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New here, new to welding, and new to me MM130

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  • New here, new to welding, and new to me MM130

    I'm new to this forum and brand new to welding in general. I consider myself a pretty handy guy and I've learned to do a lot of things in my 40 years but I've never learned to weld. I've been reading and reading and reading but there is just SO much information. I really don't even know where to start. I also learn best by doing but I can't just go weld. I purchased a used Millermatic 130 today with a nice rolling cart and an almost full bottle of gas. Beyond that I have no idea what I'm doing. I hope to read and learn and hopefully now that I have my own equipment I can find someone to help teach me.

    I do know that my regulator is leaking so any suggestions on a good replacement and any wire suggestions would be appreciated. I also need to figure out which parts of this machine I need to have replacements on hand of.

    Anything that you all can pass along that will be helpful is greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to learning a ton around here.

  • #2
    Give the guys a serial number and you can use the number to find the right manual for you unit.
    https://www.millerwelds.com/support/manuals-and-parts

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    • #3
      Gather up this stuff:

      A good welding hood
      Good pair of welding gloves
      Needle nose pliers
      As many metal clamps as you can possible gather up
      Tape measure
      Sharpie
      Soap stone
      At least one grinder with a hard rock, cut off discs and various grits of flap discs
      A stiff wire brush
      Brake cleaner
      Combination square

      About your leaking regulator...find where it’s leaking and try to repair it.

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      • #4
        Besides a lot of good info on this site, weldingtipsandtricks.com (Jody Collier) is an outstanding source of info. Unlike a lot of stuff you may find cruising youtube, Jody will never steer you wrong. In fact, somewhere on his site, he has a link for "How Not to Weld", which is a youtube video of a guy with a MIG welder doing everything wrong. I still can't believe the video was not made as a spoof, but the guy is so serious I think he believes what he's saying.

        Anyway, start here: http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/mig-welding-basics.html

        If you go to his home page and follow the MIG link, you will find lots of help. And, if you're new to welding, you need to meet Amazin' Blaze. You won't understand the subtleties of what he's saying but the guy has obviously been around the block welding a few times.
        http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/...nd-beatin.html

        Welcome, and have fun. Once you're under the hood and the arc is struck, it's just you and the puddle, in your own little world. With more ways to explore manipulating it than you can imagine at first. And as you move to other processes beyond MIG, it just gets better.
        Last edited by Aeronca41; 04-23-2020, 08:17 AM.

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        • #5
          Glenn Thornton is a legend.

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          • #6
            Thank you all for the replies. That should give me plenty to work through. I have most of those materials and I'll get the ones I don't have. I already downloaded the correct manual I borrowed my dad's regulator from his TIG machine and I laid some beads. It went pretty well for knowing less than zero but now I'm out of wire. I laid about 3 beads on bare metal before joining these 2 piece .

            Go easy on me.

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            • #7
              You're off to a great start. If you need to buy a regulator, I have been quite happy with the one I got from USAWELD.com. They are great people, and will do anything they can to help you out. The are the website for HTP welders. Near Chicago.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jeopardy98 View Post
                Thank you all for the replies. That should give me plenty to work through. I have most of those materials and I'll get the ones I don't have. I already downloaded the correct manual I borrowed my dad's regulator from his TIG machine and I laid some beads. It went pretty well for knowing less than zero but now I'm out of wire. I laid about 3 beads on bare metal before joining these 2 piece .

                Go easy on me.
                Great job! I'm a newbie too and on the same page as you apparently, so I'll be following this thread. Got the millermatic 141.
                Last edited by bjornrobert; 04-27-2020, 08:52 AM.

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                • #9
                  One thing to remember about mig welding is that it requires a solid ground. I’m not a fan of the stamped sheet metal ground clamps, even though I still use a couple of them. If they were on my primary machines I would replace them with good bronze clamps. But either way, be sure to grind your metal to clean, bright steel where you plan to put your ground clamp.

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                  • #10
                    While I like .030" FC wire for most of what I do with these machines, .035" is a lot easier to find, and I've run a lot more of it for that reason. It does it! My dad still has my old Millermatic 130XP. I replaced the motor on it a decade ago.

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                    • #11
                      Might consider posting your location. Having a friend nearby that welds can save you a great deal of struggle.

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                      • #12
                        .035 FC might even be cheaper than .030, oddly enough. Depends on where you get it of course. From my LWS, I can get a 44lbs roll of .045 DS cheaper than a 10lbs roll of the same wire in an .035 diameter.

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                        • #13
                          Whether you run solid wire with gas or .035 flux core without gas, just be sure you run the right polarity. There is usually a set of wing nuts just above the drive roller housing that lets you switch polarity. With solid wire, the negative lug goes to your work clamp and positive goes to your drive housing. It's the other way for flux core. My Millermatic 140 was set up with .023 solid wire for thinner stuff. Be sure to get the contact tips matched to the wire diameter.

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                          • #14
                            I've got gas and a bottle so I'll probably stick to that. .030 was in there when I got it. Is that the preferred solid core size for this machine or .023? I'm in Prince George, VA. I'll add it in. Thanks.

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                            • #15
                              I really liked .023" solid wire in that machine, for what I was doing with it, which was usually 24 - 16-gauge steel. I can't remember if I ever ran .030" in it or not.

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