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New Guy: Questions about my Miller 211

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  • New Guy: Questions about my Miller 211

    Hi everyone!

    I'm new to the forum and also quite new to welding. I just picked up a Miller 211 last month so that I can do my own welding work on my motorcycle....don't worry, I only weld stuff that isn't life threatening as of now (i.e. brackets and things like that).

    I love the welder, but I'm not sure if I'm using it right. I'm using it with my 110v socket right now; don't have 220 in the garage yet. And using 75/25 gas that the guy at the welding shop hooked me up with when I got the welder.

    Anyway, the Auto-set function doesn't seem to work for me. I have the wire size correct on the knob and metal thickness is correct, but when I go to weld it seems the wire speed is just way too fast. I can feel the wire pushing into the metal and the gun kicking back. So I've just been using the machine without the autoset, which I'm totally fine with doing. I open up the machine to find recommended settings for the piece based on my 110v and wire size, but all the recommended settings seem to be putting my wire speed too high too. When I use the recommended setting, again I feel like the gun is kicking back at me. So I usually turn the wirespeed down about 2-3 numbers and it feels good and looks good (to me at least). I'm just worried that I'm doing something wrong or have something setup wrong. I was told that wire speed dictates penetration, so if I'm turning down my wire speed, I worry that I'm not getting the penetration I'm supposed to. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, a buddy of mine has the same welder at his shop that has 220v setup. I had to go down there to weld some 5/8 round stock to some 3/16 plate because I didn't think my 110v setup was up to the task. He had it on autoset and it felt the way it should, unlike when I use autoset on mine.

    Do you think its an issue with my power?

    Also, last question I swear, how do I know if I'm getting enough penetration and if my weld will survive? I make sure the welds are not too narrow or tall and I check the toes to see if they appear to go into the pieces. also for some welds I use a hammer and whack it a few good times to see if it will budge or crack the weld (not sure if this is effective in any way or just dumb). Any tips for non-destructive checking of my welds?

    I'm not sure if I'm providing enough info for answers, so if I'm too vague about something, please let me know. Looking forward to learning and sharing on this forum.

    Thanks ya'll!
    Last edited by chen; 11-10-2013, 11:44 PM.

  • #2
    What size wire are you running? ...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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    • #3
      Is the material you are welding clean? How about where the ground is clamped?

      Did you trim the wire to about 1/4 inch stick out before every start?

      Are you holding the gun not more that 20 degrees from perpendicular and 3/8 to 1/2 inch off the material when you pull the trigger?

      My guess is the answer to one or more of these questions is no.

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      • #4
        Auto set doesn't work very well for most users. The chart in the inside of the door is merely guidelines. You need to fine tune the settings after doing some practice beads.

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        • #5
          New Guy: Questions about my Miller 211

          And don't forget the guidelines inside have different settings for 120/220 voltages.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chen View Post

            Also, last question I swear, how do I know if I'm getting enough penetration and if my weld will survive? I make sure the welds are not too narrow or tall and I check the toes to see if they appear to go into the pieces. also for some welds I use a hammer and whack it a few good times to see if it will budge or crack the weld (not sure if this is effective in any way or just dumb). Any tips for non-destructive checking of my welds?

            I'm not sure if I'm providing enough info for answers, so if I'm too vague about something, please let me know. Looking forward to learning and sharing on this forum.

            Thanks ya'll!
            Buy some flat bar(or scare up some scrap) cut it up into small lengths and weld them together. Beat some up with a big hammer and cut some though the welds and polish to see the penetration. If you try a number of different settings in one sitting identify each sample and record your parameters so you know what worked and what didn't. Have fun.---Meltedmetal

            And increased wire speed will increase current to the point where the machine can't keep up and the wire stubs into the work.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FernTJ View Post
              Is the material you are welding clean? How about where the ground is clamped?

              Did you trim the wire to about 1/4 inch stick out before every start?

              Are you holding the gun not more that 20 degrees from perpendicular and 3/8 to 1/2 inch off the material when you pull the trigger?

              My guess is the answer to one or more of these questions is no.
              I do have a little bit of prior welding experience, even though it's not much, so I do have a pretty good idea of the process and what needs to happen.

              The material I'm welding is clean, I smooth it out with a flap disc and then make sure all the paint and other crap is off it with a wire brush on the angle grinder.

              I trim the wire before every start. I'm not certain if its 1/4 inch but it's certainly somewhere around that range; it's not too long.

              I keep my angle around 0-15 degrees from perpendicular and about that 1/2 inch off the material as was suggested in the manual with the welder


              I'm running .030 wire in the machine. The ground is usually clamped very close to where I'm laying the weld down on the piece (also, I make sure the ground is clean and has good contact).

              Thanks for the help with the diagnosis everyone. I feel like the welder maybe isn't getting enough power, so I called an electrician to see how much it would cost to put a 220v socket in my garage. Hopefully that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg; spent all my money on the welding stuff!

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              • #8
                Take it to your bud's shop and run them side by side.

                He will certainly have 120v power to compare.
                Run yours on his 240v power.
                Ed Conley
                http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                MM252
                MM211
                Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                TA185
                Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                O/A set
                SO 2020 Bender
                You can call me Bacchus

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                • #9
                  Also remember that the setting you are using is a sticker on the front panel, not a meter giving you the reading of the true output. With that you could have every machine a little different. I've had mine about 3 years and find I usually run the wire speed on mine about 1 to 1.5 above the graph setting. You just have to run it and learn were it weld like it should.
                  "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

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