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Thread: Difference between Stick & MIG

  1. #1
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    Difference between Stick & MIG

    I have a project coming up that requires high amperage welding outdoors on top of several shipping containers. Although I have two welders that are Stick capable (MIG & TIG boxes), I've never welded anything with Stick.

    Is there any difference between Stick and Flux core MIG? Neither requires shielding gas, so why would one use one versus the other?

    BTW - my boxes offer higher amperage with MIG or TIG than they do via the Stick setting.
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    gasless flux core is basically stick electrodes on a spool of wire. It works at a wider range of amperage levels, where as with stick you generally need to be within a small window of amperage for the rod to run correctly. But the downside is that you typically only have a 10-15 feet of mig gun lead, where as with a stick welder you can extend the leads as long as you want so long as you correctly size the conductors. That affects portability. With regards to welding thicker metals, you get more 'bang for the buck (amp)' with stick welding, IE: FCAW-S with 125A of E71T-11 is different from 125A of E7018 or even E6010/6011.
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    I don't know how thick some of the metal is. I'll have to drill through it to get a measurement. The corner posts are around 3/4" so I figure the more amps the better. My MIG box is 275A capable, but only 180A if I use the Stick settings.

    I hadn't even thought about what type of wire to run and am stump ignorant on wire types appropriate for the job. I'll have to do some research.

    The job is to put one roof over 3 20' containers. I'm thinking of C Channel, probably galvanized is all I'll be able to get, which I suspect is 11 gauge. That also entails thin to thick welding. My idea was to soak the ends in acid to eat the zinc and back the thin with copper bars to avoid burn through as much as possible.

    I'd make trusses out of the channel ahead of time and hoist them up already assembled and weld them in place.
    To my knowledge, I own:
    50% of all the plasma cutters,
    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Try some rest welds on the container. I have welded on some that were no problem & a couple that were pure misery. Not sure what the coating was - just tacked some conduit hangers to the ceiling, & burned through the coating with 6010, but the metal was terrible to weld on. Wall/ceiling should be a bout 3/16", corners are beefed up & probably have 3/4 angle posts & pads top & bottom.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Quote Originally Posted by RoatanBill View Post
    I don't know how thick some of the metal is. I'll have to drill through it to get a measurement. The corner posts are around 3/4" so I figure the more amps the better. My MIG box is 275A capable, but only 180A if I use the Stick settings.

    I hadn't even thought about what type of wire to run and am stump ignorant on wire types appropriate for the job. I'll have to do some research.

    The job is to put one roof over 3 20' containers. I'm thinking of C Channel, probably galvanized is all I'll be able to get, which I suspect is 11 gauge. That also entails thin to thick welding. My idea was to soak the ends in acid to eat the zinc and back the thin with copper bars to avoid burn through as much as possible.

    I'd make trusses out of the channel ahead of time and hoist them up already assembled and weld them in place.

    Take a look at the Lincoln FCAW-S self-shielded wires.

    Lincoln Self-Shielded Wires


    Innershield Electrodes Welding Guide

    180A on stick is plenty to run some 3/16" E6010s, and those will dig deep.
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Depending on what the thickness is would help me decide. Thin materials is great with mig.

    Mig will require dragging the machine around because of the short lead. Stick you'll be moving cable only.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Oscar: Thanks for the links. The pdf was particularly informative.

    BD1: I've got a 15' lead and the containers are only 8' high, plus my welders are on a tall cart with 13" tires/wheels.
    To my knowledge, I own:
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    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    On that galvanized crap I would use 1/8" 6011, if thicker go with 5/32". Even with 5/32" electrode you shouldn't need much more than 130 amps.
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    After reading the pdf referenced by Oscar and the comment by M J D, I'm getting the impression that with the right MIG wire or Stick electrode you can weld through that galvanized surface. I'm assuming you don't inhale any of the fumes.

    Is this a recommended practice or just something you can get away with?
    To my knowledge, I own:
    50% of all the plasma cutters,
    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

  10. #10
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Definitely protect yourself from those fumes. Teflon is just as bad if not worse. Will make you sick for days and some never recover!
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    As far as galv grind off as much as you can . Use a respirator if you have or can get one if not I use a fan to blow fumes away (don’t breathe fume) . 7018 doesn’t like galv , May need to use 6010 ,6011 if you use stick . Will have to watch duty cycle if using F C wire.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Quote Originally Posted by RoatanBill View Post
    I don

    The job is to put one roof over 3 20' containers. I'm thinking of C Channel, probably galvanized is all I'll be able to get, which I suspect is 11 gauge. That also entails thin to thick welding. My idea was to soak the ends in acid to eat the zinc and back the thin with copper bars to avoid burn through as much as possible.

    I'd make trusses out of the channel ahead of time and hoist them up already assembled and weld them in place.
    i been kinda gamin on somwhat the same idea. i been trying to keep my eyes peeled for a dairy shutting down. id like to get the cow "shades" outa the corrals, and lay them over my containers to make like a wide " breeze way", by spacing the containers side by side.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    on galvanized, absolutely wear a respirator AND blow away the fumes if you can!
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    On galvanized metal I would clean it up with a grinder somewhat. 6011 rod would be my choice as I am not familiar with flux core. I doubt you’ll find anything real thick on those containers
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    zinc melts and burns off just under 800* I usually will flash it off along my weld path with an oxy/acet flame prior to welding while wearing respirator if using 7018 or MIG otherwise just wear respirator and run 6010 it'll weld right through the galv. have built a "few" chainlink gates over the last 40 years as long as ya don't breath the fumes your good

    as far as thick to thin in the context of the C channell if your using it for your end to support the ends of the metal roofing sheets then best to punch some holes and use a row of rosette welds to anchor it to the thicker stuff...

    123weld, my old Truck barn before we built the current metal shop was 8 40' containers (2 end to end with 2 stacked on top of those in 2 rows 40' apart) I built short support verticals that locked into the shipping locks on the corners of the top containers to support the roof between the 2 rows worked great had stairs on each side to the upper containers for secure parts and tool storage and it stood up to Arizona monsoon winds for almost a decade including Hurricane Dolly that whipped through here july 2008 I actually hated to take it apart when we built the shop.. best part was it didn't hit my tax bill cause it was not afixed and so was not considered a permanent structure... if the roof supports were cemented into the ground that woulda made it a permanent structure instead the roof was simply locked to the top containers which were locked to the bottom containers I then had 3/4" steel cables run down from my short vertical supports on the outside of the containers that were attached to screwed in anchors (1/2" woulda been sufficient but I had a free roll of 3/4" so used it) the doors at each end were basic hanging barn doors that slid to each side mine came off a salvaged aircraft hanger
    Last edited by monsoon-mech; 04-03-2020 at 09:57 AM.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Since you have some container experience ...

    The images are part of my drawing where I'm building trusses to support the purlins and roofing sheets. The intent is to weld the verticals to the container corners only and allow the other verticals to just sit on the much thinner roof. I'm intending to use 1/4" thick angle iron or flat stock to bolt the lower truss section to the side of the container so winds don't sway the center around.

    I was thinking of putting a truss on the left side of each container and the right side of the right most container. That leaves 8' between trusses and that's probably too much considering I'm in an earthquake zone (7.2 a few years ago) and in the hurricane belt. Trouble is, the center of a container only offers the front and rear with thick enough metal to weld on. The roof is so thin it won't support anything.

    Any suggestions?

    BTW - what do you mean by drilling holes and rosettes?
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    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Could you bend up or find some angles to set on the roof to attach the trusses to ? I would just caulk the area under the angles and screw them to the lighter gauge material.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Could you bend up or find some angles to set on the roof to attach the trusses to ? I would just caulk the area under the angles and screw them to the lighter gauge material.
    I though of that but a container roof is so thin that any real wind would cause the real roof to move and that would transfer on down to the container roof. That means noise and movement. Movement over time means things get loose and that starts an accelerating cascade of movement and possibly failure.

    I finished the trusses running the length of the containers and now I'm going to design them rotated 90 degrees across the width of the containers as that way offers continuous side walls access and the side walls are much stronger than a roof.
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    To my knowledge, I own:
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    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    I would consider thru bolting container roof with backing plates. Add horizontals on trusses to make a one piece structure.
    You could always drop thread rod through container roof and weld to horizontals.
    Add plates below roof.


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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    your containers should have lock pockets ontop at each corner as well as in the middle (same on bottom of containers thats what keeps them locked together in transit be it stacked atop each other on ship or on onea my step deck semi trailers) I'm assuming your running the roof lengthwise and parking em side by side do to space limitations as opposed to separating them and placing roof across so ya'd have sheltered space between them? they way I did it (and have done others since) was to place 3"x3"x1/4 angle upside down the length of each container with a plate at each lock point (the angle is not wide enough to cover the lock pockets on its own so add the plate via butt weld to extend it at the pockets) if ya don't have any of the locks ya could simply bolt the plates at each corner (for mine we raised the plates 6" above the containers to create airflow to carry Arizona heat out from under the roof via turbine vents at the peak, to do that I welded vertical 3"x3"x1/2"x6" shorty legs with a plate at the pocket end and welded to the upside down angle at the other) now ya can assemble your trusses atop the angle iron runners with a 48" spacing (or less if your swimmin in cash LOL) in the case of you running them lengthwise ya could add a piece across each end welded to the angles that are clamped down but myself if ya got the real estate to spread em out and run roof across the width of it makes a nice work area add a wall at one end and a door at other or like I did a door at both ends and ya got a nice shop area...

    edit; a rosette also known as a plug weld is where ya drill a hole in one piece and then clamp the thinner piece to the thicker piece and start your weld in the center filling out to the edge of the hole until the thinner metal is welded to the thicker... keeps ya from burning up the thinner material while using enough heat to get a solid bead on the thicker material the finished welds resemble a rosette hence the name
    Last edited by monsoon-mech; 04-03-2020 at 05:25 PM.

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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Great input about the trusses. I have three containers with rust penetration in the roof. These are not in the same location so will not be grouped as you are planning.
    Dealing with snow as well as wind loads so proper truss design will be important, probably have an engineer review the design. Three inch angle down the sides was bigger than I imagined at first but certainly will make up for any weakness lurking in the structure. One is so bad I think about cutting roof out altogether, it has been repaired with flat sheet metal reinforced with square tubing and has the worst rust of the three. Clearly the previous owner didn't use weathering steel on the new roof. Will search out the threads for the suggested process for welding Corten steel, I hear it can be tricky.
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    Re: Difference between Stick & MIG

    Back when I was young, and used to walk around on I-beams several stories off the ground, it was common to receive prefabricated pieces that we bolted to the structure via matching ears that were drilled out and fabbed up in the shop.
    You might consider going that route, since you are building the trusses in the shop anyway.
    The only thing that will have to be welded to the container, would be the ears (pieces of angle or plate.
    180 amps is plenty for that application. If you use 3/8” for the attachment, you’d be looking at a root pass with 6010 or 6011, and three passes with of 7018 1/8, or two with 7018 5/32.
    Mock it up in the shop, and away you go!

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