I’m Garrett Strong with makemoneywelding.com
If you’re like I was just 8 years ago then you’re probably asking yourself “How do I Mig Weld?”
Learning how to mig weld is easy with a little practice, but you need to know machine setup before you can make a great weld.
You may also enjoy these articles… “How To Quickly Start Hobby Welding” and “Do Online Welding Classes Really Help?”
With so many different welding processes to choose from it can be difficult to get started, but since you seem to already know what a MIG welder is, you’ve got step one taken care of.
Now, when a friend of mine who knew I had been hobby welding asked me “Hey Garrett, how do I mig weld”, I had to give him a little run down.
And I’m going to tell you the exact same thing I told him when he asked how do I mig weld.
If you’re brand new to MIG welding and you aren’t familiar with it at all, let me show you what a mig welder looks like.
What you’re looking at in this picture is the inside of the mig welder. That big round thing is the wire that comes on a roll.
You have to of course press the trigger on the mig gun before the wire will be fed out of the machine. So, once you are ready to lay a weld you would put that wire to the workpiece and pull the trigger.
When you pull the trigger several things will happen.
- The wire will start feed out
- The gas will start to flow
- The welding arc will start
Now, if you already have everything setup but you’re having trouble laying your welds then check out my free MIG welding report that teaches you more in depth about laying a weld. You will learn to weld online, from your own home.
Many people who want to know “how do I mig weld” have already tried to lay a weld but were unsuccessful at getting their welds to look nice.
Don’t worry though because when I first started to mig weld my welds looked like bird poop. Literally!
The important thing about welding isn’t necessarily how your welds look on the surface though. The truly important thing is are you getting good metal fusion and penetration into the metal.
Otherwise, a good looking weld won’t matter.
One of the key factors to making sure you get good penetration into the metal, and what most beginners course welding instructors will say, is make sure your wire speed and voltage are set correctly. Most mig welders will have at least 2 knobs on the front, one for voltage and the other for wire speed.
You will find a chart on the inside of your mig welder that shows you where your voltage and wire speed need to be set depending on the thickness of metal.
So, on my Hobart 140 when I’m welding 1/8″ thick steel it tells me to set the voltage on 4 and the wire speed on 25.
These settings are just general guidelines to start with, so you can tweak it from there.
How do I MIG weld a joint?
If you’ve been wondering why your welds aren’t turning out right it could be caused by several different factors.
- Your gun angle is wrong
- Your travel speed is too fast/slow
- The MIG nozzle is too close or too far away
Let’s start with the mig gun angle
This allows you to see the weld puddle when you’re traveling.
Also, when you’re welding a t-joint like in the picture you want to angle the gun at 45 degrees right into the joint.
Now let’s talk travel speed
If you move along with your weld at too fast a pace then you won’t give the weld puddle enough time to get deep down into the metal.
This is the biggest mistake I see people make when they come to me asking “how do I mig weld”?
You want to go slow enough to let the weld puddle spread out, but fast enough so that you don’t blow a hole through your workpiece.
This is where lots of practice helps.
How do I MIG Weld? MIG nozzle distance
How far should I keep the MIG nozzle from the workpiece?
This question comes up a lot. You want to keep the nozzle about 3/8″ away from your workpiece. No closer and no further.
Why? Because if you put it too close you risk dragging the nozzle in the weld puddle, and if it’s too far you risk losing shielding gas.
I could go on, but I want you to have a more step-by-step walkthrough that will really explain it in greater detail.
If you want to learn how to MIG weld like a pro, download my free report MIG Welding Mastery while it’s available.