Butt welding

  1. happy jack Member

    Messages:
    12
    Worcester
    I got back to long overdue practice last night with my new MIG. Thought i was doing well with some neat beads etc but tried some butt welding on 1mm steel and blew holes in both edges all the way along - useless!! Usual questions: Too much power (2 on a Clarke 151 TE), too close, too slow, gap too big??? Help!!!
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,134
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    You'd probably be better running on 1 min or maybe 1 max for the 1mm steel. You'll probably need to turn the wire speed down to suit the lower current, and if that causes problems hold the gun a little closer to the metal.

    I tend to cheat on thin steel and do the weld in lots of short bursts rather than a single continuous weld: http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/thin-metal.htm
     
  3. happy jack Member

    Messages:
    12
    Worcester
    Thanks Malcolm - shame that, I've found it generally easier to run practice beads with more power and faster wire speed so looks like I'll have to go back and try again with the lower settings. It seems I have way too much power at my disposal here as I only want to put a Mini back together! You recommend welding left to right 'across' the join rather than 'along' don't you? - another problem I've experienced is the wire shooting through the gap! This is sure harder than you make it look!
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,134
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Thicker metal is much easier for practicing technique. Once the technique is there thin metal gets easier. I go for a side to side circular motion, mostly so I can make sure I'm melting both bits of metal.

    It's a lot easier if you don't have a gap too. For thin metal it's helpful if the two bits are touching. Have you tried running a bead down a piece of sheet?

    The increased power does help a lot in getting a nice arc going. You have to be careful with the wire speed and distance from the metal to get a nice arc going at the lower power settings.
     
  5. happy jack Member

    Messages:
    12
    Worcester
    I've tried it on the lower setting and it does seem to be coming now - only thing is the penetration doesn't seem as good, which I suppose makes sense. As ever the welds aren't pretty but I'm still doing it one handed using a lollipop mask so I expect to improve when I get a 'proper' mask. However my three or four attempts tonight passed the 'vice test' for strength so getting there!
     
  6. sclurgess Member

    Messages:
    49
    northants
    i find the only way i can weld on thin stuff is by using short bursts. i find it gets hot enough for a nice weld but not to hot that i blow threw
     
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