Author Topic: Shielding Gas  (Read 736 times)

Offline stokester

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Shielding Gas
« on: December 30, 2021, 05:51:07 PM »
I've had this basic Craftsman MIG welder for some time and have intermediate welding skills from training a few decades ago but until now I have always used the flux core wire with this machine.

My daughter's VW Bug needs new pans and I'm preparing to replace them this spring.  The body is off, thickest pans purchased, and I will be cutting off the old pans soon so the drilling and welding is in the near future.  To keep cleanup and splatter to a minimum I want to add shielding gas to my MIG unit which has a barbed gas connection.

I've looked for local welding supply places and online for the necessary bottle and regulator but have yet to do any in-person shopping.

Any recommendations or suggestions from those who have been here before?
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Shielding Gas
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2021, 06:41:00 PM »
I can give you some personal insight Nick.

1) get a bigger cylinder than you think you'll need, because we tend to underestimate the welding time required to do a job.
2) get some cans of weld-through primer to protect overlapping or enclosed weld seams from rust.
3) get some anti-spatter spray or paste to condition your gun nozzle - it makes a big difference in the performance of the gun when doing extended welding
    jobs.
4) use .024/.025 welding wire with light duty machines. I've tried welding thin gauge steel on cars with thicker wire, and it doesn't work very well when used
    with most light duty 120v machines.
5) DON'T forget to reverse the polarity of the machine when running gas and solid wire (i.e. Reverse Polarity -- Electrode Positive) -- I've made that mistake
     several times over the years in haste and it's frustrating as heck until you finally figure out you have the polarity setting wrong.
6) the common dual dial flow gauges that come with cheap welders are often of very poor quality and can have a big impact on your weld quality. Better to
    get a proper flow meter with the floating ball indicator -- it will make a big difference in the quality of your weld. They cost a bit more, but the hours you save
    in frustrating dial adjustments and re-work due to poor welding performance is well worth it.
7) practice making plug welds (aka MIG spot welds) on scrap sheet metal until you can do it without looking, and then run some tests to see if you actually have
    good penetration. Many plug welds may look good, but will pop apart quite easily when hit with a chisel. It's quite difficult to get consistent plug welds with
    good penetration unless you practice beforehand. It's a deteriorating skill akin to shooting a pistol in that you lose proficiency unless you practice regularly.   

Offline slip knot

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Re: Shielding Gas
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2021, 07:33:26 PM »
if your machine is set up for gas you should be good but make sure your whip has the hose in it and it not deteriorated . and use the purge setting to get gas out to the end or those first welds of the day really look crappy.

Offline stokester

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Re: Shielding Gas
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 06:01:54 AM »
Great info!

Thank you.  I hope to start a thread as I work on this long-stalled project.
Nick
Yorktown, VA