Archive for May, 2011

Welding Tips

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

This section aims to give tips and advice such as identifying welding issues, maintainence of welding plant and the purchase of welding equipment and welding cunsumables.

So for starters

MMA (stick or Arc) WELDING

When Tack welding first, remember to remove the slag from the welds before you do the continuous weld.

Keep your welding electrodes dry,  a good condition flux well greatly aid a quality weld.

If you are going to be stick welding a lot, we would recommend the purchase of leather safety clothing, such as jackets, welding sleeves, trousers etc.  Stick welding is prone to producing high levels of spatter  and the burns become an unwelcome distraction from the welding  as well as painful.

Todays technology means that Dc arc welders are a lot more economical than before, if you can, purchase a dc welding inverter, the quality of the weld is so much better.


The better the MIG welding machine the more expensive the internal componants. you can get an idea of th relative complexity of a machine by comparing their weights.  A quality welder is generally much heavier (excluding inverter MIGs )

Quality wire feed is everything… smooth feeding of the wire is so important.  The cheaper table top MIG welders  usually have a small self contained plastic wire feed system, with a thin metal blade tightened down for feed pressure. even with new wire and a new torch these tend to be problematic at best.  These wire feed units tend to be put into some workshop style cheaper MIG welders too.  A good quality wire feed unit usually consists of a cast metal body with a substantial pressure arm assembly, the motor will tend to be visible upright behind the unit connected via a gearbox.

MIG welding consumable life..The end of the MIG torch is obviously working in a very harsh enviroment, most problems at this end are caused by a build up of spatter on or around the shroud, to stop the spatter sticking use antispatter tip dip(not the antispatter spray, that is for the workpiece).  Once the hole in the contact tip becomes oversized the wire will more readily arc and stick inside, dont try to drill or clean it out,  put a new one in in.  MIG welding wire can form a layer of rust as it sits in your machine, if this has become excessive, pull it through the torch unitl the next layer of shiney metal appears.  Recently some MIG wires have been supplied on wire baskets, it is worth remembering that the whole basket is live with the welding voltage, if this comes in contact with the case or cover on the welder it will transfer the welding voltage to this, on some brands this can affect the electronics inside the welder as well as the weld itself.


Tig welding was developed in the 1920′s to enable the construction of a great number famous aircraft and  further research  intensified during W.W.ll to develop lighter and lighter  needs.

Besides the romantic beginnings, the TIG process has been considered quite special for other reasons. It does take considerable practice to be good at TIG welding and because in the past the equipment has been rather expensive,  a welder who had one and was good with it would develop a reputation, particularly in the field of esoteric materials, aircraft and racing cars.

Since then, with the development of the chemical, food and a raft of other technologies, the need for TIG welding skills has grown, as well as the need for more machines bringing their cost, in some cases, down.


Unless you want to weld Aluminium or its alloys you will only need a DC  TIG welder.  Also if you are new to TIG welding this is the place to start.  Most of  todays MMA inverter welders will also do ‘scratch start TIG’ with the right attachments, but in my opinion, this method makes learning this art a lot harder.  A TIG welder with ‘HF ignition’ is the way to go, it will also cut down your consumable cost.  At the present time it is nearly as cheap to get an HF ignition unit, as adding the extras to a standard MMA inverter.

I would recommend that you look on You Tube at the multitude of instruction videos, or of course, if  i’m your welding supplier, you can always spend some time here at my workshop and i’d help you get started with your new TIG welding machine.


Micrafts New Feed

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Ok so this is day one for the Micraft welding supplies news feed.   It looks like today will be spent mainly repairing a variety of machines.  Yesterday i put a whole new range of automatic welding helmets on to the online shop. These include the Esab new tech, the Esab Aristo and the Esab origo welding helmets.  I also reorganised the page so that finding the appropriate consumables for the helmets is easier. Also I have  added split pack quantities of fluxed brazing rod the the shop. With the cost of  these consumables rising all the time I feel this may help customers not wishing to buy 2.5kg at a time.  I think I may do this with more of my welding supplies, as the costs can be making the light user have to think twice about pursuing their diy or hobby welding projects.

On the cost of  welding supplies, it was nice this time to actually not  have an increase in the MIG wire price, at last a couple of tonnes of wire with no price rise!  on the other hand the ‘alloy surcharge’ on stainless steel is now nearly as much as the product itself, oh we manufacturers have it so easy dont we??

As well as the news on my welding supplies side, as time allows, i hope to be able to log some welding tips and advice on the other feed on the site, but as you will appreciate there is only so much time i can sit in front of my laptop without getting a little stir crazy.

So to end this first effort i will give the first tip…

With the welding machine technology developing, the inside of your handy little welding inverter is a mass of very sensitive electronics, and probably(in fact definitely!) wont put up with the same abuse as the old transformer, air or oil cooled welders. Yesterday I had an inverter welder brought into me, on removing the case I found it to be completely full of pungent barn fodder, every transistor bank and PCB glogged up with goo.  On this occasion no damage was done, but i have seen far better machines than this fail due to the dust and things that the welding environment can produce building up inside, so every now and then take the case off and give it a good blow out.

Oh and back to the inverter that came in.. the green and yellow wire is the earth, the brown is the live and the blue is the neutral, a reminder that some machines are dangerous when they arrive for repair.

More from the world of welding supplies soon,  happy welding