Q: How do I know what amount of shielding gas I need for welding steel and aluminum?
A: In most applications, a flow rate of 15 to 25 CFH is the normal flow rate. If you are working in an area where there is little or no air movement, this is usually enough. More than normal air movement can require 20 to 25 CFH.
Q: How do I decide which MIG machine to buy?
A: The first question we ask is how thick is the material to be welded? The maximum thickness will tell you how much amperage you need. For example, 3/16 inch metal needs 130 amps; 1/4 inch metal needs 150 amps; 5/16 inch metal needs 170 amps; 3/8 inch metal needs 185 amps; and 1/2 inch metal needs 250 amps.
Q: What can be done about high frequency (HF) interference from my TIG welder?
A: Most HF problems can be solved with proper grounding. There are three items that are important to connect to a ground stake that you must install. They are the welding table, the base of the welding machine, and the electrical box on the wall that the machine is connected to. In most cases, this eliminates most of the problems.
Q: How do I decide which plasma cutter to buy?
A: Buy the machine that will cut the maximum thickness you will need to cut. They all cut thin metal well. Look at a chart, like the one in the Miller Full-Line catalog, at the beginning of the plasma cutter section. This gives the maximum cutting capacity at a glance. Also remember that the rated capacity is for mild steel. If you are cutting aluminum, the capacity will be a bit less.
Q: What do I need to do if I use a generator as back up for power for my house? Is the power safe for all my appliances?
A: You will need to have a qualified electrician make the hookup. You need to make sure that the auxiliary power ground stud on the machine is connected to a ground rod. Most home appliances will run without a problem. Computers and TV¹s will need to have surge protectors on them.
Q: How do I figure out what my generator is capable of running?
Divide the output watts of the generator, by the voltage of the device you want to use. This answer is in amperage. Watts divided by volts equals amps. If the output amperage of the generator is more that what you want to run, it should work. We say “should”, because starting amperage is sometimes 3 to 4 times that of running amperage.
Q: What is the difference between critical and non-critical TIG?
A: Non-critical TIG will not pass x-ray testing. This is due to the TIG weld possibly causing Tungsten electrode inclusions to the weld bead, caused by Tungsten spitting. Critical TIG will pass x-ray.
Q: Can I convert my Stick welder to a MIG welder?
A: Many Stick machines can use a voltage-sensing wire feeder in order to weld with many self-shielded flux-cored wires. But these machines cannot run solid wire and do short circuit (short arc) transfer welding. Short arc needs to be done with the proper CV-type machine.
Information courtesy of Miller Electric