Flux core wire?

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  1. dartfreak75

    dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys I'm coming to the end of my spool that came with my harbor freight 125 flux core welder. What brand do y'all recommend me getting and what is the best size .030 or .035? And do you all know if my harbor freight welder will accept the bigger size spools like the 10lb? Thanks
     
  2. Treblig

    Treblig FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    All wire feed welders have a little wheel that helps to push the wire out into the welding tip. The little usually has grooves for different sizes of wire. I would get the wire that fits the groove you plan to use. The grooves sizes should be on the little wheel.
     
  3. brian6pac

    brian6pac Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what size metal you are welding, .023 for sheet metal.
     
  4. toplscuda

    toplscuda Well-Known Member

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    The issue you may run into trying to run a 10lb spool is the drive motor on the harbor freight one not being strong enough to pull it around.
     
  5. Cope

    Cope Fusing with fire

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    I know this don't help but I weld every day.
    Harbor freight, flux core=nope...

    Please tell me your not using a HF hood?
    A friend got the HF 110V flux core and the hood.. it just not good.
    If you want just rub powdered glass and metal shavings in your eyes now.

    Find a nice Miller with bottle on craigslist, buy a NICE hood.

    A good hood will make you a better welder right now and you wont get flash burned.

    Think of having sand, metal, glass and a sun burn on your eye, it's not fun...that's what a cheep hood will get you. Plus you cant see your weld...
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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    • GeorgeH

      GeorgeH FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Flash is no joke...:BangHead: Some of the cheapie auto darkening helmets are really bad.
       
    • mopar74

      mopar74 Well-Known Member

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      This would probably be the case. As for wire go with .030 as it is the smallest diameter flux core wire you can purchase and this machine only has 125 amps on its best day. You will run into the duty cycle with this welder. Buy the Lincoln 211 wire at either Home Depot or Lowes. By the way I'm a welding instructor and have been a welder for more than 30 years. Also as said above buy a quality hood. At the college I teach at we highly advise to not use the HF hood.
      Kevin
       
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      • dartfreak75

        dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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        Thanks for the heads up no I am not using a harbor freight hood I bought one it separately. As far as the eye burn goes been there done that done it stick welding with an old flip down hood I hit my ark a little early lol. No it was not fun at all it felt like my eyes was full of sand! And that was before my days of contacts I can't imagine now lol yea I was a little worried about it pulling the 10 lb. Spool also but its so much cheaper that way lol could I buy the 10 lbs spool and just respool the 1lb spool that came with it?
         
      • mopar74

        mopar74 Well-Known Member

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        No, you probably could not get it wound on the spool properly. The 1lb spools from home depot are about 10-12 bucks if I recall and they will weld 10 times better than the HF stuff
        Kevin
         
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        • dartfreak75

          dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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          Thanks I will look for the Lincoln brand i have read it's a lot better than the hf brand wire. As for the duty cycle I'm not all that worried about it I just use it for little jobs around the house nothing i can't walk away from for 10 mins. I knew when I posted this I was gonna get a lot of hate mail about the machine but I just needed something to stick two pieces of metal together a few times a year I don't weld enough to justify spending 200 300 400 + on a welder for under 100 bucks this machine works flawlessly for my intended purpose. I don't weld every day and I don't weld for a living. Just wanted something for home maintenance.
           
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          • dartfreak75

            dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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            Ok thank you!!!
             
          • mopar74

            mopar74 Well-Known Member

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            I used one years ago that my neighbor had and he was having all kinds of issues with it. Most of it was wire related and his lack of skill. We changed the wire, I helped him dial it in with the limited controls he had and it served him just fine. Biggest issue, the wire was always hot, the trigger only controlled the drive wheels. Hopefully the rectified that issue, this was over 15 years ago.
            Kevin
             
          • RustyRatRod

            RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

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            If yall are gonna tell the guy what kinda helmet not to get, wouldn't be equally as important to link some good ones here as well? Kinda makes your opinion useless as tits on a boar hog.
             
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            • dartfreak75

              dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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              As far as I know they have cause mine will not arc unless the trigger is pulled. So far so good even with my lack of skill I haven't had any problems! It take me a little while to get my wire speed dialed it I couldn't get a puddle started and I was getting a lot of spatter I just kept speeding it up till I got a decent puddle I run it on 7 with selector on hight with thicker metal and on low I run it on 5 with thinner.
               
            • dartfreak75

              dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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              You make me lol
               
            • dartfreak75

              dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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            • dartfreak75

              dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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              That is the one I'm using. So far it seems to be working good I really like the grinder setting feature!
               
            • mopar74

              mopar74 Well-Known Member

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            • GeorgeH

              GeorgeH FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I use a face shield for grinding. I try and keep the welding lens nice for as long as I can.
               
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              • GeorgeH

                GeorgeH FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              • RustyRatRod

                RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

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                Regardless of cost, posting up good recommendations will help those seeking advice. At least they will be able to see a range of cost and benefits and features associated with cost. I am curious myself, as my helmet stopped working a while back, so I am in the market for a new one too.
                 
              • GeorgeH

                GeorgeH FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Mine's a Miller. Was something around $90 at the welding supply place. It seems to work well. The problem with the cheapies is the response time on the lens. If you're only doing a couple welds you'll never notice you're getting exposure. Weld all day and blister your eyeballs. The prices at the supply houses are usually in line with what you see online and you can check them out. Lincoln and others offer similar helmets in that range.
                 
              • Cope

                Cope Fusing with fire

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                We have a wall of hoods that stopped working for one reason or another. I post a pic tomorrow night. Not all of them are crap, they just seem to wear out and the flash delay is not quick enough.
                 
              • Garry in AZ

                Garry in AZ Building a 9 second Valiant FABO Gold Member

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                To answer the original question, I suggest you buy a small bottle of 75/25 gas and a spool of solid core wire. The results are much cleaner, and in my opinion the welds are higher quality. The gauge of wire really depends on what you will be welding. Given the electrical limits of the HF welder, .030 wire is going to be the best compromise for general use. If you are going to do sheet metal repair, then going down to .023 wire is a good idea.
                But honestly, try solid core wire with gas... you'll really like the results compared to flux core wire.
                 
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                • fklskv

                  fklskv Well-Known Member

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                  I would never use flux core to do vehicle repair. Too messy.
                   
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