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How To Weld Metal


. When deciding how to weld metal you first need to determine the type of metals you are planning to work with. While there are many different types such as stainless, cast iron and bronze, we will assume for this article that we want to learn how to weld metals such as mild steel and aluminum.

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Mild steel is the most commonly used of all metals and would be what you would purchase from your local merchant for your construction projects. This includes profiles such as thin sheet metal,  tubing, pipe, angle iron, square and round hollow sections and flat and round bar.

The difference between  pipe and tubing is generally the wall thickness and the methods of manufacture. Pipe is made in thickness of around 1/8" up to 1/4" for general work and in heavy industry pipes have even much thicker walls depending on the application.

Welding mild steel pipe is best carried out using a Mig welder or by using arc welding or stick welding. In cases where pipe work is a line for fluids the butt welds would generally need to be of xray quality and have no imperfections. This type of weld would also be performed by using the Tig process especially for smaller pipes and using stainless steel pipe.

Tubing is a lighter construction and is used for furniture making and light structural work, and range up to 1/8" in wall thicknesses. Welding this type of material is best done using a Mig welder as they can be turned down to lower power settings, although arc welding can be used it requires more skill from the operator to avoid burning through the tube wall.

For general purpose welding a Mig welder is the most versatile machine to use, they can be used for both metals and aluminum provided you use the appropriate wire to suit the job. A machine of around 250 amps is all that would be required in a small workshop or for home use. While learning how to weld aluminum is more difficult to do than how to weld steel both can be accomplished by anyone with a little practice and guidance.

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