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Old 08-24-2007, 02:32 AM   #1
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Default Flux Core welding, anyone else doing it?

Some new exhaust stuff for a 3" setup beyond the downpipe arrived just yesterday from summitracing.com and I was planning to weld it up myself, but after a semi-successful attempt at moving the bov flange to a different location on my IC piping tonight (mainly needs more grinding) I am having second thoughts. Ive used this welder before but the welds come out so god damn ugly and I fear there will be all sorts of leaks If i try to use this welder without a bit more knowlege/practice.
... So if anyone else on here has some tips or tricks to give for making a flux core weld work, I would really appreciate it as I will begin practicing for my welds and then tacking the pieces together tomorrow or saturday. My main concerns are burning through, making porous/brittle beads, The arc skipping, and to a much lesser extent, slag. Feel free to post a picture of your success as well.

(BTW I am using a Lincoln flux-core welder and i am pretty sure its a 120v and not 240)
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:37 AM   #2
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the bearing the rolls out the wire ,keep it clean or it might start jaming up.
try making little cs or circles while going up.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:46 AM   #3
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I did my entire turbo setup using flux core. Make sure the pipes fit together perfectly. If there are gaps between the butted ends, you'll burn through very easily if not careful. I used C motions, it seemed to work best. You really need to watch the puddle since flux core burns much much hotter. Also, clean the metal very well before you weld, use a wire wheel or a scotch brite pad. Just keep practicing and you'll develop your own system. Remember, you always have a grinder, so if you build it up too much you can always just grind it down, just be sure to get a complete seal.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:49 AM   #4
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Ya, i agree about the circular motion. I found i to be pretty much necessary after only like 10 minutes of experience, but the welds still come out unsatisfactory. I do however have a habit (bad/good idk) of doing that to fill and then going over again in a slow straight line to melt it again in an attempt for a better weld. bad habit?
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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If you did a good weld with the welder before and now it sucks, check wire speed, wire movement and heat setting. Vary that stuff on scrap and see it will change weld formation. Most of the time when the weld sucked for me, the welder settings were changed from what I thought they were.

My first mig/flux was a Cambell Hausfeld and it eventually got to where it wouldn't weld exhaust on the hottest setting. Basically just wore it out, probably from ignoring duty cycle... but hey, only so much time in the weekend. If it has become a gradual change, and the welder is older, that might be the case.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:54 AM   #6
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Lets see... the 5 minute lesson on flux core welding:

* if you have problems, turn up the amperage first.
* if the wire rams into the weld, turn down wire feed speed
* if you can't maintain an arc, turn up wire speed
* chamfer the edges of the parts where they fit together so you're welding into a V shaped joint. you'll get better penile-tration.
* cover anything you dont want little weld dingleberries stuck to with some thick leather or other non-flammable fabric.
* tack weld and fit before welding the joint!
* don't weld the whole thing in one pass. do a short portion and then flip it over and do the opposite side (like tightening lug nuts) so it doesn't shrink funny and bend out of alignment.
* clean clean clean clean clean the joint (inside and out) with sandpaper or scotch brite before you weld it. then clean it some more.
* wear safety glasses when bustin' slag off. red hot glass in your eye = ow.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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thanks a lot y8ts, that was just what I was looking for, just a few pointers like that to get me in the right direction.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
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Y8s speaks the truth.

I bought a little 120V flux-core welder from HF last year. I use it mostly for small work like joining exhaust tubes, welding bungs into pipe, etc. Mostly, my welds vary between looking absolutely terrible and being "acceptable" after grinding.

The biggest challenge I had was heat management. My welder only has two current settings- high and low. At first, I tried to do everything on the low setting. This basically resulted in poor penetration, the complete inability to draw a bead, and so on. Running the rig at full current allows me to achieve decent penetration, and I now use only the wire feed control to adjust for different thicknesses.

Despite this, my welds still look like crap, but at least they have been holding.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Cool, thanks. I've got 0 training, so I found a few points helpful.
So far, I've made super ugly welds, but they are all holding up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
Lets see... the 5 minute lesson on flux core welding:

* if you have problems, turn up the amperage first.
* if the wire rams into the weld, turn down wire feed speed
* if you can't maintain an arc, turn up wire speed
* chamfer the edges of the parts where they fit together so you're welding into a V shaped joint. you'll get better penile-tration.
* cover anything you dont want little weld dingleberries stuck to with some thick leather or other non-flammable fabric.
* tack weld and fit before welding the joint!
* don't weld the whole thing in one pass. do a short portion and then flip it over and do the opposite side (like tightening lug nuts) so it doesn't shrink funny and bend out of alignment.
* clean clean clean clean clean the joint (inside and out) with sandpaper or scotch brite before you weld it. then clean it some more.
* wear safety glasses when bustin' slag off. red hot glass in your eye = ow.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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Practice!! Practice!! Practice!! get some scrap metal, the same thickness you want to weld and have at it. Make minor adjustments to amperage and wire speed, also variations of your technique. Trying to tell some one how to weld is kind of like describing sunset to a blind man. Its just something you have to learn hands on
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:30 PM   #11
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Yeah true. practice is critical. but without an idea of how to change what you've got, you can't learn.

Here's an interesting guide I ran across:
http://64.78.42.182/sweethaven/BldgC...Num=7&modNum=3

Particularly this:
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:34 PM   #12
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makes me want to go buy some welding equipment...
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:56 PM   #13
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:04 PM   #14
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hmm fluxcore. I am the king. I wonce made a woman completely out of spatter. I called her Spatty she is mine and I am hers.
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
hmm fluxcore. I am the king. I wonce made a woman completely out of spatter. I called her Spatty she is mine and I am hers.
Damn dude. I'm at work and you got me all choked up over here. That's like poetry or something.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
Yeah true. practice is critical. but without an idea of how to change what you've got, you can't learn.

Here's an interesting guide I ran across:
http://64.78.42.182/sweethaven/BldgC...Num=7&modNum=3

Particularly this:
dang all those welds look good compared to mine
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:08 PM   #17
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I think the welds in those pics are ARC or TIG welds, not MIG
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:26 PM   #18
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well thanks guys for the pointers, it really helped me to do small sections and wire brush just before and after a weld to clean the brown **** off. Seems like that caused the wire to bump the piece and not spark. Another trick that worked for me was instead of constantly holding the trigger, I did multiple adjacent spot welds and it actually came out sort of like figure A in the chart above. I wish I had a camera that I could show how it came out.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:12 PM   #19
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that technique is also helpful when metal distortion is an issue (threads and such)
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda/nissan View Post
dang all those welds look good compared to mine
Mine too.
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