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Is .030 wire too big for sheetmetal welding for a beginner?

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  • Is .030 wire too big for sheetmetal welding for a beginner?

    I am just starting to learn how to butt weld sheetmetal and I am using .030 wire. Would .023 wire be easier to learn? I am burning through with the .030.

  • #2
    imho yes

    its nice to have smaller wire/ consumables around anyway
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    • #3
      Through the years Muffler shops have gone from OA to mig welding mufflers on....The obvious advantages are less chance to burn the car up from heating the floor pan to a temp that would ignite the carpets.....If you take the time an look what wire they use it will answer your question.......Yes


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      • #4
        It can be done with .030" but you will notice that it will be significantly easier with .023". Yes. Don't know what gas you are using, but the argon mix is easier than straight CO2 for thin stuff, also.

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        • #5
          I am using a 75/25 mix. Sounds like the .023 wire will help me out.

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          • #6
            ...and ask for "Auto Body Wire" or "Easy Grind" (ESAB 70S-2), or Harris's Perfect Circle "Twenty Gauge"...they both purport to be softer, and use a bit less heat, to help keep body panel distortion under control...although no wire alone is going to do that. I tried both, as well as my .030 (I get lazy, and don't change reels) when I chopped the top on my VW. I did not find a dramatic difference, but the Twenty Gauge roll is the most empty as I go over to cabinet and look.

            Don't get hung up on power/speed settings on charts. Experiment a bit to see what goes the best...but make sure you are "welding", and not just sticking blobs on the joints. Even though you are going to be doing little tacks, make sure they are fully getting each side. You'll still blow through at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be tacking like a pro! I have found in my own experience that once I do the first tack or two, the others come much easier..its as if the welder need a warm-up...maybe the wire??
            "Good Enough Never Is"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hotfoot View Post
              ...and ask for "Auto Body Wire" or "Easy Grind" (ESAB 70S-2), or Harris's Perfect Circle "Twenty Gauge"...they both purport to be softer, and use a bit less heat, to help keep body panel distortion under control...although no wire alone is going to do that. I tried both, as well as my .030 (I get lazy, and don't change reels) when I chopped the top on my VW. I did not find a dramatic difference, but the Twenty Gauge roll is the most empty as I go over to cabinet and look.

              Don't get hung up on power/speed settings on charts. Experiment a bit to see what goes the best...but make sure you are "welding", and not just sticking blobs on the joints. Even though you are going to be doing little tacks, make sure they are fully getting each side. You'll still blow through at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be tacking like a pro! I have found in my own experience that once I do the first tack or two, the others come much easier..its as if the welder need a warm-up...maybe the wire??

              Well I didnt see your post in time. I got some ER70S-6 .023 wire.

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              • #8
                It'll do great....not that much difference, like I said! I use #1 and a speed of 50 on my HH180, for what that's worth.
                "Good Enough Never Is"

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                • #9
                  I too am a rookie,
                  I use a backer piece of copper or sheet metal if possible.
                  Using a strip of sheet metal in line with the joint helps me by dissipating the heat minimizing blow through. Bear in mind if you use sheet metal as a backer it's gonna stay there.

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                  • #10
                    If doing the floor pan of a car, and all the carpet is removed, 030 wire should work fine. It may warp a tad faster, but once the carpet is installed, even on a show car nobody will see.

                    I have welded them with 030 flux core 110v machine and had little problems, but I do agree that the 023 is better if you have access to it!
                    Millermatic 135 110v .030 Flux-Core Wire

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