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Need some help with MIG
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26 14 4:04 pm    Post subject: Need some help with MIG Reply with quote

Hey guys, new to the welding forum, but not to smoke ring. We are going to switch from stick to MIG welding and I want some advise. First off the way things work with tanks here is you buy a standard tank full and then trade for full tanks after that. I'm not sure at this point how hard it would be to get pre-mixed gas, ( we are planning on using Argon/CO2). So I'm thinking the best way for us to go is get both argon and CO2 and use a mixing valve.
Was just checking to see if doing this would be better than using a pre mix, or are we getting into too many variables having power setting, wire speed and then two more with argon and CO2 adjustments?
We've never used anything but simple stick, so we have a learning curve to come up also, but from the vid's I've watched it seems that once you get it tuned in your pretty well set. We will be welding mostly steel tubing type stocks, some beams, and a bit of sheet to tubing, mostly dealing in the range of 3mm thickness's. We may stay with stick for our very thick plate work, but not sure till we get more familiar with MIG.

Any advise for a complete newby to MIG?

(I thought I'd post here versus a dedicated welding forum as I've seen some pretty impressive work done posted from folks here.)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26 14 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok ,The only experience I've had with a mixing valve was with argon and helium on thick aluminum. I would try to get a mix if you can, 75/25(ar,co2) would my choice on the thin stuff, 95/5 or 98/2(ar,ox) is my choice on the thick stuff. I would NOT advise using a mixing valve to mix in oxygen. If you do go with the mixer I would get the flow meter type.

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dunnjaz
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26 14 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok
If you are welding mild steel only, you can use straight CO2. That's what I've used for years. I use the beverage 20 lb bottle that you can get just about anywhere.
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26 14 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod, same scenario here for tanks, buy your first tank and then exchange the empty for full when needed. I don't know how much welding your doing on the weekends or late evenings if any, but I always have an extra roll of wire and a smaller bottle of gas laying around ready for the unexpected and unwanted times when you run out of one or the other and no one is open to pick up supplies.

If you can get pre mixed gas, that is the route I would take. That would just be one less variable that you will have to deal with while burning steel. I use argon/co2 mix (75/25) and have good results with it.

Good luck with the changeover, keep us updated of the progress.
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mopar440_6
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27 14 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the option to rent or buy-and-exchange when I bought my welder and I decided to buy the tank. I run 75/25 mix almost exclusively. I keep a small bottle of straight CO2 around for times when I'm welding really heavy mild steel or run out in the middle of the night.

Since you already stick weld, the learning curve shouldn't be very steep. You should pick up on the welder settings fairly quickly. Good luck.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27 14 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrailerBuilder wrote:
Rod, same scenario here for tanks, buy your first tank and then exchange the empty for full when needed. I don't know how much welding your doing on the weekends or late evenings if any, but I always have an extra roll of wire and a smaller bottle of gas laying around ready for the unexpected and unwanted times when you run out of one or the other and no one is open to pick up supplies.

If you can get pre mixed gas, that is the route I would take. That would just be one less variable that you will have to deal with while burning steel. I use argon/co2 mix (75/25) and have good results with it.

Good luck with the changeover, keep us updated of the progress.

+1 Just like that. I would think most LWS carry a 75/25 mix. Pretty much standard. I have a 125 cu ft bottle, a spare 40 cu ft, and an extra 33# roll of wire. Poor planning? Help from Murphy? Whatever but I seem to be close to needing a restock on Fridays and can't stand the idea of exchanging a bottle with a half days work left in it. The extra bottle gets me thru a weekend with no cares. As far as the wire, I sure do wish the plastic mold makers would incorporate a guage in their mold for the reel so as to know how much wire is left. Hence the spare roll, what looks like plenty isn't always. Good luck with the MIG, it is awesome for tight spaces such as the inside of a cooker without the surprise arc flash while getting into position.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27 14 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great replies, I'll let you guys know which way I go when I do a bit more work with my suppliers, and keep you posted on my progress.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28 14 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok decided on 100% CO2. The way it works here is you pay a deposit on a tank (not new just a returnable tank), USD170 for a full regular size large one. Swap the tank out at USD10.50 for another full one. If you return the tank you'll get USD150 back.
So we will try it this way. A blended gas here is available, but not as easy to get, special order. Most large welding houses use a manifold system and blend their own argon/CO2. I'm now picking a welder and all the bits.
How do the prices compare with the states?
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dunnjaz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28 14 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodinBangkok
The prices are very comparable. I pay $7 for my 20# CO2 bottle.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28 14 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, the tank I'm referring to is I believe a Type K, its 55 inches tall and about 9.5 in diameter, weighs about 140 lbs empty.
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29 14 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod,

That's a good price.

I figured mixes were available over there given the manufacturing base there, but wondered if there would be any availability to the average guy as opposed to a major company.

The mix versus CO2 affects the nature of the penetration. Depending on what you are welding and how thick (which I believe you said wasn't anything super heavy or special), you will be fine with straight CO2.

I was just over in Thailand after the 1st of the year. I should have looked you up!

Cheers,
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29 14 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cat797 wrote:
Rod,
I was just over in Thailand after the 1st of the year. I should have looked you up!

Cheers,
Ed


We may have met at an Ag show at Bitec. If your who I'm thinking of you were at a booth for Illinois Pork producers, and I asked about connections to small Berkshire hog farmers in Thailand. Never got your card though, but I remember you telling me you were from El Paso, Ill. I don't remember when that show was, but it was before the first of this year.
BTW my daughter who runs that business for me is in early talks about buying Berk primal cuts, so thanks for the lead!
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29 14 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That wasn't me Rod........I'm in the mining equipment biz....

But, pretty odd that someone from my small-town USA was in Thailand too. I was over there Jan. 7-10.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29 14 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well anyway send me a PM next time your in the area, perhaps we can connect. And thanks to that other El Pasoan anyway for the lead! Laughing
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30 14 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod, all these years I thought you were in the restaurant business go figure. Smile
What type of production work are you doing? The reason I ask is I am guessing you want to switch from stick to Mig for production purposes? Most shops prefer Mig over stick for that reason.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30 14 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do a lot of catering, vending and I have a small commercial Charcuterie and bakery where we do all our sausages, bacon, smoked meats and such for wholesale mostly, but a little retail. That includes a lot of pickled veg and fermented products like sauerkraut and basic breads.
We've got about everything but a front of house resto right now, and that may change. My son and daughter run the food side for day to day stuff, but I'm the come to guy for new formulations and smoking meats for catering and vending.
My main forte is manufacturing/quality engineering consulting, and database design. Thru my consulting we do mechanical design for manufacturing equipment, plastic mold design, also a small factory maintenance group. We used to do more mechanical fab, but that's almost all done outside now with us doing the design, however I'm taking on a new project that I'll have my hands in. We are building a mobile kitchen, and thus the interest in updating our welding. The mobile unit will be fully stand alone as a commercial kitchen, so its quite a project. That will be mounted on a truck frame, with a second support unit planned for the future.
This will give us a lot of flexibility on the catering/vending side for much larger on site work.
Everyone thinks I'm nuts for wanting to do the mobile stuff, but I want to get my hands dirty again and be part of the build team. I haven't done that type of work in about 40 years, but used to love it! So I might have some more questions, but I have some good guys here that help out a lot and have more basic knowledge with stick than I'll ever hope to have.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30 14 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite impressive Very Happy I wish you all the luck in your future venture. Very Happy I am totally stick so I will leave the Mig answers to the more informed, I was just curious as to why the change I understand now. I will be watching for more updates on your new venture. Very Happy
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31 14 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, we chose a MIG. 200 amp digital voltage and amp readout. It has an unlimited or essentially lifetime warranty, made by a company here in Bangkok, I'm sure from Chinese components. It comes with regulator, and free on sight training. Cost USD700. 15Kg wire USD28.
So we're off and running, although the guys will be coming for training next week, going to ask here anyway, along with voltage and wire speed adjustment, it has a knob called arc property. The manual has no info on what this knob does, so being an impatient person I thought I'd check here now rather than wait for the trainer to show up. It's Chinese new year this weekend so nobody will be around till next week.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31 14 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could the knob be to change polarity on the machine?
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31 14 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. might be on to something with the polarity. If the machine is capable of running flux wire as well and you need to change the polarity to do so, that might be the switch to do it. I know I have to change polarity on my little 135 Miller when I go from gas to flux.

Enter your make and model number in a google search and you could probably find out the information.
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