If you are looking to improve your MIG welding, or you are just starting out, then follow these simple MIG welding tips that can take your welding to the next level and help you become better in MIG welding.
1. Safety is the First Priority
First and most important of all when it comes to MIG welding tips is definitely safety. Welding can be dangerous if safety precautions are not followed correctly. Welding involves handling gases, electric current, extreme heat, and hot sections, hence safety needs to be your first priority when it comes to welding. Wear proper welding glasses and gloves as ultraviolet light can burn your skin and eyes. Use of other safety measures like wearing safety helmets, shoes and clothes can make MIG welding safe for welders. Make sure to avoid materials that are synthetic as they are prone to catch fire quickly and use natural fiber materials made using denim and leather that are flame resistant. Avoid shirts with pockets and pants with cuffs as they are susceptible to catch sparks during welding and can lead to injuries.
If you are involved in heavy-duty MIG welding, then remember it can create a lot of heat and sparks flying around along with spattering, hence the usage of thick leather glove and fire resistant clothing will help you prevent getting injured. Leather footwear can be a perfect option to give you the best protection for your legs. Finally, ensure you read and understand all the safety data sheets that are included with your new welder and have adequate ventilation in the welding section to prevent intoxication.
2. Do Proper research before setting up the Machine
Before setting up the MIG welding equipment, make sure to fully understand the requirements clearly and read the machine manufacturer’s manual. If you don’t have an instruction manual, you can contact local welding equipment store or a supplier to get details about the best gas to be used, and proper filler metal required to complete the welding job effectively. It is always good to follow the instruction manual that comes with the electrode wire as it will give you an idea of a wire-feed seed, gas mixture and the proper voltage settings to be used. Some manufacturers go a step further in providing details about the best electrode extension to use along with the contact nozzle to work distance as well what is perfect for a particular type of electrode wire. Because if you use a stick out that is too long, then it will make the weld too cold and the penetration will also be not deep as you may have expected. So always tend to use a shorter wire stick out that gives you a stable arc to work with and better penetration.
3. Set proper connection before welding
Another important factor that you need to consider before you start the welding process is to set all connections in your machine right from ensuring you are connected to the power source and wire properly fitted to the MIG gun to making sure you have the right polarity for the job, which can help you prevent spatter.
Spatter buildup can be a nuisance so make sure you have clean base metal and good ground cable connection near to the work area and have it hooked to the base metal. If you don’t have a stable ground, then it can impact the life of the contact tip to a great extent along with improper weld quality.
4. Choose the proper drive roll and tension setting
Drive roll selection and tension setting is important as that will lead to poor wire feeding and give you a poor weld quality. Before choosing the proper drive roll, consider the size of the electrode wire to be used during the welding process and buy a drive roll that matches to the electrode wire. If you are using a soft flux cored wire, then you need to go for a drive roll that is knurled and comes with a teeth to catch hold of the wire and feed it easily. But when you are using solid wire, using knurled drive rolls will result in the shavings to break off the wire and either a V or U-groove drive rolls can give you optimal results.
5. Make use of the Use of the correct contact tip
Using the correct size of contact tips can give the best MIG welding results as an improper contact tip can largely impact your MIG welding performance. The contact tip is the one that is responsible for creating a stable precise arc, and most importantly the contact tip position in the nozzle also is extremely important as it can help in eliminating porosity and spatter to a great extent. While the position of the contact tip recess may vary according to your welding requirement, the general rule is when you use a higher current, you should also increase the recess. I normally use a contact tip that is one size bigger than the wire to prevent the wire from getting stuck on the tip while ruining it.
6. Use the proper shielding gas
Ensure you use the best shielding gas that works better with the electrode wire. Read the instruction manual carefully to see as most the manufacturers can provide details about the right kind of gas mixture to be used for a specific type of electrode wire. If you want a good penetration, then go for a gas mixture that uses 75% argon and 25% CO2 which gives you a cleaner weld and gives you less spatter than regular CO2.
7. Keep the wire directed at the leading edge of the weld pool
If you want better control over your weld bead make sure to have the wire directed at the leading edge of the weld pool. Keep the weld pool smaller when you are in a vertical welding position along with a small diameter size wire for better results. If your weld bead is thin and tall, then it means you should increase the voltage or lower the wire feed speed or your travel speed is too low.
It takes time, patience and practice to master any skill and if you are looking to master your weld technique, then make sure to follow these MIG welding tips and tricks. Hope the above MIG welding tips provided.
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