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Feel like an idiot but here it goes.....

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  • Feel like an idiot but here it goes.....

    Finally got a 220V line installed in my garage. Plugged in welder, Mode on DC positive, turned on (nice hum) a 7018 rod in the clamp, shake the helmet down and scratch.....scratch....scratch scratch scratch.....nothing. Welder worked on video - first time I'm trying to use it and yes - I'm just a fool learning. And I think its the 'circuit' I had going - that is I had the welder on a metal cart and a small piece of scrap on a wooden board flat on my garage floor - the work clamp was clamped onto the welding cart pole. Is it correct that the work clamp needs to clamp on a metal table on which the work is resting or if welding ON the cart itself then can be clamped on the cart (as such for welding the frame of a car - clamp on the frame etc)

    Thanks - I hesitated posting this - as it clearly exposes my ignorance - but w/out ignorance there isn't learning and some lessons are painful (hopefully not painful when involving high voltage though!)

    John
    Miller Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC
    Millermatic 211 Auto/MVP

  • #2
    With your description it is hard to tell if you have the ground clamp attached to your work...doesn't really sound like it. If not, make sure your ground clamp IS attached to your workpiece or at least to the metal table the workpiece is resting upon...and no, resting on a piece of wood on top of a metal work table does not count as a connection.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by WyoRoy View Post
      With your description it is hard to tell if you have the ground clamp attached to your work...doesn't really sound like it. If not, make sure your ground clamp IS attached to your workpiece or at least to the metal table the workpiece is resting upon...and no, resting on a piece of wood on top of a metal work table does not count as a connection.
      WyoRoy,

      Yes - you have it. That is what I suspected - thanks for taking it easy and putting it together w/out even a clear picture! I need me a welding table!

      thx, john
      Miller Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC
      Millermatic 211 Auto/MVP

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      • #4
        $.02

        Do not weld on your welding cart and do not clamp your work clamp to the cart, hang it from the cart instead when not in use. If you inadvertently touch a live electrode to the cart or the machine on the cart you can damage either or both.
        A welding table is a useful tool and a good project to build. Many welders, myself included,sometimes connect the work clamp to the steel table. However it is usually best to connect the work clamp to the work and as close as feasible to the weld site. It helps to assure that the circuit is as short as possible and most of the current is heating your weld and not the surrounding piece(s) etc.. It also removes the possibility of arcing between the work piece and the table(this can lead to your electrode sticking to the weldment and leave arc burns on the table and the weldment.)
        Your work clamp should be clean and the area you connect it to should also be clean. That is no paint. rust ,scale, splatter, coatings or other corruption.
        If you should ever weld on a vehicle disconnect the battery before welding. It can lead to very expensive repairs if you do not. Work clamp as close as is reasonable to a clean site electrically connected to the weld site and be aware and respect all the burnable and explosive fluids and material in an automobile. (hybrid cars are a special and more complex case).
        Have fun and enjoy your adventures in welding but be safe.
        Meltedmetal

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        • #5
          I hope this doesn't sound to redundant with everyone else having provided good responses but to ensure a good connection, electricity is conducted through metal to metal contact. That means the metal workpiece clamp in direct contact with the workpiece you are welding on is the best possible scenario. As mentioned by someone else a clean metal surface is best for a good connection. There are even magnetic ground clamps available for surfaces that are hard to clamp to.

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          • #6
            thx

            All good - points taken and learned from. I have a welding table in transit - the Nomad foldable one - again - my 'work' is going to involve running bead after bead after bead after......and then some more.....eventually I will make something useful with it.

            Clamped TO the piece I was working with and the rod burned perfectly!

            Thanks again to everyone for giving me the direction.

            John
            Miller Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC
            Millermatic 211 Auto/MVP

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