Ok, long story but I started the current project with a Harbor Freight
Mig welder. 2 days, 10 inches of bead and 8 hours of maintenance
later I got pissed and visited the local welding emporium, where they
fixed me up with a Lincoln SP-135+ and a cart for a good price.
Like night and day. Lincoln units are highly recommended for those
considering buying. Harbor Freight units are not.
Now to the sought-for advice: The situation is a lot of joints
involving a vertical piece sitting on a horizontal piece. It seems
that when I strike the arc, it will jump to either the horizontal
surface, or the vertical surface, but not both, so running the puddle
in the corner where the two meet is not possible.
I'm no welder by any means. Just a home hack. But I've done a little
stick welding and never encountered this problem.
I've been dealing with it by running one bead on each surface as close
to the corner as I can get it, and then running a third bead on top of
those to tie it all together.
Is this anywhere close to correct, or normal?
If it matters I'm using .024 wire and 75% argon, on the advice of the
The project is a table, using 2-1/2" square 1/8" wall steel tube for
frame and legs. 2-1/2" is probably overkill for the purpose (table
saw outfeed) but its what I had in the pile, for free, so I'm using
17 years ago