Help: Ugly MIG Welds on Iron Fence Finnials

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Old 04-10-05, 02:24 PM
J
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Help: Ugly MIG Welds on Iron Fence Finnials

Welding wrought iron fence. Have Hobart 140 MIG welding at 115V. Going around finnials, I have to move too fast at voltage settings 3 and 4. At voltage setting 2, doesn't get hot enough.

The best I've been able to I get is an imprecise, somewhat convex glob. It seems wire builds up too fast, but if I slow down wire speed, the machine appears to starve for wire and want to short out. I've decreased voltage, increased it, and tried all kinds of wire speeds.

Looking at neighbor's fence (done by a pro), the welds around finnials are all uniform, precise, slightly concave.

I'm a true beginner to welding. I was hoping that I could find out what I'm doing wrong. It would be nice if welding around these finnials was more like precision drawing than "zipping" a glob across the seem as best you can before you fill it up with too much wire. Wire size is .030 (recommended in the manual), and I'm using CO2/Argon with solid wire.

Any advice would really help.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 04:17 PM
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Jeff,

First, are you welding this indoors with no breeze?
Loosing your shielding gas is one thing that will give you grief.
Do you have the polarity set correctly for what you are doing?

Also, if you have tried all manner of heat/speed combinations, I would say that trying .023 wire would be next.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 06:51 PM
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My ugly welds

Thanks Greg H for the reply. No breeze problem, and polarity is correct. I can try the smaller wire, but what a pain to have to switch between .030 and smaller wire back and forth. Maybe I can use smaller wire for everything.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 08:38 PM
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I have a Miller 175amp/240 volt mig. I still have the 1 lb roll of .030 flux wire that came with the welder. I switched to .023 solid wire and that's all I use unless I have to go outdoors to deal with the wind. Your's being 110 v,I suggest going with the .023 and try to weld when it's calm.
Hope this helps,
Mike
 
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Old 04-12-05, 06:16 AM
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My ugly welds

.023 definitely works better. Still have to go a little fast around the finials, though. I suppose if there was something even smaller, I would get even more control, but my drive roll will not accomodate smaller than .023.

I just started with the .023, so my technique might improve, but my welds are shameful compared to those on the neighbors' fence. Like I said, the .023 still works better, so I guess the rest will come with experience.

Thanks for both of your replies.
 
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Old 04-12-05, 06:50 AM
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Jeff,

I have often felt that if the four voltage selections I have on my Miller was variable instead, I'd be able to fine tune the setting.

Don't feel bad about the look of your welds, that's what a grinder is for.
I get my fair share of bad welds due to the binge nature of my welding.
Havn't made a spark in six months but the next time I do it'll likely be to burn a few spools into a, 8'x20', tilting car hauler that's waiting to get built.
 
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Old 04-12-05, 11:35 PM
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I have a weldpak100 and same problem. I've used lots of migs and it is far easier to get dialed in with a variable heat and variable feed than with the 4 heat setting and variable feed. Once you practice enough you will be able to weld well by adapting. The smaller wire gives more controll on thin guage. Larger wire will carry more amps for large (1/8"and bigger) stuff. Experiment (practice) with lowest heat and slowest feed and start increasing the feed till you get stubbing (the end wont burn off and pushes the torch away). Then same with the rest of the heat settings. By varying the heat, feed and the speed you move, you can get nice welds. Often I controll the heat by stopping the process to let it cool down because when its cold its fine but continous welding turns the whole piece cherry red and I can get burn through's. The weld's are best when the surfaces are clean as any paint, oils, rust, etc. will be detrimental.
 
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