Gas, MIG and TIG: Best For Which Uses?

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  1. hsorman

    hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    LOL, unfortunately I do. I found that the auto darkening helmet is a must have for me so I can see what I am doing. My welding is so much better when I can see!
     
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    • 451Mopar

      451Mopar Well-Known Member

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      Best results from having the metal clean. With baffles in a valve cover and real thin metal I like pulsed TIG, but MIG can work, just need to keep the heat down. Brazing is an option along with resistance (spot) welding.
      As mentioned above, I found TIG aluminum easier than steel. Being 56 my eyes are not as good as when I was younger.
       
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      • ckessel

        ckessel Well-Known Member

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        All of the to be welded metals need to be clean, rust/corrosion free and oil/slime free. Especially aluminum. You can use brake clean to de-slime the project BUT YOU NEED TO LET IT EVAPORATE BEFORE WELDING. Unless you like huffing Phosgene gas which is a nerve agent. Alcohol works very well and is not as hazardous unless you don't let it flash off too and get it lit. When you get set up for tig, buy wooden handled stainless bristled brushes, looks like a toothbrush. Have one for every metal type you are going to weld and write on the handle steel, aluminum, stainless etc. You will give yourself problems from the cross contamination if you don't. Regardless of what process you do I would recommend having a fan set up to pull fumes/smoke etc away from you when welding. Don't set it on hurricane force. Lowest setting works and will not pull your shielding gas plume away. Don't set it up to blow across you otherwise the gas shield goes away entirely. One thing I've found when tiging, especially on low amp settings, is that you can get what's called "arc blow" which is caused either from not being well grounded or having magnets nearby. Especially with the magnets. What it looks like is that the arc wants to go sideways. I was usually able to get past it by just going WOT on the peddle to get it focused then you could let off once it straightened out. Get some tacks going so you can just remove the magnet and not deal with the extra excitement.
         
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        • hsorman

          hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Great tips - thank you!!! :drinks:
           
        • RussT Plymouths

          RussT Plymouths Well-Known Member

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          I added magnifiers to the inside of my auto darkening hood, now my old eyes can see again. All my welding got better.
           
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          • Photon440

            Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I actually got a set of glasses just for welding; my regular bi-focals didn't let me see through the filter at the right angle to be comfortable. It's so hard to weld properly when you can't focus!
             
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            • ckessel

              ckessel Well-Known Member

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              I wear close ups behind the helmet so its focused but some helmets block too much of the light for my old eyes to see what I'm doing before I torch it. I've owned the Miller Elite which worked ok initially but as I got older it was harder to see what's going on. When I was doing the tig class, I borrowed helmets from some of the other students plus the instructor. The Lincoln was a little better but when I used the old Speedglass unit from the instructor thats when I realized I needed a better unit. Did some research and contacted USAWELD.COM and told them what I was experiencing and asked if the Optrel Vega view they had listed would help with my problem. They said yes, so I ordered one. It did work better for me. I've since replaced that unit with their E684 for an additional improvement. Now I just have to get that eye spasm issue resolved so I can weld with both eyes open.
               
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              • Nevada dan

                Nevada dan Well-Known Member

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                tig is by far the best way to go but it takes a higher skill level ,lot of practice, gas , ya , I just use if for the hot wrench , mig is pretty easy but the shielded gas makes a hard weld and the welded joint can show up later after paint, we just pulled a little Hobart out of the corner that nobody used anymore and put some silicon brass wire in it with a tank of argon and I am really surprised at the welds it doesn't heat the metal as much , doesn't fill the shop with smoke and grinds down easily I used on some repaires that would have been a little troublesome and it surprised me how easy it was , now I haven't used it enough to know what to recommend it for but I think I'll set one up at home, I already have a mig but I know I want both now
                 
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                • F4R/T

                  F4R/T Well-Known Member

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                  If you stick I’ve found DC reverse is better than ac. Mig is very handy and you can really put the metal down with it. Clean clean clean! I really enjoy stick welding but I really am impressed with mig. Lincoln and Miller are sure fire welders. They both have little 110 mig units that really do well up to 3/16 I believe... Prep, quality machine, practice and patience and you will do well .. You can save and by an older machine as most are very durable.
                   
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                  • vintage chromoly

                    vintage chromoly Well-Known Member

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                    I’ve got all three.
                    Gas is for heating stubborn fasteners.
                    I never weld with it.

                    MIG has its place and I wouldn’t sell the machine. I have a Lincoln 220v machine with gas shielding.

                    I bought a Lincoln square wave 200 TIG machine, because I wanted to take the next step and also wanted to be able to weld stainless and aluminum.

                    Im self taught. It takes a lot of time and practice. YouTube helps a lot. Jody is a good name to YouTube. He has a lot of videos that are great. I think he calls himself “weldmonger”
                     
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                    • hsorman

                      hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      I've have been helped by a number of YouTube videos but haven't stumbled on "weldmonger" yet. I'll check it out - thanks!
                       
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                      • RussT Plymouths

                        RussT Plymouths Well-Known Member

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                        Thanks for reminding me about Jody, watched a ton of his videos after I got my Tig. Great help. Lincoln and Miller also have some good training videos.

                        Jody's site:
                        https://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/
                         
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                        • joe smith

                          joe smith Well-Known Member

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                          So a few questions here..

                          By gas welding do you mean "brazing"?? Isn't this just melting a metal to hold two pieces of metal together? Like soldering, but stronger and having a higher melting point??

                          MIG is the wire that feeds to the weld with the gas flowing through the tube around the wire weld?? What is the purpose of the gas??

                          I see some cheaper "wire" welders that say "flux" welders NO gas needed? What are these?
                          Thanks all
                           
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                          • Ranger16

                            Ranger16 Well-Known Member

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                            Correct. Gas welding melts (fuses) the two base metals together.
                            Brazing is like soldering. It does not fuse the base metals together. The bronze fuses to the base metals to hold them together.


                            The gas is a flux the protects the weld from oxidizing during the welding process.



                            Same as flux core solder. Mostly used outside in windy conditions where gas would not work well.
                             
                            Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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                            • 451Mopar

                              451Mopar Well-Known Member

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                              You can use "flux" core wire in a MIG welder if you don't have a shielding gas, but the results in more weld splatter. It also seems to burn hotter than just using CO2.
                              There is also "dual shield" MIG welding that uses both a gas shield, with a flux cored wire. Used the dual-shield on 6" Schedule 80 pipe (0.432" wall thickness) and it gets hot.

                              I would not get a cheap MIG welder that does not use a gas shield. I'm sure there are several used ones for sale really cheap. Most people who buy the cheap welders like that either move on to a better welder or just give up trying to weld.
                              I have noticed that most of the lower priced MIG welders have a short length welding gun, like 8' or less which means the welder needs to be pretty close to the work you are doing. A good welding gun / cable can cost more than the total cost of many of the cheap welders.

                              Many local welding outlets rent machines (and also sell new & used ones) if you want to try out different machines.
                              Or goto some Trade Shows.
                              https://www.aws.org/events/tradeshows
                              https://www.fabtechexpo.com/
                               
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                              • Ironbuilt

                                Ironbuilt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                • hsorman

                                  hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  Who knew watching welding could be so addicting!

                                  Some great tips in these videos. Only issue I have is translating his welder settings to my crappy little unit that only has heat ranges settings from 1 - 4 (whatever they mean) and wire speed settings from 1 - 8.

                                  Regardless, I need to do some of what he does. In other words, weld some scrap, then cut it apart and see how I did, all while experimenting with different settings.
                                   
                                • Ironbuilt

                                  Ironbuilt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  I have been welding heavy steel since I was a teenager, and attended Lincoln Tech. in Union, NJ for welding after High School. Between working for my Dad's truck repair and 16 years as a Union Iron Worker, I could weld steel with the best of them. I was even certified through the Ironworkers Union. Welding sheet metal, now that's another story. My first MANY attempts were a complete disaster, as I tended to concentrate the heat in one spot for too long. A long time body man gave me some advice in my early 20's that paid off big time. He recommended going to the local junk yard and picking up some junk body parts and have at it. After about $100 and many, many hours of cutting and welding, I got pretty good. Not show quality, but definitely passable.
                                  Like everyone said here, practice, practice, practice!!!
                                   
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                                  • hsorman

                                    hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    :thumbsup:

                                    My friend has an old 65 Mustang fender and valance, so I plan to use that to practice on. I'm sure the first "repairs" will not look very good, but as you said: practice, practice, practice!!
                                     
                                  • ckessel

                                    ckessel Well-Known Member

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                                    Thin stuff is a whole nother ball game. Anyone around you will think you are/were a Navy chief by all of the colorful language coming out.
                                     
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