Getting started

by Bill
(Joshua Tree, CA)

rule of thumb wire feed settings

rule of thumb wire feed settings

I just bought a Hobart Mig welder. I know how to arc weld and use a gas torch, but I have never Mig welded. Which do I adjust first, wire feed, amperage, or tip? Any advice to get me started so I can practice would be helpful.

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Most hobart mig welders have a pretty decent chart on the inside of the wire feeder panel.

but if it does not have that, you can still set the machine just using some scrap metal.

its best to have a few different thicknesses of metal and to take notes for future jobs so you wont have to start over figuring it out for every new job.

it really depends on the welder and size of the wire but here is a formula to get you started no matter what wire diameter is on your mig welder...

take the thickness of the metal in thousandths.

for example 1/8" is .125" 125 thou.

one amp per thousands is the rule of thumb up to around .200"

for .025--.025" wire multiply 125 x 3.5 = 437 ipm

for .030" wire multiply by 2 = 250 ipm

for .035" wire multiply by 1.6 = 200 ipm

even if your mig welder does not read out in inches per minute, you can figure it quickly by pressing the gun trigger and counting to 6 seconds. and then measuring the wire that fed and round to nearest inch and add a zero.

so you would need to get 20 inches of wire to feed in 6 seconds to have 200 inches per minute.

once you have that, set the voltage high until you start to hear it rattle and almost hiss. That is too high.

now set the voltage low enough to where the wire stubs in the puddle...thats too low

dead in the middle where the bacon frying sound is there is where you want to be.

or...just experiment with different voltage and wire settings until you figure it out.

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Oct 13, 2015
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Getting start NEW
by: Chan Hibbitts

Getting with those of the Thumb experience and the number of ideas they mentioned in this regard has been more inspiring indeed, would look to find more out of it. assignment help

Dec 28, 2013
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MIG settings NEW
by: Slapz

I'm a neebie at this and have watched the videos, read the books and have actually done some nice looking welds. I'm working on a street rod and want to beef up the frame. I'm using 1/8" 2x4 rectangular tubing. I have a couple of butt welds to join it where I needed an angle and most will be "t" joints where one butts to the other. I have an Eastwood 175 220v machine that does some beautiful welds. I have a friend who's been a welder for the gas compnay and has built race car frames and motorcycles. I showed him ny nicest weld and he said I needed more heat as he says you should see the welds coming through the joints on the other side. I have this cranked up to the "I" on heat and a "5" on feed. Advice? Please , thank you.

Dec 28, 2013
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MIG settings NEW
by: Slapz

I'm a neebie at this and have watched the videos, read the books and have actually done some nice looking welds. I'm working on a street rod and want to beef up the frame. I'm using 1/8" 2x4 rectangular tubing. I have a couple of butt welds to join it where I needed an angle and most will be "t" joints where one butts to the other. I have an Eastwood 175 220v machine that does some beautiful welds. I have a friend who's been a welder for the gas compnay and has built race car frames and motorcycles. I showed him ny nicest weld and he said I needed more heat as he says you should see the welds coming through the joints on the other side. I have this cranked up to the "I" on heat and a "5" on feed. Advice? Please , thank you.

Feb 19, 2012
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Constant voltage power supply. NEW
by: Eric

Gmaw is a constant voltage welding process.
Sort circuit transfer happens between 15 volts and 22 volts. More voltage equals higher heat input and vice-versa.
Wire speed adjusts amperage. For every voltage setting there is an amperage "window" where short circuit will occur and these windows overlap.
Set the voltage according to metal thickness, heavier gauge, higher voltage. Adjust the wire speed until you achieve a smooth arc.

Jan 31, 2012
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Re: Getting Started NEW
by: Nick

Great description Jody! Do you have a video showing how to set up a Mig machine and get started?

The tough thing with a Mig, to me, is all of the variables: Wire size, gas mix, volts, wire speed, angle, stick-out, travel speed, joint type, joint prep, watch the puddle. . . Ahhhhhh! It's near impossible to get it right with so much going on. A step by step way to get a decent bead with let's say a 1/4" fillet weld (or whatever) would be awesome.

Thanks for all of your help!

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