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Frequently Asked Questions

All questions are answered to the best of our ability with the information given. Other factors not disclosed in the question may alter the ultimate best welding or cutting advice and procedures. Please read our Customer Assistance Policy for more information, and our Safety Section for preferred welding and cutting procedures.

Your welding distributor is also a comprehensive resource for welding and cutting information and process or equipment troubleshooting. Distributors can help you choose the products and accessories that are right for you and your specific application. To locate a welding distributor in your area, click here.

Q. When welding aluminum items such as heads or intakes, which is the preferred method? TIG or MIG?
A. The TIG method is used to weld these items because of its complete fusion and accuracy of the repaired area. MIG being more of a production process would deposit too much material in the affected area causing excessive post repair machining and clean up.

Q. How can I improve my welding skills without the cost or inconvenience of a class?
A. A. Miller now offers an interactive CD Training program, brining you the insight and expert advice that's provided in workshops. The Introduction to Welding CD builds welding knowledge step-by-step. Process sections on Stick, MIG, TIG and plasma cutting include: Process description, Equipment components and controls.

Q. I keep making holes when I TIG weld thin material. What can I do?
A. Try a set-up that give you finer control over amperage adjustments. If your foot pedal and front panel amperage control have a leader/follower relationship, limit output on the machine (e.g. if you need 20 amps, set the machine at 40). Now the entire range of foot pedal motion only controls a fraction of the welder's output. In other words, 1in. of travel might change the heat by 5 amps, not 50.

Q. Should I ball a pure tungsten electrode for welding thin material?
A. No. Instead use a 3/32in. tungsten with 2% cerium (2% thorium is second choice), grind it to a point and put a small land on the end. Compared to a balled tungsten, a pointed electrode provides greater arc control and lets you direct the amperage precisely at the joint, minimizing distortion.

Q. When working with round tubing, I cut the end of a pipe with two opposing 45 degree angled cuts so that I get the perfect shape to butt up next to another pipe in a perpendicular setup. Can you tell me any tricks to keep the cuts on the center pipe (in an "H" configuration) for the two butting ends next to each vertical pipe exactly parrallel and strait? When the fit is perfect it makes welding the tubing together much easier and cleaner.
A. The set up we use is a notcher with a clamp that is degreed. If you are doing this by hand, it will be difficult to get it exact. I would notch one end, then use a scrap piece of tube and place it in the notch. Go get yourself one of those laser line levels. (I bought one for $30 at Walmart) and place it at the end of the tube that needs to be notched. Align the laser line with the scrap tube at the other end and make your marks to cut. Also if you are welding this on your shop floor, it most likely will not square up. I use a surface plate and jig( Uni-Jig builds a nice one ) to clamp my tubes down flat.

Q. I have a Miller Legend NT and would like to add a MIG unit to it. I have a 22A wire feeder - what other parts are needed? Thank you.
A. Your Legend NT will not run that 22A feeder. The Legend is a Constant Current type machine. The 22A feeder is strictly a Constant Voltage type feeder. In other words, they won't mesh. You could possibly use a S-32P feeder. It is designed to run with Constant Current style units. It's not the best MIG set up. A great MIG set up would be the Trailblazer 280 NT and that 22A feeder. They will hook up together with no special adapters.Hope this helps. Good luck.

Q. Is self-shielding Flux Core wire used with DCEP or DCEN?
A. Most self-shielded Flux Cored wires are used on DCEN. As always consult with the manufacturer of the wire. Data sheets should be available whenever you purchase a consumable.

Q. I am about to start a large livestock fencing operation using drill pipe that is generally pretty clean but has some rust and contamination. AC power is readily available. What wire machine and wire would you suggest? After this project is through we would use the welder quite frequently for various farm jobs and fabrications.
A. There are several recommendations that would work for your application. The best setup I would recommend would be an XMT 304 CC/CV and a portable suitcase feeder like our S22P12, S32P12 or Suitcase 8VS (smaller but holds 8" spools of wire). I would recommend a self-shielded flux core wire if you are going to be working outside in breezy conditions (it also is very portable because you don't need any gas bottle). Other options that would work well, would be a Millermatic 250X or a Millermatic 185. These machines make a nice shop machine, and are relatively portable. I am not a filler metal expert, but when you are welding something like drill pipe that could be a high or medium carbon steel, it is always advisable to use low hydrogen welding consumables and practices, or delayed cracking can result. Remove all rust or paint, eliminate all moisture from the work piece and consumables. And use electrodes with low hydrogen classifications.

Q. We have an old XR-15 feeder, can we adapt an XR-Edge gooseneck gun to fit it?
A. No. The XR-Edge gooseneck or new XR-Pistol is not compatible with the old style XR cabinets. We still manufacture the old style pistol grip guns for users with the old style cabinets. Depending on the age of your old style cabinet, you may need an adaptor to attach the old style pistol grip guns that we still manufacture.

Q. What are the proper psi settings for gas on MIG welders? We use .035 wire and 92% argon.
A. For .035 wire you could have a flow rate anywhere from 20 CFH to 50 CFH depending on travel speed, nozzle size/condition, contact tip to work distance, external conditions, and electrical welding parameters. A good experiment is to see how low you can set the gas flow and still get good coverage. 25 to 35 CFH covers most conditions unless there are significant other factors involved.

Q. I have a Miller MIG welder that the wire kinks prior to the drive wheels occasionally. Is there any solution for this?
A. I'm assuming that you are kinking the wire immediately after the wire leaves the driverolls. Make sure that the MIG gun liner is as close to the driverolls as possible without touching. Also make sure that the liner of the MIG gun you are using is in good condition, and is the correct size. An easy test to do to make sure there is not too much drag in the MIG gun is to remove the gun from the machine but leave a few feet of wire extending from both ends of the gun. Pull the wire through the gun in both directions to see if there is a lot of drag in the gun itself.
Make sure that the drive roll tension is set so that it will slip before it starts to kink the wire. Make sure that you are using the proper drive roll for the size and type of wire that you are using. Verify that the drive rolls are properly aligned. Make sure that there is not too much brake tension on the wire spool itself.
If all these things are in order then you should eliminate the kinking problem.

Q. I would like to find a used wire feed welder for my own personal use. Every time there is an auction sale or welding business closing the welders are all on three phase power. How can I tell if it will or will not work for my personal use? I have single phase 220 power. Voltage settings should be easy to change but different phase power confuses me. What would I have to do to get a three phase machine to work for my own use?
A. If you only have single phase power, you need to make sure that the power supply you are purchasing specifically says that it is compatible with single phase power. Miller does make inverter power supplies(XMT's , Phoenix's, Invision's, ) that are single and three phase compatible. There is typically no way to convert a 3 phase power supply into a power supply that will operate properly on single phase power.

Q. I'm a beginner welder. How do you know whether to use AC or DC when welding and does it matter when using certain rods? If so, what can I get to tell which rods are best for certain jobs and the proper current for which rods?
A. When Stick Welding (SMAW) it is typically easier to weld using DC. AC is often used if Arc Blow (Arc instability caused by magnetic fields) is a problem. For all practical purposes use DC unless you have a good reason to use AC. A good quick resource for stick electrode descriptions is our Stick Amperage Calculator. You can order this from our website as well as from your distributor (the part # is 171087).

Q. May I overlay a stick weld (6010) with a bead of MIG (gas shielded) for appearance? I am welding 1/2 mild steel.
A. I don't see any reason why you cannot do this. As always you should make sure that you are welding at high enough setting to obtain sufficient penetration. If you are welding to any codes or other requirements then you need to make sure that this procedure is allowed under those codes or specifications.