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  • My "Beginner Needs Advice" Thread

    Hi All,

    Just got my first welder last week. I have only gotten to practice twice so far, but I have been reading a lot to try to get up to speed.

    A few questions. Can someone better explain "directing the arc to the leading edge of the puddle"? I suspect I am too new to have caught on to this so far. I am really having enough trouble aiming my path, and guess I have seen more arc than puddle. Anyway, what I don't get is, won't the puddle just move to wherever my arc is? So if I move my arc to the leading edge of the puddle, that will just become the middle of the puddle in a real hurry. Maybe I am worrying about that too soon.

    Also, as far as settings I have just been playing around and seeing what differences I can make. I have been welding on mild steel, a little larger than 1/8", with minimal prep. I wire brushed the metal a little, but haven't ground down to bare metal. I used the drag method, and tried to keep my nozzle between 0 and 15 degrees. I have an HH125 with flux core (which I am sure will be obvious from the spatter!) and I have tried setting from 4/30 to 2/40. Picture below was at 2/40.

    I see that the little ridges near the sides of the bead, and I suspect that means I was too cold. I think when I tried kicking up the voltage to 3 it would flatten out the bead into one constant lump without any ridges. Also, I noticed that the shape of the bead changes from rounded to sort of pointy as I go along. Not sure if that was me changing speed or what. Anyway, enough of my yapping. Here's a pic. Let me know how to do this better!

  • #2
    Originally posted by ricbob View Post
    A few questions. Can someone better explain "directing the arc to the leading edge of the puddle"? I suspect I am too new to have caught on to this so far. I am really having enough trouble aiming my path, and guess I have seen more arc than puddle. Anyway, what I don't get is, won't the puddle just move to wherever my arc is? So if I move my arc to the leading edge of the puddle, that will just become the middle of the puddle in a real hurry. Maybe I am worrying about that too soon.
    ... and then the arc moves to the leading edge and then the puddle
    moves and then the arc moves (well, all in one smoothish motion :-)

    Originally posted by ricbob View Post
    Also, as far as settings I have just been playing around and seeing what differences I can make. I have been welding on mild steel, a little larger than 1/8", with minimal prep. I wire brushed the metal a little, but haven't ground down to bare metal. I used the drag method, and tried to keep my nozzle between 0 and 15 degrees. I have an HH125 with flux core (which I am sure will be obvious from the spatter!) and I have tried setting from 4/30 to 2/40. Picture below was at 2/40.
    I'm not smart enough to be able to look at a picture and say what's wrong.
    But, first, the charts that they supply with the machines are real good
    for the initial settings. You'll always need to adjust +/- to account
    for random variabilities. It's good that you're experimenting.

    Second, preparation is very important, esp for the 120v machines.
    They don't have the energy to just blow away the crud and gunk
    that is on the surface. You might get a decent enough weld for
    the thing you're welding if you leave the gunk, but if you are
    striving for 'the best weld you can get', clean the surface.
    It doesn't have to be polished to a mirrored surface -- but
    clean off as much as you can.

    frank

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