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MIG Welding: Should You Push or Lead the Puddle?

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: There was a comment on YouTube the other day on one of my videos, about the TIG welding technique video. This gentleman says that he feels it is better to push the puddle when you're MIG welding than to lead the puddle. So, I thought, let's try it out and we'll see.

Let me turn the welder on. This is my Miller MIG welder. I'll set the voltage at about 200 volts, and I'll set the wire feed at about 250. Now, let's just try it and see what we get.

I have here two pieces of metal - eighth-inch stock. You can see along the edge right there how thick both of them are. What I'll do first is lead the puddle and come along here a little bit; then I'm going to turn the stick the other way and I'm going to push the puddle. You'll see the difference.

Watch your eyes. (welding)

That's what the weld looks like when you lead the puddle across the metal. Now I'm going to turn the stick away, towards the other way and I'm going to push the puddle and then we'll see what that looks like. (welding)

And that's the difference when you push the puddle.

I prefer to lead the puddle, myself. I think it makes a better weld. I think it makes a prettier weld. And if you're leading the puddle, you see that all the sparks go away from you. When you try to push the puddle, the sparks are coming toward you.

If you turn your work so you can push the puddle, and the sparks are going away from you, your torch is right over the top of your weld and you can't see your weld. So, you have to look at it from this angle to see what you're doing, but you're getting showered with sparks.

Turn it this way and you can lead the puddle, you can see your weld, and the sparks go away from you.

I guess it boils down to personal preference, which way you do it.

See you on the web. Bye!

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