Here are some tips on plasma cutters and how to make the best purchase choices. Flat-Position Welding Increases Welding Speed : It’s common knowledge that welding in a horizontal position will be the easiest and fastest way to weld. A flat position is not as taxing to maintain and the welding puddle will stay in place. Take some time to evaluate each project before beginning in order to make sure the majority of welds can be completed in this position. If a job calls for vertical welding, see this article about vertical welding. Core Wire Feeder Increases TIG Welding Speed: For professional welders hoping to speed up TIG welding, a core wire feeder will add filler metal through an automated process. Watch this video on how it works. This enables welders to work with both hands and to maintain a constant flow of wire into the welding puddle. Ed Craig at the Frabricator writes about the wire feeder process first developed in Europe, saying it is “suitable for all-position welding on materials of any thickness, the process addresses traditional GTAW limitations and can enhance both manual and automated TIG weld quality and productivity.”
Stick Welding — If you learned to weld years ago, you likely learned using an arc welder. Stick welding for many years has been the most popular method for most home-shop welding needs. This process uses an electric current flowing from a gap between the metal and the welding stick, also known as an arc-welding electrode. Stick welding is an effective method for welding most alloys or joints and can be used indoors and outdoors or in drafty areas. It’s also the most economical welding method and provides the ability to create an effective bond on rusty or dirty metals. However, this method is limited to metals no thinner than 18-gauge, requires frequent rod changing, emits significant spatter and requires that welds be cleaned upon completion. Stick welding is also more difficult to learn and use, particularly the ability to strike and maintain an arc. Arc welders are available in AC, DC or AC/DC, with AC being the most economical. It’s used for welding thicker metals of 1/16 inch or greater. These machines are a good choice for farmers, hobbyists and home maintenance chores.
One of the “cardinal sins” that almost every shop commits is over-welding. This means that if the drawing calls for a 1/4″ fillet weld, most shops will put down a 5/16″ weld. The reasons? Either they don’t have a fillet gauge and are not exactly sure of the size of the weld they are producing or they put in some extra to “cover” themselves and make sure there is enough weld metal in place. But, over-welding leads to tremendous consumable waste. Let’s look again at our example. For a 1/4″ fillet weld, the typical operator will use .129 lbs. per foot of weld metal. The 5/16″ weld requires .201 lbs. per foot of weld metal – a 56 percent increase in weld volume compared to what is really needed. Plus, you must take into account the additional labor necessary to put down a larger weld. Not only is the company paying for extra, wasted consumable material, a weld with more weld metal is more likely to have warpage and distortion because of the added heat input. It is recommended that every operator be given a fillet gauge to accurately produce the weld specified – and nothing more. In addition, changes in wire diameter may be used to eliminate over-welding. Searching for the best MIG Welders? We recommend Welding Supplies Direct & associated company TWS Direct Ltd is an online distributor of a wide variety of welding supplies, welding equipment and welding machine. We supply plasma cutters, MIG, TIG, ARC welding machines and support consumables to the UK, Europe and North America.
Get filler metal charts to let you choose correct rods for whatever materials you are welding: Alcotecs Aluminum filler metal chart . Go online to alcotec.com for an aluminum filler wire chart. You probably won’t find a filler metal chart that covers welding dissimilar metals so here is your filler metal chart right here: are you ready? Here it is… if it you don’t know what metal you are welding, but it sparks when you grind it, and it is not titanium, try using hastelloy W. or 312 stainless. Hastelloy W TIG welding rod has become extremely expensive. 312 stainless is also a very good rod choice for welding steel of unknown composition. For a critical weld, you should not just rely on 312 without knowing the metal type..you should determine the metal type for any critical weld.
A few TIG welders guides: how to become a better welder and how to choose the top welding equipment. How do I choose what size Tig Welding Rod should I use for the job? For sheet metal up to 1/8” thick, don’t use a welding rod that is bigger than the thickness of metal you are welding…at least not much bigger. A good example…is using a 3/32 rod for welding .040 metal. That will just give you a fit. The amperage is low and the weld puddle needs to be small in order to prevent blowing a hole…and then when you dip the rod into the puddle, the rod is a big heat sink and sucks the heat right out of the puddle making it hard to maintain a consistent size bead. But Beginners should probably not be practicing on really thin metal. If you are a beginner you should be practicing on around 1/8 ” thick metal, and the bigger the rod, the easier it is to feed. For 1/8 ” metal, Use larger diameter rods (3/32” to 1/8”) So here is the rule….thin metal, use a thin rod Thick metal, use a thicker rod. This might seem like a no brainer, but I have answered a lot of questions like this about the rod melting before it gets to the puddle. If torch angle and arc length are right, its usually the rod size.
Keep in mind that heavy-duty MIG welding often produces a lot of heat, sparks and spatter, and requires a lower degree of dexterity than some other forms of welding. Therefore, using thick, stiff leather gloves that provide a higher level of protection is smart. Similarly, choose leather footwear that covers your entire foot and leaves as little room as possible for spatter to fall along your ankle line. High-top leather shoes and work boots often provide the best protection. Finally, always be sure you have adequate ventilation per OSHA recommendations and check material safety data sheets (MSDS) for each metal being welded and filler metal being used. Use a respirator whenever required by the MSDS.
Do a practice run. This may sound silly, but you’ll find that many professional welders do this before every pass. Get in the most comfortable position you can, with support blocks in place if helpful, and run your hands along the path they will traverse as you make the weld. You will often find that a slight adjustment of your position will allow you to make a longer pass, or to move your hands with less stress. Any strain in your position will have a negative impact on the weld. Also, you build valuable muscle memory when making your practice run, which will help keep everything on track when you make the ‘real’ pass. Clean a contaminated electrode immediately! Every welder will contaminate their electrode at some point, but it’s essential that you replace a contaminated electrode immediately. I usually keep a group of pre-sharpened electrodes right on my welding bench, so I can swap them out without having to walk to my grinder. Source: https://www.weldingsuppliesdirect.co.uk/.