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I got this welder on sale from Northern Tool and it came with a free cart. :thumbup

Northern Industrial MIG Welder — 115 Volt, 22-135 Amp


I read the manual, and it listed many different gases to use for welding on a variety of metals. What is a good gas to start with that is versatile? I'd like to have a unitasker and avoid having 4 bottles if possible.
 

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It's referred to as C25 in the hobart manual. For mig, solid wire using 75% argon (an inert gas) and 25% CO2

Also Fireguy, check your manual. When I went from flux core wire (no gas needed as the wire is special and has a gas that comes off it as you weld, thus it's not considered mig welding) to C25 I had to reverse my polarity wiring in the unit to do this. I've been mig ever since (basically this means C25 shielding gas from the bottle down your wand and a solid wire vs. flux core wire).
 

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I was hoping there was something I could use on mild steel, stainless, and aluminum.
But the more I read about how the gases effect the arch, heat transfer, and the weld quality.
It seems I'm dreaming, and will have to get the other bottles when those other projects start.
 

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Ive used C25 on stainless with no problems. I've not tried aluminum, but from what I have read and been told by others, its near impossible to mig weld mild (thin) aluminum, TIG is needed for that.
 

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The proper gas for stainless is Argon with a 1% Oxygen mix.

For aluminum you need aluminum wire and 100% Argon. Aluminum is a pain in the but to mig weld. Its soft and is a totally different thing that welding steel. Even your welder settings will have to be different. For aluminum I would prefer to TIG weld.
 

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Yeah I know TIG is the way to go for aluminum, but it takes more skill.
I once watched a welding master weld a torn beer can back together. :shocked
 

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I use straight C02 for everthing. It makes it burn a little hotter. Makes Welding with the little 110v welder work easier.
 

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OMG its almost a
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Yeah I know TIG is the way to go for aluminum, but it takes more skill.
I once watched a welding master weld a torn beer can back together. :shocked
I've seen this done as well as a few beer cans welded end to end and cut in 1/2 and welded back together. Definitely an art and major skill!!
 

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I use straight C02 for everthing. It makes it burn a little hotter. Makes Welding with the little 110v welder work easier.
When I learned to weld in HS my teacher set us up with pure CO2. He referred to it as MAG welding. A is for active, as in active gas. The I, for inert, usually refers to a less reactive gas such as argon.

They both seem to work pretty good for steel.
 

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Pure co2 works best with 110 volt welders that use .023-.030 dia. Wire. The pure co2 creates much more heat and allows the smaller diameter wire to burn in deeper, though the tradeoff is a very hard bead and a puddle that isn't as pretty. We used to build our own dune buggies with a craftsman mig with .023 wire, slow going but got the job done.
 

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I use an argon/helium blend called Helistar from Praxair. Mostly meant for stainless, but works well for mild steel too.
 

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Pure co2 works best with 110 volt welders that use .023-.030 dia. Wire. The pure co2 creates much more heat and allows the smaller diameter wire to burn in deeper, though the tradeoff is a very hard bead and a puddle that isn't as pretty. We used to build our own dune buggies with a craftsman mig with .023 wire, slow going but got the job done.
It's not as hot as using just the flux coated wire though, right? I'm having a hard time welding sheet metal.

We have a big Miller at work, they keep CO2 on it. I can weld pretty good with it, but it still spudders? (sp?) sometimes. Most of the time I can adjust it out, if I weld enough with it. Just depends on who used it last.

Should I expect the same with mine using straight CO2?

Am I better of using argon/co2 mix?

How long does a bottle last?

Whats the cost difference? The CO2 bottle here, was $200 and 9 bucks to fill it, I think.

Sorry for all the stupid questions. Been wanting to "get gas" since I purchased this machine.
It's a Lincoln 180. 220v.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Argon will give you a smoother weld bead with less spatter. The CO2 adds heat to the weld for penetration. For sheet metal you almost want a 90% argon to 10% CO2 mix to get a little cooler and smoother weld. The welder itself will make all the difference too. As far as the settings go. Too much or too little gas flow can cause weld issues. Wire speed is easy to control. If it keeps popping really fast like popcorn but without sticking your good. (kinda the best way I can describe it on the keyboard) The wire size makes a difference too. On anything up to 1/4" .035 wire works well. On thinner metal in the 16ga and thinner range I use .023 wire. On really thick stuff I'm using .040 wire.

The gas will last differently depending on the type of welding, pressure, size of tank ect. What size tank did you get the $200 price on and does it include gauges?
 

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Argon will give you a smoother weld bead with less spatter. The CO2 adds heat to the weld for penetration. For sheet metal you almost want a 90% argon to 10% CO2 mix to get a little cooler and smoother weld.
Thanks for that explanation.
The way I understand it, I don't want straight CO2. Mine is plenty hot right now. I can do pretty good down to 16 ga. and fair with 18.
I fabbed up my Y-pipe using .035 wire. No problem. It was 16 ga.

Like Fireguy, I don't want to be changing cylinders either. I'd like to keep one size wire too.

The way I'm reading: .035 wire with 75/25 is going to be the best combination for me.

What size tank did you get the $200 price on and does it include gauges?
Not sure on the size. Supposed to be about the same as a large fire extinguisher. Just the tank, mine came with everything to hook it up. http://www.lowes.com/pd_256723-1703...gps-_-Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180-Amp Welder That was buying the tank.
A lifetime lease on oxygen and acetylene tanks here are $400 (both tanks). That is the size ya see most times. The O2 bottle about 5' high?
Thought I would get the 3 tanks when I got the cash. May be able to lease the bottle for the welder too?

Glad ya posted this Fireguy. Has helped me a lot.
 
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