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welding results after upgrade

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wex65, May 4, 2013.

  1. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    I am a VERY happy camper this morning. I decided to upgrade my MIG somewhat from a $300 Home Depot special to a Millermatic 211. The change in weld quality leaves me almost speechless.

    Now, I am not in any way suggesting that I have suddenly been transformed into a world class welder but the improvement is dramatic. The difference between this and the weld quality on my old 3200HD is analagous to the difference between cutting metals with handsaw and a plasma cutter.

    I would HIGHLY recommend anyone starting out on a project to invest in the best welder they can get. To be clear, I had almost never welded prior to this project. I probably have, in total, 2 hours welding under my belt.

    With that out of the way, I would really value any feedback on this weld. I have spent 5 mins thumping on it with a heavy metal mallet and the weld refuses to break. The metal bent before the weld gave way, which inspires confidence. However, from the photos is there something I can improve up here. Speed? Penetration?

    Thanks for letting me rant...

    Attached Files:

  2. The penetration might be a little light. Take a look at the following info....

    <nobr>INCOMPLETE PENETRATION</nobr> <nobr>This type of defect is found in any of three ways:</nobr> <nobr>1) When the weld bead does not penetrate the entire thickness of the base plate.</nobr> <nobr>2) When two opposing weld beads do not interpenetrate.</nobr> <nobr>3) When the weld bead does not penetrate the toe of a fillet weld but only bridges across it.</nobr> <nobr>Welding current has the greatest effect on penetration. Incomplete penetration is usually caused by the use</nobr> <nobr>of too low a welding current and can be eliminated by simply increasing the amperage. Other causes can</nobr> <nobr>be the use of too slow a travel speed and an incorrect torch angle. Both will allow the molten weld metal to</nobr> <nobr>roll in front of the arc, acting as a cushion to prevent penetration. The arc must be kept on the leading edge</nobr> <nobr>of the weld puddle.</nobr> <nobr> Examples of Lack of Penetration</nobr> [​IMG]
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    I would say crank up the heat a bit.
  4. looks a tad cold, and maybe a tad fast..and looks like you were running the wire down the joint and letting the sides just roll onto the base instead of fusing with the base metal..but it'll stick the two together and time will improve quality......but good equipment and proper metal prep is 70% of the weld.....good luck with the miller- I am partial to them

  5. If you @ your old welder were trying to weld the same gauge material as pictured , I think it was analogous to bringing a knife to a gun fight.

    I concur with the the other guys, need to turn up the heat
  6. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    Thanks guys, I was using 030 wire with C25 and using the Miller autoset feature. I think autoset might need tweaking. I do agree it looks a little weak. Not horrible but not right....
  7. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Congrats. Did you use the Autoset mode on that weld? If yes, crank the material gauge knob up to a heavier thickness.
  8. 51custom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011
    Posts: 102


    I have had a MillerMatic 210 for several years and just love it It does anything I want it to do. the only color...
  9. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy

    your strokes were too long at the end, pactice will get you there, slow down a bit,
  10. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,638


    Take a look at some good welds, like anything BASS does. Take note of the heat discoloration around the area of the weld. That will show you what it should look like.
    That being said, turn up the heat and keep practicing.

  11. That's what she said !:eek:

    I told you guys welding is like fucking
  12. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 994

    from arkansas

    Thanks for starting this thread. I too am a noob with a new Miller-matic 211 Auto. It was kinda pricey but it was highly touted as a good welder for a beginner.
  13. Stop moving around so much, really. If you want to insure good penetration, just move the tip side to side slightly. While you are doing this, you should be able to see the arc ball switch from one plate to the other.

    Remember the MIG weld is an electrical process. The arc will follow the path of least resistance; so once it "hooks up" to one plate or the other, the heat will tend to keep going in that direction. In your photos, the current flowed into the fillet plate more than the base plate. This really has nothing to do with where the ground clamp is placed, you just have to make sure you are balancing the current flow by that very small movement of the tip.
  14. fearnoevo
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 218

    from Iowa

    Not a huge fan of the autoset welders.

    A good way to check penetration, is to do a sample weld on similar materials and then cut the sample weld in half crossways, polish the sawn area slightly and have a look.

    You'll find that the pictured welds have less than .06" penetration. Not near enough for that thickness material.

    The autoset they have in my kids shop class, I had to turn it up two material thicknesses to get the penetration I wanted. Worked pretty well after that.

    Also, when welding hot roll, its best to remove the mill scale first.

    And congrats on the new rig!

    I have a miller 135, a 252, two 350p's, and a 250DX tig runner. I'm a miller fan boy I guess
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  15. rustyangels
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 182


    It looks like 1/4"x4" hotroll your welding , use .035" wire for that. And as for the old welder you had, if it was a 110v, they need a 20-25amp garage circuit behind it.
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    Watch the autoset, you'll get happy and overlook warpage.
  17. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,286


    We bought a Miller 211 for light use around the shop and I'm really impressed with it. Personally I don't care or use autoset but I've been mig welding 30+ years. My boy use to use the autoset, he was a beginner but last year he to welding classes as part of a metalolighy degree he's working on, he doesn't use autoset either now. Once you get the hang of it start playing around with heat/ wirespeed and you figure out what works for you.
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    My Tip:

    Work the weld. Stop, Pause, Melt, Fuse that metal. Dont get caught up proper settings, conditions, sparking too much, wire sticking, conditions change all the time, welding in the afternoon or at night, metals. Sew that metal. Too Rusty means more oxygen so, it'll burn hotter, pause a second, let it cool & keep welding. I been using a stick welder, it throws a Big piece of bird shit, Fast & Hot! Everything else Flux Core, a little Pinche "Chicago".

    And Jump around in small increments to prevent warpage no matter the gauge.

    Become the Metal the Lava. Remember: Everything IS . . possible.
  19. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,102

    from WV

    OK, I decided to hook up a 230v outlet as I was running this morning on 110v. This is 3/16 and borderline for 110v.

    Switched to the 230v and things seemed smoother. Scrapped the autoset and manually set it.

    Tried to move slower and in looping motion and this looks smoother AND with better penetration. ALmost looks like I know what I am doing...ALMOST! ;)

    PS, ignore the nearby spatter, plasma cutter!

    Attached Files:

  20. Always the gun, never the hunter,,,,, just ask them :D
  21. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

    It's amazing the difference good welding equipment can make. I like to set the voltage and wire speed by running a few beads on a flat plate of the same thickness as the joints to be welded. Look for the usual bead height test and flip it over to verify good penetration. When the flat plate bead looks good it's real close if not perfect for welding joints.
  22. caseyrod
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 138


    wex I am with you bro,I also started with home depot special(lincoln) not bad,but their is no comparesion,the 211 millermatic is very good for a berginner.dont be afraid to crank up the heat ,but that will come with time.the more you use it the less your going to use the auto feature,but thats the idea.good luck

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