Stainless Steel Welding Basics – Part 1 of 2
Stainless steel is known for its durability, but that doesn’t mean it that anything made from it will last forever. Whether you want to repair a damaged appliance or fabricate a floor pan for your vintage truck, you’ll need the right tools, techniques and approach to do the welding repair job right.
In this two-part post, we’ll talk about some of the basics for working with stainless steel – starting here with some background, tools and supplies. In Part 2, we’ll dive into some basic stainless steel welding techniques.
Stainless Steel Welding Basics
The most accessible welding option for doing high-quality work with stainless steel is MIG welding. With MIG welding, special wire is passed through the welding gun and into your welding pool. Learning how to MIG weld can be challenging, but the process itself is fairly simple. We’ll talk more about it in Part 2.
Welding Tools And Supplies
Stainless steel MIG welding requires specialized tools and supplies to do the job right. Here are the basic tools you’ll need:
- Welding machine – A MIG welding machine is essential for making reliable, solid welds when working with stainless steel. Look for MIG Welders that come with key components like a welding gun and sample welding wire to get you started.
- Welding gun – Many welding machines come with a gun, but you can upgrade yours for finer control or specific tasks. You’ll also need replacement welding gun tips, as these do get worn over time.
- Gun liner – A welding gun liner protects your welding gun and allows you to switch between different types of metal wire more easily for different welding jobs.
- Wire feeder – A welding wire feeder is not essential, but if you plan on doing a lot of welding or working in a professional capacity, a dedicated feeder can give you more control over your feed rate and provide a better overall weld in many cases.
- Welding wire – When welding stainless steel, make sure you use the right stainless steel welding wire from your welding machine or dedicated wire feeder.
- Cleaning brush – A metal cleaning and scraping brush will help you prepare your workpiece for a better, more durable weld.
- Shielding gas – For MIG welding stainless steel, a shielding gas mixture of helium, argon and carbon dioxide is common.
Once you’ve got the appropriate welding safety gear and welding supplies, you’re ready to learn how to weld stainless steel. Tune in to Part 2 of this blog to learn how!
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