- 8 Tips: How to Tell a Good Weld from a Bad One
- Tip #1: Visual Inspection
- Tip #2: Good Grounding is Essential for Quality Welds
- Tip #3: Check Your Joint Fit up Before You Start
- Tip #4: Clean Your Electrodes Thoroughly Before Use
- Tip #5: Use Low-hydrogen Electrodes for Better Results
- Tip #6: Check Your Current Setting Before You Get Started
- Tip #7: Use a Larger Electrode for Less Heat Input
- Tip #8: Use the Right Voltage for Your Electrode Size
Welding is a process that has been around for centuries. It’s the art of melting two pieces of metal together to create one solid object with them both.
Welds can be beautiful when done right but are often difficult to tell apart from bad welds without some knowledge about what makes a good weld. This blog post will discuss how you can tell if your welding job is good or not so you know when it’s time to call in the professionals.
8 Tips: How to Tell a Good Weld from a Bad One
Tip #1: Visual Inspection
Visual inspection is a crucial step when it comes to inspecting welds. To inspect the quality of your welding, you need to be able to see clearly and closely enough so that you can take an accurate assessment. Do this by looking at all sides of the beam or pipe from several angles with good lighting for the best results.
Tip #2: Good Grounding is Essential for Quality Welds
A good grounding connection ensures the metal pieces you are joining together have a strong electrical bond. The best way to do this is to use the “three-point method.”
This involves using one wire that connects both items being welded and then another piece between those two points as well, just like an upside-down letter T or Y . Having three connections instead of just one can help improve conductivity by up to 100 percent!
Tip #3: Check Your Joint Fit up Before You Start
Before you start your weld, make sure there’s no gap where it shouldn’t be. You should also check for any sharp edges that may puncture the shielding gas if touched during welding, which can lead to porosity in your finished welds.
Tip #4: Clean Your Electrodes Thoroughly Before Use
Electrode coatings are usually made of oil or grease mixed with metal particles and oxide compounds, all of which need to be cleaned off before use.
This is because dirt on the electrode will contaminate the weld puddle causing defects like undercut (where too much material melts away), poor fusion (or lack thereof), and porosity (the appearance of tiny bubbles inside a weld).
To clean them thoroughly, apply flux paste onto one end, rub it vigorously onto an abrasive surface until you see a shiny coating on the electrode, and then use water to wash it off.
Tip #5: Use Low-hydrogen Electrodes for Better Results
Low hydrogen electrodes are better for welding stainless steel because they produce higher quality welds with less porosity (less tiny bubbles).
They also help reduce cracking in high heat applications, like when you’re welding close to an edge. The downside is that low hydrogen electrodes cost more than regular ones, so it may not be worth the extra expense if you don’t need them.
Tip #6: Check Your Current Setting Before You Get Started
It’s important to check your current setting before starting any kind of metal arc activity, including grinding, cutting, and general fabrication work to this article by Lincoln Electric.
The current setting is what controls the amount of heat applied to your materials, and it needs to be changed depending on whether you’re using a DC or AC power source.
Tip #7: Use a Larger Electrode for Less Heat Input
Using a large electrode can also help reduce heat input where less welding amperage is needed for smaller diameter electrodes. This means that you have more control over the penetration depth of your weld puddle because if too much heat builds up, there’s less chance it will burn through!
It also reduces the chances of warping since you don’t need as much pressure from one side being pushed into another, which can cause defects like porosity even when done correctly! So remember, when in doubt, larger electrodes are better!
Tip #8: Use the Right Voltage for Your Electrode Size
Using too much voltage can lead to porosity and other welding defects, but using too little will weaken your finished welds. To determine what voltage you need, refer to Lincoln Electric’s chart.
It shows that if you’re working with a DC machine (most common), then the largest electrode size should be used at 25 volts instead of 30 like some people say is necessary.
So don’t worry about having enough juice. Just use less than maximum until it melts through without any problems! That way you’ll get all your desired penetration depth and strength every time!
You may also want to learn how to MIG weld without gas and how to wear a welding cap properly. We hope that this article helped you learn the difference between a good and a bad weld.