MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine
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  1. #1
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    MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    I have a Lincoln weld-pak 175 which I am running 0.025 wire with C25 shielding gas.

    I need to weld two 1/4" thick plates to a 1/4" thick angle iron to make a mount for a linear actuator (like the end of a shock absorber) I will drill a hole through the two plates to insert a pin that will hold the actuator.

    My basic welding question is if I can weld all the way around a 1/4" plate, will my 175 amp machine have enough power for a solid weld or do I need to stick weld it.

    My thought process is max capacity for my machine with this wire and gas is 1/8" so if I weld from both sides on 1/4", is it equalivent?

    Thanks!

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    I have a weld pak 100 and have gotten good penetration welds on 1/8 material with .30 flux core wire machine set on d.

    I would say step up the wire size to .30 or .35 put a good bevel on the edge you are welding crank the machine all the way up preheat with a torch if you can and go at it.

  3. #3
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Shine up the metal with a grinder and use the grinder to clean off a good place for the work clamp - give the thing all the help you can. If you take your time and use multiple pass I think you can do it. But I always use a stick welder , more out of habit I guess.

  4. #4
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Ok, so that answers my question.

    I will have to dial up some 1/8" 6011 or maybe 6013 if my stick welding is really sloppy

    Chris

  5. #5
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    You will have no problem what so ever welding 1/4" with 175 amp machine. Should use bigger wire such as .030 or .035. If your stick welding is sloppy then keep with what you are good at. Mig it but get a couple of plates and run a few beads to get machine set then hit it. It will definately burn it in and leave a large enough bead that will be stronger then 60xx rods. Prep the plates with a bevel and go at it.
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  6. #6
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Sure it will do it. Clean, Bevel and crank it up. Weld both sides if you can. C/25 or Co2 I would use .030 wire or .023 if it was already in there.

    David
    Real world weldin.

    When I grow up I want to be a tig weldor.

  7. #7
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Check the parameter chart in/on the machine/manual.

    A Lincoln 175 can stretch to do 1/4 inch steel, but the chart says you should use 0.035 or 0.045 NR-211MP FCAW wire to do so. 0.023-C25 GMAW is waaay stretching what the machine/wire/process can/should do. 0.030-C25 GMAW is about as small a wire size as I would go for working on 1/4 inch thick steel (I've done that and it seems to work ). 0.035-C25 is in the chart I saw and is 'rated' just a bit short of 1/4 inch steel.

    Fillet weld on the plate-to-angle junction? Grind a double bevel on the plates, add a bit of preheat (also -helps- to minimize distortion), clamp/jig and then weld both sides. That -should- be good with a bit of operator skill.

    Or run some 7018 and you'd be pretty sure it will hold. Again, depending a bit on operator skill.

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  8. #8
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    if you dont want to change your wire size, you can always do multiple passes, bevel the metal and make 2 or 3 passes.

    whenever we get thick stuff in the shop one of our mig machines cant do, ill just lay down multiple passes.
    I break things for a living...

  9. #9
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    It will work just fine with multiple passes.


    I always giggle at the "machine is only good to xxx thickness" logic. We weld 4.5" wall pipe here on this job site. And we do it with 1/8" rod, and we don't need to shut down half the state's power so we have enough amperage to run it, either

  10. #10
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    We weld 4.5" wall pipe here on this job site
    I hope I am not showing my ignorance too bad here but are you saying the wall thickness of the pipe is 4.5 inches ?? What would a pipe like that be carrying ??

  11. #11
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Yeah bevel, I think getting a good bevel is the key, then do a multi pass to fill the bevel. That is at least what I do if I have really thick stuff and worried about power. be sure and take your time on the root bead I have had a bad root mess the rest of the job up.

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  12. #12
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 6010 View Post
    I hope I am not showing my ignorance too bad here but are you saying the wall thickness of the pipe is 4.5 inches ?? What would a pipe like that be carrying ??
    Yes sir. It's for a secondary superheater, and is carrying 4300+ psi worth of steam for a coal-fired power plant.

  13. #13
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Thanks, I have only seen pipe for 600 # steam, not nearly that thick. I know the welds are very important with steam at that pressure. You wouldn't even be able to see a leak, yet it could cut you in half. I guess it takes at least 2 men to carry that pipe

    I have seen a little pipe construction going on. Some pipe they would tig the root, some the would tig the whole weld, and some they would just stick weld. I wish I had paid better attention while it was going on for my education, but I was busy too.

    I know when I was watching construction they had welders and fitters. The welders made more money and I never could figure that one out. It seemed like the fitter did most of the work and had to have the knowledge to cut all the angles that got the pipe to where it was going. Now I understand what the welder had to know, but still think the fitter should have made as much money.

  14. #14
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    I weld 1/4" all the time with a 180 amp machine.
    Just turn er up all the way and give the metal a bevel and fire away!
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  15. #15
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Supe,

    Awesome.

    Years ago, a common 2'x4" was standard equipment on our nuclear subs. Idea was to clear a path for workers to locate a steam leak. The steam (invisible at those pressures) would cut the 2x4 rather than the workers.

    Steam at those pressures has about the same effect on anything that comes into contact with it as a water jet cutter.
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  16. #16
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Supe,

    1/8 inch diameter stick welding is NOT the same thing as running some skinny 0.023/0.025 dia GMAW in short-circuit transfer mode.

    But you know that.

    Sometimes you can run multiple passes and it is all just fine. With stick you can usually do that all day long and just keep on welding more passes.

    Sometimes, that will just get a whole bunch of cold lap AKA inadequate fusion/penetration AKA crappyweld. Low amperage, small diameter GMAW in short-circuit transfer can do THAT kind of inadequate weld all too easily.

    0.023/0.025 ER70S-6 wire can only go to about 80 amps or so MAX, in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW. That would be about 250 ipm and ~17 volts with C25 to get that max of 80 amps. Which is most likely to get you a bad case of cold-lap/inadequate penetration/fusion of 1/4 inch steel workpieces.

    Use 0.030 wire and you can get to about 130 amps in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW. That's a bit better an amount of power to weld some 1/4 inch steel. About 300 ipm at 20 volts with C25 tops out at ~130 amps. But a Lincoln 175 can't really push that much voltage at that wfs/amperage, so the actual amperage with that type/class machine will be a bit less than that 'max' 130 amps.

    A Lincoln 175 machine -can- weld 1/4 inch steel. But not using 0.025 diameter solid wire and C25 in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW.
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  17. #17
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    If your machine has a small roll capacity and you are that worried about it go get some 0.30.It may not be very much$.

  18. #18
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonRise View Post
    Supe,

    1/8 inch diameter stick welding is NOT the same thing as running some skinny 0.023/0.025 dia GMAW in short-circuit transfer mode.

    But you know that.

    Sometimes you can run multiple passes and it is all just fine. With stick you can usually do that all day long and just keep on welding more passes.

    Sometimes, that will just get a whole bunch of cold lap AKA inadequate fusion/penetration AKA crappyweld. Low amperage, small diameter GMAW in short-circuit transfer can do THAT kind of inadequate weld all too easily.

    0.023/0.025 ER70S-6 wire can only go to about 80 amps or so MAX, in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW. That would be about 250 ipm and ~17 volts with C25 to get that max of 80 amps. Which is most likely to get you a bad case of cold-lap/inadequate penetration/fusion of 1/4 inch steel workpieces.

    Use 0.030 wire and you can get to about 130 amps in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW. That's a bit better an amount of power to weld some 1/4 inch steel. About 300 ipm at 20 volts with C25 tops out at ~130 amps. But a Lincoln 175 can't really push that much voltage at that wfs/amperage, so the actual amperage with that type/class machine will be a bit less than that 'max' 130 amps.

    A Lincoln 175 machine -can- weld 1/4 inch steel. But not using 0.025 diameter solid wire and C25 in short-circuit transfer mode GMAW.

    Moonrise: I agree entirely, but I think you understand the point I was trying to make

  19. #19
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Ok, I decided to go the stick welding route, worked out great. I was looking at the chart in my MIG and was wondering if I should just buy a roll of 0.035" wire since I am mainly welding thicker stuff anyway (20 gauge +) My question is what is the ideal wire for a Lincoln 175 amp machine? I think the 0.025 is too small for what I do, but does the welder have enough power to run the 0.035 solid core wire?

    Here is a picture of my project, I decided to use 6013 rod. Didn't take any close-ups of the welds though.


  20. #20
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Nice looking build!
    But I have a nitpic with your design.

    In the picture, the red arrows are pointing at a couple of flat bars, they may seem heavy enough right now, but if you plan on using this to scoop up anything besides empty boxes, say like gravel, dirt, compost and such, you are going to find that the flat bar you used will have a lot of flex and may buckle!
    A better option would have been to use a piece of plate, welded to the flats across connecting the two to make them rigid, and you might get away with it!

    I would have started with heavier stock and made the plate fit the full length + width and used a roll pin design where it connects at the front of the tractor!

    But there is still the flats you used along the sides of the bucket, those will be the next week point!

    A similar design like used on garden tractor snow plows with a roll pin design again and a trip latch at the back of that bucket would have worked too!
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  21. #21
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Ken, you honed in on the two areas that I am concerned with. those flat bars are 3/8" thick by 2" wide so I am pretty sure my lawn mower frame will buckle before I have a problem with them. I thought about using angle iron as well for lateral stiffness.

    I am planning on welding a support across exactly where your red arrows are hoping to stiffen it up some. I am also planning on welding supports where the bucket mount bolts to the flat bar.

    I am hoping to use this for gravel, mulch and a little bit of dirt, if it bends, back to the design board!

    Chris

  22. #22
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Looking at the picture, it didn't look like the flats where that heavy, you might get by if you are careful.
    I use 2"x3/8" to make the cat-0 A frames I build for the uprights, and bend them in a shop press with a bending jig I made, you would be surprised how easy they bend from the sides, but on my A frames, the flats are not used for support, any pressure that is exerted on them is along the narrow but wide side of which is much stronger, tied to a 2x2x1/4" square tube that takes the brunt of the force!

    I specialize in building parts and implements for use on the heavier garden tractors with on board hydraulics and cat-0 3 point hitches, heavy main frames of the likes that John Deere uses.

    Heres an example of some of my work!

    I built that complete 3 point hitch, the A frame and the bracket to attach the plow to the A frame.
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  23. #23
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Ken, very nice, I am looking for a cheap 318 for a front end loader project myself. I think a 140 would be good for me as well. The electric actuators are too expensive, I need to move into hydraulics. My tractor is a Husqvarna garden tractor, but the frame appears to be fabricated out of 12 gauge steel. My thoughts with the fabrication is all the force on the bucket will be mostly straight in since the edge of the bucket is perpendicular with the bucket supports. I think once the support is welded in the arms where your red arrows are, it will be very stiff in every direction. We will see! I need to figure out how to make a tooth bar next.

  24. #24
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    I am currently in the middle of a new design for an A frame.
    I am integrating a sleeve hitch mount into the main cross beam of an A frame, so that those with Cat-0 3 point hitches can take advantage of the many sleeve hitch implements that are out there and are currently unusable on a 3 point tractor!

    This one will also have a ball hitch plate "not installed yet", so the owner/user can use this on the tractor to move trailers around with!
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  25. #25
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    Re: MiG welding 1/4" steel with small machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Supe View Post
    It will work just fine with multiple passes.


    I always giggle at the "machine is only good to xxx thickness" logic. We weld 4.5" wall pipe here on this job site. And we do it with 1/8" rod, and we don't need to shut down half the state's power so we have enough amperage to run it, either
    We also use orbital GTAW on them, it takes for ever!
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