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Judah

Here are some tips for beginners that will help produce much better welds.

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This is an excerpt from something I wrote for another website awhile ago that I think will be really beneficial if you are just a "garage welder" or new to the trade. Welding is incredibly useful and post SHTF it will be an amazing skill to possess. (If you can still get electricity!)

 

Here are some tips for you to remember while welding that will make your beads look great.

 

You will notice there are many welders who have been welding a long time and still make terrible looking welds of questionable strength and there are other welders that produce quality work consistently.

 

I was fortunate, or maybe naturally inclined enough, to pick up welding very quickly and exceed many experienced peoples' ability by following these rules:

 

  • Always run a practice bead on spare parts. This will tell you if you have your volts set correctly and your wire speed is correct.
  • Adjust heat and wire speed to the material thickness. If you are running very hot and moving to slowly, you will blow through your material if it is not very thick.
  • Always cut the wire cleanly before you start a new weld. This may seem rudimentary but it makes a big difference in your welds appearance, particularly your starts.
  • Make sure you are properly grounded before welding. A bad ground can really mess up the appearance of your weld and stop you in the middle of a bead.
  • Before even starting get comfortable. Just like a golfer practices his putt swing before actually executing it, practice your weld before you pull the trigger and make sure you can continue the bead as far as you need to in a comfortable steady position before you even pull the trigger. Adjust until you can brace your arm and remain comfortable and controlled for the entire length of the weld.
  • If your two pieces of metal are the same thickness than keep your weld lead (or gun) angled 45 degrees between them. You can also weave ever so slightly to make sure you are bonding both pieces and your weld is the same strength to both pieces of metal.
  • If one of your pieces is thicker than the other piece, always aim the gun slightly at the thicker piece and if possible allow the weld to drip down onto the thinner piece so you can run the gun hotter.
  • In addition to having the welder tilted at a 45 degree angle have your wrist slightly turned so the weld lead faces a little back and not straight on. Always pull the bead when possible instead of pushing. This eliminates the lumpy look from two much buildup.
  • When starting and stopping, stay on the spot for a slightly longer amount of time so you really get a good burn into the metal. This makes your welds look clean.
  • The most important thing in the whole process and what separates good welding from bad welding is to remember to keep your eyes on the puddle and keep the puddle width the same for the entire length of the weld. Adjust your travel speed accordingly by speeding up if the puddle is getting to big and slowing down if its to small.

Read more from this article here.

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