Welding thicker steel with Parweld XTE 201

  1. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Hi all

    I have been self teaching with welding for about 5 years now. Most of the stuff I do is 1.5mm - 4mm box and plate. I build theatre sets mainly.

    Got a first job with some proper thickness - need to put some 12mm plates onto the end of 100x100x 8mm box section post. It ends up as an upright column under compression as part of the structure of a theatre set. (Welds in compression thankfully but I'd still rather get it right)

    My setup is,

    Parweld Xte 201
    0.8mm wire
    Argoshield Universal

    I got a little 6" offcut of the box and some of the 12mm plate and had a test weld. It wasn't amazing - I tried in one pass, I never usually turn the welder up that much, and the wire speed just made a massive buildup without a huge amount of penetration.

    My question is, what can I do to get the best penetration possible, it looks like I should bevel the edge of the box section, maybe pre-heat, and should I be doing multiple passes?
    Should I worry about penetration through the 12mm or is through the 8mm enough?
     
  2. Bigjoe Moved to the country!

    Messages:
    1,847
    Location:
    Guisborough,N Yorks
    I would vee prep the end of the box and to be honest it would need at least 2 passes,mma would be more suited but you should be ok as the joint is in compression.
     
    NorfolkDave, Dcal and Tom Orrow L like this.
  3. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    What sized MMA setup would I need? To be honest I've never used stick, so it'd add another step learning as well, if I can do it with mig for the time being it would be more straightforward.
     
  4. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,562
    east sussex
    1mm wire and Co2 perhaps?
    Turn the juice right up
     
  5. Ruffian Member

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    1,681
    Location:
    Devon UK
    8mm-12mm plate with a 200amp mig
    That's slightly stretched for amps in my opinion.

    As its compression there should not be any issues but would make sure its maxed the amps.

    I would also consider using stick and running multiple passes.
     
    8ob likes this.
  6. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,915
    Location:
    london
    My mig is 200A....I can do up to 5mm I think but beyond that I'm into "V" grooves and praying I think.

    My 200A MMA even set to 80A with 2.5mm rods seem a lot better than the MIG....just an observation as I'm new to stick welding.

    Couldn't you just buy a stick welder...mine was £170!

    Although the plate is in compression....people will have to carry the supports around?.....if a 12mm plate fell from shoulder height onto someones foot I can imagine there would be quite a bit of damage!
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  7. Tom Orrow L

    Tom Orrow L Welding Supplies Direct

    Messages:
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    It’s certainly pushing your machine to its limit but if you’re doing it you’re probably going to want to use argoshield heavy for the little extra co2 content, I wouldn’t use pure co2 as spatter would be significant.
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  8. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Ta,

    If I were to buy an MMA setup is it a pretty easy transition? What setup and rods would be suitable?

    I could just pay someone to do it is the other option, but if I can get set up to do it myself it may help for future - investment isn't a problem but timescale means I haven't got weeks to practice with the switch to stick.
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  9. Tom Orrow L

    Tom Orrow L Welding Supplies Direct

    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    Relatively simple transition, get some practice done keeping your arc distance and travel speed consistent and you should be okay.

    160A MMA set would work great with a 3.2MM rod, 6013 rods would be just fine for mild steel box.
    Generally can be had for around £250 all in.
     
    arther dailey and Yamhon like this.
  10. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,915
    Location:
    london
    If you have the hand eye co-ordination to do mig then I think stick would be no problem.

    I've not done much yet (the jobs just haven't turned up yet)....but so far I'd say welding thick plate with stick is far easier than welding 0.8mm car bodies with mig!

    I bought the Hyundai HYMMA201...only done a few test welds but so far I'm happy enough with it. Plenty of MMA machines out there I think...6013 for mild steel is my understanding too but get some descent sticks (weld equip) ....don't go for the cheap and nasty stuff (I was given a free box....and they were rubbish!)
     
    Dcal likes this.
  11. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,562
    east sussex
    I'd still try 1.0mm wire and straight Co2 yer as @Tom Orrow L says you'll get spatter but nothing a drop of anti spatter spray or touch up with a flap disc wont hurt,afterall you're looking for strengh not looks,why buy a MMA machine,rods etc,when you have a mig there,joint prep and a few passes might do you
     
    Tom Orrow L likes this.
  12. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,915
    Location:
    london
    Couldn't you just weld some tabs onto the posts and bolt the plates on instead...
     
  13. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    I'll see if anyone at work has Co2 bottle I can borrow as I don't have one to hand..
    I think it will take up to 1.2mm wire, I can get a small spool and have a crack at that with some bevelling on another piece of scrap and then cut it in half to see how bad the penetration is
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  14. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,562
    east sussex
    Co2 pub gas is just as cheap,it works,but not as pretty,or hunt around for a Co2 fire extinguisher
     
  15. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    I just remember seeing an ad on our local facebook for a local company doing bottles with deposit and no ongoing rent, meant to switch to them once my argoshield bottle was empty, maybe they can sort me out a co2 and I can switch between
     
    Shedendman likes this.
  16. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,562
    east sussex
    I'm not saying using straight Co2 is the answer,i'm just suggesting it'll run hotter than other Argon mixed gases thus giving you a bit more penetration
    200amp maxed out for 8mm to 12mm is asking a lot though but worth a try,yous sure that box is 8mm thick?
     
  17. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Yeah it's 100 x 100 x 8.0 and the plate is 130 x 12 going on the bottom for a footplate to bolt down and on the top drilled to connect to another piece above.
    This is only 4 corners the rest is in 80 x 80 x 6mm box section and 6mm plate which is more within the scope of the mig welder hopefully (though it is at the top end of what I would usually use)

    The 12mm plate is probably over spec'd but that's what the drawing is, if I queried it I could probably get it reduced to 10mm or even 8. Don't know why it's thicker than the box. In my mind if I can penetrate the 8mm properly that must be as much strength as the 8mm has. And it's all under compression and laterally braced as well
     
    Shedendman likes this.
  18. thoward Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Suffolk
    that said we've already got the 130 x 12 stock in so be good to use it if I can.

    Will preheating with a torch or gas ring underneath for a while make any difference at all or is it a waste of time? I guess the first pass would heat it up more than that anyway
     
  19. DTS Member

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Rugby
    Hire a bigger mig >300a if you have the mains supply or a stick machine, or pay some to do it as a one off. That’s some big, heavy box section and plates.

    Must be some theatre set and some stage to take that sort of loading..
     
  20. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    The consequences of getting it wrong will cost much more than loss of revenue by hiring the job out or investing in additional equipment; if you have concerns, I'd switch to MMA or hire a more powerful machine / hire the job out.
     
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