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I'm making the transition over from stick to wide world of mig. Smooth beads are cool and all but I see a lot of nice stacked-dime looking stuff from some of the pro places. My guess is this is where the welders with adjustable stitch timers would be nice.
If you have a higher end machine with a stitch timer, is it worth the extra $$ for the feature.. or is it no better than just practicing the "manual" technique. I like how the stitch timers keep the gas flow on.
 

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I have a stitch/spot/pulse controller on my mm200. That's not how you get the stack of dimes effect though. Where thats nice is welding sheet metal. The dimes is all the weave.
 

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This is the reason for my post, a quote from a certain long-time fabber:

"It's called "stitch" welding, and it is exactly that. A series of tack welds. However, it is vital that you do it correctly, for strength. The reason that stitch welding is popular is it can actually be stronger then one continuous weld.
The idea is to crank up the amperage to where you almost get burn-through. If you were to have the heat set this hot, and try to run a continuous bead, you would be cutting holes in the metal. By stitch welding, the heat gets hot enough to penerate into the metal, to almost burn-through, but then you stop for a split second to let it cool, then move on to the next stitch.
The penetration is evident by looking at the back side of the welded area. It looks almost the same as the top! I do stitch welding in areas that I'm welding two different thicknesses of steel together, and want great penetration, plus, the added bonus is it looks trick!
It takes a lot of practice and playing with your machine, and it changes with material thickness too. Some of the high-dollar M.I.G. welders have a stitch option, which is trick, cause the machine times the shut-off for you (adjustable), and makes the off-time consistent, with-out shuting off the gas flow. It's just like cheating!
But until you and I can afford the high-dollar machines, we must get good at the technique.
One last thing, with your 150 machine it will work, but only for the thinner metals (1/8" or thinner). I made the parts you see in the pictures out of a combo of 1/4" and 3/16" and I had my machine set at about 80%, and my M.I.G. is a 230 amp unit. Just play around with some some scraps and have fun.
Keep on Jeepin'."

so, does anybody use their stitch timer like this guy is alluding to?
 

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Hmmm... I have today off, maybe I'll go out and play with it. I've never tried it that way. Then again, I transitioned from stick to mig.. and it took a while to get comfortable with mig
 

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I have been welding for about 18 years and about 90% of my welds are "stitch". I really like that technique because it is verry forgiving, you can screw up and still make it look nice. Especially nice for welding tube, all the diffrent angles you have to get into welding cages or chassis, you wind up with a lot of stop and start points on a single weld, with "stitch" that's what the entire weld is. Penetration is not a problem, in fact I agree with the quote you gave, I think it's a better way to weld because you control the temprature with the off time of the welder, you end up with alot more consistent weld. My welder has the stitch option but I don't use it because in order to keep the weld consistent you will need to gradually change the duty cycle durring the weld, basically longer off time as you go along and the material around the weld gets hotter. Basically you set the temp. hotter than usual to give good penetration, use the wire speed to control the height of the puddle and the off time to give it the stacked/uniform look. I have a gas purge button on the front of my welder and have locked it on while manual stitch welding and it didn't seem to make any difrence except using more gas. Bottom line is it is a great way to weld if it's done right and it just takes practice.:D
 

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mrtwstr said:
. I have a gas purge button on the front of my welder and have locked it on while manual stitch welding and it didn't seem to make any difrence except using more gas. Bottom line is it is a great way to weld if it's done right and it just takes practice.:D
I don't know much technical about MIG's, I am basically a point and shoot guy when it comes to using a squirt gun welder, but I know my TIG, as well as almost all others I have seen, has postflow of gas through the torch after you shut down the power. If mig's have this feature it would help with the on/off of the gas.
 

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Okay, I tried it. It works, I got spatter from hell because I set it once and rand a bead to see how it was, but it seemed to get good penetration and it stacks up. I can see how it works. Maybe I'll play with tuning the settings later
 

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Goat said:
why don't ya look at pulsed mig machines if you can shell out the mojo.
ummm I cranked up the pulser tonight ;)
 

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On the PT Cruiser/Chipper monster garage I was watching the 'master welder' (Named Erich, now why did I notice him?), and he was stiching on everything he did as well. Never did see him run a full bead.

I can't seem to get a pretty 'stack of dimes' yet either from the MIG, but the welds seem to be pretty strong. When I'm running the bead, I'm watching it cut, then back filling, but they end up smooth. I guess I need to make more of an arc (curve) motion instead of straight lining it?
 
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