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Unread 10-07-2003, 07:31 PM   #1
Benjamin Dover
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Self-taught welder needs guidance

Hello.

I have a small mig welder that I am learning to use by practicing. I use flux-cored wire in it because I can't afford to get the hoses and bottles and such yet.

My problem is that I have alot of splatter when I weld on higher heat settings on thicker metals (1/4" thick). Grinding all that splatter off really sucks - especially when I am welding on checker-plate steel.

What should I do to stop the huge amount of splatter????

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Unread 10-07-2003, 08:02 PM   #2
dzp
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I learned the same way, but flux core wire is messy. There is a spray that will help keep it from sticking to your material. This can be bought pretty cheaply at your local welding shop. Also get a wire wheel (cup style) for your angle grinder. If you get the one with the twisted wire, that will take everything off, the smaller is more for polishing, but will take the bulk of it off.
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Unread 10-08-2003, 09:49 PM   #3
Benjamin Dover
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I have a pair of twisted steel wire brushes for my 4.5" grinder. I have a cup style and a disk style one. Using either one of them gets rid of some of the splatter, but not all of it.

I used a hammer and cold-chisel to remove 99% of the splatter - but that is really time-consuming.

I was told by an old-time welder (boiler-maker for the railroad) today that using some mig-tip gel and spread it around the area to be welded will help keep the splatter from sticking. That doesn't help me get the stuff off for now
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Unread 10-09-2003, 07:04 AM   #4
dzp
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The spray that I was telling you about is like the same stuff at the tip gel.

What amp grinder do you have? I've got a 7amp pro one and it will remove 95% of the stuff easily. Sometimes you've got to apply quite a bit of pressure. And the sooner the better. I actually get most of it off right after with a hand held wire brush. Doesnt take a whole lot when its still warm.
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Unread 10-09-2003, 07:08 AM   #5
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Also - you can try turning the wire speed down some and move slower to make less splatter. I usually do most of my welding at 3 - 3.2 MAX. Also be sure that you only have about 1/2" or less of wire sticking out past the tip. Most of the splatter is made when the arc is first struck. When starting your weld, start it and stay in the same spot for a sec before moving. This will help "pre-heat" the area you are miving to and get better penetration.
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Unread 10-11-2003, 09:14 AM   #6
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Last night I did a test run with my mig on the same steel (just a different area) and I turned up the wirespeed a notch (from 2.5 on the dial to 2.75) and my splatter level was less!

The other batch of welding was done from a 20-amp direct line at line speed of 2.5. This time it was welded from a 15-amp shared line at a line speed of 2.75.

Does this make sense to you?

As far as my grinder goes, it was a cheepie 4.5" unit running on 110vac.
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Unread 10-11-2003, 10:05 PM   #7
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you might have been moving a little too fast or keeping the tip a little too far from the material for the 2.5 feed. like Dzp said, the splatter is mainly gnerated when you first strike the arc, so if you're moving fast you're trying to pull the arc along with you, or if you're at the border line distance where you need to be to keep the arc firing then increasing the fed rate will keep the tip of the wire closer to material resulting in a steadier arc. maybe.
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Unread 10-22-2003, 08:42 AM   #8
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Same thing for me. I am glad to know that I am not the only one making ugly welds on Jeep stuff while teaching themselves to weld. When I got my MIG bottle, it made a big difference! The spray helps and I am planning to try DZP's sugesstion on using a brush while warm. I have had better luck in making clean welds when the surface is really prepped well. I grind everything really well (until shiny) and make sure I get the Cad plating or zinc or whatever coats the steel off. That makes a big difference for cleaner welds. My 2 cents.
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Unread 10-23-2003, 06:48 PM   #9
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I just switched from flux to a bottle last weekend. What a difference. I still get a little splatter probably because I'm still moving too fast. Flux was way too messy and too much cleanup. I found adding a bottle and going to solid core is easier for a beginner. In fact, my 40 cu. ft. is about 3/4 gone since last weekend just practicing. Also make sure the metal is clean, if it has some rust on it you will get a lot of popping and cracking cause more splatter.

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Unread 11-03-2003, 08:24 PM   #10
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What none of you have talked about is the noise a good mig weld makes. It sounds like frying bacon. You'll notice when you get it just right. I was just welding on my exhaust having a lil trouble getting a good bead and just turned the speed up and it went great after that. My tip is always about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch away for that sound.

And yes, the tip gel prevents splatter sticking to your project. I suggest a chip brush from a hardware store and save the waste of the can and two separate products for you. Unless of course you treat the mig tip with the can splatter product.
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