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MIG Welding: Fixing Flaws and Porosity in Welded Steel

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

Kevin Caron: I'm playing with my squirt gun. It's kind of a slang name for a MIG welder because you just pull the trigger and metal just comes out the end of it.

This is a stand for a large sound sculpture I've been working on here in the studio. I finally got the shape I want, and yesterday I ground it all down.

Turns out I've got some little boo-boos - a couple of little low spots on the metal. So I'm going back over and re-welding all the joints again and clean up the weld - the bad spots.

When I get done re-welding I'll come back and grind it all down. I might have to go back a couple more times, hit a couple of little spots, low spots, and also a little crack on the other side.

Here you see I've got some porosity. It's actually a pain; these little areas right along the joint are where you can get a little contamination in it; for example, if the wind blew.

Because I work outside (I don't have a closed building), if a gust of wind comes along and blows the shielding gas away, I end up with a little porosity. If you get a bubble inside the weld, it pops if you weld over the top of it. So, you end up with a hole.

Now I have to come back in with a grinder and grind that out so I get back down to solid metal again, then weld it again, grind it down; hopefully I get it all.

It's one of the little things you've got to work with when you're working outside.

If I was running a stick welder then I wouldn't have the problem with the air, the wind blowing by, but it's just a lot messier. And I like playing with it.

Back to work.

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