MIG Welding Technique – Kevin Caron

MIG Welding Technique – Kevin Caron


(Text on screen): MIG Welding Technique, Kevin Caron, www.kevincaron.com The Voice: Hey, Kevin. Kevin Caron: Hey. The Voice: You know, you talk about TIG welding, you talk about MIG welding, you talk about oxygen acetylene and stick welding. Can you show us what MIG welding is? Kevin Caron: Sure. Sure. I can do that. MIG welding … well, do you want to see inside the machine? The Voice: Ooh, yeah! Kevin Caron: All the parts and stuff. The Voice: All right! Kevin Caron: Come here, come here, come here. OK, so this is my MIG, my Miller MIG welder. It’s a 251, if you want to go look that up on the Internet. It’s got a voltage control, and pretty lights. This sets the voltage. This is the wire feed speed; how fast the wire comes out when you pull the trigger. On/off switch. This is the connector for the aluminum welding gun; the “spool gun,” they call it. You plug that in right there. This is the little connector for the trigger in the steel welding gun. And, oh yeah, the gun. Here, look inside. The Voice: Isn’t there a ground, too? Kevin Caron: Oh, yeah. This is the ground. Most of them have a big spring clamp, but mine wore out so I put this little magnet on here. This is a welding magnet, and all you have to do is just hold it up to some nice, clean metal, like on your workbench or on whatever piece you happen to be welding, and you just turn that little knob and there it is. There’s your ground. Make sure you clean that metal off. Wherever you’re gonna stick it, make sure you clean if off with your grinder or a file or something like that to make sure you’ve got a good ground. Otherwise, you’re gonna have trouble. Here, look inside here. See, this is the big spool of wire. This is a 30-pound, I think it is. Thirty pounds of wire. This is a steel welding wire: mild steel. But it has a, like a copper coating on it, just to help preserve it so the wire doesn’t rust. All right. This is the little drive unit, where the wire comes off the spool and feeds through. It goes out into the cable that goes out to the gun and eventually comes out on the other end out here. So all you do is just unspool a little from your reel, feed it through, get it through the other end (come here), get it stuck through here, and you can just close that up and that little thing locks closed. This is a tension knob to adjust how much tension is put on the wire so it feeds correctly. The Voice: That looks pretty straightforward. Kevin Caron: It’s good to go. That’s it. It’s pretty easy to do. The Voice: How do you know how set your voltage and your wire feed, though? Kevin Caron: Well, see now, Miller is really nice and they put this big sheet inside here with: “What are you welding,” We suggest this type of wire,” “We suggest this type of gas,” the different diameters of the wire, and the thickness of the metal: half-inch, three-eighths, quarter in, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the way down to 22 gauge. And then they tell you, well, you know, for eighth-inch steel, we suggest with 35 thousandths wire, which is what I have in the machine, they suggest 20 volts and 220 inches per second, I think it is. And that’s what they suggest you start at. Now, you may have to change that for your specific welding conditions: Are you inside, outside, vertical, you know, whatever you’re doing. The Voice: Yeah, but you don’t look at that anymore, do you? Kevin Caron: Three or four times a day, yes. Actually, I do. Yeah. The Voice: Really? Kevin Caron: Yeah. If I’m doing a lot of MIG welding; if I’m working on one big project, no, I can normally set it and the settings pretty much stay where they are. But if I’m working on, you know, do a little job here, a little job there, if I haul it outside to fix a trailer hitch, if I take it out front to fix the fence, yeah, I’m playing with the knobs and I’m doing different settings on it. And a lot of times I’ll look at that just to remind me so I don’t have to remember all of that in my head. Now, this machine runs solid-core wire, so I’ve got shielding gas in this big tank. This is argon and carbon dioxide. You can also run straight carbon dioxide. It doesn’t make as nice of a weld. It doesn’t give as much penetration. So, the mixed gas works better. There’s even a triple gas. It’s argon, carbon dioxide and helium. It works a little better than this does, but the cost is a little more. And then you’ve got a regulator that shows you the pressure in the bottle and your working pressure for how much gas is actually coming out of the end of the nozzle. You need 220, no 110. And you’re ready to make sparks and weld metal together. Now, let’s put some leather on, and I’ll show you what’s going on. Now, here’s some eighth-inch plate that I got out of the scrap barrel. And you can see it’s all shiny. I cleaned it up with a big handheld grinder. Get all the rust off, get all the scale off. Nice, clean metal works a lot better. We’ve got just a couple of little pieces to play with. You want to clamp them to your workbench. It helps keep them from running away while you’re welding. Your ground, you can either ground it to your metal workbench: not recommended, because you can get in between the ground and the weld and you can get shocked. It’s a lot better if you take your ground and put it right on your work. That’s what makes the magnet so cool, is if you’ve got a big piece and no place to clamp a ground, you can always stick one of those on there. Lots of sparks. Lots of heat. Put some leather on. Wear some good gloves. No sneakers. Turn your machine on. Make sure your gas is turned on. As soon as you pull the trigger, the wire will start to come out and you’ll start welding. You don’t have to scratch it. You don’t have to tap it like an old stick welder or anything. Just get within about an eighth- to a quarter-inch of clearance from your metal, pull the trigger, and away you go. Watch out! (welding) That quick. That easy. Practice. Practice, practice, practice. See you next time. (Text on screen): Subscribe to See More Videos, See and Hear More at KevinCaron.com.

35 thoughts on “MIG Welding Technique – Kevin Caron

  1. Normally you set the amps. 1 amp for every thousand of an inch thick . The wire speed you can hear it when your welding if you have the settings right. It takes some getting use to. After a while you will know just by the sound of the welding, right.

  2. @1970chevelle396. Yes, 1 amp per is a great starting point. I adjust thwe wire speed for the size of the joint I am weld or the big hole I just blew through and now have to fill. Getting the feed speed right does take some practice but it's not hard.

  3. My big Mig welder I put 035 wire on it. My Small Mig has 025. The smaller diameter wire is better for welding thin metal, You wont burn threw it as easy.

  4. Would that large bottle of shielding gas typically allow you to weld using an entire spool of wire? How fast is shielding gas used up when welding indoors?? Great video as usual!

  5. @kazl1m I have been using about 3 bottles of gas per a spool of wire. Of course your mileage may vary. I do about 95 percent of my welding indoors.

    Great question, thanks for posting.

  6. @Myboxoftools Thanks for stopping by.

    Have you seen the rest of my videos? How about stopping by my site and checking out the rest of my work when you have a chance.

  7. an excellent mix imo is 90% argon 10% oxy. in that set up the oxy is for penetration. But the great thing about this gas is it allows you to run spray on a lower setting, but then turn up the voltage and amps, so you can run spray. very versitile. or just 98/2 for just spray.

  8. @bman20000 sorry, i believe i meant 90/10 argon carbon dioxide….lol ill have to go check my tank, made the same mistake when i went to order it haha.

  9. Kevin thanks for the great videos. I know with mig steel you have to turn your volts up a little bit doing vertical up's. But do you have to do that with aluminum to?? Im using a XMT 304 with a miller spoolmate 200.

  10. i was doing a test for a company to MIG weld and while I was doing my test I was told that by "walking" the nozzle I increase the chance for porosity. As this is the way i prefer to heliarc i have never encountered porosity in any of my MIG or Fluxcore welds. Have I just been lucky or is the other guy wrong?

  11. furthermore while doing rollout on vessels it is the most dependable way to achieve a constant flow of metal to the root pass

  12. I would say that you have just been lucky. But please keep in mind that I am self-taught and not certified in any form of welding.

  13. Believe me i dont praise other welders quickly cuz iam the best at my company [Emerson,flange welding  100% xray] But Kevin is just legendary.

  14. I'm wondering if you have used silicon bronze wire? I have some and am going to play with it. I am using 100 % argon, but still have to figure out the right settings. .030 wire …what do you recommend .?

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