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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Welder Question of 3 days ago revisited

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Author  [Modern View]

09-18-2013 06:49:56

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Things have realy got out of hand on what should have been a simple question. I was around stick welders since about 1957. In 1990 I took a small welding course at the vocational school because it was part of the corse I wanted. Seen the wire welder the first time there, was a mamouth outfit that was only good in a factory setting, not in a home shop but liked the fact it would weld sheat steel. Do not know if it used any gas or not. Only was called a wire welder. I tried to in that class to get the information on how a welder works or what you needed for certain welding jobs, the answer was we cannot give you that information, all we can do is have you run a stick bead. About 93 I found this little welder that I bought, thought it would be good for repair of sheat metal shields and the like on machinery, Could not get it to work so has sat unpluged for close to the 20 years. Do not know if it was that I just did not know how to operate it or if it was a defective unit. Did not know of anybody that knew anything about them that could help me. Never considered it for anything heavier than the sheat metal. In about 97 got first computor and after being on here was hearing talk about wire welders and stick welders, later talk became mig and later tig, Never knew what they were. My orignal question was is mig just a new name for wire or something different and same with tig. If different then what is the differences. One poster said mig and wire are same, onouther said different, a third asked what make and model to be able to tell if could be used either way. I was replying to his question when I posted the welder information. Notice I said it has not been used in years and everybody here saying to get rid of it and buy a new one that I do not need. Have done all my welding with the stick and that welder only runs a rod 5-7 hours per year at most and if that wire welder I have would work it might only get 3-4 hours max per year and for that little time and just the sheat metal like shields on a combine that would crack it makes no sence to spend big money for a different welder. If it would work and the generator would run the welder might be nice to be able to do a tempory field fix to get the piece to the shop for the stick welder that cannot be moved around. So what is mig and what is tig and what do you use on aluminm? Just wanting to know terms.

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Stan in Oly, WA

09-18-2013 07:53:17

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 Re: Welder Question of 3 days ago revisited in reply to Leroy, 09-18-2013 06:49:56  

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. It is the popular name for the GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) process. The name MIG is technically incorrect because some of the shielding gases used are not inert. It is also called wire feed welding. The other process that uses the same configuration is FCAW (Flux Core Arc Welding). Any welder which will run wire with gas shielding will also run flux cored wire without. Some inexpensive welders are made to run flux cored wire only, they do not have the capability to connect and run shielding gas. You can run aluminum wire with a wire feed welder and the right shielding gas. It works best if you have a piece of equipment called a spool gun which looks like a hair dryer and attaches to the business end of the hose. This is because aluminum is softer than steel and may not feed well when pushed too far.

TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. It is the popular name for GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode, and the filler material (if required) is supplied by hand, as with oxy-acetylene welding. With TIG, you use whichever shielding gas is appropriate to the type of metal being welded. TIG is generally considered the best process for aluminum welding because it is clean and precise. It is also very slow. It would not be considered the best process for welding in an industrial setting making boats, for example. It would be too slow to be cost effective.

Good quality TIG welders are very expensive, largely because of the electronics involved in having so much control over the characteristics of the arc.


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