Flux core welding is basically like using a stick welder (arc welder), but instead of having to change sticks every now and then, you have a 5-pound spool, so you can weld until next Sunday and not run out.
But just like stick welding, the flux creates a mess. You’ll have to chip off flux on the weld and clean off a lot of spatter.
Let’s see what that looks like. Kevin has flux core welding wire in his multiprocess machine and a piece of 1/8″ cold-rolled steel plate clamped to his workbench. He’s going to run one bead with the flux core with a shield set up, then weld a bead with the solid core with the same settings on the same piece of metal on the other side of the shield.
Kevin has set his Everlast PowerMTS 251si set to 20 volts and 400 inches on the wirefeed, and is running .035 wire.
He puts his .030 solid core welding wire back in his 251si, turns on his bottle of mix gas, leaves the settings the same, and welds the second bead.
Kevin shows the two welds. The amount of spatter around the flux core example is just amazing. Even the welds look different. The flux core weld is jaggedy and rough, while the solid core weld is much smoother and more uniform.
Perhaps most important, there’s much less clean up with solid core. That means less time with the grinder and less damage to your base metal from grinding on it. Solid core just makes much more sense for what Kevin does.
He hopes that gives you something to think about the next time you go down to buy more welding wire. It’s nice to have both of them around, but for Kevin, he only uses flux core for very specific uses, such as welding outside. For anything he does in his studio on any artwork he is creating, he prefers solid core or TIG welding.
Before you go, you might want to stick around and enjoy a little quiet time ….