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Old 01-13-2014, 12:34 PM
MichaelK Male MichaelK is offline
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Default New to MIG welding

I've recently started learning how to weld after getting a tabletop Lincoln Electric MIG welder (model 3200). I started out using Flux-Cored Intershield wire that doesn't require gas. I bought some steel scraps and have practiced enough that I can now make something that actually resembles a real weld. I've used it now to make repairs to steel handles and such that have broken off.

I recently obtained a used 22 cf gas cylinder about 1/2 full of 100% CO2, which I have plumbed into the welder. Rather than taking the machine apart to swap out the flux-cored for standard MIG wire, my question is what will the quality of my welds be like if I use both flux-cored AND gas at the same time? I've already tried welding something this way, and it appears to have worked just fine, but my welding skills are not high enough yet to just look at this weld and evaluate it for quality. This is really a DIYer problem because I haven't found any community welding class nearby where I can get hands-on tutoring.

So, is using gas with flux-cored a bad idea, a good idea, or doesn't accomplish anything and a waste of gas?
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:53 PM
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Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
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If your wire doesn't require it, then it's simply a waste.
The "flux" serves the same purpose as the gas, which is only to keep oxygen away from the weld until it cools enough not to burn
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:32 PM
Wheat Wheat is offline
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Mig welding is a very simple and yet effective way to weld just about anything; from extremely large joints with large gaps (spray transfer) to welding 16 gauge sheet metal. There are a couple of things to thing about when welding; these things of course come in many different variables, but the main one is welding cost. Now I'm not too familiar with the smaller welding machines due to the fact that I use the bigger more industrial sized welding machines. I don't know the cost of gas and wire to be exact but it can be expensive. If you're going to mig I suggest using 75% Co2 and 25% argon with .035 wire. Also if you choose to pursue the mig welding use a cursive lowercase e pattern movement, will make those mig welds look like a beauty!
I don't currently know much about flux core welding besides the fact that all you pay for is the electrode wire, which is why I say compare the prices before pursuing and deciding whether to mig or flux. Another thing to consider is mig welding outside is not suggested, if you get a slight breeze while welding it can cause the shielding gas to blow off leaving your weld puddle unprotected allowing nitrogen and oxygen to get in your weld causing porosity and possible cracks. With flux its basically like stick welding except you have a gun allowing a little better control of the puddle and sometimes if you have a good moving wrist a better weld pattern.
Thanks Wheat.

Last edited by Wheat; 01-03-2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:08 PM
trailtrecker trailtrecker is offline
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The best process of MIG (metal inert gas) is to use bare wire fed from the machine with a shielding gas (CO2). Personally I never trusted welds using this process, especially on vehicle frames where something called carbide precipitation can cause brittleness and cracking.
Nevertheless, for the homeowner the one you are using is probably OK as long as you don't use it for anything that requires strength. I would only trust this type of weld in a hobby application, or for tacking parts together.
For repair work I would recommend SMAW (shielded metal arc welding).
For general use a 200 amp machine using 1/8" 6010 rod should be suitable.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:36 PM
Wheat Wheat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheat View Post
Mig welding is a very simple and yet effective way to weld just about anything; from extremely large joints with large gaps (spray transfer) to welding 16 gauge sheet metal. There are a couple of things to thing about when welding; these things of course come in many different variables, but the main one is welding cost. Now I'm not too familiar with the smaller welding machines due to the fact that I use the bigger more industrial sized welding machines. I don't know the cost of gas and wire to be exact but it can be expensive. If you're going to mig I suggest using 75% Co2 and 25% argon with .035 wire. Also if you choose to pursue the mig welding use a cursive lowercase e pattern movement, will make those mig welds look like a beauty!
I don't currently know much about flux core welding besides the fact that all you pay for is the electrode wire, which is why I say compare the prices before pursuing and deciding whether to mig or flux. Another thing to consider is mig welding outside is not suggested, if you get a slight breeze while welding it can cause the shielding gas to blow off leaving your weld puddle unprotected allowing nitrogen and oxygen to get in your weld causing porosity and possible cracks. With flux its basically like stick welding except you have a gun allowing a little better control of the puddle and sometimes if you have a good moving wrist a better weld pattern.
Thanks Wheat.
I stand to correct some of my previous statement. Using shielding gas with the flux core method can produce X-Ray quality welds. Now then, know the average diyer you don't need to produce X-Ray quality welds. ( Most X-Ray quality welds are on pipelines, pressure vessels things of that sort. ) Now using SMAW is a very good process, but FCAW (flux core) can have greater penetration than SMAW. (shield metal arc. Stick ) Now SMAW electrodes are roughly around $.83 each or more depending on the type of rod you are using. ( These calculations are from a few years back so not completely accurate with this not so great economy. ) I do not know the cost of flux core wire so I don't know the comparison to SMAW or GMAW. So doing a little bit of research can help you save the most amount of money as far as the welding processes go. Hopefully this was helpful. Wheat
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