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total newb question

mig and flux core tips and techniques, equipment, filler metal

total newb question

Postby SuperNewb68 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:36 am

Just so I get this right which type of mig welding doesn't use a gas? Also which would be the best to start with of the 2 mig types for a total newb to welding?
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Re: total newb question

Postby Mike » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:16 am

68, welcome to the forum.
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Re: total newb question

Postby homeboy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:33 am

The mig welding process uses various types of gas depending on the application. Flux core is a self contained process with the flux contained within the wire itself. It depends on what kind of wire welder you have and what you want to do with it to determine what fits .Many wire welders will operate in either mode by changing the wire and polarity. There are lots of knowledgable people on this forum that can help out with some more info on your plans. If you search Mig vs. flux-core welding that may also give you some ideas. Good luck. :geek:
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Re: total newb question

Postby Artie F. Emm » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:53 am

Welcome to the forum! Homeboy pretty much nailed it, but i'll add a detail or two.

Broadly speaking there are two types of wire-feed welding, determined by the type of wire you use. Solid wire welding, often called MIG, uses shielding gas (such as argon-co2 in various mixtures, or just plain co2) to protect the weld from contamination during the fusion process.

The other broad category of wire welding is flux core, in which the wire is actually a tube filled with flux. That flux replaces shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination during the fusion process. It is similar to stick welding in that regard.

So, what's the deal? Are you thinking about buying a welder, got a welding project in mind, trying to figure something out? A little context goes a long way!
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Re: total newb question

Postby SuperNewb68 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:39 pm

Artie F. Emm wrote:Welcome to the forum! Homeboy pretty much nailed it, but i'll add a detail or two.

Broadly speaking there are two types of wire-feed welding, determined by the type of wire you use. Solid wire welding, often called MIG, uses shielding gas (such as argon-co2 in various mixtures, or just plain co2) to protect the weld from contamination during the fusion process.

The other broad category of wire welding is flux core, in which the wire is actually a tube filled with flux. That flux replaces shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination during the fusion process. It is similar to stick welding in that regard.

So, what's the deal? Are you thinking about buying a welder, got a welding project in mind, trying to figure something out? A little context goes a long way!


Yes I do have plans on buying a mig type welder for some angle and square/rectangle tube welding projects for making some machine tools to help in bladesmithing and woodworking projects that I want to do. The main problem I have at the moment is fundage, that is the why for the question and then after the tools are made I would be using it to help in making damascus steel for the bladesmithing some times
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Re: total newb question

Postby WeldItUp » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:28 pm

SuperNewb68 wrote:Just so I get this right which type of mig welding doesn't use a gas? Also which would be the best to start with of the 2 mig types for a total newb to welding?


Welcome! I'm very new here too, but I will add that one consideration for gas vs no gas is where you will be welding. Solid wire welding with gas requires very, very little if any air movement in the immediate environment, like in your garage, shop etc. Welding with flux core can be done outside and with a breeze as it has a much greater tolerance to the environment, very similar to using a stick welder. Welding with gas and solid wire also produces less spatter and cleaner, nicer looking welds overall (says me the very new guy who's learning every day from these guys right here!)


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Re: total newb question

Postby Artie F. Emm » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:33 am

SuperNewb68 wrote:...some angle and square/rectangle tube welding projects for making some machine tools to help in bladesmithing and woodworking projects...


By any chance, are you thinking of a belt grinder?

Part 2 of your original post was "which is best for a newbie". Since $$$ are a concern, flux core is likely the low cost entry point, since you don't need to acquire shielding gas (which includes buying or renting the cylinder). Thinking strategically, tho, as someone mentioned earlier some machines will do both solid wire and flux core. You might consider a machine that does both, in case you want to have that ability later.
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Re: total newb question

Postby homeboy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:46 am

WeldItUp --Good point about mig being a problem without a controled environment. Another point is with Flux Core and the right wire ,settings and practice you can easily weld all positions,mig not so much. Flux core also has greater penetration so the same welder on Flux Core can weld much thicker material than on mig while the mig being a "softer "arc is more suitable for thinner materials. Both types have advantages and disadvantages which need to be addressed to decide which way best suits your needs. I use Flux Core only and as for the spatter with practice,proper settings and just a mist of the right anti-spatter spray you can produce structuraly sound welds that look almost as good as Mig and virtually spatter free. :D
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Re: total newb question

Postby WeldItUp » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:43 am

homeboy wrote:WeldItUp --Good point about mig being a problem without a controled environment. Another point is with Flux Core and the right wire ,settings and practice you can easily weld all positions,mig not so much. Flux core also has greater penetration so the same welder on Flux Core can weld much thicker material than on mig while the mig being a "softer "arc is more suitable for thinner materials. Both types have advantages and disadvantages which need to be addressed to decide which way best suits your needs. I use Flux Core only and as for the spatter with practice,proper settings and just a mist of the right anti-spatter spray you can produce structuraly sound welds that look almost as good as Mig and virtually spatter free. :D


All very good points too! When you use the anti-spatter spray are you applying that around the nozzle and on the work piece prior to welding? I have not messed with that yet, just been cleaning up the little bit of mess after. Thanks


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Re: total newb question

Postby PeteM » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:00 pm

Aside from the previous considerations, which are great, I would add that with either mig or self shielded flux core- use something, a fan or what ever, to draw the smoke away (not blow, draw). The fumes can have a cumulative effect and are not good.

Just a rule of thumb- if you can strike a lighter and hold a flame, your shield gas/flux coverage should be fine.
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