Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38

Thread: Newbie Welding Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Newbie Welding Question

    Hi All, complete newbie to welding. I've done some light oxy welding before, but I've recently purchased a flux core set up. For my first outing I chose to repair a post hole digger. Just a matter of attaching metal poles to the digger jaws since the wood ones didnt last long.

    First issue I had is I couldn't see what I was doing. I got an auto darkening hood that does a great job of darkening but so much so that I lost sight of my work. I played around with the adjustments and still really couldn't see enough to tell what I was doing.

    The weld itself came out rather "bubbly", is the best way to describe it. I looked on my troubleshooting placard and my situation didnt match any of the examples. I'm thinking the voltage wasn't high enough but wanted some feed back. Will post a pic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Apparently can't post pics?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Posts
    1,911
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Hi Mickey.

    You should be able to post pictures by going to the Go advanced option and there you can preview your post.

    Always clean/grind to shiny metal. Start with your helmet on 10. Welding has a learning curve, so don’t get discouraged if your first welds aren’t good. It takes lots of practice. Set your welder for the gauge of steel you are welding.

    Wire stick out is important. The best advice I know for new welders is “watch the puddle, not the arc”. Watch the melted metal puddle then move your wire so the puddle washes on both pieces until they both melt into the puddle. Concentrate the arc on the heavier side then quickly move the puddle to the lighter side if they are different. Maybe in a day, maybe in a week it will become clear what you are doing and your welding will soon become better.

    Posting pictures will help us give better recommendations to improve your welding.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Burt
    _____________________
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Millermatic 211
    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
    Hobart Handler 120

    10FtDrillBit.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    AJO, ARIZONA
    Posts
    3,911
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Practice, practice, practice!
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
    NRA LIFE MEMBER

    UNITWELD 175 AMP 3 IN1 DC
    MIDSTATES 300 AMP AC MACHINE
    GOD HELP AMERICA!
    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
    We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream".
    RONALD REAGAN

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    I tried using both 9 and 10 settings on the helmet, read the instructions several times but didn't get any answers. After the initial arc I had no idea where to go. I was in my shop, so perhaps you need more ambient light? Faulty helmet? Needless to say only one of welds on one handle actually held, although it looked like crap.

    Still no option to post a pic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    I tried using both 9 and 10 settings on the helmet, read the instructions several times but didn't get any answers. After the initial arc I had no idea where to go. I was in my shop, so perhaps you need more ambient light? Faulty helmet? Needless to say only one of welds on one handle actually held, although it looked like crap.

    Still no option to post a pic.
    are you welding outdoors, hunched over so that a lot of sunlight is getting in from behind the hood?
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    No, was in my shop. I had assumed the arc would create the illumination to see the job. But all I saw was the arc. Work surface had no detail.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Then decreasing the shade level a bit should help. I generally like it very dark so I can see end tip/end of the electrode because at that point the arc is dark enough that I can see past it and look at the puddle. Just remember you should be able to clearly make out the molten weld pool. Play with the shade level until you are able to do this. Also make sure you took off the plastic protective film off of both the inner and outer plastic lenses. More ambient light will not help once the hood auto-darkens; it's simply not bright enough to make a difference once the arc is lit. Generally I'm not able to see more than about a 1" radius from where the arc is. But that is just how I prefer my settings. Can you go on Google Images and find a comparable picture so we can somehow try to see what you are seeing? If anything this is the most difficult part about welding because we can't see through others' eyes.
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    I'm thinking now that the joint was not clean enough as far as the "bubbly" bead goes. "Porosity" I think is the term. My phone won't even allow me to cut and paste a pic here so I will try on my PC. I also think I did not have the voltage set properly for the thicker material of the handle.

    Right now I want to get that helmet working properly. It didnt look as tho there was any film on the lens but I will double check. I'm sure its something simple and will kick myself afterwards.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Port Florida
    Posts
    97
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Grasshopper first must learn to post pictures then grabs the pebble and learns to weld...
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Name:  20210529_163135.jpg
Views: 316
Size:  68.9 KB

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Ok, figured it out. Had to select "full site" to post pics! Gawd, that weld looks twice as gross when posted.
    Last edited by MikeyS; 05-30-2021 at 07:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    Ok, figured it out. Had to select "full site" to post pics! Gawd, that weld looks twice as gross when posted.
    Yup, pretty gross, but all is not lost as this is a step in the right directions. Now post pics of the machine: the controls, the settings/dials, the connections, everything. From the looks of things, that joint was plenty clean enough for gasless flux core. I've welded stuff way dirtier than that with gasless flux core, BUT you will have to take a grinder to that and grind ALL of it off and slice it apart back in to two parts, if you want to try and salvage that part (to attempt to re-weld it together). Also, find some scrap steel. Never try to learn on the actual part you want to build/repair, as you can see.
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-30-2021 at 07:58 PM.
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    central Wis.
    Posts
    5,652
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Looks to me like the distance to work is way to long. Try about a 1/2" tip to work distance and go from there. The wire should be hooked to negative, ground to positive for flux core. And yes I agree it looks hideous.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    LOL. Yep, pretty disgusting. Did some more today and I was actually able to hold a bead for a bit. Had to increase the wire speed a hair. I have one of the Titanium welders from harbor freight btw. The leads are fixed so I don't have to worry about that. Im still not able to see my distance well enough. The arc goes on and off as I attempt to guess compensate the distance. I fused the wire to the tip a couple of times because I got too close, but it was at that time I was able to hold a bead. The weld is still ugly but it's actually fairly sturdy. I need to put a gate in so we'll try it out and see if it holds together.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Oscar, here's a pic of my last machines settings. Name:  20210530_175246.jpg
Views: 300
Size:  73.2 KB

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    I can't see where your WFS dial is pointed, but I would be willing to bet it is wayyy lower than what it needs to be. Have you looked at the recommended settings, and if so, what are they?
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Voltage was set for right around 1/8" steel I think with the accompanying wire speed for .030 wire. Tried digging some post holes and one of the welds was weak. It didnt break but kinda bent, which means poor depth, correct? I'm thinking voltage was too low. The handles are pretty stout steel tubes, but the jaws are just stamped sheet steel.
    Last edited by MikeyS; 05-30-2021 at 10:01 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    Voltage was set for right around 1/8" steel I think with the accompanying wire speed for .030 wire. Tried digging some post holes and one of the welds was weak. It didnt break but kinda bent, which means poor depth, correct? I'm thinking voltage was too low. The handles are pretty stout steel tubes, but the jaws are just stamped sheet steel.
    Post up discrete (individual attempts) with individual settings (both V and WFS). It's the fastest way to systematically hone in on your skills. In other words, don't post 10 pictures of welds all over the place, then say you tried everything. That does nothing to help you. You can't think in terms of just voltage, or just WFS, or just this or that. That is for when you already know how to weld and know what is wrong in the first place, and you wouldn't need to post up the need for assistance. The WFS/V suggestions from the mfg instructions get you into the ballpark, but it is always necessary to check and re-check things to see what needs to be fine-tuned.
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,976
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    Voltage was set for right around 1/8" steel I think with the accompanying wire speed for .030 wire. Tried digging some post holes and one of the welds was weak. It didnt break but kinda bent, which means poor depth, correct? I'm thinking voltage was too low. The handles are pretty stout steel tubes, but the jaws are just stamped sheet steel.
    FWIW, as soon as I saw your project, I thought, "I bet those pipes will just bend even if they're welded perfectly."

    I have a similar post hole digger whose handles rotted off (found it in trash) and I considered welding pipes to it for handles, but abandoned that idea on the theory that they would just bend anyway. Dunno what size pipe you're using, but I was considering some 3/4" ID black iron pipe for mine, and I'm pretty sure that's nowhere near as stiff as the wood handles would be.

    Also, many shovel blades (and I suspect post-hole digger blades) are medium-carbon steel that is quenched, hardened and tempered to make it "springy" and stronger -- and the heat of welding is going to remove that temper, rendering the blade softer, less springy and easier to bend permanently...

    And my experience with other similar tools (shovels, etc) tells me that it would probably be cheaper in the long run to just buy a new post-hole digger than to replace the handles with wooden ones, anyway...with shovels, I've found that a new handle costs almost as much as a new shovel.

    YMMV and good luck and welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by Kelvin; 05-31-2021 at 12:33 AM.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ct.
    Posts
    1,351
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I can't see where your WFS dial is pointed, but I would be willing to bet it is wayyy lower than what it needs to be. Have you looked at the recommended settings, and if so, what are they?
    Looks like machine settings in pic are: w/s- 3, voltage- almost G.
    Door chart I found for Easy Flux 125 suggests: w/s -6, volts- E.5 to F.5
    for 1/8 steel, .030 wire.
    Miller a/c-d/c Thunderbolt XL
    Millermatic 180
    Purox O/A
    Smith Littletorch O/A
    Hobart Champion Elite

  22. Likes Oscar liked this post
  23. #22
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    FWIW, as soon as I saw your project, I thought, "I bet those pipes will just bend even if they're welded perfectly."
    Well, the tubes or the digger blades didnt bend the actual weld did. The biggest problem I'm still having is not being able to see the work surface. I guess I will try a different helmet. Any suggestions on a inexpensive auto darken set up?

  24. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,976
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    Well, the tubes or the digger blades didnt bend the actual weld did. The biggest problem I'm still having is not being able to see the work surface. I guess I will try a different helmet. Any suggestions on a inexpensive auto darken set up?
    Just for an eye-opener, try a passive shield. I never would have tried one if my autodark hadn't broken during a welding class I was taking, so the instructor gave me one of the passive shields to use for the day, and the difference was like night and day.

    I've tried a variety of autodark shields, including a $350 Miller Digital Elite that I bought before trying a passive shield, but none of them has ever given me as good a view of the puddle as a passive shield, so I never use an autodark anymore unless I'm just tacking parts together in a hurry, or working under a vehicle or welding overhead where it's difficult to drop the hood without moving my hands...there's no comparison on how well you see the puddle. For tigging at a table where you can get your hands all situated and then drop the shield, I'll never use an autodark if given a choice.

    If I was to do it again, I would buy: 1) A $50 Chinese autodark, and 2) a good passive with a gold glass #11 lens.
    Last edited by Kelvin; 05-31-2021 at 12:25 PM.

  25. Likes 12V71 liked this post
  26. #24
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Central Wa. state
    Posts
    4,781
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyS View Post
    Well, the tubes or the digger blades didnt bend the actual weld did. The biggest problem I'm still having is not being able to see the work surface. I guess I will try a different helmet. Any suggestions on a inexpensive auto darken set up?
    I would get away from AD hoods all together and try a shade 9 Gold passive lens. Jackson has some reasonably priced hoods with the big window. After you get the hang of that, then start working with your AD. I think the quick changeover messes with beginners eyes. I do use an AD for tack ups but go back to my gold passive for welding out. I use a #10 shade for most work, but a #9 will be fine for hobby work.

  27. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Newbie Welding Question

    As a mostly newbie, I would say that it is hard to see anything when your first start. As suggested above, make some practice welds on scrap, the more time you spend with practice, the more things start falling away and the easier it is to see the puddle. Like driving a car the first time, there are some many things new to look at, but after a while, it gets easier to focus on the things you need to focus. Another tip as a newbie is when you release the trigger to stop, don't move the gun for a second and look at the length of the wire that is sticking out - that will tell you if your stickout is short enough - mine would often be way too long and the easiest confirmation was just looking at the wire.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Page generated in 1,627,349,335.17973 seconds with 13 queries