View Full Version : Flux core welding mig 16 guage square tubing

08-11-2012, 08:06 PM
My $45 110 stick welder quit. I found a flux core mig welder close by on craigslist. $80 asked OBO($50 maybe?). Seven years old and hasn't been used for a long time. Owner will show that it works.

What's the technique with this type of welder to get proper welds on the 16 guage square tubing that Brad uses. Prep the metal, leave a small gap?, adjust the wire speed, watch the angle, keep a steady speed. No way to adjust anything but wire speed on this particular machine. I would probably buy a spool of lincoln flux core wire at HD to start. How does one avoid burn through?

08-11-2012, 08:42 PM
Hi Buzzboxdon,

I believe Brad uses a basic stick welder for his builds. I used to be a fabricator/welder, but it was a long time back - haven't struck an arc in over 25 years now. These flux-core MIG welders seem to be the new kid on the block, and have to be honest and say that every time I see the welds from them I think 'that looks awful'. I used to use regular gas MIG, MMA, TIG and a little OA, but even with gas MIG you could get some pretty decent welds. There was a little spatter, nothing major - but the flux-core seem to have more spatter than weld! .....and what little weld there is looks like it won't hold up to much stress. Sounds like they're marketing these welders as a cheap alternative to gas MIG - no need for expensive bottles and gauges - but I just don't see how you can get decent results using it. Just my 2 baht worth. Cheers - Frank.

08-11-2012, 10:40 PM
Thanks, Frank!

You were quick on the reply, much appreciated. I wouldn't consider this mig welder unless the seller can show me some of his results of his welding with this machine.

08-12-2012, 07:22 AM
Most, if not all, of these $100 flux core welders are putting out AC to the wire. I have yet to find small wire (.030, .035. .045) that is rated for use with AC, Most are DCEN (DC Electrode Negative). So yes, you will get HUGE amounts of spatter, as well as an unstable arc. That is why I added the rectifier to mine, and will be adding a choke/capacitor bank this spring. Others here have also looked into conversion, and have found many websites with good info on doing this.

08-12-2012, 09:00 AM
Check it out. Take some tubing with you to try it out. The flux core is similar to the stick welder when being used in that you have to break up the flux and wire brush the weld between arcs as the flux forms a shell over the cooling weld to prevent oxygen penetration. Charlie_R is correct about the New $100 welders. However as this is used it could be someone clearing out the garage and that's how I got mine. So it may be an older Lincoln weldpack with 4 heat settings and variable weld speed. And they are DC and upgradeable to Gas shielded mig. It will have a gas port in back if it is upgradeable Lincoln as well as 2 wire taps inside where the wire spool sits to mount a solenoid. If it is a Harbor freight model then it is probably AC as Charlie_r say. And all is not lost as Charlie_r has also mentioned it can be repaired to be DC with the addition of a rectifier. Adding gas to make it a gas shielded would require some creativity to as a relay to fire a solenoid and a different gun and that passes gas through the wire tube. So if your looking to go gas shielded eventually and it does not have a solenoid tabs and port for gas. Then forget it. The fluxcore is very smoke like stick arc welding and it does spatter a bit more. So good luck in the shopping.

And to answer your question FrankCrank- The fluxcore wire feeds are popular here because most the lower amp units plug into any standard 110V outlet so they can be used anywhere it is safe to weld. Be it out to weld on a car frame or welding up a wheel barrel in back yard. or a wire frame for a green house. You can use a long extension cord and still get decent welds without having to rewire the house or unplug your dryer to use them. As they can still blow holes through thicker metal I have seen some Auto guys use them for welding frames by tacking till a point at a time and letting the welder cool the doing it again till the parts they were building had a good solid weld. They are typically cheaper, lighter and you don't have to stop to change an electrode every few minutes so for a novice like me it is easier to learn to weld.

08-12-2012, 08:36 PM
...yeah, I had forgotten about the different voltage. UK and Thailand are both somewhere between 220-240AC, so makes it easier to use a welder I guess. Plugs are different here, but easy to chop and change. If I do get my own welder, I won't run it through the fusebox - will go direct from the consumer unit. The one I want to get says it's OK for 13A plug, but can just see the safe-t-cut being thrown all the time....

08-13-2012, 06:22 PM
you can make some very nice welds using fluxcore... Key is dialing in the machine and PUDDLE control
Not all weldors that say they can weld can do more then lay some ugly birdcrap welds.
Welding is as much as an art form as it is a skill that is learned over time. Not in the first 20 minutes
after buying a cheap welder at the discount store.

08-13-2012, 11:15 PM
Hey Ibedayank - you summed it up beautifully - especially the bird poo welds :)

08-24-2012, 11:37 PM
The wire speed controls the amps I also have voltage control which also controls the amps on the correct setting using 0.08mm gassles flux core wire on 1.6mm guage steel it does a reasonable job. You can find a mig welding calculator on www.mig-welding.co.uk/calculator.htm (http://www.mig-welding.co.uk)