GAS SHIELDED FLUX CORE WELDING FOR BEGINNERS

by Bob Moffatt


Today, I want to do a quick lesson here and get some folks started. We've had a lot of requests, "How do I get into this?" You know, the settings or the wire and everything. So, I want to explain a few things and just keep it real simple. I'm going to go through a bunch of settings. Just want to run some straight lines, flat position, get into some things to look for, get you started. Today, we are running Select-Arc 045 730 dual-shield flux core wire, designed to run on mixed gas 75/25. And, I'm going to be running about 25 cubic feet per hour. We're going to be running off of an ESAB 285 that has various modes in here. Right now, it's set to sMIG, and I'm going to take this and run it up to the Flux Core and select that.


-I'm going to set this at 26 5 volts, 26.5 volts, 450 on the wire feed speed. That's going to be kind of my baseline, and I'm going to run a series of straight beads and just see how everything reacts. I'm going to start here at this base point, because this is real close to what the manufacturer recommends for settings. And then, from there, I'll ruin the settings. I'll go way low in voltage, leave the wire feed speed alone. We'll just change up a lot of stuff and see how the machine reacts. So, that's going to be our starting point, 26.5 volts, 450 wire feed speed. Also, one thing to note is this is a gas-shielded wire.


-It's kind of like running any hard MIG wire. Your polarity is DCEP on hard MIG wire, gas-shielded flux core wire, dual shield. If you have self-shielded wire, the self-shielded wires run on DCEN, electrode negative. Okay, that's very important to remember. I found a dummy plate over here and I ran, it was a groove weld that somebody had set in their machine that looked like, ran a big, wide route for gas metal arc welding. Had a pass, a couple of passes in there. I went ahead and filled this thing up with the flux core, ran a couple of stringer beads in here. And so now, I want to take this and start running beads away from these here. So, always want to run straight beads. I use the groove as a guide.


-So, therefore, these two stringer beads are pretty straight. If you have a hard time seeing, then you can come in here and kind of put a chalk mark in here, get some contrast. After you run a couple of beads, you probably won't need this anymore, simply because we're going to be out here on this plate, and it's going to round up a little bit, and you'll always be able to put the wire in the toe of the previous weld, which is important for running straight lines and running straight beads. So, we can cheat a little bit and run a little soapstone in here, so that when we're under the hood, we might be able to pick that contrast up better.


-This side does have more of a toe than this one, here. Okay, I have never been one to teach or to have people weld pulling the gun toward themselves. I like to be able to move, so I'm going to turn this to the side a little bit. I like to see where I'm going, and I like to see my finished weld. Flux core, dual shield, I want to drag this slightly. I want to put about five to ten degrees of drag angle in here, so I'm going to start on my right side and weld in that direction. So, this would be a drag angle. This would be a push angle.


-Okay, so I want to use a slight drag angle. I also, I don't want to get my hands in here close to the weld. It's going to put out quite a bit of heat. So, I want to hold the gun back here. I'm always wanting to hang on to a gun lightly, anyway, so I can move. But, I want to hang onto the gun back here toward the back. I don't want to get my hand up in here where all this heat is going to be on the back of my knuckles, 'cause it's going to get uncomfortable quickly. So, I want to stay back here and just kind of glide along. Okay, real simple, I want to run straight lines. I've got a soapstone mark along the toe of the weld, so first thing to do is get comfortable. Always want to maintain your wire angle. Remember I said I was going to have about a five to ten degree drag angle, so I want to kind of set that, first.


-My wire's sticking out about 5/8 of an inch past the contact tip. The electrical stickout on dual shield flux core is more than regular short arc. Short arc's about 3/8 of an inch. Dual shield, you want about 5/8 to 3/4. So, I'm going to set the wire