Welding Problems And How To Fix Them

There are many causes of welding problems. Bad welds are not good. A weld is supposed to fuse two metal parts together by using a similar metal as a filler material, a poor weld is not only unsightly but is also unsafe, especially in construction where peoples lives may depend on it. Here we outline some welding defects and how to remedy them.

Causes of Weld Splatter

 Check the welding current to ensure its not to excessive. Check the size of the welding electrode for the job, an electrode to small and a high current will cause weld splatter.

Use a short weld arc with the appropriate current for the job. Use an anti splatter spray product, these products prevent weld splatter from adhering to welding equipment and metal surfaces including aluminium and other alloys.

Anti-spatter water based spray that prevents weld spatter from adhering to metal surfaces and welding components, available in a range of sizes.


Cause Of Weld Distortion

Distortion of the parent weld metal can be due to several factors, genrely speaking it is a result of the deposited weld shrinking.

Welding problems of distortion can be eased by clamping the job first then tack welding at various intervals,  before completing the full weld. Also using a peening hammer or powered tool while the weld is hot will assist in nullifying the shrinkage.Try to Develop a weld sequence to prevent  localised over heating.

On larger projects using heavy steel, pre heating can also help in reducing weld distortion.

How To Prevent The Warping When Welding Sheet Metal.

Choose welding electrodes that offer a high weld speed and moderate penetration, this will assist in giving less shrinkage to the weld area.

Avoid Excessive heat. This can be avoided by welding quickly.

Joint preparation. The better you prepare the join the less heat you will pump into the job, try to avoid a wide root opening. Hammering the edges of the join at the root will elongate the edges which when welded will shrink back to the original shape they were in, helping to prevent sheet metal warping.

During the welding procedure, try to make welds in minimal passes as possible, clamp joints where possible ad, if possible back up the weld so as to cool the joint as soon as possible.

Welding Distortion

Reasons for Poor weld Appearances

Poor welds not only look bad but also are likely to be weak. Use the following as a guide to make good clean neat welds.

Make sure the welding current is correct for the thickness of metal being welded, and for the type of material being welded, do not use excessive welder current. Use the correct technique and hand peice manipulation, eg vertical down, vertical up ect. Make smooth passes and travel rates.

Choice of electrodes, weld in the position recommended for the particular electrode being used, ensuring the weld rod is the right one for the job.

Prepare all joins correctly, trying to weld a but weld without preparation is asking for trouble.

3 Common Welding Problems

Cracked Welds and How To Avoid Them

Joint preparation should have a good root gap. Don’t make the weld in string beads. Lay down weld metal full size in short sections from 8.0 to 10.0 inches.. (Commonly called a block sequence.)

 Check for excessive rigidity of joint.

Redesign the structure and modify the welding procedure in order to eliminate rigid joints. Step 2. Ensure the welds are not too small for the size of the material to be joined. When welding heavy sections make sure the root is sufficient, fill the joint with several smaller passes. Again use correct welding processes.

Check the welder polarity and current, keep a steady arc length,  welds should be sound with proper fusion of the base metal.

Try to leave the ends free on the weld until the last pass, allowing sufficient movement.

Welding sequence should be such as to leave ends free to move as long as possible. For larger work pre heating will also assist in reducing localized stresses.

Causes of Weld Undercut.

Avoid high speed welding and use recommended current settings on the welder. Use the right electrode for the job and sound manipulation practice. Sometimes a too large electrode will cause a oversize weld puddle that in turn can result in undercut.

When using the weave technique, avoid over weaving as this will cause undercut, a proper weave should generally be no wider than three times the electrode diameter.

When making a horizontal fillet weld, the electrode should not be to vertical as this can cause weld undercut

Reasons For Poor Penetration.

Poor weld penetration can lead to cold welds. This is when the deposited metal from the electrode fails to penetrate the plate to be welded, with the weld virtually sitting on the plate as if glued on. This is more common with Mig welding and can be a serious problem when used in structural applications.

Make sure the parent metal is sound and clean, remove any rust or contamination by grinding or other abrasive methods.

Its essential that the correct electrode is being used for what they were designed to weld.

Also the welding position should be taken into account. For thicker metals, make sure you have a proper root prepared with sufficient gap at the joint. Its a good idea to use a backup bar where possible.

Between passes, chip or back grind the weld before continuing. Should the weld require an X-ray this step is critical as there should be no slag left at the weld face prior to the next pass. Start with smaller welding rods for the root passes and finish with larger ones, the root run should blister out on the reverse side of the weld.

Keep the travel of the weld steady and not to fast, good welder current is needed to maximize penetration.

Observe puddling time to see if it is sufficient to let trapped gases to escape. A good weld puddle ensures the weld metal is molten longer and will often give a sounder weld. If the weld has a series of string beads its possible for porosity to occur, a good fix for this is to utilize a small weaving action.

Causes of Brittle Welds

Is the electrode the right one for the job?. Bare electrodes will produce brittle welds. The use of Shielded arc electrodes is required to produce ductile welds. Check the size of the electrode also.

Avoid using excessive current, welding settings need to be in line with good welding procedures.

The composition of the parent metal should be known before welding, any alloy elements present will absorb into the weld, also the use of several weld passes will assist in making welds less brittle.

When welding in narrow groove joints use an electrode small enough to properly reach the bottom of the joint. 

The deposited metal should fuse with the base metal and not curl away from it or merely adhere to it.

The causes of welding defects are numerous, however by adhering to proper welding techniques and the use of good equipment most welding problems can be overcome and not encountered in the first place.



How To Use A Mig Welder

learning how to use a mig welder is not as difficult as it may seem. It is is the most likely the easiest method of welding and is a valuable skill to learn both for your personal use and projects or as a spring board to employment. When you Learn the skills required your home workshop will never be the same, you will be able to tackle all kinds of projects such as furniture, work benches , brackets, racks, chassis and frames, gates, repair broken parts and even larger projects such as house beams and steel deck framework.

 Click Here To Learn How To Mig Weld!

mig welders

Miller mig welding machine.

Mig welding is commonly referred to as gas metal arc welding (GMAW), this type of welding is today the most popular and versatile method of welding. It is used in production and maintenance work and can be applied to heavy engineering, light engineering and construction work to auto body work. For example production line robotic welders in auto manufacture are Mig welders. Mig welding is perfect for day to day factory work as well as being ideal for the home or small workshop.

To get going fast with mig welding see our learn How to Weld Tutorial page.

mig welding torch

Mig welding uses a power source and a wire feeder that feeds the wire electrode through the welding gun to the weld. The wire feed consists of a set of drive wheels for the wire and a constant speed motor to turn the drive wheels. The wire electrode comes in various coil sizes, or spools depending on the welds to be performed. These spools can be mild steel, stainless steel or aluminum in accordance to the job, and can contain hundreds and even thousands of feet/meters of wire. Most Welding machines have various functions allowing timed feeds and variable speeds.

make money with a mig welder

The wire is feed through a cable that also contains a shielding gas hose and allows the electrode to run smoothly without bending or kinking. The shielding gas, or inert gas protects the weld from contamination during the welding process. Welding wires can differ with solid wires used for aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel, but also flux cored wires are also used for use on heavy steelwork.. A gasless wire is available for mild steel, this is useful in outdoor or on site situations where a gas bottle is impractical or breezes are a concern by blowing away any protective gases.

Inert gasses are gasses that will not react with metals or other gasses. With mig welding Inert gases are used to create a protective bubble around the arc and molten metal while the welding is being done. This gas is generally pure argon gas for aluminum and argon sheilding gas for mild steel applications.

Mig welding can be used to weld steel, stainless steel and aluminum , all requires slightly different gasses welding wires, and amperage settings. and due to the work requirements the heavier the metal being welded the more powerful welding machine needs to be.

For home mig welders a machine rated between 140 and 220 amps is most likely the best choice. This would allow working on metal thicknesses from 1/16″ up to 1/4″ including pipes, tubes, flat bar, round bar, angle iron, sheet metals and square hollow sections.

Mig Welding Employment

If you seek employment, learning how to use a mig welder gives you  skills to open many new doors for you. There is a constant demand for semi skilled and skilled welders in fields such as production work, light and heavy engineering. Then there is the big money welder jobs in the oil and mineral industries. Once you learn Mig welding you also have the opportunity to start your own business. You could start out working from home making small items of furniture to sell at your local markets, over time your name will get around and you will find you will get as much work that you want.

Setting Up A Welding Shop

Setting up a welding shop or home welding area needs a few considerations to ensure your area is safe and well planned.  There are numerous benefits of getting a dedicated welding shop.

How To Build A Welding Shop Workbench

Considerations To Take Into Account For The Welding Workshop
Some welding processes are simply not suited to outside work. One example is, gas metal and gas tungsten welding (TIG Welding) require the surrounding air to be calm. Simply because the shielding gas may well be blown away in a breezy situation.

Arc welding should only be done in dry areas and away from the rain as a result of electric shock hazard.

One more reason would be the outside temperature. Cold metals do not weld well without pre heating, for this reason a propane gas heating unit would be a great addition to your shop .

Welding can be a dangerous activity therefore your surroundings really should be as controlled as they possibly can, store away inflammable items and containers, use safety screens to protect from grinders and arc flashes.

Through the welding process sparks and components of slag can scatter approximately 40 feet from the patch of welding. This may cause damage to people and foster a source of fire hazard. In the welding shop you build a metal table to do your welding on and avoid wood or other materials that may catch fire.

The welding shop ought to be enduring an area that could be well ventilated. Welding can make dangerous gases that should be faraway from the space and smoke also, take precautions to remove fumes and grinding dust, one of the best investments would be a Welding Fume Extractor to remove dangerous fumes.

Also, bright overhead light is recommended to be set up and aimed your own welding table. In case your auto shop also has an extra room with cinder block walls as well as a concrete floor, you are now in luck. This can make a perfect spot for your welding shop. You ought to avoid any surface that could be damaged or turned towards fire by sparks and hot slag.

How to Make A Welding fume Extractor


Once you have your workshop set up, various tools and equipment will be needed plus your welding accessories. Diy equipment say for example reciprocating saw, angle grinder, portable band saw, plus a chop saw will come in handy whilst on your welding projects. An angle grinder is ideal for removing excess slag and cleaning up rough edges on metal.

Specific tools for working on metal will certainly be needed as well. This also includes metal brakes and metal benders that have been available for every size of metal. Other suggested tools are magnetic clamp, center punch, metal file, C-clamp, corner clamp, cold chisel, ball peen hammer plus a hacksaw. This not a complete list but is often a very good starting point. The good list of tools you could use in welding is sort of endless and you’ll constantly discover new tools that you’ll want because you be advanced inside the art of welding.

Setting up your welding shop is really about logic more than technical know how. Those new to welding are quick to forget about the extreme temperatures needed within a welding process and as such never realize the fire hazard of your welding area. Should you be well-versed, it really is fairly obvious that carpet in the welding shop is not really a good suggestion. An outstanding welding shop not exclusively protects the welder and assists in good welding but it protects another people in the auto shop by not exposing them to hot sparks and blinding light.

How To Weld Stainless Steel

weld stainless steelThere’s about three typical methods how to weld stainless steel. SMAW (shielded metal arc) or just stick welding, GMAW, typically called Mig welding (metal inert gas), along with GTAW (tungsten inert gas) or alternatively Tig welding.

Stick or Arc welding.

The techniques for you to learn how to weld stainless-steel with an arc welder are little different  to the welding of mild steel. Usually a smaller gauge stainless-steel electrode is required for the purpose of arc welding stainless-steels. Please note; be aware regarding finished welds,similar to mild steel welds, there’s a layer of slag still left over a finished bead, now with mild steels this slag requires chipping away, on the other hand a stainless steel weld has a tendency to ‘ping’ away while it cools down. This may result in severe damage to the eyes and so at all times use total eye safeguards when welding with stainless-steel welding rods.

Welding Stainless Steel Using A MIG.

Once again much the same procedure applied to mild steels. Naturally you will have to change your mild steel welding wire for stainless-steel welding wire. It’s usually obtainable in 304 as well as 316 grades. Make use of 316 grade stainless-steel wires in increased oxidation zones along with marine purposes. You will additionally want to use argon gas as opposed to c02 which is used for welding mild steel. The process of how to weld stainless steel by Mig welding is typical in the majority of steel manufacturing workshops.

Tig Welding Stainless Steel.

Welding stainless with a TIG is among the most tricky to learn .But in my estimation it’s the more rewarding of processes and gives a pure welded join to the welded joint.

How to weld steel utilizing a tig demands much more technical proficiency, it does however resembles working with the Oxy-Acetylene gas welding method. Tig welding machines feature a smaller hand-held torch which contains a tungsten electrode to generate its arc. Tungsten steel is utilised since it offers an higher than normal melting point. This tungsten electrode, whenever struck towards the steel produces the arc that will start the fusion process; at this stage a stainless steel filler rod will be used to increase substance into the joints. This is when the user requires a steady hand.

Learning to weld stainless steel boils down to making use of the appropriate tools and selecting the most effective procedure to do the job. Just for simple welding of stainless-steel the arc or mig method is going to be sufficient, however, if you’re looking for a high quality surface finish or even are producing a product that needs a nice and clean surface finish for example a industrial foods mixing component part or perhaps a top end bicycle your tig welder will be the best option. Just like every thing utilizing the appropriate procedure as well as plenty of practice will soon allow you to get to weld stainless steel to a professional level before you know it.

How To Weld Processes

So start to learn how to weld there are several questions that need to be addressed. To begin we need to determine what metals or alloys we intend to weld and then we are to choose the process and welding machine to use with that process. here we offer a brief description of the main welding processes and the welding equipment we will need.

For the welding of mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum we can choose from three main processes. Arc welding, MIG welding and TIG welding.

Arc welding uses welding rods or welding electrodes as a means of joining metals. This is the most simple and most likely cheapest way to learn how to weld. Arc welding machines are readily available either new or second hand and are most suited for welding mild steel and stainless steel in thicknesses of 1/8th inch and upwards.

Mig welding and MIG welding machines would have to be the most versatile and easiest of the how to weld procedures to master. No need to change electrodes as the machine operates with a wire feed system and employs a spool of welding wire within the machine. Great for welding both sheet metals and heavier steels. Can be used for welding mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Great for welding thin metal like on motor vehicle body-work.

mig weldsMig welders generally use shielding gasses s part of the process that can be limiting in outdoor welding applications, however there are gasless welding wires on the market suitable for welding mild steel. Having a small portable mig welding machine that uses gas free welding wire is a most versatile welding machine.

how to tig weldTig welding is a high tech approach to welding. This process takes time to master but will provide the best quality weld for small intricate jobs. Can be used with stainless steel, mild steel and aluminum welding. Tig welding can also be used for many exotic and specialized metals such as gold.

Tig welder machines can be small and compact such as the ‘caddy’ welders that are also capable of stick or arc welding. These machines are often seen on work sites and used by maintenance crews. A most versatile welding machine.