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MIG for "old dog"?

WaterH

Red Skull Member
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May 20, 2020
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602
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The "First welder" thread spawned this thread.

I learned to weld with a stick welder in high school many years ago. Later I learned TIG. I was pretty good at both at one time. Now I'm reasonable, but seemed to have lost something. I certainly can't weld like the "weld gods" of Irate. (Probably never could)

I currently have a TIG/stick welder I've had for twenty years. I believe it's a 180 and does every thing I need. I have only played with a MIG one time. I was welding my trailer at a friend's house. I got it welded, but had a hell of a time and made a mess of it. (It was non-critical stuff) It kind of soured me on MIG. It's funny how everybody says it's so easy. ( I will say the trailer was rusty where I was welding.)

Now it seems like everybody thinks MIG is the "go to" welder. While I'm not rich, I can spare a grand for a good tool. Am I stupid for not owning a MIG? If I get one, am I going to love it? Can I teach this "old dog" a new trick? I might only weld twice a month. Will it be ready to weld like that or will it develop "sitting problems"? What about changing material thickness? Is it a pain to change wire or can you pretty much use one wire for 1/16"-1/2"? (I don't weld anything thicker than that.)
 

CJ503

too old to a give a fuck
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Land of the free, home of the well armed
I did the exact same thing, learned to stick weld in FFA in HS. Went on and did get more education in both stick and TIG. If memory serves, in that entire semester we only did MIG one day. Best thing in the world I ever did was learn to gas weld first. If you have a decent stick welder, take care of your rod, use the RIGHT rod, then your golden. Tig welding is cool, and I do it on ALum and SS, but that is not real "structural"

MIG is fast, easy and lets you run a continuous bead without have to stop and drop a rod. Honestly, I would go get a few cans of rod and just start running beads. It will all come back. Also, do the out of shape beads, overhead, shit metal, wedged where you can barely get you helmet in. I actually enjoy stick welding. Simple, easy, and if you have enough amps, your welding. MIG is porous as a wiffle ball, which is fine, but your still welding socket weld fittings with a stick.

Seems like everything I do with a tig, I am sitting at my welding table building something fancy. Mig welding is across the board, just because of the simplicity. Stick welding is for everything else, outside the shop, hardfacing, hydraulic line fittings and on and on.........

But I am old as fuck and that is what I learned on.

YMMV
 

Provience

Kill!
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The old guy i work with only does mig these days, eyesight is getting to be too much of a pain in the ass for tick and stick. I've never personally been able to blind weld mig with any quality, but it doesn't take as much attention as the other two, so there's that.

just like every other process, prep work and machine setting help significantly. my biggest personal gripe about mig is being in an odd spot and having to always be conscious of the wire feed. too much angle or bend, won't push the wire. It's also a lot easier to make a poor mig weld that just builds up on top of the metal but looks fine on the outside.
 

CJ503

too old to a give a fuck
Joined
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Member Number
940
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Location
Land of the free, home of the well armed
The old guy i work with only does mig these days, eyesight is getting to be too much of a pain in the ass for tick and stick. I've never personally been able to blind weld mig with any quality, but it doesn't take as much attention as the other two, so there's that.

just like every other process, prep work and machine setting help significantly. my biggest personal gripe about mig is being in an odd spot and having to always be conscious of the wire feed. too much angle or bend, won't push the wire. It's also a lot easier to make a poor mig weld that just builds up on top of the metal but looks fine on the outside.

Truth in that.

You can EASILY make them pretty, but doesn't mean they are strong.
 

Ghetto Fab.

No idea what I'm doing
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I'd say if you have a stick/tig setup that that is way more versatile than mig. There isn't anything that a mig will do that stick/tig can't do, they just do it a bit slower.

Kevin
 

dnsfailure

WHAT GEAR ARE YOU IN?
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Member Number
198
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Gilroy
if you were having a hard time MIG welding, either the machine wasn't set right, the gas wasn't flowing, or you were holding the gun to far from the metal. If you can keep your movement steady, it's not that difficult once the machine is setup right. Especially when welding straight down. Up hill and over head definitely take more practice.

Another thing that is said alot is that "Mig welding doesn't need clean metal". Well, it probably doesn't need to be as clean as TIG welding, but having clean metal always helps. Some folks weld through paint, rust and what not. I think it's worth the effort to clean the weld area. A lot less popping and spattering that way.

I learned MIG welding alot faster than I learned TIG. I'm still not really all that good at TIG welding, I suspect mostly because I always go MIG if I can, so I don't get much TIG seat time.
 
Joined
May 24, 2020
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norcal
I did the exact same thing, learned to stick weld in FFA in HS. Went on and did get more education in both stick and TIG. If memory serves, in that entire semester we only did MIG one day. Best thing in the world I ever did was learn to gas weld first. If you have a decent stick welder, take care of your rod, use the RIGHT rod, then your golden. Tig welding is cool, and I do it on ALum and SS, but that is not real "structural"

MIG is fast, easy and lets you run a continuous bead without have to stop and drop a rod. Honestly, I would go get a few cans of rod and just start running beads. It will all come back. Also, do the out of shape beads, overhead, shit metal, wedged where you can barely get you helmet in. I actually enjoy stick welding. Simple, easy, and if you have enough amps, your welding. MIG is porous as a wiffle ball, which is fine, but your still welding socket weld fittings with a stick.

Seems like everything I do with a tig, I am sitting at my welding table building something fancy. Mig welding is across the board, just because of the simplicity. Stick welding is for everything else, outside the shop, hardfacing, hydraulic line fittings and on and on.........

But I am old as fuck and that is what I learned on.

YMMV

flux core in the mig is my go to for everything, dont have to worry about wind, gas/tanks, dirt/rust/paint its got the versatility of stick with the ease/convenience of mig
 
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