Some Tips on Renting a MIG Welder and How to Make Good Strong Welds

By  //  November 23, 2021

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When it comes using a MIG welder safely at home, there are two schools of thought. Those who choose to own and those who choose to rent. While there are benefits to both, some at-home welders swear that renting your MIG welder will actually save you money in the long-run. 

But first off, what is a MIG welder you ask? Says Red-D-Arc, a professional welder rental company, Aluminum MIG welding is a very good choice when welds that have high travel speeds need to be made on aluminum components or structures. That’s why MIG welding is so popular in both the construction and marine industries.  

According to a recent report, MIG welding is usually the first kind of welding newbies will learn. It’s said to be one of the simplest techniques, and also one of the most versatile and easy welding practices around. 

It’s also very portable, which means you can buy or rent a machine. But many experts will tell you that renting can save you money in the long term since you won’t have to worry about paying for welder repairs and maintenance. That means, in the long term, renting is usually the way to go for the cost-conscious welder. 

But if you’re just beginning to learn the ins and outs of MIG welding, here’s a few tips that can help you with “laying down a good weld.” 

Good Welds Vs. Bad Welds

Many different types of “weld beads” exist. These include weave beads, stringer beads, and whipped heads. Regardless of which type of bead you go with, an experienced welder will eventually know what a good, clean, strong weld looks like on the surface. 

A good, clean, strong weld contains the following characteristics: It is uniform in its width. Ripples are said to be evenly feathered onto the base metal. The weld will have very good penetration and there are few signs of porosity, inclusions, or gas pockets. Also, no burning is present due to overheating. 

Tips for Making Good Welds in the Field or at Home

You need to get comfortable and familiar with your welding gun. If you’re just starting out, a welding gun can seem a little awkward. You start by holding the gun and getting used to its position and weight. You rest the barrel in one hand while placing that hand on the table. The other hand will control the trigger. 

You should be careful to make certain the wire meets the weld point at a thirty-degree angle. This requires standing in a comfortable position, using decent posture. Practice shifting the welding gun back and forth over your work surface. Also practice touching the wire lightly to the surface, then slowly pull the gun towards your body. When you feel the time is right, squeeze the trigger and repeat this same motion with the welder turned on. 

Adjust Your MIG Welder Correctly

Whether you have purchased your MIG welder outright or are renting a machine, you need to adjust it every single time you set up to make your welds. You need to examine the chart on the welding machine so that you can adjust the voltage and wire speed to the size and thickness of the metal that’s to be welded. 

A used machine that you purchased from someone you don’t know might not have the correct guide and therefor could ruin your welds, costing you time and money. But a rented machine from a reputable dealer will always contain the correct guides. The very legible guides will prevent you from making bad welds the first time around. 

But if you’re new at the welding game, you might want to make a few practice welds on some scrap metal in order to properly test the wire. A wire that feeds too fast will “spit.” That’s when you need to turn the wire speed down while turning the voltage ratio up a bit. If the wire happens to be producing a glob or burning back to the tip, you need to turn down the voltage or turn up the wire speed. 

Good Solid Grounding

A strong, resilient ground clamp is said to improve your welds significantly. Copper grounds conduct electricity better than any other metal. They are also designed to last a while.

The lesser quality ground clamps like plated steel with copper jaws can’t compete with full copper grounding. Also, bad clamps can damage your welding machine, which is another reason why renting a machine with good clamps is a better move than working with a machine you own which might require maintenance and costly down time. 

A welder that’s not operating properly, is a welder that’s costing you money.