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ckollias
08-13-2011, 11:44 AM
So I am totally new to welding so forgive the newbie questions. I got a free Power Mig Astro 130 welder in decent shape. It is 130 amps and 115 volts. It takes wire size from .023" - 0.030" and spool size 4"-8". It says it can weld from 22 gauge to 1/4" steel and from 22 gauge to 1/8" aluminum and stainless steel.
http://www.penntoolco.com/catalog/products/products.cfm?categoryID=6028

I have to weld stainless steel 304 11 gauge - under UTILIZABLE WIRES it says this:

Ø 0,6 mm. copper coated mild steel
Ø 0,8 mm. copper coated mild steel
Ø 0,6 mm. stainless steel
Ø 0,8 mm. aluminium

I am assuming 0,6 mm corresponds to 0.023" wire, correct? For 304 SS which wire should I use, 308? and if so where can I find it in .023" the smallest I could find was .030". What would happen if I used .030".

I am obviously going to practice a ton before I take on this project - I just want to buy the right accessories.

Thanks for any help.

yorkiepap
08-13-2011, 12:05 PM
Hey ckollias,
Yes, 6mm is .023/.024 depending on manufacturer. 308(L) would work fine on 304SS. If you're doing sheetmetal, stay with .023. Here's where I get mine.....

Denny

http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/weldingdepot/308L0xx02.html

ckollias
08-13-2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the reply Denny - It's not sheet metal, it's actually 1/8" SS square tubing. 0.023" still ok?

yorkiepap
08-13-2011, 12:19 PM
Hey ckollias,
For 1/8". I would opt for the .030". It wouldn't hurt to get a 2# roll of each as you may need to do some sheetmetal on occasion.

Denny

ckollias
08-13-2011, 01:36 PM
So I guess that goes back to my original question - can I use .030" stainless steel wire when the instructions says under UTILIZABLE WIRES use 0.0.23" for stainless steel? If the welder can accept 0.30" wire - why does it say use 0.023" for stainless? Any harm in using the thicker wire? Just trying to clarify this.

B_C
08-13-2011, 03:28 PM
Typically the smallest filler is best for stainless requiring less heat to run a bead wetting out without putting too much heat into the parent metal......

ckollias
08-13-2011, 03:34 PM
Thank you - that makes sense. It looks like for stainless steel the best gas to use is 2% CO2 + 98% argon - where would one get a tank and get it filled at? I have an AirGas and Roberts Oxygen nearby.

Welding_Swede
08-13-2011, 05:56 PM
Just for grins I looked at the specs on your welder. It looks like it says "15% duty cycle @ 130 amps". Is that right?

Hope you're not in a hurry to get that .125 SS Square Tube project done. I think you're going to be waiting on your welder quite a while.

Just sayin...

E

DSW
08-13-2011, 06:09 PM
I had one of those for my very 1st mig. From experience I can tell you 1/4" won't happen with that unit. 1/8" is a reasonable practical thickness with that machine maxed out.

As far as why they recomend .023 wire with stainless, vs .030 wire, part of my guess would be that stainless is very stiff. I've had feed issues using .023 stainless wire in my bigger mig.

ckollias
08-13-2011, 09:50 PM
Just for grins I looked at the specs on your welder. It looks like it says "15% duty cycle @ 130 amps". Is that right?

Hope you're not in a hurry to get that .125 SS Square Tube project done. I think you're going to be waiting on your welder quite a while.

Just sayin...

E

Yes it says 100 A at 15% Duty cicle
(10 min, per standard CEI26.13, EN60974.1 e IEC974.1) - being new to this whole welding thing - I am not even exactly sure what that means? Do you think this is a bad idea?

DSW
08-13-2011, 10:10 PM
What it means is you can weld roughly 1 1/2 minutes @ 100 amps then you have to let the machine cool down for the rest of the 10 minutes. On max you will have even less time, maybe 1 minute or 45 seconds before you want to stop and let the machine cool. Weld quality definately dropped off with mine when you went past the duty cycle. It's also very hard on the machine. Mine didn't hold up well to the abuse I put it thru before I knew better.

In reality that machine wants to draw almost 30 amps or so on 110v power on max. On a 20 amp line it wasn't at all uncommon to trip the breaker when running full out, especially if you tried to weld for any length of time past the duty cycle.

As far as welding 1/8" stainless, it should do the job if you take your time and don't push the machine too much. As far as gas for stainless, my LWS has small cyl's of trimix they recomended for stainless mig. It's been a few years since I did SS mig so I don't remember the mix exactly or the price. I moved on to tig to do most of the stainless I need to do because I get better results with that over mig.

con_fuse9
08-14-2011, 04:16 PM
Thank you - that makes sense. It looks like for stainless steel the best gas to use is 2% CO2 + 98% argon - where would one get a tank and get it filled at? I have an AirGas and Roberts Oxygen nearby.

I love the guys at Robert's, but at least in Maryland, even with my super secrete discount, they are relatively expensive. That being said, 98/2 doesn't typically come in 80 or any of the smaller bottles. Roberts will make a special batch for you but you will have to wait a week or so. Figure $60 for an 80 of 98/2.... for the fill. Contrast that with $26 for pure argon at Laurel Bottle and gas. (BTW, AirGas stickers on bottles at Laurel). Oh, Laurel Bottle and Gas has Sunday hours!! Welco claims they can do 90/10 at reasonable prices, haven't tried them yet.

If you want to try tri-mixes, you might be able to exchange an 80 cf bottle at Roberts.

If you do go to Roberts, make them match your best local price. They will, just need to twist arm a bit.

Once you get into the bigger bottles it gets much easier to find.

ckollias
08-15-2011, 05:54 PM
I love the guys at Robert's, but at least in Maryland, even with my super secrete discount, they are relatively expensive. That being said, 98/2 doesn't typically come in 80 or any of the smaller bottles. Roberts will make a special batch for you but you will have to wait a week or so. Figure $60 for an 80 of 98/2.... for the fill. Contrast that with $26 for pure argon at Laurel Bottle and gas. (BTW, AirGas stickers on bottles at Laurel). Oh, Laurel Bottle and Gas has Sunday hours!! Welco claims they can do 90/10 at reasonable prices, haven't tried them yet.

If you want to try tri-mixes, you might be able to exchange an 80 cf bottle at Roberts.

If you do go to Roberts, make them match your best local price. They will, just need to twist arm a bit.

Once you get into the bigger bottles it gets much easier to find.

con_fuse9 - you mention 100% argon - can you weld stainless steel with 100% argon - I thought that was only recommended for TIG. Seems like everything I read recommended 98% argon + 2% CO2 or Trimex - 90% helium, 7.5% argon, 2.5% CO2.

con_fuse9
08-17-2011, 10:56 PM
con_fuse9 - you mention 100% argon - can you weld stainless steel with 100% argon - I thought that was only recommended for TIG. Seems like everything I read recommended 98% argon + 2% CO2 or Trimex - 90% helium, 7.5% argon, 2.5% CO2.

I have Dynasty 350 (TIG) with bottle of 100% argon on the back and my 350P has both C10 and a pure argon (for aluminum) on the back. I don't MIG stainless. I either stick it or 95% of the time TIG it. I have a small, portable maxstar which I use as a stick welder 50% of the time (I'm getting back into stick welding - its fun) and I through an 80 on a small cart to use it as a portable TIG (WP-17 aircooled torch).So I basically have 4 bottles laying around - two argon (I figure I have to be unlucky to have both run out at the same time), C25 and a C10. C10 is for pulse BTW.