Arc Welding

The arc welding technology area focuses on the most commonly used arc welding processes, mainly GMAW/MIG, GTAW/TIG, SMAW/stick, and plasma. The articles and press releases cover processes and power sources, plus all of the related items—electrodes and wire, wire feeders, fixtures, manipulators, positioners, and power sources. If you need information on personal protective gear, ventilation systems, and safety practices for welders, see our Safety coverage area.

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Arc Welding 101: Don't spare the rod—Electrode storage myths

November 10, 2014

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Welders often ask me, “Can I dry welding rods in my oven if they have gotten wet?” and “Can I put 7018 welding rods in my freezer for a certain amount of time if they are old?” The 7018 electrode is a low-hydrogen rod, which means it doesn’t tolerate moisture in its flux. If you’ve...

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Arc Welding 101: Hot rods and MIG

November 7, 2014

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Q: Can gas metal arc welding (GMAW) be used on motorcycles and hot rods? A: Yes, but it takes a lot more than just running a good bead. The popularity of cable TV fabrication shows with the likes of Jesse James, the Teutuls, and Boyd Coddington has generated a lot of questions about GMAW....

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Compact multiprocess welding machine is portable

November 6, 2014

The Power MIG 210 MP from Lincoln Electric is a multiprocess welding machine that performs GMAW, as well as DC SMAW, DC GTAW, and self-shield FCAW. Push-and-turn digital controls and a color display screen simplify setup and operation, while the all-metal wire drive and sheet metal construction...

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Keeping things straight—welding control arms

November 6, 2014

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Welding control arms for a Chevy COE flatbed truck seemed like no big deal, but every project has challenges.

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Arc Welding 101: Thoriated tungsten and its alternatives

November 6, 2014

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Q: In "TIG welding--An overview," you said you used 2 percent thoriated tungsten until you heard about the health risks. What are other options? Does cost vary significantly (not that cost should matter when it comes to health or safety)? My fabrication shop runs 14 gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)...

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Arc Welding 101: Uphill MIG

November 5, 2014

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Q: What patterns is used in uphill gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and what amperage should I use on 0.25-in. plate using 75 percent argon/25 percent carbon dioxide shielding gas? Where I work—I build farm equipment—there’s no need for uphill welding, so I like to practice at lunch. August F....

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Arc Welding 101: How to motivate a welder

November 4, 2014

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Many people have asked me how to motivate welders in the shop. The following are some ideas. Money. If a shop doesn’t pay well, it won’t attract good welders. Health benefits and a 401(K) plan show that a company cares about its employees. Safety. Shops must be safe to work in; every worker,...

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Arc Welding 101: Best practices for aluminized steel

November 3, 2014

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Q: Which process, filler rod, and shielding gas work best for welding aluminized steel? A: Aluminized steel resists fire, heat, corrosion, and oxidation. It’s used in many applications, such as weather shielding and exhaust systems. Steel is hot-dipped in an aluminum solution, which provides...

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Arc Welding 101: Preparing for an overhead certification test

October 31, 2014

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Q: A carpenter friend of mine has taken some night-school welding courses and needs help getting certified in overhead welding. He uses steel beams to support the homes he builds and would like to weld them himself. How should he prepare for and take an overhead welding certification test?...

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Image Industries launches new website

October 30, 2014

Image Industries, Huntley, Ill., has launched a new website at www.imageindustries.com highlighting its stud welding products. Through its partnership with Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), the company has committed to learning and incorporating digital marketing best practices into...

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Arc Welding 101: Hands-off MIG education

October 30, 2014

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Q: I recently bought a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine, and I’ve also just completed a beginner’s welding course at the local college. Unfortunately, the basics don’t explain enough about the controls, such as voltage, wire speed, and stickout, and how they affect the weld penetration,...

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Don’t underestimate MIG welding skills

October 29, 2014

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Plenty of welding training programs start with gas metal arc welding, or MIG welding, because it’s fairly easy to start laying a pretty consistent bead—under very simple and consistent conditions. As a result, most people look at gas tungsten arc welding, or TIG welding, with its need to use both hands while simultaneously operating a foot pedal, as a more complicated welding process. In a large-scale metal fabricating operation’s world, those people would be wrong.

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Arc Welding 101: Determining correct gas ratios

October 29, 2014

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Q: For years we have used 75/25 argon/carbon dioxide during gas metal arc welding (GMAW). I was told by my supplier that I needed to change to 90/10. Will one gas mixture provide better welding penetration than the other? Most of our work is mild steel (A-36), 0.1875 to 0.25 in. thick, although we...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding the 'best buy'

October 28, 2014

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Q: I’m looking for a Consumer Reports-type study on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) machines. As a small-business owner, I would like to know what would be the best buy. Have you done any reports on welding machines in terms of best makes and models? Glenn H. A: To answer your question, no, I...

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Arc Welding 101: Preweld cleaning tips for TIG

October 27, 2014

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Q: My primary function is to go into commercial kitchens and gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) stainless steel that is covered in grease, dirt, and dust. In open areas I can grind the grease off, but I have a problem in tight corners that I can’t get into with a grinder. Can you recommend any cleaning...

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