I take the complete beginner, teach them the welding basics, and if they are serious enough to learn DIY welding then I teach them the more advanced components of welding.
If you’ve never welded before, GREAT!
I want to share with you how easily you can get started, but there are some confusing things about learning to hobby weld.
Most beginners want to know…
- What welding process should I start out with?
- Do I need a 100 volt or 220 volt welder?
- What’s the difference between stick, MIG, and TIG?
I’m going to answer all of those questions and more. So, if I haven’t lost you yet then keep reading to discover the answers to those questions and the best welding process for beginners to start with.
With all these questions fogging up your mind, let me break it down to the bare minimum of what you need to know here.
DIY Welding – What’s the difference between Stick, MIG, and TIG?
First off, stay away from TIG welding if you’re a beginner.
TIG is a good welding process, but it’s too advanced for someone just getting started. Let me explain why.
TIG involves holding a filler rod with one hand, holding the TIG gun with the other hand, and controlling the voltage with a foot pedal. Sound like a lot? It is for a beginner.
TIG is used in fabrication processes where the welds need to be very precise, and you can even weld thin pieces of metal together like 2 beer cans.
What About DIY Welding With A Stick Welder ?
Stick welding is a good welding process, and has been around for years. It’s still used in most welding shops and out in the field, but stick welding has 3 major drawbacks for DIY welding.
- Firstly, most stick welders will only run on a 220 volt outlet, making it hard to start welding for many people who only have 110 volt outlets available.
- Secondly, stick welding produces slag and lots of smoke making it harder for the beginner to learn weld puddle and heat control. Plus you have to chip the slag from stick weld beads.
- And third, it can be hard to start and maintain an arc for beginners. When all you want to do is lay a weld bead, but you can’t even get the arc started it can be frustrating for beginners.
This leads me to the final welding process, the easiest and quickest way for beginners to get started.
Of course, I’m talking about MIG welding.
Why MIG Welding Is The Best For Hobby Welding
The reason DIY welding with a mig welder, and learning how to mig weld is so good for beginners is because right out of the box you can plug in a mig welder an lay a pretty decent bead.
I mean, it won’t be the best weld in the world since it’s your first, but none the less you haven’t spent hours trying to weld.
The thing that makes hobby welding with a mig welder so great is that you have 2 options.
- You can use a roll of flux core wire with your mig welder, so you don’t have to buy a gas cylinder.
- Or, you can buy your gas cylinder and start laying clean welds right away, with no slag to chip.
With a MIG welder you don’t have a long welding rod like with a stick welder, and you don’t have a long filler rod like with a TIG welder.
When DIY welding with a MIG welder, your electrode comes in a roll of wire.
When you press the trigger on the MIG gun it starts to feed the wire out of the nozzle, the arc starts, and the shielding gas starts flowing (if you’re using gas).
Plus, once you pull the trigger on a mig gun the arc starts immediately. Just like any welding process you will have to practice your welds to get there where you want them.
But, it doesn’t take much practice to make nice, smooth welds with a MIG welder.
I could go on and on talking about how to set up your mig welder, tuning your mig welder, laying a weld, gun angle, joint fit up, and a LOT more.