Please critique my MIG welds...
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  1. #1
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    Please critique my MIG welds...

    Hi folks, been a while since I posted here, been busy but trying to get back to my hobby welding.

    Been hobby welding projects around the property for a few years now, my stick welding has come along considerably. I have waaaay more to go but I'm feeling fairly confident in my stick welding by a hobbyist standard anyway.

    A few months ago I finally decided to get a MIG so I would have more options. Bought a Lincoln 180 Weld Pak, it's a little 220V machine and seems to be of good quality for the light work I'll be doing with it (using Argon/Co2 Mix). Watched a ton of video's and tried to learn as much as I could before striking the first arc. Had a chance to get it all together the other day and start laying a few beads. At first it was popping and sputtering, couldn't get my speed and all that right, but finally got it dialed in and I was pleased with the way it was running.

    Now for the real info. I'm wondering how I did and if ya'll have any advice just based on the look of the weld. I'm welding on scrap, so one piece 1/4" and one is 1/2". My setting was 5 on the speed and letter D on voltage (unsure what that equates to). I know I'm probably not getting the penetration on the 1/2" but I'm just wondering if my travel speed is adequate, is my distance from the tip to the work adequate, is my whipping motion ok or should I be dragging the puddle any differently or anything else that you can think of.


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    These next pics are from my second pass. Just laying a bead ontop of the original. Thank you for your help!

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    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  2. #2
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Well you asked for it

    First pass close up: I would stop moving the torch back and forth so much also you're travel speed looks a little too fast, you don't have good fusion in the toes, the first pass shorter run looks a lot better, but the steel was probably warmed up a bit from the first weld, so you got better fusion.

    The second pass your travel speed was way too slow you got a lot of excess weld there. You tried to fill up too much


    I'd do it like this: first pass, no weave, just straight stringer, then second pass where the blue line is, then 3rd pass where the red line is.
    And that's if you even needed a filet weld that size, if you're welding 1/4 typically you'd have a 1/4" filet weld
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    Last edited by MetalMan23; 07-19-2019 at 02:08 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    I think you're a little too cold, bring it up a little & practice!
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  4. #4
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Hi. 1/4' Without any bevel would be pushing your 180 to it's limit. I would think you would never get the heat needed for penetration. and your Duty cycle would be about 20% I would just use my Lincoln 180 for 1/8 to maybe 3/16

  5. #5
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Well you asked for it

    First pass close up: I would stop moving the torch back and forth so much also you're travel speed looks a little too fast, you don't have good fusion in the toes, the first pass shorter run looks a lot better, but the steel was probably warmed up a bit from the first weld, so you got better fusion.

    The second pass your travel speed was way too slow you got a lot of excess weld there. You tried to fill up too much


    I'd do it like this: first pass, no weave, just straight stringer, then second pass where the blue line is, then 3rd pass where the red line is.
    And that's if you even needed a filet weld that size, if you're welding 1/4 typically you'd have a 1/4" filet weld
    Thanks MetalMan23, glad to get some advice. I knew they were poor welds but the feedback is a big help as I move along.
    I'm going to work on moving slower and not trying to fill as much. Meaning not moving the torch as much as I'm doing. Smaller movements. --

    You're right about the First Pass Short Run, that work piece was good and toasty by the time I got to it. So I can see how that helped.

    I like the stringer idea then a 2nd and 3rd pass. That'll be good practice. In reality I won't be working with steel this thick but it's all I had on hand at the moment. Thanks again!
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  6. #6
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I think you're a little too cold, bring it up a little & practice!
    Thanks and yes, I have a lot of practice in my future on this little machine. It feels so much different than stick welding. I'll get it though.... eventually lol
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  7. #7
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey View Post
    Hi. 1/4' Without any bevel would be pushing your 180 to it's limit. I would think you would never get the heat needed for penetration. and your Duty cycle would be about 20% I would just use my Lincoln 180 for 1/8 to maybe 3/16
    I would agree Josey. My first weld (not pictured but the one before) I ran it and then broke the weld. I had to beat the snot out of it but I did finally break it. I was excited to see that I had pretty good fusion with the 1/4" plate, but not surprisingly none on the 1/2".

    There was only two small area's maybe an inch long that got just a tiny bit of penetration on the 1/2". That was enough to give me trouble breaking it but certainly was not stable.

    Point taken about the thickness. I'm going to stop by the scrap yard and pick up some 1/8 and 3/16 to monkey around with. I'm using .035" wire, should be good to work with eh?
    Thanks for your input!
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  8. #8
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Excellent job on the pictures!! There's too many threads that go like "something is wrong with my welds, what is wrong?". Literally just that, with no pictures! LOL Your thread is like a breath of fresh air
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling signature!

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  9. #9
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Excellent job on the pictures!! There's too many threads that go like "something is wrong with my welds, what is wrong?". Literally just that, with no pictures! LOL Your thread is like a breath of fresh air
    Lol I hear ya. Pics help! Now if I can just learn to glue metal together as good as my photography skills I’d be great! Have a good one!
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  10. #10
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    First thing you need to do is grind the rust off, then turn up the heat.

  11. #11
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    I was gonna ask if the heat was all the way up, I'm not sure how far along in the alphabet that welder gets

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  12. #12
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    as already mentioned, but its well worth mentioning again,

    CLEAN the material. that rust and crap is doing you no favors.
    you want nice bright shiny metal, especially with low powered welders.

  13. #13
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Personally, I use .030 a lot more than .035.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Looks like you got the advice covered....

    can we see pics of the chopper?
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  15. #15
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTIG View Post
    First thing you need to do is grind the rust off, then turn up the heat.
    Your right, I should grind it and clean it. I guess I was just anxious to run it. That’s me being impatient.

    Question, if I turn up the heat, don’t I need to increase the wire speed as well?
    Thx!
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  16. #16
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    This is a 030 machine. It is very good and to turn the heat up with that size wire go to 5.5. There are 3 settings to use on it, thin, medium and thick. B 2.5, C 3.5 and D 5.5 With wire feed the "heat" is the wire speed. These plates were not clean either but the point is it is turned up hot enough can make the ripples go away and very little gun manipulation,,, making the machine do the work.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    I was gonna ask if the heat was all the way up, I'm not sure how far along in the alphabet that welder gets
    I believe it goes to E. I had it on D so there’s some power left.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by tweake View Post
    as already mentioned, but its well worth mentioning again,

    CLEAN the material. that rust and crap is doing you no favors.
    you want nice bright shiny metal, especially with low powered welders.
    Definitely will do that and with some thinner material. Even for practice.
    Thx!
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  19. #19
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Looks like you got the advice covered....

    can we see pics of the chopper?
    Haha I hear ya. Here it is. ‘89 Sportster way back in the day. Torn that thing down multiple times over the years. Used to get great looks pulling into the local watering holes. Lol
    Attachment 1703434
    Last edited by hd883chopper; 07-20-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    The arc gets erratic if you go to E, it will only turn up so far with that wire and 035 can turn up a pich more but it isn't as good, eratic. They made this machine a LONG time, I have one from 91 or so, not sure how much further back they made this identical model. The guy that designed it was a real welder type when he set it up.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by hd883chopper View Post
    Haha I hear ya. Here it is. ‘89 Sportster way back in the day. Torn that thing down multiple times over the years. Used to get great looks pulling into the local watering holes. Lol
    Attachment 1703434
    no can see ....
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  22. #22
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by hd883chopper View Post
    Your right, I should grind it and clean it. I guess I was just anxious to run it. That’s me being impatient.

    Question, if I turn up the heat, don’t I need to increase the wire speed as well?
    Thx!
    The welder should have a chart to tell u what wire speed and heat setting to use for the wire, that's a starting point

    Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Congrats on a nice machine, I would split my work up into ~1/8 inch stringers/passes with it - it's rated for 3/16 with gas and most likely can do a little more. Once you get some beads and experience under your belt it should have no problem (other than duty cycle) doing 3/16 material. Remember not only duty cycle when running it flat out, but just like a vehicle running your welder at the top limit all the time is hard on the components. Mind the ambient/outside temperature too, it gets over 105 here regularly and with that duty cycle on everything goes down.

    Pre heat helps on the thick stuff - as you saw from your pieces heating up. I'd suggest you use a propane torch (either harbor freight weed burner, or bernzomatic ts8000/ts4000 depending on size) and a harbor freight infrared thermometer to bring the pieces up to 350+ degrees F.

    I'd keep it to stringers over weaving, especially as material gets thicker (weaving amplifies your machines shortcomings power wise). I aim for the arc to be right at the leading edge of the puddle (still inside the puddle, just at the very leading edge) when using either stringer or weave - seems to help keep you from outrunning the puddle as well as from cold lapping due to slow travel speed.

    If you turn up the wire feed speed you should have to turn up the voltage - follow your door chart or download the manual (with chart inside) if you don't have either. They're usually VERY close on machines like these (they probably sell tons of these, and these machines seem to be very durable for the same reason). Remember WFS determines penetration/depth of fusion - voltage makes the bead wider/flatter (not deeper).

    Pay attention to the toes of your weld vs the toes of the example Sberry posted, they tell a good amount about the heat. See the shiny bit at the edge where the weld bead meets the parent material? Those are the "toes" and have good "wet in" on his, that is he had enough heat at the edge of the weld (coldest part) that the deposited/filler metal penetrated/mixed with (wet in) the parent material.

  24. #24
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Looks like you got the advice covered....

    can we see pics of the chopper?
    Haha I hear ya. Here it is. ‘89 Sportster way back in the day. Torn that thing down multiple times over the years. Used to get great looks pulling into the local watering holes. Lol
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    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

  25. #25
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    Re: Please critique my MIG welds...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    This is a 030 machine. It is very good and to turn the heat up with that size wire go to 5.5. There are 3 settings to use on it, thin, medium and thick. B 2.5, C 3.5 and D 5.5 With wire feed the "heat" is the wire speed. These plates were not clean either but the point is it is turned up hot enough can make the ripples go away and very little gun manipulation,,, making the machine do the work.
    Thx Sberry. So when you say 030 machine does that mean you're running .030 wire in the same machine I am? The Lincoln 180? Looking at your setting list above, you would run the D voltage on 5.5. That's higher than my D with 5 so I'll have to try that. Increase the speed of wire feed and test my results. Thx.
    Hobart Stickmate LX235 AC/DC 230V

    Lincoln MIG 180 Weld-Pak 230V

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