I'm just getting started in welding, my off-road racing buddy and I use his Lincoln 85W fluxcore for hobby work, the heavy stuff we send out to get done. Question: could we make a "poor man's MIG" by aiming a low volume jet of inert gas (I have an old CO2 beverage bottle which will need a regulator and helium from my wife's catering business) at the site of the arc? Opinions?-Jitney
I am a hobby welder, not a pro. I don't want, and cannot afford, to spend big bucks on advanced equ't. that would be beyond my limited skills anyway. I just want to expand the capabilities of my existing equipment. You can have your cheap laughs, I am asking others for their informed opinions.-Jitney
You'd be better off pointing a low level stream of argon at the arc, only because argon is heavier than air and would be more likely to remain in the area of the arc. (that is unless your doing over-head) On the other hand, helium is lighter than air, and so it would tend to float away...but in my opinion and experience with "redneck-rigging" it would work. The idea is the same, displace the reactive gases with non-reactive (inert) gas. Hell, if you got the helium, I'm surprised you haven't already tried it. Good Luck
If you really want to build your own MIG machine, more power to you. Personally I like machines that work right every time. I don't weld as a hobby, I weld for a living. If you want to build a welding machine, I wish you the best of luck, but don't try and pretend that it is because it costs less. There are so many good used machines available that that is a specious argument. Heck a Harbor Frieght Clark welder will "work", and cost less than your time to build one. What you need top admit to yourself is that the challenge of making a welder is the real purpose, not making a machine for less that it costs to buy one.
Adding gas to a fluxcore welder is pretty simple as addons go. Simply add a gas cup to the gun and feed the cup from a little side tube to a gas bottle. Yippee, big challenge, now can we get back to welding?