using flux core welder

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:39 pm
Hello all. I have a lincoln electric mig pak 10 that I bought about 15 years ago to change the floors on a jeep that I had. it was cheaper to buy the welder and do it on my own than sending it out. In the end my neighbor did the work for me.
Fast forward 15 years, and now I am working on an older car. i have played around with a mig at a buddies place recently a couple of times and have become not to bad. I was wondering if using the welder with flux core will be as easy as using a mig. I know it works similar because of the fed wire, but there is no gas, and cant go get a bottle of argon right now.
Should I try and tackle the work with the flux core seeing that I have a bit of experience with a mig. will i get similar results. The last thing i want is to start burning holes in my panels.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I have asked a few questions here before and the advice I have received was amazing. Thank you

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:18 pm
I had one of those gasless MIGs (oxymoron?) a few years ago. If you're welding bits of 5mm angle together, or making a fence where you're not worried about how it looks, or you have all the time in the world to clean and grind your welds, then they're ok.

For trying to weld panels on a car, not so good. Most, in my experience, come with only minimal adjustments (blow a hole, blow a bigger hole or nuke the whole panel) and they leave a horrible mess of weld spatter all over the place.

If you're an experienced welder then they have their place but for someone new I wouldn't recommend one.

In the end, because I was moving in to more jobs that involved welding, I bought a proper MIG with stepless voltage adjustment so now I can lay a bead on almost paper thin sheet. We used to have to rent the gas bottles but can now buy them outright, which saves rental cost if you're not using a lot. Maybe different where you are.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:39 am
will flux core be as easy as using gas? no. the concept is the same but flux core, like chis mentioned, leaves a huge mess that is crucial to clean properly before applying any finish.
i have a hobart 140. wasted a lot of sheetmetal practicing (blow a hole,blow a bigger hole. nuke the hole panel)and getting the right heat and feed rate. i was eventually able to weld sheetmetal but very time consuming. spot welds along the seam, then clean all of the crud for the next pass. repeat
when i broke down and set it up for gas, it didnt take much practice to get used to it. and there i was sayin,"i should have used the gas from the start."
it was much easier and quicker.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:38 pm
Flux core has a forceful arc, much like 6010 electrodes (stick) do. It has its place. One of the things I like about it is that a small machine can plug into a 110v outlet and generally weld up to ~3/16". And it does it without having to keep a bottle.

It also has limitations. It is a bit messy. I wouldn't try welding less than 18 gauge with it, and have found 1/16" or so is about the minimum I would use it for. In other words, I might use it for a small project on 18 gauge just because I can get a little lazy. Even with 1/16", I've found the arc so forceful that very short stringers or even spot welds are needed to avoid blowing holes.

As far as the mess goes, there's several techniques to minimize it. There are sprays out there that can help. I usually just find a piece of scrap sheet metal to tape beside the weld area. It does create slag so the slag will have to be removed whether for the final cleanup or to join your spots or short stingers.

Personally, because of the thin metals involved, I would stick with MIG on automotive sheet metal.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:57 am
Do a gas conversion kit to the machine.
I found kits on line from $150-$250 ... OkQAvD_BwE ... 7AQAvD_BwE ... lsrc=aw.ds

Watch a videos of the conversion being done, I found several online Doesn't look hard to do the conversion and its not overly expensive either. You be glad you did much cleaner welds with a Gas Mig.
Dennis Barnett
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Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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