New welders often struggle with the little details and the small issues in the process of building their skills. For Mig welders, there are several little things that can plague your weld quality and the performance of the welder itself. Whether you're already struggling with little issues or you are just getting started and trying to be as proactive as you can, there are a few things that you should always consider when you pick up that welder. Here's a look at a couple of important considerations:
You Need Solid Ground
While you DO need to keep the project you're welding stable, the solid ground, in this case, doesn't refer to the foundation that the project is sitting on. It refers to the ground clamp that you're using with your welder. If the machine doesn't get a solid, strong ground, it's going to sound stuttery and jumpy, almost like rapid gunfire. This actually hinders the performance of the welder, giving you a somewhat uneven weld.
The most frequent cause of a poor ground is the design of many of the newer ground clamps. Many of them are crafted from steel and have only a small patch of copper on the ends of the clamp. If the copper isn't making solid, consistent contact, you'll have issues with the welder. Instead, invest in an older-style clamp that is fitted with complete copper ends. If you can't find one, strip some copper wire and create a copper rope that you can place between the clamp end and your welding surface.
It's Important To Control Your Tip
Another common problem that novice welders run into is poor control of the tip and the stick out. If the tip is extended too far before it reaches the arc, you're going to see clumped welds, which is just messy. The only time a long stick out, or long distance from the tip to the arc, is good is if you're welding thin sheet metal. Otherwise, you want to try to keep it fairly close to the tip and the arc. That'll ensure a clean, sharp weld on thicker materials.
Consider A Darkening Welder's Helmet
If you've ever found yourself so wrapped up in what you're doing that you've almost forgotten to drop your hood before welding something, you should consider investing in a welder's helmet that darkens automatically, based on a sensor recognizing the presence of the arc. This ensures that you never put your eyes at risk by forgetting to drop the hood.
Contact a company like Vern Lewis Welding Supply Inc for more information and assistance.