Whether you want to repair something on your property or create something new, welding can be a rewarding, useful hobby. Use the following tips to help you use the right techniques so you can do any welding project right.
Clean Off the Metal Surface
Many beginning welders are eager to start welding when they approach a piece of metal. However, in order to have a clean arc and a good, solid weld, starting with a clean surface is essential. Make sure that the metal you are welding is clean and not caked with dirt or grease so that you can do better work.
If you find that the surface of the metal is dirty or greasy, wipe the metal with a bit of water and a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, make a paste made of equal parts baking soda and water and use a hard-bristle brush to scrub the metal until it is clean. Then, rinse with water and wait until the metal is dry before starting to weld.
Use the Proper Tungsten for Your Project
If you are like many beginners, you might choose a red or green tungsten tip without clearly understanding why. However, for the best results, it is important to use the proper color tip for different metals. Red tips should be used when you're welding steel for example, while green tips are better for aluminum. If you like, you can experiment with different kinds of tungsten tips on different metals so you can see the differences for yourself. That will help you select the right tip for any project you want to do.
Avoid Contact Between the Puddle and the Tungsten Tip
When you weld, it is sometimes hard to handle the tungsten tip properly, especially if you haven't had much practice. Whatever you do, it is important that the tip stays out of the puddle that is made as a part of the welding process. If not, the arc may veer wildly away from the section you are working on. Keep a steady hand to avoid contact between the tip and the puddle. If the tip does touch the puddle, regrind the tip before getting back to work.
Use the information laid out above to help you become a better welder. If you need help or want to have a professional complete a project, consult a local welding contractor like those at Checkpoint Welding & Fabrication so that your project is finished properly.