Updated: Nov 2
What is MIG welding? A popular welding process that is easier to master than other applications like TIG welding.
MIG also known as wire welding is an arc welding process, where a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun and into the weld puddle joining the two materials together. Generally, MIG welding is more often recommended for ease of use, the process tends to be a bit more forgiving of mistakes than TIG welding is.
So where do you start? At Truflame we've dropped 5 key tips to help you on your journey to becoming a master of MIG.
1. Let's talk MIG welding machine!
To perfect the art of MIG welding you need to first know your wire feed speed and voltage settings. Now to get these you’ll need to find the wire size, thickness, and types of metals you will be welding. (Don’t panic we can help you with this if you need! Contact us)
However, your MIG welder will often have suggested settings charts on the side to help you get set up correctly and get you welding! Alternatively, you’ll want to have a good read through the manual of your welding machine to get to grips.
2. Pre and post-welding abrasives?
Use an abrasive on your workpiece before welding to ensure you have a quality weld. This is to remove grease, oil, rust, or paint from your workpiece. The oils and grease or other containments can affect the weld and reduce the quality of your results if they are not removed before welding. You can also use an angle grinder and abrasive after you have completed the weld to remove weld spatters to create a smoother-looking join.
3. Getting ready to weld!
Getting your welder set up is the easy part, ticked off! Now we’re ready to put pen to paper or in reality arc to metal. We have our MIG welder set up, pre-welding prep ticked off and PPE secured, let's get started!
On learning MIG welding, many welders opt for two handing grips, to ensure a more accurate weld and this generally provides better results. However, ensuring you have a good gun angle is very important for producing a good weld. MIG welding beginners opt for the flat position to learn MIG and once this is perfected, you can adapt to other positions for example vertical, horizontal, and overhead positions. These can be done easily and further developed through practice, practice, and practice.
Keeping a steady speed during MIG welding is important!
The key to producing quality welds is keeping your speed steady.
Going too quick or too slow can affect the quality of the weld and many MIG welders will lose their patience to create a weld. The problem with this is going too fast will lead to getting much less penetration due to too little heat being produced at the puddle and your weld will not have enough filler metal in for proper tie-in however if you are going too slow it may produce too much heat the puddle causing burn through or will produce not a very attractive weld.
4. Got the right equipment?
To begin MIG welding you need to ensure you have the right equipment to produce your welding applications:
A MIG welding machine
Angle grinder and abrasives
Hoses and nozzles
5. PPE is something you can not miss!
A welder of any application will need quality PPE to protect themselves from the hazards of welding. Keeping yourself safe during welding is of utmost importance and this can include welding hoods, leather gloves and protective equipment as well as the likes of fume extraction.
You will need to invest in a quality welding helmet to protect your eyes and skin. Also suggested is to get an auto-darkening helmet that will help to improve your welding. Welding hoods with Auto darkening will give you a better view of your application right up to the moment you pull the trigger.
We’ve partnered with the market leaders when it comes to PPE; Optrel, ESAB and 3M to provide the very best when it comes to keeping you safe during welding applications. At Truflame we’ve explored the importance of PAPR systems along with welding helmets, for the protection of your eyes as well as the damage of welding fume while welding.
Once you have the right equipment to get started, get practising to perfect your applications and produce the perfect weld. We can help guide you in finding the right products for your MIG welding needs. See what we have on MIG welders and discover your MIG consumables.