MIG hardfacing?

Hi. Longtime lurker, first-time poster.
I just purchased a new Miller 251 MIG in preparation for another Really Big Project (RBP). Having spent the last 15 years doing RBP's with a Miller
Syncrowave 250 TIG, I decided it was time to quit intellectualizing and start laying down some metal. I'm not getting any younger, the garage isn't getting any more comfy, and I'm starting to cherish my sleep.
To the question: As a "first date", I've got a John Deere 990 loader which could use hard-facing on the front bucket. I could do this with the buzz-box, or with a hard-alloy TIG rod, but I'd like to use the MIG. The problem is I haven't found anyone who can tell me / sell me wire for MIG hardfacing. Am I milking without a bucket here or can this operation indeed be done with a MIG? Anyone have a source for this wire? My local Miller rep gives me a glazed look when I mention it. Any pointers as to methodology?
Thanks for your help!
Roark Somewhere south of Houston.
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RFBurns7 wrote:

My local welding supply has a hardfacing wire for MIG, I was going to hardface our plow edges but we're going to change over to polyurethane scraper edges this year and overlap the edges. I'm told there are infinitely more choices available in rod for stick welding. I would check out the website of whatever wire supplier your dealer uses, find out what the hardfacing wire's product description/code is, and see if your dealer can order it. I'm interested in how it works out for you, hardfacing our bucket edges would probably be a good idea.
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Build them back to where they should be first, then hardface, if they are not "nearly new". Edges and wear strips on the bottom are both helped immensely by hardfacing.
--
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Try these guys. They've been good to me in the recent past when trying to weld aluminum with my MIG. http://www.usaweld.com/product_page/welding_wire/wire.html#Hardfacing%20Wire http://www.usaweld.com/

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Esab has selection of hard facing wires. http://www.esabna.com/main.cfm?category &pageIdtalog.cfm&category_desc=Products
Llinks to Hobart and McKay hard surfacing wire info http://www.hobartbrothers.com/product_info.asp
Dealers often are not very informed on subject so are not helpful. But, should have catalogs with great information you can look at. Your dealer should be able to get most any brand of wire and have catalogs for brands of wire they normally order.
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What you want isn't actually called MIG. It is called Dual-shield, Outer-shield or more correctly Gas Shielded Flux-core.
The wire is a flux-core wire and it is used with a gas shield. With a 250 amp MIG machine you will be limited to 0.045" wires.
0.052" and 1/16" wires takes more amps than that machine can put out.
I have used quite a bit of Rankin 0.045" BBG and DDG wires for hard surfacing blocks of steel to use as Anvils for blacksmithing. Lovely stuff. Lays down real smooth and the flux layer left over is self peeling.
Rankin isn't big on advertising, but their stuff is available from most welding suppliers.
BBG is a good basic hardface with a hardness of RC45. DDG isa bit harder at RC56.
I chose Rankin over Stoody and UTP because of price. Rankin wires are about 40% cheaper and work great.
I lay it down with wide weaving passes so you end up with a bead between 3/4" and 1" wide.
Don't run your wire speed too fast or you will get horrible porosity. Porosity looks like foam. If you get some you have to grind it all out and re-weld.
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Many thanks for the replies! Great info from all.
Since it's raining cats and dogs here, today is the perfect time to research things further. The concept of an inner flux core with an outer shield gas is interesting. I hadn't thought of that. (Maybe I shouldn't give up my day job to design MIG wire, eh? hehehe). I'll have to play with this on some scrap before I try it in the Real World.
As Walter requested, I'll repost how it works. I've got a goodly chunk of smooth concrete I can use as a scratch pad for an impromptu wear test. A few hundred feet of bucket dragging under load should tell me everything I need to know. :)
Anyway, many thanks for the links, advice, info and general support! What a **cool** group!
Roark Somewhere south of Houston...
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You should probably refer to your mig as a "wire feed" welder that way you may not get limited to the products available for your projects. ESAB's terminology for wire is "dual shield" (flux cored and needs a cover gas) , "coreweld" (flux cored but is self shielding) and mostly "spoolarc" for their solid wire products. Lincoln welding company calls their cored wire "outer shield" for the cored wire that needs a cover gas and "Inner shield" for the cored wire that is self shielding. I don't recall what they call their solid wire. You will have a hard time setting the proper volt and wire speed settings with any brand hard surfacing wire that you can use.It's really not that difficult it's just that it welds weird and you might find your self constantly wanting to find a better setting.. You want the weld to have transverse cracking but not longitudinal cracks.If you do turn down your wire speed.Like was said build up the shape of the part with good wire then place hard surfacing at the edges and in a " X " pattern all over.The books say to place a second bead on top of the first bead to get the proper hardness. It probably will help to run a quick bead on the corners so you don't burn them away then run another bead on top to build them up. Some times one of the weld beads will brake off . If it happens all the time your welding too hot or you need to pre-heat. In your travels if you see the word "impact" it means an impact that would leave a dent or dimple not just hit against. I always run stringer beads unless you want to put down a round bead or dot the size of a nickel . The part of hard surfacing that no one seems to mention is the fact that the part that you weld can get heated up to the point that it becomes annealed and wears out in between the hard surfacing beads . So don't concentrate all your welding in one spot or and hose down the weld area to keep it cool.
Over the years I spent a lot of time trying to find the best weave, only now that I have a constant shake do I feel content !
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