5 Tips To Advance Your Welding Skills & Improve Speed
Regardless of where you are in your professional journey, there will always be new ways to advance your welding skills and improve your speed. In fact, you cannot become a better welder until you learn different techniques that can enhance your craft. Improve the quality of your work with the following tips and tricks.
Choose the Best Electrode
When choosing an electrode for your weld, the rod diameter should be higher for the thicker metals and smaller for thinner metals. High-alloy steels or high-carbon metals are harder to weld, so you will need an electrode that is low in hydrogen. Pro tip: leave the electrodes in the package until the very last minute—you never want to expose them to the outside air for too long.
Clear Out Impurities
If grease, dust, oil, or moisture get absorbed into the metal, it will cause future complications. You can clear out and clean your area with a sander or a wire brush for the best results. Instead of welding quickly, try slowing down your speed to allow the hydrogen bubbles to rise to the surface instead of being trapped in the weld.
Beware of Hydrogen
The kryptonite to any weld is hydrogen because it leaves the metal susceptible to cracking, which can happen long after the weld is complete. Before you begin the welding process, destroy any foreign material in your work area and preheat the metal before, during, and sometimes after the weld for a few hours. This slows down the cooling time and allows for more hydrogen to escape.
Understand the Differences With Aluminum
To create multiple different techniques and welds, you must have the correct pipe welding equipmentand the knowledge to utilize various types of metal. Aluminum is unique because of its thermal activity and its porosity. To perfect a weld with this material, only use argon gas or argon-helium to shield the weld and preheat the metal, and do not overheat it because it will burn through.
Welding Out of Position
The last tip to advance your welding skills and improve your speed is to alter the position in which you weld. If your work surface is not flat, and you cannot use magnets or clamps to support your weld, a puddle will form and drip. If you’re welding overhead, move quickly in circular motions to minimize the amount of drippage. To reduce the accumulation of drips, maintain a lower electrode temperature by reversing the polarity and using a lower voltage.
The number one way to hone your skills and become better at your profession is through practice. Some skills will be trickier to master, but don’t be discouraged. There will always be instances where you can improve your skillset and become a better welder.