How to Improve Your Skills Using a MIG Welder

If you have recently invested in one of the great and versatile MIG welders there are available these days, we are sure you must have a lot of excellent DIY projects lined up. How, though, can you improve the very basic skills you may already have to elevate your welding to a higher level? It may not be quite as hard as you think, as you will see from the following post. We’ve put together a list of some handy tips that, if followed, will sharpen your welding skills no end.

Make Use of Your Two Hands

Don’t try to be cool or think that you can get away with one-handed welding. Use both your hands as often as you can, where possible. Hold the trigger part in one hand and rest the gun neck crook on other. Rather than worrying about your hand being too close to the weld, invest in high quality, heavy-duty heat-resistant welding gloves to protect your hands.

Work in a Clean Environment

Porosity is thought to be the biggest failures when using MIG welders. Porosity is most commonly the result of painted surface that’s all oily and dirty. When these contaminants are trapped on the weld, and this happens often, they produce holes that look a little like a sponge.

So, when you are working with metal, work as cleanly as you possibly can. A lot of the problems can be solved by preparing metals adequately, removing or grinding any dirt, rust, paint or other contaminants. It’s also important to grind out any cracks there are.

Make Sure Your Stickout is Short

Generally, you should make sure that the distance the wire is sticking out from the gun’s contact tip’s end is somewhere between ¼ and 3/8 of an inch. It’s considered by many experts that this tip, more than many others, can have the biggest impact on the quality of your welding.

Listen Carefully to Your MIG Welder

You can tell if things are going well while using a MIG welder by the kind of sounds it produces while working with it. Ideally, a nice, steady and constant buzzing should be emitted. If you start to hear a continuous his, this could be a sign that you’ve set the voltage too high. While a raspy, very loud noise would suggest you’ve set the voltage far too low. A crackling sound like that of a machine gun being fired, is a sure-fire indication you’re using your welder on an amperage setting that’s too high.

Regularly Replace Contact Tips

Contact tips for MIG welders are relatively inexpensive. It’s wise then to keep a pack of them in your garage, shed, toolbox or wherever you work and regularly replace them. Contact tips that are worn out are oval-shaped and mean your arc will be erratic.

Generally, if you only use your MIG welder occasionally, it’s wise to aim at replacing the contact tips after working with 100-pounds of wire.


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