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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:24 PM   #1
swoodard23
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Hello,
Just looking for tips and tricks to welding sheetmetal with a flux wire mig. Amps, speed, pattern and such. And I know I should invest in a gas mig, but I can't, so I won't. Isn't making due with what you have what hotrodding is all about?
Thanks,
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #2
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i welded mine up with .030 fluxcore, lowest settings on volts and amperage.
its still to hot , but it is do-able. get used to filling holes tho [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]
just turn your machine down as low as you can, and keep the gaps as small as possable
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #3
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I heard of adding a rheostat onto an extension cord. I'm guessing a rheostat is similar to a light dimmer switch. Does that sound like it would decrease the chances for burn through? Also, with flux, how important is it to clean the metal first?
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #4
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There is no 1 setting to use. Settings will vary alot, even with simlar model welders. Best to try them all out and go with what works for you best. The smallest wire is best IMO as well.

Only trick I can tell you is to weld in short bursts, not conintuous. Maybe about .5-1 second bursts for starters. At least not yet until you're comfortable. And also weld on an angle, not straight downwards (prevents burn thoughs). I usually weld from 1 panel onto the other (start the weld from 1 panel then drag onto the 2nd), not welding both of them the same time in the middle.

But seriously, with a gas hookup it'll make everything 4x easier and cleaner, no joke. Flux vs Mig w/gas is about the same difference between a Mig vs Tig, even though it's the same exact machine, it really acts totally different.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #5
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Try and get some smaller wire. This should keep the heat down a little more.
I use .023 or .025. My Mig only goes down to 40 amps but it works. I do occasionally have some warpage. But if i only do a series of tack then i usually can keep it to a minimum.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #6
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What about the old stick welder to tig idea? I'm clueless when it comes down to welding, but I've heard some people having good results with this.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM   #7
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The only way to weld sheet metal with flux core MIG is to NOT DO IT AT ALL [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smokin.gif[/img] Get that gas hookup and get a tank of stargon, you'll love it! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img] its like night and day [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Dancing.gif[/img]
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by busguy71@Feb 24 2005, 08:53 PM
The only way to weld sheet metal with flux core MIG is to NOT DO IT AT ALL [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smokin.gif[/img] Get that gas hookup and get a tank of stargon, you'll love it! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img] its like night and day [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Dancing.gif[/img]
<div align="right">Quoted post</div>

What he said!! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]

If you insist on using flux-core then just do what has been advised above. You can cut a car in half using a hacksaw if that's what you have but there are better ways that don't cost much more.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by busguy71@Feb 24 2005, 09:53 PM
The only way to weld sheet metal with flux core MIG is to NOT DO IT AT ALL [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smokin.gif[/img] Get that gas hookup and get a tank of stargon, you'll love it! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img] its like night and day [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Dancing.gif[/img]
<div align="right">Quoted post</div>
It can be done. I have the cheapest ass flux core welder you can get. Only has two settings, High and Low. Not feed rate control, nothing. I weld with 0.030 wire. I did all of the welding on my 66 Squareback, including repairing the heater channel/rocker and shaving the bump for the front license plate, along with some small holes in the fenders and the doors.

Two things really made a difference for me.

First you have to weld in short bursts. Just little spot welds and jump around to keep the heat down. Keep making small spot welds until you have the joing fully welded.

Second, buy an auto darkening welding helmet. By far the best investment I have made in welding equipment, and I have the $49 one from Harbor Freight. Works great. Really lets you get things lined up and see what you are doing.

You can see a picture of some of my welds here:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jaransonT3/S...es/Image11.html

Good luck and have at it.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #10
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What GA. mtl you talking about? What are you doing in particular? Are you chopping a top. My take is if you are making a 6 in weld then FC would be fine, but if you are doing a major fab like a chop, its better to invest in something that will take many hours and heartaches out of the process. My .02
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #11
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There is another trick you can try to reduce the heat. I use copper tubing and smash the end down with a hammer and leave the other end long then i place it behind where i am welding. in the gaps between the two pieces of sheet metal. this will draw heat away from the metal. U will still want to do short welds but this may help you if you keep getting alot of burn through. Be aware the the copper will get hot so i usually have 4 or 5 premade pieces and the great thing is that you can easily bend it to get into tight spots.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #12
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cool,
I was also wondering if anyone has use that body panel bonding adhesive, fusor. I've heard in some cases it works better than welding but I haven't been able to find whether the panels have to overlap to use it or not.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #13
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some kind of glue will never be as good as welding on steel.

i wont be getting gas for my welder until the garage goes up. when doing vw metal i have my amp setting on the lowest and then i double the recomended wire speed. that is what has worked best for me. with sheet metal you will have some splatter but on thicker stugg you dont get much at all.

oh and i make circular motions with the gun as i weld
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #14
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How could it work better than welding ?
Also overlapping is just creating traps for future rust.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #15
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ive been using flux core i want to try gas but i dont even know if our welder ca hook it up or not. I'll ask my dad.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #16
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I have been using a flux core for all kinds of body work for about 8 years. Yes, I would rather have a true mig, but this is what I have. I have replaced uni-body sections, core supports, shaved door handles, Shaved tail lights and even a roof. I just welded up the gas filler hole in my bug last weekend. It is definately good enough for sheetmetal.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #17
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Thanks! The lowest setting on my machine is 60amps. Any problems with that?
Scott
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #18
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For flux-core you shouldn't manipulate the puddle much, if at all. Ideally, you should drag the puddle with your nozzle tilted about 10 degrees or so in a straight steady motion. Circles just add more heat on sheetmatal and can contaminate the weld (I know, that's what the flux is for). A half-circle should work better if you have to fill a gap. Start on the thicker or larger piece and pull the puddle onto the thinner or smaller piece.

If you're using gas and hard wire, push the puddle instead of pulling and tilt your nozzle about 10 degrees the other way. A straight steady motion is still best. Using patterns is helpful if you're trying to get more penetration on thicker metal or build up a weld size.

Practice setting your machine up on some scrap metal the same thickness as your project. The cleaner the surface the better the weld no matter what type of welding you're doing.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by swoodard23@Feb 24 2005, 10:58 PM
Thanks! The lowest setting on my machine is 60amps. Any problems with that?
Scott
<div align="right">Quoted post</div>

YES!! I would think that's way to high for sheetmatal. I'd say 30-40 tops and for a beginner 25-30 would be best.

For a beginner, I'd say 25 amps with .023-.025 wire (solid), maybe .030
But, 30 amps and .035 isn't too much either.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #20
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I always make a buttweld and I just tack it starting far apart and gradually filling in between every tack untill it becomes a solid weld. My machine has Lo/Hi setting only. I have used a rheostat but not all the time. only on super thin shit. I keep it on Lo when welding body metal. I'm getting ready to chop the top on my bug and I'm gonna use the same machine for that.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #21
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Some pics of my baja dash. Notice the difference in the welds compared to JoeBoy's flux-core above. I used solid wire with gas. I'm not knocking your welds JoeBoy, just trying to show the different nature of the two types of wire. The sides and around the speedo hole are stronger because of the compound shape so I was able to run longer beads there compared to the thinner flat area on top of the dash where I filled the defroster vent holes.
dash before
dash welded 1
dash welded 2
grinding dash
dash almost done

Gas & solid wire = less grinding. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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Old February 24th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #22
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dang a big difference. I need to get some gas. less grinding is always good too. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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Old February 25th, 2005, 12:47 PM   #23
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I just fixed a hinge on this deck lid. Machine was set on 25 amp wire feed on 40. Using CO and .030 wire. My bottle rent is $35.00 yr. and a bottle of CO runs $25 and does a bunch of welding.



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Old February 25th, 2005, 01:43 PM   #24
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has anyone ever used some stuff called 'cold front'. Its putty that you put on and is supposed to reduce distortion by making a barrier against the heat. Dont know if it works or not.



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Old February 25th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #25
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If all you have is a low budget welder with minimal adjustments and you're not going to buy something better, just drag the thing out and work with it. If 60A is as low as it'll go, get a junk VW fender and try it out. Step away from the keyboard and just do it.....
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