I seen the struggle of someone welding and thought I would offer some advice. Now, I do not claim to be the very best welder, nor even close. There are much better people than me.
The basics of mig welding flux or gas.
1. Speed- If it is to slow, it will stutter or stop all together. (This will happen also if the surface is not ideal. Rust, paint, so on. If it is to fast, it will not lay down nice enough beads. Or even burn through the metal.
2. Heat- If it is to hot, you will melt to much metal and start blowing holes. To cold and you will barely penetrate and booger up the welds. You want to see about 50% penetration between both of your seams. You want to watch the depth of penetration, and keep the other eye on the dimes you are laying down.
1. Position- Hold the tip at a 45 degree angle about 1/2″ or so away from the actual surfaces.
2. Direction- For beginners, it is easier to drag the weld from top to bottom, or left to right. You can see and control the shape of the weld better this way. Also it allows you to see much better the depth of penetration much better. Pushing the weld is much harder to see and control. It works great, but I prefer to pull the weld down or toward me. Easiest way I know.
3. Hand position. Brace you hand on a surface or guide if possible. Wiggling and shaking hands just make for a horrible mess. With time you will steady your hands and lay down perfect beads with one hand with no assist. It takes a lot of practice.
4. Beads- You want to let the wire form the dimes and slowly move forward as you go. Let the welder work the art. Pay attention to width, height, and penetration and hard the shape through the weld.
If you can mig weld, you got a great foundation for arc welding. Arc welding I think is the most consistent form of welding without going tig. It is smokey, stinky perhaps, however once you get use to it. You will weld like a champ pretty easy. Most of the same rules apply as with mig, however wire feed is not the factor. Most intense welding is done with arc welding. Pipe line construction and fence building. You can control depth, and bead a little more than wire. You have better results typically and a lot of stick sizes and types to choose from.
Position- 45 degree. You are allowing the exterior of the stick to create the gap between the rod and surface. Lay the bead digging about 50% through the material and then back filling to your desired level. With mig or arc you can weld nearly flush pretty easy. Just depends on your application. Just depends on how long you take back filling the weld.
Heat issues. Cracking in the seams. You are running to hot, turn it down. I have had to weld steel into cast iron. Super sensitive to cracking. Also iron reacts like a sponge when being welded. Keep in mind, if you are welding cast iron, go slow and cold. That metal will soak up the steel easy. Penetration is never an issue. If my product came out perfect but days later a crack formed, I would have to do it all over again.
Thick metal to thin metal. Weld like you are welding thin metal. Lower heat and lower speeds. You will melt the thin stuff like it is wax.
Disclaimer. I have welded for 6 years with no professional training. Stuck in a booth and told weld all this up. So there are much more informed welders out there than me, however having the basics, I do quite well for myself welding wise. At home, I have a cheap ole $100 welder that I can lay dimes with really easy. Just because it is cheap, it does not mean it is useless. Yes I rather have a nice tig welder, or even a gas shielded welder. Money is not here for it. Tig would be the bomb in my eyes. I have welded steel to cast iron, cast iron patching, cast iron reshaping (making artistic lettering and shapes for custom covers) I have welded Aluminum and I think I played with stainless as well. Love to have an aluminum welder as well. Stainless would be great. Moving from steel to Aluminum, totally less forgiving.
Always practice, and get some practice pieces to play with. I have done artistic lettering into cast iron, artistic landscapes into iron, and reshaping intricate designs into iron. If you look at some decorative man hole covers, you will see some of the stuff I worked and possibly even my work from remaking bad spots in the molds. They tasked me with everything. Making and creating custom things for machinist, to custom jigs and all kinds of crazy stuff to modify things needed in the foundry.
Anyway I hope this helps. Input is more than welcome.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.