Mig Welding Techniques for Edge Welds

You can use all the fancy mig welding techniques you want but none will make as much difference as just using a block of copper as backing material for building up the edge of anything.

Copper is almost mystical.

It makes such a big difference because it is a heat sink, it does not stick to the steel, and because it helps trap shielding gas and so it just makes any edge weld come out better.

I have already covered corner, and lap joints so this week its edge joints but the only problem is that edge joints are not very common.

But edge welds...build up on edges to replace worn or damaged metal..is pretty common.

One common weld repair that comes to mind is weld build up repair of a set of tiller tines.

I wouldnt normally go to the effort or expense to weld build up a set of tiller tines so let me set the stage for how I came to weld my first set of these.

I worked for a company for several years where it was common practice to do "G jobs".

The term "G job" was short for "Government Job" which was code for "personal job"....your own personal project brought in to work to use company time and materials.

right or wrong...It was part of the culture.

On my first day working for that company I welded several G jobs for other people in different departments...a 4130 recumbent bike, a pancake griddle, a titanium caribeener, and an aluminum boat prop.

There was no limit to how much time would be devoted to fixing or fabrication all kinds of things that had nothing to do with making the company a profit.

Looking back at all the pay cuts and things like retirement fund funny business , I dont really regret any "G job" I ever did. It almost seemed like the very last benefit that the company could not really take away.

People could actually bring in a damaged aluminum boat prop, have the paint blasted off, dings and gouges welded up and blended off, have it high speed balanced, and repainted with aircraft quality paint.


Anyway, one day my boss handed me a whole set of tiller tines. They were worn bad ...and He asked me to build them up with a mig welder.

IT seemed pretty dumb to me to spend all that time and materials to build up tiller tines with a mig gun but when you are the new guy, you are not really in a position to question policy.

So I heated up a piece of 1/8" thick copper sheet to red hot to anneal it. Then dunked it in a bucket of water so it was real soft...then hammered it to the same shape as the tiller tines and used it as backing and clamped the copper backing on using a pony spring clamp.

Worked great.

so now , thats why I am sharing these mig welding techniques with you.

use copper backing. it makes a difference.

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