MIG welding Tips and tricks - part 2
One of the main reasons to MIG weld is the cost effectiveness of it. It has a higher transfer efficiency than stick welding (only about 60%). It also has greater speed, reducing labor costs. But people often think that welding MIG is most expensive, when it is not. One of their main concerns is shielding gas consumption. Yes, shielding gas is a major expense to consider while MIG welding, but if you know how to adjust the MIG welding gas, instead of reading it from some chart, it will help you keep shielding gas cost to a minimum. To adjust gas flow correctly, it will take a couple of minutes and a scrap piece of metal to run a few test beads on. This will only consume a minimal amount of gas during this adjustment process, so, don’t worry. But to begin, crack the adjustment open on the argon regulator until the gauge registers and/or the ball briefly floats. This will get you a starting point. Try to weld with the MIG gun. Watch for any bubbles while welding, or irregular arc, with a lot of smoke and sparks. This indicates in adequate flow. To determine the exact flow rate, you can squeeze the trigger with the wire speed turned down and watch the ball or gauge. This will give you an idea of where you are at. After that, make sure you have readjusted the wire feed, and then turn the gas up a little at a time, each time about a ¼ to ½ turn each time until the bubbles and sparking goes away and the metal is left bright. Once this is reached, you may add a just ¼ turn more for an added margin in case of a draft or breeze that may be flowing. Outside welding will require a significant amount more gas flow than indoors, so if you’ve adjusted for indoor use, and move to outdoor locations, repeat this process. Add a good bit more insurance room will be required though so add as much as another turn to insure good coverage, and if possible put up a tarp to block the wind. If you can’t swing a tarp or get entirely out of the wind, keep yourself close to the weld and MIG gun and use your back as a shield against the breeze.