How Do You Weld with A Flux Core Welder? – [Beginner’s Guide]
Flux core welding is a popular welding process because it offers a high deposition rate and has excellent chemical and mechanical properties.
It's popular among beginners because it has no learning curve and is easy to learn.
Still, it doesn’t mean that flux core welding is not without its challenges.
Fortunately, with some know-how and a bit of practice, it offers a great way to make things out of metal.
In the section below, we shall provide you with some pointers on how to weld with a flux core welder.
The first and most essential thing to consider with welding is safety.
You need to shield your eyes from the harmful UV rays and your body from the splatter and sparks generated by the arc weld.
Generally, it’s necessary that you use the proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPI) when working on your welding project.
Clean your Metal
Sure, flux core welding is known to be more forgiving and a process that can get away with dirty welding metal.
But still, it’s important to clean the area of the metal you’re planning to work on.
Generally, cleaning a metal involves scrubbing it with a wire brush or grinder.
Either way, your aim should be the effective removal of contaminants such as rust or paint as drastically improves on the quality of your welds.
Cut Steel to Size
After cleaning your metal, the next step is to cut the metal to the appropriate length.
Depending on the type of metal, cutting metal can equally be as difficult as welding itself.
First thing to do when cutting your workpiece is to create an accurate scribe, with a sharpie and a ruler with a straight edge.
Either way, the scribe should be visible, and more importantly, it should be done at least an inch away from the edge to accommodate errors and deviations.
When cutting extended lengths of sheets, we recommend that you use a guide to ensure you maintain a straight line.
Depending on the nature and size of your workpiece, you should also consider clamping your workpiece to ensure it is safe.
You can secure your workpiece with a clamp, preferably, avoid the spring clamps as they do not usually exert the necessary pressure to keep your metal in place during grinding.
In my case, I prefer using either a C-clamp or table vice, as they give me the flexibility of controlling the amount of pressure I apply to the workpiece.
Set Up Your Work Piece
The most important aspect of this particular process is ensuring your welding materials are together secured in the exact position you plan of welding.
This is because welding loose material is not only a safety potential threats, but it might similarly distort the quality of your weld.
Turn on Welder and Adjust Settings
Before you get to the actual welding process, you must adjust the welder to the appropriate settings.
The adjustment settings will however, vary depending on the nature of the material as well as thickness.
If, for instance, you're welding a thin fairy gauge of approximately 1/16", then a LOW 1 setting with a wire-speed set to 7 would be ideal.
This metric should rise incrementally as the thickness of the metal increases.
Ideally, however, we recommend that you first perform a couple of test welds on scrap metal to ensure that your settings are right where they should be before starting on the actual weld.
However, if you’re still unsure of the settings for your project, you can refer to the “suggested settings” section of the welding parameter image provided.
Tack-Weld the Work Piece
Once everything is lined up correctly, and the welder is at the correct performance settings, you can start the actual weld.
While at it, pay close attention to where you’re depositing the weld metal once you pull the trigger on the torch.
Ideally, you should ensure that you’re hitting the work-piece exactly where one piece comes in contact with another.
Concentrating your weld on one side might result in a weld that lacks fusion.
And once you’re done with welding, always remember to clean up the area you just welded with a wire brush, and this should remove any occurrence of slag that might have been generated from the weld.
To make your meld more appealing, you can grind down the welds, until you basically remove the outer layers of your weld.
As you can see, flux core welding is a relatively simple process; you simply need to follow the outlined steps and should be good to go.