what is best direction of travel, push bead or drag.??
Great question, and it really depends on a few different factors.
I found this this tidbit from the folks over at Miller Welding, they make some of the worlds best welders, so they would definitely know ;)
"The push or forehand technique involves pushing the gun away from (ahead of) the weld puddle. Pushing usually produces lower penetration and a wider, flatter bead because the arc force is directed away from the weld puddle.
With the drag or backhand technique (also called the, pull or trailing technique), the welding gun is pointed back at the weld puddle and dragged away from the deposited metal. Dragging typically produces deeper penetration and a narrower bead with more buildup.
There's an old saying that goes, "If there's slag, you drag," which means use the drag technique for Stick and Flux Cored welding. When MIG welding mild steel you can use either technique, but note that pushing usually offers a better view and enables you to better direct wire into the joint."
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