Amateur auto enthusiasts are often a little...rough on their vehicles. Thankfully, they generally have the expertise needed to perform simple auto body spot repairs. However, if you're just getting into this fun form of auto DIY, you may have a hard time deciding between mig and tig welding techniques. Read on to find out why you should generally turn to mig welding when it comes time to perform basic auto body repairs.
Mig Welding Definition
"Mig" stands for "metal inert gas" and involves a small filler metal wire creating a welding arc in a shield of inert gas. An electrical current passes through the wire which directs it towards the site of the weld. The only major difference from tig or "tungsten inert gas" welding is the electrode material.
Mig Welding Advantages and Disadvantages
Mig welding is more appropriate for amateur auto spot welding projects for a variety of reasons. Mig welding advantages include:
- Quicker welding times
- Simpler procedures
- Decreased weld splatter
- Increased project adaptability
However, there are a few mig welding disadvantages when compared to tig welding. These include:
- Less precise welds
- Inability to use vertically
- Weaker welds
Mig Welding Uses
Professional auto body repair specialists often ignore mig welding due to its relative weaknesses when compared to tig welding. However, amateurs often prefer the ease and quick welding speed that comes with mig welding.
As a result, mig welding is most useful when performing simple auto body spot repairs, such as mending frame tears, as opposed to serious repairs.
Mig Welding Tips
Before you jump head first into the world of mig welding, you should learn a few basic techniques and tips. By following these guidelines, you can avoid serious welding mistakes and master this unique skill in no time.
Mig welding tips and techniques include:
- Weld with smaller wires for thinner metals
- Match wire type to base metal
- Mix gasses properly to match metal, with thinner metals getting less Co2
- Lead with wire edge
- Hold gun as straight as possible
- Push weld to create a wider weld and pull to create a narrower weld
- Weld with both hands whenever possible
By now, you should have a pretty good idea concept of mig welding, its advantages, and even a basic understanding of the process. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to call an auto body shop as soon as possible. Welding can be a tricky process and getting it wrong can be a major nuisance.