6. … and is held in place internally by the gun securing knob next to the drive assembly.
7. The gun trigger plug attaches to a receptacle at the front of the machine and is held in place by a threaded collar.
8. We loaded a small roll of 0.030-inch welding wire into the welder and used a 1⁄2-inch socket to tighten down the roll until the proper tension was applied to the spool. The end of the wire was then fed into the drive assembly.
9. This is what happens if the tension is not set correctly. It is sometimes referred to as bird nesting and will definitely try your patience.
10. The drive roller needs to be set for the correct wire size. A simple push and twist motion will release the roller. There are indicators on each side to make it easy to match it to the correct sized wire. The Pressure Adjustment Knob is unlatched so that the wire can be fed freely into the wire guide.
11. Once the wire is fed into the gun liner, the Pressure Adjustment Knob is secured and the tension is set to number 3. The wire should feed easily through the gun once it is turned on. If not, you can tweak the adjustment by turning the knob.
12. The type of wire that you use will determine the polarity setting for the machine. We are using solid wire so we left it on the factory setting.
13. Turning our attention to the back of the machine, the Flowmeter/Regulator hose is inserted into the gas port on the top left side.
14. For our weekend project, we’re going to use a small gas bottle. This size tank yields a small amount of welding time, but is perfect for those jobs where portability is important.
15. For mild steel MIG welding, a mix of argon (75%) and carbon dioxide (25%) is used, which can be bought at any welding supply store.
16. We then secured the gauges to the cylinder.
17. The gauge on the left indicates the flow rate of the gas. The one on the right shows the volume of gas still in the tank. The handle in the center is used to adjust the flow rate. A turn clockwise or counterclockwise will increase or decrease the flow of gas to the welder. A flowrate of 25 cfh is typical for mild steel MIG welding.
18. And with that, we’re ready to rock. After powering on the machine, the first thing to check is that the gun selector is set to the MIG setting. The Millermatic 211 features plug-and-play compatibility with an aluminum spool gun, adding a huge benefit that entry-level MIG welders never had before.
19. With the machine powered up, we can now feed the wire up through the gun liner and out the tip. This is best accomplished with the contact tip and gun nozzle removed to avoid kinking the wire. Once the wire extends out past the tip, release the trigger to stop the wire from feeding and reinstall the contact tip and nozzle.
20-21. To remove the excess wire, use wire cutters to trim it so that it extends between 1⁄4 and 1⁄2 inch past the tip.
22. In the past, setting up a new or unfamiliar welding machine required a bit of trial and error before getting the wire feed and voltage settings just right. With Miller’s Auto-Set feature, it’s simply a matter of setting the Wire Speed knob to the correct wire diameter, in our case 0.030-inch …
23. …and then setting the voltage knob to the corresponding material thickness, 1⁄8-inch in this example.
24. We chose to use the Auto-Set feature for our first time out but if you feel more comfortable you can find the manual settings by lifting the side cover. This is necessary when using a smaller diameter MIG wire, such as 0.024-inch, as the Auto-Set feature only works with 0.030- and 0.035-inch wire sizes.
25. We grabbed a small piece of scrap metal and laid down our first weld, just a little over an hour after unpacking our machine. Not too bad for our very first weld ever, thanks to the user-friendly features of the Millermatic 211 with Auto-Set. A little more practice and we’ll be fabricating parts before you know it.