Before beginning to weld you must have a clean joint and your MIG welding machine must be set properly. I cannot stress this enough! MIG welding is very easy to learn but since it is a semi-automatic process much of the skill relies on machine set-up! Once you have that down you are ready to weld.
The 3 patterns that work the best are:
- The whip, a back and forth motion.
- Circles are a circular or oval motion.
- Weaving is a side to side motion.
The whipping technique is commonly used on fillet welds. It allows a narrow bead and gives good penetration. When whipping, the back and forth motion also helps control travel speed when doing stringer beads. This technique works well on fillet welds in all positions. This is especially true of fillet welds in the overhead position.
Circles are just that! This technique works well on fillet welds and grove welds in all positions. When doing circles you can go from a very small circle that is almost a steady motion to a larger circle that can wash the weld into the sides of the joint. The weld produced can range from narrow to moderately wide bead.
Weaving is a side to side motion that is typically used on grove welds or wider joints. This welding technique is most commonly used in the vertical up position. The reason for using this technique when welding vertical up is, it produces a shelf of weld to work upward on. MIG welding in the vertical up position produces a very convex weld. It is very difficult to make a flat or concave weld in the vertical up position unless the weld is wide. Vertical down is a different story and produces a flat to concave weld. The trick to welding downhill is to stay ahead of the puddle and weave quickly. If your travel speed is too slow, the puddle will roll over the joint, and not penetrate properly. Outside of weaving in the vertical position all of the other positions work well with the weave technique. When it comes to weaving most welders have one thing in common. Most pause on the sides of the joint. This helps spread out the weld and if you count the time when you pause you will produce a very consistent weld. An example of this is to say 1001, and then move to the other side and say 1002, and keep repeating this.
My name is David Zielinski and I am a Certified Welder. If you would like more information about MIG welding techniques then visit my website http://www.gowelding.org. All of the information is free and it is full of accurate, hard to find, real life welding tutorials!
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