Welding System Buying Guide

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Types of Welders

Oxyacetylene Welding

It is a torch in which a mixture of acetylene gas and oxygen are burned. The amount of heat produced is around 6,300 degrees Fahrenheit. An oxyacetylene torch is usually utilized to braze, solder and weld metallic items. You can cut steel (but not aluminum or stainless steel) with it also. The fundamental welding principles of heat control used with a flame torch apply to other types of welding, as a result, to a new student oxyacetylene welding is the first type of welding that is taught.


Tig Welding (Heli-Arc / GTAW)

Tig systems utilize an electrode that is covered in an inert gas to form a weld puddle, in this type of welding a welding rod is put into the arc to make the weld bead. It is a high-end welding technique; welds done through Tig welding are very neat and stronger than any other welding type.


Stick / Arc Welding (SMAW)

In this type of welding electricity is used, electricity runs across a stick electrode (usually steel, aluminum or stainless steel) which forms an arc with the material that is to be welded. When the stick electrode melts it provides the filler material that is required for the welding. Arc welding is a really complex and difficult type of welding to learn.


Mig Welding (Wire feed / GMAW)

Mig systems utilize a wire electrode that is provided through a gun to enable the formation of a weld puddle. Certain systems feature the options of using flux-cored wire or a shielding gas. Mig welding is a very easy type of welding to learn; any average homeowner can purchase an MIG welder from any local hardware store, and can start making decent welds with just a few hours of practice.


No Universal Welds-All

There is no one welding process that will prove suitable for all different types of welding situations. For this specific reason, it will prove very helpful that you compare the advantages and disadvantages of each welding process according to the welding situation.


Gas metal arc welding (MIG), flux cored welding, gas tungsten arc welding (TIG) and shielded metal arc welding (stick electrode) are the most widely used welding processes for fabricating metals. You should consider the following factors to determine which welding process will prove to be the most suitable for the job you have at hand:

  • Type of material being welded,
  • Thickness of the material,
  • The welding position,
  • Type of welding power source and the amount of currently available, and
  • Time requirements.


Do You Need a Spool Gun?

The wire usually gets stuck in the MIG torch when you’re welding aluminum as it is being fed from the wire feeder. If you attach a spool gun to your torch, you’ll have to place the wire inches away from where it needs to come out of the torch and it helps a lot in getting rid of wire jams.


Regulate the Flow of Your Shielding Gas

If you are not using flux-cored MIG wire then you’ll have to regularly spend on shielding gas. Just if you invest in a good regulator for your MIG welder system, you will be saving fuel costs and will be able to focus more time on task.


Thermal Overload Protection

The duty cycle of a welder will tell you the number of minutes you will be able to weld in a ten minute period before the welder will require to be cooled off. The higher the duty cycle will be of a welder, say 60%, it will mean that the longer you will be able to weld.


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