Help with Clarke settings and splatter

  1. Ben Sharp Member

    Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
    I've not picked the welder up in a while and been having a bit of trouble with lots of splatter and getting the settings right for 3mm. Grateful for any pointers.
    I'm using a Clarke 151EN with 0.8mm wire, CO2/argon mix at 15LTM, I have used a new tip in the welder, the wire is new and clean and I've played around with the tension quite a bit and set up as per the guide on here. The roller is in the correct position for the wire size. I've never had problems with splatter like this before, although I've mostly used 0.6mm wire in the past and can't really remember how I got on with 0.8mm as I've not used it probably for a couple of years.

    The Clarke has 6 power settings and the manual is as follows:
    I've read the threads on here about the Clarke settings and I believe the chart gets the settings mixed up a bit and they should go up as follows:
    1 min
    1 max
    2 min
    2 max
    3 min
    3 max
    I'm a little lost on what setting to use for 3mm steel, I've done some test runs with A3MAX (i.e. setting 6 out of 6) and A3MIN (i.e. setting 5 out of 6) and I'm getting lots of splatter, this is the result of the highest setting:
    This is the result of the next setting down:
    This is the back:
    I've filmed some of the runs:
    3mm A 3 max 7.75 -
    3mm A 3 min 7.25 -
    3mm A 3 min 7.5 -
    3mm A 3 min 7.75 -
    3mm A 3 min 7.9 -

    It was late and I was losing patience a bit, my torch position and technique were pretty poor. I also did a few runs on 2mm and had my torch angle a bit better but still got loads of splatter. I have used A2min (i.e. 3 out of 6), can't quite remember why I chose that instead of setting 4 as per the chart but when I looked in my notebook I've had good results with that settings before:
    I filmed these as well:
    2mm A 2 min 5 -
    2mm A 2 min 5.2 -
    2mm a 2 min 5.5 -
    2mm a 2 min 5.8 -

    Any help gratefully received, if I could get an idea of what setting to use on the 3mm I'd feel a bit better practicing and getting my technique a bit better but it's really frustrating me that I can't really work out what setting to use.
    Shoggi likes this.
  2. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Gloucestershire UK
    I can’t help with the settings, but if you have a voltmeter/multimeter it’s easy enough to work out the order. Split the wire feed roller off so it won’t drive the wire, unscrew off the shroud & check the voltage between the tip & the earth clamp When you pull the trigger. Lowest voltage is lowest setting, highest is highest setting & you can work out those in between.
    Ben Sharp likes this.
  3. Ben Sharp Member

    Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
    Thanks Cobbler, I think that's how they worked out the correct settings in the thread I read about it but might be an interesting wee experiment to try at some point :)
  4. MoreWellie Member

    Bedfordshire, UK
    This is what I told my son when he was having a similar problem with the same welder and similar thickness
    .8mm wire
    3 min
    wire speed somewhere between 6 and 7 (vary to find the sweet spot) He had been using 9 on wire speed so I also told him to move slower across the job when he reduced the wire speed
    keep the gun no more than 5 to 15 degrees off vertical
    aim for around 5mm stickout
    he is probably using between 7 & 10 ltm on the gas
    fixerupper and Ben Sharp like this.
  5. Ben Sharp Member

    Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
    That's really helpful thank you. I've had another play just now, don't seem to be getting a nice sizzle but the splatter is certainly down. The last one looks the best to me but I'd appreciate any feedback.

    3mm A 3 min 6.1 -
    3mm A 3 min 6.4 -
    3mm A 3 Min 6.8 -
    3mm A 3 min 7 -
  6. fizzy Forum Supporter

    When I first started welding I found the best way to get the settings was to get someone else to run the torch whilst I adjusted the knobs based on sound alone. Then jot them down.
  7. MoreWellie Member

    Bedfordshire, UK
    I don't weld for a living so I am not an expert but...

    7 looks best to me as well so you could try up to say 7.5, not sure how much gap you have between the end of the torch and the workpiece but it looks a bit much, not so close that the shroud drags on the weld mind

    you could try sticking pieces together in a butt weld and then try breaking them apart to see whether the weld or the parent metal gives up first
    Dadweld likes this.