Welding isn’t something that everyone can do. It requires not only a lot of skill but also the right tools. If you’re new to welding or simply want to learn, you should remember a few tips and common issues to avoid. Whether you’re working with stainless process piping or copper sheet metal, these tips can help you.
Don’t Forget to Grind the Joint After Plasma or Oxy-Fuel Cutting
The plasma and oxy-fuel cutting processes are great ways to cut edges. However, this type of cutting always adds a layer of oxide to the edge. Before welding, you have to remove this layer. The oxide typically has a higher melting point than the base metal that you use. By the time that the arc reaches a temperature that’s hot enough to melt the oxide, it’s way too hot for the base metal. This process can lead to burn through.
Avoid Ruining the Corrosion-Resistant Properties of Stainless Steel Piping
Some metals are easily affected by high heat. Aluminum and stainless steel are two prime examples. Unfortunately, you could ruin the corrosion-resistant traits of stainless steel if you overheat it. This usually happens when you make a poor cut and have to use excess metal to fill in the joint. The extra heat that you need for the filler metal can distort the stainless steel and ruin certain properties. The best fix here is to avoid cutting corners when you make cuts.
Don’t Forget to Cut Out the Feather Tacks
If you want a consistent final weld, cut out the feather tacks. The weld that you make can consume the remaining tacks in the joints. If you use the wrong filler metal to tack the joint or there’s a defect in the tack itself, leaving it in place can cause bad defects in your weld. Simply cutting out the tack can eliminate this potential problem altogether.
You can’t become a great welder overnight. However, you can eliminate certain errors and improve your overall welding talents with these tips. Just remember that safety always needs to come first when you weld. One wrong mistake can end in disaster if you aren’t careful. Also, keep in mind that the rules and tips can differ depending on the type of metal that you use.