tornitore45 wrote:I got all the theory, the angles, the spiral or half moons motions but when the arc strikes I can't see much trough the dark helmet.
Some help please
I've been MIG welding for more than 40 years and long ago, learned to be to one side so I can clearly see the weld puddle and the joint. Many beginning weldors (note the spelling: the machine is a welde
r, the person using the machine is a weldo
r) tend to have themselves behind the gun, almost as though they are using a real gun. Doing so makes it difficult to watch the puddle immediately beyond the arc, which is where your vision should be focused.
If you are right-handed, use you right hand to hold the gun and squeeze the key when welding, and use your left hand to guide and steady the gun as you work your way down the joint. Keep your left elbow in against your side to aid you in maintaining a steady hand, and let your right elbow stick out a bit so the gun is at an angle relative to you. In most cases, the gun's angle relative to the weldment should be such that the grip is parallel to the weldment's surface. As the angle between the wire and the weldment approaches 90 degrees the arc will become more aggressive and penetration and spatter will increase.
In most cases, you will want to use a weaving motion to assure even penetration and a properly shaped bead. I generally weave a distance equal to four times the wire diameter—two diameters left of the joint centerline and two diameters right, unless working with thin sections (e.g., sheet metal), in which case I usually lay a stringer bead to avoid burn-through. With each weave, advance down the joint two wire diameters, which should get you in the ballpark as far as getting adequate penetration and fill.
Until you develop experience with MIG welding I suggest you work in the flat position. Position welding, especially overhead, takes a fair amount of experience to develop the necessary control, since of course, gravity is trying to pull the molten metal out of the weld puddle.
Welding is very much an acquired manual skill and there is nothing like lots of practice to develop that skill. It took me several years to get reasonably good at it, which is typical for most aspiring weldors. Nowadays, I can weld one-handed while standing on my head in a mud puddle.
Just kidding! Be patient, practice on scrap of varying thicknesses and it will come.
As for your welding helmet, a #10 lens may make it easier to see during those first few seconds when you strike the arc and are trying to find your way.