Mig welder set-up

  1. Jim Macgregor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Darlington
    Hi - I'm new to this forum, so here goes.

    I want to learn mig welding so I can work on automotive bodywork projects. After looking around for a suitable machine, I bought a TecArc-161 machine. It seems to be a well made bit of kit and can be used on a 13A socket outlet. The machine uses 0.6mm and 0.8mm wire and I've bought Hobbyweld5 shield gas, which I understand is a mixture of Argon and Carbon Dioxide.

    What I'm not too clear about is how to set up the machine using the controls on the front, i.e. settings A and V (see attached photo). The manual is very vague on this and an email enquiry to the manufacturer went un-answered. What I'd like to know is what settings (A and V) and wire thickness should be used for mild steel up to 3mm thickness. I'm sure there is some trial and error required, but some guidance on where to start would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Jim
    Tecarc-161.jpg
     
    • Tecarc-161.jpg
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  2. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    5,560
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    I don’t know the machine, but A appears to be wire speed, looking at the symbol above, and V is voltage supplied to the torch. I doesn’t surprise me that the manual is vague, you’ve bought a professional mig there, & the manufacturer’s would expect you to know how to use it. Nice bit of kit you’ve got there, I’m jealous. Welcome to the forum, plenty of advice & topics on here, keep us posted as to what your doing.

    Edit, have a look at the tutorials at the top of the header, it will tell you all you need to get started.
     
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  3. MoreWellie Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Welcome to the forum Jim
    V = Open circuit volts and as your machine should be good for 6mm or so at full chat so I would start with that on 4 and maybe drop to 3 if necessary or for long runs if things get too hot
    A = Wire Speed and I would start with that around 6/7 and try varying small amounts around that until you get a nice sizzle
    Optional Timer looks like a stitch control to stop start the weld automatically and I would try max at first and if the weld stutters turn it to min
    I would use the 0.8 wire on 3mm

    start there then post pictures of your welds and people will advise further
     
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  4. bourbon Member

    Messages:
    800
    Location:
    Lichfield UK
    Then. Practice, Practice, Practice
     
  5. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    east sussex
    Strange,i see fine volts settings but no course volt settings
     
  6. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    east sussex
    Ah,its the 161 doh:doh:
     
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  7. Shoggi

    Shoggi Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Bradford west yorkshire
    Expensive welder for a beginner, I want one
     
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  8. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    Welcome to the forum, @Jim Macgregor . :waving:

    The forum tutorials [green buttons at the top of the page] are good starting points :thumbup:
     
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  9. Jim Macgregor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Darlington
    Thanks for the tips guys. I'll certainly give them a try. I found the enclosed chart on the internet and was hoping to create something similar as a guide.
    Does anybody have any experience of this particular machine?
    Mig-Info.jpg
     
  10. davidjohnperry a different breed

    Messages:
    2,253
    Location:
    yate/bristol
    With out running that machine I cant really give you a bang on setting get a bit of scrap of the thickness you want try 3 volt setting and have the wire 5 and then try a bit and then start reducing the wire back by point 5 till it sounds like I cant believe I'm saying this like bacon frying or a similar sound once you have that continuously annoying sound you are in short circuit transfer which is good for 1.5 mm maybe 2 mm if you need more heat up the wire a bit if you need even more up the volt setting. Practice keeping the arc tight and with a good travel speed should do you right
    And by point 5 so if the wire is 5 go 4.5 then 4 ect or..5 the other way
     
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  11. Nick DV

    Nick DV "You must unlearn what you have learned."

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
    Then, when you've done that, practice, practice and practice more :thumbup: Oh, welcome to the forum :waving:
     
  12. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    Cumbria
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  13. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    east sussex
    Just look at the puddle and hear the noise;)
     
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  14. MoreWellie Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    the values mentioned above give you a starting point. Guides are ok for a starting point but it's better to learn a feel for the process and then you know when things need adjusting

    if you reckon on your welder having a maximum thickness capability around 6mm then use the gradations on the V control to cut the voltage down in proportion to the thickness so on yours the number roughly matches the mm thickness but this is not absolute and I would up the voltage if doing tacks or plug welds

    use the A control and vary it according to what you see after welding, it will nearly always want to be centered around a particular point, on mine (a different model Oxford which is also made by Tecarc) this would be 7 and I just vary around that according to what I see happening but usually no more than +- 1

    so read the tutorials, tidy up, put your welding gear on (safety first) set the gas between about 8 and 10 lpm do some welds and show us the results
     
  15. Jim Macgregor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Darlington
    Thanks again for the tips guys. I've got plenty of scrap to practice on so I'm going to take your suggestions and see what works best. I've got to repair some door frames on an old Land Rover which should be interesting because the metal looks to be less than 1mm thick.
     
  16. Jim Macgregor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Darlington
    Just something else I forgot to ask, are the V and A settings interconnected or are they independent?
     
  17. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    5,560
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    When I repaired the bottom of my sons Landy I bought some preformed sections from YRM, they also have a tutorial video on their website. It wasn’t a difficult repair to do. With your question about the V & A knobs I can’t help you, but someone will be along in a minute who knows that welder. If you play about with the settings it will be obvious.
     
  18. MoreWellie Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Sort of. They both need to be correctly set in order for a weld to work properly

    The 3 main variables are volts, wire speed and speed of torch movement

    If the first 2 are set high then you need to move faster to avoid blowing holes
     
  19. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,159
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    I've got a version of that. As said the knob at the top is wire speed. It adjusts itself with voltage settings and mine mostly lives at around 5.5 to 6. If the wire burns away then a little faster is good, and if it stabs at the work then make it slower.

    Voltage is confusing. The knob to the right has a choice of 2 settings - high range and low range. The other knob is the fine adjustment. Under 2mm you'll be on the low range, and over you'll be on the high range with the finer points adjusted on the fine adjustment.
     
  20. MoreWellie Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Not on the ops machine, he only has a fine control the coarse is a blanking grommet
     
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