3 MIG welding machines handbook: how to become a more skilled welder and how to choose the top welding equipment. Do a practice run. This may sound silly, but you’ll find that many professional welders do this before every pass. Get in the most comfortable position you can, with support blocks in place if helpful, and run your hands along the path they will traverse as you make the weld. You will often find that a slight adjustment of your position will allow you to make a longer pass, or to move your hands with less stress. Any strain in your position will have a negative impact on the weld. Also, you build valuable muscle memory when making your practice run, which will help keep everything on track when you make the ‘real’ pass. Clean a contaminated electrode immediately! Every welder will contaminate their electrode at some point, but it’s essential that you replace a contaminated electrode immediately. I usually keep a group of pre-sharpened electrodes right on my welding bench, so I can swap them out without having to walk to my grinder.
In many shops, the operator has to go to a tool room or supply area for a new contact tip, coil of wire or other welding accessory. This takes valuable time away from the welding cell and slows down overall productivity. To improve the operating efficiency and minimize wasted time, companies should stock at least a limited supply of all necessary items near the welding station – this includes shielding gas, flux and wire. Another helpful productivity enhancing tip is to switch to larger spools of wire such as from 25 lb. spools to 44 or 60 lb. spools to even larger packages of 1,000 lb. reels or 1,000 lb. drums. A simple switch like this means less changeover time, which adds up over the weeks, months and years. Shops should also be on the lookout for shielding gas waste. A simple device called a surge turbine can be placed at the end of the gun to provide a digital readout of the gas surge and flow rate. If the surge rate is high, investing in a surge guard can reduce the pressure, eliminating gas surges and waste. Leaks in the gas delivery system can also create a potential loss of money. By looking at the amount of consumables purchased each year and then examining the total gas purchased, a company can determine if there is a significant loss. Welding manufacturers and distributors should be able to provide average utilization figures so that loss can be detected. If there is a loss suspected, one of the easiest ways to check for leaks is to shut off the gas delivery system over the weekend. Check the level on Friday evening and then again on Monday morning to determine if gas was used while the system was in shut down mode.
Some advices about welding equipment, MIG and TIG welders, plasma cutters. Stick Welding – If you learned to weld years ago, you likely learned using an arc welder. Stick welding for many years has been the most popular method for most home-shop welding needs. This process uses an electric current flowing from a gap between the metal and the welding stick, also known as an arc-welding electrode. Stick welding is an effective method for welding most alloys or joints and can be used indoors and outdoors or in drafty areas. It’s also the most economical welding method and provides the ability to create an effective bond on rusty or dirty metals. However, this method is limited to metals no thinner than 18-gauge, requires frequent rod changing, emits significant spatter and requires that welds be cleaned upon completion. Stick welding is also more difficult to learn and use, particularly the ability to strike and maintain an arc. Arc welders are available in AC, DC or AC/DC, with AC being the most economical. It’s used for welding thicker metals of 1/16 inch or greater. These machines are a good choice for farmers, hobbyists and home maintenance chores.
The welding setup, welder settings, and electrode selection will impact how fast welders can work. Industrial welders invest time in planning the size and shape of their welding areas, how parts are laid out, and how they supply their shielding gas. Testing settings or an electrode on a piece of scrap metal, especially for a beginners, will save time in the long run. Learn more about setting up an efficient shop here. Welding Downhill Increases Welding Speed: While welding downhill is a faster way to weld, it’s not as strong as welding uphill. On most projects it’s not worth sacrificing strength and durability for the sake of welding speed. However, if the metal is thin enough, then welding downhill won’t make the weld weaker and may even be the correct technique for the job. Learn about uphill and downhill welding and see these diagrams of vertical and downhill welding. Discover extra info on MIG welders.
Set the machine so that you are at welding amperage with the foot pedal depressed about 3/4 of the way: Set the machine so that you are at welding amperage with the foot pedal depressed about 3/4 of the way. The 1/4 pedal that you have left is for just in case reserve, just like driving a car.. Having the amperage set this way gives a lot more control than just setting the machine to 200 amps and controlling everything with the foot pedal. I don’t know about you but sometimes I lose focus when welding long periods. I don’t want any chance of welding with 200 amps if all I need is 50 amps. My ankles pop sometimes too, one ankle pop and you might jump or drop 30 amps if your machine amperage is too high.