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How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire feed?

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JDseller
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire feed? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What I find interesting is that I can weld better with a stick than I can a wire feed. My sons can weld better with the wire feed than a stick. May be it is just what you learned to weld on.

I have tried to push the weld like they show. I actually have a hard time seeing the weld this way. I usually can do better by just dragging it like I always do. I get strong welds but they are not a smooth weld. I can actually get a smoother weld with a 6013 or 7018 than I usually can with a wire feed welder.

My wire feed welder is a Miller 252 right now. I have had others but I still had the same issues. I know it is me not the welder. My sons can pick it up and make smooth welds.

Also I have had my state certification for many years. So I am not a novice to welding but just not as good with a wire feed as I would like. I also would like to try TIG welding some time.
 
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Stick welding
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Are you letting the nozzle block your view of the puddle? You only need a slight push angle and weave (twist your wrist) side to side slightly or go in circles to get fusion at the edges. Pushing should give a flatter bead than pulling. The chart inside the plastic door has pretty close settings to give a nice weld. This is for solid wire. Flux-core is always pulled but metal-core is also pushed. You didn't say what wire you were using but I'm guessing ER70S-6 solid wire .035?
 
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JDseller
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am using .035 with gas. I am not sure what hardness of wire. I just have a hard time seeing the puddle. I have an adjustable helmet and I have tried dark and lighter. Still no better. I have also tried my old flip helmet not much difference.

I have seen the boys pick up the gun without changing anything and weld a good looking bead. My beads usually look just like you stick welded them.
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire fe Reply to specific post Reply with quote

When wire feeds came into construction around here in the 1970's, and the companies forced us to use them, my stick welding skills really fell off. I would go years with out touching a stick welder. I didn't get my stick welding skill back until retiring, and just used a stick machine for awhile.
A Mig / wire feeder is the easiest process of all the welding processes to learn.
JDseller I think you need to look into buying some reading glasses.
 
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Don-Wi
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:03 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire fe Reply to specific post Reply with quote

TIG gets pretty tricky, especially if you throw a turn table into the mix that is controlled by your foot. I did some tig last week that I had to use that setup and took some pictures, I just need to upload them.

Donovan from Wisconsin
 


Last edited by Don-Wi on Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ken Macfarlane
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:22 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've spent a lot of time on a mig welder patching rusty cars back together and still make a bad mig weld quite often. Usually on thin stuff.

-If you can't see the puddle and you are welding thin stuff you aren't going to make nice welds. I can weld some stuff without being able to see by listening to the sound but its not pretty. Also, I'm not sure how steady your hands are but mine have always shaken enough that I need to rest on something.

-If its dirty at all, the welds are terrible. I find I get lazy after welding stick for a while since dirty steel isn't as much of an issue.
 
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rossow (mn)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i bought a fairly decent argon-shielded Lincoln mig welder maybe 15 years ago and have never been able to use it effectively. As I've written on this forum before, for some reason I can't see the weld joint -- not because something is in the way but because I simply can't see the joint the way I can with a stick welder. It's a physiological problem, not a technique problem. I've tried lenses from 9 to 12, but nothing helps. I can only see the joint when I aim two 500-watt halogen lamps directly at the joint at close range; then I'm sort of OK (sight-wise), but I still much prefer the stick welder for anything but sheet metal (when I often revert to my oxy-acetylene unit). I need mig practice, but the sight issue makes it hard. I'm sadly disappointed with mig welding.
 
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guido
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello JDseller,
You have answered your own question!
Quote" I have hard time seeing the weld"
A larger welding hood with the help of glasses, as puddles said, would be most hepfull.
Guido.
 
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Billy NY
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can't really add much to what these experienced hands can tell you, but one thing that made a huge difference is being able to see clearly what you are doing. I knew what to do for the most part with stick, but being overly protective of my eyes, I went with a darker lense, I either changed helmets or a went to a lighter lense, think its a shade 11, I can see the puddle, and the work better, that and a few odds and ends I finally could control the puddle, see it, and when done, finally have decent weld in profile, penetration and no visible porosity, with 7018.

Like you I want the capability to weld thin material, and learn more as I go along, I like the welding posts on this forum.
 
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Billy NY
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Meant to add, here is a photo of one of the welds after I made the change, I thought I did ok for an amateur, self taught, probably more bad habits than not LOL, but this actually was a light structural repair of shop garage door connection to the framing above. I had to make up some hangers, whomever installed, repaired, this door, made some terrible choices, lucky the whole darned thing did not come down on someone.


 
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old
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Almost any body can weld with a wire feed but to stick weld you need to know what your doing. I had did both stick and tig welding then went to an interview for a job to mig weld and they hired me right on the spot but yet I had never done so much as a 1/4 inch of mig welding but my weld held up to there test. A well trained monkey can mig weld but that is not so with stick
 
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NCWayne
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've been stick welding for probably 30 years, and MIG welding for about 20. Learned to stick working with my Dad, and then got a job fabricating truck bodies where I learned to MIG. Thing with the bodies was you either made a pretty, flat weld, or ground it until it was. That said, I used to have a hard time seeing the puddle too when I first started MIG welding. Never had a problem with the stick, but couldn't see a thing with the MIG. I went through different shade lenses, a helmet with the bigger lens, etc but nothing seemed to make it any better. I finally got one of the gold coated lenses and since then have never had a problem. The only reason I can think of that this works is that I am partially color blind and the gold lenses don't make everything look green like a standard lens does. Something about the different colors that get through with the gold plated lens makes the puddle stand out to me so I can see it with no problem. I know they don't make the autodark helmets with a gold lens but if you've got a standard helmet you might want to give it a try.
 
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Bob Bancroft
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Did some welding for a guy several years ago(sheet metal) where obviously all he had were wire welders. He said he'd get me hooked and I would leave my old stick welder.
I never got used to the wire welder. It didn't give off enough light that I felt like I could see. Auto-darkening,adjustable shades and all.
I've tried one since. Still don't like it. I get along with my old stick welder just fine. I would like to get one of those large view auto- helmets though.
 
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Dick L
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have been stick welding for sixty years. Started in freshaman shop class at 14. Been trying to get the hang of wire welding for twenty years of so. I most likely give up and go to stick before getting the hang of it though.
I do a fair job of stich welding in sheet metal patches with the wire welder. Fab work 1/4" or more thick is stick weld work for me.
 
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K. Peters
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: How are you are at welding with a stick verses a wire... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My mig welding is much better than my stick welding, but that is because the only time I stick weld is when I'm outdoors or out of wire/gas on the mig welder. Biggest mistake new guys at work make is they weld too cold, gotta turn the heat up and/or the wire down. As with anything the more you do it the better you get. There are certain jobs where I work that a 60lb. roll of .045 wire won't last an entire shift, so you could say I get lots of practice wire welding and I could not imagine how many rods we would go through if we stick welded.
 
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