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Flux cored mig wire

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  • #31
    I like flux core, for most of the stuff I do it's completely fine. A little rougher (at my skill level), but not too bad. I gave away my little flux core machine a few months ago to a friend just starting out, and was mig welding something last weekend and ran out of gas on the new mig....I didn't have a spool of flux core (gave away spare with machine) or I would have just finished it with that. Didn't have gas for the tig either..... Had to finish with stick. I need to pick up some new bottles and a roll of flux core this weekend. It's handy to have around....

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    • #32
      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
      People continue to regard flux core as "cheap crap" for those who can afford no better..... But it's a legit process.

      We did both in class. Both work. You do use reverse polarity for flux core, in general (wire -), but it's fine. I've done a reasonable amount of it since class, and got good results building frames for test stands etc.

      ALL fluxed processes are "messy", so that's no big deal. Don't like it? Go inside and use tig or mig, instead of FCAW (IIRC that is the correct name).
      Flux core is about as far from "cheap crap" as you can get. When it's the only process available to do the repair to get you back up and running it's indispensable. Stick welding has its place, too, but there have been times when space constraints made using a long consumable rod not practical. And when the repair is on a sheet metal shielding support bracket on a manure spreader, and it's down where "stuff" can accumulate, it brings new meaning to the term messy.

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      • #33
        I used to use flux core all the time for things like welding a handle on a gate, or welding in a strike box for an electric strike. El-Cheapo 110V machine at that. Works off a heavy extension cord going in the back door of an office building just fine. Mine was only good for an inch (ok, 2 inches on a cool day) at a time of duty cycle, but that was usually enough.
        Last edited by Bob La Londe; 06-09-2021, 09:25 PM.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #34
          My flux core mig spatters. I should be using this stuff where I don't want the spatter to stick. https://www.ebay.com/itm/17400992222...IaAgmyEALw_wcB

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          • #35
            Flux core without shielding gas is seen as the range of the cheapest cheapo migs. Flux Core with shielding gas is seen as pro-level stuff that gives very strong welds.

            That's the general view around here as I've gathered. I only use gas and solid wire.
            Last edited by DennisCA; 06-10-2021, 07:09 AM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by RMinMN View Post
              My flux core mig spatters. I should be using this stuff where I don't want the spatter to stick. https://www.ebay.com/itm/17400992222...IaAgmyEALw_wcB
              You can probably save some money by using PAM cooking spray -- old welders trick
              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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              • #37
                I do almost all of my welding indoors, with solid wire MIG. I used some flux core once & the "problem" I had was the smoke that it produced. Not as bad as plasma cutting, but still unpleasant enough to avoid the flux core.

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                • #38
                  Yeah Flux Core is smoky. When I use it inside the shop I open an overhead door in the front and the back.

                  The thing to remember is that with plane old flux core you have to remember to go to DCEN.

                  Most (all?) MIG proceses are DCEP. Flux core needs to be DCEN. If you try it wrong you consistently get crappy welds and crazy wild soot and spatter.

                  One huge advantage to flux core is out of position welding. I've always struggled (feel free to silently think to yourself I have lousy skills) struggled with vertical and overhead MIG, but flux core is almost easy by comparison.
                  *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                  • #39
                    Made dad had a retail store maintenance business for years in Buffalo NY.
                    One common thing in that area was rusted out metal doors and jambs on
                    commercial buildings. Salt for the sidewalks and the like take a toll.
                    There was a place in Buffalo, Durande Door that made steel doors from
                    the bare coils of steel. They would sell you any height of a door that you
                    wanted, even 1 foot. Frame sections too. My dad kept a Lincoln 120volt
                    flux core welder in the truck, and a Honda 3000 watt genny. He would cut
                    out the damaged rusted sections of a door or frame and weld the new pieces
                    in. Bondo them up and paint them. Way faster than farting around trying
                    to hang a new door. He said that little 120volt welder made him more money
                    than lots of other machines that he owned. It is a fun little machine to weld with
                    and you can get really decent looking welds with it.

                    -Doozer
                    DZER

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                      ................. He said that little 120volt welder made him more money
                      than lots of other machines that he owned. It is a fun little machine to weld with
                      and you can get really decent looking welds with it.

                      -Doozer
                      It is when you stay in it's capability. Which is probably 14 ga to 11 ga steel. Right in the door frame area.
                      2730

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by DennisCA View Post
                        Flux core without shielding gas is seen as the range of the cheapest cheapo migs. Flux Core with shielding gas is seen as pro-level stuff that gives very strong welds.

                        That's the general view around here as I've gathered. I only use gas and solid wire.
                        like wise. I've not seen flux core used commercially as a way to avoid using a shielding gas. The welders don't refer to double shield, its hard wire or flux core and both are done with shielding gas. Everything with shielding gas other than submerged arc in the shop or stick sometimes in the field. The guys prefer flux core because its can produce less splatter, but spatter with hardwire should be minimized if the machine is set up properly. Where fluxcore (shielded of course) shines is its hard to not get good penetration.

                        At home I've only run my little 220V lincoln mig pac with hardwire and shielding gas - the small bottles (at least here) can be bought so you don't have the on going rip off rental fees.

                        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                        • #42
                          So...... when you are doing work out in the open air....... how's that there shield gas workin out for yah?

                          There absolutely IS "dual shield" (IIRC) that uses gas and flux. NOT the same wire. But here we go again with the "cheapest of the cheap" deal...... just as I said.

                          I don't "get it". For so many people, "flux core" equals 90A (chinese rating) cheapo HF "use once and throw away" welder that automagically makes weak brittle and incomplete bird poop welds, and get nearly no penetration because the 90A is more like 40A.. Basically "worthless welds that don't even work" seems to be the thought

                          And think of how misled I was, I certainly thought those welds on test frames, had looked good, had good penetration, nice puddle, no bird poop, and held together fine under stress, as intended. Somehow, they must all have actually broken instantly and dropped the gear onto the concrete, and I never noticed.....

                          BTW, for the "absolute junk" crowd.... What is the difference, in your view, between running stick and flux core? Both are fluxed welding.... So are you, as-usual, associating flux core exclusively with cold "90A" welds, or is it that you claim there is just no way whatever to get a satisfactory joint with gasless (FCAW) flux core welding?
                          Last edited by J Tiers; 06-10-2021, 04:15 PM.
                          2730

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan


                          It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                          • #43
                            You know, I have seen commercial welders use flux core without gas, in open air, on very large construction jobs. Not needing gas is a huge competitive advantage for them. Not having rod butts and electrode changing time is also a competitive advantage when it comes to bidding on a job. That said, HOWEVER those guys are not running cheap rigs. They are running $30,000 generator setups that are capable of hundreds of amps, at 30 VDC all day long. Its a popular method for large structural contractors, such as the guys that built your local Walmart. In other words, their equipment is able to take full advantage of the process, which the little 90A machines just can't.

                            As I said in an earlier post, I've run dual-shield (another form of flux core) in a boiler shop, and believe me they are certified to the hilt. IMHO those who think flux core is junk are uninformed. It *can* be done well, but at the hobbyist level you very rarely see that. The difference is not the fact that it has flux, that has zero to do with it. The difference is in the machine and the operator using it.

                            If I was doing an automotive job like the OP, I would strongly prefer an 023 or 030 solid wire with argon simply because it's much more controllable. The flux in flux cored wire is designed to protect the weld from oxygen, not zinc gases from galvanized.

                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                            So...... when you are doing work out in the open air....... how's that there shield gas workin out for yah?

                            There absolutely IS "dual shield" (IIRC) that uses gas and flux. NOT the same wire. But here we go again with the "cheapest of the cheap" deal...... just as I said.

                            I don't "get it". For so many people, "flux core" equals 90A (chinese rating) cheapo HF "use once and throw away" welder that automagically makes weak brittle and incomplete bird poop welds, and get nearly no penetration because the 90A is more like 40A.. Basically "worthless welds that don't even work" seems to be the thought

                            And think of how misled I was, I certainly thought those welds on test frames, had looked good, had good penetration, nice puddle, no bird poop, and held together fine under stress, as intended. Somehow, they must all have actually broken instantly and dropped the gear onto the concrete, and I never noticed.....

                            BTW, for the "absolute junk" crowd.... What is the difference, in your view, between running stick and flux core? Both are fluxed welding.... So are you, as-usual, associating flux core exclusively with cold "90A" welds, or is it that you claim there is just no way whatever to get a satisfactory joint with gasless (FCAW) flux core welding?
                            Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 06-10-2021, 04:35 PM.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                              ............ The difference is in the machine and the operator using it.
                              Mostly the operator. He probably chose what machine to use.

                              A 90A cheap Lincoln can work fine, IF you use it for something it can handle. I was once asked to use one to weld (not my actual job, but I got called on regularly to weld) a good-sized piece of 1/4" plate in the middle of another larger piece, by the boss, because I was the only one who was actually trained in welding, and he wanted it "pretty". I said it wasn't gonna work well, which was true. He "suggested" I just try it, which I naturally did, the boss is the boss.

                              The welder was really trying, but just at the time it got a workable puddle going, it "duty cycled out". Of course, the subsequent attempts D-C'd out faster. It could have been done, eventually, but with that thing it was going to be a "career". (no torches in the place to pre-heat with, nothing to use as insulation). Turned out there was a 150A stick welder available, and that did do an "ok" job of it.

                              But the wussy little FC Lincoln did just fine welding 1/8" wall square steel making frames. The welds were "pretty", and they held just fine as would be expected.

                              So the matchup of machine and task is important. Even the cheap stuff can do a good job if used within it's capability. That would be why the structural welders used what they used.... it would do the job, and not DC out. No excuses, it just works, which is what is needed.

                              You don't need that for welding the 1/8" wall tubing.

                              BTW, I've mentioned that particular task of 1/4" plate elsewhere, and got a lecture about "doing multiple passes which will make it easy".... Yah..... it could not start a puddle, not for one pass, let alone several. They must have been reading the operator's manual, which optimistically lists up to 5/16" material. For sure.... at an amp per thou thickness that is HOW many amps????
                              Last edited by J Tiers; 06-10-2021, 08:44 PM.
                              2730

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan


                              It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I think we are agreeing in a round about way. My issue with the smaller machines is, it takes X amount of amperes at Y volts to properly burn any given size of wire, it varies as the cross-sectional area of the wire. And flux-core requires quite a bit more energy than the equivalent size of solid wire. If they made smaller-diameter flux core it wouldn't be such a problem, they would run beautifully. I wish they made flux core in 023 and 030 sizes but I've never seen such a thing.

                                And yes, the manufacturers specs are wildly optimistic on the low end of the market. Mid-range Lincoln and Miller machines are a good deal especially used. Those two companies routinely under-rate their machines, very conservatively to give you something like 20% more head room than advertised.

                                For the smaller machines, I've found it best to use a back-hand dragging the arc technique, this keeps the wire burning into the hot part of the puddle instead of digging into the cold un-melted base metal. With the big industrial machines it doesn't matter so much, you are not limited by those.

                                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                                Mostly the operator. He probably chose what machine to use.

                                A 90A cheap Lincoln can work fine, IF you use it for something it can handle.
                                So the matchup of machine and task is important. Even the cheap stuff can do a good job if used within it's capability. That would be why the structural welders used what they used.... it would do the job, and not DC out. No excuses, it just works, which is what is needed.

                                BTW, I've mentioned that particular task of 1/4" plate elsewhere, and got a lecture about "doing multiple passes which will make it easy".... Yah..... it could not start a puddle, not for one pass, let alone several. They must have been reading the operator's manual, which optimistically lists up to 5/16" material. For sure.... at an amp per thou thickness that is HOW many amps????
                                25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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