How to Choose Welding Equipment and Methods for Metal Fabrication

When it comes to steel fabrication or other metal fabrication, welding is a very basic method of cutting and joining pieces, and is often used in many production shops, auto repair shops, and similar facilities. If you're ready to invest in your own welding equipment and methods that will be used for metal fabrication, you need to consider some basic information about the three most popular forms of welding. They each have their own pros and cons, so before you spend money on the equipment needed and advertise for a welder for your shop, note the following.

1. Oxy acetylene welding

This type of welding is usually the most popular option, and it involves a tank of oxygen and one of acetylene gas that are mixed together to create a precise flame. The flame is used to heat metal while a filler rod is fed by hand. The upside of this type of welding is that may be the easiest to master and most welders are trained in this method more than any other. The downside is that it produces the softest weld. This may not be the best choice for producing heavy equipment, but can be the right choice for auto repair shops where you may want to hammer out the piece after it's welded. You also need to be careful of storing the tanks of materials on your property as they are very flammable, and they may need to be refilled often, so this cost can be a concern. 

2. TIG welding

TIG welding is similar to oxy acetylene welding except that it uses an electrode to create a flame, not gasses. This can make it a safer choice, but it too produces a soft weld that may not be the right choice for heavy-duty equipment, construction, and the like. TIG welding is also somewhat easy to master and you may not have much difficulty finding someone skilled in TIG welding for your shop.

3. MIG welding

With MIG welding, a wire is fed through the tip of the welder itself. The wire holds a circuit that is completed when it touches the metal to be welded and in turn, it gets melted. This is the hardest type of weld so it may be better for construction and heavy equipment, but it also requires more cleanup and may produce more slag and runoff than other forms of welding. For pieces that may still need to be hammered and formed, it may produce a weld that is too hard for additional fabrication.