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Technical wire feed regulator settings?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rubberrodder, May 16, 2018 at 1:41 PM.

  1. I just purchased a gas conversion kit for my Lincoln weld-pac 100. I followed the very good directions and it went together like I actually knew what I was doing. My question is how much gas flow do I need to set the regulator for? The regulator that came in the kit is marked in litres per minute, I tried it out last night at between 5 and 10 and it SEEMED to work okay. But it did nothing to improve my welding skills.{ yet!} LOL. Any advice is welcomed.
     
  2. You don't need a ton of flow, all you need is a gas 'envelope' directly over the weld area. How much air circulation you have in the area (i.e. wind) will effect this but if it's too windy it won't matter how much gas you put down, it'll just blow away. I run mine at about 4 psi.
     
  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 14,411

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    You need to figure out if you have a regulator only, or a regulator with a flow gauge.

    Regulator (drops pressure, technically controls flow, but does not spell out the rate, you'd have to do the math.):
    [​IMG]
    See that the output side is rated in PSI.

    Regulator with flow gauge:
    [​IMG]
    Or:
    [​IMG]
    See that the output side is rated in CFH ot LPM (cubic feet per hour/liters per minute).

    Either one works, but you need to make sure that everyone is talking about the same scale.

    Also, nozzle diameter makes a difference in how much gas you will need. For my big Miller, with the large Tweco gun, I use 20 CFH. You might be more near 15, if you have a flow gauge. I don't use straight regulators, because 20CFH @ 5psi and 5CFH @ 5psi both show at 5psi, but are decidedly not the same thing.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 11:05 PM
    belair likes this.
  4. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,294

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    o_O That picture doesn’t show output in PSI.

    That’s a flow meter that shows bottle pressure on the left gauge and output in litres per minute & CFH on the right gauge. (Litres per minute on the Red scale and cubic feet per hour on the black scale.)

    I’m using that same type of regulator on my mig welder and get good results with the garage door closed using less than 5 cubic feet per hour ( also less than 5 litres per minute) to conserve gas.

    Depending on what you’re working on and conditions (open doors or drafts and that sort of thing) you will probably need more flow up around the 10-15 or 20 level.

    How much gas you need can also depend on your level of welding knowledge and ability.

    If you’re good at keeping the stick out distance short and the gun nozzle close to your work then you’ll be able to get away with less gas flow and extend the life of the bottle.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 2:05 AM
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  5. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,294

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    That’s an oxygen regulator for oxy acetylene cutting.
    Not for wire feed welding.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 12:57 AM
    doyoulikesleds likes this.
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 14,411

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Maybe this will help clear up the confusion.

    This is a Smith flowgauge, with a CGA 320 fitting:
    [​IMG]
    Note that it is rated in CFH/LPM on the output side.

    This is a Smith regulator, also with a CGA 320 fitting:
    [​IMG]
    Note that it is rated in PSI/BAR on the output side.

    Both fit the same bottle. Both work just fine for MIG welding. Both are widely sold across the North American continent for MIG welding. My welding supplier stocks both of them. They each come in a box marked CO2, CGA 320. One says flowgauge, one says regulator.

    Neither fits an Oxygen bottle, which has a CGA 540 fitting. Sure a CGA 320 looks similar to a CGA 540, but they are most decidedly not interchangeable.

    Just for reference, here is a Smith Oxygen regulator:
    [​IMG]
    You will note that it looks similar, but the fittings on both sides are different, and don't interchange.

    If you have sharp eyes, you will note that the brass fittings at the bottom of each gauge on the Oxugen regulator are marked LH and RH, as they have left-hand and right-hand threads, respectively. This is a practice common only on flammable gasses, and accelerants, so you don't blow yourself up.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 11:31 PM
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  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 14,411

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Of MIG regulators, there are two common bottle connections:

    CGA 320, which has male threads on the bottle, and has a regulator/flowgauge (not shown) fitting that looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    These are most commonly found on straight CO2 bottles.

    And CGA 580, which has female threads on the bottle, and has a regulator/flowgauge (not shown) fitting that looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    These are most commonly found on mixed gas bottles, or straight Argon. I say most commonly, because I have seen variants with my own eyes, and never would claim to know everything. Use your vision, and common sense.

    Each of those two above assemblies is sold so that you can convert one regulator or flowgauge into the other style (or just fix a messed-up one).

    If you don'r need to or want to convert permanently from one to the other, there are simple adapters, from one way:
    [​IMG]
    Or the other:
    [​IMG]
    Pretty basic stuff. You just need to know what you have, so the received advice makes sense in context.
     
  8. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 8,529

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    I got my mig mid/late 80's, I told the guy at the counter "I don't know shit, fix me up".
    I still don't know shit but I never looked back.
     
  9. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 861

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Gas flow will vary with type of metal being welded, type of gas used, short arc or spray, air movement around the weld pocket and a lot of other variables.
    Google mig weld gas setup or something similar to get information for your specific application. One setting doesn't fit all.
     
  10. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 861

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Don't you mean cfm or cubic feet per minute.
     

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