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Newbie Welding patterns

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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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