Before Even Thinking About Welding
- Have you used a MIG welder before? If not, this wiki WILL NOT prepare you. Find someone who has, and get their help.
- Use appropriate eye-protection! Your sunglasses will not work. You signed a waiver, so it won't be anyone's fault but your own when your cornea scars over from UV exposure. Note that through the provided face shield the sun appears as a small dull-green spot. Think about that.
- Wear protective clothing. Even if you feel manly about sparks and metal beads, the UV will give you a one-arm tan in about 3 minutes. This isn't the gentle UV one finds on the beach, it's the melanoma causing shit. Cover up.
- Gloves. Just because it isn't glowing doesn't mean it isn't hot. You will discover this by accident no matter how clever or thoughtful you are. Better to have a charred spot on some cow-hide gloves than one on your hand that you will have to deal with for the next two weeks.
- I am not going to keep track of welding supplies. $5/hour is probably a bit to little. $10/hour is probably a bit to much. Please make sure you leave the welder in a supplied condition. Remember be excellent.
- The tank is full of a 75-25 mixture of Argon-CO2. This is a good mix for welding mild-steel. Getting it refilled should cost about $40 bucks.
- The wire is also the variety used for mild steel.
Setting up the Welder
When you are setting up consider the following:
- Have I already cut/ground/prepped/cleaned all the things I want to weld?
- How can I best position everything to make welds easy?
- Are other people in the space aware that I am going to be welding?
- Is the outlet I have selected of sufficient wattage? (Think other tools)
- The polarity is different for MIG welding vs flux-cored wire feed. Unsure . . . ask!
- This welder has a 20% duty cycle. This means for each 2 minutes you pull the trigger, you need to spend 8 minutes with the welder on, fan running etc. This is annoying, in fact it sucks, but respecting the duty cycle helps to ensure this tool will work properly in the future.
- Before each weld, make sure that relevant power cords, gas hoses, and feed lines are clear of hot zones. This includes regions and parts you previously welded.
- Disassemble into three pieces (Body Gun and cords) - (Gas hose and regulator) - (cylinder)
- Chain the cylinder in an UPRIGHT configuration to something large and stable. This will minimize the chance of a compressed gas cylinder rocket.
- Make sure cords and hoses are not under welder body when stored, this will crease the wire gun hose and make the feed sticky.