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Discussion Starter #21
Sennister - yes I ground off the remenents of the old weld and 'shoe' stuff, and the bottom of the peice was completely flat, thanks to my 7" grinder. The reason there are gaps on the sides is because the 'square' tubing has rounded edges, and the 'shoe' 'foot' whatever we call the FEL end is fabricated (by JD) and also has rounded sides.
the ends actually have really nice welds, where the metals I was welding were butting up to each other.

Yes I ground to bare metal everywhere I welded. (of course on those darn sides the grinder doesn't reach deep into the rounded edges)

I personally thought that those side welds were not required, it was just to add extra strength. I think the ends I welded actually have decent welds and would have been strong enough. So yes, I was not so diligent on the side welds which look pretty bad even to me - but I think that was because I was trying to bridge those big gaps.

Just leaving some early welds overnight and they rusted up pretty fast (it's been kind of drizzly the last few days) so I painted them right away - and the paint job in my mind is bad - but my goal was to cover bare metal not to make everything green. I may paint it all green later.
 

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1. Take a welding course.
2. Do your practicing on scrap metal, not your FEL.
3. Pay a certified welder to repair what you've done.

Your FEL is presently unsafe.
 

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I agree. Get someone who knows what they鈥檙e doing and have it done right or research how to properly weld. You did ask if we think it will hold. In my opinion that whole contraption with the 4x4 and all needs to be disassembled, straightened out, and properly welded. Some reinforcing plates might benefit it too. You鈥檇 be better off drilling holes and bolting all that together instead of trusting those welds.
 
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I think it could be fixed with 2 or 3 more well placed passes over top of those bird turds. Learning to weld with a MIG welder is like learning to shoot with a machine gun
 

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i was a certified welder once upon a time....in the stoneages.......

two things stand out to me ...

#1 your amperage was way low

#2 you couldnt see what you were doing

those are the most common mistakes of new welders so dont be discouraged .....allways start hot and work down on amperage ......and get up close and personal with your welding make sure you can see exactly what your doing, these days i have to wear glasses or use a magnifier lens in my hood.....do some practicing (this isnt a good place to practice)

as to this project ...green metal is very expensive to replace so i would either ......take it to a good welder....or i would bolt each side together with a minimum of 2....3/4in grade 5 bolts

pretty welds are not necessarily good...and ugly welds are always bad....looking at even your better looking welds they show evidence of lack of penetration

its allways best practice to weld in a flat position .....if you must weld verticles always go bottom to top

good luck sir
 

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Let me start by referencing this photo.

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So it sounds like when you say you had a gap it is really two rounded parts coming together. More this than what I was thinking in that the square tubing wasn't lined up with the shoe as you call it on the SSQA or FEL. I was thinking this was the problem because it is possible to tweak things on the FEL where the two dump/curl cylinders are a little out of sync so the shoe on the FEL side isn't quite square on the left vs right side. I have a buddy that has a Kubota (with SSQA) and his is tweaked a bit so it makes it hard to get attachments on.

Of course everything has been painted and the photo isn't close enough with any of the welds to see if shielding gas is an issue but the weld a lot of times will look like it has air bubbles in it. There will be what looks like pinholes. We can't see this since it was painted and the photo isn't good enough. Another possible cause is too much stick out. Meaning the wire was out too far or your nozzle wasn't close enough to your work. A rule of thumb is no more than 1/2 of wire from the nozzle. I often shoot for closer to 1/4". A solution is to increase flow (or pressure), weld inside or switch to a flux core wire. I am not saying this was an issue but it is pretty common to new people to welding. I should note that the first weld photo I posted before was with flux core not solid with shielding gas like I use now. I forgot when I did that, I had just gotten the welder, hence my first weld, and I was playing around with the flux core wire that came with it. That is common to ship with flux core so you can get started right away as they don't ship them with a tank of shielding gas.

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Lets start with the red circle. It sounds like the square tube which had a round corner and the FEL Shoe were being welded together. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many times a strategy for welding two thick pieces of steel together is to have a V notch. What it looks like you were doing was jumping from one side to the other. The proper technique is to Run your first bead down the bottom of the V. Then stack more beads up to fill in the gap. This is a multi pass weld. You still want to make sure things were aligned like I mentioned with the example of the the Kubota where the FEL was tweaked. The square tubing should be flat against the FEL shoe as well as flat against the SSQA Shoe. This shows welding in a corner but in a way it was kind of what you were doing.

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What you don't want to do is bounce back and forth crossing the gap which is what I see here.

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For the blue circle it is more of the same. I am trying to tell what we are seeing here but it looks like you have your bucket on your SSQA. The steel on the left edge of the blue circle is the SSQA that you welded to your bucket so you can remove that to get better access at those welds. It isn't like you were trying to work around that steel on the left.

What I am seeing here is good signs of no penetration. See how the weld just is sitting on the steel? It looks like a bead of caulk that was just squirted on the steel and just sitting on top. It should be burned in more. This is often a sign of not enough amps or possibly your grounding clamp wasn't attached very well. Some of this can come from learning the sound. A poor ground can sound more like popping where when things are running well it will sound more like sizzling bacon. You want bacon not popcorn.

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A fix for a better ground is making sure you are clamping on clean steel. Also a lot of people will take a bunch of scrap copper wire, twist it up and place it between the clamp and the steel to just get better surface area for the ground clamp

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Of course the fix for the wrong settings are to use the right settings which can also be the problem is to use he right settings. Consult the owner's manual or like I said, my welder has a chart inside the door where you load the wire.

A lack of penetration is a clear issue, you can see what can happen in this photo when someone started stacking welds. The temp changes caused stress which popped the bead loose.

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The black circles I assume are where you attached the bucket to the SSQA plate to make it compatible with your new QA. You just have a small bead on the top and bottom. I assume maybe you are thinking with JDQA it only has those two points and you should be good. Weld up that entire gap. Wire is cheap. It is more practice.

As @ttazzman mentioned which was a good point, weld flat when you can. You should have been able to weld that square tube to the SSQA on a workbench. Those were your easy welds. The welds on the FEL are going to be harder and try and go bottom up. But practice this as well.

While nothing will replace a good community education or some other program where you can learn welding hands on with an instructor, if you don't have access to this, youtube might be another good source. There are lots of good videos on what good welding is like and bad welding. Things to look for, sounds you should hear and overall techniques. While I covered a lot here, it isn't nearly everything. Just some of the more common things and what I could see in the one photo as well as trying to possibly correct some of these issues. Since it was painted it makes it a little harder to tell for sure. Rather than just saying you suck, I am trying to point out how to do it better. That said, this is more of a critical bit of welding so it might be good to consider a pro or at a minimum practice more and go back and readdress these issues. The good news is you have a grinder.
 
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Good advice sennister.

A couple of added comments regarding your pictures. The weld shown above the example sketches has been cross sectioned, polished and etched. It's really the only way to verify that your welding machine settings are good ones. When I was working as a weld engineer, I qualified over 200 different weld parameters using cut, polish and etch and my employees had to use each of those qualified procedures for those given welds. We had a lot of different weld joints, thicknesses, positions, wire diameters and other variations that determined which machine settings to use. One setting does not work for all welds. To do cross sectioning, you need a metal saw, a belt or disk sander and a good etching solution available from a welding supply source. All of this may seem like overkill for a home welder, but failed welds on a FEL or trailer tongue could mean life or death.

The multi-pass picture is an excellent example of using the wrong settings. The welds look good on the surface, but popped loose from the base metal. The weld voltage was too high, melting the wire before it could dig in and penetrate. It's likely the entire first layer of welds into the base metal have no penetration and the entire weld is prone to failure. Great looking welds clearly do not guarantee strength.

The frying bacon sound is a reasonable starting point for getting a close matchup of voltage and wire feed speed on a mig welder. Too cold and you get sputtering and popping. Too hot and the frying sound goes away. Bad technique, like missing the weld seam or bad gun angle will also make the frying sound go away, even if the settings are good.

Another way to test weld parameters at home is a break test. Duplicate your final weld setup as closely as possible on two pieces of scrap metal. Clamp one side of the sample in a vise and try to break it apart by hitting the other side away from the clamped side with a big hammer.

As Sennister said, some formal training goes a long way to making you a better welder. The next best thing would be watching youtube instructional videos and practicing what you learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Sennister, Thanks for spending the time and giving advice (instead of the your welding sucks comments) (which I know it does).

In your black circle you are right that it is attaching the adapter plate to the bucket, so I can use the bucket with the SSQA. However, the adapter also has in addition to the outside edges where you circled one of my welds, two inside edges where the metal mates flush to the bucket. Obviously even I can make a much better weld on such a join, and I did a good job on one side, and then the other side is what forced me to get a working helmet. I later went over these when I had the better helmet and laid in better beads. if the black circle welds were not there, the adapter plate was still already solidly welded to the bucket. HOWever, I did not see any evidence of heat on the inside of the bucket which I was taught to look for which would signify good penetration. I put the welds in the black circles on both sides to add strength. the inside edges are about 18 inches long and I felt they would be strong enough ( I am an electrical engineer, with strong mechanical) - I even hit many of my welds with a BFH and none of them broke.

I do recall that talking with the welder at work that I should use gusset plates on the sides instead of trying to fill those huge gaps. I forgot about that and just tried to fill the gaps.

Here is a better picture (same picture, but no scaling so more detail), but if you really want better I'll pull the DSLR out with the Macro lens. we will be able to see any porosity with the good camera :) .

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In my mind, the only welds that really matter are the ones on the ends of the 'shoe' (The black circled areas) and obviously the ones at the other end that are not shown. clearly these are not perfect.

These are the welds I want to make sure are Good enough, all the stuff on the side is just extra, and I don't know why I forgot about the gusset plate plan.
 

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Beyond the welding, I'm a little nervous about the latching pin relationship to the plate. It seems overly extended from the carrier tube. Back dragging might be an adventure. Looks like the quick attach adapter came that way. Maybe I'm wrong, too.

On my SSQA, the first iteration didn't have the pins protrude through the plate far enough. I found out when my snowblower got hung up and, when I backed out of the situation, I left the 50" blower dangling and half the shaft flailing on my front PTO. A redesign got the pins to more securely anchor the plate in place.
 

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Lots of bad advice here. Ignore everything about multipass welds and vertical up.

The subject weld is perfectly doable by any 220V machine with 0.030-ish wire in a single pass. All this noise about multipass is going to cause you to warp that piece into oblivion.

Vertical up is a stick thing.You go up so the slag doesn鈥檛 drip into the weld pool. Vertical down, hot and fast, is the absolute easiest and safest way to make that weld.

OP, do yourself a favor and stop reading this thread, take the work to someone, and pay them extra to explain why they鈥檙e doing it the way they are. You鈥檒l learn much more than you will reading Google results being regurgitated out of context.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Beyond the welding, I'm a little nervous about the latching pin relationship to the plate. It seems overly extended from the carrier tube. Back dragging might be an adventure. Looks like the quick attach adapter came that way. Maybe I'm wrong, too.

On my SSQA, the first iteration didn't have the pins protrude through the plate far enough. I found out when my snowblower got hung up and, when I backed out of the situation, I left the 50" blower dangling and half the shaft flailing on my front PTO. A redesign got the pins to more securely anchor the plate in place.
You have a good eye. There is some kind of issue with these latching pins. it seems to me that for a real positive engagement that the pin should engage past the beveled part. If one presses down on the bucket and back drags the pin will disengage, and that tells me something isn't right. I don't know what the problem or the solution is here ( except it has nothing to do with my welds ).
Actually my first scoop (of loose black dirt) with the SSQA adapterized bucket and it fell off because the pins disengaged.

If the pin engaged past the bevel I think it would hold firmly. I am not sure if that is how they should be.

If the bevel on the pin would be at the same angle as the slot in the adapter plate, it would make a lot bigger area of contact, and maybe that would hold better.

I really don't know what is going on with these pins and how far they should really engage.
 

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On further reveiw....

The top /bottom.....are fine.

Its the Bird splattter up the sides that makes it All look bad.

I've learned to "stitch" in my vertical welds as taught to me by a pro...it works.
Otherwise I need to position the parts flat/level to get a good result

Seeing is a big issue for me anyway.....the auto hood makes a big difference
 

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When we were still actively racing I welded a lot. Stick & mig w/gas (mild & stainless). I went through a period where my welding was bad. Real bad. Long story short it was my vision. When I started using my glasses under the hood it all got right again.

Just checking if your eyesight is good or do you need to be using glasses?
 

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So here is what some of my ugly welds look like:
View attachment 753679
I've done "welds" like that and when put to use they have fallen apart so i learned to grind them down untill they were all metal no gaps and re welding. They don't have to look good to be strong but they do have to blend the metals of both stocks together to be strong.
 

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So here is what some of my ugly welds look like:
View attachment 753679
I don鈥檛 feel so bad.



Honestly I鈥檓 joking, if I used stick it wouldn鈥檛 look much better, that鈥檚 what I used to make my first trailer and it didn鈥檛 look much different. I do see area鈥檚 it looks like it鈥檚 just a topical need, and a few area鈥檚 look like you got some penetration.

The way I鈥檝e been guided by friends who weld much better is to get the heat up to where you burn holes and turn it down a hair. You want your welding to only be slightly additive to the metal, you use the heat to melt and mix the metal from the two donor parts.

Someone in my trailer hitch thread mentioned a 3 count on each side, that was fairly close to where I was, about 2 seconds on the hitch, and 4 using a wider arc on the trailer side.
 
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I don鈥檛 feel so bad.



Honestly I鈥檓 joking, if I used stick it wouldn鈥檛 look much better, that鈥檚 what I used to make my first trailer and it didn鈥檛 look much different. I do see area鈥檚 it looks like it鈥檚 just a topical need, and a few area鈥檚 look like you got some penetration.

The way I鈥檝e been guided by friends who weld much better is to get the heat up to where you burn holes and turn it down a hair. You want your welding to only be slightly additive to the metal, you use the heat to melt and mix the metal from the two donor parts.

Someone in my trailer hitch thread mentioned a 3 count on each side, that was fairly close to where I was, about 2 seconds on the hitch, and 4 using a wider arc on the trailer side.
chuckle...did you say blow holes?... Your right that's how i learned, still learning. Your welds look fine just need a little clean up. I remember the first time part of my welding project just wasn't there anymore. :LOL:...Then i had to figure out how to replace the vanished section.
 
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When we were still actively racing I welded a lot. Stick & mig w/gas (mild & stainless). I went through a period where my welding was bad. Real bad. Long story short it was my vision. When I started using my glasses under the hood it all got right again.

Just checking if your eyesight is good or do you need to be using glasses?
Welding for us older people.
 
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Discussion Starter #38
When we were still actively racing I welded a lot. Stick & mig w/gas (mild & stainless). I went through a period where my welding was bad. Real bad. Long story short it was my vision. When I started using my glasses under the hood it all got right again.

Just checking if your eyesight is good or do you need to be using glasses?
I take my glasses off to read. I suppose the helmet is closer than I normally read, but I think I am seeing well enough. the helmet was at the default 11 setting, and I think I should try 10 & 9 & 12 to see what I see then. I guess I could try my computer glasses under the helmet, too. I do need to use an old pair of my glasses when playing with the VR, that might be like welding.
Also, I am just getting a pole shop so that I can get my race car going. WRL is the league I like most, also have raced in most.
 
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I enjoy some welding. I like restoring stuff, fixing stuff and building things. Did some stick welding when I was young and made some cool tools. I currently have a millermatic 211 mig welder I use with CO2/Argon. It鈥檚 got the auto set feature or can be 鈥渢uned鈥 manually. I don鈥檛 use it a lot but when I need it, it works great. I built a nice foldable steel welding table and a cart for the welder, tools etc. I鈥檓 far from a pro and more like a hobbyis. The only advice I can give the guy who started the post is learn from the guys who know what they are doing. I was lucky and had some friends that were professional. A few real simple basics are cleaning where your gonna weld really well, bare steel. No, paint, oxidation or millscale. I always give the spot where I attach the ground clamp a quick hit with a disc, brush etc. the clamp should be as close to the spot your welding possible and everything clean. Low resistance is your friend. Read a lot and listen to the guys who know it totally helps. You will learn when to crank it up or back off. I just repaired the MMM deck for my brother in-law. His garden tractor is back in service. Had no burn thru either. I鈥檓 glad you posted and asked questions, that鈥檚 what works! Keep at it and you will get better and better. Good luck
 
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