I am new to welding, so I call this video Beginning Flux Core Welding. I hope to inspire you to try flux core, and walk you through some tips to get started. After watching this first video, you can see how I have progressed in this welding repair video I did for my neighbor.
Full disclosure, I am an amateur welder, still learning as I go. If you have any suggestions on how I can be a better welder, comments are greatly appreciated.
Beginning Flux Core Welding, How To Get Started
I consider Flux Core the gateway welding method. The welding machine can be bought cheaply, so you can start welding without a huge investment. If you decide you want to do more welding, you can upgrade your equipment. The gear I list below is perfect for someone who is happy to have a simple welding kit in the garage for doing repairs and small projects.
Safety First! You HAVE to use a full face welding helmet. Flux Core puts off UV light, and your face needs to be protected. Do not use welding goggles that are used for gas welding, you will burn your face. Wear long sleeves(ideally a welding jacket) work boots, and tie back any long hair. Weld outside, flux core puts out a lot of smoke.
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- Auto Darkening Welding Helmet http://amzn.to/2IDuEe9
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- Welding Tips (buy extras!) http://amzn.to/2GLym4W
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- Angle Welding Magnets https://amzn.to/2J2HXF2
The metal you want to weld needs to be clean, no paint, rust, just bare metal. A right angle grinder with a metal grinding disc makes short work of cleaning up the metal. After you weld, clean up the bead with a wire brush.
The above photos show how the welding tip goes from off to on very quickly. As soon as the wire touches the metal, the spark starts!
The hardest part of beginning flux core welding is just that. The starting part. It can be hard to figure out just how far to keep the wand from the work, how fast to set the wire feed, and what power setting to set the welder to. And when you start welding, its a lot of light and sparks and arcing sounds.
But like most things, the best way to learn is to just start. I have collected metal bed frames left out for recycling pickup. You can also stop by your local metal shop and ask to buy some scrap pieces. $20 of scrap metal is plenty to start.
The photo above show just how amateur I am with my welding. I am moving the wand too fast. I need to keep the wire feeding into a pool of melted metal. You can see this with your helmet on. But it does take practice.
This photo shows how you can blow a hole in your metal, the part on the right there. But then the weld on the left is am improvement. Keep the tip moving in small ovals, and build up a pool of metal. What is cool is you can actually see the angle iron metal melt and mix into the pool of wire you are feeding in.
The hole in the metal happens when you stay too long in one place, or the power is too high. In this case, I am trying to weld thin metal (the cabinet) to a thicker metal (the angle iron). When welding different thicknesses, keep the wand over the thicker metal most of the time.