How To Become An Excellent MIG Welder
Practice Makes Perfect
I cannot count the number of times I’ve done a MIG welding training session and had technicians stand around and watch with arms folded, literally refusing to take the welding torch from me and weld in my presence. These are generally the same technicians who struggle when it comes time to apply the knowledge to an actual repair job later on.
There is one reason and one reason only I am an excellent MIG welder and that is because I practice, regularly. MIG welding is not easy. There are 101 things to think about and monitor that can go wrong during a MIG weld. This is especially true for the latest vehicles which incorporate materials like new Aluminum Alloys and UHS (ultra-high strength) Steel. When welding on these novel materials, the welding techniques of old no longer apply. This can lead to confusion and frustration on the technician's part when they cannot achieve successful results immediately.
Much of the lost time and headaches can be avoided by investing just a couple of hours a month into practicing welding with these more exotic welding materials. Actively seeking out training from professionals is also an excellent way to ensure Body-shop technicians are always up to date on the latest welding tips & techniques.
Quality training, combined with active participation and even the smallest amount of practice time, can hugely increase a technician’s confidence in approaching their work and also improve the quality of their repairs. This is a win for both the Body Shop and the technician as the shop is able to take on larger, more complicated repairs, and the tech is happy and confident in their ability to carry out these jobs in a profitable manner.