View Full Version : Small Mig Advice

05-14-2012, 10:34 AM
Can you give me some starting point for a Lincoln 3200 110 volt mig unit. Welding 1/8" hot rolled plate corner joints. Ultimate strength not critical. Appearance more important.

Wire size? Gas or flux? Welder have enough oomph?

Topic has probably been covered before but any suggestions be appreciated.

Thanks, Al

05-14-2012, 10:39 AM
I would use a .035 wire with c25 mix at about 17v and 175 inches of wire (if your settings are so equipped) make sure the mill scale is cleaned off the corners. If the 110 v doesnt have enough oomph give it a quick preheat with a torch ...200-300 degrees is plenty and will give your littlle MIG a lot of help.

05-14-2012, 10:58 AM
If you're mostly outside, like me, self shielding .030 flux core will give a good appearance and it's not bothered by any wind.

I mostly disagree with what most folks say about stickout with fluxcore (or maybe it only applies to shielded flux core). Rather than longer stickout, shorter stickout makes for better welds. Self shielded fluxcore has a tendancy to burn back real bad if the stickout is too long. I've found 3/8" to be about ideal. Might just be the way I weld......volts, wire speed, travel.......

05-14-2012, 11:05 AM
Yeah I may be out in the wind. When the weather is decent I prefer to work outside.

I'm gonna pick up some 035 bare and 030 flux core. Borrowed the welder since I normally run stick or tig but figured this job be best run with wire.

Good idea on the pre-heat if it looks like it needs it.

Thanks, Al

05-14-2012, 11:11 AM
I think the appearance of self shielded fluxcore can be acceptable.

161831 This is an outside corner on a gooseneck coupler post, and I was ok with the way it turned out. Only difference is this is .035 wire and travel is a little faster due to the higher current capacity of the larger wire. The post wall, and cap, is 3/16"

05-14-2012, 11:32 AM
Dude, RTFM or the settings/parameters chart on the inside of the lid. It's all in there. :D

No-go on using 0.035 solid wire with that machine, it really doesn't have the oomph to run that.

0.035 FCAW-S wire using Lincoln NR211-MP (or possibly other low-voltage type E71T-11 wires), the machine does have enough power/heat/snot to blow a hole right through 1/8 inch thick material (especially if fit-up is a bit 'off' and you have a gap). Been there, done that.

Running some 0.030 solid wire and C25, you are just a little bit past the recommended workpiece thickness of 14 gauge steel material. Maybe you can get some OK welds, maybe not.

It's an OK machine, when used within its limits.

Run some test beads with the joint configuration you are trying to do.

Outside, I'd say go with the 0.035 NR211-MP wire (FCAW-S). The appearance is usually OK if you are 'close' with the parameters. Just have a bit more clean-up after welding to remove the bit of spatter and the (usually light and 'dusty') slag.

Appearance-wise, GMAW with C25 and some solid 0.025 or 0.030 wire is usually 'better' (less spatter as long as you are close on the parameters and no slag to clean up, just the usual GMAW silicon islands and the bit of brown 'dust' around the weld that comes off with a quick wire brushing). Except that trying to push that machine to weld up some 1/8 inch thick steel is possibly stretching the machine's capabilities power-wise. You may be able to run some really nice looking beads on 1/8 inch material, but end up with the usual 'small-MIG' problem of lack-of-fusion (aka cold-lap aka inadequate penetration).


05-14-2012, 03:16 PM
Yeah I downloaded the manual before I asked but they only showed .035 flux core for use on 1/8". Was just curious if it was possible to run a decent weld with gas that would be adequately strong. Seems like flux-core is going to be the way to go. Should have enough drops when they shear the plate to practice with. Worse comes to worse I'll run it with 6010.

Excuse my ignorance of wire welding. Just never have done much of it. But once this job is over probably will have to pick up a mig unit since seems the jobs I'm getting lately would be best done with wire. Borrowed this 110 unit and just wondered what one can really do.

Thanks for all the help, Al

05-14-2012, 06:25 PM
With that machine, 0.035 FCAW-S NR211-MP wire has enough snot to weld (or burn through, if you have poor fit-up or crank the parameters too high) 1/8 inch steel.

Solid wire GMAW using 0.025 or 0.030 wire with that machine is iffy on 1/8 inch steel. That machine really doesn't have the snot to run 0.035 solid wire.

If you really want to run solid wire GMAW on 1/8 inch steel, move at least one step 'up' to the 175-180 class (or higher) 240V machines. They can usually run GMAW on 1/8 inch steel with 0.030 or 0.035 solid wire and C25.


05-15-2012, 01:47 AM
After this job I probably will start getting serious about a mig unit. Seems it is becoming a necessity.

Looked at the Thermal Arc 252 at the Fabtech show. Looked nice. Hobart Ironman seems like a good deal for the money. Milers and Lincolns are always nice.

More questions to follow......

Thanks guys...steel starting to come in tomorrow....we'll see how she goes.