Each type of welder is different, so read your operator’s manual. Achieving a good weld comes down to combining the right voltage with the proper wire speed, and this requires practice. Fine-tune the settings on the welder by practicing on the same material you plan to work with.
The wire should protrude about 1/2 in. from the gun, and the gun should be about 3/8 in. away from the surface before you pull the trigger. When you’re working on horizontal surfaces with wire-feed welders, you want to push the gun forward. The gas creates a contaminant-free environment, which improves the welding process. If you pull the gun, it could outpace the gas.
The speed at which you move the gun will also affect how hot the metal gets and how much wire you lay down. One popular welding technique is to move the tip slightly forward and back as you go. Called “whipping,” it helps control your speed, creates good penetration, and results in a narrower bead than you’d get by making tiny circles as you moved along.
The welding process shouldn’t produce snapping or popping noises. If a welder is adjusted properly, you should hear a consistent buzzing or sizzle, like the sound of bacon frying. This all may seem complicated, but in just a few minutes you’ll be creating solid welds (maybe not pretty ones—that comes later).
Voltage Too Low, Wire Speed Too Fast Wire Speed Too Slow Perfect!