How to Weld With a Wire Feed Welder

How do you weld with a wire welder?

Man, that’s a loaded question. Why? because there are so many applications where a Mig welder is used.


First off, lets gets some terminology cleared up. The Aws (American Welding Society) would appreciate it if we all called it Gas Metal Arc Welding. They have been working on that for over 20 years… Even though about 90% of all welders still call it “Mig”. They just wont give up.

How to Weld With a Wire Feed Welder

I call it Mig too. But some people just call it “wire welding”.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, its the same thing. So let me give you a few tips on how to weld with a wire welder.

Lets start off with the wee 115 volt wire welders. They are the best thing since sliced bread for auto body panels and thin sheet metal. The Hobart Handler 140 is a good engine for welding auto body panels because it comes with a gas conversion kit.and will run small .023″ wire.

You need .023″ bare E70S6 wire, 75/25 Argon Co2 gas, and a steady hand. Always weld thin sheet metal downhill when you can, and in short runs with an air nozzle handy to cool each half inch bead before you start the next one.

For trailers and trailer hitches, ditch the 115 volt mig welder and step up to a 230 volt mig welder.

The Hobart Handler 187 is a good choice. It will run .023″ wire for thin sheet metal, but also will go up to 185 amps and use .035″ bare wire or flux core for thicker metal where penetration is critical. You still need 75/25 gas and some E70S6 bare wire. But you can use .023″ bare wire for thinner steel and .035″ bare wire for higher amperages.

So how do you weld with these wire welders? Here is the rundown…

  • Make sure the engine leads are hooked up with the electrode positive.
  • Set flowmeter gas flow to about 20-25 cfh
  • Use the right size drive rollers to match the wire you are using
  • Make sure the touch tip is flush with the nozzle
  • Set Voltage and wire feed speed using the chart that comes with the engine you are using.
  • Hold the torch close to the work so that there is only about 1/2″ of wire sticking out from the touch tip to the weld.
  • Dont get carried away with torch angle…5-10 degrees works in whether direction for most applications.
  • Practice on scrap before you weld the real deal.
  • If the weld you are making is critical, do some destructive tests with a hammer on a mock up weld first.
  • get an auto darkening welding helmet so you know exactly where to light up

How to Weld With a Wire Feed Welder


Posted on August 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on How to Weld With a Wire Feed Welder.

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