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New to welding - Looking for tips or suggestions

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  • New to welding - Looking for tips or suggestions

    Ok I'm very new to welding. Tried it for the first time today. I bought a Hobart Handler 187 welder to finish a motorcycle project.

    I'm practicing using flux core but am going to buy a tank in the next couple days. Figured I might as well practice with the flux core wire that came with my Hobart.

    I'm using .030 flux core wire and these test welds are on 11 guage steel. I used the recommended settings of 4/60.

    My first few welds sounded like they were really sputtering but once I figured out to keep the wire shorter (1/2" or so) it sounded better and looked better.

    Here are a few of the first welds.

  • #2
    Wanted to add that its harder to keep steady in a straight line than I thought it was going to be.


    • #3
      Couple more pics of the same welds..just clearer pics:


      • #4
        Here is another pic. I can see how practice helps. I feel much more steady already. Seems like there is alot of that because its flux core or am I doing something wrong?


        • #5
          Well... it's gotta be said, so probably better sooner than later - but no one can tell you anything meaningful through all that smoke and flux mess. Get busy with a wire brush and THEN post pictures, and you will probably get a lot more helpful advice.

          As far as spatter, if you have that much, something's wrong, but what it is I can't tell without being able to actually see the welds and not the flux.
          Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
          Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma * Lincoln 175 MIG

          Victor Superrange II * Victor Journeyman

          Hobart HH 125EZ


          • #6
   I said..I'm new. Don't worry about hurting my feelings..I can take it. I just want to learn to weld.

            Here is that last weld with most of the flux removed


            • #7
              What is the best way to come off a weld? At the end of my weld at the edge of a piece of steel I burn through.


              • #8
                Welcome to the forum. I think you will like it here.
                There are some excellant videos available on the internet ... and some that are sooo wrong they are funny. Try a u-tube search.

                There are (were?) excellant tuitorials on a site called Tony's welding videos. (Videos were down recently, hope they are up soon). You need to watch the one on adjusting wire speed, voltage, and stick out. They all interact.

                I am a hobby hacker and you will probably get better advice from the pro's here. My 2 cents anyway:
                Get the gas! CO2 will do, C-25 is a mix that is better.
                Unless you know better, always start with polarity, voltage, speed for the wire type (flux vs gas), thickness, metal type (steel, alum., etc).
                I'd say you are running cold. Slow down travel and weave side to side a bit. Shorten stick out.
                At first I thought superficial beads ment only too much metal (ie wire too fast) so it piled up and was cold. More speed also means more current and more heat. More voltage and less stick out also increase heat.

                Fatherly advice, don't get on any motorcycle you have done structural work on for quite a while.

                Welcome to the forum again,


                • #9
                  Thanks for the response Bob. I am going to weld the seat, battery box, oil tank, rear fender bungs...things like that. The frame was tig welded by a frame builder.

                  The plan is to practice on a bunch of steel that a welder buddy of mine gave me...then build a cart for my welder and then work on the bike. My buddy who is a full time welder is going to inspect the welds before I powder coat the work.


                  • #10
                    Low, to help you straighten up that bead, try drawing straight lines on the plate the width of the bead you want to run, with soapstone. Then watch your build up, and move smoothly as you can, dragging the weld and will see improvement. Keep the stickout (The distance from the contact tube to the plate) 1/4" to 3/8". Also brace your gun hand on something, that will allow for smooth movement...use your imagination, here.


                    • #11
                      Rocky...thanks for the suggestion. After reading your post I stopped and picked up some soapstone on the way home. It does help keep the beads straight.

                      Here is 4 more lines I ran today. The top run burned through because I left the wire there too long.

                      All these are at the recommended setting of 4/60


                      • #12
                        You're running a little slow, but you're getting there!