A Beginner's Guide To MIG Welding

A Beginner's Guide To MIG Welding

Posted on Nov 03 , 2021


Jonathan Lewis

MIG welding is an excellent method to weld metal. MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welding, and it can be done with or without an air compressor. MIG welding is a simple process that anyone can learn in just a few minutes.

MIG welders work best on sheet metals, but you can use MIG welders for other materials as well.


How To MIG Weld?

MIG welding is a method that uses a MIG welder. MIG stands for inert metal gas, which means the shielding gas protects the weld from contamination as it's being formed. The MIG gun heats up and melts one wire electrode through to another, so they join together.

MIG welding has been used by industry since the 1950s. Still, it was not until the mid-1980s when hobbyists began using it because of its convenience over other types of arc welding methods such as Tungsten Inert Gas (Tig welding) or Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW). MIG can be used on thin materials like sheet metal, aluminum, steel bars, and pipes since MIG offers more control than FCAW in terms of speed and heat.

MIG welding can also be used on non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and nickel alloys because of the inert shielding gas that protects these metals from contamination during the MIG process.

For those new to MIG welding, here are five tips from those who have been doing it for years!

Choosing the Right MIG Welder

The first tip for doing proper MIG welds is to choose the right MIG welder. MIG welders are different, just like buying any tool. Do your research if you're brand new to MIG welding because it can be difficult or even frustrating when choosing a MIG welder for beginners. There's no shame in doing some internet shopping before settling on one MIG machine (but also, don't let yourself get overwhelmed).

The MIG welding machine you choose will need to have certain specifications that are important for MIG welding. For instance, the MIG welder needs to be able to heat up fast enough and cool down quickly to make sure your MIG welds come out correctly (otherwise, you'll end up with a bad batch of MIG metal). You also want ample wire feed speed because feeding the wire into the MIG gun is integral to proper MIG welding. If it takes too long, then there's more risk of things like overheating or even breaking wires- both great ways to frustrate yourself if you're starting on this journey.

The last thing beginners should consider when choosing their first MIG welder is the duty cycle. If you have a MIG welder with a 90% duty cycle, you'll be lucky to get 30 minutes of operation time before it shuts down on you. Thus, something that can handle more significant continuous usage is essential. Suppose your MIG duty cycles are usually in the 40 percent range. In that case, your MIG welder will shut off on you within under two minutes, which will be highly inconvenient and slow down your MIG welding process considerably compared to something that can endure more continuous usage.

Choosing The Right Safety Equipment

Welding is a great craft, but while doing it, you have to be careful. MIG welding, in particular, is hazardous.

One of the most essential things you need is MIG gloves. MIG burns are often very severe because MIG welders produce ultraviolet rays that damage living cells deep within your skin. However, wearing MIG gloves will help protect this kind of radiation from touching your skin. Also, it's nearly impossible for these particles to get through them, or at least they have a much lower chance to do so than if you were not wearing any protection hand gear whatsoever while welding.

A welding helmet is another MIG piece of equipment that you should purchase. That is important because it protects your face from sparks and flying debris. At the same time, MIG welding, primarily if the metal piece has a lot of rust or any other kind of impurity on its surface, could explode when exposed to high temperatures in the course of the MIG welding process.

And another essential safety gear boots. MIG welding is commonly done by standing on the ground, and MIG welder's sparks might get you burned. So make sure your shoes are not flammable.

Clean Your Work Surface

Whether you're a novice or professional in the welding industry, porosity is one of the most common reasons for lousy MIG welds. Porous surfaces can be caused by unclean equipment or oily contaminants trapped within the weld puddle. As a result, low-quality metal components that decay before they've had a chance to cool after being produced with stick-welding techniques like TIG (mercury) welding develop.

The first thing that needs clarification, though? You can utilize flux core during the gas-phase cooling process as it's done now, or you may attempt room temperature glass melting. No shielding agent is required because these sorts would melt rapidly at high temperatures ordinary on modern production lines.

Flux Core MIG Welding Tips are great for beginners because they have a self-shielded flux core wire that makes welding very easy, especially for people who need to do MIG welding using carbon steel. The only problem with this is when you consider the fumes and smoke that come from it. Suppose you have asthma (or another respiratory illness) due to breathing in these types of hazardous chemicals. In that case, TIG (mercury) welding may be preferable since there is no shielding agent used throughout the procedure.


Make A Good Ground Clamp

If you're looking to take your welding game up a notch, then it's time for something new. Ground clamps are the way to do that and can significantly improve any welds you make with less power consumption! Copper grounds conduct electricity well, so they will help ensure even coverage over larger areas or thicker metal pieces like steel pipes.

Lesser quality ground straps won't be as effective - which leads us to our next point. Wrong ground appliances might cause damage by making horrible noises and because of their low-quality construction. It could lead them to break at some point during use resulting in an accident waiting just around every corner ready to happen. MIG welding is a very safe process if you're using the proper safety gear and techniques!

Practice Makes Everything Perfect

Beginner welders should practice MIG welding all the time. Welding is a profession that takes lots of practice to get right. You can't expect yourself to become an expert MIG welder without trying over and over again. Whether you are practicing on scrap metal or doing it for fun, get your hands dirty! Practice MIG welding every chance you have because practice makes perfect when learning how to MIG weld steel as video game legends do to complete challenges with ease.

Practice welds like weld joints, butt joints, or machine setup. MIG welding is pretty simple once you know the basics.

Require Welding Supply

Whether you are a beginner welder or an experienced pro, your welding supply needs will be met at Superior Welding & Fabrication. We carry industrial equipment and materials for all kinds of welders, including MIG welders, TIG welders, gas torches, welding coupons, weld tests, plasma cutters, and much more!

Visit our website today to learn about the products available in-store - there is something for everyone. If you have any query about what supplies might work best for your project, please don't wait to contact us by phone or email anytime. You can also find us on Facebook, so that's another great way to stay connected with everything happening here at Superior Welding & Fabrication!

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