Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

First time Welder... need some help

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • First time Welder... need some help

    I'm brand new to welding. As in today was the first time I've ever touched a welder. I build drums (hand drums) and have always ordered the metal rings. I decided it was time to make my own, and on a deadline for a drum, I thought I'd just buy this thing stick the ring together and be on my way... HAHA...

    So here is the equip... I've got a harbor freight easy mig 100 (90 bucks on sale) the wire that came with it says K-NGS .8mm flux cored arc welding wire.

    My main use for buying this, and my only current need for this welder is to weld 1/4" 1018 cold rolled rods (rolling the rod into a ring and welding the ends together).

    So.. are those ready to run out of the box? I'm finding lots of (found this word through google searches...) porosity in the welds. Is this wire supposed to be shielded? I know MIG is shielded but flux core is not...?? I dont know that.. I just said that.. I need help...

    Here is my current process...
    I grind down the ends even, then make a "v" as in ====v===== "v" is where the ends come together. The welder has a min/max switch and a wire feed knob. After a few tests I seem to be getting the best looking welds at max and wire speed of about 7 or 8. I have no idea what this means. Min rating is 80 max is 90. My problem is that the welds are brittle and break with some force... I dont feel like the weld is sticking to the rods like it should either. Should I try different wire? What about min/max and the wire speed? any suggestions or tests that I could do to find a good one? At first, I was welding these with lots of spatter (set on min and wire speed at 2) and the welds looked like mars with all the crators.. then I upped the wire speed to 7 and flipped it to max, not as much spatter and the weld seems to pool up nice but the ring gets really red about an inch from each direction of the weld... is it supposed to or am I welding too hot or too long (usually about 3 seconds or so)?

    Also... any ideas for holding the hoop so the ends stay butted up against each other? Is there a clamp made for this sort of thing.

    Any help or advice would be awesome! I know I asked a lot on this one post, but I've got a lot to learn!! thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Putting the ring into a vise, with the loop draped down (vise has to be mounted on the side of your bench to allow this)...align the ends, then just snug it down with just about an inch between where you are welding and the jaws. If you want to protect the jaws from splatter, first bend some thin sheet metal (recycle some cans) to fit inside the jaws, then over the vise.

    The welding of those 1/4" rings should be a snap. The ones breaking are because you did not get a little melted pool to tie the parent metal with your MIG wire, so those welds were "cold"....just melting wire onto the steel does not 'weld' it.

    The "V" notching does not have to be very large at all, because the 1/4", when welded all around, will have pretty good penetration...and you do need to weld it all around...done in two motions...one from the top, then flip it over, and finish it from the bottom.

    I am not at all familiar with the # settings on that unit, but it should be powerful enough for the job at hand.

    MIG wire is not 'shielded', but rather, plain wire. The gas shields MIG (hence Metal Inert Gas). The flux in flux cored wire provides the necessary shielding, but results in much more splatter. Some folks use PAM as an anti-splatter sprtay on surfaces they wish to protect, but I have never used it...or Flux Cored wire.

    I assume that your voltage pos and negative terminals are set for Flux Core wire...if that unit has any such settings. If these are not set correctly, that could be your problem.
    "Good Enough Never Is"

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the response... I am trying to get a some rings by the end of the day tomorrow so I can finish up this drum I'm working on and get it shipped.

      Tell me more about the cold weld. Does that mean I need to maybe lower the wirespeed and weld the puddle a little longer? Do you think having the machine set to max is best for this aplication?

      Also about the v groove... I grind it down about 3/4 of the way and am trying to fill the gap with the puddle... haven't been welding all around it. I'll try just butting it up with a small groove and welding all around. Am I supposed to grind down the first weld before I start on the second side?

      Incase any one else is interested.. I've been reading lots online, and have come across quite a few places that say the wire that comes with this easy mig 100 is crap... and that if you use lincoln .030 flux core you'll get much better results. I might try and pick some up in the morning if I still dont have much luck getting the strength I need from the welds.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey I am a new weldor myself, pretty sure I would just butte the 2 ends up in a vise and weld n a circular pattern slowly. watch the puddle. Experts usually tell you to burn thru a few scrap pcs. first to get the feel of watchin the puddle. As far as the heat, do you have a chart on the inside cover or in your own manual? It gives you a good starting point. Just b patient. It takes practice x 3...keep doin homework on net. There are a lot of people on this site with good advise.Oh yeah the v-groove you shouldn't need to do that except on really thick stuff which your welder prob won't do anyway...
        Last edited by Eugenius76; 01-25-2009, 12:44 AM.
        Hobart 140 Victor O/A 450series Milwaukee sawzall Drill press Chinese sandblaster
        Dewalt chop saw

        Comment


        • #5
          Go to youtube and watch some welding. Try to find some that show puddle while welding.

          You have to learn to see the puddle while welding looking around the arc. Front of puddle shows part of penetration depth. Back of puddle shows weld bead profile. Note as you move side to side or forward puddle sort of lags behind. Welders learn to pause at side weave to let it catch up and tie in side with good penetration.

          Should learn to weld flat plate before trying to weld your rings. This gives you more time to see the puddle during each weld. You need to see the whole puddle scanning around. At first look more in different parts of puddle during each weld so you comprehend what your seeing and learn were to look.

          Cold weld starts that don't get good penetration is common with this weld process. It takes time for puddle to form and penetrate into base metal. This is made worse with under sized welder. Fill in crater at end of weld with 1 or 2 quick pulses off, on, off, on, off, at end of weld.

          Clean flux off weld with wire brush before welding to or on top of that weld. Grind out any holes before trying to fill them.

          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...llermatic.html
          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ur-skills/mig/

          Might be worth to pay a weldor to weld a few rings with your welder while you watch.

          Comment


          • #6
            I tried using that particular welder on 18ga sheet once and had similar problems with penetration. I ultimately had to preheat the base metal using a propane torch like for sweating copper pipes. I also used a relatively short length/heavy gauge (25ft/12ga) extension cord to minimize supply voltage drop.

            I think the current ratings on the harbor freight welders are overly optimistic as well. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were actually getting 10-20% less amperage than the advertised specifications. But since most people use 10-20% discount coupons to buy it anyway, they are merely getting what they paid for and everything evens out I guess.

            Comment


            • #7
              So... about 15 welds / grind welds clean / strength test / break / grind /....

              you get the point. Would photos of these welds maybe after the weld, and then one after the break give some insight into what I may be doing wrong? How long should I wait between welding and strength testing? I usually go right from the welder to the grinder to the table where I push on the joint in hopes it wont bend or crack. I have a few properly welded rings, so I know I'm not just putting too much pressure on the ones I'm breaking.

              I gave up for meeting my deadline, I"m going to order the rings and keep practicing. Maybe get some lincoln wire and some scrap sheet metal as was suggested to figure out what I'm looking at. I dont really have time to figure out what I'm doing on a 1/4" ring.

              Let me know if pictures would help. I'll keep working on it and get some pictures loaded up.
              Thanks to everyone who is helping. I'm enjoying the process, but getting a little frustrated at things not working correctly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a thought...

                is flux core the best process for this application? Or would another process make everything easier?

                Since I bought the HF welder to get this job done by the weekend, I might just take it back and save up for something a little better, so I can eliminate crappy welder as the problem.

                any thoughts?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kevin360 View Post
                  Just a thought...

                  is flux core the best process for this application? Or would another process make everything easier?

                  Since I bought the HF welder to get this job done by the weekend, I might just take it back and save up for something a little better, so I can eliminate crappy welder as the problem.

                  any thoughts?
                  Now you're thinking along the right track. I personally wouldn't use flux core for what you're doing. I'd take the machine back and look inot a rig that'll at least allow you to use a shielding gas for solid wire if you're going to keep having a go at this. BTW, since you're in my neck of the woods, if you ever want to take my HH187 for a spin, shoot me a PM. You'll notice a gigantic difference between it and the machine you're using and it might convince you that a few more bucks spent now could make you a good bit in the long run.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kevin360 View Post
                    Just a thought...

                    is flux core the best process for this application? Or would another process make everything easier?

                    Since I bought the HF welder to get this job done by the weekend, I might just take it back and save up for something a little better, so I can eliminate crappy welder as the problem.

                    any thoughts?
                    If you don't want to deal with spatter and slag you might want to upgrade to GMAW, but if you don't really care then flux-core will be OK.

                    Trust us, it's the welder that's the problem and not you or the wire. I'm sure that most of the Harbor Freight Mig100 units are either quickly returned or are simply put away in garages/basements where they sit languishing forever unused. Those units just don't have the capacity to weld anything with a thickness, even slightly, more than that of a tin can.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Easy MIG 100... back on the shelf at Harbor Freight!!

                      haha..

                      So... I've been looking at the HH125, something I could upgrade to gas eventually. Anyone know of a good place to get a used one or refurbished one? And what should I look for in a used unit to make sure everything is good? Also, what should I expect to pay for a used or refurbed unit. I found it new for about 350 on some website.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mk10 View Post
                        I tried using that particular welder on 18ga sheet once and had similar problems with penetration. I ultimately had to preheat the base metal using a propane torch like for sweating copper pipes. I also used a relatively short length/heavy gauge (25ft/12ga) extension cord to minimize supply voltage drop.

                        I think the current ratings on the harbor freight welders are overly optimistic as well. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were actually getting 10-20% less amperage than the advertised specifications. But since most people use 10-20% discount coupons to buy it anyway, they are merely getting what they paid for and everything evens out I guess.

                        Boy did that make me [email protected]

                        OP: Tractor Supply is having a great sale for a few more days; 10% off HH welders. I got my HH140 (setup for gas already) for $435 shipped. I have no used it yet, but I've faith based upon the wonderful reviews this particular machine gets.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great News... A friend of mine has the HH140 and is letting me borrow it for a while. He says he's friends with a Hobart rep and when I'm ready to buy can probably hook me up with a good price on one. I dont think he has the gas installed... but it's something to get me going .... on the right track! Since I've been thinking about having a welder to do my rings, my brain is storming everything else I could build with this thing... Especially if I go with the 140. Is lowes / home depot a good place to get tube steel and the square tubing? Or are they priced the same as they are on wood.. (2-3x higher).

                          Thanks for the advice you've given to me on here. I'm excited to start playing with a real machine... ALSO... I noticed that sears has a 15% discount on the 140 right now (or did yesterday online). If any one is interested... that's a nice little chunk off.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kevin360 View Post
                            ... Is lowes / home depot a good place to get tube steel and the square tubing?
                            No, no, no. Find a dumpster, a scrap dealer and a real steel service center, in that order.

                            http://www.thomasnet.com/ Search "steel service centers", in NC, then use the zip code search on the left to narrow it down. Must be dozens of places in the Charlotte area. Or look in your yellow pages for steel suppliers, metal, etc.

                            At a real steel supplier, you may have to buy a minimum, but you get a whole lot more.
                            --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                            Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                            -------------------------

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kevin360 View Post
                              ... Is lowes / home depot a good place to get tube steel and the square tubing?
                              No, no, no. Find a dumpster, a scrap dealer and a real steel service center, in that order.

                              Go to thomasnet.com Search "steel service centers", in NC, then use the zip code search on the left to narrow it down. Must be dozens of places in the Charlotte area. Or look in your yellow pages for steel suppliers, metal, etc.

                              At a real steel supplier, you may have to buy a minimum, but you get a whole lot more.
                              --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                              Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                              -------------------------

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X