The Easy Way to Use a MIG Welder
Welding sounds like a complicated process to the beginner and novice but after learning the ropes you will be surprised at just how easy it can be. It’s just like learning to ride a bike, you need to start by putting in the time and having the patience to get it right and overtime you build up a great knowledge and understanding. Once you learn how to weld with a MIG weld that skill will then never leave you.
What is MIG Welding and it’s Benefits?
Firstly let’s give you an understanding of MIG welding, MIG welding is a Metal Inert Gas form of welding but in recent times its more commonly known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). MIG welding itself has been around since the 1940’s and is one of the easier types of welding practices to pick up, and a welding unit can cost as little as 450 when you compare it to the likes of TIG welders which are substantially more expensive to purchase.
MIG welding has become popular because of its flexibility to weld many different types of metals. So whether you are looking to weld carbon steel, magnesium, copper, nickel, stainless steel or other alloy types, the MID welder will easily allow you to do this.
In terms of the benefits on offer with MIG welding you can look at the facts that it’s easy to learn and begin welding with, it has a good weld bead and minimum weld splatter, with an extensive all-position welding capability capable of joining a range of metals and thicknesses.
Laying the Bead
After you have prepared your work station, geared yourself up in protective clothing and have everything you need in place we will need to lay the bead. This is where we now begin on welding with your MIG welder.
Before welding any two pieces together it’s advisable that the beginner lays, or runs a bead before jumping right in to the welding process. Just take some scrap metal and learn how to weld in a straight line on a surface. You can perform this process until you are satisfied that you are going to be ok welding two work-pieces together without an issue. Doing this just helps you get a feel for the welder and the last thing you want to do is put in too much power and melt right through the work-piece by mistake so it’s vital to practice.
Beginning the MIG Weld Process
Now we come to the exciting part, actually welding the two pieces of metal together. Take your MIG welder and then begin making a sewing motion across the top of the seam, if you are a beginner than don’t worry too much about positioning, just hold the welder in whatever position or direction feels most comfortable for you because at this stage of the learning curve its mainly about getting the weld right.
You want to make sure that sparks are present at the bottom of the metal work-piece because if they aren’t present then the arc isn’t penetrating the metal fully so you may need to play around with the amperage at this point in order to get the MIG welder successfully cutting through the metal.
Take your time welding, and make sure that you get the right filler rod for the metal you are using. Remember that the filler rod needs to be equal or greater to in strength as the metal you are joining otherwise you will run into problems later down the line.
Upon finishing the weld you will notice that there is a great big bump where the filling rod was melted into, you can choose to leave this or if you are a perfectionist (or the metal is going to be in a visible area) you can grind the bump flat and smooth off the metal.
To grind down the metal you may need to use a grinding weld but if you don’t feel comfortable you can take this to a specialist shop to do. If you have a grinding weld at home then make sure you take regular breaks as the room will heat up pretty fast when you are using one of these especially with all the protective gear you will have on you at the time.
MIG welding is one of the most common forms of welding and for beginners is usually the easiest of all the types of welding processes to pick-up and learn. A MIG welder is also substantially more cost effective than the likes of a TIG welder but if its precision that you need then a TIG welder would be better suited to you but take into account that these are very expensive so you would need to rent one ideally.