Question for the welders out there

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loudcherokee
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Question for the welders out there

Postby loudcherokee » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:59 pm

Will a gasless MIG welder like the one in the link below work for light bodywork? (shaving door handles, tailgate handles, rollpan, tailgate, etc)

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=94056

I'm new to welding and this is going to be a learning project for me.
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SunDown
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby SunDown » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:12 pm

most will steer you clear of a flux core wire for body. I know I wouldnt mess with it. Look for a Miller or Lincoln 135 or better. I like to look at local auctions personally, not ebay.

I did however, use flux core wire for a lot of my frame modifications. then my cheap lincoln died...
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby 88LSp'up » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:18 pm

i don't see why not i use one to do exhaust and all the welds hold up fine
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trooper T/diesel
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby trooper T/diesel » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:19 pm

im no welding pro but..........

i took a intro welding class and, the welders with no gas just the flux cooting on the wire, was a splatery extra hot mess.
"if i remember right" the welders with a flux cooting on the wire are ment for windy areas

also look at the duty rating at the low end it rated at 18% duty cycle @60 amps


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this would be better and still be farly low cost, though youd need 220V
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=94164
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SunDown
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby SunDown » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:30 pm

lots of splatter will mean lots of cleanup with the grinder. the idea is to minimize the heat in the sheetmetal when welding grinding. with all the extra cleanup you will have to do there is a good chance you will warp the metal more than you really want to.

I have found, just a personal observation, but flux core draws more current to not only create the puddle but to burn the flux which turns into a gas sheild. I always felt there wasnt as good of control with the heat settings. The hotter setting/voltage needed for flux core could also cause problems with the introducing heat more rapidly into the sheet metal.

I use a gas mig with the smallest diameter wire i can get and I set the welder to the lowest voltage setting I can get away with on all my body work. And I will tell you this, I have warped the ever livin crap out of thin metal we have in our trucks just by tacking and cooling. So I cant imagine using a flux machine on body work. But thats just me
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loudcherokee
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby loudcherokee » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:36 pm

trooper T/diesel wrote:im no welding pro but..........

i took a intro welding class and, the welders with no gas just the flux cooting on the wire, was a splatery extra hot mess.
"if i remember right" the welders with a flux cooting on the wire are ment for windy areas

also look at the duty rating at the low end it rated at 18% duty cycle @60 amps



my
0.01C
this would be better and still be farly low cost, though youd need 220V
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=94164


I'm not sure what "duty rating" means.
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SunDown
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby SunDown » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:41 pm

loudcherokee wrote:
trooper T/diesel wrote:im no welding pro but..........

i took a intro welding class and, the welders with no gas just the flux cooting on the wire, was a splatery extra hot mess.
"if i remember right" the welders with a flux cooting on the wire are ment for windy areas

also look at the duty rating at the low end it rated at 18% duty cycle @60 amps



my
0.01C
this would be better and still be farly low cost, though youd need 220V
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=94164


I'm not sure what "duty rating" means.



think of it as a percentage of time out of an hour that you can use the welder before you have to stop. If you go above the duty cycle the machine gets too hot and eats itself. See my comment above on my cheap lincoln... tis what happened to me
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby rjm » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:18 pm

Hi,

loudcherokee wrote:Will a gasless MIG welder like the one in the link below work for light bodywork? (shaving door handles, tailgate handles, rollpan, tailgate, etc)

I haven't used flux core wire, and haven't done body, but agree with Sundown. Too much splatter. MIG is cleaner, and sounds like it's cooler too.

I'd stay away from HF for a welder. Get a used Hobart Handler 140 (or 120v Miller or Lincoln) MIG. Personally I'm looking at the Hobart, but Miller is great, and Lincoln very good. Good welders sometimes disagree about these 3 brands. :) But they'll last if you treat them right, and it's easier to treat them right then a low duty cycle HF machine. Right, Sundown? ;)

Duty cycle is the percent time out of 10 min you can weld before allowing the torch to cool. Google "duty cycle welding" without the quotes and you should find a bunch of stuff.

10% duty at 80 amps means you can weld for 1 min @80A (which is too hot for sheet metal), then have to cool down for 9 min. 18% is 1.8 mins of welding, cool for 8.2 mins. Get something with a duty cycle of at least 20% @90. It's then (guessing) probably 100% @ 40 or 50 amps, which is way more then you need for thin sheet. (I think, haven't used a mig for a long time. Also, any of the new migs will do flux core.)

This is good forum, not just for Miller stuff (I have a Miller Maxstar 140 TIG/Stick--nice little machine):

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/co ... /index.php

Hope this helps a bit. Oh. Practice a whole lot. Then some more. Then do a little practice. Make the wife some garden stuff!

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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby swvaed » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:29 am

As usual, good replies form the P'upers. loudcherokee, let me see if I can pull it all together. I used to work in the welding supply business, repairing everything from 'buzz boxes' (small stick machines) to robotic laser cutting tables. As 88LSp'up, trooper T, and Sundown say, flux cored (gasless) wires make a strong weld, but require a lot of cleaning to make them look good. They are reserved for jobs where looks are secondary. The wire is hollow and contains a flux to help clean the metal and shield the weld as it cools. Excellent for exhaust work and places where the metal may not be the cleanest. Gas shielded wire can also be used, but the shielding gas does not aid in cleaning, it just keeps the air away from from the molten metal, so you have to make sure your metal is clean before you weld. trooper T also mentions, you've got to make sure wind, fans, drafts, etc. don't blow your shielding gas away. rjm gives a good explanation of duty cycle which is just a way of keeping the welding machine from overheating. Harbor Freight sells mostly Chinese equipment, not he best at the moment. The Chinese industry is where Japan was 30 years ago, but just like Japan, keep an eye on them. Miller, Lincoln, and Hobart are the big three, and unless they've sold them off recently, Miller owns Hobart. Century is a fairly good low end brand, having cut their teeth making battery chargers. Sundown mentions small wire, probably .023 inch steel for body panels. And there is a difference in gas. Pure CO2 is cheaper, but is generally hotter and gives more spatter. Mixed gas, Argon/CO2, is generally better, but of course, costs more. Like trooper T, check your local Community Collage or Vocational technical school for adult classes in welding, auto body, and auto mechanics. Befriend the instructor and support his class. Some of these require you to 'bring something to work on', and can be up to ten three hour classes. Even if the tuition is $200 for the ten classes, where else can you rent a fully equipped shop with an adviser for $6.66 an hour? I used to take the same class every semester. Now trying to get it restarted under the new instructor. rjm gives the best advice. Practice, practice, practice. Make sure it's on similar metal, like an old fender. And his most important advice...Make things for the wife.
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby rjm » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:44 am

Good info, swvaed. I didn't realize Miller owned Hobart.

One reason I got the maxstar is it does 120/240 with just a custom pigtail, so I can use it almost anywhere. It's so light I can carry it down 3 flights of stairs into my backyard, not ruin my back, and run it with a good extension cord. (The only access I have to the backyard is down steps, or through my neighbor's yard and over the fence.) As far as MIGs go, I'm putting in a 240 volt outlet in the garage but still like the portability you get with 120. On the other hand, even if it's 120, I probably wouldn't be lugging the thing down all those steps so I guess a 240 machine would be acceptable if the price is right.

Price is relative though. Years ago I had a cheap one--don't recall what brand. When it worked right it was great, but there was always something messing up. Wouldn't feed right, wire jammed, other stuff. Spent more time fixing it than what I was working on. Got the maxstar used. $800. Had extra tig torches and tips, everything except the tank. With this stuff quality counts.

I completely agree with you on China. And Harbor Freight. They make some good stuff. But I don't buy auto-darkening welding helmets or parachutes from them. Wouldn't advise birth control, either. ;)

Tell me, do you have a preference on a low end mig?

Thanks,

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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby swvaed » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:42 am

No, I don't really have a preference. I've been out of the business for years and haven't kept up. Century was building a low end line. They had built a good reputation as a company building battery chargers, but I don't know what they're doing now. I tended to stay away from automotive branded machines (Snap-on, Napa) just because they were hard to find repair parts once they get a few years old. Now, I don't know who's in the business. Don't quote me, but I think Miller also bought the Thermal Arc line of plasma cutters. Now, one thing to keep an eye on. If you see a Miller S-52 or S-54 wire feeder, grab it. It has a 115v motor that cost $700+ back in the 90's. I've yet to see one go bad. Other than that, one small circuit board with replaceable parts, and everything else in it repairable. They were killed in favor of the 24v feeders due to OSHA.
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby melie » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:28 pm

I built this with a Hobart 125 using flux core wire.
I did not see a lot of splatter or mess.
Just plugs into 110v house current.
Great little welder!

Mark

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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby turbo pup » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:24 pm

I make my living welding tube railings and rot iron fences for apartments using my little lincoln 110 volt mig welder with flux cored wire. I started with a campbell hausfeld and got the lincoln about 6 months later. This was about 10 years ago and that lincoln has been through miles of wire dragged around by its embillical cord worked in the snow rode in the back of the pickup home through monsoons accidently kicked/bumped down flights of stairs and finally about a year and a half ago the cooling fan stopped working wich caused the thermal protection to stay on making the machine unopperable. I think the new fan from lincoln was between 28-35$ and Im back to working that little machine more. Ive used the Miller 110volt mig, also a fantastic machine. costs a bit more but try calling 1800 4miller. They have a switch board operator to direct you to the necesairy department. There is no waiting on hold its ring ring "hello miller". The hobart machine i used didnt seem to bad either but that cambell hausfeld yeah it worked but it didnt have the feachers the big 3 have and wheres the tech support/ parts department. I wouldnt touch one of those harber freight hunks of trash with a 10 foot stick after the way this lincoln has worked. By a used machine maid in america for about the same price im sure it well still out last that sorry chinese trash 10 to 1. Anybody that buys one of those harbor freight machines either doesnt know or is a fool. Ill make the challenge to drop that chinese machine one time and see how many of the fortune cookies inside come loose. As for the flux cored wire on the auto body Ive done it. it takes a little more to control the heat in other words it seems to burn a little hotter but its doable. especially if youre going to cover back over everything with bondo anyway. it is more grinding so depending on how big of a spot youre doing the gas bottle may be an advantage. If You are just tacking in filler plates for door handles then id say just use the flux core. If Youre doing a hole fender that was sliced and some door handles bottle might be better. ahhh. I really hate those chinese welders. Im sure somebody out there has gotten some good use out of one but there are american machines out there that are 60 years old still doing what there supposed to. Jus saying what im saying, go USA!
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Re: Question for the welders out there

Postby Bigdog47 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:43 am

Use ine .030 from Amazon and you will not have any trouble welding sheet metal with flux core wire.
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