Need mig welding tips

Discussion in 'Garages, Workshops & Tools' started by tspring1, Nov 12, 2011.


    JONESYFXR Veteran Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    There's a TON of info out there on welding. Everybody has thier own tips and techniques. I was taught to weld by a stock car frame builder/ fabricator. I also became goos friends with my local welding supply house. They occasionally offer weekend long welding classes. I've only been welding for a year, and I'd say I FINALLY have the hang of it now.


    My welder is a Lincoln 140T. I love the machine, it's only a 120V, but works great!!!


    The only advice I can say is....PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!! By good welding wire and take the time to prep your metal. I was getting scraps of steel and just welding them all together. It will take time, but you'll get it.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!
  2. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jonesfxr has the moat practical advice.

    It's really about practice, practice, practice.
    Get the basic information about your machine, make sure the materials you are welding are properly prepped and cleaned, double check you settings on your gas regulator when you pull the trigger not just sitting, make sure your machine settings are right for the feed and amps, and be consistent in your technique.

    The Miller Electric website has a great forum and links to How To videos and their channel on YouTube, for reference. Look for their basic techniquess and how to info and watch and listen to the sound during the processes.

    Go out and burn up some scraps and get the right "feel" for your machine and if possible, get someone experienced to watch and help you.
  3. azfabshop

    azfabshop Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Ditto what Kamakazi said.
    Millers website is top notch for learning, also the Hobart forum has some great people on there that are very helpful. have fun with it.
    I always tell friends to build a gate for the yard and by the time you get to the last picket you should have a good grasp on it, its not a critical weld, and the money you saved you can tell the old lady its already paid for itself.....then when you want a bigger one you got her sold on it usefulness!
  4. BigEd36

    BigEd36 Veteran Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Auburn, IN
  5. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Rustburg, Va
    Right!...the 25-30 mentioned earlier should be in CFH(cubic feet per hour) of gas flow(make sure you your gage isn't reading in Liters/Min). Typically this is ball park for these machines.

    What type of wire are you trying to run? "Most" of the FCAW wires run DCEN(DC electrode negative) while all of the the GMAW(solid wire) has to run on DCEP(DC electrode positive). Polarity makes a huge difference...make sure you have it set right for the wire that you're running.

    If the wire burns back into the either need more WFS(wire feed speed) or you have the voltage set too high. If you feel the wire pushing the gun back as you weld and there are large balls of spatter flying all around...either turn the voltage up or the WFS down. There is a balance that you need to achieve between the two setting to get the welder running correctly.

    Try to maintain the same ESO(electrical stick out)....these small machines are usually somewhere around 5/8" to 3/4" measured from the contact tip to the work. Try to have a steady hand and keep this variable constant. If you vary this dimension while you are welding, the voltage will fluxuate too much and you will be scratching your head trying to figure out the voltage/WFS settings.

    This should give you enough to get started...have fun, don't let the frustration get to you. Wire welding is fairly easy once you get the machine setup all figured out.
  6. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Rustburg, Va
    I see that Miller has been mentioned, but there are lots of resources at too....I'm not color loyal(blue or red) just throwing out another place to find info.
  7. PeterA

    PeterA New Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Australia, Qld, Toowoomba

    You need to set your wire feed speed properly. See here, setting your mig welder

    Gas flow rates should be around as low as say 12 L per min. Basically flow as little gas a possible. If there is not enough gas just turn it up more.

    Keep the distance from the metal that you are welding to the contact tip between 10-12mm which is 3/8" to 1/2". This is for short circuit low amperage situations. This will get you started.

  8. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Ouch......both my classes were 12 weeks long.
    $350 for Welding 101 (Oxy & Stick) and $450 for Welding 102 (MIG, TIG, Stick)
  9. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Rustburg, Va
    good illustrations of wire feed speed settings in that link Peter ;) are worth a thousand words.
  10. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    atlanta, ga
    MY turn!......grab 2 chuncks of STEEL (NOT sheetmetal) some refreshments :lush: long sleeve shirt or welding leathers and your #10 lens (helmet..whatever) play play play play..till you can lay a bead that looks ...OK.

    BY doing the above is a sure way that YOU will manipulate EVERY control on the machine AND SEE a direct relationship to its manipulation on your BEAD.


    more practice.....

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