MIG welding question. (CO2 canister)

gmtinker

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Mar 6, 2009
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Joe

There are a few different styles of "weave" bead when a person welds, depending on type of material, thickness, weld method used, etc. I generally don't zig-zag in my welds in a sawtooth pattern, but with stick use a "u" shape, alternating back and forth between each piece, and use a spiral pattern with MIG. Like was pointed out earlier, welding is partly an art and partly a science. Nothing beats practice and experimentation with your equipment. Even 2 welders coming off the same assembly line may have subtle differences in their behavior - we had 2 Millers at the school that required slightly different wire speeds for the same thickness of material.

As for the bottle, a home welder would not do badly with a smaller bottle. Our MIG machines were used for about 4-5 hours a day each, and we exchanged the lease cylinders (can't rember the official size designation, but they're the ~5ft tall ones) at about 3-4 weeks. Unless you have a home-based fab business, you should be ok with a smaller bottle.

At some point I wouldn't mind a welder at home, but I can use the one at work all I want - and so I can't really justify the expense at this time. When I do though, I'll be looking at something like a good used Miller 185. If it holds up that well under the use of high school students, I certainly can't hurt it!:D
 

traildust

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gmtinker, thank you for so much more valuable input. You are obviously a very patient man if you can teach high schoolers AND deal with Joe and me!

Joe, thanks for being understanding for the tag teaming on questions :p

I like that welding cart, very practical and best of all, on the cheap :D

In the picture of your hemlemt I see it has the adjustable rate knob on the side. Do you like that? Or do you leave it set and never mess with it. Also in that picture in the background, what the hell is all that white $h!t..LOL :D

You were quoted $213 for a bottle. I'm interested in your price quote because of the Canadian currency thing so down here a quote could be vastly different. Am I right?

What ever the differance in currancy it's still a pricey plunge to make the change. But if it helps make better welds with less heat, slop and clean up it might be worth it. I say this as I'm trying to think of ways to get it past my wife :D

I too have struggled with welding beads. One method I tried for a while was a circular and I got worried about too much heat build up. So now I do straight lines. Not the best at all and it might be a bad practice. I like the U shape gmtinker mentioned and I will be giving that a try for sure.

I just reread gmtinkers post and he uses spiral for MIG and that is what I ment with circular. In doing this method this would be constantly overlapping as you go? I guess it would have to.

Thank you again everybody!

Scott
 

bigdpontiac

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l245dt
Feb 18, 2010
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Scanned through and didn't see a mention about available input voltage to your welding power source.You can have a kickass machine but if theres not enough available energy to run it you get bummed. In my situation, my shop is 300 ft from the house and I suffer some voltage drop do to the long wire run. Also the most common wire diameters available at farm stores,etc., mig or fcaw are too large or at least pushing the envelope for a single phase 220v input power source with very little or no stored start energy.You need to be dragging your weding gun during welding process with fcaw (in most cases) as opposed to pushing it with inert gas processes. Sorry to butt in or happy to help. P.S. buy the bottle you only have to do it once. KEEP RECORD OF PURCHASE.
 

traildust

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Scanned through and didn't see a mention about available input voltage to your welding power source.You can have a kickass machine but if theres not enough available energy to run it you get bummed. In my situation, my shop is 300 ft from the house and I suffer some voltage drop do to the long wire run. Also the most common wire diameters available at farm stores,etc., mig or fcaw are too large or at least pushing the envelope for a single phase 220v input power source with very little or no stored start energy.You need to be dragging your weding gun during welding process with fcaw (in most cases) as opposed to pushing it with inert gas processes. Sorry to butt in or happy to help. P.S. buy the bottle you only have to do it once. KEEP RECORD OF PURCHASE.
bigdpontiac, no no no you are not butting in at all. Thankfully that's what this forum is all about, people asking questions, people like you answering them and having a good time along the way. Thank you for helping :D

We don't have pickle barrels and pot belly stoves to sit around while chewing the fat and giving your neighbor helpful advice. Instead we have this great forum. There is always room, pull up a seat and join in.


You do bring up a very good point with voltage drop from resistance across very long wire runs. 300 feet is quite a ways and with me, if I'm guessing correctly, my shop is probably at best 75ft from the circuit breaker box at the house.

If I understand correctly welding with flux wire takes a lot more power. If so that would make sense because it's having to all the work as apposed to having gas that's doing the flux's job.

This thread is really getting loaded with great info!
Thanks bigdpontiac.

Scott
 

traildust

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We don't have pickle barrels and pot belly stoves to sit around while chewing the fat and giving your neighbor helpful advice. Instead we have this great forum. There is always room, pull up a seat and join in.
I need to add a little to this part. This forum and us helpong each other is only possible due to the generosity of Mr K. and Vic providing it for us.

Thank you!

Scott
 

joekimtkd

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And now, Anyone uses FUME EXTRACTOR?

A month ago, my welding guy got a bronchitis after he did weld for my snow blade and I had a bit of infection in my lung at same time as him.

We did a lots of cutting, grinding, welding on that job. It must have been a killer for us.

I was using a mask with welding shield yesterday when I was welding. I could not welding cause of fogging on welding shield.:cool:

How are you guys welding without breathing those toxic fume?

Another wish list against wife.:D:D:D

Joe.
 

Theekillerbee

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Jun 28, 2009
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Traildust, you can and still will cause warping of the metal with MIG or even TIG welding if you heat the area too much or for too long of a time. You should always tack weld your project before laying down the steel! You can avoid warping by "stitching" the welds on stock that requires a long weld. I don't weld much over 6-8 inches in a line before stopping and letting it cool down a little. Most welds are much shorter than that, but if you are welding a few feet down some kind of butt joint, you will warp the heck out of your stock if you do it in one shot.

Welders flash, or flash burn is evil! It is where your cornea (eyeball), and possibly your retina (deep inside your eyeball) gets burned by the ultraviolet light! It can happen quickly, that is why you should NEVER, EVER, EVER look at an unshielded weld arc! It is like an uber sunburn on the eye. I worked in an ER and saw it on occasion. Under a slit lamp (microscope for the eye), it looks like tons of little blisters all over your eyes! Absolutely not worth saving a little time by not shielding your eyes. You won't notice it right at first, like a sunburn, but unlike a sunburn, when it comes on, you literally want to die! Did I mention that you should NEVER look directly at a weld arc??? If you happen to look for too long, and your retina gets burned, this will likely cause permanent sight damage. So don't look at the arc!!! People on TV do it without the shield, but you will notice they close their eyes, or turn their heads. You only have to have flash burn once to wish you never even heard of welding!

Good luck on your projects, and remember to keep practicing. Everyone starts out with "gorilla" welds, it takes time and practice to finesse that stuff. Lots of tinkering with voltage and wire feed rate. The best way to relate a good weld sound, is that of a nice pan of bacon! You want a nice steady stream of sizzles. If your wire feed is too slow, or your voltage is too high, you get more of a slower strobe light effect. Or if you have the opposite, your machine is spitting out wire, it's bending all over, pushing your hand around and making a really bad looking weld. Practice with the different settings. Purposely turn up the wire feed and turn the voltage down, and do just the opposite to get the idea/feel for what the extremes are, then you get a better feel for what is going on when you get the machine tuned into the thickness of your stock.
 

JWB

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Jan 3, 2010
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Ok guys,
Let me se if I can put my 2 cents worth in and answer some questions.

Welding bottles are rated buy there storage capacity usually in cubic feel ( in the US ). Most people can't remember what size they have. They are commonly refered to by the designation 1R, 2R, etc. The one destgnates an 120 cf and the R stands for customer owned. Don't ask me why they do this in the US. A hobby welder could weld for years on an 80 cf bottle. A 40-60 cf bottle would probably work nicely and still be big enough not to run out in the middle of a project.

OK what is welders flash? The short of it is a sunburn to the eyeball. Imagine someone holding your eye open while pouring beach sand into it. That is what it feels like. UV rays burn and blister the cornea of the eye. If someone is welding close to where you are and your eyes are not protected you MAY get a burn. The rays can bounce off a shiny object like a piece of glass or a white wall and hit you. The bitch of it is you usually don't feel it (like a sunburn) for a little while (usually for me in the middle of the night). Yes, it heals but it probably damages you eye long term. These rays will also burn your skin. Thats why you should wear long sleeves when welding. If you have dogs that wander the shop/garage/yard they can get flashed too. That is one of the reasons for the stand up barriers that you sometimes see around welders. There are a lot of factors that affect the intensity of the UV rays but ALL electric welding processes produce UV rays. Cheap welding helments can flicker when welding in AC. It looks like welding into a strobe light. This happens because AC changes polarity 50-60 times a second. The electronics get confused and don't know if they are supposted to be on or off. The result is brief flashes of the weld arc without the lense on. On, off, on ,off, on, off, etc. It is important that the lense blocks all UV light even when the LCD lense is off. Otherwise you get your eyeballs burned and that is NO fun. If your eyes are worth $50 then buy a $50 dollar helment.

Bigdpontiac is exactly correct. Line loss is HUGE concerning welder output. Don't us any extension cords with your 140 even a short cord can reduce the heat output by half.

The circular "spiral" motion is pretty common but like someone stated every welder has his own methods that he learns.

Gas welding works the best with the least clean up but don't knock flux welding. You CANNOT gas MIG when there is any wind. If you need to make a repair in the field and the draft (wind) cannot be controled flux works well. The only other choice for windy conditions is stick welding. If your weld looks like it has pinholes (porosity) the gas is being blown away and air is getting into the weldment. This is a bad weld that WILL fail.

Gas MIG is the best for sheet metal because of the smaller heat affected zone. MIG is fast so less heat is put into the metal that will cause warping. Although sheet metal is not where I have spent my time welding I have had the best results by small tack welds all along the seams and then short welds working on opposite sides all the way around with lots of cooling time in between. Eventually all the welds will connect.

If you are trying to weld thicker metal with your 140, 180, etc. try preheating the metal with a small propane torch. Like the ones used for plumbing work. This is especally helpful if the air temp is cold. You don't need lots of heat 200-300 degrees f. It will make a huge difference in the penetration that you will get.

For your 140 I would probably use ER-70S wire in .030 diameter. It is a mild steel wire and the diameter will not overwork the machine.

Hope this is helpful let me know if I can answer more questions.
JWB
 

traildust

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Thekillerbee and JWB,
Between the two of you on those last post there was some really great education. The more I read on here the more I realize I just don't know.
One thing for sure, I'm getting a new helmet this weekend. The burning eyes scared the crap out of me!

I hope that one day I will be able to contribute something to this forum that helps members like you two and others have done on this welding thread.

Sure I have read a book and watched a couple of videos but they only show things like propper set up and a guy welding and what it should look like.
Well, there is a lot going on in there and to be honost I didn't actually know how much until Joe started this thread. (Thanks Joe!)

I weld and my welds will most of the time come out like crap. But now I really want to turn the welder on and try all of your advice learned from experience, not just a book of how to.

Thanks a million everybody!
Scott
 

traildust

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B7610HST 4WD, LA352 FEL, Gearmore 2 Spool Top & Tilt Box Scraper
Jan 27, 2010
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Phelan, California
And now, Anyone uses FUME EXTRACTOR?

A month ago, my welding guy got a bronchitis after he did weld for my snow blade and I had a bit of infection in my lung at same time as him.

We did a lots of cutting, grinding, welding on that job. It must have been a killer for us.

I was using a mask with welding shield yesterday when I was welding. I could not welding cause of fogging on welding shield.:cool:

How are you guys welding without breathing those toxic fume?

Another wish list against wife.:D:D:D

Joe.
Joe,
I kinda hate to admit my stupid failures, espesuially after reading the great posts from the real welders.

But the first couple of times I welded I was blowing nasty black gunk shit out of my nose all day long the next day. Pretty much scared the shit out of me.

Now I have a room fan that sits a few feet off the ground to help keep the fumes away from me. If it's warm enough I open the shop doors and get a good cross ventelation.

Is this stuff going to kill us? Damnit, after reading the eyeball terrors I'm really dreading this one :(

Scott
 

JWB

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Guys,
Good safety equipment is always a great investment. Try buying a helment from a company like Jackson, speedglass, Miller, or Lincoln. Those company's will make sure the helment meets safety specs. I use speedglass but they are expensive. I also have a couple of Lincoln helments and they work nice. There is no regulation on cheap China made helments and no safety testing done. A little tip I forgot last night....if you are around someone else welding get the safety glasses that are sunglasses. Make sure they are UV safe Most are. Just wear them around the shop if there are any "flashes" the glasses will protect your eyes from Burns.

As for the nasty snot rockets.....they are not good. They are telling you that you face was probably in the fume plume. If possible move your head to the side.....GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE FUME (smoke). Ventilation is critical. If you are MIG welding you can't have the air moving across the weld so turn the fan around if possible and "suck" the fumes away. If you are welding STAINLESS STEEL YOU MUST HAVE VENTILATION! Don't get freaked out, it can be welded safely in your shop just get forced ventilation (fan) The chrome in SS can screw up your DNA and your swimmers.

At the end of the day just think before you weld. Use common sense. Most all famous/great Fabricators have started welding at home. Some people just don't think before they act.

I like to say "go big or stay home"!
JWB
 

joekimtkd

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Aug 16, 2009
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Durham Ontario Canada
Yeah, Sun glass I forgot~:D That is great idea~~~!!! Thank you JWB.
and as you were saying GAS Mig welding, shouldn't have air moving... Is it okay to use Fume extractor? I've seen Lincoln's fume extractor has very strong suction power.

As "Garage Rambo" myself, don't do much of welding and repair stuff just for myself. So investing those fancy, expensive fume extractor will be money wasting matter, I think.

So, I was thinking using Shop Vac, or if it is too strong... maybe build a small fan and some pipe to sucking fume and blow outside...?!:rolleyes:
Something like below link?! I don't think it is that strong to sucking the fume though~

http://www.princessauto.com/farm/electrical/fans/0772897-10-duct-booster-fan

I've been using "Sinus Rinse" stuff after welding~, Oh My God~~~:eek::eek::eek: Definitely, Seriously, Must have that respirator~!

http://www.princessauto.com/safety/breathing/8173718-p100-asbestos/lead-respirator

Above link's respirator, Is it okay to use? Wouldn' it be in a way of Welding helmet? Regular mask builds moisture to welding helmet glass and can't use it at all when I'm welding~:mad:

Some body told me he has welding helmet has built in respirator. Do you think it is true?

Thank you sooooooo much to spending your time to training our poor soul~:eek:

Joe.
 

JWB

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Jan 3, 2010
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Joe,
Those fume extractors that Lincoln sells are awsome, but way expensive. For a hobby welder all you need is good ventilation. A shop vac does not have the proper filters to remove the heavy metals and fume so they just discharge them right back in the room again. One of the correct respirators are called pappers (i dont remember what that stands for...purifed air....something, something) they fit on your belt and basicly blow purifed air across your face. Again very expensive. Good ventilation is all you usually need for small hobby welding.

If air flow across the weld disrupts the shielding gas you will have an ulgy WEAK weld. Nitrogen and oxygen in the air combine with the molten metal and change the crystal structure and metalurgy. This is why you shield with Noble gases, they are inert or nonreactive. They have no desire to bond with the atoms of the molten metal. So we use the Argon, Helium, etc. to keep the air pushed away till the metal cools to a solid. The property of these gasses to be excited by electricy (neon signs) is part of the process that allows the arc to work (that is an entire class in it's self).
JWB
 

traildust

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Joe,
If air flow across the weld disrupts the shielding gas you will have an ulgy WEAK weld. Nitrogen and oxygen in the air combine with the molten metal and change the crystal structure and metalurgy. This is why you shield with Noble gases, they are inert or nonreactive. They have no desire to bond with the atoms of the molten metal. So we use the Argon, Helium, etc. to keep the air pushed away till the metal cools to a solid. The property of these gasses to be excited by electricy (neon signs) is part of the process that allows the arc to work (that is an entire class in it's self).
JWB
JWB,
I'll be sure to use my regular stand up fan in an extraction type of way. I don't want to see any more alien life forms being blown out of my face :eek:

BTW, that is some really great info on the Noble gases. Are you a rocket scientist?

Scott
 

joekimtkd

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Durham Ontario Canada
Ok, Rambo :p

Hey~ Scott, You have nice body and gun~!:D
I surrender~!:D

While I was welding yesterday I noticed my helmet was acting weird and I found extra work lamp I left it on the welding spot. As soon as I turn it off, it works nice again. :cool:

I remember you were mentioning about your welding helmet too.
So I'm wondering your helmet problem was from the bright light~:rolleyes:
and there is all those adjustment switches and dials but I don't bother to touch it. :eek: 'cause my eyes are going too~! :(

Check your welding helmet before you spending a big money~!:D

Joe.
 

traildust

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HI JOE!

A gun like that would be my only defense against a Martial Art Master Instructor :eek:

You know, thinking back the helmet didn't do those strange things until I did have the bright light next to me :rolleyes:

But the reason I put the light there was because it is difficult to see in the first place. Now I'm at a catch 22!

It is a really bright light. The halogen shop lights that get really hot and burn fingers. I'm going to try it with a regular incandescent bulb and see if that makes a difference. I would still like to see what I'm doing before I pull the trigger on the zapper :D

If the helmet is ok than I can save that money towards getting a gas bottle :D

Thanks for the tip on those side adjustments. I've wondered if they are just extra gadgets. Kinda like have some bling :p

Scott
 

JWB

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Hi guys,
Sometimes fluorescent lights will trigger the eye on even the expensive helments. The eye gets confused because a fluorescent bulb turns on and off 60 times a second. Try turning flourecent lights off. Usually any type of incandescent (hallogen, Edison, etc.) Wont trick the eye unless the sensivity on the helment is turned two low(those twisty knobby things) :). Try turning off any flourecents first. Then try turning the sensitivity up and see if that fixes your problem. If you need help with figuring out the helment let me know.
JWB
 

traildust

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B7610HST 4WD, LA352 FEL, Gearmore 2 Spool Top & Tilt Box Scraper
Jan 27, 2010
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Phelan, California
Hi guys,
Sometimes fluorescent lights will trigger the eye on even the expensive helments. The eye gets confused because a fluorescent bulb turns on and off 60 times a second. Try turning flourecent lights off. Usually any type of incandescent (hallogen, Edison, etc.) Wont trick the eye unless the sensivity on the helment is turned two low(those twisty knobby things) :). Try turning off any flourecents first. Then try turning the sensitivity up and see if that fixes your problem. If you need help with figuring out the helment let me know.
JWB
JWB my ever so knowledgeable and helpful friend, I think you trouble shot my helmet problem!

My shop is illuminated by overhead fluorescents! I'm on the cheap so some of the hanging fixtures are purchased used. Also a few of the bulbs have been on the brink and will do that annoying blinkity blink thing sometimes.

That would explain why the helmet doesn't do it all the time. My god JWB you're a genius!

A very thankful - Scott
 

Wildfire

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Kubota L5740 HSTC3 and a Kubota ZG222Z, 2013 BX25D,Custom Toyota fork lift.
Joe I have three auto shade welding helmets here at the shop. They all have there place and all have been great to use. One thing I have found with some of the older ones is that condensation can cause them to flick in and out once in awhile. My shop is full of florescent lights but I personally haven't had any ill effects because of them in my shop. They never bothered my helmets while welding.
I will add that I believe you get what you pay for in a helmet. The ones I use are in or above the $200. mark but have always given me great service. The newest helmet which is about a year old now is a Miller DIGITAL ELITE Inferno design. Great helmet and I love the X-mode but the helmet do get a little heavy after a few hours use. The condensation don't bother this one either.

I just spent the last three days rebuilding some farm equipment and I got the opportunity to use the new welding postitioner I have here. I'm spoiled now. :)Good luck with your welding.