General purpose wire welding

I have a Millermatic 35 I use for general purpose welding on mild steel usually 1/4 and less thick. Since buying it 30+ years ago, I have always
used .035, ER70S-6, and CO2 gas. I tried some Argon mixes years ago, but IIRC, I didn't get enough penetration to suit me. I have never been real happy with it's penetration qualities, but it's so much faster than stick. The machine has never seemed quite smooth enough either. No matter where I set the wire speed, it still seems a bit lacking.
Obviously things have changed a good bit over the years, and I'm revisiting my choice of wire and gas. So I thought I would check the consensus of the group.
Current recommendations friends and suppliers have been:
CO2 gas with ER70S-6 wire, but go with the .030 as opposed to .035.
CO2 or 25/75 gas with E71T-1M, or E71T-E7, .030.
No gas and E71T-GS, .030.
Would welcome any and all suggestions. All position would be nice, but I need at least vertical down. Good penetration on hot rolled steel (without pregrinding) would be a must.
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A Miller 35 is a great old machine. I am surprised you say you can get penetration, since if you run that machine balls-to-the-wall you can switch into spray mode (using C25 gas) and weld 1" plate.
I recommend using 0.035" ER70S-6, and C25 gas (75% Argon, 25% CO2) for light gauge work (1/4" and below) For heavier plate move up to 0.035" ER71T-1 (gas shielded flux core) with a C25 gas shield.
For really big stuff over 1/2" thick, move up to 0.045" ER71T-1 with the C25.
For work outdoors go to 0.035" or 0.045" ER71T-8 (self shielded flux core)
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Well, like I said, I haven't experimented much with it. Just CO2, and the .035, ER70S-6. I think the mix I tried before was either 25% Argon or 50/50, and running this wire with CO2 only, and balls out to get the penetration, you get some pretty big dill berries. I'll get a bottle of C25 this week for sure. It sounds like gas alone might cure 90% of what's ailing me.
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I would have never thought of anything bigger than 035 on a MM35, but will keep it in mind. Can't imagine ever need to weld enough thick material to justify a roll of it though. But I will try the 035 for sure.
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I'm assuming gasless here. How is this for vertical up, or a wide gap? Would another wire be better for all position?
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What would you recommend for welding the thinnest possible sheet metal with this machine? ----- Have you ever used E71T-E7 or 1M?
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Thanks for taking the time Ernie, I really appreciate it.
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Jumping gaps is a balance of voltage to wire speed to travel speed. If you do a classic triangle weave with gasless flux-core you can climb fast and jump a moderate gap.
E71T-8 is all position, E70T-8 is flat only

0.030" is the thinest wire I would run in that machine, mainly due to the gun and it's liner. If you want to run 0.024" wire you would have to get a smaller gun liner.

E71T-1M is a lincoln wire and I HATE it.
My favorite flux-ciore wires are made by ESAB, Dual-Shield and Core-shield 8.

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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Coreshield 8, however, is not made in sizes smaller than 1/16".
http://tinyurl.com/4b9ab3
Some of the dualshield stuff comes as small as .045". Most of the ESAB wire, though, seems made for bigger machines.
Grant
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Thanks for the recommendations guys, I really appreciate it.
Are there an good sources for wire, especially in smaller quantities, on-line or otherwise?
Availability always seems limit someone's ability to experiment.
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Getting dual-shield wires in small amounts is hard.
Harris is the only company that sells these wires in small spools.
http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/consumables/alloys.asp?id 
What I usually do is buy a 30 lb spool of ESAB wire and spool it myself, if I want to use it in my spoolgun.
You can buy ESAB 7100 Ultra, Dual-Shield wire in sizes down to 0.035". 7100 Ultra is the best Gas Shielded Flux Core wire I have ever used.
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Thanks!!
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 20:48:34 -0700, Ernie Leimkuhler
Greetings Ernie, Can .035 dual shield be used in a Lincoln SP125 Plus? And is it worth it? Thanks, Eric

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Does it show that wire on the chart inside the door?
GWE
snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

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On Wed, 07 May 2008 19:03:04 GMT, Grant Erwin

No, it does not. ERS

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I have the 175T and it doesn't show on my chart either. I think it's a good bet. The machine can feed .035 wire and it can supply gas. What more do you need?
Grant
snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

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A beefier gun. Dual shield beats the crap out of small guns. It is why I have HUGE 40 amp guns on my Betamig 250 at home and the Millermatic 300 at school.

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Would it be ok to use .045" dual shield wire with a M25 gun on my Millermatic 251?
In a few weeks I'm going to be putting together a power hammer out of 1/2" H-beam and was planning on using .045" dual shield.             Todd
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Only for short periods. 0.045" Dual shield is the upper limit of what a 250 amp MIG can handle. With a heavier gun it can run it more effectively and without melting as many tips and gas cups.
Personally I detest the M25 gun as it falls apart from heavy use. All 3 of the 250X's we had at South Seattle started with M25s and they all fell apart. I replaced them with Tregaskis 400 Toughguns (who also make the M25 for Miller), and was very happy.
That is what I have on my Betamig 250
At school I scored a 400 amp Miller Roughneck gun, from eBay, for our Millermatic 300. Another great gun.

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On Fri, 09 May 2008 00:52:54 -0700, Ernie Leimkuhler

While we're on the subject I'd like to ask you what you think of Bernard guns.
I'm having a heck of a time keeping tips on my 400 amp Tweco style gun when I'm in spray mode. I want a good gun but my supplier hasn't even heard of Tregaskis but the do stock stuff for the Bernard. So that leaves me with the Miller guns or Bernard.
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I don't like them. Unfortunately Miller's Parent company ITW recently merged Bernard with Oxo. Oxo is one of my all time favorite MIG gun companies. They still make Miller's Roughneck guns.
ITW bought Tregaskiss last year, but they have a history of buying companies and yet leaving them alone.
ITW owns 5 MIG gun companies, 4 TIG torch companies and 3 Plasma cutter torch companies.

From that list go with Miller Roughneck.
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On Sat, 10 May 2008 00:43:15 -0700, Ernie Leimkuhler

Ok.

They are a little different that way.

Yep and often go outside for something on there own product.

Good. Thanks. I've been doing a lot of research. I want to get a good gun since I've been doing more spray mode lately.
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(snip)

Well, I picked up this today:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item &0238177403

Btw, how well does the ESAB 7100 Ultra work with a moderate amount of rust? The plate I'm using for the baseplate is somewhat pitted as well as rusted. The pits don't look to be deeper than .025" deep, but my 4 1/2" angle grinder is taking a long time to work it down. Since I've never use the Dual Shield wire before, I'm not sure how well it deals with rust. Spending a moderate amount of time, I seem to be able to clear about 50% bare metal. Getting 100% will be quite a bit longer.             Todd
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That is a very good price.

7100 ultra can eat a small amount of rust with no problems. Just get off all the loose rust and scale with a twisted wire cup brush on your grinder.
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