Setting Up a Mig Welder - Wire Feed 101

Welding beginner? You have come to the right place

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Metal inert gas and the MIG welder has made it pretty dang easy for the beginner to be able to do some welding. Since these welders are a point and shoot type of design, all you have to do is pull a trigger and focus on moving the molten puddle at the right speed. That is, if you get the settings correct.

If you read the feature "Jed's Juggernaut" in this issue, then you know the car is loaded with a full cage, custom back half, and hand fabricated suspension components. These are all things that needed a welder and a ton of expertise to accomplish. We were lucky enough to meet the actual fabricator of those components, Mike Larabell from Larabell's Racecars in Eureka, Missouri. Mike took us to his shop to show off some of the projects he was working on when we got an idea. Since it takes nothing more than practice to create a good bead once the welder is properly set, we asked Mike to show us the basic process of setting up the welder.

Being that kind of nice guy, Mike stopped what he was doing, broke out some scrap pieces, and gave us the skinny on setting up his Lincoln 216 Power MIG welder. If you think welding is still out of your grasp after reading this, there are still other options. You can go to Lincoln Electric's website and sign up for one of the welding classes they offer, or just pay someone like Mike to do the job for you.

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12 ...This! As you can see the bead is pretty flat and has a nice heat soak mark, which shows you're getting good penetration into the metal. If you get the settings right and practice just a little, you should be able to lay a bead like this with your MIG welder.

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