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.023 wire, which one?

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  • .023 wire, which one?

    I am planning to weld in floor pans on my '76 Chevy C-20 truck. I just purchased a used HH175 with CO2.

    On this forum, I learned that for sheetmetal, it is best to use .023 solid wire and mixed shielding gas. I'll use straight CO2, since that what I have, until I run out.

    There two types of recommended wire: ER70S-6 and ER70S-2. I THINK that ER70S-2 is better for this application. The problem is that no one seems to stock the ER70S-2. Does it matter which one I use?

    It seems that ESAB brand is the one to use; Spoolarc 65 (ER70S-2) or Spoolarc 86 (ER70S-6). Is there a difference in brands or are they the same, only relabeled?

    Any guidlines on voltage, speed and wire stickout?

    Thanks for any guidance.
    Miller M-180 stick welder 1970s

  • #2
    My 2 # spool of ER 70S2 is ESAB 69130051, so you might have them look it up there...but it was pricey, and I can't say it was much different than S6. I also used the Harris "Twenty Gauge", which is .030 (confusing name), which worked OK, but regular S6 is just fine...I think the straight CO2 may run hotter than C25, but I'm not sure...others will chime in there...if so, it could make for more blow-throughs.
    "Good Enough Never Is"


    • #3
      I found a 2# spool of Campbell-Hausfeld ER70S-6 on the net for about $10 shipped.

      My LWS (Praxair) has Harris-Welco .023 ER70S-6 in stock ($4.30). They were hestitant when asked about getting ER70S-2.

      Does brand matter?

      Where did you get .023 ER70S-2?

      This is a work truck so the quality isn't important, but I want it to be the best that I am able to do.
      Miller M-180 stick welder 1970s


      • #4
        Brand does matter...but perhaps you'll like one better than another. You may get that mail order price on a name brand wire at Home Depot, just check. I ordered my S2 at my LWS. Pinnacle wire is excellent, $25.00 for 11 pound spool. A couple others have reported good luck with the Harbor Freight wire...but its not much less expensive than Hobart.
        "Good Enough Never Is"


        • #5
          Interestingly, the HF wire is made in Italy, and the Hobart wire is made in China.
          2 Smith Airline outfits, 2 Harris 50s,2 W200s ,J27, Meco Midget and Dillon
          Thermal Arc 185


          • #6
            mig welding wire quality

            There are over 300 manufacturers of welding wire in china alone I have been told.

            The trouble is that when people look for mig welding wire, the first thing they look at is the price. "Oh no that's too much, Joe Smith is selling wire for XX per spool/kg" And off they go to buy the cheapest wire they can find.

            And most of the time who ever has the best price, regardless of brand gets the order.

            The biggest problem is that the wire's quality can not be guaranteed. Even the really big company's brand of wire, some not all. Can't guarantee quality.


            What happens is they go to China, India, Hungary or wherever and buy a container or two in of mig wire They get the outside of the cardboard box printed with their brand and logo, and off they go. Ready to sell.

            Problem is though that when they have a falling out with that supplier, they go next door to the manufacturer down the street. They get that other manufacturers wire that is made in a different factory and stick it in the same box.

            Problem though is that the quality changes from factory to factory. That's why they can't guarantee you the quality.

            I have heard and seen welding and fab shops take back pallets of mig wire cause its all rubbish. Quite often I will walk into a shed and see a few other brands of mig welding wire half used and open on the shelf. They are usually covered in dust and have been sitting there for months.

            When you ask why those couple of different brands of welding wire are there the standard response is? "We got that wire at a good price".

            So don't just buy your wire on price, chances are you will not get the best mig wire possible.

            Welding Made Simple


            • #7
              I was using Campbell-Hausfeld .023 that I got at walmart on a car project and when I switched to a roll I bought at the weld shop (Weld It or something like that) made in sweden, I noticed a difference right away and had to change settings. It didn't burn near as smooth as the C.H. and when it was gone I switched back. I have used quite a few rolls of the C.H. and all seemed the same. The Lincoln wire at Home Depot seemed to be ok too.
              T/A Fabricator 251
              Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
              Homemade Hyd/Ele Press
              Ingersol T30
              TD Cutmaster 52


              • #8
                For floor pans in a truck any 70-s6 wire will do it, Lincoln, Hobart, ESAB, or other. Buy a spool and have at it
                "Weld It And You Won't Be Screwed"
                Rescued from the boneyard SA-250 on a fully equipt trailer (My Wife's Explorer cries every time I hitch up)
                Trailblazer 301G (can't touch the SA-200 for stick)
                Arcair K-4000 A.K.A "The Hissing Cobra"
                HF- 251 TIG box for the TB with a Weldcrap torch, Yes I weld aluminum
                More than a toolbox full of stuff on an F-350 that is way to small


                • #9
                  It sounds like I'm being too much of a perfectionist.

                  I don't have a lot time to shop around. Basically, I'll just get a "name" brand with "Made in USA" label or at least not Chinese.

                  On a 2# spool, there shouldn't be a huge difference in price between cheap and quality wire.
                  Miller M-180 stick welder 1970s


                  • #10
                    I like the Lincoln wire. I have never had a problem with their wire, and Lincoln guareentees their wire. If you don't like it for any reason, they will buy it back. I think I have used 7 rolls of 44lb solid wire through my PM215 this year, and 4 rolls or 33 lbs flux core/metal core/solid in my MM350P this year. I buy the Lincoln wire because I know I can count on quality from them. Not to count how many 12.5 lbs rolls that went through my HH125ez.

                    I have also bought one roll of Trimark dual shield TC-711M made by Hobart Brothers, to weld on rusty pipe. It was also VERY GOOD wire.

                    So just buy from a trusted name brand and it should be good wire. I have used a roll of Radnor wire (Airgas brand) and it was good. I have used Weld it brand wire (Hobarts Brand), it was good.
                    PowerMig 215
                    Precision Tig 225
                    Old Buzz Box

                    Hypertherm 600
                    HH 125 EZ
                    MM 350P
                    TB 302 w/ 12RC

                    Originally posted by scab
                    If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.


                    • #11
                      Just buy a 2# spool, and see how you like it. They will all be at least OK...if you REALLY don't like it, pull it, wrap it up in some plastic wrap, and store it indoors for a backup next time you run out in the middle of a project...
                      Just go do it!
                      "Good Enough Never Is"


                      • #12
                        i have a similar question for my hh140. I'm planning to do alot of welding car doors "shaving the door handles" and was wondering what kind of wire i should get.
                        Last edited by cubfan; 12-06-2008, 10:26 AM.
                        Hobart Handler 140
                        14" HF Chop Saw

                        Go Cubs Go!!!!!


                        • #13
                          Cubfan I am new to the forum, however we use .24 hobart wire for sheet metal repairs on cars.. Floor pans, quarters, rockers etc etc etc..


                          • #14
                            thanks alot AMD
                            also would i use a .023 contact tip with the .024 wire?
                            Hobart Handler 140
                            14" HF Chop Saw

                            Go Cubs Go!!!!!


                            • #15
                              Hotfoot, Harris "Twenty Gauge" is based on the "Brown & Sharpe" wire gauge system. Twenty gauge (20 ga.) wire is actually .032" in diameter in the B&S system, so Harris may be fudging a little with the .030" diameter and he 20 ga. description. That's not enough for me to worry over. I do a bit of hobbyist auto body sheet metal fitting and my .023" works fine with me. Don't ask what brand right now, that 11# spool has been in my Handler for quite a while now. Thanks, David.