The art of welding, which involves successfully joining two pieces of metal together, might seem like magic to the average joe, but it isn't. Here, the aim is to show you how to leap from a novice MIG welder to a pro. All you need to do is follow the steps discussed in this article, and MIG (Metal Inert Gas Welding) will be the simplest thing you've ever learned.
Here are the steps to follow to want to use a MIG welder
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools, Equipment, and Materials
To ensure that you move from a rookie to a pro within the shortest time possible, you need to have the right tools, materials, and equipment available before using the welder.
Safety should be your priority, so you'll need to get all the appropriate safety gear and ensure that you wear them while using the welder. This will include a welding helmet with an auto-darkening welding mask to protect the eyes from the welding arc. Welding gloves, welding apron, and leather cover shoes to protect you from splatter.
Other essential tools, equipment, and materials include; a CO2 fire extinguisher and the MIG welder itself. This consists of the welding machine, ground clamp, gas tank, welding gun, and MIG wire or electrode. All these are crucial to the welding process.
Step 2: Set-up the Welder and the Workpiece
Once you have all the needed materials and tools, you’ll need to set up the MIG welder the right way; only this way will safety and quality welds be guaranteed.
To do this, first, attach the ground clamp to any large metal surface that is not the workpiece. Next, move to the cylinder and ensure that the adjusting screw is loose and the cylinder is open to allow gas flow.
Remember your hands must be around the cylinder and not on top of the handwheel while opening the cylinder; this way, you'll be able to prevent accidents if the pressurized gas suddenly pushes the handwheel off.
Finally, turn the adjusting screw until it reads 10-15CFH; proceed to the MIG welder and apply the manufacturer's recommended setting. This will depend on the wire feed speed, voltage, type of gas, and gas flow rate.
Before you begin welding, set up the workpiece and practice on a piece of scrap metal. This will allow you to decipher if your wire speed, voltage, and current are perfect.
If the current is insufficient, the welds will not penetrate, thus making it impossible to combine the two metals. You will also notice much splatter as you weld. Additionally, when you weld with a current that is too high, it can cause the base metal to melt or lead to hole filled welds.
Tip: Remember to grind the surface of the two pieces about to be welded to ensure that the filler metal penetrates.
Step 3: Start Welding
All that is left for you to do now is begin welding.
First, move the welder over the surface you want to weld by hand sewing and start welding from top to bottom if the joint is vertical or flat. Once completed, remove the slag that forms over the filler metal. You might need to carry out one or two additional passes depending on the thickness of the metal.
Lastly, it's up to you whether to grind the welded surface or not. If you want a smooth finish and appearance, grinding the welded surface is essential. To do this, attach a grinding disc to a grinding wheel and clean the surface of the weld until the weld is shiny.
Tips for the beginner MIG Beginner Welder
- Ensure you clean the surface of the base metal before welding.
- Practice regularly. This will keep your hands from trembling, and it will also help you weld longer.
- Listen attentively to the sound the welder makes while you weld. You will often tell if you are welding with a high current from the sound the welder makes.
In conclusion, learning how to use a MIG welder is easy. All you need to do is follow the steps above and ensure that the welder is set according to the manufacturer's specifications and you should have zero issues. MIG welding also reduces the cost of production and works well for thicker metals.