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Converting Mig Welder

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  • Converting Mig Welder

    I have a Multi-Mig welder mfg in the 80's. The machine has only been used once or twice. I've used a stick welder for years and am not a big fan of switching gas for different metals. I've heard that this style mig can be converted to use the flux core wire with no gas needed. From what I understand it has to do with switching the polarity. Does this mean that you switch the wire leading to the ground clamp (- to +) and the mig head (+ to -)or something else? Also does the mig head have to be changed? Anyone ever had any experience with this type of modification? Any help would be appreciated.

    Mike Sr.
    Mike Sr.

  • #2
    Mine has a couple lugs that you switch to reverse the polarity. I'll take a look, but I think you're on the right track. Same MIG head, assuming you can change the end piece (not sure what it's called) to accomodate the thicker wire.

    I know you're used to stick welding, but flux-core MIG welding is not nearly as nice as using shielding gas. Kind of defeats the purpose, IMO. Also, I'm pretty sure the flux-core caused my MIG liner to start jamming. I replaced the liner, but had to wait a couple weeks for the part.

    Perhaps you can come up with a more elegant way of switching gas types?
    The early worm gets eaten.


    • #3
      When I use the flux core stuff, I get a lot of splaters, even with the antisplater stuff.
      You can build a gas feed system which basiclly you just turn valves to get different gases. But I only use CO2 for most things and for stainless I use the AGA Super Argon Mix, so changing gases is a 5 minute of less job.



      • #4
        I've never been able to get as good a bead with the gas shielding as I can with my stick machine. Only problem is the Weller is an older machine (copper core) and it burns hot even at the lower amp settings. I just want to use the mig for light welding. I'm not doing body work so the spatter doesn't bother me. Have plenty of polishing equipment at hand. 99% of my welding is with the stick machine so I just want to experiment with the mig and see how it works. Part of it is also I dislike having to replace the gas and the wire. I've welded with a mig we have in the shop using flux core (much more expensive machine than mine) and liked the way it worked.
        Mike Sr.


        • #5
          On my Mig, the liner for the flux core wire is a different size, so I have to change the liner every time I switch. It's nice to have the option to do this when you run out of a shielding gas.


          • #6
            Mike Sr. You may not have to switch the liner - check out the wire size you are presently using - if it is .030 use .030 fluxcore. You only have to change the liner for different wire diameters, or when it gets dirty. There should also be some type of lugs inside. I suggest following the ground lead inside the machine. My Lincoln has 2 wing nuts and I just switch the leads. There are wire cleaners - just a sponge thing with ring clamp - which greatly reduces the dust and debris. It just rides on the wire before the feed rollers.


            • #7
              The only time you should have to change the liner is switching to aluminum or back. Using aluminum wire requires a Teflon liner. Changing wire size means changing the contact tip and the feed roller. Most rollers will flip and the tips are pocket chage.

              For Solid Wire and gas, ground is -, gun is + (They call this reverse polarity...I don't know why)
              For Flux Wire and no gas, ground is +, gun is - (They call this straight polarity...??)

              Some units have a Polarity switch, some you have to switch the conection inside the box. This is not complicated, just a pain.

              I use 75/25 (Argon/CO2) on all steel welding (Rod, plate, sheet, tube). You can't beat the look. (Except maybe Tig) The diference between Flux Core and Solid W/gas is like night and day. Hardly any clean up and seldom burns through.