When should we get a welding machine?

mig welder

In the home workshop, we do a variety of jobs, including: carpentry, working on a car engine, etc. Sometimes, however, there is a need for metal parts to be processed. When it comes to cutting, a good grinder will take care of everything, but when it comes to joining parts, a welding machine is needed.  

Mig welding 

Having analysed all the welding equipment available, recently the choice has increasingly fallen on migomats. These are semi-automatic welding machines used using the MIG/MAG method. There are many advantages to working with them, as they are fast and perform a specific job efficiently. Welding with a mig machine is not a complicated process, but it is better to be well prepared for it. 

welder during MIG welding

MIG and MAG welding - what's the difference? 

MIG and MAG welding methods are most simply described as welding with a gas-shielded consumable electrode. In this case, the function of the electrode is performed by a welding wire delivered to the point of arc ignition, which occurs between the wire and the material being welded. Although, by the name, MIG and MAG welding might be considered similar, they are in fact two different welding processes. 

MIG welding is a type of inert gas welding. This method uses inert and therefore non-reactive gases such as argon, helium or mixtures of these. MAG welding is welding with active gases. In addition to argon, active gases such as carbon dioxide or oxygen are used. It is also possible to use pure carbon dioxide as a shielding gas for the weld pool. The use of different shielding gases is related to the treatment of specific materials. Therefore, the MIG technique will be ideal if you want to weld copper, aluminium or non-ferrous alloys. On the other hand, active gas shielded welding, i.e. MAG, is suitable for working with steel. 

Advantages of mig welding  

  • high productivity,  
  • high quality welds, 
  • allow work with a large number of metals and their alloys, 
  • allow welding in all positions,  
  • low welding costs,  
  • "clean" technique - little slag is emitted during welding. 

How to prepare for MIG/MAG welding? 

Mig welding requires adequate preparation. It is very important to identify the material you will be working with. This is what determines the choice of the appropriate welding method and the type of wire. Before welding, remember to clamp the ground wire on the material you are welding. Then set the welding parameters. Admittedly, this can be a bit tricky at first, but after a while it will become a mere formality. It is also very important to set the correct amperage and arc voltage.  

flicker machine in use

The current intensity is selected according to the thickness of the material to be welded. A high arc voltage, on the other hand, means less penetration of the electrode into the material (this increases the risk of sticking or spatter). However, remember not to overdo it in the other direction, as the whole welding process will not be stable.  

Application of the migomat

The Migomat is suitable both as a specialised equipment for professionals and as a tool that we can use hobbyistically in the home workshop. This is why MIG and Mag welding has become one of the most widely used welding processes. 

Questions and answers

Are MIG and MAG methods different?

Yes, the type of gas used. The MIG technique will be ideal if you want to weld copper, aluminium or non-ferrous alloys. On the other hand, active gas welding, i.e. the MAG technique, will be suitable for working with steel. 

Can we weld with a migomat in a home workshop environment?

Of course, the migomat is a versatile piece of equipment for professionals as well as for hobbyists.