If you’ve embarked on a DIY project involving mild steel but are unsure how to weld the pieces together, this article is designed to help. Aimed at beginners or those with limited knowledge, we will break down the different steps to consider so that you can make an informed decision before beginning your project.
There are two types of welding that you can consider when welding mild steel and, depending on who you are talking to, one may be recommended more than the other:
MIG Welding – This process works by feeding a solid wire electrode through the welding gun, towards the base metal, between which an electric arm flows to heat and melt the metal, allowing you to join two pieces of metal together.
Arc Welding – This process creates an arc between the electrode and metal, melting them at the point at which the metal is to be welded.
While both methods can be learnt at home with only a small amount of research, many experts and DIY enthusiasts say that MIG welding is by far the easiest to learn. In addition to this, the tools and materials used for MIG welding are often cheaper than those required for other types of welding. Of course, no matter which option you choose, it is important to wear the correct safety gear as it can be quite dangerous if done incorrectly.
MIG Welding – Basic Process
One of the main reasons MIG is a popular choice for welding mild steel is that the technique is quite simple, allowing the user to focus on the materials they are welding. Because the electrode is fed automatically by the machine, users can focus their attention on the welding gun and ensure they are being consistent.
Arc Welding – Basic Process
As mentioned previously, arc welding is slightly more difficult because both hands are used for something different – one for holding the welding gun and one for the filler metal. Because of this extra degree of control, the arc process takes considerably longer.
Many professionals would recommend that, before welding, you undertake professional tuition to understand the basics of welding and to ensure that your DIY project goes smoothly. However, there are many videos available that go through the process step-by-step and, if you’re confident enough in your abilities, should suffice.
With welding for beginners though, the most important thing to remember is safety. Long sleeves are recommended and suitable leather work gloves are required to protect your hands, which obviously are closest to the weld gun. Goggles or helmets are also required to protect your face and eyes from the light that is produced.