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Old 01-04-2014, 02:24 PM
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2door 2door is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Littleton, Colorado
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Default Re: dialing in your welder feed rate setting

I just came in from the shop after repairing one of my wife's Christmas decorations. It was a steel sled with a raindeer pulling it. It's one of those rustic, patinaed arty things you find in tourist shops. The artist who made it was talented in that he formed the sled and deer out of thin sheet metal and used 1/8th welding rod for the frame and the deer's antlers. When she was packing it away one of the antlers broke off. Just a case of a poor weld. I said I would fix it and took it out and fired up the MIG.

The reason for the story was to use it as an example to pass along a hint.
The antlers were in two pieces and bent into a 'U' shape where it had been welded to the deer's head. I used some thin wire to hold things together at the right angle and put the end of the wire at the point where I wanted to make a small weld. I didn't want to heat or arc damage the surrounding area so I used an old trick to make sure that when the arc started it would be exactly where I wanted it. Sometimes the arc might be off a little, dropping your hood or a slight movement when you squeeze the trigger.

Here's where all the rhetoric is going. Just before droppng my hood I squeeze the trigger just a quick 'click', just enough to charge the wire and touch where I want the arc to start. Usually the wire will arc and stick to the work at the precise point where you want it. Now any movement will not effect where the arc starts and dropping the hood or adjusting your head or arm won't change it. The wire is stuck there.

Now you can pull the trigger and, presto, a neat little weld bead at a precise point.
This method can be used anytime you need to make a precision weld where you don't want to take the chance of damaging the surrounding area but keep the arc confined in a small space.

Sorry for the rambling but I wanted to set the stage for an example of where to use this old welders trick when the size and placement of the bead is critical.

Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"
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