What size wire to use for MIG welding. - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 04, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I got my first MIG welder and I am very satisfied using it to replace patch panels.

My question is, my welder came with .035mm silver flux core wire and welder tips. Should I stay with the .035 silver wire or use the .030mm wire and tips? I also found out that copper wire can also be used for MIG welding.

What do you experienced welders suggest? Copper or silver wire and .030mm or .035mm diameter wire?

Confused.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 12:00 AM
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It totally depends on what you are welding, shielded or unshielded, what the capacity of the welder is, you can weld more than welder is capable of by using bigger wire and cranking amperage up. It will all come with practice, get some scrap metal and weld away. Once you get an "ear" for what a good weld sounds like you'll be able to make adjustments easy and weld a variety of metals with the same size wire. Have fun.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 12:49 AM
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Are you talking about body panels? How are you welding with 0.035" flux core wire? Usually, you use gas and the solid core 0.023" solid wire to weld sheetmetal.

I just got a Miller with gas and 0.030" wire for frame work. It would be hard but not impossible to weld sheetmetal with that wire. The Miller is amazing to use.

Peter
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 9:24 AM
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Stay away from the flux core wire for body panel replacement. You want the filler rod wire(gas sheilded). I've used L-56 .025-.035 wire for welding sheet metal with a Lincoln welder. Good luck, and pratice a little bit before tackeling the job. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 11:36 AM
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Hi guys Santa brought us a mig from harbor freight. it is just a learning tool and may be for some patches in the floor boards.
we have not used it yet, just thought someone might give us some starter lessons or tricks.
this one http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44567

90 AMP FLUX WIRE WELDER


NO GAS REQUIRED
Specifically designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, eliminating any need for gas and regulators normal MIG welders require. Includes: 4'' spool of flux-core wire, spare .035'' welding tip, wire brush/hammer and welding mask.
Self regulating feed control
Thermal protection with warning light
Carry handle on lid
Input: 115 volt, 15 amps, single phase
Welding current (2 settings) 63 to 68 amps (low), 79 to 90 amps (high)
Duty cycle: 12% @ 80 amps, 20% @ 60 amps
Wire capacity: 0.035'' or 0.030''



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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 1:21 PM
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You will find for new fabing or anything thin that gas shielded works best but you can use core wire. For dirty stuff core wire is far superior but it still can be a pain. You can't weld with copper wire what you think is copper wire is steel wire wirh a coating to keep it from oxidizing.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 2:14 PM
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I got my mig welder about a year and a half ago and read most posts on this site about welding, they are very helpful. Search this site. My tip;
- ensure a gap between each piece of sheet metal, dont butt them tight together. If they are butted tight, the metal on both sides will buckle with the heat. The width of the gap being about the thickness of the wire.
I agree with prior posters that it is best for car sheet metal to use solid core wire, about .023 in my case, with gas. The gas shield is key. Practise on scrap car hoods, doors etc. until you get the feel of it.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 4:41 PM
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I like the .030 flux core wire over the .035. The small machines will run it a little better from a physical as well as electrical standpoint.

I also prefer Lincoln brand flux core wire. Seems to weld a little better than some others I've used. It's also a good idea to use some lubricant to keep the wire running smoothly in the lead. But NOT WD40!!! Welding supply houses have a lubricant for this purpose!

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 8:37 PM
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61dragon,

What you can use will be dictated by the welder you purchased. From the sounds of what you say in your post, you have been supplied with .030 and .035 flux core wire. I would recommend you use the .030 wire for the thinner sheet metal. and the .035 wire for anything heavier than 1/8 inch plate.

I am not familar with the welder you mentioned, but you may also be able to convert it to use gas with the solid wire mentioned above. It also may be able to be converted to use .023 wire. These options would be up grades and costly, so I would just recommend a lot of practice with what you have before upgrading.

Your best bet, is if you can find someone locally who can come over and give you some pointers. A five minute demo by a professional is worth a whole book of written script.

Another option is a night class at a local tech school. Most towns have night time adult classes at a very small fee, where much can be learned from seasoned instructors.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 8:55 PM
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Hi,
Generally panel welding is done with MIG using .025-.030 wire. A lot depepends on the machine's capabilities. Also, it depends on the person's personal preferences. I have flux core capability with my welder, I have never used it, I have understood it was used for repairs in windy areas where wind would disrupt the gas shielding of MIG. I also understand it does not give the quality of welds compared to MIG. If you have the opportunity to try out both processes on some scrap metal comparable to the body panels, do so, and form your own opinions.
Good luck,
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 9:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter F.:
Are you talking about body panels? How are you welding with 0.035" flux core wire? Usually, you use gas and the solid core 0.023" solid wire to weld sheetmetal.

I just got a Miller with gas and 0.030" wire for frame work. It would be hard but not impossible to weld sheetmetal with that wire. The Miller is amazing to use.

Peter
.030 or .035 flux core wire will work on sheet metal! It is larger in diameter than the equivalent volume of mig wire because of the hollow core filled with flux. Still takes the same amount of current to make the same weld even though the nominal wire size of the mig and flux core is different.

Granted, gas shielded mig will be better in appearance and it has some advantage in that the gas flow tends to cool the metal reducing shrinkage to a degree. However, flux core welding of panels can be made with a properly set machine by an adept operator!!!

My personal experience with the 110v machines is limited to the Miller and the Lincoln flux core models, although I've had a ton of experience with commercial mig, flux core, and co2 machines of the same brands welding everything from body panels to 3" thick pressure vessels.


With a quality machine, practice, patience, and some understanding of fitting the metal together the flux core wire can be used for anything the mig wire can be used for.

I'm not trying be argumentative, just sharing some experience.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 04, 10:33 PM
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if your going to use flux core(no argon) get the thinnest flux core you can find, I can't remember for sure if I had .025 or .030 diam flux core when I did my patch panels but I know it was smaller then .035 and it worked o.k. It will be harder to do with .035.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 04, 12:28 AM
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One other thing. Don't breath the fumes from the flux core wire. Dangerous stuff.

James, What thickness sheetmetal are you talking about? 18 guage and thicker maybe and personally I find it's easier if I'm lap welding. I'd like to see someone butt weld 2 - 20 guage sheetmetal pieces together with 0.035" flux core wire. Also, I first used a 120V welder and it would hardly produce enough heat with 0.035" wire to fully flow it. I did weld on quarters with 0.030" flux core wire but it was hard not to burn through and I was welding on a 65 Impala that has thick sheetmetal.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 04, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

Thank everybody, for all of the informative replies. I now have a better idea of what types of wires to use for my welder.

I forgot to include, that I purchased my welder at a swap meet, the welder is made by a company named: NAPA Welding Model 83-210. Has anyone worked with one of these welders before and if so, what size wire do you use?

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 04, 4:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter F.:
One other thing. Don't breath the fumes from the flux core wire. Dangerous stuff.

James, What thickness sheetmetal are you talking about? 18 guage and thicker maybe and personally I find it's easier if I'm lap welding. I'd like to see someone butt weld 2 - 20 guage sheetmetal pieces together with 0.035" flux core wire. Also, I first used a 120V welder and it would hardly produce enough heat with 0.035" wire to fully flow it. I did weld on quarters with 0.030" flux core wire but it was hard not to burn through and I was welding on a 65 Impala that has thick sheetmetal.

Peter
The thinest thing I welded so far was when repairing my floor pans. I also welded in a new quarter for my elky. You are right that a lap joint makes burn through less of a problem. I sometimes tack a backing strip to in place to make butt joints easier to weld. I will also use a flanging tool to create a flange to make a lap joint whenever practical.

It takes some time and effort but with .030 wire and carefully setting the wire speed and current of my Lincoln Weld pac 100 I can do a pretty decent job on butt joints by carefully tacking and skip welding my way around the repair.

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