Common Questions New Welders Ask about MIG Welding and Welding Gear
One of the benefits of offering some of the best prices on welding machines and welding gear at Baker’s Gas and Welding is that customers ask lots of good questions in order to make the best possible purchase. Over time, we hear the same questions often enough that we try to offer a more comprehensive reply. Here is a batch of questions about beginning as a welder, finding the best equipment and materials, and optimizing your welding set up for the best possible weld.
Which Gas Is Ideal for MIG Welding Mild Steel?
If you’re MIG welding mild steel with solid core wire, you want to control the puddle and minimize spatter. That’s going to be hard to do with 100% CO2 as your shielding gas. If you switch to 75% CO2 mixed with 25% Argon, you’ll see a significant difference in your control of the weld puddle and the quality of your weld.
While there are plenty of other mixtures out there, and some argue that 85% CO2 and 15% Argon is the best, you’ll readily find a 75% CO2/25% Argon mixture at welding supply stores. The average welder will do just fine with that mixture.
What Works Better, Flux-Cored or Solid Wire for MIG Welding?
This is one of the most common discussions we hear from customers about MIG welding. It’s certainly appealing to go with the simplicity of flux-cored MIG welding, but there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. We’ve written several posts about this:
The Advantages of Flux Cored Welding Wire
Solid Wire vs. Flux Cored MIG Wire
What do I need to weld Aluminum?
You can weld aluminum with either a TIG welder or a MIG welder. Provided that you have the right electrode and filler metal for your TIG welder, you don’t need to add anything to your setup. Of course many welders sing the praises of foot pedals for controlling the heat input better and water-cooled torches for working on longer stretches of a project.
MIG welding aluminum is another story. The lighter aluminum wire that you’ll feed through your MIG torch will get jammed up inside of the welder’s wire feeder. That’s why it’s essential to pick up a spool gun that feeds the aluminum wire right into your torch as you weld. This eliminates jams and makes it significantly easier to weld without stopping to fix a jammed wire.
Do I need to spend $400 to get a good welding helmet?
While you rarely need to spend $400 for a new welding helmet at Baker’s Gas and Welding because of our many rebates, promotions, and sales that slash the prices on the top welding helmets, it’s worth considering whether you need to invest in a professional grade helmet for home and hobby welding.
Some of the most important questions you need to ask when purchasing a new welding helmet boil down to these two: How long will you wear the helmet? And Will you be welding out of position? Naturally, if you’re welding at work for long stretches of time, go with the helmet that offers the best in safety, comfort, and adaptability so that you can grind on various settings and add on things like hard hats or a lens.
Nevertheless, even a welder working at home may want to invest in a high quality helmet just to enjoy the superior visibility, comfort, and safety offered. Welding out of position will make it vitally important to have four sensors or Miller’s X-Mode that prevents flashes in all positions. Nevertheless, for smaller projects where you’re not welding out of position, you can certainly do fine with a lower cost welding helmet, just keep in mind that you may be limiting yourself with your welding position safety or your shade options.
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