View Full Version : Flux Wire Question

07-17-2005, 08:57 PM
I am VERY new to MIG and flux core welding so please take it easy on me. I am curious if there is a way to minimize some of the smoke cloud that is generated with flux core wire by using compressed air (or CO2/C25) so that it is not so difficult to see the puddle. I'm guessing that air pressure would need to be lower that what would be used for CO2 or C25? Has anyone tried compressed air? I have burned many pounds of stick rods but have never had the difficulty seeing the puddle the way I am having difficulty with flux core wire. I have tried .030 in the MM135 and .035 and .045 in the Hefty. I do have a bottle of C25 but didn't think about turning it on while using flux wire. duh Any suggestions will be appreciated.



07-17-2005, 09:13 PM
Smoke is the signature of self-shield, not much you can do.
You have some good sized equipment,and should not have any problem running 'the good stuff'.
Ask your supplier for a roll of Tri-Mark 777 (triple 7) .045 in.
This is a nice all around gas shielded flux core wire.(not too much smoke).

James D. Clark
07-17-2005, 09:14 PM
Hi Arch. Now, why would we want to take it easy on you. If we are mean and nasty to start with, everything after that is a piece of cake. :D Nah, just teasing you. :p Welcome aboard. Welcome to flux core. I was warned about it before I every used it. It is smoky to say the least. You need a small fan to blow air past your helmet to take the smoke away or a vent fan to pull the smoke away. Keep you helmet (your head) off to the side of the smoke flume. Don't keep your head directly over the welding. Easier said than done, but you want to keep from breathing all welding fumes anyway so it's good to avoid getting into the welding fumes anyway.

The gas from your welding gas isn't going to clear the smoke. Not unless you are VERY RICH. :rolleyes:

07-17-2005, 09:15 PM
I was working at one place that wanted us to shield our standard flux-cored with CO2. It was completely unnecessary, but what the heck, they were paying for it. To be honest, I didn't notice if there was a difference in visibility or not. It certainly didn't hurt anything, even kept the gun cooler.

FCAW is a good process to use in windy conditions, so compressed air may not hurt. Might be worth trying, but then again, the smoke comes from right where you need to see anyway, so I don't know how effective it might be. What the heck, try it and let us know.

07-17-2005, 09:24 PM
You might find Hobart Fabshield 23 in .030/.035 easier to find, I like Mckay but it's hard to find around here. keep at it, it will get better and easier to see. I use fluxcore alot outside because it is easier for me to use it than to try to shield everything from the wind.

07-17-2005, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the replies. I am going to give the compressed air a try and I will post what I learn...doesn't sound like it will help! :(

Mike W
07-18-2005, 04:16 AM
If you have the cylinder of C-25, why not use it? The solid wire is a lot cheaper and you won't get smoke in your face. Try it, you will like it. ;)

07-18-2005, 07:36 AM
Mike W, thanks for the reply.

I have tried solid wire and I like it! However, I bought the Hefty with the idea of using it with the Big 40 out in the open air and on material that would not be considered "clean". Having to "carry" a cylinder around would certainly minimize the "portability" of the suitcase wire feeder. If compressed air helps with the smoke I could run a small compressor off the 40 and drag a hose around with the welding leads.

07-18-2005, 11:34 AM

Are you removing the gas nozzle when you weld with cored wire? It helps a little.


07-18-2005, 02:58 PM
hankj, I did try it once with the nozzle removed but I didn't like the splatter getting on the "stuff" (diffuser & insulator) that is protected by the nozzle when it is in place. I guess I could wrap those parts with metalized tape?

I went to the Miller store this AM and got a short hose made-up so that I can give the compressed air a try. I will do that shortly and give a report on the results.


07-18-2005, 03:11 PM
I'd save wear and tear on the air compressor and just position a fan off to the side. It would produce a wider zone of air flow with a lot less noise than listening to a compressor hose hiss for hours.

Mike W
07-18-2005, 03:14 PM
Arch, you may find this to be an interesting read on flux core wire.


07-18-2005, 03:25 PM

You could use an anti-spatter spray or gel, and the spatter will just wipe off. A can of Pam from the kitchen works just as good, and I like the smell of the garlic kind! :)


07-18-2005, 04:05 PM
hankj, I have a can of the gel...didn't think about dipping the whole end of the gun in it! duh

07-18-2005, 04:44 PM
Report on the use of compressed air is:

I like it! I used approx. 30 PSI and it seems to do a reasonably good job of dispersing the smoke enough that I can at least see the puddle. Now understand that these are 62 1/2 year old eyes looking at the work in progress. I do however have a 2.00 cheater lens in my hat.

If you are having trouble seeing the puddle when using flux core wire you may want to give the compressed air a try. It is certainly cheaper than CO2 or C25 if you have been using either of those to accomplish smoke dispersion.

If anyone else tries this I would like to hear your comments.