BASIC MIG Welding Tips (GMAW)

BASIC MIG Welding Tips (GMAW)
BASIC MIG Welding Tips (GMAW)
1. Keep a 1/4 to 3/8 in stickout (electrode extending from the tip of the
contact tube. 2. For thin metals, use a smaller diameter wire. For thicker
metal use a larger wire and a larger machine. See machine
recommendations for welding capacity.3. Use the correct wire type for the
base metal being welded. Use stainless steel wires for stainless steel,
aluminum wires for aluminum, and steel wires for steel.4. Use the proper
shielding gas. CO2 is good for penetrating welds on steel, but may be too
hot for thin metal. Use 75% Argon/25% CO2 for thinner steels. Use only
Argon for aluminum. You can use a triple-mix for stainless steels (Helium +
Argon + CO2). 5. For steel, there are two common wire types. Use an AWS
classification ER70S-3 for all purpose, economical welding. Use ER70S-6
wire when more deoxidizers are needed for welding on dirty or rusty steel.
6. For best control of your weld bead, keep the wire directed at the leading
edge of the weld pool. 7. When welding out of position (vertical, horizontal,
or overhead welding), keep the weld pool small for best weld bead control,
and use the smallest wire diameter size you can.8. Be sure to match your
contact tube, gun liner, and drive rolls to the wire size you are using.9.
Clean the gun liner and drive rolls occasionally, and keep the gun nozzle
clean of spatter. Replace the contact tip if blocked or feeding poorly. 10.
Keep the gun straight as possible when welding, to avoid poor wire feeding.
11. Use both hands to steady the gun when you weld. Do this whenever
possible. (This also applies to Stick and TIG welding, and plasma cutting.)
12. Keep wire feeder hub tension and drive roll pressure just tight enough
to feed wire, but don’t over-tighten. 13. Keep wire in a clean, dry place
when not welding, to avoid picking up contaminants that lead to poor welds.
14. Use DCEP (reverse polarity) on the power source. 15. A drag or pull
gun technique will give you a bit more penetration and a narrower bead. A
push gun technique will give you a bit less penetration, and a wider bead.
16. When welding a fillet, the leg of the weld should be equal to the
thickness of the parts welded.
Short Circuit Transfer (generally used for thinner metals and out of position welding)
Spray Arc Transfer (generally used for thicker metals in the flat or horizontal position)
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