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sheet metal welders...WTF am I doing wrong

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by shocker998md, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. alright guys heres whats going on. Im working on the floor pans in my F100 and Ive got two pieces left to weld in. Im using a lincoln 135 with .030 wire and I just hooked up gas too it. The passanger side went so so, but this is my first time doing anything thin like this.

    Im using some 16 guage steel that I got from work out of the scrap bin, ive grinded the steel clean, and then cleaned up the truck side of the metal pretty good with the grinder. Now when im welding im getting barely any penatration on the truck side. It doesnt matter if I start on the trucks metal and then drag to the new metal or vise versa. It just pools up on the truck metal and then will break off when I give it a few wacks with the hammer. Ive been just tacking it in, so I figured Ill run a bead and it still does it. The funny thing is that it is burning in good into the new metal. What gives? I just got so frustrated with the last piece I attempted that I cranked the welder to J or whatever the highest heat setting was and it still did the same damn thing.

    Any ideas?
  2. Ground? Sometimes I have to grind a clean space to clamp to.
  3. mattfink
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 107


    Yeah earth could be bad- or try turning your wire speed down.
  4. Did you switch the polarity on the machine for gas?

  5. Where you clamping your ground? Try to have it as close to where your welding and make sure there is no rust where it being clamped. Also make sure both pieces of metal your welding are free of oils, rust etc. I had the same problem. My ground was to far away and also had rust before where I had my ground clamped.

    Another thing check your speed of the wire. (Oops Mattfink beat me too that)
  6. voodoo1
    Joined: Jun 27, 2007
    Posts: 452


    Check you ground wire and clamp.
  7. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None

    +1 I'd check that and then if you have a good ground to the truck.
  8. HMM i didnt do anything for the polarity.

    Ground wise ive been clamping the ground as close as possible to where im welding as I can.

    im going to look at how to switch the polarity for that welder, is a 135 sp if anyone knows off the top of there head
  9. My welder has setting instructions for polarity inside the door where the wire spool is.
  10. CruiserUser
    Joined: Jan 12, 2011
    Posts: 32


    On my Miller 180 it's just two lugs sitting in the same area as the wire spool. I'm thinking that's your problem since you mentioned just switching to gas.

    edit: damn slow on the draw
  11. 28fordroadster
    Joined: Apr 14, 2010
    Posts: 21


    on my miller there are two little plates inside the area where the wire feeder is. you undo the nuts, turn the plates 90 degrees and put the nuts back on. You run different polarity for flux core and gas shielded.
    Good luck!
  12. X2 WHAT HE SAID ^^^^

    If you welded first side with flux core and all was well - then changed sides and welding from flux core to solid wire and gas you need to change the polarity. Inside cover should have a detail on how to do it.

    OR on the rare occasion you are in an area similar to the Bermuda triangle, you may just need to turn your truck around.Lol
  13. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    One other thing that may or may not be obvious - it's imperative that BOTH SIDES of BOTH PIECES be clean and free of rust and undercoating. Screws up your welds otherwise.

    Finally...... I mean it IS winter... are you doing this inside? I read another thread here today that recommended preheating the area for winter welding....
  14. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    If you have a bad ground the wire usually doesn't arc and pushes back at you, so, I dont think that's it.

    It sounds like it's too cold. There was no mention of burning through, so, there may be room to crank it up a bit.
  15. 28fordroadster
    Joined: Apr 14, 2010
    Posts: 21


    looks like everyone is sending a reply at the same time, ha ha

  16. im positive its not a bad ground, and I had the heat on the welder cranked to the max.

    Im going to switch the polarity and then see what it does, maybe ill be able to weld decent after that.

    all welding is done in my shop which is about 40-50. im positive that its not temp related, ive welding fine in the freezing cold.
  17. chris55
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,085


    You'll also need to switch to solid core wire if you have not done so. Most welders take a different tip for flux and solid wire, you also need a gas cup for the tip.
  18. fbama73
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 989


    All the guys commenting on ground are dead on. Checking polarity is good, too. If all else fails, go to a smaller wire, I had troubles with my 120V mig (not as nice as yours) when I tried to run heavier wire. I went back to .022, and it started welding sheetmetal just fine again.
  19. caseyscustoms
    Joined: May 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,031

    from st.joe, MO

    grind the truck floor to bare metal then try again, it sounds like your welding on top of rust, or old paint and all your weld heat is just sticking to the new clean metal.
  20. rjlilhaus
    Joined: Sep 18, 2010
    Posts: 84

    from Albany, OR

    I am a welder by trade the only time you would ever change polarity is tig welding. 16 gauge is to thin to worry about preheating the only time you should worry about preheating is half inch and up. Small welders like that really need to be plugged into a outlet as close to the panel as possible they stuggle drawing enough power if they are to far from the panel or ran from an extension cord.
  21. im using the solid core wire, i went to the miller shop and got everything i needed. The only reason I didnt go to 023 is that he said i would need to get a new tip, cup, and then may need a a new groved pully thing where the wire is feed through. He told told me to try what i have now in 030 and then if we have to go down to 023 we can try that later.

    im ordering a few parts for my truck right now and then ill go back out and see about the polarity. If the welder is able to switch polarity I know for a fact I never touched it so it should be set up still for flux core.
  22. wutihad
    Joined: Jan 14, 2006
    Posts: 14


    If I plug my welder into a 6 foot extension cord it stops welding! .023 wire is perfect for sheet metal in mine.
  23. And you're 100% completely wrong concerning switching from fluxcore to solid wire & gas on these small welders.

    Joined: Jun 2, 2002
    Posts: 9,635

    Classified's Moderator

    I have two Hobarts, one with Miller guts. Had to switch polarity on both for gas...
  25. im not using an extension cord, truck is in my garage, welder on the table pluged into the wall and welding just like that
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,867


    Quit typing on this message board. And go in the shop open the door on your welder and read the instructions. Switch the polarty and start welding.
  27. Is the welder getting the proper amperage? All connections tight? Take the welder to the weld shop and see what they say...
  28. I'm thinking you just have too big of wire for that machine.....023 is going to work way better. Try turning your wire speed down, if that helps you probably need smaller wire. My 2 cents.
  29. bobkatrods
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 690

    from aledo tx

    SORRY TO SAY the little welders most certainly do have a polarity change from gas to non gas. How long you been welding ? Just asking.
  30. 53mercury
    Joined: Dec 2, 2010
    Posts: 95


    How big are the gaps you are trying to bridge, the closer the better. Although many say with a mig you can just lay down a straight bead, being how as I leared on a stick machine it is my opinion that you get a much nicer finished product using the old tired and true oscillation type method, i.e. small circles. Also what gas pres. are you runing and are you sure it's getting to the tip? Mike

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