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Unread 09-05-2010, 08:22 AM   #1
Jerry Bransford
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Hints for MIG welding upside-down?

MIG welding upside-down (overhead) is something I normally try to avoid but I had to do more of it yesterday. My problem is that the puddle tends to run down, of course, leaving a big drip shape I have to grind off.

Is it just a matter of turning the voltage down a tad so it's not so hot? The same voltage/wire speed works fine when it's not upside-down.

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Unread 09-05-2010, 08:59 AM   #2
Kettles
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What is upside down? Do you mean Overhead?


I turn the voltage down on overhead typically, kind-of in-between vertical-up and horizontal position amounts.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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I weld overhead at the same heat as a vertical or flat,you just have to kind of stay ahead of the puddle a tad more to let the puddle behind it cool before it drips...it's hard to get the same penetration on an overhead than any other position,so i actualy like to burn as hot as possible on overheads for a good burn in on the base metal.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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I keep the same heat/wire speed as horizontal.. I just move a little faster to keep the puddle from falling out.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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same process, just move along quicker.

generally speaking however, when i have to weld overhead, and i have a choice, i stick it.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 05:51 PM   #6
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Welding overhead can be tough. The tendency is to lower the amps so it don't run into your shirt sleeve. But actually you need to turn up the heat sometimes to get penetration. Liquid flows downhill and that is true with molten metal! Lay some wet cardboard over you bare feet if you weld that way!

Getting into the right position is key to get a good overhead weld. Sometimes that is hard to do.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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X2 on what the others said.
Aslo get some scrap pieces (same thickness of course) and practice welding over head.
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Unread 09-05-2010, 08:05 PM   #8
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practice practice practice, we had to do stress tests in class with our gmaw overhead passes

just go a little faster than normal and like i said before, practice

grab yourself a vice grip and stick a piece of metal up in the air and just start running bead
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Unread 09-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, that was all really useful information.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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When I was doing overhead welding under my Jeep for the build, I would throw a BUNCH of old beach towels over my arms/legs/everything(I need to get a welding blanket), and make SURE you have something over the TOP of your head and around your neck area... if you don't you'll find out quickly why

I suggest doubling up on the layers in your nether-regions as well... I've had one or two molten blobs get through and singe my boys. For that reason I also don't suggest welding while sitting "indian-style" like a 3rd grader overhead.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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Tell me about it, I was like "ooh" and "OOOH!" and "YOWSA!!" during Saturday's overhead welding session. I was wearing my welding jacket backwards, cap, etc. to cover me better but the slag was finding every little gap and hole including a few old burn holes in the jacket. My 'boys' have not yet been reached by the slag but it's probably only a matter of time.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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Try get the right type of wire for it and it wont look like crap and will hold right as far as strength wrong wire is like using the wrong welding rod check into it.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Try get the right type of wire for it and it wont look like crap and will hold right as far as strength wrong wire is like using the wrong welding rod check into it.
Please Enlighten us on what special kind of wire is used for overhead welding that would be different using for horizontal ,vertical or any other...?
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Last edited by Ironworker709; 09-06-2010 at 06:59 PM.. Reason: goofed on flat and horizontal..lol
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Unread 09-06-2010, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
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please enlighten us on what special kind of wire is used for overhead welding that would be different using for horizontal ,flat or any other...?
x2
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Unread 09-08-2010, 07:08 PM   #15
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I used to be a mechanic on FedEx trailers and sometimes I was required to weld the braces from the landing legs to the steel cross support. Of course I was laying on my creeper looking up at where I needed to weld. They always looked like crap - droops, verry little penetration, etc... I talked to one of my co-workers one day do try to get some tips - he told me to turn the heat up a bunch, turn the speed down a little, pull not push, and move the gun at a pretty good speed. I tried it like that the next time and I got a nearly perfectly flat weld. Excelent penetration, no droops. That is what I would suggest for you to do. And, as mentioned before, practice.
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