There is no doubt that MIG is one of the most popular welder types and also an easy one to get started with, at least easier than TIG. If you are new to this, it might seem a bit complex which is not actually.
You really don’t have to give high-effort to set a MIG welder up. It is really simple when you know the right ways!
What are the ways then?
Here it is! Below I have demonstrated how to set up a MIG welder appropriately, go through all the steps and you will be ready to set yours!
So shall we proceed?
MIG WELDER SET UP PROCESS
MIG welder set up is an easy process but that said, do not get started until you completely understand the entire process. You should not set the welder wrong, otherwise, you will be the one paying for it.
TAKE THE MIG MACHINE OUT
Obviously, the very first thing you would want to do is taking the MIG machines out of the box. And then grab a pair of welding gloves, an auto darkening helmet, MIG plier and MIG nozzle gel.
Doesn’t matter what kind of welding you are doing, you should always wear protective welding gloves and helmet. Safety comes before anything!
SETTING THE TORCH
Take the torch and make sure you do not even try to weld with the bare torch. If somehow you even strike an arc without setting the torch properly, that might cause big damage to the entire MIG machine which is not something pleasant.
Do you see the gas cup and the contact tip? The contact tip is a small item and the gas cup is bigger than the contact tip. To install the contact tip, you have to slide that on the outer portion of the wire and screw it tightly.
Now take the gas cup and slide that over the font size of the torch (over the contact tip). The contact tip should be recessed down on the gas cup, check it out. If you see the contact tip out of the cup, something is wrong there. Unscrew everything and try again!
PLUG THE MACHINE IN
Once you are done assembling the torch, time to plug the machine. Here you got to be very careful since it poses a risk of shock. And that is because of the unawareness of the user.
Mistakes most newbies make is, they forget to check whether the machine is on or off. They forget to check the breaker. Do not do the same mistakes!
Before you plug the machine double check that the machine switch is off and also the breaker too. And then plug the machine up! When the machine is plugged, turn on the machine and the breaker.
CLAMP AND WIRE FEED SPEED
Before you adjust the gas flow, you would want to ensure two things. First one is to, put the clamp on the ground which eliminates the risk of accidental welding while adjusting the gas flow.
And the second one is, turn the wire feed speed down so that wire doesn’t get wasted when adjusting the gas flow.
ADJUSTING THE GAS FLOW
Now time to adjust the gas flow and for that, you would want to turn the regulator off. Keeping it on might cause an accident, so be sure that is off. To adjust the gas flow, you have to open the gas bottle first, that’s obvious!
But when opening the bottle stand on the safe zone. Where is the safe zone? Stay away from the regulator, so that you don’t get hit up. And when opening the bottle do not keep your hand on the top of the bottle, keep it on the side of the valve instead.
The pressure should be between 250 to 2200 PSI. that’s the safe range of pressure. Keep the gas flow to 15cfh, in case you don’t know, you are supposed to set that by pulling the trigger down.
VERIFY THE WIRE AND FEED SPEED
Lastly, you would want to ensure that you are using the right wire. Most professional welders use ER70S-6 wire. It looks like a copper wire which it is not, that’s the copper coating on it.
How fast you should set the wire feed speed depends on the thickness of the material you will be welding. You will have a chart either right or on the left side of the welder where all the materials are listed.
Find the material you will be welding on in the chart and see what is the appropriate speed for that material.
SET THE GROUND CLAMP
Now set the ground clamp on the welding table and make sure that the table is free from rust and paint, otherwise, the connection would not be smooth. Plus, set the clamp 6.2 inch away from the welding point.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What makes a MIG welder pop?
When the wire hits the base metal but doesn’t melt into it, that is what makes a lot of popping sound. If you see anything like this, stop welding immediately and check if the base metal is clean or not.
Should I push the torch when welding?
Pushing the torch would not penetrate deeper but will give wider weld. So it depends on your need, if you need deep welding then you should not push the torch forward.
How do I stop spatter?
MIG welding will produce spatter, you can’t stop that completely, but you can reduce the amount a bit. Most of the spatter causes when the base metal is not properly cleaned, so cleaning the metal before welding will reduce the amount.
Time to leave! Hope by now you know how to set up a MIG welder. If there is anything that you are confused about, do not hesitate to knock me via the comment section!