First welds... What am I doing wrong?

  1. niels

    niels Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Belgium
    I went for a bottle of gas this weekend and the store-owner kindly donated some cutoffs of 4 mm mild steel to practice on. So I did try to lay some beads and after playing with the settings a while I still didn't manage to get a consistent "prrrrrrrr" sound. The best I could get was a "machine gun burst"-like sound.

    So I did make a little video to show (mainly let you hear) the welding. Could you please elaborate on what I'm doing wrong?

    - Gasflow?
    - Wire speed?
    - Voltage?
    - Is the stick-out too much?
    - Position of the torch?

    Some notes:

    Yes, I did these welds in short sleeves because I was actually cleaning up when I realized I could make a small video. Normally I would wear a long sleeved jacket.

    I dialed the burn-back to the minimum. I couldn't find a decent answer in the manual what the setting should be. As far as I understand it controls the "not sticking to the work piece" when stopping the weld. Since I didn't stick once, I kept it like that.

    I'm not sure how the tension on the wire feeder is set correctly. I loosened the tension until the roller started slipping when pressing the wire feed button and then I tightened it a notch.

    Is it normal that the wire reel is not running "smooth", but that it turns in jolts (correct word)? Although it looks like the wire is coming out of the gun with a consistent speed.

    - Niels

     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  2. grim_d

    grim_d Unlikeable idiot.

    Messages:
    2,761
    Location:
    Scotland - Ayrshire
    It looks to me like your wire speed is too low.

    Depending on how it holds the spool it should turn pretty smooth, is your tension set correctly? Tight enough to feed the wire but it should slip if you put your (gloved!) Hand in front of the torch and try and feed.
     
  3. Matchless

    Matchless Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Essex UK
    looks like the wire is burning back so wire speed too slow, if you have the wire speed too fast for the current setting you will feel it hitting the work piece, BUT I am a self taught hobby welder....
     
  4. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    bristol england
    as above im self taught

    but as said wire feed to slow turn it up untill when you push the trigger and you feel the torch pushing back as the wire hits the metal then turn it back till you get a constant buzz

    setting up the wire reel turn it need to be tight enough that it will let the reel roll easy but only tight enought as not to unreel itself once you release the tigger (hope im explaining that well enought)

    set up the wire feed is easy you want the 2 rollers to push togher as to feed the wire when the tigger is pressed but if you hold the wire in your 2 fingers as it come out the torch the wire should slip on the rollers or what will happen if the wire sticks as it some times does and welds its self to the tip you will get a birds nest of wire in the mechine

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/mig.htm have you looked throught this gives a lot of tips on starting welding
     
  5. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,843
    Wiltshire, UK
    Have you got a stitch weld timer turned on?
    Seems like very even intervals to me and those welds look pretty decent, much better than you’d expect from a poorly set up or performing machine.
     
  6. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,843
    Wiltshire, UK
    Or are you pulsing the trigger every couple of seconds?
    Looking again at those welds on a bigger screen I think you’re worrying unnecessarily, they look very good indeed.
     
    angellonewolf likes this.
  7. niels

    niels Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thank you all for the feedback. I did play a lot with the wire feed/voltage dials, but nothing changed. Tonight I gave it another go and once again the beads were laid in "bursts".

    I started playing with the wire feed tension, the tension on the wire spool and a nut in the wire spool shaft, but to no avail. I noticed the wire spool was not turning smooth, but also in "bursts". This was most notable when using the button on the torch rather than using the wire feed button inside the casing. As a result the wire slipped.

    So, I decided to change out the installed 0.8/1.0 wire feed roller with the 0.6/0.8 that also came with the machine. And voila... turning smooth as silk and a nice constant "prrrrr" sound.

    It turns out that you have to install the wire feed roller with the number corresponding to the wire size (0.8 in this case) facing inside the machine. I assumed that it was printed at the opposite side of the groove so that you could easily see which the wire feed roller was installed. With the 0.8/1.0 roller it was not very distinct which groove was which size, but with the 0.6/0.8 roller it was very obvious.

    Stupid beginner mistake, but at least nobody got hurt. :D

    - Niels
     
  8. Ed. Member

    It does sound like a stitch timer is on but I don't think that machine has that function, at least I can't see it on the front panel. The other thing is that a stitch timer wouldn't give you that pulse sound between the timer off/on. It should be welding and then stop then start again, this sounds like it is pulsing during the actual welding time. Bonus feature!:clapping:. You have a pulse MIG welder now!

    Seriously though, I would be guessing that it is an issue with the machine itself, possibly a capacitor/contactor/electronic switch? problem, as the weld looks reasonable from what I could see.

    But it looks like I was wrong and you sorted it out, now do a video of it working properly.

    Cheers
     
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