drawing involved.

                            Jereli,
                            Can you post a picture? I'd really like to see what I'm up against before I buy in too deeply into the conversation? As mentioned, most of what your asking is text book and You Tube made easy. But this welding thing...It's not as easy as it looks, it takes a degree of understanding, some eye hand coordination movements that quite frankly, limit some people. You could be one of those people we don't know? But they to can be helped to some degree.
                            So...you old as dirt or fresh like snow? Got good eyes or looking thru coke bottles? Give a darn or hardly care?

                            For the record... old, still and sometimes. Lol.

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                            • #15
                              Noel as a man with a perfect face for AM radio or a welding helm with graphics all over it I'll say I think the video market has been captured by some guy who used to weld in a shop reconditioning airplane engine components. It was the airline that mixes croutons in their paint jobs they take in from other carriers for extra money.

                              I ain't jumping into that racket till there is a method to stop the student who has lit his Crock and doesn't know it yet so he can activate his onboard sprinkler system. I gotta develope a marketable product too like a hunk of wire wrap folded over twice by some 5 year old Chinese kid I can sell for $18 too.

                              Far as kids asking questions, that's part of the process, and how I learned. I was heartbroken to learn SubArc wasn't the endless stick I dreamed of 50 years back. We had things made of paper back then called books.
                              Far as learning to drive a hotglue gun, I recommend a reloadable caulking gun and a bucket of Silly Putty. Technique is pretty similar and you can see better without the helmet in your way. Once you can sling Silly Putty and make it stick Hot Glue is an easy transition. Some students can actually achieve penetration in a few short weeks after transitioning to Hot Glue. Far less burn injuries too.

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