MIG welding has been one of the popular welding processes among professionals and hobbyists for decades. It is a string, fast, and fairly easy to work, so beginners don’t have trouble doing MIG welding. A beginner can add a professional touch to DIY projects through this welding process.
Learning how to use a MIG welder for beginners is not a challenging task. In reality, you can start MIG welding within an hour. The MIG welding process is the easiest one to learn among all welding processes.
Follow this comprehensive guide to learn more.
How to Use a MIG Welder for Beginners – Step by Step Process
Table of Contents
As stated earlier, MIG welding is easy to learn. This way, it is best suited for beginners.
Step 01: Learn the MIG Welding Basics
MIG welding is a versatile process, enabling a user to make strong and durable joints between metal pieces. This process is now commonly used by welding enthusiasts and home hobbyists.
Step 02: Learn MIG Welding Working Process
In the MIG welding process, a machine feeds a wire through a contact tip into a MIG gun. The contact tip is responsible for transferring the welding current into the wire. The arc creates a solid joint between the base metal and the wire.
Step 03: Learn MIG Welding Application
Completing repairing tasks around your home will become effortless using a MIG welder. A MIG welder will let you work with aluminum, mild steel, and stainless steel of different thicknesses. However, shielding gas may vary based on the welding wire base metal.
Step 04: Wearing Safety Gears
Gathering and wearing a full set of safety gear before starting the MIG welding is mandatory. Protective clothing, masks and gloves need to be worn during the welding process.
Step 05: Selecting a MIG Gun
MIG guns come in different designs. Some look like acetylene torches, while others have pistol shapes. The MIG welder machine size relies on the project size.
Step 06: Workplace Preparation
The workplace must be free of flammable materials. So, choose a good surface for your welding project. If other people are available in the workplace, put a welding curtain to cover the work area. They will be protected from UV damage.
Step 07: Wire Installation
Remember to choose the same wire type according to the welded material. For instance, use aluminum wire for welding aluminum.
Step 08: Reel Preparing
Ensure well-tightening of the reel. Otherwise, the wire can unravel its possess tension. Now, the opening of the wire can be tangled. Make it wire tangle-free. In order to trim the wire, a wire trimmer will be a good choice.
Step 09: Feeding the Wire
The guide tube holds the wire. So, your selected wire requires to be inserted into the tube. Then, feed the wire to the roller. It needs to be inserted into the wire liner. Don’t force in this case. If force is required, be sure that the wire is miss-aligned.
While selecting the wire, ensure the below points,
- Choose clean wire, free of rust and grease.
- Use a clean cloth to remove the dust if the wire is dirty.
- Don’t leave the wire in the welder when you don’t use the welding machine. This way, the wire can get rusty.
Step 10: Tension Adjusting
After feeding the wire to the torch, adjusting the tension is necessary. Mounting can bend due to excessive tension. At the same time, it can damage the welder. So, it would be best to keep the tension minimal. Check the reel and line feeder tension as well.
Step 11: Weld Making
Now we are in the step of weld making. In the case of MIG welding, the polarity needs to be set to DCEP. It is known as reverse polarity.
Step 12: Ensure Consistent Length of the Electrode
While welding, the electrode length should be kept 3/8” and ¼”. The length need to measure from the contact tube. It helps making a clean weld will be easier.
Step 13: Choose the Correct Shielding Gas
You need to know the correct gas type for MIG welding. CO2 is the most economical choice, providing the necessary penetration on steel. Although, carbon dioxide is unsuitable for thinner metals. On the other hand, argon is best for welding aluminum. Next, a mixture of 25% CO2 and 75% Ar is ideal for welding thin steel.
Step 14: Follow the Push or Drag Welding Technique
Follow the welding angle of 10°. Also, ensure push or drag welding technique. The wire should be kept at the weld pool’s front edge. This way, controlling the weld will be effortless.
Step 15: Making Flat Weld
You can fill up joints by placing material using the welder. Filling large gaps requires to follow the up and down technique is effective. Holding the welder at a 90-degree angle is necessary when doing flat joints.
Step 16: Making Horizontal Weld
When welding horizontally, up and down weave motion will give you the best result. The amperage of the flat weld and horizontal weld has to be the same. Remember, the weld pool will not get too big if you use a wire of a slightly smaller diameter.
Step 17: Making Vertical Weld
Start welding thin materials from the top. Then, run the pool down by gravity. For thicker materials, start welding from the base of the material and continue to the top.
Step 18: Making Overhead Weld
Overhead welding is a bit challenging. Standard welding techniques need to be followed. Also, travel speed requires an increase. Thus, the filler will not fall out of the joints. You will require to increase the flow rate.
Step 19: Final Step
After finishing the MIG welding, use a grinder to polish any additional filler. If required, re-weld the joint.
- Keeping the gun straight is the key to getting great welding results.
- Before working with a metal piece, practice with metal scrap. This will help you understand about adjusting the wire speed, amps/voltage, etc.
Hopefully, after reading this guide on how to use a MIG welder for beginners, you can easily complete your different home welding projects pretty easily. The steps are easy to follow and don’t take much time to finish. Make sure to follow the steps meticulously. Also, wearing safety precautions is a must.