The basic question that I encounter is commonly by a person who’s looking for a way to learn how to MIG weld. Whether they’re unaccustomed to MIG welding or are just looking to learn some new MIG welding techniques, there is never an end to these questions.
I don’t mind though. Do you know why? The reason is that MIG welding embodies among the most valuable and coveted welding techniques in the industry. Once you figure out how to MIG weld, you are well on your way to becoming a very proficient welder. I will begin these articles with a bit of background info on MIG welding and then will discuss a few basic MIG welding techniques.
Properly called metal inert gas welding, MIG welding is a type of gas metal arc welding (referred to as GMAW). MIG welding applies an electric flow to provide an electrical arc between a consumable wire electrode in the welding gun and the workpieces. Shielding gas is likewise employed in order to protect the weld from atmospheric gases that may interfere with its quality.
How long has MIG welding been around? It was produced in the 1940s as a way to easily and with efficiency produce equipment and arms during World War 2. It was (and still is) preferred in welding shops because of the ability to learn how to MIG weld quickly, and also the low cost and time tied in with it. Somebody with an introductory understanding of welding should be able to learn how to MIG weld and run good beads with just a couple of hours of practice. MIG welding is also quite popular because of the low investment cost – a new, quality machine for your garage or workshop prices approximately $500. As good as that price is, you are still able to find new ones cheaper, but you definitely get what you pay for there.
What Welding Techniques Exist
Now that you have a basic understanding of MIG welding, I believe it’s time to go on to some MIG welding techniques. As important as background knowledge is once you’re discovering how to MIG weld, it needs to be coupled with practice. These MIG welding techniques will get you on your way to creating strong, visually appealing welds.
For someone first ascertaining how to MIG weld, a zig weaving design is probably the best starting point of the MIG welding techniques. The zigzag pattern can either be done as push (welding away from you), or pull (welding toward you), and is executed precisely as it sounds. Your goal is to make even, steady zigzags across the joint of the two workpieces. This is an absolutely easy design to learn and get quite effective at very quickly. Using this MIG welding technique, you would generally pause at the end of each zigzag (on the sides of the joint) for a brief second in order to help spread out the weld. The key to these is to make certain that you get a steady rhythm going when working with equally thick workpieces. Once you have become familiar with this welding design, you are ready to move on to how to MIG weld using a slightly more advanced MIG welding technique.
The next technique is a circular design. For someone who is learning how to MIG weld, this technique is still relatively basic. It does take a little bit more practice and concentration than the zigzag pattern, but it is still a very achievable figure. For this process, you’ll weld in slow, circular motions. Depending on the workpieces, and the weld you’d like to create, you’ll be able to either use small, precise circles or a larger, more encompassing pattern. After a little practice with these MIG welding techniques, you are know how to MIG weld nearly any basic project that you wish to do.
While no single article can teach you all of the information you need to know about how to MIG weld, this should have been a good basis for your entry into the world of MIG Welding. Keep practicing and you will find success in your efforts.