Some Frequently Asked Questions
How many women do you know that weld?
I have been blessed to know many and all of them possess to some degree an attitude that says.” I don’t care what the world says, I’m going to be the best welder period..” As a man, I have often wondered about their obvious challenges such as, men looking at them as sex objects and treating them differently and of course, other women getting jealous of the other women. Notice that I did not mention their challenge being in their welding ability? What types of challenges do you think women have had since the beginning of this thing we call welding? Notice the photo on the main page and look at their equipment.
How easy is it to weld?
I have been asked that question many times and I usually answer with ” Its easy”, but I say that knowing it might not be for some people. It takes a fair amount of practice and it always varies from person to person.
- How much time you are willing to practice?
- How much patience do you have?
- Can you set up your machine correctly?
- Do you understand how your machine operates?
- Can you see yourself doing this in the future?
These are a few of the factors that need to be addressed to make welding easier for a person beginning to weld.
Are there any other tips you can provide for higher quality MIG welding?
Try a smaller diameter wire. Although the most common diameters of welding wire are .035″ and .045″, a smaller diameter wire usually will make it easier to create a good weld. Try an .025″ wire diameter, which is especially useful on thin materials of 1/8″ or less. The reason? Most welders tend to make a weld that is too big – leading to potential burnthrough problems. A smaller diameter wire welds more stable at a lower current which gives less arc force and less tendency to burn through. If you keep your weld current lower, you will have a greater chance of success on thinner materials. This is a good recommendation for thinner materials; but be careful using this approach on thicker materials (>3/16”) because there may be a risk of lack of fusion. Whenever a change like this is made, always verify the quality of the weld meets its intended application.
How important is a good electrical ground in MIG welding?
In arc welding, an arc is established from the electrode to the workpiece. To do this properly, the arc requires a smooth flow of electricity through the complete electrical circuit, with minimum resistance. If you crimp a garden hose while watering the lawn, the flow at the sprinkler head is much reduced. Beginning welders often make the mistake of attaching the work clamp (or electrical ground) to a painted panel or a rusty surface. Both of these surfaces are electrical insulators and do not allow the welding current to flow properly. The resulting welding arc will be difficult to establish and not very stable. Other telltale signs of an improper electrical connection are a work clamp that is hot to the touch or cables that generate heat. Another key point to consider when attaching the welding ground is to place the welding ground on the piece being welded. Welding current will seek the path of least resistance so if care is not taken to place the welding ground close to the arc, the welding current may find a path unknown to the operator and destroy components unintended to be in the welding circuit.