How to Use a MIG Welder?
Every person who will just start with welding is recommended to start with MIG welding. This type of welding is considered to be easy. Plus, mastering MIG welding will make it easier for you to do other welding techniques in the future. You need to know some of the basics so that the rest will follow.
Basic Things About MIG Welding You Should Know
This welding technique is considered to be easy by most people but it will still help if you know some basics to understand it better. MIG means Metal Inert Gas. The inert gas is considered to be a stable type of gas that will have the ability to retain its properties even if it is exposed to other molecules.
By using the MIG welding technique, there will be an electric arc that will be formed so that two metallic surfaces can be matched together. One end will have the welding gun which will have the electrode wire. The other end will contain the metal that you will weld. The electric arc will have the ability to heat the metal so that you can weld the metal properly.
The inert gas will create the gas shield that will be very helpful so that contaminants will not cause any issues while welding. What a lot of people do not realize is that this type of welding has been around for a long time. There are various industries that still use MIG welding right now because this is very versatile. They just make it a point to use this indoors instead of outdoors because there is a big chance that dust and dirt will still get into the welds.
Equipment You Need for MIG Welding
You may be excited to know more about how you can do MIG welding but it is important that you know its different parts first:
- Welder – This will make sure that the spool you will use for welding will stay in place.
- MIG Wire – If you do not have the wire, you will not be able to do your technique properly. Take note that there are different types of wires available depending on the items that you will weld together.
- Welding Gun – How will you weld when you do not have the right welding gun? This will come with settings that you can control depending on what you will weld. Remember that you need to know how to hold and use the gun properly to make proper welds.
- Gas Tank – MIG welding cannot be done properly without the gas tank that will hold the inert gas in place. People usually use carbon dioxide or argon as inert gas for welding. Some would use a combination of the two because they feel that this is the best way to create proper welds.
Tips on Using the MIG Welder
There are different things that you need to protect when you are welding. First of all, you need to make sure that you will be protected from the gas. You are not supposed to breathe in the fumes from what you are welding. A respirator or mask is recommended before you can start the welding process.
Remember the following things:
- You are going to use electricity so make sure that all of the connections and cords are working properly before starting.
- Expect that there will be a very bright light when you start welding. Using the right welding mask is necessary so that you will not be blinded by the light. A welding screen will also be very useful at this time.
- This type of welding will require that you will melt the metals before you would cool them down a bit and fuse them together. You would need to wear leather gloves to ensure that your skin will not get burned by the metal.
- Do not forget to protect your feet especially since there might be some melted metal that will spill. There are some safety shoes that you can specifically use for welding. Having the proper materials will be necessary to ensure that you can weld safely and correctly.
- Expect that you will be working with materials that are flammable and combustible. Keep your items safe and away from fire.
Steps to Follow
Now that you know all the basics, it is time that you know how to do MIG welding properly.
- Prepare the surface where you are going to work. Make sure that the materials that you will use are clean in order to create smooth and clean welds. If you are going to work with thicker metal sheets, you can bevel the joint properly.
- Make sure that the machine has been properly set up. The cable connections should be checked. The polarity should be set to the DC electrode positive.
- The gas flow should be appropriate which is normally between 20 to 25 ft3/hr. If there are some leaks, these leaks should be addressed immediately.
- Check your manual because there are some steps that would need to be done depending on how the machine should be used.
- You can do some practice welds first before actually working on the metal sheets that you would like to fuse together. You need to familiarize yourself with the positions that you will do and how you are going to hold the welding gun.
- Once you are already comfortable with the way that you are handling the welder, you can start MIG welding.
How to Do MIG Welding Properly?
You may want to know a few tips so that you can do MIG welding correctly:
- Stabilizing your grip will make a huge effort with the quality of the welds that you will make.
- You may think that cleaning your materials will be a waste of time but it will make a huge difference with the appearance of your welds. Clean the surface material before you start welding.
- The wire stick out should be kept short. By doing this, you can make the shielding gas more effective in protecting the arc.
MIG welding may be one of the easiest welding techniques but you still need to make a lot of effort to learn about it. The more that you know how to do it, the easier it will be for you to accomplish clean welds every time.