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Old 04-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
jonp9576
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Default adventures in welding stainless

i've been using a stick welder for a few years here and there. i am not good, but not terrible.

the other day we got a mig welder. oh man is this thing fun and easy. i used it to finish up me brew rig.

then i decided i want to try some stainless so some day i can get my sweet conical fermenter project under way.

this was the mess that happened.


after burning through trying to weld 2 pieces together i just tried laying a nice bead down on one piece. i think i am getting the hang of it. a little


comments?
tips?
different things to try?


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Old 04-17-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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I've never welded Stainless but if I were to comment as a mild steel weld, I would say too much feed or to slow travel. From what I can see it looks like the edges bonded so the temp is probably correct.
I would stay away from welding tubing until you become proficient because you cant get to the inside for cleaning.


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Old 04-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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Yeah, looks like you're laying down a lot of filler.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Welding stainless is a lot like welding mild steel. Looks like you have the feed up way too much or you're traveling too slow. Are you using argon?
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:01 PM   #5
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thanks for the input everyone. i was only messing around with the tubing because it was laying around here i figured i would give it a shot.

yes i am using argon.


as far as the feed speed goes. i have found that with the stick welder i can control me speed and leave a nice bead. with this mig, i feel like it is rushing me. do i need to turn the feed down, or move faster? maybe a little of both.

i was getting "big" welds like this when doing steel too. instead of a flattened stack of coins it was looking like a stack upright. tips? links to a good video online?
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:34 AM   #6
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turn the feed as low as it goes, and run a couple of beads. You'll know whne you want it to go faster. Turn it up until you get it set where you want it. Once you use it a bit more, you'll be able to crank it and move quicker.

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Old 04-18-2009, 12:44 AM   #7
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thanks. i'll give that a shot tomorrow
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:56 AM   #8
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I do pretty well with regular stick or wire feed on normal steel. I am using a Lincoln weldpac 100 with the MIG set up. When I got ready to make my keggles, I got some tri mix and started to practice on some 22 gauge stainless sheet metal that I had. I felt I got the hang of it pretty good. So, I drilled my holes, polished everything up, cleaned it, solar fluxed the back side of the weld, and tacked the couplings in. All went well, until, I burned through. I stitch welded, cleaned as I went, you name it. It still took me forever to get it to seal off. I'm not sure why, but the metal was cracking. I finally got it. But man, is it UUUUUUUUGGGGGLLLLLYYY! I did find that I felt like it was rushing me also. I like to weld a little on the hot side. As you've seen, stainless will stack up on you pretty quickly with the mig. Try turning your heat up a little and move faster. If your welding on kegs or any thin stainless, it's not like regular steel. I wouldn't try to get a "normal" looking bead, go for penetration without burning through. I have a high frequency tig box that the guy that I bought my welder from gave me. If I keep messing with this stainless, I'm going to have to hook it up and maybe take a couple of night courses. Sheesh, the things we do for brew! Luck - Dwain
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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I am a welder by trade, pipeline and compressor station work is my usual bag. Mig welding stainless is not the perfered method (tig or heliarc would be) but is more than sufficient for this application. One thing that will help is to match your filler wire to the base metal, ie 304, 308, or 316 or what ever it is. If you cant find out I would use 308 or 316. You can weld the lesser alloys with higher alloy filler wire but it wont work very well the other way around, cracks. One thing that will help, until you get your hand in, is to try and keep the weld in the flat position, on tubing roll it as you weld it. The angle of your mig gun will make a big diffence in how the weld piles up, if you keep the angle pointed up the weld joint the arc force(not much with a mig) will help lay the iron down. On light stuff like this you want to set up so that your travel speed can be kept pretty fast. There is nothing wrong with making two fast passes intead of trying to pile on one cold one. As far as food safe, I dont pretend to know everything but I dont know of a common stainless that wouldn't be.
Hope I helped.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataclysmcow View Post
Also with MIG you should try welding back and forwards (there's a tech term for this that's not hitting me right now).


Back stepping...


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