Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by silverbear, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    SB,
    Actually the device is called a 'flow meter' but it also acts as a pressure regulator. I have two types. One has a little floating ball inside a glass tube that is lifted by the gas flow and floats at marked increments on a glass. The other one looks like a pressure gauge and indicates flow instead of psi. Both are adjustable by a knob or a large wingnut valve handle.

    The same gun/nozzle/stinger, whatever you want to call it is used for whatever wire you want to run. If you try aluminum you'll want to go for a teflon liner for the wire. It keeps the thin and soft aluminum wire from binding up in the sheath. You'll also have to run straight Argon for aluminum and reverse the polarity. I've never had a lot of luck with aluminum and never practiced enough to get proficient. Give me steel :)
    Tom
     
  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Is the flow meter or pressure regulator welder model specific? I see that Hoart sells one for the 125 Handler, but will a different regulator work as long as it is for this purpose of supplying gas to a wire feed welder? I believe that Steve mentioned Harbor Freight carrying them. Is a used one a possibility?
    Your suggestion of renting or leasing a tank sounds like a good one. If I did own one, how long before the tank has to e re certified, inspected or whatever it is so that it can be filled. Again, a used one with pressure regulator might appear in my life by chance, in which case if I got it cheap enough maybe it would make sense owning my own tank, especially if in the summer I am in Minnesota and in the winter Maryland. Just thinking.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    SB
     
  3. tigmaster

    tigmaster Member

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    I have the Lincoln weld pak 135,110v and it came with the flowgage,2lb.roll of solid .023 wire, the adapter for ten pound spool and a cup for gas,it was set up for f/c and had a 2 lb.spool of fluxcore wire,contact tips for both types of welding,hand held mask with #10 lens and a cart that has a small bottle holder,I bought this welder because I used one like it at work...it was the weld pak 100,it didn't come with all the extras but I had to weld some catwalk down on site and it was so portable!...I also tried to kill it welding for way over the dutycycle!Only once the cooling fan kicked on after five or six two inch beads one right after the other...I was truly impressed!...I have bought My gas bottle,its 110cu.ft. was around $100.00 new,$13.50 to fill, good for five years before recertification....I built a nice cart out of a shopping cart that was trashed and was thrown in the dumper behind the store!...One Mans garbage is another Mans gold!....Tigmaster....
     
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    SB,
    I just went back and looked at the picture of your Hobart machine. Typically the connections for the gas are on the front. I don't see anywhere on yours for a gas fitting. Unless it has been moved to the back of the unit, it might be that it is not set up for sheilding gas. Some machines aren't. If that's the case you're stuck with using flux core wire.
    Welders that can use gas have line fittings and an internal solinoid for starting and stopping the flow of gas. Also on the Hobart there is a 'Purge' position on the range selector rotary knob. I don't see that on yours.
    Tom
     
  5. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Tom,
    The manual shows the fitting on the back. I don't know anything about a purge position on the range knob, but will give it a good stare next Saturday. The manual states pretty clearly that this model can be setup with gas.

    So in between zzzzzts the gas stops flowing due to the internal solenoid. Feed wire and gas is released, is that right?

    Which do you prefer, a flow meter or regulator?
    SB
     
  6. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    SB the machine you have is just like mine just 5 amp less but seems same otherwise and on back that’s it.

    The kit I got to adapt came with solenoid although it is already in the machine, so I have a spare now. It was the hose and the two gauge reading and fixed regulator with adjustable flow with the few other goodies solid wire and tips. Two round gauges with needles on each. The one with floating ball is not what I have for flow, but is accurate enough I believe using the needle type. It is really pressure that it senses and have a conversion so you read CFH (think cubic foot per hour).The one where I rented time had that type with float ball. Was told use think 5 but maybe was 15 CFH to do welding. The guage I have shows starting at 10 but the little increments before could be starting about 5 CFH. I didn’t notice any information in the manual of how to set gas flow rate, but felt it would be an experiment and use what I had before when I was doing TIG and MIG at the place I rented time.

    I wrap old sock to protect the fittings, best to keep in a box too. The hose attached it would not fit back in the box it came in. Don’t want to scratch the fitting and then they leak.

    MT
    .weld
     

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    #26 MEASURE TWICE, Mar 19, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  7. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    The flow meters are not machine specific. Any meter will work with any machine. The trick is how the hose connects to the machine. The original meter that came with my machine got ruined after a co-worker did not purge the pressure off the machine after turning the gas off at the tank. This deformed the metal diaphragm inside the meter over the time that the machine sat unused. My new(er) meter uses a much larger rubber hose than the original one. I simply stuck the original hose inside the larger one and clamped it tight with a standard hose clamp.
     
  8. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    That interesting that you figured that. I did see on the flow guage it also says for Argon 0.032 so I guess for a different tip or the density of a different gas type would alter the calibration for the flow.

    I suspect you get a handle on these things and also not to forget that I found the Hobart site has threads also and you can search there. On the phone they were very helpful and did not ask for cc info to just answer information on getting parts and initial use of the purchase product. Sort of unique in these times I'd say.

    MT
     
  9. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    How do you purge the line so that the meter is not damaged?
    Regarding the flow meter and pressure gauge, is this an either or? Or are both required?

    I'm thinking about buying a used flow meter with gas line in working condition. I would assume that the connector to the Hobart can be purchased by itself.

    As an old guy on social security I'm always on a tight budget, trying to figure how to manage things. I may not travel first class, but I usually get there eventually.
    SB
     
  10. moonerdizzle

    moonerdizzle New Member

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    to mig aluminum you might as well buy a spool gun for a hundred or so dollars. it works soo much better than trying to push the soft wire threw your cable. at work we use a push-pull set up to weld aluminum. we also have a 30 foot weld lead and use 100 pound aluminum spools.
     
  11. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Silverbear if you get a tank of gas get a big one, it coast just as much to fill a small one as a big one and you get double the gas for just a couple dollors more. If you wait untill you get back home and shop around Centeral McGowin in little falls has a pro rated lease. After so long you can turn it back in and get your money back. And I am sure they travel all over the state to other welding supply shops, besides Home depot has there tanks here,look them up when you get home and they should be able to tell you were there dropoff spots are.
    As far as welding helments go I bought onfrom a welding supply annd it has a batterie (not sollor) and I have had mine for a lot of years and haven't replased the batterie yet it is auto darkening it turns itself off after it sets for a few min. When you turn it on it has a yellow tint and britens up so you can see also yellow is a glair cuttin collor so I don't ever think you would burns your eyes if it failed. Just don't buy a cheep one from HF or like that you can't replace the batterie in them when they fail.
    You are off to a good start it look good for a beginner looks good...........Curt
     
  12. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    The valves I have seen with the t-bar you use to adjust pressure, this is how I purge the line.

    Say you have been welding and had set at 15CFH flow rate.

    Just leave the flow rate adjust knob alone so that you'll be purging out the gas at the 15CFH rate.

    When you’re done you want to purge the line. Turn the gas valve off on the tank (not the flow rate adjust).

    Turn current to off. That way you don't arc anything since you have to pull the trigger on the gun for the wire feed to go to allow the gas to come out the end of the gun nozzle.

    If there is any of the wire spools still left in the machine you could possibly take all tension off so that the wire does not move when you are going the purge the gas in the flow rate valve.
    I’m going to see if the tension knob and roller swung out and away as is the way I store it so that the wire is not crushed or the wheel is not deformed and the spring is not being used, can be also allow the motor to turn and not move any wire so there is no waste.

    The gas valve solenoid will be activated when the motor turns purging, but no waste of wire on the spool or in the threading all the way out to the gun tip.

    If you are only going to waste a few feet with the wire coming out to purge then it is not a big thing anyway. To try to have the wire go back in through the cable would I think be very difficult, not worth messing with.

    In any case turn the feed rate to zero or whatever is lowest setting to minimize this loss.

    Current off, I would hold the gun an pull the trigger so that the wire goes nowhere near ground clamp or ground potential (just in case the current trys to flow) and watch as the flow rate needle eventually drops to zero.

    You can tighten the flow rate to run flow rate faster while pulling the trigger to have the gas purge faster but would not go above the guage flow rate max reading.

    Once the flow rate needle is dropped to zero then no gas is flowing release the trigger and turn the flow rate adjust counter clockwise so that there is no resistance and the knob seems like it is going to unscrew and fall off. Stop before that.

    Then to be sure it is not so loose it will fall out I tighten till I fell resistance and then back off a full turn or two to be sure that the diaphragm is not being compressed when not in use.



    One other thing I heard from an instructor is that when turning the valve on the tank to not have your hand over the top of the handle, but only around the edges to turn. Not that it is likely to happen if the tank threads where the valve is attached or the valve of the tank itself are in good condition, but a valve with 2000 lbs of pressure if malfunction could shoot straight up and out of the tank. Better to have the skin on the hand abrade than no hand at all. Seems like not a bad idea.



    MT

    PS check stuff posted on the Hobart site for information and the threads there as I have mention as I do believe they have a moderator also that answers some information posted there.

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/
     
    #32 MEASURE TWICE, Mar 19, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    I'm not following this idea of "purging" the pressure from the machine after finished welding. There should be no reason to do that. The tank valve should always be shut off after using it but that is to prevent loss of gas in the event there is a leak downstream of the regulator. Any compressed gas cylinder, especially a flammable gas, should be valved off after use.

    The flow meter/gauge will not be damaged by pressure left on it. The purge cycle I mentioned earlier is a position that when selected and the trigger on the handle is depressed, allows gas to flow through the tubing and tip without feeding wire or energizing the welder. This is to 'purge' air from the circuit prior to striking an arc. This is so the shielding gas will be there to envelope the arc immediately when you start welding. It doesn't need to be used every time you start just after the machine has set for a while. )think of it as turning on the hot water tap and letting it run until you get hot water) All welders don't have this feature, but they should. The alternative is to pull the trigger for a few seconds to get gas flowing but unless you disengage the wire feed mechanism you'll waste a lot of wire and the tip will be energized. Don't touch it.

    Flow meters/guages are typically also pressure regulators. They reduce tank pressure that will be in the 2 to 2.5K psi (full tank) down to a usuable pressure. They have a constant pressure diaphram that once set, delivers a prescribed volume (cfh) of gas to the welder and out to the torch when the trigger is pressed via an electric solinoid valve which is built into the welder and activated by the trigger.

    For still air conditions, no wind or inside where there is no draft across the weld area, the flow should be in the 20 to 30 CFH (cubic feet per Hour) range. Anthing higher than that and you're wasting gas. You can increase that flow if there is a slight breeze but a higher flow rate still will not help if there's too much air moving. That's where you need to shield the weld area from wind to keep the shielding gas from being blown away from the arc.

    Tom
     
  14. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    =================================================

    TD

    I heard the same from an instructor the same as GN, so I've done this when done always.

    Anyway my area I have no place to have it safely left all assembled, so the flow valve and gauges come off the tank and the fitting from hose to back of welder gas solenoid are remove and stored safely.


    The point that you mention to purge for having the inert gas at the tip and bleed off any air sounds like a worthwhile thing to get your first weld of a series to not be messed up possibly by air getting the start of it.

    MT
     
  15. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Looking up about the welder I bought and found out that the Hobart is made by Miller. Seems they use plastic parts for the Hobart where the Miller gets metal parts. Made on the same assembly line.

    The Lincoln I bought will weld up to 1/2" thick metal. It will only weld up to 3/16" with gas and after that you have to use flux core since it burns hotter.

    Steve.
     
  16. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Boy all this makes me want to go out and buy a new welder. Thats AWESOME Steve not often you do 1/2" but nice when you need it,nice to know about Hobart........another old dog
     
  17. DaveC

    DaveC Member

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    I'm back to using my old helmet, I have one of the auto-darkining helms but the sheild has a malfunction of some kind and the light flares so bad I can't see the weld. I'm using a #9 shade in one of my grandfather's old face sheilds and can see the weld just fine. Admittedly the auto mask is an old one, one of the early models. I'll most likely buy a new one in the future. There are times when I have to crawl and squeeze myself into tight places in racecars to weld and there's just no room to be flipping a facemask down...especially when down is up ;)
     
  18. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    I purge the gas out of my machine by squeezing the trigger on the stinger with the machine turned off. It is also how I purge air out of the line when first turning the gas on before welding. The gas valve on mine is a manual type inside the stinger. If yours has an electrical gas valve inside the machine, I don't know. Perhaps that would be in the owner's manual?

    Both meters that I have are a meter/ regulator all in one. Both are also analog dial type as well. They have two gauges on them. One gauge for the tank pressure and one gauge for the output volume. One knob to adjust it.
     
  19. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Concerning my old and failed regulator/ meter, the tank valve was turned off before storing and no, it does not leak. The welder sat for a few months. I went to use it and the weld bead was horrible. I asked the old grey hair next door for help and advice. He has welded for a living for the last 50 or so years. That's all he does is weld things. Aircraft, medical, NASA, Government, and whoever else needs welding done.
    A very good guy I might add too. Anyways I digress.... He fiddled with it and tried to do a few beads on some scrap. Then he asked me about purging the pressure off the regulator before storing the welder. I said it was not done. He laughed, told me what went wrong and why, and got me a new regulator from one of his suppliers at an awesome price.
    The rest has already been told here.
    Oh by the way I never zero the meter with the knob before storing and it has never done anything bad to it either, as instructed by the good welder guy next door.
     
  20. thegnu

    thegnu New Member

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    HAHAHA WELCOME to the world of MAKING just about ANYTHING your WELDER CAN HANDLE an even somethings it may not .
    Gary
     

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