Sunday, 21 August 2011

Wire Feed Welder

Here are 7 things you can do that will help to increase your chances of penetration when you really need it.

1. Use flux core wire like Hobart Fabshield 21b and set the machine to max voltage, then adjust wire feed accordingly. Flux core just plain penetrates better that bare wire on 115v wire feeders. Make sure you follow the recommendations on the wire for polarity. A lot of disappointment has come from not changing the polarity when required.

2. Plug into a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Most household circuits are 15 amp. You might have a 20 amp in your garage. If not, consider getting one.

3. Do not, I repeat, do not use an extension cord. If you must use one you better use the shortest and thickest one you can find to avoid a power drop. Even then your machine will probably weld like it has been castrated. Get it? No balls. Ok moving on to #4.

4. Preheat the joint even if it is with a little propane torch, warming a joint up to even 150 degrees is like having another 10% extra amperage.

5. Do not weld downhill. Instead, weld uphill. Vertical uphill welds get more penetration than any other position joint because gravity keeps the puddle behind the arc.

6. Clean the metal with a grinder. Not having to penetrate through hot rolled mill scale, rust, or paint will greatly increase your penetration.

7. Get some small pieces of metal of the same thickness as the welding task at hand and weld a T joint. Then break it with a vise and a hammer. If it breaks easily you have problems and need to adjust the machine and/or technique until you can weld several joints that either do not break, or if they do break, show good penetration in the corner of the joint.

If you follow these 7 welding tips for getting better penetration with your 115 volt wire feed welder, you will be getting the most out of your mig welder.

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