While learning how to mig weld is more involved than what we can write in 500 words or so here is a brief summary of getting set up and the process involved.
Proper Welding Machine set-up is the key to having a smooth weld and at the same time can compensate for a lack of skill. Many welders get so used to using the same machine all of the time they forget how to set one up. I am guilty of this myself. When I work with the same welding machine I get very intimate with the way the machine runs. After a while you just know where to set the machine for what you are going to weld. The key to sound weld quality is know how to set any MIG Welding Machine to run properly. Before getting caught up in welding techniques and other distractions lean how to set any welding machine out there. This is so true when it comes to taking onsite welder qualification tests!
A small gasless machine can weld mild steel sheet metal, box sections, angle iron and plate. What it really comes down to is how much power the mig welder has. The thicker the metal, the hotter the weld needs to be. You can weld up box trailers and do repairs to them. You can make modifications to you street cars or race cars. Any little welding project a gasless mig welder is handy to have.
Aside from this, you also need to know that there are some advantage as well as drawbacks with each materials. You need to choose that which suits your purposes.
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The world of Lincoln SA200 welders is an interesting one. Lincoln wound some of them in the 1970s with aluminum, but went back to copper with the Pipeliner Classic Series ll. Stay away from aluminum if you’re going to get a Pipeliner.
I do not at all recommend this for anyone who is serious about making money in a production welding environment or welding and fabrication business. It will cause to much trouble.
In fact, you really need to have a spare cylinder for all your processes. Welding gas cylinders are available in basically two kinds: leased cylinders which are the full sized cylinders used in industry, and owners cylinders. Owners cylinders are usually about 125 cubic feet or roughly half the capacity of the big ones. I recommend getting two owners cylinders for everything. Why? Because running out of argon on Saturday evening when the job is due out Monday morning is not bad for business. Having an extra owners bottle will not add to your monthly expenses and buys you time in getting your main cylinder refilled.