How To – Proper setup for better Mig Welding

Tags: Mig Welding

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http://www.howtopaintcars.com/wp-content/gallery/shop-tools/mig-welder-front.jpg?i=987743025If you have experience with other types of welding can you understand the basics of welding two pieces of metal together. Mig welding is not exactly automated welding but is a much more simpler method of welding than available and other styles.

In welding two pieces of metal are to be joined by heat. In some instances the welding process does not require a welding rod. Most spot welds on your vehicle produced by the manufacturer do not use welding rod. Robotic welders use electricity to produce heat and force the metal together to create the bond. Most hand welding require welding rod to be added while welding. Arc welders use stick rods to add material while welding. MIG welders add welding rod through the torch head automatically.

There are many complex actions that must take place at the same time for quality welding to occur. You must control your distance from your work, the voltage used during welding, the speed that you move your hand, the thickness of the welding wire and the speed of the wire as it exits the torch head.

The more that you practice and better understand the settings on your welder the more accurate your welds will be.

Many advanced welders will judge welds based on a visual appearance. To some extent this is an accurate way to judge welds however it is not just a outward appearance that must be inspected to understand if your weld is of high quality.

Adjusting welding temperature

If you understand the method of acetylene welding that you will understand that the torch can be adjusted to produce different temperatures. Many MIG welders can also be adjusted to produce different temperatures by adjusting the amperage that is delivered during welding. Lower end models may only have two settings for heat adjustment. Higher end models will allow you to adjust the amperage output more accurately.

Most welders will come with a suggestion chart that describes basic settings for different thicknesses of metal. The suggestions are only a starting place you will need to make adjustments while welding to improve the quality of the weld.

In addition to welding temperature you also be able to adjust the speed of the welding wire.

Adjusting the welding wire speed

The speed at which the welding wire exits the torch will be dependent on how quickly your welding, your temperature setting and the thickness of the material you are welding.

While you are creating your weld you must hold a torch in the same position long enough to allow penetration through the metal to create the weld.

If the material you are welding is very thick you will need more welding wire to fill the joint between the two pieces. However your temperature setting must also be adjusted to allow you to fill the void without blowing through the material.

It is a very tricky balance to adjust heat and rod speed to obtain a perfect weld.

In general the thinner the metal the lower the heat and the slower the wire speed. However if you’re building up a weld on a thicker piece of metal you may need two go slower.

When adjusting the speed of the wire you want to keep at least 1/2 inch extended from the torch while welding.

It is also important that your grounding cable be attached close to your work so that your heat setting is accurate. You may need two move your grounding clamp while working to maintain good conductivity.

Inspecting your work while you weld

If possible is always best to start by making some practice welds on the exact same metal that you’ll be working on.

Although most metal of similar thickness used for similar products will weld the same there can be conditions where the chemical makeup of the metal is different and this will require compensation and adjustment of your welder.

For instance steel conduit pipe that is of the same thickness as racing roll bar cage tubing will require significantly different settings on your welder.

The same can be true when welding sheet metal on different types of vehicles from different manufacturers with different ages. A quarter panel on a 1960s muscle car will have different properties than a quarter panel on a hybrid vehicle produced in 2010.

Tack welds allow you to inspect your work for penetration and filling prior to committing your welding settings for an entire panel.

Final note

There are many factors that you must account for while welding including the settings on your equipment, the material your welding and the methods that you’re using.

Unless you’re working in a factory with a metal your welding is always the same you’ll find that you need to make adjustments for every new part that you’re working on and you also need to make adjustments while you’re working.

Whether you’re welding thin or thick metal the most important part of a weld is penetration and filling.

If the weld you’re producing is not attractive that is more an aspect of the year’s that you have been welding rather than the physical structure of the weld.

If you’re working on a job and have scrap material you should save it for welding practice.

You should also a practice welding metals of dissimilar thickness. Practice welding a thinner metal to a thicker piece of metal. Practice different types of welds and the welding of different metals.

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