A single-phase power supply is the most common forms of mains supply. It is only in industrial units and manufacturing plants that you will find a three-phase power supply. Most small and medium businesses run on single-phase power supply as well. It thus makes sense to have a good idea about machines that are available in both single-phase and three-phase versions. Welders are common examples of such machines. More…
Upgrading to MIG welding setup will allow professional welders to expand their services as well as offer high-quality results to their customers. MIG welding has a wide number of uses, often only limited by creativity. MIG welders also have high duty cycles and in conjunction with high deposition rates, they allow a user to work efficiently and fast. There is also little need for post weld cleaning and almost none for post weld brushing or grinding. This translates to higher productivity and higher return on investment. They are equally good in a permanent workshop as they are in a portable setup that is commonly seen in industries like agriculture, mining, etc. More…
Word on the street is that MIG is one of the easiest processes to learn!
The buzz is right in our opinion. MIG welding is an easy process to master. Get you parameters such as amperage and wire speed right, select the correct consumables and all you really have to it control your torch to lay a nice bead.
Following these steps, most people can learn to run good beads with MIG in a few hours. But there’s more to great MIG welding than just running beads, isn’t there? Well, this blog series won’t focus on end goal, we’ll talk your through the process. It’s a bit like the cliche every sporting coach pulls out every week in their press conference – “We’re focussing on the process”.
In the first blog of our series, we’ll focus on how to get everything set up and ready to go with your MIG welder. Preparation is key people!
GET TO KNOW THE MACHINE
A MIG welder is made up of a few different parts and its important to at least know the basics of your machine. Otherwise, it’s a bit like getting in a car and having no idea what does what – Sadly, we’ve seen a few examples of this!-
The Welder: Contains a spool of wire and a series of rollers that push the wire out to the MIG Torch. From time to time, the wire feed might jam up. Don’t panic is this happens, but you do need to know how to fix the isse. Open up you machine and check inside to sort it out. The spool of wire should be held on with a tension nut, tight enough to keep the spool from unraveling, but not so tight the rollers can’t pull the wire from the spool.
The Gas Tank: If you are using a shielding gas with your MIG welder, there will be a gas tank behind the MIG. The gas will either be 100% Argon or a mix of Argon and CO2, which will shield the weld as it forms.
The MIG Torch: This is the business end of the welder. The torch comprises a trigger to control the wire feed and flow of electricity. At the end of the gun is a tip, which will vary in size to fit whatever diameter wire you are welding with. Tips are a consumable item and can cheaply be replaced.
The Ground Clamp: The ground clamp completes the circuit between the welder, the welding gun and the project. You only need one clamp from the welder attached to your piece to weld, or onto a metal welding table. Make sure it is making good contact.
KNOW YOUR TOOLS: This video about the Cigweld Weldskill MIG Series takes you through a typical set-up procedure for a MIG welder
MIG welding is a safe form of welding, so long as you follow these steps to protect yourself and your welder.
Wear a welding mask: Any form of arc welding produces an extremely bright light, so you need to protect your eyes. Make sure where a Australian Standard approved aut-darkening welding helmet. The auto-darkening feature will kick in as soon as your arc starts and will darken the visor on your helmet far quicker than you can blink, ensuring you will not suffer any damage to your eyes. Failure to properly protect your eyes can result in welder’s flash, which is not a good thing and can result in permanent eye damage. Ensure your helmet has a minimum shade rating of 11 when MIG welding. You may need to think about protecting others too. Ensure others in the room are wearing eye protection before you MIG weld, or consider purchasing welding curtains to contain the light. As with helmets, ensure your curtains are Australian safety standard approved.
Wear gloves and leathers: You need to protect yourself from molten metal splattering off of your work. Wear whatever gloves you feel comfortable with, as well as leathers to protect your skin from the heat. If not leathers, wear clothing made from cotton as this won’t burn or melt.
Wear boots: Do not wear open toed shoes or synthetic shoes – boots are the way to go.
Well ventilated area: Welding produces fumes, which you shouldn’t breathe in if you can help it. Wear a mask if it’s going to be a long job. Professional welders should consider a fume extraction system
Fire safety: Keep a tidy area for welding so you don’t risk fire from the molten metal and grinding sparks. Always keep a CO2 fire extinguisher in the workshop just in case.
LAYING BEADS: It’s important to safely clothe yourself and set up your area before you begin MIG welding.
STEP 3: PREP YOUR WELD
Next, it’s time to set up your welder and the piece you’ll be working on.
The Welder: Make sure the valve to the shielding gas is open and flowing through the regulator at the correct level. Turn the welder on, with the grounding clamp attached to your welding table or directly to the piece of metal. Then make sure you have the proper wire speed and power setting.
The Metal: For the best results, take a couple of minutes to clean your metal and grind down any edges being joined.
With everything set up, safely, you’re ready to weld. Stay tuned for part 2 where we’ll take you through the welding process step by step. Inspired to buy a MIG welder? Check out our full range at eWelders.com.au.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to welding. So it pays to know the difference between the key types of welding and which is best for your application. Here, we delve into the pros and cons of gas and gasless MIG welding.
MIG welding is not only one of the simplest forms of welding, it delivers great results when done right. There are two types: gas shielded (gas) and self shielded (gasless). As you might have guessed from their names, the gas shielded requires external shielding gas, while the self shielding doesn’t. Instead a gasless welder using a flux-cored wire relies on a continuous, tubular wire feed. The flux includes vapour-forming compounds that provide the gas shield needed to protect against oxidation.
While this sounds simple enough, the presence of gas makes a difference to the welding process and result – so it’s worthwhile taking the time to choose the right type for your application.
Take a look at the pros and cons of a gas and gasless welder for various factors:
Unlike their gas counterpart, gasless MIG welders don’t require external shielding gas. This makes them a good choice for welding out of doors or on the move, as you don’t need an external gas tank. Also, gas MIG welders are not suitable for windy locations, as any loss of shielding gas will create porosity in the weld bead and impact its integrity. So if you’re welding out of doors, gasless MIG welding may be your better bet. You don’t need to set up any windshields as the shielding gas is conveniently generated from the burning flux.
It is important to consider your location when weighing up which welding process to use.
Gas MIG welders are good to use in out-of-position applications. For example, when welding overhead or vertically upwards, the gas shielded flux cored wire has a flux coating that solidifies faster than the molten weld materials to create a shelf that holds the molten pool.
A gasless MIG welder provides excellent penetration and longitudinal strength. However the result will depend on the MIG machine you choose. Some go down low enough to weld very thin materials and some don’t.
Gasless MIG welders don’t have as a fast a deposition rate as those using a shielding gas. The welding speed is similar to that of arc welding.
There’s no dount that a key selling point of Gasless MIG welding is its convenience. Not only is it more portable, but you also don’t have to make your materials clean and shiny before welding. Thanks to the extra goodies in the flux, gasless MIG welders let you weld straight through surface rust, paint, galvanized surfaces and so on. This makes it a good option for industry applications. Also there’s no need to rent a gas cylinder.
You might notice gasless welding creates more fumes, but this is easily handled with the right protection.
The bottom line?
A gasless MIG welder is a great tool to have in the workshop – convenient, easy to use and did we mention convenient? But for overall weld quality most serious welders will tell you that Gas MIG product better results. THe ideal option is to have a welder the can do Gas and Gasless and the good news is that there is a huge range of gas-gasless machines on the market these days.
Click this link to have a look at our single-phase MIG welders, most of which will do gas and gasless MIG welding.