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3 Things to Know to Improve Your Skills in Welding

Although traditionally when it comes to thinking about art most people think of paintings or music, there are many practical artforms that require just as much creativity and precision. Welding is one of those – it is highly practical, but the level of skill that is needed to achieve the right results is amazing.

If you are looking to start a DIY welding project in your own back yard, or moreover are a farmer and have a significantly larger task to complete involving welding, then continue reading to learn three things to know to improve your skills in welding.


1.   Always Prepare the Metal Beforehand

One of the primary mistakes which are commonly made during the welding process, by amateurs and professionals alike, is the failure to properly prepare the metal before welding.

Whether you are using one of the impressively efficient automatic welding machines, or else have a smaller tool which is ideal for the specific task in hand, always ensure that you remove any dried paint, dirt and rust from the material before you begin the welding process.


2.   Speed, Angle & Direction

As with any practical task, the exact precision of how you hold the tool and indeed how you administer the work is absolutely crucial when looking for a complete and flawless finish.

Four of the most important rules when it comes to completing a welding job to the highest of standards are as follows:

  • Hold the welding gun at an angle of ten to fifteen degrees in the exact direction in which you are pushing into the material to weld
  • Ensure the welding ridge is around a quarter of an inch behind the electrode of the tool and watch the speed of the weld.
  • With MIG (metal inert gas) you should push the wire and with FCW (flux-core wire) you should pull the wire
  • Always ensure that the welding arc itself always remains in the around one third of the area of the entire welding pool


3.   Learn Why Welds Can Crack

Finally, the third most important thing to know when carrying out a welding task of any kind is to remember why welds crack and do everything you can to avoid this.

Some of the most common reasons why a welding job can crack and bleed (and therefore become unstable) include a weld which is deeper than it is wide, insufficient heating of the material before welding commences and a failure to complete a welding job by filling in any and all craters.

In addition, if during the welding process hollow or concave beads are formed, the weld can appear strong and stable, yet over a short time can form a serious crack straight down the middle of the bead. Keep in mind that rigid materials and individual parts are far more prone to become cracked and ultimately corroding, so when working with more rigid materials, ensure that you leave a 1/32 of an inch gap between each individual plate. This will allow for movement and shrinkage once the welding has been completed.

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