Spring is a time for new beginnings. Many of us use this time to clean, refresh, and renew many areas of our lives. This spring don’t overlook your lawn and garden equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment you will use and abuse this year will be your lawn mower.
Regardless if you have a 60 year old push mower or a newer 40 horsepower tractor with a belly mower, your deck will at some point develop wear, rust, and possibly even holes that need repair. Recently I had the opportunity to help a friend make some repairs to her mower deck prior to the 2020 mowing season.
I decided that in order to weld the rusty, thin, steel I would choose to use the Weldpro MIG200 GD. This is currently one of the best Multiprocess welders for sale. This MIG 200 is an excellent Stick, MIG, and TIG welder and can handle a wide range of steel and non-ferrous materials.
I started my project by removing the mower deck from the tractor. I flipped the deck up on its side and proceeded to clean the old grass out from under it with a scraper.
Once the major grass chunks were removed I noticed there were a couple rust holes similar to this.
I used a 4 1/2” grinder with a wire wheel to clean the edges of the holes to prepare for welding. This removed a tremendous amount of rust and exposed a second hole I had not seen initially.
The challenge with welding a mower deck is that the surface is rarely flat. Mower decks are designed with many architectural bends, shapes, and protrusions created to accommodate belts, bolts, and guards. I chose, due to the nature of this project, to cut thin strips of steel that I could weld to the convex rib that was rusted through. This was the best way to adapt my steel to this contour.
Had I not used the two flat strips I may have chosen to MIG weld a crosscut section of pipe that would also follow the contour of the deck. The strips of steel I prepared look like this.
Normally I would use the Weldpro 40 Amp Plasma cutter, however the pieces were small enough that they cut easily on the bandsaw. If you haven’t seen either the 40 Amp or 60 Amp plasma cutters from Weldpro at work, make it a point to check out a couple videos.
Once I had my steel strips in place I proceeded to tack each on in place using the MIG welder. The wire I chose for this project was a 211 inner shield flux cored wire. I chose the flux core process because the wire is well equipped to handle a much dirtier surface than MIG. Flux core wire also produces a heavy slag which helps to remove impurities from the weld pool and produce a higher quality weld on dirtier metal.
I chose a .030 diameter to help keep weld temperature down. The base material I was welding on had seen many decades of neglect and could not handle much heat.
One of the greatest features of the MIG200 from Weldpro is the wide range adjustability that allows you to get a repeatable quality weld on nearly any surface type and base metal thickness.
Once I had my voltage percentage set correctly I was able to make synergistic adjustments as necessary to prevent blowing holes through my workpiece.
I took a photo of the settings I used for the thinner, rustier material. These settings, while unconventional, seemed to work really well in this scenario.
I finished welding both sets of strips using the stitch weld method. With thinner gauge steel, one of the things you have to watch out for is heat distortion. You can help to prevent warping or distorting of base material or new steel by using stitch welds. We will be posting more on stitch welding in the future so keep an eye on our social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube!
The Flux cored welding process was the right choice for the job. I was able to produce a quality weld on a rusty workpiece with little to no porosity and no burn through. I would not have been able to do this without the control that the Mig200 Multiprocess welder offers.
Here is a photo of the finished stitch welds on the mower deck. Flux core tends to leave a thick slag so be sure to clean the slag from your weld to reveal a smooth surface before painting.
If you need to make some lawn and garden equipment repairs this spring, check out the MIG200GD from Weldpro. It is the most technologically advanced multiprocess welder for sale in its category today. The wide arrange of Stick electrodes that can be chosen for the SMAW process is incredible. The array of wire sizes MIG200 can handle for GMAW and FCAW welding are excellent.
Setup of the machine is a breeze and it makes welding extremely easy for beginners. The MIG 200 is excellent for those trying to learn to weld. The synergistic voltage and wire speed adjustment makes welding a breeze. The MIG gun is ergonomically designed and easy to hold with excellent relief.
Don’t be intimidated by equipment that needs repair this spring. Instead invest in a multiprocess welder from Weldpro and save yourself thousands in new parts and wasted trips to the dealer.