Mig Welding Basics part 5  getting some good practice

if you missed part 4, its right here

go here for mig basics part 6

This is mig welding basics part 5 - getting some practice running beads

Its important to know process fundamentals, and even a bit of welding metallurgy. But...

The backbone of building welding skill is being able to run a good bead....

A bead that looks good...and IS good.

And the way to bet better at running a weld bead is PRACTICE.

Not just running beads "all willy nilly".  But with intention.

Paying attention, trying to get better with each bead, inspecting each bead and making adjustments to correct little things.

The best way I know to get some good mig welding practice is padding beads.

Why padding beads?
because it requires very little metal, very little prep time.

Most of your time is spent under the hood....getting seat time....exactly what you need.

But where do you get metal for practice?

Unless you work at a place where there is available scrap for you...or you know of a job shop that will sell you scrap metal, finding practice metal can be a pain.

But there is an easy option.

Not free, but certainly convenient and reasonable.

A little know resource for welders is the James F Lincoln Foundation. 

You can find it at Jflf.org

The Lincoln Foundation is a non profit arm of Lincoln Electric and offers educational materials as well as even some metal project kits.

Some time ago, I encourage folks to get the "Metals and how to weld them" book from JFLF.org

Well, its the same website.  when you are there, look on the left for "project kits" and then look for the kit with small pieces of practice metal.

I ordered several and got the price break... Lots more videos in the works you know.

Anyway back to this mig welding basics video.

After you are comfortable running beads...like you can run beads in your sleep...you might want to try your hand at welding some thinner sheet metal.

I welded some 16 ga in this video and because I would recommend welding all thin sheet metal downhill when possible, that is how I positioned it.

Of course, you will need to turn both voltage and wire speed down for mig welding thinner metal.

The thinnest sheet i welded for this video was 18 ga which measured about .048" (1.1mm) 

Using .024" wire, it went OK.  Welding thin sheet metal is where you can benefit from an infinitely adjustable voltage knob.  This little hobart 210 mvp has click settings also called tap settings on the voltage.

The wire speed on my hobart 210 is infinitely adjustable so I was able to find a pretty good setting for welding the 18 ga downhill .

And by the way, this aint no commercial for Hobart cause they have forgotten I exist...but its  just an observation that everyone wants to know...This welder runs pretty sweet with .024" wire.