Portable welders, such as MIG and Arc welders, use high-voltage current to melt solid metal wire. The electrical current leaves the welder, passes through a welding tip, then through the grounded metal object before returning to the welder, thus completing the circuit. Regardless of the type of wire used, solid core or flux core, the welder and the work piece must be properly grounded to achieve a quality weld.
Things You'll Need
- MIG welder
- Grounding clamp
- Flux cored welding wire
- Metal work piece
Check the ground clamp, which is connected to a No. 1 or No. 2 copper cable that leads to the MIG welder. Check the quality of the cable and make sure it's not frayed or corroded in any way. Inspect the connection between the grounding clamp and cable. Verify that the connection between the two is solid, and not frayed or kinked.
Check the welding tip. Extremely high voltage travels through the welding tip. Before starting your project, visually check the tip. A worn tip will result in a poor-quality weld.
Firmly clamp the ground clamp to raw metal on the work piece. The grounding clamp must grab the work piece at a point that is free of contaminants and oxidation. If needed, take a wire brush to the metal and remove any dirt or corrosion before connecting the ground clamp.
Turn on the welder. After the ground clamp is connected, and the work piece is clamped into position, turn on the welder. Like water in a hose, the electrical current leaves the MIG welder, travels through the welding top, jumps across the distance between the tip and the work surface, then returns to the welder. As it encounters the flux-core wire at the surface, the high voltage arc melts the wire, depositing it onto the metal work piece.
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