(Text on screen): Choosing a Welder: MIG, TIG, Arc or Oxygen-Acetylene, Kevin Caron, www.kevincaron.com The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing? Kevin Caron: Well, I’m just playing around with a couple of pieces of metal here. I had a question the other day: How do you choose which welder? Do you MIG it? Do you TIG it? Do you arc it? You know: a stick welder. Do you oxy-acetylene it? When do you choose, assuming you have the capability? And I thought, well, that’s a good question. So when you have, like, a short piece with a really nice fit; when you’ve got a really nice, tight seam, I would probably TIG it. It’s quicker. It’s better looking. It’s better penetration. There’s less to clean up. Thinner metals. Thicker metals. Up to about a quarter-inch, I guess, I would TIG it, for little short runs like this. If you’ve got, like, a thinner piece. You know, this is eighth-inch plate. This is sixteen gauge. And I just wanted to start tacking these two pieces together. But you can see that it’s not a very good fit right here. There’s a little gap in there. So I could come in and tack it with a MIG. Tack it, work my along and just tack all these little places together. It’s one-handed, so I’ve got a hand free to do my work over here, get it the way I want. And it’s quick, it’s easy, and then I can come back with the TIG later, once I’ve got a better seam on the other side; on my outside; once I’ve got it all tacked on the inside, I can come along with the TIG and now I can get a nice bead on the outside where it’s nice and clean, very little to grind. TIG, with a foot pedal, I can keep it cooler as I’m welding because I can control my temperature with my foot pedal, where with the MIG it’s set on the machine. I’d have to stop welding and go back over there. The Voice: How about filling gaps? Kevin Caron: Well, like this little gap right here. This little gap in the metal right here. An easy thing to do with the MIG is I can turn the voltage down a little. I can turn the wire feed up a little, so I’m filling a little quicker, and I can come in and slowly fill that gap in rather than having to cut it oversize and cut a patch and put a patch inside and fill that back in. Now, keep in mind, this is something you would do on a sculpture. This is something you would do on something that is not critical, like a bridge or an airplane or something like that. The TIG, you can come in and do that also, because you can cool it down as you’re working along. I would probably do it with the MIG. Just a little quicker, a little easier. You know, then I could always come back with the TIG and get all the little spots later. The Voice: How about a long run? Kevin Caron: Well, the long runs, that’s where the MIG really excels, because you’ve got, I don’t know, like three miles worth of wire over there. I don’t know how many yards it is, but it’s a bunch. So, you can sit here and weld all day long and never lift your finger off the trigger, because you’ve got all that wire, where you’ve only got just one little stick with the TIG. So you run out of this stick, you’d have to stop and get another stick. Or somebody’s got to hand you one so you can keep going. Well, after awhile that torch gets so hot that you can’t even hold the torch. So, it depends on what you’re doing. The Voice: How about stick? When would you use a stick welder; arc welder? Kevin Caron: Stick welder; an arc welder. I only use those; I only use the arc welder anymore when I’m outdoors, out in the wind. Because that’s where the arc welder really comes into its own. is because there’s no gas. It’s got the flux already on the rod. Works outside. You know; it works in the rain. I’ve done it a couple of times. That’s what it’s best for. But because I’m inside, I’ll use one of the gas-shielded machines just because I get a better-looking weld out of it than having to deal with the flux and chipping off the flux and grinding and whatever. The Voice: How about oxy-acetylene? Kevin Caron: Well, oxy-acetylene. . . Hang on. Now, you look at the sizes of the tips on the MIG; I’m sorry, on the TIG, and on the MIG, and they have a very small area that there’s actually the flame. There’s actually where your heat is; where your welding is going on, when you’re down on your metal. Very, very tiny. A little bit bigger, but not much. But the amount of area that you’re actually going to heat, of your metal, is very small compared to oxy-acetylene, because it’s a much bigger flame, so you’re going to heat the area that much more. With the thicker metals, that’s OK. You can get away with it. With the thinner metals, with the oxy-acetylene, you’re gonna wind up warping the metal because of all that extra heat that you’re putting in there. So, these are a little bit colder than the oxy-acetylene is. So, thicker metals, I might use that. Outdoors I might use that. If I was going to weld it and bend it, definitely use the oxy-acetylene. So that’s kind of how I would look at it: nice fit, use the TIG. Got a little gap, you know, a little rough edges, you know, if I had, like, cut it with the plasma cutter and not ground everything perfectly smooth so my fit was a little wobbly and I had holes to fill in, I’d use the MIG. Turn up the wire feed a little bit so I can make up for all those little gaps; all that poor fit in there. The Voice: How about the fun factor? Kevin Caron: The fun factor? Wow. Both machines are actually a lot of fun to use. I enjoy using both of them. The MIG, because of that long run, (you could stand there and just weld and weld and weld and have a lot of fun with that, watch the weld as it’s happening) The TIG is much more skill-oriented. It takes much more patience. But it sure is fun when you’re down there welding and you can see the flame off the tip and you can watch it melt the metal; you know, melt your base metal around it and you add your filler rod and you’re actually seeing it going on inside there. That’s always cool. I mean, it’s like you’re holding a lightning bolt in your hand and you’re melting this metal together. I mean, both of them are fun. I prefer TIG over MIG, just for the fun factor of it, though. That’s personal. Well, let me play with this a little more. I’ll see you next time. (Text on screen): Subscribe to See More Videos! See and hear more at KevinCaron.com.