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Learn From an Old-timer: MIG Welding Technique

Old welding helmet

Whether you’re an athlete, baker, or welder, nothing beats learning from a veteran. In a YouTube video posted earlier this year, WeldingTipsandTricks.com shared a technique for MIG welding that was learned from a veteran welder – or old-timer. The technique is simple and can almost always be used for MIG welding projects.

I’ve included a transcript of the meat of the video, or the most important points. Enjoy!  

Basically, it is just making a series of U’s, or cursive E’s, or small loops, or whatever you want to call it. In your mind’s eye you just try to make the same distance loop every time.

Now a lap joint – you watch the top of the puddle or the side of the puddle with the edge of the metal is on it, and you just kind of use it for a guideline. Just barely let the puddle nip that corner just a little bit; that’ll give you a nice, straight border on your weld and a better looking weld because you won’t be melting all that corner and putting extra metal into the weld sides.

Alright, the technique looks something like this. You need to kind of, in your mind’s eye intentionally loop the same distance each time. Alright, that was left to right. That was kind of pulling the puddle; this is going to be kind of pushing it a little bit. You can’t see the puddle very well, but I just wanted to show you that there’s not a lot of difference in the final result. Pushing, pulling, as long as you don’t get carried away with the gun angle, as long as your stick out and your heats good, you can make any one good. Been a lot of argument of pushing and pulling; they both work. Alright.

So there are some differences, some subtle differences in penetration and everything, but sometimes you have to weld right to left; sometimes you have to weld left to right. Sometimes things are in your way – same technique, same exact technique works both ways.

Alright here’s a T-joint. I’m going to do the same thing here. Now you’ll notice here the stick outs a little long, cause I was trying to weld around a camera; I couldn’t really see it that well, but you’ll see when the lens is lifted it’s a pretty good result anyway. So, it’s pretty forgiving if you have everything else set up right. See that looks familiar – same technique, just barely loop back into the puddle, works on multi-pass welds just as well as single pass welds, anything horizontal, overhead, flat.

Another little tip for you, if you want to pick up your travel speed don’t overlap into the puddle, and just pause slightly at the top and make a series of U’s not overlapping into the puddle at all and you’ll actually pick up your travel speed by about 50%. This particular part – sometimes I do about 20 of them and they’re about 1-inch steel weld and a quarter-inch tubing, 18 inches long by about 4 inches, and I’ve got weld them all the way around. I’m looking for anyway to get done that I can.

Have you used or heard of this technique before? How successful have you been in using it for your welding projects?

Dylan Brown


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