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Any Professional/Expert MIG Welders Here?

Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior MemberPosts: 7,875 Senior Member
edited January 12 in Clubhouse #1
Without any knowledge or experience, 3 years ago I bought a Hobart MIG welder Handler 190. It is a nice welder, and I have learned about safety, operating the machine, and have done some practice welding and a few projects I wanted to do for myself. I have the inert gases for Aluminum and steel welding, and I have the spoolgun for the aluminum wire. I took an online course that taught me a lot, but I still have trouble making nice clean welds. I get spatter, burn through, lumpy welds, etc. There are adjustment specs for voltage and wire speed on the inside cover, but those settings never seem to be quite accurate for the job I'm trying to do. I have watched a lot of Youtube videos on MIG welding, but they go so fast that I probably would need to watch each one 5 times before it all sinks in.
My question is: I want to improve my technique for MIG welding, so is there a source for MIG welding instruction that would be better than watching Youtube videos? There is a tech school in my area, but I have no need for a year and a half class that leads to certification, when I'm not looking for a job in the industry, and all I want to do is improve my technique in this one area of welding so I can make clean welds.

JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!

Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,776 Senior Member
    It was a LONG time ago that I worked in a welding shop and did a lot of MIG welding.  I was never good at the actual settings (we welded the same steel for the same jobs- never really changed our settings), since we were building bumpers and grill guards.  

    The one suggestion I would give is to check is wind.  Spatter, bumpy, and pourous welds can easily happen if the shielding gas is blown away- and it does not take much to blow out the shielding gas.  Make sure you don’t have a fan running, and that the doors to the shop are not letting in a breath of wind.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,009 Senior Member
    Noel, you still have the same phone nr ? much easier to talk than type up pages, will call ya tomorrow.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    What Bullsi said about shielding gas getting blown away is  on the money. Welding inside or putting up a temporary three sided shield of 2x4s and plastic will cut down on that shielding gas being blown away. I always did all welding, including stick welding, in the shop whenever possible to avoid that 'wind drift'.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    jaywapti said:
    Noel, you still have the same phone nr ? much easier to talk than type up pages, will call ya tomorrow.

    JAY

    Yes, the phone # is the same, but I don't always hear it ringing, as I don't carry it all the time, unless I'm in my truck. If you call me leave a message and I'll call you back....thanks
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    It was a LONG time ago that I worked in a welding shop and did a lot of MIG welding.  I was never good at the actual settings (we welded the same steel for the same jobs- never really changed our settings), since we were building bumpers and grill guards.  

    The one suggestion I would give is to check is wind.  Spatter, bumpy, and pourous welds can easily happen if the shielding gas is blown away- and it does not take much to blow out the shielding gas.  Make sure you don’t have a fan running, and that the doors to the shop are not letting in a breath of wind.

    You may be on to something. One of the jobs I did was welding new fenders onto an aluminum trailer that had blown one of them off while I was on a trip somewhere. I have a shed that I work in that is 20x24, but is too small to bring the trailer inside with all the other stuff I have in there, so I was working outside. I tried to compensate for the breeze outside by upping the flow on the gas regulator, but maybe that wasn't enough. As for the settings I had parts of the trailer that I was welding sheet metal to part of the framework and other parts that was 2 plates being welded together, so I need to understand how to change settings on the fly. I may have to also close the shed door while I weld too, to keep outside wind from deflecting the gas flow. I do worry about inhaling toxic gases, but I can wear a respirator if I have to.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    What Bullsi said about shielding gas getting blown away is  on the money. Welding inside or putting up a temporary three sided shield of 2x4s and plastic will cut down on that shielding gas being blown away. I always did all welding, including stick welding, in the shop whenever possible to avoid that 'wind drift'.

    Yeah, I agree. If I had been able to pull the trailer inside my shed, it could have been OK, but I didn't have much choice unless I moved everything portable out of the shed. Maybe next time I could set up a temporary wind shield in front of the work. I got a lot of good information from Jay today, so I'll be trying some of his suggestions next time I weld.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I HIGHLY recommend a respirator for welding with MIG and stick welding. I didn't wear one for a long time and some of my 'whole body counts' at the nuke plant for radiation uptake showed some nasty things going on as to metal and other stuff inside me from welding.  Scared me straight, as it were.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    I recently got one of those 2-filter face respirators, and I plan on using it next time I do some welding.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,745 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    I HIGHLY recommend a respirator for welding with MIG and stick welding. I didn't wear one for a long time and some of my 'whole body counts' at the nuke plant for radiation uptake showed some nasty things going on as to metal and other stuff inside me from welding.  Scared me straight, as it were.
    Wow. Who knew? I haven't run a bead in almost 40 years, but back in the day I was a passible stick welder. Nothing extra, but I could get basic stuff done. Never heard nor knew about this, that burnt metal smell was kinda cool!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    You don't want to go bare-faced if you weld Galvanized steel. It emits poisonous fumes when welded.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,745 Senior Member
    edited January 15 #12
    You don't want to go bare-faced if you weld Galvanized steel. It emits poisonous fumes when welded.
    That much I know, but not much more! Another one I just found out about: Don't burn/heat brake cleaner - like start welding on something you've just cleaned with same, before it flashes off. Phosgene gas is the result - don't spray it onto a hot, or soon to be hot, exhaust manifold either!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,875 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    You don't want to go bare-faced if you weld Galvanized steel. It emits poisonous fumes when welded.
    That much I know, but not much more! Another one I just found out about: Don't burn/heat brake cleaner - like start welding on something you've just cleaned with same, before it flashes off. Phosgene gas is the result - don't spray it onto a hot, or soon to be hot, exhaust manifold either!

    Absolutely......any chlorinated solvents will do that. It can kill you. For cleaning metal before welding it's best to use Acetone, but the best policy is to not weld or use open flames on anything you have sprayed organic solvents on until you're sure they are completely dry. Almost all of them are either flammable or very toxic.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
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