Mig welding tip #1
For short circuit mig welding, (short circuit meaning if you are using straight co2 or 75/25 ar/co2 )
...Keep your wire stickout to 1/4 to 3/8" (stickout means the distance the wire is extending from the end of the contact tip.)
This one simple tip can have the biggest effect on your mig welding.
I have gone over this before on other pages but it warrants repeating again and again.
Sometimes the welding nozzle and contact tip that comes with your gun just wont let you maintain a 3/8 stickout. What then? Just Trim the nozzle... with a hacksaw, zizz wheel, lathe, etc… or buy longer contact tips. It is worth the trouble, I guarantee it.
I once did some on-site training at a shop that had an old miller vintage machine they all agreed "sucked".
"That machine don’t weld worth a crap...We aint never been able to make it run good"
I took a look at it and the contact tip was recessed 3/8" way back in the nozzle...so I had one of the machinists turn a bit more than 3/8" off on a lathe to where the tip was sticking out just a little past flush with the nozzle.
Some mig guns let you adjust the nozzle a lot to get the contact tip where you need it…but some do not have any adjustment at all and you have to buy the right nozzle/contact tip combo.(we probably could have purchased a longer contact tip... but going to the welding supply store was not on the agenda for the day)
After we cut the nozzle, the machine ran like a champ. All from that one simple little thing. Sometimes it’s the really simple things that make all the difference.
Now for an exception.... If you are welding thin sheet metal, you might want a longer stickout,like maybe 3/4 ".
but for getting a good flat bead on thicker stuff...
Keep your stickout short! KYSS!