View Full Version : First try pic, finally got welder together, made some bump on scrap piece.

01-06-2009, 01:04 AM
Hi all,

I finally got all the parts and put my basic HF welder together.
(HF 90 amp, flux core)

I did not have a lot of time but I attempted some basic stuff on some scraps.
I was successful in creating a piece of slightly bumpy metal, see pic.

I set it to MAX and tried different speeds, perhaps my outlet is not pwerful enough.

Sag Advice Welcome! :(


Yeah, Rome was not build in a day..



Radical Brad
01-06-2009, 01:51 AM
Looks like barely enough heat to melt tinfoil there!


01-06-2009, 03:10 AM
I use the same welder. Make sure you have a good ground on the piece you're welding and the feed wheel is clean. It doesn't look like you are getting anywhere near enough current.

01-06-2009, 09:06 AM
I'm no pro, but with the other advice you may want to hold the tip as close as possible to the material.

01-06-2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all your replies.

Over the next few days I will continue to experiment and try out the various suggestions.


01-06-2009, 09:58 AM
tomas - hard to say exactly what it is doing yet, but as others have said it looks cold. Then again its a pretty small sample. Make sure you are within a reasonable distance on your arc gap (around 1/8"-1/4").

As others have said the voltage supply is critical on these little 120v machines. I have written before of my trials with my Hobart 140 and my inadequate wiring (probably a search of the old forum would reveal the threads). To make a long story short, I was trying to weld in my garage off a marginal 15A garage circuit, and was very unhappy with the penetration on anything bigger than 16ga. I finally had my son measure the voltage at the outlet (on the second wall plug below where I had the cord plugged in) while I welded. I was only getting around 100V at best. Using a #14 wire 50 foot extension cord, I wasnt even getting 100V. That is just not enough for the little welder to do its thing.

I finally went to Harbor Freight and bought an RV 10 ga extension cord, cut off the ends and put on some good 20A ends. Then, I plugged it into a 20A circuit close to my main electrical panel. The difference was like night and day. On a good circuit, what looked like a welder that could barely weld went to one that was Hot, Hot, Hot.

Let us know how it comes out.

01-06-2009, 10:13 AM
You may have better luck with direct sunlight & a large magnifying glass... :jester:


01-06-2009, 11:20 AM
try and run a bead for about 1min continuous.
Then feel all the plugs and sockets and cables to see if they are warm/hot.
If they are then you probably have a high resistance joint at that spot and its reducing the current.
If your power cable is too long there may be a current drop there as well.
Looking at the little spots it looks as if there is insufficient heat and the tip is too far from the work.
Check the tip inside the nozzle, make sure its only just sitting inside the nozzle rim.
Hold the nozzle at approx 45' to the work, let the rim of the nozzle touch the work to keep it steady (only for this test) pull the trigger and let it burna reasonable large bead. Dont move the gun we just want to check if the wire is burning hot enough.
If it is try to lift the gun about a 1/4" from the work and build a run about 2" long.
If the first test doesnt build a molten spot/bead that you have to find where the current loss is.
What does the welding sound like?
a continuous buzzing is good, an intermittent crackling is not.

01-06-2009, 12:01 PM
Hi Tomas good to see you are able to start playing with the new toy . I have a few suggestions that I havent seen yet that may help first make sure that the leads are hooked up right inside the welder . Fluxcore requires electrode negative hookup inside the welder where you mount your wire reel there are 2 luggs where the ground and gun hookup you want to make sure the ground is hooked to the positive lugg and the lead comming from the gun is hooked to the negative lugg. I know it sounds crazy but thats the way it should be hooked up . I would also suggest you pull the nozle tip off of your gun you dont need it for fluxcore and it blocks your view of the weld . That will allow you to see the tip of the gun and the wire sticking out of it . You need to keep the stickout of wire under 3/8" . I also agree if you are using an extension cord make sure its a decent one a minimum of 12 guage and 10 guage would be prefered . I would also recomend you put the ground clamp as close as you can to where you are welding ( within 6 inches ) due to the welder being such low amperage .


01-07-2009, 02:51 PM
Ice Storm + workplace closed = day of fun with new equipment..

I figured I'd start with the easy suggestions everyone made:
- I found a better outlet by tracing some of the circuits in the garage. Yup, mig/flux welders need current..
- Made the wire 'stick-out' much shorter, under 1/4 inch.

Those two changes made a big difference.
My first practice welds are not perfect and ugly as hell, but for me it's a good first step. Now it's less of a wild ride when I pull the trigger and I'm beginning to get a feel for controlling the spark (arc?).

Here's my first join of two scrap pieces right after the weld, that sucker was hot:

I could not get them apart with the vice-and-hammer test. See video link below:
I re-tightened the vice and pounded it much more than that after the vid and could not pound it apart. It's hard to hold the camera and pound at the same time.

At least it kind of, sort of looks like a bead:


I still can't find the best position to see what's happening when I pulled the trigger.

I used the angle grinder to cut the weld in half as suggested. I know it's not perfect but I'm gettin' there..

Thanks for all your help!


01-07-2009, 02:59 PM
Tomas looking much better looks like you got good penetration on the one you cut apart . Now as to not being able to see that chrome nozzle on the end of your Gun should pull or screw off take it off and toss it into the bottom of the welder where your wire goes you dont need it on a fluxcore welder and it is blocking your view of the weld . The nozzle is used on a MIG using welding gas to help shield the weld but fluxcore doesnt require it so if you remove it then you should be able to see the tip of the gun and the wire sticking out . That means you will be able to see the weld being made .I think you are doing great for your second attempt you have managed to fuse metal together :D.


01-07-2009, 03:04 PM
Thanks Rick, I will try that.


..chrome nozzle on the end of your Gun should pull or screw off take it off and toss it into the bottom of the welder where your wire goes you dont need it on a fluxcore welder..

01-07-2009, 05:08 PM
I second that taking the chrome barrel off. When I weld with flux core, I take mine off and can see much better without it in the way. If you do have a welder that will also take shielding gas, its a good idea to either smear the gas jets up good with anti-spatter spray/gel when you take the gas nozzle off or get a flux core nozzle (if your welder has such an option). It supposedly keeps the gas jets from getting clogged. I got mine from some online welding supply for about $3 and use them all the time.

Here is the one I have:


Your welds are looking much better. You may still be a bit too far away on your gap, judging by the amount of splatter. You may also too high a wife speed now, or your workpiece was dirty. Some practice will sort it all out. Try to concentrate as much as possible on seeing the molten puddle and controlling it. You will be building in no time.

01-07-2009, 06:36 PM
Not bad, Tomas, not bad at all for your second attempt!

Keep at it. It becomes more fun, as you get the hang of it!
At least, that's what they tell me. I'll let you know when I do. :D


01-07-2009, 07:43 PM
Trikeman Tomas's welder is Fluxcore only so he can safely toss the nozzle into the wire compartment and forget it until he gets ready to upgrade and sells it :D. Tomas Trikeman is right now you want to try to watch the weld puddle . One thing alot of new guys find helpfull is to take some welders chalk and run a line of it where you want your bead to go it helps you see the weld line better than looking at a dark seam and trying to follow it until you get used to welding . You are doing well for your second attempt I think you will be building in no time at all . I taught my now 15 YO son to weld by giving him scraps and letting him play he turned his scraps into a pen holder for his desk and we even made some scrolls ( ornamental iron ) and welded them on it . I have some ironworking tools including a scroll bender . He is ready to build himself a trike now that he has been watching me build the one for the Grandmonster . Once you get used to welding you will be hunting for stuff to stick together to make things :D.


01-07-2009, 10:04 PM
another trick I use is 3xmagnifing eye glasses.
Although I can see the weld with my normal reading glasses the 3x have made an enormous difference.

02-02-2009, 03:17 AM
tomas keep asking questions! I got my welder last week and am learning off your questions and trials. thanks

02-02-2009, 07:30 AM
Glad to be of service.

I saw in another post that you got a mig?
Are you using gas with the mig? Or just flux-core wire?

I'm greatly enjoying the welding and am collecting and planning for my Street fox build. I've become a Craigslist junky.

The folks here are great. Best of luck, keep us posted, throw up some photos of your joins.


tomas keep asking questions! I got my welder last week and am learning off your questions and trials. thanks

02-02-2009, 02:12 PM
flux wire, another source for bikes in our area is freecycle and the wantaddigest. depending where in mass you are. Someone in petersburg near the mass line had 5 bikes last fall to get rid of, I couldn't get there due to work/kids