OK, so we caved into temptation and ran a slightly sensationalized headline on the cover about MIG welding without the use of gas. Since it's true one can MIG weld without employing a typical mix of 75 percent Argon gas and 25 percent CO2 we can't get into hot water for lying and there are valid reasons for doing so besides just trying to save some cash (which isn't an honest reason because flux-core costs a little more). It's obvious not having to haul around a heavy gas bottle piggy-backed on their welder can make things a lot easier working out in the field, but that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Starting out, a good reason to use a self-shielded flux-core wire is for those times when the job has to be done outside in a drafty environment where the wind will blow gas away and porosities in the weld will result. Beyond looking bad, structurally speaking, porosities undermine the bonding qualities of the weld, which translates into potential weakness. Since we were stuck out in the driveway and the Santa Ana winds were howling, this was a plus, but there was another reason we were using Hobart's self-shielded flux-core wire in our Miller 252 welder. The '56 Ford F-100 chassis that's going under our '53 F-100 came to us in pretty good condition, but there were a few problems. Amongst them was a big ol' hole hacked out with an oxyacetylene cutting torch in the crossmember that looked worse than that place where Satan lives. Our friend Steve Bentley is a master welder and fabricator who spends a lot of time welding with cars and semis flying by as a subcontractor working for Caltrans building new additions to California's freeway system. With this in mind, we asked Steve to share some tech tips with our valued readers. On the rear side of the patch Steve shows how to make a piece to bridge the gap between the top of the 3/8-inch steel plate he whittled out with a plasma cutter and the crossmember. As it turned out the filler piece wasn't needed. On the front side of the crossmember Steve demonstrates how well self-shield flux-core wire works with its larger ball-type transfer with better deposition (the amount of weld metal deposited in a time period, measured by pounds per hour) to bridge the wide gap with only one pass of the MIG gun. This is not to say flux-core works better than solid-core, but rather they have different properties which work better on certain applications. Pretty cool stuff, huh?