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Thread: MIG135 Setup for Thicker Materials

  1. #1

    Default MIG135 Setup for Thicker Materials

    Hello!

    I recently purchased the Eastwood MIG135 MIG welder. I decided to go with this welder because it had so many great reviews (especially on many different forums), it was affordable, could do gas/less, and the Eastwood website said it could weld up to 3/16” (.1875”) w/ solid core wire and gas, and up to ¼” (.250”) with flux core wire. I had hoped to use this welder in my home garage (120V) for sheetmetal repair, exhaust tubing, and to weld in some sub frame connectors.

    Now that I’ve got the welder home and have looked through the directions, I’m a little confused with the chart on the inside door of the unit. The first project this spring is to weld in Hotchkis subframe connectors into a ’70 Nova SS with stock rear frame rails. Instructions located: http://files.hotchkis.net/instructions/4007.pdf . The subframe connectors are made from .120 thk steel and I’ve received mixed feedback from automotive suppliers on the gage of the stock rails. Some say 14ga (.075”), others say 18ga (.048”), and in between!

    With all of that information, and assuming .030 solid core wire, 75%AR/25%CO2 gas, and 18ga rear rails, how should the welder be setup? Do I set it up for the thicker material?

    Is it not capable of using steel core/gas MIG weld effectively as .120 is greater than .105” on the “Suggested Settings for Welding” chart? The chart stops after 12ga (.105”).

    I was hoping to use gas as it’s supposed to be a cleaner weld. I [obviously] plan on practicing with some scrap .120 / 18ga, but thought it best to investigate with friendly input because I’d like to ensure that I only have to weld connectors to the car, once!

    Thanks, in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pottstown, PA
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Great question! I usually set the welder up for the thicker material you're welding and I keep the majority of the heat on the thicker material and push/weave the weld puddle over onto the the thinner stuff and back onto the thicker. When getting into thicker stuff like that with a 110V welder I'd suggest beveling the weld joints and running two passes if possible to assure you get a good weld. The first pass I'd run the wire speed and your travel speed a littler slower than normal to really burn it in. Then you can do a pass on top that caps it all off.

    I definitely suggest using gas as it is a much cleaner weld.

    Hope that helps!

  3. #3

    Default

    Hey Matt,

    Yes, that does help! The technique makes sense and I look forward to trying it out.

    In terms of the set-up of the MIG135 welder, would you recommend using .025" wire (J-8) or .030" wire (J-5.5)? And would you turn them back to J-7 / J-4.5, respectively? It seems almost a little counter-intuitive, you know?

    Because I don't have a metallurgy department in my house (ha), what's the best way to test/confirm proper penetration for those materials?

    Thanks, very much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pottstown, PA
    Posts
    970

    Default

    I'd go with the .030 wire and dial the speed back to 4.75-5. The key is beveling both materials heavily so that your initial pass is penetrating properly at the root. A 45 degree bevel is most common. Then from there you can do another pass to fill the rest of the bevel. I hope that helps!

  5. #5

    Default

    I can't bevel both materials as the .120" subframe connector slips over the flat sides of the framerail. This post won't let me attach screenshots, but the instructions are located here... http://files.hotchkis.net/instructions/4007.pdf .

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