I’m Garrett Strong with makemoneywelding.com
I’ve been helping beginners & hobbyists learn to weld online for several years now. I’ve helped thousands of people just like you get started learning to mig weld with my beginners guide to MIG welding.
You may also enjoy these articles… “How To Quickly Start Hobby Welding” and “3 Secrets To Create An Awesome MIG Welding Cart – Simple Plans”.
GMAW welding, otherwise known as MIG welding is great for beginner welders who want to learn how to weld with as little problems and as little time investment as possible.
Anyone can learn the gmaw welding process, and in this post I’m going to show you the 3 essential tricks you MUST know before you get started.
Watch This GMAW Welding Video To Learn How It Works
When you think about all the different things you can weld using the gmaw welding process the list is endless.
Make sure you follow these 3 simple tricks to make sure you can produce strong and good looking welds.
GMAW Welding Trick #1: Set Up Your Machine Properly
My gmaw welding trick #1 to make sure you get your machine set up properly. This is the most important part to laying a good weld bead.
When you set your voltage and wire speed make sure you tune the 2 together so that you get a nice uniform weld bead when you start your weld.
When you tune your wire welder you want to listen for a sizzling sound when you lay a weld bead, much like frying bacon. This is one indication that you’re machine is close to being tuned.
Another thing to check is that you aren’t feeding the wire too quickly to the weld puddle. This will result in “stubbing”, where the wire comes out too fast and stubs into the weld puddle.
If you experience stubbing then stop and turn down your wire speed.
GMAW Welding Trick #2: Clean The Rust and Dirt From Your Workpiece
When learning to weld, especially when learning gmaw welding you HAVE TO clean any rust, paint, dirt, or mill scale off the metal before welding.
Since gmaw (gas metal arc welding) welding, also known as MIG (metal inert gas) welding uses shielding gas to protect the weld puddle, it’s not as forgiving when working on dirty metals.
So, take an angle grinder with a flap disc or a wire wheel and knock off all the rust, dirt and paint. I prefer to use a flap disc or grinding disc over using the wire wheel because the will remove the mill scale as well.
If you attempt any gmaw welding without cleaning the metal, your machine will struggle to maintain an arc.
Now, if you use flux core wire you will have more success welding dirtier metals because the flux provides a better shielding agent when welding on rust, paint, or dirty metals.
GMAW Welding Trick #3: Go Slow Enough To Get Good Penetration
The number 1 problem that beginners course welding instructors talk about is getting enough penetration into the metal. Most newbies to gmaw welding tend to not put enough heat into the metal.
This lack of heat will result in weld failures, and a lack of fusion when welding. The solution for this is to go slow and let your weld flow into the metal.
If you are welding and you end up with very high weld beads with a high crown, chances are you need to slow down and let your weld puddle flatten out.
Getting good weld penetration is important, especially when you start learning the welding joints. You can lay down a nice looking weld, but it might just be sitting on top of the metal without penetrating.
If you want to learn how to MIG weld like a pro, download my free report MIG Welding Mastery while it’s available.