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How does Miller 211 handle thick materials out of position? Structural H-beams

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  • How does Miller 211 handle thick materials out of position? Structural H-beams

    Anyone on here ever used a Miller 211 mig for welding thick steel like 0.170" thick or 0.230" thick in all positions: flat, vertical, overhead?

    I'm still kicking around the idea of buying a Miller 211 and using it for welding 6" x 9lb/ft or 6" x 12lb/ft H-beams to make a loft in my shop for storage.

    Can't find a lightly used CST 280 for a good price, so I'm thinking maybe I just need to mig weld this instead.

    Anyone got any pictures of out of position mig welding on stuff this thick?

    Would you recommend using Flux-core wire for the extra penetration or would argon/co2 and bare wire be just fine?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Not sure on the out if position part...have not done what your plan is but the 211 states it will weld up to 3/8 on both solid or flux core both at full power (10). Difference is the wire feed rate is quite a bit less with the flux core.

    .230 is slightly less than 1/4 so I would think it would penitrate OK for you. Power settings for 1/4 is I think around 6 or 7. Might have to let it catch its breath once and a while but it should weld it OK.

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    • #3
      Bevel your joint, 035 wire, 75/25 gas - burn it in

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      • #4
        There will be a LOT of T-joints vertical and lap joints both overhead and flat welded.

        I've never heard of beveling on those 2 joints? Is that common?

        Thanks!

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        • #5
          My first choice of wire would be .030 and gas. My second choice would be .035 gas flux core and the gas of your choice. The smaller machines do better with .030 soild...Bob

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          • #6
            Can you give us a picture or drawing of what you want to do

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            • #7
              Should have no problem with steel that thin. I would use .030 and 75/25, as already said.

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              • #8
                I'm a newbie and a 211 owner. I've done a good bit of that range of material thickness. I would think as easy as it seems to be for that machine to burn through it is surely capable of doing what you want if you know what you're doing.

                (yeah, I know who's doing the burning through :-))

                In fact I don't use the AutoSet feature much as it seems to always run too hot for the material. I always use the chart guide to get started and manually adjust from there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thrutraffic View Post
                  I'm a newbie and a 211 owner. I've done a good bit of that range of material thickness. I would think as easy as it seems to be for that machine to burn through it is surely capable of doing what you want if you know what you're doing.

                  (yeah, I know who's doing the burning through :-))

                  In fact I don't use the AutoSet feature much as it seems to always run too hot for the material. I always use the chart guide to get started and manually adjust from there.
                  I always used the chart guide as a starting point on my Miller 140 since I never had a bottle to try the auto-set feature.

                  Here is what I am thinking.
                  https://www.dropbox.com/s/u2b5ba5v6u...t%20Design.JPG

                  I checked it with a uniform load of 250lbs per foot (a lot more than what I should have stored up there)
                  Uniform load of 20lbs per foot to account for the weight of the material (more than probably needed)
                  On the left I have a point load in case I want to ever put a small hoist to lift stuff (have it over rated too for what I will need)

                  This will have a top surface about 4ft wide.
                  The 3 fixed points are the vertical columns. I will have H beams running across as braces at the 3 fixed positions and at point #2.
                  I don't want to use an H-beam as a brace at point #1 because it will prevent the trolley from running back and forth on the 10ft span.
                  I will weld angle iron on the under side of the top of the beam and run it across like bridging to brace the beams, spacing will be every 2ft.

                  On top I will put flat expanded metal. I was considering plywood, but don't want to be running a grinder and set the plywood on fire above me. Also considered using light gauge steel plate, but not sure thick I would need to go to not have too much deflection with bracing at 2ft. Also, don't want to go too thick if I went with plate since that would be a lot of weight.

                  I will try to sketch something up more official looking when I get closer to buying materials.

                  I am really wondering if I will need to alter the cement slab for this in the shop. I think it is a 4" cement slab.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                    My first choice of wire would be .030 and gas. My second choice would be .035 gas flux core and the gas of your choice. The smaller machines do better with .030 soild...Bob
                    Originally posted by Cgotto6 View Post
                    Should have no problem with steel that thin. I would use .030 and 75/25, as already said.
                    I will keep .030 in mind when picking up some Hobart wire after getting the welder.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                      My first choice of wire would be .030 and gas. My second choice would be .035 gas flux core and the gas of your choice. The smaller machines do better with .030 soild...Bob
                      Just noticed this wire chart shows .030 solid wire is to small for over 1/8" material.
                      http://store.cyberweld.com/choosewire.html

                      So would .035 solid wire run ok for the millermatic 211 for stuff this thick?


                      Or would the flux core .045 work better in the 211 for materials .170 to .250" thick?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The consensus seems to be that the smaller machines like 030 wire. I have welded thicker than .125 material with 030 wire with success. I think there is a difference between what is on paper and the real world...


                        Btw, got your pm and will get back to you tomorrow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, the difference is, in my opionion, that using 0.030" wire on thick base metal runs an increased risk of lack of fusion defects. This particular case, welding 1/8" thick sheet isn't too far outside the envelope for 0.030" wire. It will probably work. But I'd hate for a novice to read this and assume they can use 0.030" anywhere and believe that it will work just fine.

                          This is one of those gray areas that I think most welders don't fully understand.

                          You're not the first person I've heard comment that these smaller/mid-sized MIG machines run 0.030" wire smoother or 'better'.

                          While this is often true, a weld produced using a smoother running arc is not always the same as a sound weld. If the filler metal can't physically deliver enough arc energy to the puddle, then the likelihood of lack of fusion defects increases. I can produce a beautiful single pass fillet weld on 1/2" thick plate with 0.030" wire. But I'd never guarantee that there is 100% fusion into the base metal, particularly if I were weaving the arc at all.

                          If you haven't made a particular weld and broken it to check for 100% fusion in to the base metal, then you don't know that it's a sound weld. Since most people don't want to go to the extent of produceing test welds and breaking them, they're much better off relying on the manufacturer's recommendations for which wire diameters are suitable for a given base metal thickness.

                          So many people on this and other forums are all over novices for using small 110V MIG machines to weld heavy sheet or plate. But they think nothing themselves of using the smallest diameter wire possible so they can have the easiest time welding or the best looking weld bead possible.

                          The recommendations on appropriate wire thickness for base metal aren't just pulled out of thin air.

                          Yes, there is a great deal that can be done to widen the window that a given diameter wire is suitable for. Pre-heating, beveling, using stringers versus weave beads, etc. A welder can even deposit more weld metal than is strictly necessary(and most of us do this all the time).

                          But for the novices out there, particularly if you're working on something that is structural, load-bearing, or if the failure of a given weld could cause damage or injury, don't disregard the manufacturer's recommendations for what diameter of filler metal and what machine settings to use.

                          Practice and increase your skills to adapt to the settings needed to make a sound weld. Don't just dial in the machine to settings you can use to make a pretty weld bead.

                          Just one man's opinion, and I'll get off my soap box now...

                          Originally posted by elvis View Post
                          The consensus seems to be that the smaller machines like 030 wire. I have welded thicker than .125 material with 030 wire with success. I think there is a difference between what is on paper and the real world...


                          Btw, got your pm and will get back to you tomorrow.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            0.035" solid wire and C25 or 100% CO2 will work just fine in your MM211 on 240V. You'll see more spatter and the weld puddle will require more skill to control than it would with 0.030" wire.

                            0.045" gas shielded fluxcore is probably going to require more amperage and voltage than a MM211 is good for, unless you're making short welds that don't push the duty cycle. Even so, I think you're better off with 0.035" solid wire and gas or 0.035" self shielded wire.

                            0.035" gas shielded fluxcore will run nicely on the MM211 using 240V input power, if it produces enough voltage for the wire. The specs say 23.5V at max output, which is on the low side for gas shielded fluxcore wires in my experience.

                            Also, I don't know anyone selling this type of product(0.035" gas shielded fluxcore) on an 8"(10lb) spool, that fits in the MM211. When I've seen 0.035" gas shielded fluxcored wire, it's been on 33lb 12" spools or larger. If someone knows of a good source for gas shielded 0.035" on 10lb spools, please post the brand name.

                            Thanks.

                            Originally posted by clint738 View Post

                            Just noticed this wire chart shows .030 solid wire is to small for over 1/8" material.
                            http://store.cyberweld.com/choosewire.html

                            So would .035 solid wire run ok for the millermatic 211 for stuff this thick?


                            Or would the flux core .045 work better in the 211 for materials .170 to .250" thick?
                            Last edited by A_DAB_will_do; 03-12-2013, 08:47 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A_DAB_will_do,

                              Thank you for your input. The reason I come here is for input from professionals who do this for a living. I don't care if .035" wire is harder to run, if it what is required to have proper penetration, then I will learn to use it.

                              My millermatic 140 I sold I always used .030 wire, but I don't see how thicker wire will be much harder since it is just laying down more wire at once.

                              I do plan on destructive testing my welds. Any tips on how to do this? Will probably want to test them with 1/4" plate since it will be close to the H-beam thicknesses.

                              Comment

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