The team at Customised Sheet Metal have been welding metal and metal fabricated materials for 27 years. It’s not an easy process but with years of experience, we are fully equipped to explain to you the main steps in knowing how to weld.
Welding is the process of using electricity to melt and join pieces of metal together to form a single unit. The bond made by welding can’t be broken easily.
It’s not an easy process, but it’s something the team at Customised Sheet Metal are used to doing on a regular basis. Let’s look more into how to weld.
There are four main types of welding. These include Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Metal Active Gas (MAG) welding, Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), and gas welding and brazing.
At CSM we are able to weld a variety of different materials including stainless steel, mild steel, copper, brass, zinc, and titanium. We also weld a range of different material thicknesses across a range of different sectors, depending on the metalwork required by our clients.
Advantages of pulse welding with MIG/MAG
Standard “straight” MIG has lower arc energy – it will work in dip or spray, but in dip mode there will be short circuits and spatter. This can be useful on thin sections or positional welding, because the higher pulse energy can be too much for the puddle to stay controlled.
However, pulse allows the arc to enter spray transfer even at low currents and feed speeds. Due to the extra arc energy, this allows faster and neater welding with higher deposition and smaller heat affected zones
Double pulse gives you back the ability to weld at a slower pace. Because double pulse allows time for cooling and solidifying the weledment, it’s especially useful in difficult situations where you need to move the torch both quickly and carefully, while still maintaining control of the hot weld puddle. Examples of this would include around tube or handrails. Double pulse is also very useful for vertical up welding.
MIG/MAG welding looks like TIG, which can be a positive if that’s what you’re aiming for. The stacked ripple look can also easily be achieved by a slight back and forth motion with the torch.
Advantages of pulse welding with TIG/TAG
Pulsed – current TIG welding has various advantages, including lower heat input and consequently reducing distortion and warpage in thin work pieces. In addition, it allows for greater control of the weld pool, and can increase weld penetration, welding speed, and quality.
Here at Customised Sheet Metal we use the pulse on TIG for punching a root through on several different stainless-steel products, while using an argon fed purge jig to protect the root of the weld from the oxygen in the atmosphere.
As the most common and easiest form of welding, we are going to look at MIG welding in more detail in this blog:
How to weld
Step 1 – Safety first
The first thing you need to consider before you can begin welding is your safety and the safety of others around you. Considering your personal protective equipment is key for welding.
Do – Wear protective clothing
This includes a helmet to protect your eyes from extremely bright lights, long-sleeved clothing to cover your skin in case of burns, and insulated gloves to prevent electric shocks caused by the heat.
Don’t – Wear open-toed or synthetic shoes
Hot metal can often fall straight down when welding, so don’t wear any open-toed shoes during the process. Rubber-soled safety shoes are the best shoes you can wear whilst welding.
Do – Keep your workspace clear and have a fire extinguisher nearby
Molten metal can spit several feet, and any sawdust, paper or plastic bags can easily catch fire. Keep your workspace tidy to limit the possibility of a fire. And in case of emergency, ensure you have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Don’t – work in a badly ventilated area
Welding produces hazardous fumes which can be damaging if inhaled too much. Working in a well-ventilated area is the best way to prevent you from inhaling too many damaging fumes.
Step 2 – Preparation is key
Before you start to weld, ensure that both the welder and the pieces you are welding together are properly set up.
Weld quality testing is something that you should do before every welding job. The team of welders at CSM are well adapted to checking aspects of the welder before using it, such as doing visual, assembly and equipment inspections.
The metal that you are going to weld together also needs checking. You need to ensure that your metal is clean from any oil, paint or rust. You should also inspect the chemical components of the metal against the requirements, and make sure you know the properties of the materials you’re working with. For example, if you clean large areas of aluminum too early before welding, due to oxidation, this can cause the welding to go wrong and require a re-work.
Step 3 – Weld the metal
Materials you’ll need before you can start welding include an MIG wire, welding tips, electrode sticks, a welding gun, and gas or TIG brazing rod. Other items can include clamps, and an adjustable welding table.
You’ll be required to read the blueprint of the specification; calculate the amount of wire feed you’ll need and measure the depth of penetration.
Ground the workpiece with a ground clamp, bring the two materials together where you want them to connect, and with the tip of the welder, make a zig-zag motion across the top of the seam.
Step 4 – Grind down the weld & smooth it out
If you want your weld to look neat and professional, the final step is to grind the weld on an angle grinder machine down the weld and smoothen it out to finish the job professionally.
And that’s the welding process from start to finish.
At Customised Sheet Metal, we use a combination of old and new processes when it comes to welding, depending on the product we are manufacturing. We guarantee that our welding creates sturdy, reliable and long-lasting products, whether that be creating industrial cages, racking solutions for storage purposes or any other metal fabricated product.
Is it easy to weld?
Welding is a task that takes years to master, and requires plenty of practice. Often, professional welders will have attained a certification by taking courses or attending welding school.
If you need anything welding, Customised Sheet Metal is the perfect place to go. All of our welders are thoroughly trained and experienced in welding metal.
Want to learn more about welding? Read our blog about the history of welding here.
Thinking of a project that requires welding?
If you have a project that needs an element of welding, get in touch and one of our friendly team members can assist you with your project.
CSM would like to especially thank Adam Wellington and Steve Larkman for their contribution to writing this piece. They played a key part in providing you with all the accurate and expert knowledge of how to weld.