How to Weld With a Flux Cored MIG Welder

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Welding with a flux-cored wire feed welder is the same process as welding with a stick welder, but the techniques, and machines are different. Welding with flux-core as opposed to gas allows us to weld outdoors much easier, because wind, and other elements will not cause the weld to be unprotected by displacing the gases. There is a protective "flux" in the middle of the wire that coats each weld, preventing them from becoming contaminated while it cools.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire feed welder
  • Flux-cored wire
  • Metal
  • Set the dials. There are two dials on the wire feed welder that must be set in order to weld correctly: the voltage dial and the wire speed dial. The voltage dial controls the heat applied to the metal, and the wire speed controls how fast or slow the flux-cored welding wire comes out of the gun tip, which proportionally controls the amperage applied. Inside the cover of most wire feed welders there is a chart that displays how the knobs should be set for each thickness of metal.

  • Attach the ground clamp to the work piece. Make sure the ground clamp attachment point is clean, and bare, having no rust or paint on the surface. Attach the ground in so that it will not slip off.

  • Run a bead. "Running a bead" means to lay down a weld. This is done by placing the tip of the welding gun (called a "stinger") about a quarter-inch from the surface of the metal and pulling the trigger. You can lay a "stringer" weld by slowly dragging the gun in the direction you wish to go, which will create a bead. You can also zig-zag the stinger across the section to be welded, pausing for about a second on each side before continuing to the other.

  • Chip or scratch the flux off the weld. It can be scratched off using a wire brush or wire wheel attached to a drill. This will leave the bare welded metal surface, which can then be inspected. After the metal cools, you can grind the weld, and paint the material so it will not rust.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good weld will sound like a sizzle; a bad one will be broken by popping sounds.
  • The zig-zag method is good for beginners because it creates a complete, strong weld and allows us to keep moving. It is purely a matter of taste, however, as neither weld is technically "better" than the other.
  • The thicker the metal, the more power necessary.
  • Never weld without a welding hood and leather gloves at the very least. UV rays and heat can injure a person very quickly.

References

  • Welder's Handbook, RevisedHP1513: A Guide to Plasma Cutting, Oxyacetylene, ARC, MIG and TIG Welding; Richard Finch; 2007
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