Welding is like any other skilled trade—it’s not something you can become good at by reading books or watching videos. It takes practice, experience and some patience (a good name brand machine always helps, too). However, you can gain a lot from reading these tips on welding fitment, machine settings, and eliminate any mistakes that might be made through trial and error. Let’s get welding!
1. This job revolves around making caps for 2x3 box tubing (link crossmember) to give it a nice, finished look. I started by beveling the edges with a 60 grit flap disk on a grinder. This lets the weld penetrate deeper allowing you to grind it smooth without worries of it coming back off.
2. I’ve got the 1/4-inch steel cap as close as I can to fitting. Not taking the time to do this step will leave you grinding for hours.
3. When welding this heavy 1/4-inch wall tubing, I like a hot setting and a somewhat fast wire speed. My machine is a 220V, so it’s only set halfway. A 110V machine may need to be set higher.
4. Before starting a new job, I like a new tip, a clean nozzle, and a dab of anti-spatter gel around the inside of the nozzle.
5. I started with two strong tack welds—one at each end.
6. After tacking it on, I noticed that one side was overlapping while the other side was perfect. A little more grinding was in order.
7. Now we’re ready to weld.
8. Here I am "running it with it" as my dad says. The wire speed is up, and some wrist action is needed here.
9. Grinding these down is purely aesthetic, but at least knock the spatter off!
10. I always choose to take the time to grind the welds down. Hearing protection—you should be wearing it anyway but I feel I can make more precise cuts and have an overall better product without all the background noise.
11. 20 minutes worth of work well spent for something that wont look cheap and thrown-together.