Becoming a better welder is something that will come naturally as you continue to practice your craft, but there are some tips that can help you elevate your abilities almost instantly.
1. Glob on for thick steel jobs
When you are welding material that is 1/8 inch thick or more, adjusting the voltage, temperature, and wire speed on your welder can produce a much higher quality finish. This is especially true when we’re talking about flat and horizontal fillet welds.
2. Shoot for globular transfer on a short arc
For dealing with a shorter arc (and not the standard short circuit), go for large globs of wire coming off the end of your welder. This will provide a much deeper penetrating well, though it will cause a bit more splatter.
3. Get rid of impurities
If you prepare the materials you’ll be welding, you will become a better welder pretty much immediately. Best preparation means removing paint, dirt, and other surface contaminants.
4. Understand your angles and master speed control
There are plenty of things to master when it comes to welding. That said, you’d be in a better place than most if you were able to control your angles, the direction of your welds, and the pace at which you perform.
5. Choose the right gases for your MIG welder
The right gas for MIG welds is almost always 100% carbon dioxide. You may want to shift to a more expensive shielding gas combination if the specifics of your project allow it.
6. Have plenty of electrodes to tackle any kind of job
Electrodes are necessary for welders, and the coatings are essential for protecting the metal and improving the weld. You’ll want to have all your electrodes close at hand so you can move forward with your welding project.
7. Master welding aluminum and you can weld almost anything
Aluminum is notoriously challenging to weld. Once you accomplish that, welding everything becomes a whole lot easier.
8. Mend high-strength steel with this tip
It is going to be a lot easier to mend high-strength steel when you preheat the material for an extended amount of time. The higher the carbon content of steel the more preheating you’ll have to do.
9. Diagnose cracked welds so you don’t make the same mistake later
Every time you weld material you have an opportunity to learn, including when your welds fail or don’t hold. Take these as opportunities to learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again later down the line.
10. Fight gravity at every opportunity
Gravity is always your enemy when welding. Do your best to hold your materials in the position best for the welds to form and not necessarily the way gravity wants to hold them.
In general, try to really zero in on high stress areas for your weld project and then reinforce them. This will not only help you perform better welding jobs, but it will have you thinking in depth about the project. In all cases, that’s going to lead to a better finished project.
We love to see welders improving their skills, and hope these tips are of use for you. If you want more, let us know!