MIG Welding Techniques, Tips, And Tricks | Advice for Better Welds & More Efficient Work

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The steps on becoming a great welder takes lots of practice. Here are some MIG welding tips for an easy and smooth process. When you have a reliable machine it could come in handy. Whether its portable or easy to use, a good welder can go a long way. A good welder is needed in any field. They help anywhere from garages and machine shops. The high performance of welders creates an efficient workforce. 

There’s a variation of level and skill that comes with welding. Do not worry about tools because we will assist with our list of top-rated welders for beginners. Once you get the basics down, welding can be an enjoyable skill. Continue reading to see how improving your welding skills can help you. 

1. Clean, Clean, Clean 

crisp clean weld in geometric shapes

The MIG weld can be prone to damage if there is a dirty surface. The common cause to porosity is when the surface is oily and full of dirt. When the dust particles are trapped in the weld it can create holes in the weld. This can mimic a sponge-like texture when there are holes. 

These holes can slow down the function of the weld. In order for the weld to be used properly its best to prepare in advance.

Remove rust and dirt on the surface because there may be contaminants that are beyond visible. It’s important to clean inwardly and outwardly for the weld. 

2. Get a Great Ground

A common mistake with the weld is when the welder disregards the ground. The gun needs to have a consistent sound. It should not be sputtering because it is a sign of a faulty weld. There must be a smooth sound to keep the weld going. 

There’s a common flow of electricity for the weld. Sometimes the weld may act up with resistance. If so it means the welding ground is not properly taken care of. In order to fix this you can connect the clamp to metal near the arc. It is vital the welding ground is near the arc because the currents can move around. 

3. Keep Your Stickout Short

In order to upkeep your weld all it takes is small adjustments. With small alterations your weld will be more efficient. Keeping your stick out short will make the biggest difference in your welding. 

A fundamental rule is to create space between the wire. This distance will allow the wire to stick out. You have to make sure the wire is sticking out at the end of the contact tip. This will be between ¼ inch and ⅜ inch. 

4. Use Both Hands

use both hands to weld

In order to have a fast fix use both hands. This will create easier assistance for your welding skills. Utilize one hand for the neck of the gun. The other hand should be placed on the trigger. 

Make sure to be confident when using the weld. Have your hand near the weld. Sometimes the weld can get hot so you may want to use the glove. The heavy welding glove can be useful to protect any possible burns. 

Use the best bench vise you can afford to keep smaller workpieces secured while you are welding.

5. Listen to Your Welder

Listen constantly for any indications of damage. The welder is sensitive and needs to be checked. A steady buzz is a good sign that the welder is in good condition. There are different variations of sound that you can be looking for. 

Check your voltage settings constantly. If you start hearing a hiss sound your voltage may be too high. A loud raspy sound means that the voltage is too low. A crackling sound is like a machine and can indicate too high of a setting. 

6. Keep the Arc up Front

The arc is part of the welding process. It is conjoined metals that contracts electricity. It provides electrical currents and is important for the welder. The arc is held by the electrode holder.  

When you keep the arc in front it can improve penetration. The best way to do this is by allowing the arc to lead at the edge. The only time you wouldn’t do this is if there is a thin sheet metal. You would want to place the arc in the back to stop any burn-through. 

7. Match Drive Rolls, Gun Cable Liner, Contact Tip to the Wire Size

bronze cap and silver wire

Sometimes basic matching can be overlooked. Matching drive rolls is important for the cable liner to function. The gun cable liner is a simple, but essential part of the MIG gun. It connects the welding wire from the wire feeder. If this task doesn’t work the gun can be useless in the welding process. 

Make sure you align the grooves in the proper place so you don’t change the wire of the diameter.

If you’re trying to see the diameter it can be hard to get the right size. This serve can apply to the gun cable and contact size. 

8. Push or Pull

In order to use the machine you have to push the gun forward. The gun needs to be near the direction of the weld. Use your forehand in slow motion to create friction. This type of welding can enable penetration with a flat surface. 

Another method can be through the backhand. It creates immense pressure for the weld. It needs to be either narrow and high by being placed in the center of the board. 

The method you can choose is based on the thickness of the metal. It depends on how much you want to weld and how deeply you need to go through the weld. 

9. Watch When Welding out of Position

Welding is most efficient when you have a set direction. The welding position is important to maintain a sense of control. You can either choose to weld vertically, horizontally, or overhead. 

In order to do this keep the weld specifically small. This will allow you to have stable weld bead control. This can be done once you use the smallest diameter size. This will make the welding process fast and efficient. 

10. Tasks to Finalize Before Before You Start

Replace Contact Tips Liberally 

It’s good to keep contact tips ready for use in welding steel. They are fairly cheap and can be easily replaced. You want to be careful of an old contact tip. Worn out contact tips can lead to a damaged arc. If the tip touches the weld pool it should be replaced as soon as possible. When you utilize 100 pounds of wire it is useful to change the tip. 

Select the Proper Drive Roll and Tension Setting to Effectively Feed Wire

Steel welders need the proper drive roll or it can lead to bad wire feeding. You want to make sure you check the size and condition of the wire you select. You can release tightness in the proper drive rolls by letting the drive rolls go. Allow the fun to be straight as possible to prevent any kinking in the cable. 

Read Your Bead

The welding bead can say a lot about your weld. The steel weld is dependent on a stable bead. The first indicator is the shape of the bead. A convex-shape or ropy bead can mean that your setting may be too cold for thickness. When there isn’t enough heat being produced you may need to change this style. A concave-shape shows that there is an issue with the heat distribution.

12. Remember That the Best Mig Welding Operator Is a Safe One 

If you do welding improperly it can be dangerous. Take safety precautions to prevent any further injury or damage. Hazards can look like any electric shock, fumes, and gas. The best MIG welders are a good choice of safety. 

It’s important to cover your head and wear closed-toed shoes. The fabric you’re wearing plays a big role in your safety. Make sure you’re using flame resistant fibers. Do not wear items that will melt when struck by metal spatter. Avoid wearing anything that leaves skin exposure. The slightest exposure can create skin damage. Skin protection is the best protection for MIG welding. 

13. Do Your Research Before You Set up Your Equipment 

arc welding two pieces

The best form of preparation is research. Conduct research for the specific wire of your choice. Also on what type of welding you want to find. For instance, if you’re looking for a clean and refined weld TIG welders is the best choice.

You want to make sure that you have the correct parameters before starting. Begin with the manufacturer’s suggested measurements and start from there. 

After that you want to make sure your diameter is best suited for the wire. Without compatible shielding your wire may not be as efficient. Be aware to not have a large stick out because that can make your weld cold. Create a leveled amperage with low-voltage penetration for a stable arc. 

14. Make Sure All of Your Connections Are Sound Before Getting Started 

Double check your connections are tight before you begin welding. If you don’t check it can slow down your whole welding process. Make sure the power pin is attached to a reliable source. A good tip for a steel welding is that you need to have the arc close. 

Make sure to regularly clean around the cable and to check your ground. Your ground is the foundation of your process. Without the ground you can create overheating. Also clean all the shavings from all the welding debris for a clean work space. 

About the Author Gregory

Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!

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