Worst beginner welder on the planet needing advice :/

  1. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    First off I'd like to say hello to everyone, so hello!

    I am completely new to welding of any sort and have never even so much as watched someone weld before now! I have been introduced to learning welding by pure necessity, My car is a 17 year old K11 Micra which I have been restoring as a project (like the car a lot and it's very very economical in every way, parts, insurance, fuel, tax, easy to fix, no finance etc) but the little K11 has some rot at the sills like most of them, and also needs the rear spring perch welded as it's crumbling away. I'm very good at mechanics, I can fix most things on an older car and figure out anything I don't know by myself but really need to add welding to my skill sets.

    So I decided instead of paying whatever it costs every year to have welding done (presumably hundreds a time) I would invest a hundred quid in a little used Snap-mig/Cebora 130. I'm using it with flux core wire due to living very high up/sever winds and gas just being inpractical for me/no space to store. Reading the reviews it seems this welder is very good for the money - mine came with a spare 2nd one! So I grabbed it up and purchased auto mask, slag hammer, tips bla bla and set to rebuilding the old machine.

    The earth was corroded and frayed to heck at the clamp and also inside, so I completely rebuilt the earth cutting out the bad ends and cleaned up the clamp. I also cleaned the contacts and greased the wire feed gearing and fitted a new sleeve liner.

    So while the machine seems to really appreciate this revamp, it really does NOT appreciate my terrible attempts at welding. So far I've spent around a few hours practicing (and used up nearly a whole £7 0.227kg role of SIP flux core wire :/ ) and I haven't even been able to lay down anything near a half decent bead, in fact most of it's just splatter to be honest. I've set the roller tension right based on Youtube videos I've seen, yes, I'm learning via Youtube lol... but I self taught car mechanics this way 8 years ago so why not! I've adjusted the wire speed up and down and it's either too sputtery and slow or too fast and buts the metal... I just can't get the damn speed right! I'm struggling with the cursive C technique with travel speed and angle and either blow through the metal or leave nothing but spatter... managed to get a couple small raised bad beads but that's it. I also can't figure out if I'm better on 1/min 1/max or 2/min for amp settings... 2 min blows through sometimes, so it seems 1/min or 1/max is best but can't decide. Another thing I'm struggling with is electrode to material distance, hard to maintain it.

    I'm practicing on an old exhaust that I brushed clean with a grinder cup as I don't have any scrap metal other than that lying about really, need to pick up some scrap crap but all I have for now is that...
    Have uploaded a photo of the "welds" and hopefully you guys can see where I might be going wrong... most of these were attempted using wire speed around a quarter to half-way.

    My car is pretty much off the road right now and will be until I can get proficient enough to do the sill patch and the spring perch... the spring perch IS structural so I won't be attempting that until I'm half decent or I'll pay the welder in my street to do that part. Included pics of the sill to give an idea of what a complete noob like me is hoping to accomplish as quickly as my skill growth rate will allow.

    Any help really appreciated guys!
     
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    eLuSiVeMiTe likes this.
  2. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    4,488
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    That exhaust looks to me like it’s got an aluminium coating on it, alumised coating I think they call it. You will have to grind all that off to make a satisfactory weld, even then it’s not easy as it seems to still pollute the weld.
     
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  3. Shoggi

    Shoggi Member

    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    Bradford west yorkshire
    Welcome :waving:
    The metal your using could do with a good clean
    As for the runs they look better than my first experience with flux core
     
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  4. barking mat

    barking mat Member

    Messages:
    1,512
    Location:
    Brittany
    Welcome, and fair play for the enthusiasm!

    Exhaust pipes are notoriously evil to weld. Not a good place to start practicing.

    You need some clean metal the same thickness as what you want to learn to weld.

    I've never tried flux core through a mig, I suspect it may need proper wire, has shielding, and your mates garage, lockup, farm shed or something, as I said never tried flux core, but was under the impression it was for thicker plate outside.

    Watch a heap of YouTube videos and check out the info in the tutorials on the home page.

    You've found the right forum.

    Good luck, and welcome.
     
    Memmeddu likes this.
  5. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    Is this why the arc is "blipping" perhaps? I can get close to sizzling bacon but there's constant little "blips" where it sounds like it momentarily loses conductivity... though maybe it's my earth, but I've rebuilt that! Could be a combo of the coating making it hard for the electrode AND the earth not getting a great ground? Most of the time I struggled to even get a raised bead on that exhaust as you can see. Think I'll try and locate some better metal.
     
  6. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    haha thanks, you've motivated me a bit... I'm a bit of an impatient person but also incredibly stubborn and refuse to give up so I'll plug on with it!
    Think I'll buy some much cheaper flux core wire to practice on, I'm wasting this expensive SIP stuff at quite a rate... £7 roll gone in a few hours :/
     
  7. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    4,488
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    make sure it’s spotlessly clean, use the grinder not a wire brush as that just sort of polishes it. Also get yourself some decent wire, never used it, but SIP hasn’t got a good reputation for anything. Forget cheap.
     
    Memmeddu likes this.
  8. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,398
    Wiltshire, UK
    As said, throw that exhaust in the skip and get some proper, clean steel to practice on.
    You'll still probably struggle as your machine is not set up to use gasless wire, they need solid wire and shielding gas.
     
    BarrieJ likes this.
  9. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    Ok, thanks for the heads up, the exhausts getting binned! I'll need to get some metal from somewhere to practice on... got an old welding machine cover from the spare cebora130 that might do if I flap wheel it clean.

    I don't have access to a garage whatsoever I'm afraid... and it's not my house and the person I'm living with who owns it refuses to allow me gas in the house and I don't even possess the required regulator etc so... Flux-core it is. This snap-mig 130 can do flux core or gas wire...running 0.8 gassless through a 0.8mm tip.

    Flux core can do very thin metal from what I've seen, it's just way more difficult and requires low amperage, luckily my machine goes down to 30 amps, does 30-130 amps. Been watching the thin metal technique on Youtube but first I just want to be able to run plain beads on a bit metal before I go onto trying to join stuff. I will keep practicing, swearing and occasionally kicking the dog. I might be joking about the last one.
     
  10. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    Ok... out of curiosity how much money would I be looking at to get the sill section in the photo patched as well as a spring perch welded? I'm all for plugging on with this and learning the hard way but if my machines not meant for the wire and I'm not up for buying another machine I might just be better biting the bullet and paying someone, but if it's going to cost more than like £200 I'll **Language** persevere until I can weld the car up :P I'm very very tight with money and like DIY'ing things
     
  11. barking mat

    barking mat Member

    Messages:
    1,512
    Location:
    Brittany
    Get down to your local metal suppliers.

    Don't ask for 'free', say you'll pay for a bit of 1.5 or 2 mm steel, just to learn on.... Etc, and buy some leftovers, they normally throw some in, in my experience.

    My experience..
     
  12. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    Thanks, but I'm wondering if there's any point in continuing at all, now that I've been informed my Cebora 130 isn't meant for flux-core, gas is simply not an option for me, cost of buying another machine I'd be as well paying someone to weld it up, just dreading that costing £100's :/
     
  13. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

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    4,060
    Location:
    SWest UK
  14. fizzy Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,932
    uk
    Why is gas not an option?
    You can pick up a bottle of CO2 pub gas cheap enough - no rental either.
     
  15. mike os

    mike os just a little insane.....

    Messages:
    5,877
    Location:
    North Wales
    To be fair I've seen worse cone out of garages ....
     
    Wany likes this.
  16. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    I'm really just trying to get upto a standard good (or bad) enough to pass an MOT, I DO want to learn the finer art of welding in general when I have more time and a running car but right now I just want to get "good enough" for the MOT tester to look at it, roll his eyes and groan but give me a pass :P

    I can't figure out how much of an affect the wrong polarity is having.
     
  17. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    You'd get blown off your feet if you stood outside where I live, I'm live atop a couple very very long hills at the highest point of my town which is in a high up area in general. There's absolutely no chance of uncontaminated welds here. Doing it in a garage or unit isn't an option for me and I doubt making a shield will do much, also would need to buy a regulator etc, I really just want to find a way of reversing polarity for free
     
    fizzy likes this.
  18. Sparkyboi Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland
    Can I just change leads around to reverse the polarity of the welder or something? Or can I just weld using the wrong polarity and the welds be "acceptable" or if less than acceptable "a grinder and paint" ? I'm really trying to not spend money where I can help it lol, as tight as that sounds, I already got to buy sheet metal and a new angle grinder as my last cheap one broke.
     
  19. Sparkyarc19 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    London england
    Might have to physically change the wires in the machine to reverse polarities aka open up and swap positive to negative (IF THE BOX CAN RUN THE OPPOSITE POLARITIES ) and also just keep practicing mate I'm in the same boat only using arc not mig you are certainly in the right place mate loads of really good helpful people on here mate good luck
     
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  20. Sparkyarc19 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    London england
    Yes you can also just swap the leads around if I'm correct flux likes dcen unless your box is ac
     
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