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MIG welding a vertical surface?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TX Mudder, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    My wife is most likely buying me a MIG wleder for my birthday (in May.)
    The one she is looking at is a Craftsman 90-amp unit, capable of welding 24 guage MIG, and 3/16" steel using flux-core (gasless) in a single pass. In case anyone is interested, it is part no. 20511 on sears.com.
    I learning as I go, so I need to make sure.
    Can I weld a vertical surface? I need to weld a crack in the frame.
    BTW, yes I plan to practice welding on scrap before fixing the frame.
    -- Mike
     
  2. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'm a newbie to MIG welding but you should be able to weld in any position, even upside down.

    The problem is not the welding, it's all the hot "sparks" falling down on you when welding in weird positions. Get a hot spark in your socks for the first time and you'll know what I mean!!! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Vertical is a tough 'position' to learn. Getting the machine set is half the battle, after that it's just practice.

    There are two ways to weld vertically, uphand or downhand. Uphand maens you are starting at the bottom and welding upwards...downhand is the opposite. Downhand is easier to make a decent looking weld but can lead to lack of fusion if you're not careful. Uphand is hard to learn and is generally ugly until you develop your technique. It gives you the strongest weld though. I'd recomend finding a friend that knows how to weld show you a few times first, then practice a lot.

    Rene
     
  4. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    oh boy.

    there is a RAGING debate over on Pirate4x4.com about uphill v. downhill welding. lots of pics, flames and good advice.

    The link can be found <a target="_blank" href=http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&amp;threadid=42361>here</a>
     
  5. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    On thinner material (like your frame), when welding vertically, downhill is the preferred method. Because of the material thickness, penetration becomes a non-issue. Trying to weld a thin gauge metal uphill will, at best, create a large amount of burn-through, because the travel speed uphill is so slow. When welding downhill, up the amperage some over the flat position and go. Definately practice on some scrap of similar thickness before making an attempt on the frame.

    John
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Thats a rebadged Lincoln Weld Pack. It does not come with the regulator and that's about another $100. Then tanks.
    I have used the Lincoln and I hope you have a dedicated 115v 20 amp cuircuit. I was poping the breakers at my place with that. That was on 20 gage stuff. It's good for thinner stuff like sheet metal and body work but it's pretty taxed and higher amps and has only a 20% duty cycle. That rating is in fantasy land on doing 3/16 in a single pass. The Hobart rated at 175 amps is only rated to do 1/4 in a single pass and I guarantee it has about twice the power. If you have a stick Welder then that's a good welder to compliment the stick. If this is your only welder I would try to step up to a 220v unit that has some power.
    You can get into a Hobart Handler 175 for $555 including the regulator. So about $155 more than what it will cost to get that welder with the regulator to make it mig. For a home DYI it's a great welder. it will do everything you can throw at it from body work to bumpers and roll cages.
    http://www.cyberweld.com/hobhan175.html has some great prices and that includes shipping. As long as you don't live in the same state as they are bassed that's it. If you buy that Sears welder local your also going to pay tax. Hobart is owned by Miller. Anywhere that repairs millers will repair a Hobart.
    When your ready to go to Gas welding get the biggest tank your local suply place will let you have. Most places will not let you have the big pro tanks unless your a buisness or have a buisness acct. The smallest tank you will go through in a couple of hours of farting around.
    As for welding Vertical. Yes you can but that is a learned thing. Migs are the easist to learn but vertical and inverted welding take practice to make a good solid weld. Typicaly it is is recomended to weld up. That way your stacking the weld. The problem is you have to be very carefull on the heat. to much heat and your going to blow through. to little heat and you not going to get good penetration. It Takes a lot of practice to learn to read the bead in those posisitons. Welding on the flat is pretty forgiving.
    tRusty is a pro welder. I'm sure he can give you some more tips.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Downhand just requires some judicious use of the wire speed. Too much and the puddle will over-run the weld causing lack of fusion. Gun angle is also important...

    On body panels I'd definitely go downhand, on a frame I'd go up. .151" isn't that thin, then again I've been doing this for a while.

    Zakk, it's funny what they'll argue about over there....

    Rene
     
  8. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Grim,
    I would like to get that Hobart, but it is too much initial investment. Plus, I would have to adapt my home wiring or hack up the dryer circuit to get 220V.
    For $299, the Craftsman is capable (according to the box) of doing what I want and I should be able to plug it right into the washing machine outlet and just go.
    I don't want to get a welder that doesn't do what I want it to do and I appreciate any advice into the matter.
    Keep in mind I have never welded anything. I have helped a friend with his small ARC welder and I have wielded an oxy/acetyl torch deftly, but this is my first foray into actually welding. And that machine seems versatile for the price.


    As far as cost, locally I found the Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 for $327.
    Sears has the Craftsman 90, which has basically the same stats fort $299 PLUS the one in the box they had remaining said it INCLUDED a regulator. Online, they do not mention that, so maybe it used to come with one, or whatever, I don't know.
    So all I would need to do it buy a tank from a local supply co. and I could MIG the lower guage stuff.
    QUESTION:
    Why do the instructions say to use MIG for 24 guage up to about 1/8" steel, but to use flux-core for up to 3/16"? Obviously this is not the highest-output welder made, but what is the reason to not use MIG for the thicker material that flux-core can handle?
    -- Mike
     
  9. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    Typically, unless in spray mode, flux core will penetrate deeper than GMAW (mig).
     
  10. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    if you will be using flux core wire weld uphand so you are not welding over the slag that will run down on you and cause impurities in the weld. If you are using gas go either way.

    John
     
  11. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Yeah that is a good price if it includes the regulator kit. REAL good price infact. Sams had the lincoln for $399 with the regulator for a while and I thought that was a good deal. it also came with a cart.
    I'm just relating my experience. I learned on a stick welder building my truck. I barrowed the Lincoln Weldpac (it's the same machine as that Sears. Sears does badge enginering on most stuff like that). Yeah it did what I needed as far as sheet metal but I'll tell you what.....I would not use it to build heavy stuff. I layed a couple beads on 3/16 with it set up for gas and it just didn't get the penetraion in true mig. Flux is messy looking welds. Lots of spatter. It will probably do the heavy stuff in flux but everytime you want to go from thin stuff to heavy stuff your going to have to change spools, rewire the output and adjust the roller tension. That can be a real hassle.
    Honest...if you already had a Stick welder for the heavy stuff then this would be a good machine to use in conjunction. But if your trying to make ONE purchace for a machine to do it all....My personal oppinion is you may be dissapointed with it in a few months when you go and try to make something like a winch bumper.
    Once you get the welding bug your going to want to weld everything. Need to look at the future. If your going to get into it do it with both feet and it will be cheaper in the long run.
    You can easily make a 220v extension. not cheap but easy to make. your already going to hack off the wife by running a cord from the laundry to the driveway it might as well be 220.
     
  12. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    One more question...
    The frame where I need to eventually weld is accessible from both sides.
    I could weld it on both sides MIG and that would work fine right?
    About building bumpers, I could also weld on both side I think.
    I know it seems like I'm trying to bandaid some things, but I know I'm not getting a welder much more out of this price range.
    And I like the idea of a spool-fed welder even using it in gasless vs. an ARC welder.
    I need to make up my mind so the wife can plan for it.
    -- Mike
     
  13. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    As far as welding the frame, I believe the steel is less than 1/8" thick. Yes, it would be fine to weld both sides of the crack with mig. To get a sound weld, the best approach would be to weld one side, then go to the other side and grind down to sound metal (weld metal), and then complete the weld on the other side. The same technique could be used on several applications, but this will turn out to be very labor intensive. My opinion would be to go with a welder that can weld at least 1/4" thickness, to give you an all-around machine.

    John
     
  14. hammer

    hammer 1/2 ton status

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    check local welding shops and Lowe's or Home Depot they may have a better welder for the price. My freind bought one for $299 at Home Depot and it's a 120 amp 120 volt wire feed welder(mig) and you can weld 1/8 in one pass
     
  15. gtkustoms

    gtkustoms 1/2 ton status

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    I would stay away from welding with flux core.
    I haven't had very good luck with it.
    But then again I was welding sheet metal.
    The weld bead looks much better with the gas.
     
  16. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    if you are welding something like a crack in a frame don't forget to drill a hole on each end of the crack if possible to keep it from running.
    John
     

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