MIG Welding Tips
Always read and follow the safety precautions and operational instructions in your owner's manual.
|1. Keep a 1/4 to 3/8 in stickout (electrode extending from the tip of the contact tube.) (Refer to Diagram 1. Electrode Extensions)|
|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. (Refer to Diagram 4. Welding
Wire Thickness Chart)
|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). (Refer to Diagram 2. Penetration Patterns for Steel)|
|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. (Refer to Diagram 6. Welding Wire)|
|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 overtighten.|
|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. (Refer to Diagram 3. Effect of Electrode Position and Welding Technique)|
|16. When welding a fillet, the leg of the weld should be equal to the thickness of the parts welded.(Refer to Diagram 10. Recommended Fillet Weld Thickness)|
|17. Compare your weld to our photos to determine proper adjustments.
Click the thumbnails for a larger image.
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An excellent informational booklet for beginners. Covers a description of the process, how to set up equipment, how to make a weld, conditions that affect weld bead shape, and welding troubleshooting.
16 pages - 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"