Problems with MIG welder

I'm using a MillerMatic 135, 120 volt MIG welder and I'm less than
thrilled with it, so I thought I would ask the experts for some
education. I'm running .035 gas wire, not fluxcore. When welding 1/8"
or more, I'm want to get the max heat out and can't seem to do it. The
welder has two adjustments, wire speed and voltage. With the voltage
at 10, and any wire speed at anything above 3.5 - 4.0, it won't burn
cleanly...it "dobs" and tries to push the wire tip into the work
repeatedly, like a maching gun repeating. Needless to say it doesn't
weld for crap like that, so I have to stop and restart.
At first I thought it was a ground problem and readjusted the clamp,
cleaned the work piece, etc, doesn't seem to help. It's running on a
20 amp circuit like the book says, but I'm contemplating replacing the
cord and running it on a 30 amp circuit. Thoughts?
Why can't industry leave well enough alone and let the operator adjust
the machine, not the machine trying to adjust itself! I hate automatic
welders...help !!!
Ronnie Lyons
Meridian, ID
Reply to
Ronnie Lyons, Meridian, Idaho
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Wrong wire. 120 volt MIG machines are made for 0.024" wire. 0.030" is even a bit too much for them.
If you run 0.024" wire you will discover that the 135 is in fact an excellent machine.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Hummmm I have the same problem at odd times with .035 flux core. That explains much. Harbor Freight 90 amp. Though most of the time it works fine.
Thanks!
Gunner
No 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out. Is that evil? Is that wrong? People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for the rule of brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically "right". Guns end that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work. - L. Neil Smith
Reply to
Gunner
Ernie mentioned the .024" wire which is the perfect wire for your machine, nothing thicker than .030"(aways take Ernie's advise on welding, he's a wiz!) but i wanted to add that you check your electrode tip. It should have .024" stamped into it (wire and tip should always match). You must also open your access panel and make sure the roller mechanism is set for the smaller wire. You will also notice the chart on the inside panel, use it, it really helps. You made sure the steel is not painted or rusty (where your welding as well) so that's a good thing to check as well. I use c25 sheilding gas (co2/argon mix) this works well but you can also use straight co2 (but you will have to adjust your power accordingly, co2 will penetrate the weld deeper)Your pressure should be between 20 and 25 on your gauge when you press the trigger on the handle. If your using mig wire your machine should be set up for DCEP (electrode positive), if you find your machine is using self shielding flux core wire you will need to change the wires to DCEN (or electrode negative) and you wont need the shielding gas. So that covers pretty much what can be wrong. I have the millermatic 175 and love it. Your machine should have come with an instructional video. It's kinda cheesy but you paid for the video when you bought the machine and you might just pick up something from it. Good Luck, walt
Reply to
Walt
Absolutely..... 20A circuits are not created equal. My welder would run fine from the outlets on one side of my shop, not worth a crap on the other side. Both circuits wired the same but somethings not kosher with one. So, made up a drop cord out of 8 gauge rubber cord which I plug into my 50A welder plug. Works great that way, and the wife sitting in the house can't tell when I'm welding anymore.
Tom
Reply to
Tom
I have had absolutely no problems running .035 wire thru any of the Lincoln 120volt welders. In fact I like it much better than the .025 wire which I feel is just too small for anything but very light sheet metal. For 1/8" steel .035 will make a nice weld. My personal small welder is a Lincoln 155 which is 220volts and I ALWAYS run .035 in it. If I were a guessing I think your polarity is wrong. If you have switched from flux to gas welding you should of changed your polarity.
tim
Reply to
TSJABS
It's my understanding that .024" wire won't carry the current like .035", so if I'm trying to get max current out, wouldn't switching to .024 limit my output...?
Ronnie
Reply to
Ronnie Lyons, Meridian, Idaho
On 3 May 2004 10:06:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Ronnie Lyons, Meridian, Idaho) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
As has been said your wire size may be too large. Have you been able to get a good weld with the wire feed slowed down? It may let you get away with using the rest of the wire, or even keep welding with that wire. If it works _below_ 3.5-4.0 then use it there.
I have a 220A welder. If I am using 0.8 - 0.9 mm wire, I _never_ approach the full feed speed, even at the highest setting. At 1.2mm I would slow down even more.
**************************************************** The Met Bureau is LOVE!
Reply to
Old Nick
On Mon, 03 May 2004 17:28:31 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Ernie. I just posted advising simply allowing for wire size and slowing the feed down.
I am willing to learn. Is there any problem with that?
It works for me, and seems logical, although I see .035 is WAY over .024
**************************************************** The Met Bureau is LOVE!
Reply to
Old Nick
I downloaded the manual for your welder from the Miller site and the setup chart shows that the 135 isn't intended to run .035 solid, only fluxcore.
Aside from that though I suggest you try the following; instead of setting the speed to what you think it should be to get the maximum current try setting it while welding to see if you can get a smooth arc. In other words, while welding with the gun in one hand use the other hand to adjust the wire speed to see if you can find a "sweet" spot where you get the frying bacon sound. For 1/8" mild steel at the highest voltage setting you may be trying to set the wire speed too high.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers (1879-1935).
Reply to
Keith Marshall
snip
Only if you have a machine that can actually supply more amperage.
110 volt MIG machines are 90 amp machines. 0.024" wire makes them happy.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
I have had a Hobart handler 120 for 12 years, and we have 10 of them at school where I teach welding.
Trust me when I state that a 110 volt MIG machine does NOT have the power to burn 0.035" wire. Even 0.030 is pushing it hard.
If we were talking about a Handler 175 or Millermatic 210 or 251, then sure move to a larger wire for more power, but not for a little 110 volt MIG machine.
They are 90 amp machines. Don't believe the marketing hype they use to justify the machine number.
According to Miller, a Millermatic 135 can output 135 amps of welding power...
... if you happen to have a 45 amp 110 volt outlet.
Good bloody luck.
Take them for what they are. Small handy machines for steel less than 1/4" thick.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Now how does that .035 relate to flux core of the same dia? Do the 90 amp machines have suitable power for that?
Gunner
Someone will have to reply as I believe Ernie has me kill filed
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there. - George Orwell
Reply to
Gunner
On 3 May 2004 18:16:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Ronnie Lyons, Meridian, Idaho) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
I am going to test my own knowledge here, and see how it matches up against Ernie's, just as an exercise in bravery
In retrospect, I can see the danger of using grossly oversized wire, even at the slower speed. Firstly you may simply not ever melt it properly, and secondly it is not an intense enough heat locally to melt the job properly. I iamagined trying to weld with 3mm fence wire to get to thsi final failure Your setup MAY still may work with care, because each wire will work reasonably well over quite a wide range of current.
The wire does NOT "carry" the current as such. Until the wireexuxts the tip, the MIG welder torch lead carries the current. That's the whole idea. When you pass current through the wire, it's only between where the wire touches the welding tip and the job; maybe 8-10mm or wire.
In that region, almost immediately, the wire starts to melt, pinches due to current magnetic effects, and drops a droplet of very hot wire. Then more wire comes out, and the cycle repeats as soon as it touches the work. The result is a rapidly repeated crack, that ends up making a crackling sound.
If the welder cannot push the current through the wire fast enough to make the wire cycle through the carry-pinch-deposit cycle smoothly, at the feed rate that the wire is coming out, then you get what you are getting. This can as you said result from several things; dirt, poor contacts, etc. But it can also result from too much stickout (the distance between the tip and the work) and also sometimes not enough gas or shielding.
"Too little" wire per cycle and you get either burnback or spray arc transfer; usually the first unless you are set up for it.
So the amount of local heat that goes into the job, to both melt the welding material (the wire) onto the job, and to melt the top layer of the job (penetration), is a function of current (voltage), wire feed speed and wire thickness. All have to be balanced.
My only problem is that you mention auto-adjustment. I don't know the machine enough to understand the implications of that.
**************************************************** The Met Bureau is LOVE!
Reply to
Old Nick
On Tue, 04 May 2004 09:05:14 GMT, Gunner brought forth from the murky depths:
Are those true 120A boxes?
I'll echo Gunner's question and ask about the actual amperage of the little HF boxes, such as the 90A flux welder which states a 12% duty at 80A using 0.035 or 0.030" flux wire
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the 85A flux/MIG welder which shows 25-85A (20% duty @ 75A)
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these little POSs worth it for occasional hobbyists like me?
The Hobart Handler 175 shows a 130 amp @ 30% duty cycle @ 20VAC spec. Are these specs where your "actual" figures come from? (works for me)
Ah, like the 15HP Crapsman shop vac on a 120v line?
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
||[[ This message was both posted and mailed: see || the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]] || |||| ||> I'm using a MillerMatic 135, 120 volt MIG welder and I'm less than ||> thrilled with it, so I thought I would ask the experts for some ||> education. I'm running .035 gas wire, not fluxcore. When welding 1/8" ||> or more, I'm want to get the max heat out and can't seem to do it. The ||> welder has two adjustments, wire speed and voltage. With the voltage ||> at 10, and any wire speed at anything above 3.5 - 4.0, it won't burn ||> cleanly...it "dobs" and tries to push the wire tip into the work ||> repeatedly, like a maching gun repeating. Needless to say it doesn't ||> weld for crap like that, so I have to stop and restart. ||> ||> At first I thought it was a ground problem and readjusted the clamp, ||> cleaned the work piece, etc, doesn't seem to help. It's running on a ||> 20 amp circuit like the book says, but I'm contemplating replacing the ||> cord and running it on a 30 amp circuit. Thoughts? ||> ||> Why can't industry leave well enough alone and let the operator adjust ||> the machine, not the machine trying to adjust itself! I hate automatic ||> welders...help !!! ||> ||> Ronnie Lyons ||> Meridian, ID || || ||Wrong wire. ||120 volt MIG machines are made for 0.024" wire. ||0.030" is even a bit too much for them. || ||If you run 0.024" wire you will discover that the 135 is in fact an ||excellent machine.
Yep. I'm on a Sears 90-amo 120V. I never had any luck till I switched to .024 for darn near everything. With .024 it works fine for everything I've needed it for, including some 2" angle-iron. Rex in Fort Worth
Reply to
Rex B
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. All 110 volt MIG machines are 90 amp machines. Ignore the stupid model numbers. They mean nothing.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
The duty cycle is what determines what the machine can weld with. Being able to output 150 amps for 2 seconds does not make a machine a 150 amp welder. Usually a 20% duty cycle is the best you can get from the small machines.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
On Tue, 04 May 2004 18:24:24 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler brought forth from the murky depths:
True, but don't tell the marketing geniuses that. ;)
So what's the normal duty cycle needed in the field? Most everything I have welded in the past has taken small, short welds vs. long beads, but most of my hobby work has been building jigs and automotive tools. Are there studies showing average welding times/cycles? What have you found in your experience both as a welding teacher and welder?
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
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This is as much as I know from the flyer I recieved today.
Howard R Garner Pickens, SC
Reply to
Howard R Garner

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