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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Ox Ac or Mig for welding thin metal

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Author  [Modern View]

10-16-2012 02:51:26

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I have a MIG welder, but I prefer to use acetylene for thin stuff. If you're repairing a small crack, the MIG gets done so fast the base metal hardly has a chance to warm up. MIG leaves a thick bead that is very difficult to grind down. With gas, I can take my time, get good fusion and end up with a nice flat bead.

I find it humorous that many folks who extol the virtues of TIG over MIG would never consider welding with gas. Yet with steel, the gas and TIG processes are almost identical, the difference being that when you're gas welding you use the inert gases in the flame rather than argon to shield the weld.

For aircraft work, gas and TIG are considered equally acceptable, and MIG is seldom used. The main problem with MIG is the "cold start", where the start of the bead doesn't have good fusion because the base metal is cold.

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Stan in Oly, WA

10-16-2012 09:24:23

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 Re: Ox Ac or Mig for welding thin metal in reply to MarkB_MI, 10-16-2012 02:51:26  
Hi Mark,

The nature and source of the shielding gases in the two processes are largely inconsequential to the user during use. I'd say that the main difference between oxy/acetylene and TIG is the temperature of the heat source. Electric arcs exceed 11,000 degrees F, with oxy/acet being about half that. It makes a tremendous difference in how much unwanted heat is transferred into the work.


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10-16-2012 08:49:40

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 Re: Ox Ac or Mig for welding thin metal in reply to MarkB_MI, 10-16-2012 02:51:26  
Idk Mark, I'v yet to meet a "hard to grind down" weld bead. A good, powerful 4.5" grinder with a quality wheel can make easy work of that job, and a few seconds with a flap disk can make it look like the repair never happened...

Id personally say the differences between TIG and OA are:

Tig gives more control (especially with a foot petal)
Tig puts less heat into the metal (hotter source of heat, but its much more precise, and requires no pre-heat)
Tig is faster, much faster.

But, each to his own.

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10-16-2012 14:39:35

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 Re: Ox Ac or Mig for welding thin metal in reply to Lanse, 10-16-2012 08:49:40  
Well, Lanse, if I had a TIG welder I would never use gas. But I don't, so I have to choose between OA and MIG. Which was the original question.

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