If you are learning how to weld, there is a lot to learn. There different types of welding, and many techniques you can use. The technique you use will depend on what you are welding. Here are some different welding techniques and tips you should learn so you can weld efficiently.

Thin Metal

Torch movement

The first thing you need to know about welding is the torch movement. If you don't move the torch properly, you won't get a good weld. A curved zig-zag motion is great for welding, especially if you are using thin metal. It's like moving the torch to draw a lightning bolt, but with a slight curve in the lines. As you curve around the previous line, it allows your weld to flatten, giving you a clean weld.

Tack welding

When trying to weld a seam, tack welding tends to work best. On the seam, you do dot weld to hold the seams together. Move along the seam and do another dot about an inch away. When it's time to weld along the seam, don't start at the dot that you made and work along like a child's dot-to-dot drawing. The tack weld will break and it will make your weld sloppy and unstable. Begin on the seam and weld over the tacks last.

Plug welding

Plug weld almost look like bolts holding together metal sheets. To do plug welds, you drill round holes in a metal sheet, evenly spaced apart. You overlap the seams of the metal that you are welding together, putting the holes on top of the other sheet. Weld the sheets together by welding inside of the holes. The liquid metal will fill the holes and bond the sheets. It will dry, and look almost like bolts are holding the metal together.

Thick Metal

Torch movement

When welding thick metal, you don't have to weave like a lightning bol to achieve a proper weld. You need as much heat as possible on your weld to penetrate the metal. As you weld, just move straight down the line. If you have an extremely powerful welder that seems to be penetrating the metal too quickly, then you can begin to zig-zag if you need to.

If you are unsure about what your welder can achieve, you can use this calculator to figure out the maximum thickness of metal that you can weld. You will need to input the minimum and maximum current your welder has in amps. Also input the number of power settings. Finally, choose either metric or imperial units and click submit. This way, you won't waste your time trying to weld metal too thick for your welder to handle.

Tips

Proper earth clamps

Old, rusty earth clamps will give you poor contact between the clamp and your welder. You need a clean and shiny earth clamp for the current to run through it properly. You also need to know if your weld clamps have thermal insulation. After welding for a while, the current running through the clamps will make them hot, much like when you have your light bulbs on in your house. You don't want to take the welding clamps off without gloves unless they have thermal insulation to keep them cool.  If your clamps are rusty, replace them to get a better weld.

Welding thin to thick

When welding thin metal to thick metal, it's difficult to penetrate the thick metal without completely vaporizing the thin metal. To achieve this goal, you need a high amp setting so you can weld the thick metal. Start on the thick metal to get a weld pool going. Once some of the metal is penetrated and melted, strike the thin metal, and jump right back to the thick metal before it melts too much.

Welding is not an easy job. You need proper techniques so your weld holds and looks good. Before you weld a large project, gather scrap metal to practice on. Practice welding thin metal, thick metal, and joining the two together. Also make sure you're working with the best equipment available from suppliers like Northland Fastening Systems

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