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  • How to Weld: We Unpack the Basics

    How to Weld: We Unpack the Basics

    Whether you’re a DIY welding hobbyist, just entered the profession, or if you’re a seasoned professional, it’s always nice to brush up on your welding knowledge.

    Below we unpack the basics of MIG and TIG processes and some general safety tips to ensure that you stay safe, informed, and equipped.

    Safety First

    These tips will help you make your job easier and more efficient:

    1. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job. The right tools will make your job easier, safer and faster. The right tools include the right protective clothing, welding helmet, chipping hammer , wire brush, G-Clamps and correct electrode for the application.
    2. When welding, ensure that you have enough space around you, so there is less chance of being hit by sparks. . If you work in a small area, try to weld with the welding arc away from you.
    3. Welding can be hazardous.You should always wear protective gear. This includes welding gloves, welding helmet, leather apron, skull cap, spats , suitable cotton protective clothing and leather shoes or boots. . Always make sure that you wear all of these items before you start.
    4. Ensure that there are no flammable liquids or gases in the area where you are welding, as the welding sparks can ignite them.
    5. Never touch the arc or welded metal as these are very hot and can burn you, even if you are wearing gloves. It is important that you let the arc do the work for you.
    6. Ensure that you have sufficient air flow and ventilation in the area you are welding.
    7. Ensure that all your protective clothing is dry and that the area you are standing in whilst welding is dry, to prevent the possibility of electrical shock.
    8. Keep your hands away from the arc. This will prevent them from getting burned.
    9. Close the cylinder valve when you are finished welding.10. Always turn off the power supply when you are done. The welding terminals are live and can cause an electrical shock when touched.Cut-N-Weld offers a wide range of safety accessories for the occasional hobbyist to the full-time professional welder.

    What You Should Know About MIG Welding

    MIG welding is an arc welding process in which a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a MIG welding gun and into the weld pool, joining the two base materials together. Shielding gas is also sent through the welding gun, protecting the weld pool and molten metal from contamination and oxidation.

    Ensure Your Wire is Feeding Properly

    Choosing the correct drive roll is essential to your wire’s continuous feed during the course of the MIG welding process. If there is not enough tension, it will result in a poor feed. If there are bends in the wire, it may also cause lost tension, so keep the MIG gun as straight as possible.

    Know the Correct Specs for the Job and your Equipment

    This includes knowing which kind of gas best accommodates your wire, be it argon, carbon dioxide or a mix of two or more gases. The job you’re working on dictates specific kinds of wires and gas. Additionally, the contact tip recess you use varies depending on the type of project you hope to complete. Generally, you want to increase the recess size in conjunction with the current.

    Point your Wire at the Leading Edge of the Weld Puddle

    For best accuracy during the MIG welding process, it is advisable to keep your electrode pointed at the leading edge (i.e., toward the metal that has not yet been welded) of the weld puddle or pool. Use a wire with a smaller diameter to keep the weld pool small and minimise drip if you’re working in an unusual position.
    Finally, to produce strong welds on thicker metal, bevel the joint to ensure the weld fully penetrates the base metal. This is especially important for butt welding joints.

    What you Should Know About TIG Welding

    TIG welding is a process that uses a tungsten electrode aided by a shielding gas, usually argon or helium, to fuse metal. This process is more precise than MIG welding but also takes longer. TIG welding is applied in all industrial sectors but is especially suitable for high-quality welding.
    Because the welder has less control over arc and weld pool behaviour, careful attention must be paid to edge preparation (machined rather than hand-prepared), joint fit-up and control of welding factors.

    Choose the Right Rod Size for the Job

    The thickness of the rod should ideally match the thickness of the metal you’re working on. You wouldn’t want to use a thick rod — say, 1/8 inch (about 3mm) in diameter — on a weak piece of metal because you could easily burn a hole through it with the shear heat of the rod relative to the sheet. One benefit of TIG welding is the utmost precision, but you still need the correct tools to reap the benefits thereof.

    Clean your Metal Beforehand

    If the metal is rusted, scaled, or painted, you’ll want to grind it down before using it. Unlike MIG welding, TIG welding is more easily compromised if the metal is dirty. Polishing the metal alone will not be enough and can result in a cheap-looking finished product if you take shortcuts in the preparation process.

    Ensure You Extend your Tungsten Electrode to the Right Length

    Having the tip of your electrode positioned at the proper length is critical to the weld pool.If the tip is not sticking out far enough, you won’t be able to see it — or, consequently, see where you’re welding the metal. On the flip side, if the tip is too far from the cup, the torch’s heat won’t be condensed enough around the area you’re trying to weld and may end up melting your rod into the weld.
    Now that we have unpacked the basics of how to weld, particularly the MIG and TIG welding processes, it’s important to use the right tools and products to get you off to a good start!
    At Cut-N-Weld, you can shop online for a wide variety of high-quality welding equipment, accessories, and consumables – everything you need to get started or as a welding professional. We also provide full-spec product and equipment brochures to ensure that you make an informed buying decision.

    Reach out to a Cut-N-Weld expert. 

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