Welder work OK with flux wire, cannot get penatration in MIG mode
I am trying to weld 18-20 ga sheet metal (car fender body work). Works great in flux mode. But I have tried .030, .024 and .023 mig wire at all power settings and wire speeds and cannot get any penetration into the base metal. It just beads up and can be easily knocked off with very little force even with fingers. I properly converted to mig and am using a brend new bottle. I have a campbell Hausfeld WF206400AV. 115 volt unit.
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Re: Welder work OK with flux wire, cannot get penatration...
Are you using combination argon/co2 gas? You need a flow regulator and should have it set for about 10cfm. Note that this is different than a pressure regulator. The problem you note is a result of inadequate or improper gas.
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Usually a flux core only welds steel. It is a higher penetration weld than a MIG. Usually it acts similar to 6011 rods in SMA (Shielded Metal Arc) welding -- a.k.a. stick welding -- if you're familiar with that. I don't believe there is such a thing as flux wire for aluminum. There may be stainless wire for it, but I've never seen it. It probably could also be used for building up cast iron and cast steel, but nothing structural. I have a Chicago Electric one and I love it -- simple and it penetrates hard. My 90 amp will weld to 3/8" without breaking a sweat and if I baby it will go to 1/2" or better. It is difficult to go much lower than 12 or 14 gauge though due to the high penetration.
for welding cars or similar thickness steel use it on number1 setting speed 6-7 and practise max and min should be used when you want a bit more power A gose onto number 2 and then 3 these are amp settings and are for thickness of steel to be weled your welder can weld up to 8mm of plate steel on setting 3 max i use 0.9mm gasless flux cored wire great for working out doors the wind tends to blow gas away on standard wire yours is easly converted to gasless as so was mine
make sure rollers are clean and slots not wore out check alignment do not over tighten wire feed so it smashes the wire flux wire is hard to get a good setting make sure if you can set it for gas welding it is not on this setting
If you are using flux wire and not shielding gas, your clamp should be positive and the wire should be negative. Heat is provided by the electrical arc that happens between the wire and the material. Your welder by itself does not pre heat the material and with 3/16 material you should not need to preheat anyway.
The electrical arc is kept consistent by adjusting the wire feed rate and the current applied. You will need to experiment with these settings to find what works best with your welder. For this welder and 3/16 material, I would suggest you start at the upper end of the current scale and about a third of the way up on wire speed. The welder might have a chart for these settings in the manual or inside cover.
If the wire feeds too fast, it will push the probe around and you will feel pressure as the wire feeds out. If the speed is too slow you will get large spatters and intermittent arcs. When properly adjusted the arc will sound even and consistent. The arc gap should always be about 1/8 of an inch.
To maintain enough heat for good penatration, do not move the probe too fast, work in a pattern and watch the weld pool (melted metal) and not the arc. Watching the weld pool will clue you in if you are moving too fast or too slow.
For certain type of work TIG is required, like welding chrome moly for some racing organizations. Intricate work, like gunsmithing is also well suited to TIG. TIG is used by many auto restorers who prefer a more precise, perfect finish that requires little to no finish work. TIG is most similar to gas welding in technique, so if you've done oxy-fuel welding, TIG should be a natural transition.
MIG is required by law and by insurance companies in many localities for structural repair of automotive frames. MIG is also much easier to learn and faster to weld. For doing other types of welding, like sheet metal, it can be a matter of personal preference. For an auto body repair shop or a novice welder, a MIG is a good, practical all-around welder.