HIWT has 143 welding booths complete with a welding table and material position holder to practice welding in all positions. HIWT has 143 welding booths complete with a welding table and material position holder to Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG) MIG welding is a process in which an arc is created between a continuously fed filler metal (a wire electrode) and the part being welded. The electrode and shielding gas are fed through the MIG gun. The electrode and shielding gas are both consumables. MIG welders are very popular and for good reason. MIG welders are best suited for indoor use since they use shielding gas to protect the weld. However, if you are going to be welding outdoors where the shielding gas can be blown away as you weld, a variation known as Flux Cored Arc Welding can be utilized. With Flux Core the wire has flux material inside the core of the welding wire, thus it doesn't need shielding gas. Some of the benefits of MIG welding is that it's easy to learn, you have better control on thin materials, it's useful for awkward/out-of-position welding, deep penetration for welding thick sections, you can use the same power source for solid and flux-core wire welding, travel speed, and deposition rates can be higher than TIG for greater speed and efficiency. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG) TIG welding is a process in which an arc is created between a nonconsumable tungsten electrode and the parts being welded. An inert gas is used to protect the weld, which is fed through the TIG torch. A foot pedal or fingertip controller is used to control the heat. A filler material is not always needed but when it is, it is fed by hand. With the right TIG equipment you can weld anything. This includes steel, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, magnesium, and more. TIG gives the welder the most control over the welding process. Most TIG power sources can also be used for stick welding. While TIG is much more versatile in weldable materials than MIG and produces nice-looking welds when done correctly, it is also more difficult to master. Using a tungsten electrode to support the arc, a foot pedal to control heat, filler metal added only when needed, the TIG welder can create the best quality welds but requires more coordination. The shielding gas used is usually argon. Tungsten electrodes are alloyed with various precious metals depending on the base metal being welded. TIG welding machines can be changed from DC both positive and negative ground to AC current quickly. DC current is used for steel and AC is used for aluminum. The benefits of TIG welding are that you can weld more metals and alloys than MIG, it creates clean high-quality welds when weld appearances matter, and welds can be made in all positions. TIG Welders can a bit pricier, but once again you have a broader range of material that can be welded. Miller offers its Diversion 180 AC/DC TIG welder that can be used off both 115V or 230V input power for about $2,150. A well-stocked welding store will make your life a lot easier. Training There are a number of outlets for training. We recommend training before buying equipment. This will allow you to gauge how much skill and commitment you have. By going to a training class you'll get the opportunity to try different welding processes and equipment. This will help you decide before you purchase if welding is for you. Welding is like riding a bicycle, you never forget how. You may not be as smooth if you haven't welded in a few months, but with a little practice, you should be able to produce good quality results. The fastest way to becoming a proficient welder is to attend formal training. A number of very good welders started with a friend showing them the basics, but if you're looking to speed up the learning curve, formal training is the answer. There are a number of training options. By taking a class or two you may find you're a natural at welding or it's something you'll never master, without making a large investment. « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Bob Colvin Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!