Last week’s blog post spotlighted Roswell Firelabs Makerspace member and journeyman ironworker Jeff Spoor. This week, we’ll delve a little bit deeper into the world of welding to provide a better understanding of the process and possibilities for all those interested in learning.
So, just what is welding?
In simplest terms, welding is the act of melting two pieces of metal to fuse them into one solid piece. Of course, doing so depends on the type of metal, temperature, technique, speed, and distance. The techniques mentioned in last week’s post were all types of arch welding. They were MIG, TIG, and stick welding.
Let’s consider MIG welding
MIG welding is largely considered to be one of the best techniques for beginners to start with. This is because certain aspects of the process are already regulated without the welder having to worry about them. The MIG technique involves electrode wire. The wire is fed through the equipment at a set speed, rather than the welder having to worry about how fast or slow they are going. The wire is then melted at the intersection of the two (or more) pieces of metal that are being welded together to create a strong bond.
MIG welding, like all arc welding types, involves a shield of gas that surrounds the welding tip of the equipment. This is gas that is used to push away everything else from the welding area - such as sawdust, air particles, or other contaminants that could weaken the weld. Unfortunately, using this method does require the weld to be done inside a closed space or at least somewhere without wind. There are gas-less ways of MIG welding, but they require flux-core wire. They are also usually more expensive and lead to a messier welding finish.
For more information, check out this video, as recommended by our very own Jeff Spoor.