Are magnets disturbing my arc?

by Sue
(Denver)

Hi guys, girl welder in the house. I'm a hobby MIG welder doing large swings, gates, yard art, sculpture, etc.


Whenever I try using the big arrow-shaped magnets for set up, I seem to find my arc is disturbed and welds are very messy. Having never taken a class, just read books, I've never seen it addressed.

Is it my imagination or does the magnetic field interfere with the weld?

Comments for Are magnets disturbing my arc?

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Jun 18, 2013
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magnet /bad welds
by: Joe Sanchez/unm-gallup

you might have a little magnetism one way to combat might be to wrap your ground around what you are welding clock wise or counter clock wise. please let me know if his helps

Aug 27, 2012
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Magnets disturbing my arc?
by: Ray Hebert

Regarding the sugestion about using AC welding to tack the parts held together while using the arrow magnet, remember to remove the magnet after doing the tack weld, so it doesn't interfere with your weld with DC mig.
Regards,
Ray
(forgot to mention this in my last post.)

Aug 27, 2012
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Magnets disturbing my arc?
by: Ray Hebert

Yes, the magnet's field "blows" the arc away from the weld zone, you can try ac welding to tack the parts together, then use the mig to finish the weld. The DC mig generates it's own magnetic field, thats why the magnet reacts to it.
Best Regards,
Ray

Jul 30, 2012
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Too many bad suggestions
by: Anonymous

Wow, so many people here giving some bad advice because they know not what they speak! The correct answer is what another poster said. Yes, your discovery is in fact called "arc blow." the solution for MIG welders is to TAC up the pieces then REMOVE THE MAGNETS PRIOR TO LAYING THE FULL BEAD. I saw some answers here suggesting you "switch to AC.". Hey ignorant people, with MIG, one cant switch to AC!!!! This is not SMAW (stick) or GTAW (Tig) welding. I really wish that people that don't have a clue about something, refrain from giving out bogus advice.

Jul 30, 2012
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disturbance in the force???
by: Anonymous

Excellent observation! Welding near a magnet will cause "arc wandering". People that don't think this is true should get some scrap steel and try it. Ideally, you should keep your ground clamp as close as possible to the joint you are welding and also make sure the magnet is not between them or move the magnet around in general. The other suggestions about tacking first and welding after magnet removal are correct too. It's more common with Mig (gmaw) and Tig (gtaw). I was also taught that having my Stick welding lead cable rolled up can cause "arc wandering" as well. That can be corrected by adjusting "arc force" setting or unrolling the cables a little.

Jul 29, 2012
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Tack
by: Anonymous

Ise magnets for setup, then tack, remove magnets, grind down and go back over and finish the welds.

Jul 28, 2012
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magnet interference
by: Anonymous

the reason the magnets cause the weld to be poor is called "arc blow". you will get this on metals that are magnetized. on magnetised metals sometimes you can reverse the leads when welding DC and get rid of it, or change to AC. when using magnets AC will probably correct the problem, but eventually the magnets will loose their magnetism.

Jul 28, 2012
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Thanks
by: Sue

Thanks everyone for the comments. Obviously I always clean the weld site, but have not been cleaning the clamp site...that's good advice. Thanks also for the advise to use the magnet for tack only then remove it.

Jul 28, 2012
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Tight connections
by: Snapne k

Make sure you have a tight and strong connection between your ground clamp work plate and magnet. Be sure to clean all mill scale

Jul 28, 2012
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ferris
by: Anonymous

Look up ferris. It has nothing to do with welding. I am a welder everyday ferris means no gauge or nautical

Jul 28, 2012
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Magnets vs welding arc
by: Skibumleo

You have made a good observation Sue. What would cause this to happen? If you think about it for a while I'm sure you will discover the reason why. We use electricity when we weld. We create a magnetic field when we weld. DC-(electrode)= DC+(work} and DC+(electrode)= DC-(work). AC cycles back and forth 60 times a second. AS you know like poles repel and unlike poles attract. The magnet will have an affect at the air gap, pulling or pushing your wire feed. Use it to tack if you need a third hand mig-weld and then put it away. Use your magnet on different ferris metals using a stick welder and you may find it helpful when you can't keep your arc where you want it. Good luck, have fun and make every weld on purpose.

Jul 28, 2012
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magnets
by: Anonymous

No its not. Clean your mill scale before u weld

Jul 28, 2012
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magnets and wet steel duh lol
by: ricky robot

try tacking your work together then take the magnet off before you weld your beads.you can also try running try running a short cable with two clamps to equalize your ground

Jul 22, 2012
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Lose the MIG
by: Anonymous

Lose the MIG and get a 220 ARC.

Jul 21, 2012
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Magnetic disturbance?
by: Anonymous

Most people make sure they have a nice shiny spot to place their ground clamp, but how many check the contact surfaces on the clamp are corrosion free and clean?

Also, you might want to try moving your ground clamp around the work piece and see if that helps.

Personally I have never heard of a magnetic field altering welding characteristics.

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