How to use a MIG welder
MIG welding is a unique way of adding a professional touch to your projects. It has many applications practically; from home repair to auto work. The guide here will teach you how to use a MIG welder.
Table of contents
Understanding MIG Welding
Learn basics of MIG welding
The procedure is gas metal arc welding, commonly called MIG welding. This type of welding underwent development during the Second World War as a portable, fast procedure to create durable, stiff joints. Currently, it is utilized in many factory and shop applications and also by welding enthusiasts and home hobbyists.
Learn the way it functions
MIG welding employs machines to feed the wire through the contact tip into the MIG gun. The contact chip that is electrically charged transfers the current of the solder to the wire. The arc gets established between the base metal and wire. In most cases, the inert gas is used and it flows from the gas nozzle to shield the process of welding from the universe. There are diverse metal transfer modes;
- Spray transfer
- Globular transfer
- Short circuit
After learning how to use the MIG welder, you will make repairs in the home. The MIG welder can be utilized on mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum of different thickness. The shielding gas varies depending on the welding wire and base metal.
Preparing to Weld
Assemble the safety gear
You will require a set of safety equipment to make sure that you are safe when welding. This is inclusive of protective clothing, masks/welding helmet , and gloves.
You need to make sure that the skin is fully covered to prevent excessive exposure to UV rays. You need a mask of at least #10 shades. This will prevent the arc eye.
In case the working area is poorly ventilated, you will require the vapor mask to minimize toxic vapors inhaled in the process of welding.
Put on gloves to protect the skin from molten metal.
Keep the CO2 extinguisher and sand basket nearby for fire emergencies.
Choose comfortable MIG guns
Some come in the shape of pistols while others look like acetylene torches. The machine size is dependent on the project size.
The gun may be air or water cooled. Air-cooled guns use two hundred amps or less and are also easy to manipulate in little areas. The air-cooled is the typical type the home MIG welder uses.
Prepare the weld area
Eliminate inflammable material and look for a good welding surface. Even though you can put a ground connection on the piece you are welding; many shops have large metal work benches where the ground gets hooked up to.
In case there are other present people, set the welding curtains up around your area of work. This will protect against UV damage.
Installing the Wire
Find the right wire
Use the same wire as the surface you are welding. For instance, in case you are welding stainless steel, employ the stainless steel wire.
When it comes to steel welding, there exist two major wire types. There is an all-purpose wire that is the commonest economically. There is also a steel wire of high quality that bears the design for welding on dirty and rusty steel.
There is another wire that does not need shielding. It is perfect for welding rusty or painted materials and in high winds.
Vary the wire diameter based on the metal’s thickness you are welding. Employ a thin wire for metals that are thin and a thicker wire for thick metals. You might require a giant machine for dense metals.
Prepare the reel
Tighten tension on its reel for the wire not to unravel due to strain. Make the leading three inches straight to avoid damage or tangles to the line feeder. Trim the wire accordingly with the help of a wire cutter.
Feed your wire to the torch
Insert your wire to the guide and then feed it over its roller. Put it in the wire liner. In case you have to employ some force, the chances are that the wire is not properly aligned.
You need to make sure that the wire is free from grease or rust because it may cause bad welds. Employ a dry cloth to clean remnants of dirt on the wire before inserting it. The wire will get rusty if it is left inside the welder while not in use.
After inserting the wire in the liner, turn on the welder and utilize the feed mechanism of the wire to push your wire through the weld.
After feeding the wire through, you will have to adjust its tensioner. Excessive pressure will bend the mountings and then damage the welder. Keep your tensions at the minimum as long as it is allowing the line to get fed through. Check the tension on the reel and the line feeder. Both of them need to be low.