Here's How To Make A Perfect Mig Weld
How to make a perfect mig weld? It all starts with getting the fundamentals down.
The following is a step by step guide for the mig welding process:
How to make a perfect mig weld 1.) Install the wire - one of the most important steps in the mig welding process, and one of the most critical, as failing to do this properly will break down the process later on entirely. Before preparing the wire, first check to see if there is any rust on the wire; new packages of wire do at times come with rust on the wire, and it is important to screen the wire carefully for this, since any rust will give you feeding problems eventually. to prepare the wire, the spring tensioner on the wire reel mounting should be tightened so that the reel does not unravel first; then place the wire spool onto the axle/spindle of the wire feeding unit or welding machine (this will be next to or behind the wire feed drive rollers). BE SURE not to install the spool upside down, and to replace the cotter pin afterwords. Next, align the spool with the pin on the spindle; this pin, located on the back of the spindle, should line up with the hole on the spool. The first three inches of wire should be straight, and the bent part of the wire (usually the first inch or so) should be cut off. The tensioner should be tight enough so that the spool does not unravel on its own.
How to make a perfect mig weld 2.) The wire used should be as thin as possible when welding thin metal, and the opposite when welding thick metal (as thick as possible); the correct wire for the metal type should always be used as well - aluminum wire for aluminum, stainless steel wire for stainless steel, and steel wires for steel.
How to make a perfect mig weld 3.) Feed the wire - guide the wire through the guide tube of the torch and over the roller (or tube rolls); remove the contact tip from the end of the torch so that the wire potentially does not get stuck when feeding it into the torch. Insert the wire into the hole of the wire liner (there should be little or no force necessary for this step, and the wire should slip in easily; if not, you have likely missed the wire liner). After the wire has been inserted a few inches into the wire liner, replace or turn down the tension/tensioner clamp, turn on the welder, and lay the welding torch out as straight as possible. Use the wire feeder to push the wire through the liner. As you do so, increase the tension until the wire feed stoops slipping, but not to the point where the wire feed motor slows.
How to make a perfect mig weld 4.) Check the tension on the wire reel, making sure that it is as light as possible; set the wire feed speed to the maximum necessary. Pull the trigger on the torch until the wire is out on the other end; when releasing the trigger, the wire reel should stop but not unravel. Replace the contact tip, put back the nozzle and cover the machine
How to make a perfect mig weld 5.) Clean the metal that you are planning to work on.
How to make a perfect mig weld 6.) Determine and set the wire feed rate/speed - this will set the arc length. One way of doing this is simply by trial and error - using a scrap test piece of metal, turn on the gun and drag it along the metal until you get a smooth arc (this speed is the ideal speed). There should be no burning smell, and a constant sizzling sound should be heard with a good speed; too slow a speed will create the burning smell, and too fast a speed will produce a popping, machine gun like sound; extremely fast will cause the wire to bend, and create a lot of spatter. For thinner metals, a slower speed is usually necessary (in fact, it is usually set at the lowest speed necessary), while with corners a faster speed is used to decrease the length of the arc and avoid the sides. With less expensive or do-it-yourself welding machines, as the welding machine power increases the speed of the wire feed will need to be increased manually as well.
How to make a perfect mig weld 7.) Determine and set the power tip rate/voltage - this will determine the level of penetration of the metal and the weld appearance; the goal is to have enough penetration so that the metals join and fuse together, but not so much that the penetration is excessive. Using a piece of scrap metal that is the same thickness as the metal you plan to actually work on, test the voltage settings of the welding machine to find the optimal setting.
How to make a perfect mig weld 8.) Make sure you are in a comfortable position and can move freely before you begin the actual weld; be sure you can hold the torch with two hands rather than just one, have a full face mask on, and can rest one arm against something.
How to make a perfect mig weld 9.) Position the tip - the tip should be positioned about 6 to 10 mm from the surface of the metal. Keep a ¼ to 3/8 inch wire stick-out. Determine the angle of the position of the tip - if you want to push (electrode directed ahead of the bead - this gives you a wider bead and less penetration), point the tip at about a ten degree angle, facing in the direction ahead of the bead - if you want to pull/drag (electrode pointed back into the bead - this gives you more penetration and a narrower bead), point the tip at about a ten degree angle in the direction facing back into the bead) - if you wish to move perpendicularly, point the tip straight down at the bead so that the torch stands in a straight line above the bead
How to make a perfect mig weld 10.) How you move the torch will determine the type, and overall quality, of the weld - how fast you move it will determine the level of penetration, how well you control it, and the type of pattern you move in (zigzag, weave, or straight) will be determined by the type of metal and type of weld you want. Using the correct pattern combined with how fast you move the gun can affect whether or not you have holes or a puddle on either side (too slow) or an in-continuous or hollow weld (too fast), a weak weld, and much more.
How to make a perfect mig weld 11.) If welding thin metal or aluminum, you may wish to consider using pulsed mig welding, which consists of short blasts with a few seconds in between each blast. This reduces the chance of holes and is easier to produce a continuous weld.
How to make a perfect mig weld 12.) The shielding gas should contain as high a concentration of argon when welding thin metal or aluminum to generate less heat and get less spatter in the process. Carbon dioxide will create deeper penetration and is best suited for thicker metals.
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