Whether you’re an amateur welder or choose the vocation to make a living, there is always room for improvement. Not only will you produce a better product, but you will also find welding to be more engaging and interesting as you learn more. Here are five easy ways to hone your welding skills.
Work with Clean Materials
If you are doubting your skillset as a welder, the first thing to do is work only with clean materials. Oil, dust, and dirt affects the quality of the welds. You may end up with pitted, uneven, and weak welds. Taking a few minutes beforehand to clean the surface can quickly boost your techniques.
Shorten Your Wire
Many welding mishaps happen when the wire sticks out too far from the end of the gun. The best range for high-quality welds is ¼” to 3/8” as a general rule. Anything longer or shorter will affect the aesthetics and quality of the welds. You may need to work within the recommended lengths to find the ideal amount of wire for the job.
You can also improve your welding by changing how you hold the gun. The best welds are made by using both hands. Rest the neck of the gun in the space between your thumb and pointer finger, and operate the trigger with the other hand. Wear a welding glove so you can keep the hand holding the gun close to the weld.
Good Welding Technique
Once you practice with the right grip on the gun, hone your welding skills by using the right welding technique for the job. The backhand method in which you drag the gun will give you a narrow weld that is high in the center and deep. The forehand method involves pushing the gun forward, and this is best for a flat, smooth surface that is not very deep.
Check the Bead
After you’re done welding, the bead will let you know where you need to hone your welding skills further. If the weld looks like a rope or is convex, your gun is too cold for the job. Increase the heat output, and try the bead again on similar materials and for a similar repair. Keep adjusting the heat until you achieve the desired bead.