Introduction: Settings on the MIG Welder
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas.
Step 1: MIG Basics
The basic steps to MIG weld:
- The material must be grounded to the welder with the ground clamp.
- Connect the ground clamp close to the area to be welded.
- Grind any rust or paint before attaching the ground clamp.
- When the trigger is pulled, the welder electrically energizes a wire on a spool inside the welder.
- The wire is pushed through the hose, and out the end of the torch.
- A shielding gas flows from a compressed gas cylinder to the end of the torch.
- The gas keeps oxygen away from the weld until it cools and solidifies.
- An electrical arc forms between the wire and the workpiece, creating temperatures high enough to melt the wire and workpiece.
- The workpieces and wire melt and flow together, creating a single piece of metal.
- The resulting weld should be stronger than the original material.
Step 2: Adjustments and Settings
There are two main adjustments for welding.
- Higher voltage creates more heat, which is used for thicker material.
- Wire speed
- Faster wire speed will put more wire out the end of the torch. Higher voltage usually requires a higher wire speed.
Always adjust the welder to match the wall chart that shows the suggested settings based on wire size, shielding gas, metal alloy and metal thickness.
Step 3: Control Panel
The Miller 252 at Pier 9 has a simple control panel, but many other MIG welder control panels will look very similar.
- Use the metal thickness and wire feed chart to determine voltage and wire speed.
- Set the voltage with the voltage knob.
- The display will show the voltage.
- Set the wire speed with the wire speed knob.
- The display will show wire speed in inches per second.