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  #1  
Old 04-14-2008
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MIG for sheetmetal use?

My dad and I are beginners in welding sheet metal. We have been using a 175 amp MIG for quite a few years now without any problems for general use for thick plate.

We've recently been needing to do bodywork (patching) and found it very easy to burn through sheet metal with the 175. We are looking at buying another MIG with a lower amperage, like a 125 for use on sheet metal.

Will using a smaller MIG welder help use not burn through the sheet metal so easily? We are looking into this welder:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...ssearch=164615

Thanks!
-Levino
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2008
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I have something like that but its gasless and I have to say if I had to do it again I'd get one that you can control the amps. That has a min/max switch I hate that on mine.
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Old 04-14-2008
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That might still burn through... TIG is the best way for that... You can control the heat with the pedal
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  #4  
Old 04-14-2008
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we have a 220 at work that we use for sheet metal, in fact i shaved my tailgate with it. all i did was put it on pulse, turned the heat way down and mess with the wire speed a lil and it worked fine. only burned through it a couple time when i was first starting, which of course caused it warp a lil, but its all good now
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrePaul86 View Post
That might still burn through... TIG is the best way for that... You can control the heat with the pedal
Yeah, I would love a TIG, but it's sooo expensive.

-Levino
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2008
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i said this in another thread and i'll say it again.

Go TIG or go home.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2008
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Ha ha. I'm already at home.

I know a lot of body people using MIG. It works fine when you learn how to use it -- just like TIG. Me, I wouldn't try to weld body panels, lol -- everything I've done so far is 1/8" or thicker.

TIG has some advantages for sure -- but it's not necessarily superior. It depends on the weldor (operator), not the welder in this case.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2008
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Okay, so I guess my welder will do sheet metal just fine, I just need to practice welding thin stuff. And getting another smaller welder won't necessarily make it easier to weld sheet metal.

I'll look into getting a TIG, but my budget won't like it, lol.

-Levino
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2008
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You should be able to do sheetmetal with your MIG... If it's only small things, a series of small tack welds might work well for you too.
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2008
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You can also go to a smaller wire diameter The smaller wire wont carry as much current.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2008
D.
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I filled Flare-holed on the bed of my truck with a MIG. No issues at all. Its all in technique, not just the equipment. Knowledge is the best ' tool '.

For starts, use gas with your mig. Even flux-core wire can lead to welds that have pours in them or don't hold well. I use an Argon/CO2 mix and a SMALL 0.023 wire. The voltage and feed are set very low.

A good CLEAN ground as close as possible to where your working helps just that ' little bit ' more in some cases.

The hardest thing to prevent is NOT burning through, but warping. Use a ' tacking ' type of method. Small beads/puddles to hold it all together then go along and make a series of tacks with spaces in between them. This allows things to cool and not ' warp ' as much.
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Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. View Post
I filled Flare-holed on the bed of my truck with a MIG. No issues at all. Its all in technique, not just the equipment. Knowledge is the best ' tool '.

For starts, use gas with your mig. Even flux-core wire can lead to welds that have pours in them or don't hold well. I use an Argon/CO2 mix and a SMALL 0.023 wire. The voltage and feed are set very low.

A good CLEAN ground as close as possible to where your working helps just that ' little bit ' more in some cases.

The hardest thing to prevent is NOT burning through, but warping. Use a ' tacking ' type of method. Small beads/puddles to hold it all together then go along and make a series of tacks with spaces in between them. This allows things to cool and not ' warp ' as much.
Agreed the mix thats most common is 75/25

I use this mix for most common welds with my Millermatic 210
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2008
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most people use migs, i got a miller 140 i use for sheetmetal unless its a butt weld or something where i can get behind and hammer on the weld. a Tigs weld is softer so you can hammer and dolly it and work most of the warpage out but its also easier to warp it up, yea you can control it better but unless youve had experence itll take longer to make a puddle so its all how ever you wanna do it. ive got a lincoln precision tig 185 that i use for that and frame junk. also make sure if your mig welding stich weld instead of trying to pull a constant bead, less heat= less likely to burn through
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2008
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Stitch welding and using .023 wire are both great advice that I'd definitely use.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2008
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Your welder should be able to weld it just fine, even better if ya can turn the heat (amps) down a little. Something to remember when welding thin plate is that you HAVE to weld small sections at a time to prevent it from warping.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2008
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Flux core is dirty
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...62108-edit.jpg

and I'm a beginner. and bondo catches fire easily.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2008
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turn the amperage down and turn down the wire speed
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2008
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It was on 1 (has 1-4 on setting) but speed was at like 30.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2008
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I have a Linclon 135T (largest 110 unit they make) Does great on exhausts and sheetmetal fab. It's cheap at under $400, and it's the only thing I use for exhaust work and sheetmetal.
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