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Thread: Worm tracks

  1. #1
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    Worm tracks

    I fell in love with Dual Shield a while back. I don't need it often & reserve it for Thick steel weldments.

    Today I was butt welding 1" thick steel outdoors. Breeze was light & I used whatever was handy to block the very light breeze. I experimented with 30, 35, & 40 CFH of 75/25% shielding gas. I did exactly as much grinding as I did welding, but it took much longer.

    Weld.com says you have to correctly store E71 wire. I store it in plastic bag in second floor of the garage where humidity is very low.

    I did try a simple bead on the horizontal, it was flawless.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Whenever I used to get worm tracks, the first thing I did was peel off a layer of wire and throw it in the trash. That usually fixed the problem.
    However, I was not the one paying for this wire. Worm tracks are really just a surface indication, they don't go past the bottom of the track. IME, they are caused by wet flux in the wire, but I have seen guys claim they got it from a brand new roll. I have also seen them come from not enough gas. Sounds like you already eliminated this cause.
    There's no porosity involved. You can grind them down, or fill them in.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Arc length can also be a factor along with too high of voltage setting. Chances are it's probably the wire or too low of a gas flow. It's not uncommon to be in the 45-55 cfh range, especially at higher amperage.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    I worked in a shop where a guy threw the Mig gun across the floor because he got worm tracks. He wasn't the only one. We were welding base plates with gussets on flare stacks and it seems for no reason you'd all of a sudden get worm tracks when nothing else changed. 3/4 of it welded up fine, then you go to do the final section and get worm tracks. It was PIA to grind out the welds to repair them. Usually had porosity under the worn tracks so had to grind the whole weld out with a die grinder. Someone suggested maybe the nozzle was getting too hot but that didn't make a lot of sense. Have also heard the flux in the wire can be uneven and cause worm tracks. Too much gas flow can cause turbulence.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Willie, you did not disclose what your actual CTWD was. I'm willing to bet it was too close. Also, you should disclose your wire diameter, nozzle diameter, V/WFS.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    I guess technically there is no question, so no need to disclose the important stuff to help.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Willie, you did not disclose what your actual CTWD was. I'm willing to bet it was too close. Also, you should disclose your wire diameter, nozzle diameter, V/WFS.
    Striving for 1", but sometimes as little as 3/4, and as much as 1-1/4"That seemed not to change much. .045" Ultracore. Voltage & feed as instructed on Millermatic 252.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I guess technically there is no question, so no need to disclose the important stuff to help.
    Climb down Oscar. I screwed up. I apologize, I answered your question but failed to click Post Quick Reply. It has been a rough day.

    As I understand, "worm holes" are nitrogen escaping. I'm not clear where the nitrogen comes from.

    I'm perplexed that I was able to lay a perfect weld on plate horizontal, in the same slight breeze that I couldn't weld vertical.

    I love dual shield. Mostly, I love the way it deposits more metal without sag in a vertical weld. Much of my machinery welds are outdoors as the garage doors are only 8 feet tall. I've had another bay planned for years with a 12 foot door. Haven't yet found money or time.

    If I can't do it outdoors, it's a real deal breaker.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Climb down Oscar. I screwed up. I apologize, I answered your question but failed to click Post Quick Reply. It has been a rough day.

    As I understand, "worm holes" are nitrogen escaping. I'm not clear where the nitrogen comes from.

    I'm perplexed that I was able to lay a perfect weld on plate horizontal, in the same slight breeze that I couldn't weld vertical.

    I love dual shield. Mostly, I love the way it deposits more metal without sag in a vertical weld. Much of my machinery welds are outdoors as the garage doors are only 8 feet tall. I've had another bay planned for years with a 12 foot door. Haven't yet found money or time.

    If I can't do it outdoors, it's a real deal breaker.
    Was the horizontal weld by chance a lap or fillet weld. Perhaps the gas was getting trapped , thus providing better shielding. 3/4" stickout length should work fine.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Striving for 1", but sometimes as little as 3/4, and as much as 1-1/4"That seemed not to change much. .045" Ultracore. Voltage & feed as instructed on Millermatic 252.
    I think 1¼" is a bit much, ¾" is just about perfect for 045 from the two E7T-1C/1M brands I have used. I don't have your MM252 so I don't know what your V/WFS is. It could just be that the first layer or two is bad even if it was stored in a bag away from humidity. Still not knowing your nozzle diameter, perhaps even 40CFH might be too low especially if you are nearing 1¼" of CTWD. You could always do a controlled test run whereby eliminating variables and indicating exact precise numbers might help in diagnosing what might be wrong? IOW, don't vary things all at once. Use one set of settings and disclose all of them as a control group (CTWD, shielding gas flow rate, WFS,V, etc). So again, what is your nozzle diameter, and what is the actual numeric WFS/V you were using?
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-26-2020 at 09:20 PM.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Was the horizontal weld by chance a lap or fillet weld. Perhaps the gas was getting trapped , thus providing better shielding. 3/4" stickout length should work fine.
    No, the same 1" thick stock as the other material but a test bead on a horizontal surface, no worm tracks, or pothole porosity.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    I googled worm holes, all the internet offers is a video from the red haired guy, I don't know his name. He talks about careful storage.

    It might be a year since I used this reel. I put it in a plastic bag, stored it upstairs in the garage where it is consistently 10 degrees warmer in winter, and 20 degrees warmer in summer. Humidity always low.

    I doubt the storage theory, as I made perfect horizontal weld.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    We're the voltage and wfs the same? Something has to be different, as I can't believe the position would have that effect.

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    I'm perplexed that I was able to lay a perfect weld on plate horizontal, in the same slight breeze that I couldn't weld vertical.
    If you could, "...lay a perfect weld on plate horizontal..," with the same wire, and stick out, doesn't that prove that wire is not the culprit?

    So, what does that leave?

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    Re: Worm tracks

    I wonder if it has to do with gas coverage. Even with nozzle spray spatter builds up fast. I don't remember for sure, but I wonder if I had recently cleaned the nozzle. I find dual shield needs it very often, I probably cleaned the nozzle 4 or 5 times while struggling with it. I stayed with the same 400 amp Bernard gun with the massive nozzles & contact tips even when I went back to hard wire. The 25 gun that came with the welder has been rebuilt a few times as it overheats welding the thick stuff.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: Worm tracks

    Sometimes CO2 is a better outdoor gas. It has a little bit better staying power without CFH so high that you aspirate the weld. Other issues like flux coverage in the wire can do this too as well as to slow of travel speed like what is needed in Vertical up. I always store the 71T-1 with plenty of desiccant packs.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    That's the one I was going to link as well. Good article.
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    Re: Worm tracks

    The famous dual shield worm tracks. Gotta love them.
    Clean rust free wire is a must.
    Dual shield also requires more stick out. 3/4”-1” stick out should be good.
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  22. #20
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Thanks Louie.
    I find I have a vocabulary problem too. When I say I had worm holes, I mean't severe porosity, as if I forgot to turn on the gas. Experts don't agree, can dual shield be used outdoors? Most say sure, others say no.

    Where I live, There is never enough wind to affect MIG, but I've never mastered a perfect appearing MIG weld in heavy steel out of position. My triangles aren't shaped like Jody's. I have to move quickly, or I get sags. Dual shield eliminates the problem. I haven't yet worked out the missing variable. Red Beard (I can't find his name) implies the only problem is moisture in stored flux core wire. Making a perfect weld sometimes, suggests a different parameter than old wire.

    How much breeze is too much breeze? How much screening is enough?

    I have used dual shield in the past outdoors successfully. Last weekend's effort was discouraging!!!!!
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  23. #21
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Get inside and try it. Your never going to figure it out until you eliminate variables. There is no real answer as to how much wind is acceptable as it all comes down to how well the gas stays where your welding. Porosity is entirely different than worm tracks and the cause is usually entirely different. Start with Miller's recommend settings with clean metal, inside, and work from there. The settings I believe are for c-25 and should be within plus or minus a volt. If using co,2 you will most likely need to up the volts by 1-3 volts.

  24. #22
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    Re: Worm tracks

    No it's not just moisture that can lead to this, as the Lincoln article that Louie linked to states. I have some old 71m Lincoln FCAW-G wire that I had the same issue with and I was told it would happen, but I actually made it work pretty good. I'd love to share what I found, but I don't like to make "blind" suggestions, because they are of no use to anyone. I like to learn the hard data which has yet to be provided (V/WFS/nozzle orifice diameter,etc) so I can compare it to my findings. It sounds like you just want to have a conversation/chit-chat about it and not really looking for help to get the project/work going/up and running.
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  25. #23
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    No it's not just moisture that can lead to this, as the Lincoln article that Louie linked to states. I have some old 71m Lincoln FCAW-G wire that I had the same issue with and I was told it would happen, but I actually made it work pretty good. I'd love to share what I found, but I don't like to make "blind" suggestions, because they are of no use to anyone. I like to learn the hard data which has yet to be provided (V/WFS/nozzle orifice diameter,etc) so I can compare it to my findings. It sounds like you just want to have a conversation/chit-chat about it and not really looking for help to get the project/work going/up and running.
    Sorry, Life stood in the way.

    Bernard gun, I can't remember the modelName:  Bernard.jpg
Views: 894
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    Nozzle diameter: 5/8"

    Contact tip recess into end of nozzle: 1/8"

    As suggested on Miller chart on the welder voltage 24.3

    Speed: 380 IPM

    Miller suggests 25 CFH, I have tried 30,35, and 40.

    Steel welded: 1" thick Hot rolled, butt weld, cut 38 degrees from both sides both pieces with approximately 1/16 land spaced 1/16". Vertical up, a series of overlapping stringer beads.


    On a few occasions I've been smart enough to solve a problem, but I've needed someone to punt me in the right direction.

    I was very frustrated in 1980 when my first set of stairs I had built wasn't working. I knew for a fact 3x9 is 36. "The Earth is flat, The Devil is real, 3x9 is 36. That is about all we are sure is fact." After a frustrating half hour I gave up, went to lunch. I vented my frustration to my mother. She immediately saw the problem. Been climbing those stairs since that day.

    I hoped for a easy observation that my fact wasn't fact. Oh well!

    At this point I'm guessing it had more to do with not being thorough cleaning the spatter out of the bowels of the nozzle.

    This weekend I hope to explore the issue further.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  26. #24
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    Re: Worm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Sorry, Life stood in the way.

    Bernard gun, I can't remember the modelName:  Bernard.jpg
Views: 894
Size:  86.3 KB


    Nozzle diameter: 5/8"

    Contact tip recess into end of nozzle: 1/8"

    As suggested on Miller chart on the welder voltage 24.3

    Speed: 380 IPM

    Miller suggests 25 CFH, I have tried 30,35, and 40.

    Steel welded: 1" thick Hot rolled, butt weld, cut 38 degrees from both sides both pieces with approximately 1/16 land spaced 1/16". Vertical up, a series of overlapping stringer beads.


    On a few occasions I've been smart enough to solve a problem, but I've needed someone to punt me in the right direction.

    I was very frustrated in 1980 when my first set of stairs I had built wasn't working. I knew for a fact 3x9 is 36. "The Earth is flat, The Devil is real, 3x9 is 36. That is about all we are sure is fact." After a frustrating half hour I gave up, went to lunch. I vented my frustration to my mother. She immediately saw the problem. Been climbing those stairs since that day.

    I hoped for a easy observation that my fact wasn't fact. Oh well!

    At this point I'm guessing it had more to do with not being thorough cleaning the spatter out of the bowels of the nozzle.

    This weekend I hope to explore the issue further.
    I've had worm track issues with 71M fresh out of the bag even using 75/25 gas (which I despise) Ignoring the door chart and slowing things down, both volts and WFS seemed to help. I can't give you a number since that was on an ESAB without meters. I do recall being well short of the chart numbers.

  27. #25
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    Re: Worm tracks


    Hobart FabCO® Element™ 71M


    https://www.hobartbrothers.com/uploa...lement_71M.pdf

    SHIELDING GAS: 75-90% Argon (Ar)/Balance Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 35-50 cfh (14-24 l/min)


    Lincoln UltraCore ® 71A85

    https://www.lincolnelectric.com/asse...1A85/c3126.pdf

    Shielding Gas
    75% - 85% Argon / Balance CO2
    Flow Rate: 40 - 50 CFH


    Your numbers (volts,ipm) look just like the hobart spec's, the lincolns have a broad range listed. The only thing different is the flow(CFH) , they are both higher than what your running.


    I did notice on the Hobart pictograph in the upper left corner of the first page, they shows vertical up with the gun pointed up slightly. In one of jodies dual shield videos he uses the lincoln book, and it called for a 5deg upward angle. I think thats the most challenging part of the flux core is trying to keep the same gun angle and distance all the way up the work. With short circuit mig you can tell by the sound if your CTWD changes, with flux core its seems far more subtle to me.
    I was in the garage, and decided to try some of my olde blue demon wire on some old rusty steel. I was surprized by how little tracking I got. Of course nest time I need to use it on a job I'll probably have problems with it. The last project I used it on (71M) was wheel mounting flanges for a portable gantry crane.


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    Its kind of like 7018 going uphill, sometimes I get moving to fast.

    Maybe a picture of the weld if you get a chance.

    Hope you've already figured it out
    Good luck
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