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couple questions after day 1 w/HH140

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  • couple questions after day 1 w/HH140

    I've been practicing with the .030 flux roll that came with it and it IS messy.

    Question 1) I remember reading in a basic welding book that there are gel-type dips that one can use to dip there tip (hehe) in to reduce the amount of splatter on the nozzle/tip. Any recommendations on what/where to buy?

    Once I practice more (I still don't even know what angle to hold at, whether to push/pull or how to properly move the gun) I would like to try to MIG; this is afterall why I bought the 140. I saw HF sells a 20cuft. tank (empty) for $80, I thought it to not be such a great deal. I am thinking that a 40cuft. tank would be best for ease of handling and time spent to/from LWS to get it filled. It seems that for most anything I should be using 100% argon (according to the book that came with the welder).

    2) Can anyone offer advise as to what pricing should be around to purchase a tank and fill it with 100% argon (or other gas mixture perhaps?)?

    3) When the time comes for me to buy the gas setup, is it recommended to have a few different types of wire? 0.023 and 0.025 (for light gauge up to 1/8" ok?) I'm unsure of where to go and I usually just try to jump right in as I've noone to help show me anything, that however would entail me potentially spending money carelessly and I don't want to do that.

    Thanks much!

  • #2
    You'd need pure argon only if you wanted to MIG-weld aluminum. Your machine is a bit too underpowered for this. As for welding steel, the cheepest way to go would be to use pure CO2. A 20lb tank will last very long, and the refills are very inexpensive. CO2 in the cylinder is kept as a liquid and expands greatly when becomes gas on the exit. Note that the CO2 cylinders are designated in weight units. Liquid CO2 from a small 20lb cylinder will produce 170 cu.ft of gas!

    If you want to use C25 (mixture of CO2 and argon) or any other argon mix, you'll need to spend much more money. Not only because the mixes are more expensive, but mostly due to the fact that, unlike CO2, the mixes are kept in the cylinders as a gas. Therefore, you'll need to invest into a relatively large cylinder (at least, 80 cu.ft). Small cylinder won't last long, and each refill will cost nearly the same as a large cylinder refill.

    Anti-spatter gel can be bought at any welding supply place (for example: http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/we...t/108-16a.html) , but I doubt that you'll use it. It creates a lot of smoke. Besides, you don't really need it.

    As for the wire, start with 0.030". When you're ready to weld sheet metal, you'll buy a smaller diameter wire. And when buying wire, get the large 10-11lb. spools instead of the small 2lb ones (unless you buy a specialized wire that you're not going to use often).
    Last edited by MichaelP; 02-02-2009, 02:10 PM.

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    • #3
      Noah,

      I'm not a fan of anti-spatter sprays or gels, except where I don't want the spatter to stick to something that needs to have a nice finish after welding. There is a plastic nozzle shield available for the handlers that will cover the diffuser ports after you remove the gas diffuser. Once you get your technique perfected, you'll notice a lot less spatter with flux-cored wires.

      The gun angle should be somewhere between 5° and 25° from vrtical, depending on the physical situation. 15° is about where I try to work. A drag (backhand) technique produces a deeper penetration; push (forehand) generally produces a wider bead with less penetration.

      For GMAW (MIG or gas shieleded) the "recommended" flow rate is 20 ft³/hour. Simple divison will give you the arc time with a 20 ft³ cylinder: 20/20 = 1. So, you will get one hour of trigger pull time from a 20 ft³ cylinder. I like 80 ft³ as a minimum size, and 150 ft³ as a shop standard size. I suggest you use a mixed gas, like C-25 (25% CO²/75% Ar). 100% argon is not recommended for GMAW on mild steel. Prices vary significantly from place to place; call a few suppliers for pricing.

      ER70S-6 in .030 is what you'll use the most. If you plan to do a lot of ligh gauge sheet metal, you may want some .024.

      Hank
      ...from the Gadget Garage
      MM 210 w/3035, BWE
      HH 210 w/DP 3035
      TA185TSW
      Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
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      • #4
        Originally posted by noahrexion View Post
        I've been practicing with the .030 flux roll that came with it and it IS messy.

        Question 1) I remember reading in a basic welding book that there are gel-type dips that one can use to dip there tip (hehe) in to reduce the amount of splatter on the nozzle/tip. Any recommendations on what/where to buy?

        Once I practice more (I still don't even know what angle to hold at, whether to push/pull or how to properly move the gun) I would like to try to MIG; this is afterall why I bought the 140.
        OK, first things first... it's all too common to blame the problems you're having on the flux core. Flux core is messier than gas shielded, granted, but if it's really messy - porosity, spatter, etc - the likelihood is that the problem is operator error. Switching to gas shielding won't cure those problems; if you're having trouble welding with flux you'll have trouble welding with gas too, generally.

        Without seeing what problems you're having, it's hard to say what's going wrong, but for the fluxcore you're using you're going to want a drag angle of about 15 degrees or slightly less, and one of the things new welders commonly have trouble with is stickout. Look at the gun after you stop the arc - have you got an inch and a half of wire sticking out? That's a real frequent problem as you're learning and will contribute to poor arc stability and spatter, which will make your weld "messy."

        Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't go to MIG when you're tooled up, but be aware it's not a magic bullet... you still have to manage gun angle, travel angle, stickout, all these things will defeat you if they're off.

        I've never owned or used a jar of "nozzle dip." I think things like that are a crutch, with certain exceptions. If you manage your process correctly you'll find that you seldom need them. For reference, all these welds were made with fluxcore - some with a machine as small as the HH125EZ - and the only thing that's been done to them is hit them with a wire brush to knock off the smoke and flux. Not too messy - by my standards, anyway. Keep practicing and post pictures if you can.

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        • #5
          Every time I post I get great responses. This has got to be the most helpful board I have ever visited.

          MichaelP: Thanks for the tips. I haven't any plans to weld aluminum, perhaps I read incorrectly that 100% argon was what I needed (for mild steel). Why do you recommend 100% co2 over C25? Is that based on price alone? I guess I was just worried about spatter getting on my nozzle, though 2+ people telling me its not really needed and there is likely to be some relevance to that, thanks.

          hank: very very helpful post, I appreciate that very much!

          Zrexxer: I am definitely not trying to jump ahead and start GMAW and waste the gas on junk welds. I certainly intend to practice a bit before I do (as stated) go out and buy. However, the flux has also produced quite a bit of splatter for me and I guess my technique should be worked on. I know I have a good machine, that will never be in questions. I am very glad I bought this instead of something I would have questioned.
          Here are a few pics of what I did today.

          (top is voltage set to 3, bottom is 1)


          I tried 1,2 and 3 all with a wire speed of 30. The sound changed dramatically when I used level 3 and I moved a little bit quicker as it was much hotter. This is with just under 1/8th seat rails that were cleaned up just to practice on. I only had time to do a few beads but this is generally what I am now capable of when I can see and its an easy weld. I have a hard time butting things together and making anything over 30* angle look good (as you can see my 90*).

          I thank you all for your posts, this site is always very helpful. Oh and one last thing: what are the pros/cons of 100% co2 vs. C25? Thanks!
          Last edited by noahrexion; 02-02-2009, 06:10 PM.

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          • #6
            http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=21775

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            • #7
              CO2 is less expensive and gives ever so slightly more penetration. Lots of pros on this board use CO2 on all but the most visually critical jobs (its got to look real pretty). By slightly more, I don't mean you'll be building bridges, its just the most active weld you'll see from this machine.
              Blacksmith
              Stickmate LX AC/DC
              Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
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              • #8
                Check the weld parameter chart in the inside of the wire compartment door for the recommended settings for the thickness of material which you are welding.

                I would attribute the spatter level to the wire stick-out length you're using (tip to work distance). Get the tip closer to the work.

                Darrell

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