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I think you would of been better off with a Hobart welder from Tractor Supply. They always have sales. A 110v welder is very limited. It will not weld the thicker metal as shown above. You need a 220v welder. If you are going to weld thick steel you are better off getting a stick welder. Stick does not work well for thin steel that is where MIG is good. This is relative to the size of the stick and MIG welder. Money buys more options.


The best way to learn welding is going to a class at your local community college.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I think you would of been better off with a Hobart welder from Tractor Supply. They always have sales. A 110v welder is very limited. It will not weld the thicker metal as shown above. You need a 220v welder. If you are going to weld thick steel you are better off getting a stick welder. Stick does not work well for thin steel that is where MIG is good. This is relative to the size of the stick and MIG welder. Money buys more options.


The best way to learn welding is going to a class at your local community college.

Well, I don't have much welding to do, so this was my "entry" machine. Should I need to do structural steel I'll either buy another machine and sell this one or just take that work to a local welding shop. I don't see me getting to that level for a while anyways. I plan on taking a course when I retire and have nothing better to do. You're correct money buys more options but there's a new washer and dryer about to hit so this'll have to do for a while.
 

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if it hasn't already been said everybody's welds look crappy at first it's part of learning.
I've did a fair amount of welding about 25 years ago but I haven't welded much since

it took a lot of practice and I got paid to do it. but you do get rusty if you don't do it regularly. don't worry about what your welds look like at first.
 

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A gas bottle will be a next good investment, I don't care much for flux core and the spatter. Two bottles and you can add a spool gun and weld aluminum :)


Then you may as well get a TIG. :tango_face_grin:





Most of all Have Fun!
Enjoy it, otherwise, what's the point.


Donewrken

:fing32:

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I bought a Miller 211 auto, go the 2 bottles and a spool gun for aluminum. LOVE THAT THING!

Yeah I took TIG classes (back in 08 trying to find a job) but I can do anything I need to with the 211. best money I ever spent. 110V or 220V and I have an old Linkhon tombstone AC welder for the REALLY heavy stuff.

PAGuy. For starting out you made a good choice. If you are not doing body work you will be fine with what you bought. Heck I used an old Campbell Hausefiel flux-core to do body work for 6 years before I got my Miller. You will be fine with a grinding wheel and a flap-wheel for a 4 1/2" grinder for what you are doing.

Good luck to you and remember the thinner it is the more you need to space the welds and let it cool. Spot welds back and forth until it's fill in. :tango_face_wink:
 

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I am kind of surprised that no one mentioned the most common mistake we have all made ...especially in the beginning..
DO NOT GRAB THE PIECE YOU JUST WELDED

Now you have to keep your eyes out on junk night for when you see bed frames and other useful items that can be repurposed in steel fabrication
Good luck with the machine
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The above applies to metal pieces you've cut off with a torch too..

They can remain very HOT for several minutes after they stop glowing orange!.

One day at the repair shop a friend worked at,I came in and heard his boss chewing him out for leaving a muffler clamp he had cut off just before I showed up on the floor--he went in to talk to him and stepped on it with sneakers,and it melted into the sole and burnt his sock & foot!..

Needless to say he was very angry...angry enough to say "I'm going HOME for awhile,change my socks and shoes!--I'll be back later this afternoon"..

My friend had a hard time not laughing,he thought it was pretty funny,and said "he should know better than to come out in the shop wearing sneakers--last week I had a brake drum sitting on the tire machine,and he came in wanting to take a tire off a rim--it slid off and landed right on his toes--the same foot too!"..

About 2 months later I was at the shop again ,they let me use their tire machine to swap some better tires on rims,and my friend was working on a Ford pickup..

He had to cut off a large hex nut that holds the radius arm bushings on,and it was bright orange when it hit the floor...about 30 seconds later it went back to looking black...

Just then his boss comes in and says "hey,I just got a call,a customer is coming in and wants his--HEY--how many times do I have to tell you NOT to leave (censored) lying on the FLOOR where it can puncture a tire,or injure someone!..and before either of us could say anything,he stoops over and GRABS the nut,and goes "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !--and he whips it across the room!...we heard a crash like glass breaking..

He stares at his hand for a minute,runs into the bathroom and pours cold water from the sink on his hand..he comes out with his face red as a beet,and didn't say a word,he just went out in the office,got in his Corvette,and laid about 200 feet of rubber as he sped off..:tango_face_surprise

My friend said he didn't come to work for 2 days after that!..(he had keys to the shop so he could open up if the boss didn't feel like coming in )...he said he almost got fired,he reamed him out good for leaving the hot hex nut lying on the floor...

Then he showed me where the nut went when he flung it across the room--it hit the almost new alignment machine's TV screen monitor and smashed it!..it was almost $400 to replace it!..:tango_face_surprise

Friend said "he said he was gonna make ME pay for it by taking it out of my paycheck--but I told him I didn't throw it--YOU did!..told him I'd quit if he made me pay for it!...:tango_face_angel:

The boss returned 3 days later and didn't say a word to him for the whole day..his hand was still wrapped up with gauze..it was a good week before they were back on talking terms again..they agreed the boss stays in the office,and my friend does the shop work!..
 

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Took the day off...to work on the chipper! Folks I know the welds aren't great, but got the feeder back on and everything seems pretty sturdy. I'm sure with the vibration this thing does that it won't take too long before I'm getting in more practice. Anyways here's are the pics:
 

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Congrats on the new machine, and new capabilities! That's awesome.

I'm the furthest from an expert, I've just tried to learn by practicing with my 110V Lincoln MIG (with CO2). But some of those (the first and last pics) do look a bit... globby :) Hopefully others can weigh in, but maybe for some it didn't get the area hot enough to melt it properly?

Good suggestions here.

My auto-darkening helmet is the Harbor Freight blue flames one. Inexpensive, for sure, but they seem to have a decent reputation. I was curious, I tried making something to trigger the helmet-darkening a split-second before I strike an arc. I used a small halogen light (like for under a cabinet) wired to a foot-pedal. I can get lined up, step on the pedal (the halogen light triggers the helmet to darken), then squeeze the trigger. I don't really bother most of the time, but when I was practicing a bunch, it was an interesting test to see if I could avoid even the brief bright moment.

I've made the mistake of picking up a piece that was still hot, but fortunately it had cooled enough that it just really surprised me. It was a good reminder, though. Keep the leather welding gloves on! Or if you need to grab it without gloves, hold your hand near it for a sec first to feel if it's still hot.

Thanks for the suggestions about how to weld thin material. I need to repair a rusted-through area of my tractor deck, so that concern will apply. I'll have to try and do small, short welds. I've used a backing plate to avoid blowing through. For flat material, I used a piece of aluminum plate, clamped behind the steel. But on a curved mower deck, I may have more trouble getting another material clamped behind the weld area.
 

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Look like it should hold. Everyone's welds look bad starting out.

That is old, thin metal too; hard stuff to weld.

When you have a large gap to fill like that, it isn't cheating to lay a piece of small square Stock in the crevice and weld her in. gives you more metal to work with to close the gap.
 

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The metal is sticking together?...you accomplished your goal...it will look better as you get some experience and develop technique ...and as Robert
( Tractorholic) said "A grinder and paint....make me the welder I ain't" :tango_face_wink:
 

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Not bad for your first try.

I would suggest cleaning things up a bit better before welding with a wire wheel on a drill or grinder, and a little more heat with short bursts in little circles or a "U" shape back over what you just welded as you go. (start on the spot you just welded, move forward on the top, underlap where you just were and "U" around over the last weld to the bottom and stop) OR (just make little circles that overlap the weld before)
It looks like 3/32" stuff so blowing through should be an issue unlike car sheet metal.

Once again good job for your first try!
 

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Yep, I've watched a few now. I did a couple of welds on some thick stock and was able to get some very short runs that didn't look too bad.
 

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Well, we will see how she holds up, Sunday will be a day of chipping if the weather holds.
Yeah it's time to trim the trees on the side of the driveway here and cut back some trees so I don't decapitate myself mowing. So I have to drag out the old Craftsman I got for $75 off a buddy. Then get the kid moving on trimming them off. :tango_face_devil:
 

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My $.02 on your welds - I am not a welder by trade so take with a grain of salt.

- Do you have your polarity set up for Flux core, not MIG - it should be reverse polarity for flux core?

- I have a relatively new welder and found the manufacturers recommended settings to be off by as much as 30% for the wire that I am using. If you are still getting popping and burn back of the wire, (which it looks like you are) I would turn up the wire feed speed and/or turn down the voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
First thanks for the input. I have it set for flux core, and you may be correct on wire speed. Voltage is nearly bottomed out because as soon as I add any it starts to burn through the thin steel. I'll try to find some practice steel same thickness and see if I can get a good bead with speed turned up.
 

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First thanks for the input. I have it set for flux core, and you may be correct on wire speed. Voltage is nearly bottomed out because as soon as I add any it starts to burn through the thin steel. I'll try to find some practice steel same thickness and see if I can get a good bead with speed turned up.
Sometimes the wire speed being too fast creates grapevines. It will pop and carry on because it's pushing to fast for the melt.

Please post a pic of the face/control panel of your welder. :tango_face_grin:
 

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My $.02 on your welds - I am not a welder by trade so take with a grain of salt.

- Do you have your polarity set up for Flux core, not MIG - it should be reverse polarity for flux core?

- I have a relatively new welder and found the manufacturers recommended settings to be off by as much as 30% for the wire that I am using. If you are still getting popping and burn back of the wire, (which it looks like you are) I would turn up the wire feed speed and/or turn down the voltage.
Are you turning down voltage?...or amps?..I only have a stick machine which operates on either 110 or 220 volts..but I can change amps...but when I go too low...to avoid burning holes in thin steel..... it seems that the arc won't actually arc and the electrode sticks to the work
 

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Are you turning down voltage?...or amps?..I only have a stick machine which operates on either 110 or 220 volts..but I can change amps...but when I go too low...to avoid burning holes in thin steel..... it seems that the arc won't actually arc and the electrode sticks to the work
MIG/Fluxcore settings are in volts. The two main settings are volts and wire-speed. Amps are kind of behind the scenes in MIG.

As previously stated, I'm not a welder by trade so I'll stop before I embarrass myself too much. ;)
 

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How much stick-out also makes a difference with heat buildup (ie, how far the tip of the gun is away from where you are welding). Closer/less stickout == hotter IIRC.
 
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