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MIG welding basics part7 - Vertical uphill Tee joint drill

Mig welding is considered to be the easiest type of welding to learn.
But Mig welding uphill is where things get much harder.

Gravity will try its best to make a vertical uphill weld droop and sag.

And add to that fact the tendency of a welder to lean the gun back as well as hold too long a  stickout in order to see the puddle, and you have some problems to overcome.

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But there is some good news…

Just pay attention to a few things and vertical uphill welding can work out ok for you. These few things make a lot of difference.Once you get a handle on them, its just practice from there on out.


Quick Tips for Mig Welding Uphill

  • Having the welding machine set right…that means hot enough but not too hot.  For the uphill welds in this video, I used 19.5 volts and 245 ipm using .035" er70s6 wire.that was hot enough for me to see the puddle melting in to the root of the joint, but not so hot that I couldn't control the puddle and prevent it from sagging.
  • Keep the stickout short.  I say this all the time and for clarification, the stickout is the distance between the contact tip and the puddle...For short circuit mig, a stickout of 1/2" or less really helps to provide adequate arc force to make the puddle penetrate and not pile up too much.
  • Don't get carried away with gun angle.  the tendency is for a weldor to lean the gun back because it helps in seeing the puddle…gets the nozzle out of the way. Try to use a 90 degree gun angle. Even when you shoot for 90 degrees you will lean the gun back 5 degrees or more and that is about right.
  • Use a technique that keeps the arc on the front of the puddle.  I know I sound like a broken record but doing this is key to making sound  mig welds.
  • Check your nozzle contact tip setup.  some mig guns have the contact tip recessed 1/8" or more.  I think manufacturers do that because flux core welding and spray transfer mig both require longer stick outs than short circuit mig. I have trimmed a few mig nozzles in my day to allow for the contact tip to be flush with the nozzle.  I find it really helps and if that is what it takes….if I cant get the right contact tip nozzle setup from the welding supply, I just get out a grinder and trim a bit off the end of the mig nozzle.

For this weeks video, I am using 1/4" thick cold rolled steel bar stock.
using 3 pieces about 8 inches long each, I tack weld them so that I have 4 tee joints.

By welding all 4 tee joints and by using multiple passes on each joint, This drill provides a lot of practice and "under the hood" time with very little prep time and very little metal.

You will need to either set up several of these so that there is some cooling time while you alternate between practice joints, or just get a bucket of water to use as a quench bucket so that you can quick cool your piece every 3 beads or so.

A word for beginners who might get the wrong idea about speed cooling metal.

Speed cooling carbon steel is usually  not a good idea. 

Its never good practice for a welding test or a  live production weld.
Carbon steel can harden if it is heated up and then quenched by dunking in a bucket of water.

So while I dont want anyone to get the idea that dunking hot carbon steel into a bucket of water is acceptable practice, it really helps to maximize your "under the helmet" time and so I heartily recommend it as part of learning to weld.

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here are the links to the prior videos in this mig welding basics series.

mig basics part 1

mig basics 2

mig basics 3

mig basics 4

mig basics 5

mig basics 6

see other mig welding videos here

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