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Overview of MIG Welding

MIG welding

Selecting the right MIG welder for the job is probably the most important thing you can know.  MIG welders come in a 1-Phase, Combination 1 & 3 Phase, and 3 Phase.  1-Phase MIG welders has a typical 115 or 230 VAC and are used in home garages, body shops, on farms and ranches, small maintenance, general repairs, and light fabrications.  The 1 & 3 Phase MIG welders are great if you require a little more flexibility in your welding.  They are great for all the same things as mentioned in the 1-Phase MIG welders and can also be used in light manufacturing.  The 3-Phase MIG welders are generally used in manufacturing and fabrication.

MIG Welding has its advantages and disadvantages, although the advantages far out weigh the disadvantages.  Take a look.

MIG Welding advantages
– Higher productivity due to time saved by not having to constantly change rods or chip plus not having to brush the weld repeatedly.
– Not difficult to learn and master
– Makes a great appearing weld
– Little clean up
– Can weld on a variety of metals (stainless, mild steel, and aluminum)
– Can weld in any position
– Simple techniques
– Continuously fed wire
– Operator has a better ability to concentrate on arc control.
– Can weld quicker and with more efficiency
– Minimal weld defects
– Produces little to no slag

MIG Welding Disadvantages
– Beings it is faster and there is no need for constant changing rods or chips, it leaves no casual down time (excuse) to take a break, respond to a text or phone call, or have an excuse to chat with co-workers or mess around.
– The bottle of shielding gas can be bothersome.
– The cost of replacing tips and nozzles.
– Material has to be free of rust or dirt to get a good weld.
– Does not deliver proper penetration for thicker steel to deliver a solid weld.

You can achieve a better control of your weld bead if you keep the wire directed in the leading edge of the weld pool.  When welding in awkward positions use the smallest wire diameter you can and keep your weld pool small for better bead control.  In addition, if you keep your gun liner and gun nozzle clean of splatter you will have a cleaner looking weld.  Use both your hands to keep the weld gun steady and keep the gun as straight as possible to avoid poor wire feed and a smoother weld.  Keep the tension on the wire feeder just tight enough to allow feed, but do not over tighten.  Moreover, remember always to make sure you are wearing all of the appropriate safety welding gear.  Safety should always be your top priority.

Ed C.


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