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Thread: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

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    Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Please pardon my newbe question but referring to a mig parameter chart it looks like 18ga is the thinnest metal that .045 wire should be used for, do most of you find this to be true?
    My reason for asking is with voltage and wire speed set as close as possible and running practice welds I get a lot of burn through even on 16ga . And maintaining a fast and consistent travel speed seems pretty challenging. What what'd you all think? Please try going easy on me,LOL

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    For 18 gauge .030" wire is more appropriate. I have used .045" for 1/4" and up but have .035" in the machine so not worth the bother to put in the .045" unless I have a lot of heavy stuff to weld.
    Ernie F.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Your settings might be off, or the machine is not up to the task. Please post what machine you have, and the controls you have and the actual settings. And as metalman said, it's the wrong wire for the job. Are you using 0.045" solid wire ER70S-6 or something else?
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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    What type welder are using TIG MIG or FLUXCORE

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    Please pardon my newbe question but referring to a mig parameter chart it looks like 18ga is the thinnest metal that .045 wire should be used for, do most of you find this to be true?
    My reason for asking is with voltage and wire speed set as close as possible and running practice welds I get a lot of burn through even on 16ga . And maintaining a fast and consistent travel speed seems pretty challenging. What what'd you all think? Please try going easy on me,LOL

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    With .045 solid wire, in my experience, 1/8" is about as thin as you want to go in short circuit transfer mode, and even then either an .030 or .035 wire is a better choice

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    I wouldn't suggest anything under 3/16 for 045 solid wire. Even 3/16 is a little thin for 045.

    Unless you weld a good amount of 1/2 or a lot of 3/8, you should be running 035 normally

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by metalman21 View Post
    For 18 gauge .030" wire is more appropriate. I have used .045" for 1/4" and up but have .035" in the machine so not worth the bother to put in the .045" unless I have a lot of heavy stuff to weld.
    I've usually worked quite a bit on 1/4" and up material running through a 350amp Tweco Spray master mig gun and a four roll feeder using .045 ER70s-6 solid wire at this time, I only have a set of .045V drive rolls in the feeder so limited in that respect. haven't had the setup or parts to run smaller wire.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    What type welder are using TIG MIG or FLUXCORE

    Dave
    I'm running a Miller cp200 at this time.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    I'm running a Miller cp200 at this time.
    ok, so do tell, what settings did you run? Maybe you had decent settings and something else was off, but you didn't tell us what you had.
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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Country Metals View Post
    I wouldn't suggest anything under 3/16 for 045 solid wire. Even 3/16 is a little thin for 045.

    Unless you weld a good amount of 1/2 or a lot of 3/8, you should be running 035 normally
    Does make a lot of sense to run the smaller .030 wire for the really thin ga. materials I remember doing a lot of body panel work using .035 solid wire but have never tried .030 or even .023 .

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    Does make a lot of sense to run the smaller .030 wire for the really thin ga. materials I remember doing a lot of body panel work using .035 solid wire but have never tried .030 or even .023 .
    Next time with the auto panels try .023" or .030", way easier. The .035" wire is a bit much for today's 20 gauge or even 19-18 gauge.
    Ernie F.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    ok, so do tell, what settings did you run? Maybe you had decent settings and something else was off, but you didn't tell us what you had.
    Well, I tried experimenting and playing around with voltage and wire feed speed .I ran the voltage down to the point of stubbing then adjusted back up to where the bead flattened out real nice and varied the wire speed accordingly within a small range seemed to have achieved a pretty flat bead for a few inches. (my machine doesn't have digital readouts) then burn through.as far as equitment goes I'm running a miller 200 amp machine , a tweco 350 amp spraymaster and a Miller four roll feeder running .o45 er70s-6 solid wire as far as settings I estimate I'm at appox. 16vdc and about 110 inches per minute wire feed speed. but still can't control or finesse my travel speed well enough to prevent burn through.
    Last edited by jzr75601; 07-28-2022 at 05:17 PM.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    I know practice practice, practice makes perfect, but How are you guy's at controlling and consistently establishing good travel speed and developing technique to avoid burn through any tips or tricks?
    Last edited by jzr75601; 07-28-2022 at 05:32 PM.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    to avoid burn through any tips or tricks?
    Copper heat sink behind the weld is one way. They sell slabs of copper attached to a handle for this purpose...

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    It will run wire but the is get close max.
    What are you welding and type of work?

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    I'm running a Miller cp200 at this time.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    I'm at..... about 110 inches per minute wire feed speed. .
    That's it right there. 045 wire "produces" about 1A per 1 IPM of wirefeed speed (for solid wire) so you're dumping around 90-100A into very thin material. Do the 6-second test and run an actual 60IPM, and adjust the volts to suit.
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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    I don't understand why you would try to weld such thin steel with .045 wire, it's like trying to solder a circuit board with an acetylene torch.



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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    I don't understand why you would try to weld such thin steel with .045 wire, it's like trying to solder a circuit board with an acetylene torch.



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    I think it's just a secondary consequence due to what he already had loaded up in his machine.
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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I think it's just a secondary consequence due to what he already had loaded up in his machine.
    That would probably be me if I was to lazy to change the wire and tips

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    It will run wire but the is get close max.
    What are you welding and type of work?

    Dave
    David, just really doing a lot of practice pieces for now in preparation for doing a pretty good size decorative metal gate the first one I did was smaller but quite a chore with .045

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    I know I have 045 ER70S-6, but it's the one wire not loaded in any of my 4 MIGs, lol. If you still cant figure it out after trying my suggestion of dropping the WFS, let me know and I can load up a MIG and find some 050 thick scrap.
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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    It is not the ideal size for gates and most decorative metal gate.
    The people I know that does typically uses 0.030 or 0.035" size wire. I think they use E70S-3 with CO2 for lower cost. In machine shops they use E70S-3 and C25 gas.

    Myself I would uses 0.035 or 0.045 E71T-1 with CO2 fluxcore but that is from line work I did in too. Today I use E71T-11 0.030 no gas.

    E70S-6 is for moderate amounts of scale or rust. But they a little more cleaning be for painting.
    Most that use E70S-3 is used on new steel and most do not clean before painting.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by jzr75601 View Post
    David, just really doing a lot of practice pieces for now in preparation for doing a pretty good size decorative metal gate the first one I did was smaller but quite a chore with .045
    Last edited by smithdoor; 07-28-2022 at 11:38 PM.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Can you switch wires? Or is it not an option?

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Metalman,that seems to be the obvious solution for sure. My original question was how true most found those welding parameter chart's to be.but as most of you pointed out it just makes more sense to use the thinner wire to begin with. And from that I gathered trying to use .045 on the thinner metals is just working too hard.
    So the only draw back in my case is having to get a hold of another set of drive rolls for a four roll feeder and another spool wire. Other than that I remember having" bird nesting" issues using the thinner wire where the wire would pile up before entering the feeder outlet guide. Never had that problem using .045.but the solution to that is adjusting the outlet guide as close as possible to the drive rolls.
    Last edited by jzr75601; 07-29-2022 at 03:43 AM.

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    Re: Thinnest metal to weld with .045 wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    That's it right there. 045 wire "produces" about 1A per 1 IPM of wirefeed speed (for solid wire) so you're dumping around 90-100A into very thin material. Do the 6-second test and run an actual 60IPM, and adjust the volts to suit.
    Oscar, I'll give it another try. I would like to try making the 045 work since that's what I have on hand and how the machine is currently setup. But it does seem to be the popular consensus here to stop working so hard and go with the thinner wire I think I got my answer.

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