How To Use A Mig Welding machine
How to use a mig welding machine is not as tough as it may seem. It is is the easiest method of welding and is a precious skill to learn both for your personal use and projects or as a spring board to employment. When you learn the skills required your home workshop will never be the same, you will be able to tackle all kinds of projects such as furniture, work benches , brackets, racks, chassis and frames, gates, repair broken parts and even larger projects such as house beams and steel deck framework.
Mig Welding Employment
If you look for employment, learning how to use a mig welder gives you skills to open many new doors for you. There is a constant demand for semi skilled and skilled welders in fields such as production work, light and heavy engineering. Then there is the big money welder jobs in the oil and mineral industries. Once you learn Mig welding you also have the opportunity to start your own business. You could start out working from home making small items of furniture to sell at your local markets, over time your name will get around and you will find you will get as much work that you want.
Mig welding is commonly referred to as gas metal arc welding (GMAW), this type of welding is today the most popular and versatile method of welding. It is used in production and maintenance work and can be applied to heavy engineering, light engineering and construction work to auto body work. For example production line robotic welders in auto manufacture are Mig welders. Mig welding is perfect for day to day factory work as well as being ideal for the home or small workshop.
To get going fast with mig welding see our learn How to Weld Tutorial page.
Mig welding uses a power source and a wire feeder that feeds the wire electrode through the welding gun to the weld. The wire feed consists of a set of drive wheels for the wire and a constant speed motor to turn the drive wheels. The wire electrode comes in various coil sizes, or spools depending on the welds to be performed. These spools can be mild steel, stainless steel or aluminum in accordance to the job, and can contain hundreds and even thousands of feet/meters of wire. Most Welding machines have various functions allowing timed feeds and variable speeds.
The wire is feed through a cable that also contains a shielding gas hose and allows the electrode to run smoothly without bending or kinking. The shielding gas, or inert gas protects the weld from contamination during the welding process. Welding wires can differ with solid wires used for aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel, but also flux cored wires are also used for use on heavy steelwork.. A gasless wire is available for mild steel, this is useful in outdoor or on site situations where a gas bottle is impractical or breezes are a concern by blowing away any protective gases.
Inert gasses are gasses that will not react with metals or other gasses. With mig welding Inert gases are used to create a protective bubble around the arc and molten metal while the welding is being done. This gas is generally pure argon gas for aluminum and argon sheilding gas for mild steel applications.
Mig welding can be used to weld steel, stainless steel and aluminum , all requires slightly different gasses welding wires, and amperage settings. and due to the work requirements the heavier the metal being welded the more powerful welding machine needs to be.
For home mig welders a machine rated between 140 and 220 amps is most likely the best choice. This would allow working on metal thicknesses from 1/16″ up to 1/4″ including pipes, tubes, flat bar, round bar, angle iron, sheet metals and square hollow sections.