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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default Hey welders......

I'm building a wood boiler and will be welding a ton (literally) of 1/4 and 1/2 stock. I'm currently using 0.035 wire and some pretty high amperage settings to get good penetration. I'm wondering if I should switch to 0.040 wire for this project because of the stock thickness?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #2
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You need to tell me what parameters you're running at before I can give a good recommendation to up your wire size or not. "Pretty high amperage" is just an opinion. At very minimum, you need to be using 85/15 gas and welding in spray transfer mode. If not, there's a very good chance you'll have a lack of fusion problem, especially in corners are restarts unless you do a lot of intermediate ramp grinding. 90/10 or even 95/5 gas would be better yet.

I built a wood stove as a fabrication project in college. My instructor wouldn't even allow me to use solid wire. I used CO2-shielded flux-cored wire for everything. He was so adamant about this, he wouldn't even discuss it. That stove has been heating one of the teacher's cabins for over 10 years now without a single problem.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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I'm running the welder as high as 250 amps. The only way I'm aware of for running spray transfer is to turn the wire speed down. As far as the shielding gas, I'm running the standard mix for general welding.

I"ve had pretty good luck so far but I've got a feeling I may be running the machine at too high of an amperage for what I'm doing. As an added piece of insurance, I'm thinking of TIG welding the opposite side of the seam that I've just MIG welded.

I'm a self taught guy so I may come across as a dumbass, I'm not. I've built some interesting things and my welds have held. Since I'm always willing to learn, I thought I would ask some questions.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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my buddy did one with an arc welder he ran 6010 and some nickle stuff for the cas iron door but i would assume just your 0.35 should do it just fine
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Don't arc welder do this better?

Used to have mig welder and I wouldn't use on wood boiler they don't hold strength well.

I replaced mig welder with Miller big20 arc welder that is right welder for those thick steel wood boiler.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilwaukeeF350 View Post
Don't arc welder do this better?

Used to have mig welder and I wouldn't use on wood boiler they don't hold strength well.

I replaced mig welder with Miller big20 arc welder that is right welder for those thick steel wood boiler.
i dont think he has acess to an arc though from what i got out of his build thread he has a mig but i would definately arc it if i could
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MilwaukeeF350 View Post
Don't arc welder do this better?

Used to have mig welder and I wouldn't use on wood boiler they don't hold strength well.

I replaced mig welder with Miller big20 arc welder that is right welder for those thick steel wood boiler.
Mig welders don't hold strength well??? Shit, I'm in trouble then.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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just asked my buddy who is a boiler maker he says use an arc if you can but a mig should do the job
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Old December 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Mig is going to have to do. I'm double welding all the seams I can get at.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #10
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.035 is fine for what you are doing. better to multi pass than just lay one big bead.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilwaukeeF350 View Post
Don't arc welder do this better?

Used to have mig welder and I wouldn't use on wood boiler they don't hold strength well.
Don't post if you don't know what you're talking about.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #12
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Like Steveo said just do some multi passes on the welds and you should be fine. If you had a arc welder use 6010 rod that's your hot pass then burn over that with a 7018 and that would work good.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #13
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I'm running the welder as high as 250 amps. The only way I'm aware of for running spray transfer is to turn the wire speed down. As far as the shielding gas, I'm running the standard mix for general welding.

I"ve had pretty good luck so far but I've got a feeling I may be running the machine at too high of an amperage for what I'm doing. As an added piece of insurance, I'm thinking of TIG welding the opposite side of the seam that I've just MIG welded.

I'm a self taught guy so I may come across as a dumbass, I'm not. I've built some interesting things and my welds have held. Since I'm always willing to learn, I thought I would ask some questions.
Do you know you're getting 250 amps from an amperage gauge, are you confusing wire feed speed with amps? I have to ask, that's a common thing people confused (no insult intended). 250 amps is appropriate for .035" wire, but if you don't have a quality arc tuned in, you could just be wasting wire. The penetration, fusion, appearance, and overall quality of your weld has a lot more to do with proper setup than just amperage. A quality arc at 150 amps is better than a poorly setup 250.

What machine are you using? How much voltage are you running? What is the joint design you're welding (groove, lap, T, etc.) What is the material thickness. The more info you give, the more I can help!

If you really are running 250 amps, you can easily get into spray transfer with .035" wire. But, if you're using a "standard" gas, its probably 75/25, which sprays like crap, but is best for short circuit. If this were my project, I would go to the weld supply store and swap the tank of 75/25 out for a more appropriate gas for this project. Sounds like you might be too far into it to justify that now.

Welding something that has to be leak free with short circuit is not a smart move unless you're really good at what you're doing. I don't know what your joint configuration is, but running the root passes with TIG to ensure you get good fusion and then finishing with MIG is a good way to go.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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I'm not too far into the project at this point. I'm currently building the ash pan and widening my firebox.

I'm building this boiler out of two large tanks. One tank will be the water jacket, the other will be the fire box. The inner tank is 1/4" steel and the outer tank is 1/2". Why such heavy tanks? They were free. The system will be open to the atmosphere.

The joint I'm working on at this time is a corner type. The machine I'm using is a Snap On Muscle MIG 250. I'm assuming I'm running 250 amps because I have the machine cranked all the way up for a 1/4" plate single pass inside corner weld. I don't know what my wire feed speed is because the dial is calibrated on a 1-10 scale. My amperage (or voltage) dial is calibrated at 1-8. I'm not sure what voltage I'm running but I do have a meter on the welder and I will check that tomorrow when I'm working on the project.

My TIG welder is an old Airco 300 amp unit with a water cooled torch. From this point forward I'm going to do all my root passes with the TIG. I plan on using a 3/32 2% thoriated tungsten with a #7 cup and ER70S-6 rod. My shielding gas is 100% Argon. I don't plan on using the foot control because of the size of the boiler. I'm not sure how I will have the machine set up for amperage at this time. I need to look at a chart since I will not have the luxury of the foot control.

Please feel free to recommend a different setup on the TIG of you don't like what I plan on using.

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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #15
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It should also be noted that when you are using your welder at its max power and welding for long periods of time you may be hitting the duty cycle of the machine and not actualy getting 250A. The duty cycle could be as low as 30% on 220v on that machine. I've built 3 boilers now and have found this website veary helpful http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/
Look up pictures of a Garn woodboiler you are sure to get some good ideas

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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #16
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I like my mig

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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #17
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It should also be noted that when you are using your welder at its max power and welding for long periods of time you may be hitting the duty cycle of the machine and not actualy getting 250A. The duty cycle could be as low as 30% on 220v on that machine. I've built 3 boilers now and have found this website veary helpful http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/
Look up pictures of a Garn woodboiler you are sure to get some good ideas
MIG welder is 60% duty cycle. I believe the TIG welder is 100% duty cycle but I'll have to confirm that.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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A lot of it has to do with fit up. you want a phillet weld on the inside and out, not a phillet weld on the inside and a flat seam on the outside. If you have phillet inside and out you will ed up with a full penetration weld and you would have to have holes inside and out at the same spot to have a leak. If you have a flat seam on the outside it leaves a space between the plates that water can travel to and leak out. I have built a lot of water and glycol tanks all with mig and never had a leak on it, but they were fit up properly.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #19
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Good advice.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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Mig welders don't hold strength well??? Shit, I'm in trouble then.
x2

I weld up diesel tanks at work and fit up makes a huge difference. Clean the seam good and .035 hard wire with C25 will work just fine. Break out the spray bottle with soapy water in it and fill it with air pressure and go to town.
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