Metal work

Workshop- Welding

During my workshop sessions we get taught skills that we think will benefit us, Welding is one that I know will benefit me!

MIG Welding or Metal Inert Gas:

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It is important that you cover the exposed areas of your body when doing either MIG or TIG Welding as the sparks produced can go flying and hit your skin, also with the light and energy produced from the torches it can burn your skin like you’ve been badly sunburnt……

MIG welding is easier than TIG as the metal rod is fed to the area out of the torch head so you only need to adjust the speed that the rod comes out and hold the torch towards the area that you want to weld. It is however more messy than TIG welding as the weld can often become lumpy and it is difficult to see the area you are welding when wearing your welding visor/helmet.

To set up the MIG Welder you need to plug it in and switch it on, switch on the machine using the large red button, twist the nob attached to the gas cylinder inwards until the gas is at a medium pressure level within the green section, set up the work to be welded and then attach the ground cable (Metal crocodile clip), put on your protective clothing including the Visor and then aim the Welding torch towards the area and squeeze the button attached.

TIG Welding or Tungsten Inert Gas:

TIG Welding is much harder to master than MIG although once you get the hang of it the joints will be a lot smoother and aesthetically pleasing. TIG is usually used in industry to join pieces of Aluminium together, MIG cannot be used for Aluminium as its surface is too reactive; as soon as it touches the air it forms a layer of Aluminium Oxide that makes the surface of the metal dirty and therefore you cannot get a clean weld. It works with TIG as you can clean up the surface of the metal and then the Tungsten Inert Gas that comes from the welding torch stops oxygen heavy air from touching the surface of the metal.

With TIG welding you have to hold the torch in one hand and the metal feeding rod in the other, you control how much metal goes into the weld. It is quite easy to touch the metal with the torch and get the rod stuck to the metal as shown in one image above. It is also easy to create holes in the work as the torch reaches such high temperatures.

Again with the TIG welder setting up is the same; switch it on and adjust the settings accordingly, turn on the gas to a medium level, prepare the work to be welded using clamps, add the grounds cable onto the metal and begin once the protective clothing has been put on.

It is important that the needle like head in the torch has a sharp point, you can remove it to sharpen it by unscrewing the back of the torch and pulling out the metal length. You can then sharpen the point using a grinding wheel.

I will continue to practice both of these techniques in order to improve.


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