Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Learning to Weld

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Mentioned to Mrs EEVblog the other day that I'd like to learn to weld. Surprisingly, she said she's always wanted to learn as well.
So MIG or TIG?

Which one would you pick to learn with?
Bunnings: https://www.bunnings.com.au/search/products?q=welder&sort=BoostOrder&page=1
Sydney Tools: https://sydneytools.com.au/search?p=1&q=welder

Someone in Twitter mentioned MIG is easier, like "hot glue for welding" as xjet put it. TIG can do aluminimum and stainless steel and generally do more stuff.


With MIG welder an inexperienced weldor can produce very pretty welds that come apart like nothing. Because the heat affected zone doesn't penetrate deep enough into the parent metal.
TIG is the thinking man's tool. Longer to learn and  more knobs to twist equals more fun and a greater variety of materials you can handle. Aluminum needs AC to clean surface oxide layer.

Dural Men's shed. Come and hang out. No need to buy anything until you know what you want. The fact that you want to buy from Bunnings frightens the life out of me.

In your case you should hunt around for a similar shed group perhaps a bit less churchy.


I learned with oxy-acetylene, so many years later when I moved to electric arc, TIG came very naturally.  As ChickenHead said, some people start with MIG and produce pretty, but very poor welds.  It is more difficult to do that with TIG.

For structural welding, MIG (or stick) is probably the way to go.  For precision welding, I use TIG.  TIG can also be used for any weldable metal or purpose, including structural. Most, maybe all TIG welders can be used for stick welding too. 

The one area where MIG shines (and why I bought my Linde MIG years ago) is when doing long welds on sheet steel.*  Distortion is considerably less.  My MIG welder is circa 1983.  Modern versions have some nice features, but I have only seen demonstrations and have no experience with them.

For welding outdoors with wind, you may want to consider either stick or flux-core "MIG." (With flux-core, an inert gas is not needed.)

*Stick welding with a TIG welder for power is also very good for sheet steel.

Never wear your favourite clothes to the party. Those that know, know.  ;)

You only truly can say you know how to weld after you've burnt your balls. Bonus points for when it happens welding upside down above your head.  :-+


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