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  1. #1
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    Default General Welding Tips - Flux Core

    Hey Guys,

    Just lookin for some general welding advice. Been welding more and more stuff recently, and the welds tend to come out pretty ugly hahaha. I wonder if ya'll have any tips for me to make my welds look more like worms and less like boogers.

    Welded some exhaust pipes today, and first settting I had it on was too hot and was burning right through the metal. Went 3 steps down on the welder and it wasn't forming a puddle so i bumped it up one step and I think its putting out what i need in terms of heat. Are my welds super ugly because too much/little wire is being fed? Or is this just what flux core welding will look like? I clean the surfaces before I weld too, so i don't think its dirt/oil or anything.

    Example of ugly weld -- This is actually one of the better ones. I"ll get a pic of my ugly pipe welds soon.

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    What kind of welder are you using? .......I have seen worse!...........I have a millermatic 135, and I was running gas. I switched to flux not having the funds for gas, and the machine was welding like shit couldnt figure it out . I asked this old timer and he told me to switch my wires around , possitive to neg , neg to poss. Calling it switching the polarity. What do know , it worked , that might be your problem, it looks really spattery.....keep practicing......

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    in my experience flux core wire is always ugly. its on par with arc welding. you can make a clean pattern but will always have spatter. switch to solid wire and steel mix gas. everything will clean up and look good as long as you are doing what your supposed to.

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    i know were all on a budget here, but for the best lookin welds you really cant beat TIG. All you need is a power source, gasbottle/regulator, and tig torch. the gas bottle is not cheap. As far as you flux core welds, in my experience you can make the wleds passable but they never look that great. Just make sure you get good penetration and then smooth the wleds up after you are done. They will look as sharp as you want them to.
    one more thing, good welding takes alot of practice. i will have 2 years of weld school before im done.

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    Flux core produces welds as good as any other, don't blame the machine. You need to practice on some scrap for a while. Typically - crappy welds come from the dude, not the machine. I've seen arc welds that would compete with TIG in the looks department, it just takes a much more experienced hand and knowing your shit.

    Can you feel the handle kicking back in your hand?...that would be from too fast of a feed. You might have it too slow and the wire is trying to burn before it get's to the metal causing the bubble gum look. You should have a nice even arc sound, not choppy. Simply turning the feed up & down while welding will get that dialed in. Your amps need to be adjusted for proper penetration as well, certainly you have a manual or the manufacturer has some info on their site. The simpler welders have a 4 position switch for the current so you can't go wrong there.

    Get on youtube - there's bound to be some good videos - but practice is necessary.

    You can get a can of spray to keep the sparks from sticking on everything, it really aids in clean up.

    I've built plenty of shit with my flux core and I still use it when impurities won't let the TIG weld properly.
    Last edited by AfterHours; 01-05-2010 at 7:56 PM.

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    Gabe stole my answer.

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    You know what, nevermind

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    Start with a slow wire speed and a lower setting and work your way up on some scrap. I've made numerous exhausts and intercooler piping setups with a flux core. Also, junk the wire that came with the machine and get some better stuff at Home Depot. You might have to change out the tip or it will drag and bind the wire inside the machine.

  9. #9
    xllance
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    I welded the hardtail and on my scoot with a wire feed Lincoln and flux core wire and I did'nt even know what I was doing, just practiced a little and went at it. Made some ugly welds but I cleaned them up. I feel confident enough that I trust my ass to my welding.........just not anyone else, nobody needs to ride my bike anyhow. I guess practice is the key, you just KNOW when it's penetrating, like stated earlier you can hear and feel it.

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    A easy rule of thumb on any mig welder is if your heat is set to say 3 set your wire right around 30 if heat is 4 then around 40 on wire and play with the wire speed alittle slower a little faster till it sounds like bacon frying you want to hear a nice sizzle not a poppin or zapping noise .... but it takes time also you can do alot with a mig but really like the others say mig tig arc or even oxy acty it doesnt matter if you can weld you can weld all in the hand not in the machine....

    practice practice practice ...I did 2 years metal classes , 2 years welding/fab school ,then worked in all different areas of metal work for 12 years ....Sometime when youve done it that long you forget it takes alot of time to learn to weld ...grab your favorite recreational brew some scrap metal and go till you burn your eyes ehheheh Good Luck

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    "get some better stuff at Home Depot"....?...maybe they carry name brand stuff?

    If you're going to be welding you should find & visit your local welding store. They are plentiful and the couple bucks more you're going to spend on better equipment & consumables will pay off when you can ask these guys why things are fucking up on you. When it's time for gas & upgrades it'll pay off to have a relationship with these kind of places.

    Support your local resources...unless they're real assclowns.

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    go here...http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

    browse the site thoroughly, a lot of good info on there. especially when it comes to making good looking beads.

    and what the other guys said, get some scrap and practice practice practice, try to do flat horizontal, vertical, sidehand, overhead, underhand, any which way you can think of. wire is fairly cheap, burn a couple of rolls.

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    don't burn your eyes! I've done it twice and it fucking hurts. it takes forever to heal, you can't see, and you can't sleep! I wore a hood but the pipes I was welding were shiny and I cought the reflection of the wall behind me. the worst two days of my life!

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    a lot depends on how far you run your wire out too. that affects the heat. I use cooking spray like pam also it helps the splatter come off better

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    What type of wire are you running 211 maybe ?

    I can make welds with a piece of shit $80.00 harbor frieght wire feed welder that will look better then most guys tigs and be stronger to boot . Flux core is very tempermentail about angle and were you hold the puddle . Also going uphill with the weld is much stronger then down and if doing a flat start in the middle and work your way out in . Also if you have a small machine PREHEAT !!!

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    another vote for preheat. also, i found that my flux core machine would weld a ton better if nothing else was plugged into the outlet i had it plugged into. it doesnt want to share voltage with the radio, fan, etc...

    i got a mig that uses gas & standard core wire & its much easier to make decent looking welds. unfortunately, the machine still calls for flux core wire/no gas to do anything thicker than 3/16....

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    Good info in here guys.

    Chen, I'm by no means a good welder, but like these guys have said practice makes perfect. I've done a bunch of spot welding on my '63 VW, but still need to work on making beads. Thanks for starting this thread. Good stuff so far.

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    that link for welding tips is GREAT thanks !

  19. #19
    Chop450
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    Quote Originally Posted by CabritoLoco View Post
    go here...http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

    browse the site thoroughly, a lot of good info on there. especially when it comes to making good looking beads.

    and what the other guys said, get some scrap and practice practice practice, try to do flat horizontal, vertical, sidehand, overhead, underhand, any which way you can think of. wire is fairly cheap, burn a couple of rolls.
    Dude thanks for the link! That is a great site and answered a lot of questions I had. Can't wait to practice some new techniques!

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    If you have been using gas you need the change the polarity. By the looks of things your wire speed is way to fast. A good flux core weld should look as good as a lo-hi stick weld. Watch some YouTube videos to see what a good puddle looks like remember push don't pull. Also up hill or down hill does not make a fuck I try to make every weld from right to left down hill as long as your making a key hole and feeling it with weld. You just gotta practice a lot. Your welder should have come with a book (if not find it online) it should have some Suggested settings based on the gauge of metal your welding that will get you close. As far as exhaust tubing you may just play connect the tack that's what a lot of guys do ( I got a tig so I purge )

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