In this #WeldingWisdom video, David discusses tips and tricks for MIG welding various gaps. Tune in as he talks about ideal machine settings and techniques to prevent dripping through your gap.
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Hi, I’m David with General Air. When you’re MIG welding, eventually you’re going to run into some gaps that you have to fill. We’re going to take a look at how to set your machine and what to look for when welding some thin gaps, all the way up to some pretty big ones. The first gap we’re going to tackle is 1/16th of an inch, and I’m going to use an 030 MIG wire I’ve got my machine set at 175 inches per minute at 16.5 volts. I’m going to check these settings on my first weld to see if it’s too hot or too cold and see what I need to do there. My technique is also going to be pretty simple. I’m going to drag the gun because if I pushed it, well the wire would just go through the gap, I’m going to drag the gun and not going to weave it back and forth, in order to keep the heat as low as I possibly can. Let’s see if it works. It made about a half an inch, and then I blew this big hole in it. So, now I’ve got to go over to my machine and mess with my settings. What do I do? Do I go down with my wire feed speed? Do I go up? Do I mess with my voltage? Well, let’s remember the theory here with MIG – wire feed speed controls amperage. So if I turn that down, I’ll have less punch into my material. So, I am going to turn the wire feed speed down. Also, if I turn my voltage down, that’s going to narrow my bead profile. This bead is pretty wide, so I know I can narrow it up a little bit more and make sure that I can focus and concentrate all the material right in the middle of the weld. Now, how much am I going to turn it down? I’ll just try 10% of the wire feed speed and half a volt and we’ll see what happens. I have my wire feed speed set at 157 inches per minute and 16.5 volts. And not only was I able to fill in the hole that I blew with my first weld, but the weld, when I terminated it has a nice crisp edge here. So I know I have my settings correct, but I still don’t want to just go all the way down the line even if I have correct settings. If I do that, that’s going to overheat the parent metal and then I’m just going to end up blowing through. So I only want to weld in about a half inch to an inch at a time. Another factor in that is minimizing warpage. I don’t want to go from point A to point B and warp the whole plate. So, I’m going to stop my welds intermittently and let everything cool down. I’m also going to take some welds and go the opposite direction that I’ve been going. So I’ve been going from left to right here. So, now I’m going to go right to left. That will counteract the distortion of this weld. And we’ll end up with a flatter plate in the end, That turned out great. I think our settings are nice. We put a very low amount of heat into the plate. I did weld from this direction to this direction to try to counteract the distortion that I’m getting. I’m still going to get a little bow in the material, but that’s okay. I can fix that post-weld. I’m going to let my parent metals cool, and then we’re going to weld out the rest of this. The next gap that we have is a quarter inch, wide. Our settings of 157 inches per minute at 16.5 volts may work. I’m not sure, I’m going to have to just strike the arc here and walk the gun back and forth between the two parent metals. This gap is so wide I can’t just keep the gun in the middle like I did with the first one, but I’ll probably have to end up turning my wire feed speed down. The larger the gap, the more likelihood that that weld’s going to sag in the middle. You got to cool things down and get a little bit more surface tension. Let’s see how it goes. As I expected, our settings were a little bit too much here. I’ve got too much amperage, so too much wire feed speed. How do I know that? Well, I could see the edges of my material here, we start to see them getting chewed away on the sides. So I know I’m just getting excessive amount of penetration, it’s really starting to chew, you know, my parent metal. That’s not my goal here. My goal is to span this gap. I’ll get penetration on the sides. I’m not worried about that, but if I would’ve kept going, this hole would have just gotten larger and larger and larger. All right, so now we got to turn the wire feed speed down. Well, where do you go? Now I’m just going to go 10% again, turn down by 10% and turn my voltage down just a little bit, maybe a third of a volt. That’s a very small little energy, and I’m just going to go down in small increments until I get the results that I want. I turned my wire feed speed down to 140 inches per minute and my voltage was at 16.2 volts and I can see that it’s not cutting so far.