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Welding upside down


Curly

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Was doing a bit of welding today that consisted of welding box section together. Whenever I got to the underside bits I found a lot of the weld dripped off and didn't make a clean weld. As if it wasn't sticking well.

Any tips? One thing I did learn was to wear a hat next time... Slight smell of burning hair in the air afterwards! :)

Was 4mm walled box section MIG welding at around 160amp. Will have a play when get a chance with the speed of the wire feed and ampage but thought Id ask on here first.

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Chose the right rod or wire, some rods are designed for overhead welds, and some you switch polarity when you changing orientation. Check with your welding rod supplier or the manufacture. If at all possible rotate the project so the weld is up, and at a comfortable hight. Something to steady you hand is a good idea as well (a projection to place your pinky of your off hand and against wile supporting you welding hand, doesn't take much but it helps control the wobble)

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Hi Curly, Charles is right on the money but I will add this: The arc length and angle of the electrode to the workpiece makes a difference also, just a slight increase or decrease in length of arc will change the amperage or voltage depending on the type of machine and type of welding. More so for me with stick welding. When I weld out of position as in overhead I lower the amperage a bit and as Charles said use the correct rod/wire. I always try to rotate my work so I weld flat if I can but that is not always an option. Depending on what I am welding I sometimes run a few test beads on similar material to get set up for what works best for the conditions. With Mig make sure you have the correct shielding gas for the type of wire  too. For general mild steel I commonly use E70S6 with good results with CO2 or mix argon CO2. With stick I use 6010, 6011 both are Fast Freeze rods work better for overhead. Hope this helps and good luck, I almost always get a few spatter burns when welding overhead!

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Working as a structural Ironworker for years, I constantly found myself welding overhead and just generally out of position (in more rediculous positions then most people can imagine). After taking the time to get certified with differnt processes/wire, and thicknesses of steel I learned a few things. Since you are MIG welding, I'll keep it to that. Push the puddle, don't pull it (for overhead especially). This keeps the heat ahead of you so the weld will cool faster and not drip off as you move. Use a weaving/whipping motion (whichever you prefer. I use all sorts depending on the situation). The most important thing however with overhead MIG is to make sure you are running a "short arc transfer" "spray-arc" will work for nothing but flat, same with "globular-arc". Pulse arc is ideal but many (most) folks don't have that option as pulsed-arc MIG welders are significanly more expensive. Good wire makes a slight differnce with MIG but nothing too noteable IMO. Also, changing the polarity is not an option unless you swap from Gas sheilding to flux cored in which case you would switch polarity of your machine. Play with your wire feed rate if you like your heat and make it sound like cloth tearing (the best way I can describe the sound). It should sound smooth and static. If the gun jumps or bucks in your hand, turn the wire feed down a bit or check to be sure you have a solid ground. If you look closely, and you see single globs of wire flowing into the puddle instead of roughly three (globular transfer), turn up your feed a bit.   Quick re-cap: travel speed, gun angle, polarity (depending on which wire you are using), and wire speed. Also as advised above, make sure you have the proper sheilding gas. Hope this helps.

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Wow, thanks for the detailed replies guys. I thought it was just me doing something stupid but seems there is a bit more to it than that.

I'll certainly try and get a better position for the weld to be in next time for a start, it wasn't a massive item so could have flipped it. Was just trying to save time more than anything.


Crazy Ivan - a few questions, I was always taught to face the torch back and lay the weld down behind it as you go. Is that what you are describing as pulling the puddle of weld? Should I for overhead welding then do the opposite to that?

Also first time I've heard the terms short, spray and globular arc, is that a method of welding or an actual setting that you might find on some machines?

I actually came from a cheap gasless mig and found it pretty forgiving at welding in any position, now I've upgraded I'm having to learn stuff all over again!

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At the tech school we teach nothing but push with solid wire and gas using mig. It's not hard for me to teach someone to drag the puddle if they can push, but it's harder to get someone to learn to push if they always drag.

 

By "push", the gun points in the direction of travel, away from where you have already welded. As mentioned this reduces the amount of heat input to the material and tends to flatten the bead. "Drag", the gun points back towards the bead you have already laid down, and the molten metal tends to pile up more. One of the big reasons why most people "drag" is that they can't see what they are doing if they don't. The reason is they want to sit behind the gun and try and look thru it. You need to stick your head out in front of the gun and look down the barrel, if pushing. Welding overhead I'm either welding right to left from slightly to the side with mig ( I'm right handed) pushing, Or I'm welding almost directly at myself.

 

 

Biggest thing I've found with people who have trouble with vertical and overhead welds is that they have never learned to "read" the puddle. They do what I refer to as "timing patterns" where their motions are dictated by a given rhythm and not what is happening at the puddle. I drive students nuts because I can change my motions mid weld and not change what the bead looks like. I'll often start out doing a circular cursive e motion, then 1/3rd of the way thru transition to a C or Z motion, then transition for the last 1/3rd to just a straight bead with no motion at all. When I'm done there is little or no difference in any section of the bead except occasionally for that tiny brief period where I switched as I was moving. The reason is that it's not my motion or pattern I make with the gun that determines how the bead looks. It's the fact I'm watching the puddle and manipulating it as needed to get the same results.

 

 

Once you actually "see" and can "read" the puddle, you usually have an "Ah Ha!" moment when everything clicks and things start to make sense. I usually don't see this happen with students until they hit vertical. Best way I've found to teach this is to demonstrate a massively wide weave  doing vertical up to students. I tell them to closely watch the puddle and see if they can't determine when the puddle catches up to the arc when I pause at each end. I usually travel about 2" side to side doing this slowly stacking horizontal beads on top of each other moving up on each end after the puddle catches the arc. Once they say they can see that, I do the same thing only narrower and faster and ask if they can't still see when the puddle catches the arc. I'll keep doing this until I'm making very tiny side to side motions and my vertical speed is much faster. Typically my side to side motion isn't more than maybe 1/32" total and I'm moving up each time about the thickness of 1 to 2x the wire diameter.

 

 

 

Short arc vs spray: Short arc is what most people are familiar with using small migs. It's most notable characteristic is the crackling bacon frying sound. That's when the wire touches the piece, melts back and then moves forward again to arc and burn back. Globular is partially between spray and short arc. The voltage is higher and you can usually see the "drips" of metal forming at the gun and falling to the plate. Spray has a distinctive hiss rather than a crackle. Here the voltage is high enough the wire actually melts before it ever gets near the plate. It's like spraying metal on with a hose, hence the name. Because of this the puddle is very fluid and out of position welds are very difficult, so vertical and overhead are tough to do in spray.

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Was doing a bit of welding today that consisted of welding box section together. Whenever I got to the underside bits I found a lot of the weld dripped off and didn't make a clean weld. As if it wasn't sticking well.

Any tips? One thing I did learn was to wear a hat next time... Slight smell of burning hair in the air afterwards! :)

Was 4mm walled box section MIG welding at around 160amp. Will have a play when get a chance with the speed of the wire feed and ampage but thought Id ask on here first.

 

4mm is just over 1/8 inch ! Welding with MIG at 160! 

No description of the use, type, or even if gas/ Co2 75/25% mix was even used during this welding.

 

# 1 Reason You do not know how to MIG Weld or Weld Properly ! (NO THIS  CAN NOT BE TAUGHT ON LINE. SORRY ! )

 

# 2 reason you have a new /new to you machine you have Not even tried to adjust on scrap metal before welding a project Nore have you read the instructions or the ones imprinted inside the door of the machine .

 

# 3  reason I see is you are way too Hot / "Temperature Setting  for 1/8 th plate.

 

Find Someone local that can Help you set up the machine with Gas 75/25% Mixed  for welding Mild steel if that is what you will be welding MOST of the time . ALSO find Some one Local  that you know that welds Very Good to help you out with a few lessons .

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Curly, some good advice and detailed helpful 'descriptions' given, also if you can get to the opposite side? Place a piece of copper sheeting(doesn't need to be much) under a magnet behind where you are welding as a heat sink this helps to "gel" the puddle quicker!

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My problem is I can see the pudle, lol.
I started out with gas, then stick, so manipulatin the weld puddle is a no brainer, but with the mig, i cant see a dang thing, with the recommended lens all I see is arc and with the next darker I cant see the seam, lol. I resort to bright work lights and a rag over the back of my helmet ;-) welding by braille.

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Thanks all! Some great information there DSW, you have certainly explained it in a clear and defined manner. I would say that I certainly fall into the "timing patterns" as you described and will now try and "read" the puddle as I go. Had a bit of a practice pushing the weld yesterday, certainly felt odd doing that way and wasn't how I was originally taught or been custom to doing.  Like you said, you really have to get your body into a whole new position. However I can see the advantage with the weld cooling quicker and was able to get some much nicer welds on a practice overhead piece. 

 

Crazy Ivan, if you do happen to come across any material then please do send it across, always happy to read up on stuff that I am interested in.

 

Ian, neat little trick with the copper, I'll keep that one in mind!

 

Robert, maybe a little strong reaction? ;) I'm certainly no professional certified welder but I can at least in normal circumstances put down a nice bead of weld. Hadn't really done any overhead welding before so just took me by surprise that's all. So not really sure how you know what I get up to in my little workshop with regards to reading instructions manuals and practicing but there you go. With regards to gas, using  a 12% Carbon Dioxide, 2% Oxygen, 96% Argon mix which is our standard BOC supplied Argoshield and 0.8mm wire.

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When I took a mig welding course at my local community college we did some overhead welds. Getting in position was a key part. I would pull the gun over my right shoulder, and hold the gun upside down working the trigger with my pinkie. We were also instructed to up the voltage from what we used in other positions in order to get enough arc density to transfer the metal. Seemed counterintuitive , but it worked great. We were welding .500" thick plates, and doing multiple passes.

A proper weld prep also helps by giving the puddle a bigger place to go. This can be a bevel, or even just an air gap. I do that at work with thicker .125 tubing, just leave a gap around .062 and weld away. With thick tubing .250+ I bevel the ends.

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Curley. If you want, feel free to post up some clear picts of your welds as well as as much information as you can on them. Material thickness, position welded, wire size and type if not using solid wire, gas and flow settings, voltage and wire speed, machine used etc. I'll be happy to try and make some suggestions to help you improve.

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Robert, maybe a little strong reaction? ;) I'm certainly no professional certified welder but I can at least in normal circumstances put down a nice bead of weld. Hadn't really done any overhead welding before so just took me by surprise that's all. So not really sure how you know what I get up to in my little workshop with regards to reading instructions manuals and practicing but there you go. With regards to gas, using  a 12% Carbon Dioxide, 2% Oxygen, 96% Argon mix which is our standard BOC supplied Argoshield and 0.8mm wire.


Yep a regular know it all without much of a clue to boot. 
 
Always push, there is no appropriate time to pull a MIG. Whoever taught you so was self-taught and incorrect. 
Amps do not need to be turned down for overhead welding but the torch must be kept out of the way of dripping metal and a more dramatic weaving/whipping is called for. You need to push the puddle up against the upper surface so spend a touch more time there. 
 

4mm is just over 1/8 inch ! Welding with MIG at 160! 
No description of the use, type, or even if gas/ Co2 75/25% mix was even used during this welding.
 
# 1 Reason You do not know how to MIG Weld or Weld Properly ! (NO THIS  CAN NOT BE TAUGHT ON LINE. SORRY ! )
 
# 2 reason you have a new /new to you machine you have Not even tried to adjust on scrap metal before welding a project Nore have you read the instructions or the ones imprinted inside the door of the machine .
 
# 3  reason I see is you are way too Hot / "Temperature Setting  for 1/8 th plate.
 
Find Someone local that can Help you set up the machine with Gas 75/25% Mixed  for welding Mild steel if that is what you will be welding MOST of the time . ALSO find Some one Local  that you know that welds Very Good to help you out with a few lessons .


Yeah, nothing could ever be taught online, at least by you.

 

 

Knock that name calling off or the offending people may find much more to complain about than an internet post.

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Arftist,

 

Yes I can Weld and have for well over 30 Years and NO ! way in the World would Ever Teach Any One to Attempt to weld online it is just plain Stupid ! Welding is a Hands On Thing that Needs to be Done with a person as a Group or one on one Period ! 

 

One can Read , and watch all the Videos they want . However, until they are Shown & Taught properly how to weld they are NEVER going to be a welder that can SAFELY weld anything. 

 

Have a Very Blessed Christmas Sir.

 

Ret, Sgt. Robert Yates 

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Ok, artist and sgt. Yates take a breath and shake hands. I would hate to see either one of you put in a corner by Admin. We are guests here.
I believe a competent weldor can benefit from advice from profetinal insructors, even on line. Remember basic? " their will be an explination, demonstration and practical application of the M16A1 rifle...and for those of you who can read we have a manual"
Not every one needs all of those steps in training, some already have a foundation that allows them to benefit from the explanation and or manual, with self guided practicals.

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Ok, artist and sgt. Yates take a breath and shake hands. I would hate to see either one of you put in a corner by Admin. We are guests here.
I believe a competent weldor can benefit from advice from profetinal insructors, even on line. Remember basic? " their will be an explination, demonstration and practical application of the M16A1 rifle...and for those of you who can read we have a manual"
Not every one needs all of those steps in training, some already have a foundation that allows them to benefit from the explanation and or manual, with self guided practicals.

 

 

Brother Charles,

 

You are Correct .

 

This Site is ALL About !

 

"Blacksmithing With Out Borders & Helping Ones Fellow Brother or Sister to become Successful in the Art of Blacksmithing & Extended Community."

 

I would Like to offer my Sincerest Apology to Curly as well as the Community of IFI for my Short and Bit of Cross Answer to Curly and Arftist. Yes, I have Posted A section In IFI in the Welding Fab Section for Welding Introduction 101 -103 and did so with Brother Glenn's Encouragement as I did want to be Helpful to others here in IFI . So I could Give back to the Community that had Given me a chance to live once again and do something I did not know that I really enjoyed . For that I an Very Thankful for Finding IFI and the Friends and Family here on IFI . 

 

While it is NOT an excuse , I did have , and have been down for a few months that did effect my better judgment and I posted out of a bit of anger and rage with out thinking of others feelings or the effect it would cause, for this I am Truly Sorry .  I am More then willing to help my fellow Brothers & Sisters here on IFI and any where as for that matter if I am able to do so at any time .

 

God Bless you all and Best Regards

 

Please Forgive My Short Temper I am / will try to maintain it better in the up coming year/s to come .

 

Ret, Sgt. Yates

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Brother Curly,

 

If you will post some photos of your welds and the conditions in what you were welding I will Help you narrow down the ways to fix the issues at hand that are causing you problems with your project . If You would like some help Brother Lets get this Thread back on track and see just what we can do to help you progress in doing so .

 

Yes I do have the Credentials, Training, and Certifications . I have Welded in all 50 states , the islands and just about every country there is . I have even utilized many machines in many countries that were cobbled up to weld before the US gave them a real Welding Machine and actually taught the folks how to weld Correctly and started a welding program for them to teach in their Country (I was Part of that as well in Many Countries & Islands).

 

You see I am Classed as a Master Welder (44E50) by the Military for well at 30 years . what does this mean? well It simply means that I am Certified in Unlimited Welding in All aspects of welding including but not limited to MIG,TIG, ARK, Heliark,Pipe, Gas Pipe, SS, (All Types, Plate,Pipe, Ect) Armor (All Types) My largest Plate to date was done 08/1991 @ 6 foot thick for a refueling Station in the ocean that spanned 3000 Ft W X 4000 Ft L X 6Ft Thick  and is 4 stories tall with sheet steel welds to make Housing for the troops, All the Pipping for Oil, fuel, anti freeze, Water conversion from the Saline station, all the ladders, decking, railings and Ect.  This is one of Many Project that I was In charge of / responsible for to see completed from start to completion as a Master Welder .

 

You See Brother Curly, As A Master Welder in the US Military we do NOT have a chance to have a DO OVER / Second chance to reweld anything . Why you may ask , because Lives depend on your welds being done correctly the first time and Every Single Time you Weld . Why Is that ? not only could one person die but thousands or several thousands of Troops Could Die ! Just because You/ Me Had a bad day why we were welding and did not weld a weld properly .

 

This is what I live / did live with Each and Every Day while me and my Team welded on every project we were involved in or with while in the Military and Yes Even in the Civilian World .

 

I'll Await your Response Brother Curly.

 

Ret, Sgt. Robert D. Yates

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