MIG Welder Where To Buy Parts And Consumables
And though it requires special skills and experience to melt metal to join together, welding remains to be an exciting career which is also in demand in the labor market while for many people can be a personally rewarding hobby.
Mig Welding can make things happen.
We can transform any metal into shapes using only a few tools and your skills.
But though it may seem easy to weld, it actually requires a lot of hours of intensive training to perfect welding.
There are about 30 different types of welding that range from the basic use of oxygen-fuel to the most advanced process of laser welding with the aid of computers.
But the most distinguished and widely used of them all are only four: Stick, Flux, TIG, and MIG.
All of these are special in many ways but also need welding courses for them to be learned.
Among the four, MIG welding is considered the most flexible and easiest method to learn.
It has the fastest system, very usable and mainly used for repair, maintenance, metal structure fabrication and it can always create strong and durable joints between metals.
It can also be used in creating art and many people practice it as a pursuit for leisure.
What Is MIG Welding?
MIG welding is basically an arc welding process which was already in use since the 1940s and the machine that people use is called a MIG welder.
What Is a MIG Welder?
A MIG welder is a type of welding machine that is wire-feed type.
Not all wire electrode types are the same so what you need for the electrode depends on the type of metals you want to weld together.
The Process of MIG Welding
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas or in a more technical term, the Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).
The role of the gas in MIG welding is very important. This gas is usually a mixture of 75% Argon and 25% Carbon Dioxide and its use is to protect the weld pool from being contaminated from oxygen and moisture that are present around us.
The process of MIG welding happens when an electrode wire that comes out from the tip of the welding gun touches the base metal (metal/s to be welded).
Because the base metal is grounded and the electrode is electrically charged, once the electrode gets in contact with the base metal, there creates an electric arc or spark.
This arc will heat the wire electrode until it reaches the melting point and the melted electrode will be deposited into the base metal.
While the wire electrode is getting melted, this is where the role of the inert gas comes in.
The high-intensity flame that comes from the gas not only serves as a shield to the weld pool from oxidation but also helps in melting the electrode.
Who Can Use MIG Welding?
The nice thing about this type of welding is that you can weld various types of metals which include stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, copper, magnesium, nickel, silicon bronze and other types of alloys.
So once you learn how to MIG weld you will definitely realize how flexible this type of welding is.
You may even use your skills to earn money by doing repairs and fabrication for all types of metals.
Many people prefer MIG welding over other types of welding because there are a lot of metals you can weld with it.
However, this is better be done only on thin gauge sheet metals to the heavy steel pipes but not preferred on thick metal slabs that are used on construction sites.
Considerations Before Taking on MIG Welding
Note that every type of welding should have the proper equipment for the job.
If you want to be a pro in MIG welding, this can be easy to learn to start from the basics.
Learning the Basics
MIG welding is also known as the “hot glue gun” in the world of welding simply because it only uses electricity to melt and fuse pieces of metal together.
When an anode (electrode) that is positively charged touches the cathode (base metal) which is negatively charged, this creates a short circuit between the two metals.
The high-intensity heat that is produced by the short circuit plus the inert gas that shields the pool will melt the electrode and the melted metal will be deposited on the base metal.
How the MIG Welder Works
A MIG welder basically has very simple parts:
To weld, you only need to open the tank, set the PSI gauge, set the speed of the spool of the MIG welder and also the voltage needed.
Once you are wearing the proper gears you can now begin to weld. (We will discuss below what you need for the safety gears).
Things Needed for MIG Welding
Every MIG welder should have a gas tank behind it.
It can either be 100% Argon or a mixture of Argon and CO2 or just straight CO2 depending on the type of metal you like to weld.
This gas, as we have said, act as a shield while the weld pool is being formed to prevent oxidation.
If no gas is used, the weld pool may splatter, discolor or the outcome of the melted electrode will not have a uniform flow of bead on the base metal.
Always make sure that there should be enough gas in the tank so your gauge should be between 0 and 2500 PSI. The regulator should be set between 15 and 25 PSI or depending on how powerful the blast of gas you want to produce and the kind of welding gun you are using.
You don’t need to fully open the valve of the tank so that in case you want to shut it off it would be quick especially in case of emergency.
The welding MIG gun is like the wand of the MIG welder that you can do magic with and therefore this is the part of the machine that you need to master to come up with the perfect weld.
At the same time, the gas is released from the tank. The argon gas comes out through the MIG torch nozzle while the wire comes out through the contact tip.
The MIG welding gun, which is also called the MIG torch, has a number of parts that are often needed to be replaced and this is why these are called MIG welding consumables.
These MIG welding gun parts are the following:
Gas nozzle adapter
Contact tip holder
MIG welding gun components are replaceable, meaning once they degrade over time as they likely to develop cracks, formed hard deposits like carbon or metal or simply erode which can affect the outcome of your welding then you eventually must replace them.
In most instances, people replace their whole set of MIG gun completely along with the hose and everything that is attached on the MIG torch.
But this is not a practical practice because you can actually purchase New MIG TORCH PARTS and leave the parts that are still in good condition.
So if you want to do MIG welding and don’t want to slow your work due to damaged parts, it is essential that you stock up on some MIG welding torch parts and not to waste money buying the whole torch set.
The ground clamp is composed of a strong clamp style jaws attached to the MIG welder with heavy copper wire.
The clamp serves as the cathode (-) which complete the circuit between the MIG welder, the welding MIG torch and the base metal.
In most cases, the ground clamp is clipped onto the base metal but in some engineering shops, this is clamped onto a welding metal table.
Rust and dirt may block off the current that goes along the ground clamp so every time you do MIG welding, make sure to grind off rust, paint or dirt that can prevent good contact between the clamp and the base metal.
MIG welding can be fun but it can also be risky if you are not too careful in choosing or wearing YOUR SAFETY GEAR.
The most important thing to stay safe is to have the proper attire for the job like wearing leather gloves and a leather jacket which don’t catch fire and can protect your skin from ultraviolet light.
Your welding mask should have an auto-darkening glass and should close with a jerk of your head.
This is to free both of your hands while holding the torch and getting ready for the blast.
Also, wear safety shoes and not synthetic shoes as hot metal may fall straight down to your feet and can burn its way through the synthetic material.
Skills You Need
The first step that you should do before starting your welding is setting the things you need like opening the valve of the tank and set it to about 20 PSI to allow the gas to flow through the regulator and into the MIG welder and into the torch.
Then clamp the ground clamp to the welding table or directly to the metal piece.
Slightly grind down all the parts of the base metal specifically on the spot where you want to weld to ensure there will be good contact between the electrode and the metal.
Secure the two metals to be joined and angle your grinder to create a bevel on the joining edges of the metals.
This bevel is where the wire electrode will get in contact with and form the weld pool.
To test the MIG welder handpiece, squeeze the trigger and let the wire comes out to see if the MIG roller and the spool are working.
Cut out the excess wire using a MIG welder pliers and leave about 3/8 of an inch from the tip of the nozzle.
Let this wire touche the metal and there should be a spark once the wire gets in contact with the metal.
If you are a beginner, practice first by running a bead to the scrap metal or run a straight line of weld then repeat the process as necessary until you see that you can be able to create a smooth, straight continuous line of weld.
How To Set Up Before the Welding Process
Before you start the welding process, you have to set up everything first.
So here are quick rundown tips on what you need to prepare based on the type of metal you want to weld and how to set up the machine and its accessories including how to set the amperage of the unit based on what you weld.
Preparing the Metal
But unlike the flux-cored and the stick electrodes which you can easily weld on any metal without much preparation, the MIG electrode won’t be able to bond if there’s dirt, oil, rust or any contaminants that are on the surface of the base metal.
This is why grinding or scraping the dirt using a steel brush where the ground clamp will bite on is always recommended.
As the base metals to be welded are clamped together, bevel their joints first to where the arc will happen to ensure there’s a full penetration of the weld pool.
Preparing the Equipment
Check the cables.
The MIG welder cables must all be tightly fitted on their connection sockets and without frays, breakage or damage.
Choose the electrode polarity. The standard MIG welder requires a DC electrode positive or the reverse polarity and the connections can be found inside the equipment.
Set the gauge on the tank. Turn the regulator clockwise to set the gas flow rate between 20 to 25 cubic feet/hr.
Check the wire electrode tension.
Follow the owner’s manual for the right tension level. Too tight or too loose of the wire can be caused by roller issues or by the wire spool.
Try also tightening the lever that pushes the wire against the roller and see if the tension issue is corrected.
Check the MIG welding gun parts. Clean out metal spatters from the contact tubes and if necessary replace the worn out, rusty or broken contact tip or nozzle with your reserved MIG torch spares.
Selection of Wire
If you are to weld steel, you have to choose between two common wire types – the all-purpose AWS classification ER70S-3 or the ER70S-6 if the steel is rusty.
For metals of various thicknesses including thick metals, the .030-inch diameter wire is a good choice.
But for thicker metals that require high total heat level, you can use either the .035-inch or the .045-inch depending on your MIG torch types and output range.
In some MIG welder machines that have auto-features, such machines can automatically choose the correct voltage including the wire feed speed necessary for the wire electrode to smoothly come out from the welding gun nozzle.
What you only need to do is to check on the correct thickness of the wire based on the thickness of the base metal you want to weld. You may find a chart wire inside the MIG welder.
Selecting the Inert Gas Mixture
The 75% Argon and 25% CO2 mixture or sometimes called 75/25 or C25 can work as an all-purpose shield gas if you want to weld carbon steel.
This blend minimizes the spatter, produces the best bead and can prevent burn-through on thin metals.
The 100% CO2 is a good choice for deeper penetration of the weld pool but the spatter and rougher bead may likely occur if you are not used to using such gas.
Setting Up the Voltage and Amperage
Choosing the voltage and amperage is always based on a lot of variables including the thickness of the metal, type of base metal, joint configuration, shielding gas to be used, welding position and the thickness of the wire and its speed.
So better refer to the chart that you can find inside the MIG welder housing for guides.
if you have a MIG welder with an auto-set system, you can simply select the diameter of the wire you have in your spool, choose the thickness of the metal which is also on the chart, put the machine on auto-set and the MIG welders system will select the right voltage, amperage and speed requirement of your spool.
You can also fine-tune manually the settings of the amperage and voltage to achieve the proper welding arc based on your personal choice.
Once you find the right settings, you will see that the welding will be nice and smooth.
The sound of the spark will also tell you if you have the right settings or not. A continuous sparking sound (no popping sound) means the gas setting is just right and the speed of the wire is perfect.
Practice makes perfect so don’t rush things . It is advisable that you weld metal by doing spot welding first then lay beads about one inch or two long. Adjust settings as necessary.
If you hear popping sounds, you might also need to adjust the tank gauge as the release of the inert gas may not be enough to heat up the electrode and provide a shield to the pool.
Common Problems You May Encounter
From time to time, you could have some issues either with your MIG welder or the accessories attached to it.
This is why you need to keep on hand MIG welding torch spare parts for a quick fix.
Not only that, your welding can be problematic sometimes. But these can be solved and managed especially when you familiarize yourself with your machine’s performance and reaction to your adjustments.
So here are what you can do when issues come up and you have to keep welding .
Knowing and Solving the Issues in MIG Welding
If you are burning holes in your workpiece even though your hands don’t stay long in one spot, you may have switched the power voltage too high because primarily you are charging your electrode with too much electricity. Try to switch the voltage one level at a time and test.
If your welds spatter or gush in streams, the feeding speed of your wire could be slow or the power setting is set to low. Adjust the speed one level higher at a time and also the power setting.
When you press the trigger of the torch and there’s a slow feed, this can either be caused by a loosened tension of the roller or the roller size is too thick for the wire to pass through.
Adjust the tension on the roller first and see if the problem will be solved. If not, check the roller if it has the right size for your wire’s size. If it’s fine, check the groove on the roller where the wire passes. Sometimes this groove becomes wide and deep so the roller needs to be replaced.
If your wire electrode does not produce spark even though you have set the machine with the right voltage and ampere, the problem could be due to an overextended stick-out.
A stick-out is the protruding wire that is extending too much from the tip of the torch.
Cut this using a MIG welder pliers and maintain only a 3/8 of an inch. When you hear a sizzling bacon sound during the welding process, that means you got the right wire length.
Types of MIG Welding Torches
We will look at three different MIG torch types that are commonly used by many handymen and engineering shops today.
Basically, these are called replacement MIG guns because they are interchangeable and each has a variable uses and capacities for use for specific purposes.
Replacement MIG Guns Torches
Mb15 MIG Torch
The Mb15 MIG torch is a type of torch that is especially used in welding vehicle parts, marine systems and in steel construction environments. It has a Euro-style connector which was originally developed by Alexander Binzel Corporation in Germany.
Binzel today also represents the European style connector and products that’s why we can find Binzel parts being sold on the web made by foreign manufacturers. We now have the Binzel MIG gun parts, Binzel torch parts, Binzel MIG torch spares and even Binzel TIG torch parts which are for TIG welding.
What is unique with Binzel MIG torches is that they don’t require tools to get connected on most MIG welders. They are like the Plug & Play connectors and a lot of MIG welders are connectible to Binzel torches like the Chinese-made and the European-made MIG welders.
This style also offers optimum handling in various positions because of its ergonomic design handle. It has a flexible cable assembly and very light you won’t feel your arms easily feel the fatigue with it.
Rated at 150 amps, this is perfect for 0.6 and 0.8 mm steel wires and recommended for use in the industry for light welding applications.
Mb25 MIG Torch
The Mb25 MIG torch also has the Euro-style connector like the Binzel’s. It offers optimum torch cooling with high heat endurance, ergonomically designed handle system for all welding position and also light and flexible.
Because this is a bit heavier than the Mb15, this torch has a more robust construction with extended torch life.
Rated at 250 amps, it is suitable for 0.8 and 1.0mm steel wires. Its MIG torch spares like the Mb15 are also universally available. For light to medium applications, the Mb25 MIG torch should be the right torch.
Mb36 MIG Torch
This is another Euro-style torch that is also air-cooled but with higher heat endurance.
All the good qualities of the Mb15 torch and Mb25 torch are also within the Mb36 features. Moreover, this torch is for heavier applications so it can withstand more intense heat and has more of the heavy-duty features and robust construction.
When Do You Need To Replace MIG Torch?
Actually, as have been discussed, you don’t have to change the whole set of MIG welding torch if some of its parts are still functional.
A welding torch has four major parts – nozzle adapter, tip adapter, contact tip, and gas nozzle and you can buy these online. But if you want a brand new MIG gun with all the brand new consumables with it, we could also supply you this.
Especially the cable when it gets its wire sprouting out and the liner getting jammed all the time, you definitely need to change these.
Here is how to choose the right sizes for your MIG Torch spare parts.
How to Choose the Right Mig Contact Sizes
The major function of the contact tip is to transfer the welding current to the welding wire as it guides it out through the bore.
It holds the wire to get its tip to get in contact with the base metal.
Not all contact tips are the same and they are measured in inner diameter (ID) so your choice of contact tip must depend on the type of welding wire you are using and the welding process you do.
There are three characteristics of welding wire that you should consider when choosing the contact tip: wire type, wire cast, and wire quality.
Contact Tip Choice Based on the Wire Features:
Type of Wire.
Manufacturers of contact tips commonly recommend the standard-sized contact tips for wires with 0.045-inch diameter wire. And according to the American Welding Society (AWS), standard or oversized contact tips won’t have problems with aluminum and tubular wires which are soft thus there is minimal kinking or buckling when fed to the welding gun.
On the other hand, solid wires are best paired with undersized contact tips as these can pass through smoothly without feeding problems.
Wire Cast. Cast signifies the diameter of the wire loop or in essence, the wire’s curvature. The standard size of the cast is 40 to 45-inch diameter so it is advisable that if the wire cast is less than this, avoid using an undersized contact tip.
Wire Quality. High-quality solid wires like wires with copper coating can be used with a contact tip with smaller ID as this minimizes kinking and buckling. The same with high-quality tubular wires. Poor quality wires, however, are prone to poor wire feeding which can cause an erratic arc.
Importance of Choosing the Correct MIG Contact Tip Size
It is important that every time you choose a MIG gun contact tip, you have to have the right size for it because incorrect size which can be too small or too large or if the cast and quality of the wire is not right, these can cause irregular wire feeding and also bad arc performance.
Especially if your contact tip has a small ID, the wire may snag inside the bore and cause burn back. It can also cause what they call “birdnesting” or the tangling of wire in the drive roll and wire feeder.
Contact tip with a too large ID, however, may get the wire to go off the course as it feeds through which can also result in poor arc stability, spattering, and incomplete fusion of the pool and misalignment of the weld pool on joints.
Importance of Choosing the Right MIG Torch Nozzles Sizes
The function of the MIG torch nozzles is to direct the gas right into the weld puddle and to protect the contact tip from getting clogged with molten metal.
There are a lot of nozzle options that are available so when it comes to choosing, the process can become more confusing.
MIG Torch Nozzles also belong to the consumables so once it gets damaged, they are easy to replace. But how it is important to choose the right nozzle?
MIG welding nozzles are often made of brass or copper although in some applications you may need to use plated nozzles. Copper nozzles can protect your work against spatter and the best choice if you are welding for hours and require higher amperage for your work.
As such, if you want to range your amps between 400 to 600 amps, you also have the option to rely on heavy-duty copper nozzles which have thicker insulators and thicker walls.
Brass nozzles, on the other hand, can be the right choice if you want to avoid spatter but working on lower amperages, say between 100 and 300 amps.
They are also much cheaper than copper nozzles. But then, these could not hold higher amps or they might break or shatter.
The good news is, when a welding brass nozzle is used as an insert, it can help manage the inner diameter of the nozzle and help you save you money for a replacement.
Chrome or nickel-plated nozzles are the best against spatter and it can deflect heat thus your nozzle can last longer. So you have a choice to use the nickel-plated nozzle and underneath is a copper plate for more heat resistance.
The choice of nozzle size and shape is also very important and they usually come in bore sizes ranging from 3/8” to 7/8”.
In principle, the nozzle bore size can affect the level of current coming from the contact tip.
That’s why experts advise that in order for the current to be more effective you have to choose a nozzle that would allow gas to flow properly right into the weld puddle. So in essence, the better choice is to choose a nozzle with a large bore but not too large.
Why MIG Torch Nozzles Need To Be Replaced Quite Often
MIG torch nozzles experience a lot of stress during welding because they are closest to the contact tip and the arc.
This is why metal spatters buildup is common and it is essential that every time you start welding, you must clean out the nozzle using the MIG welder pliers to avoid further build-up.
However, when the nozzle is constantly experiencing burned out from spatters while getting short-circuited from the arc, this can crack, corrode, become malformed and the damage can be irreversible.
This is the time that you need to replace the nozzle.
As have been mentioned, a damaged nozzle can result in more spatter, erratic arc and deformed weld line.
So as a rule, always choose a nozzle that can absorb heavy impact use especially if you are using your gun torch on tough welding jobs.
How To Choose Mig Welder Rollers and Why They Need To Be Changed?
The MIG welder rollers or also called the drive rollers play important roles within the wire feeding system. It provides for an integral smooth and continuous feeding of the wire electrode and also provides tension to the wire that’s on the spool.
So it is just right that you choose the right drive rollers or this can have an impact on the quality of your work, your productivity and your efficiency.
The most bothering problems you can get with problematic MIG welder rollers are slippage and feeding problems. Feeding problems can cause birdnesting, clogging, burn-back, and poor feeding of the wire to the spool.
MIG welder rollers come in 4 types and there are few things to remember when choosing the right drive roller.
Types of Rollers For the Right Wire Type
V-knurled welder rollers.
These are more preferred for gas and self-shielded flux-cored and metal-cored wires that are basically soft.
They have teeth so that it can be able to dig into the wire and push it to the spool and out in the MIG gun.
These types of rollers are not to be used for solid wire or shavings can result and may break the wire.
V-groove welder rollers.
These are designed for solid wires which don’t need to be pushed as it can pass through the liner smoothly. So the role of these rollers is just to provide tension into the wire.
U-groove welder rollers.
For softer wires like aluminum, these are the right rollers as deforming or mashing of the wire is unlikely due to the smooth U-shape groove on the surface of the rollers.
U-cogged drive rollers.
Like the V-knurled rollers that have teeth for soft wire, these rollers should be used to feed soft-cored large diameter wires.
You should also use rollers according to the size of your wire. Check your manual and see the roller size that is compatible with the right size of wire.
Having a MIG welder can help you do things you want to create as long as involves metal. That’s why MIG welding is not only capable of providing you a money-earning career but it can help you create and recreate things that you want and need to be done.
MIG welding can give beginners a lot of stress as it deals with electricity, gas, heat, corrosion, and damage not to mention wearing out of its consumables through time. That’s the reason why we decided to provide you the sources for these things so that you can have easy access to the spares and never have to worry about keeping your mig running.
MIG torches, for example, have lots of small consumable parts in it that sometimes are very hard to find as you have to pair these with the accessories present on your torch.
Find a store that can provide you all the MIG welder spare parts you need. In our store, you can find all the different kinds of MIG welder spares that will not only conveniently save you some money but are of the best quality.
With this blog, we hope we have imparted to you some of the significant things that you must learn about MIG welding, how to detect issues and solve it and what you need to consider when buying the spares.