Stack of Dimes

A picture of fillet weld done with MIG welder that looks like a stack of dimes

Want to make a stack of dimes with your MIG welder?.....PRACTICE

As you become a better and better welder you are going to eventually want to make, not only strong welds, but welds that look so beautiful they could be considered art just by themselves.  However, before you get too worried about how good your welds look you should be worried about how to make a strong weld.  I have been working on a bridge project for the past 5 years that has every weld inspected to some of the highest standards of any welding in the world.  Nowhere in the code or specifications does it say that they weld has to be pretty.  I’ve seen some pretty amazing looking welds that when scanned with a Ultrasonic Scope look like broken concrete and have to be cut out and replaced.  I’ve also seen miles of weld that might not be what you could call art, but it passes with zero structural flaws.  Anybody that has their welds professionally tested will tell you to make it strong, pass inspection, then work on making it pretty.

Another thing that I see when people are first learning how to MIG weld is that they do weird things, like a million starts & stops, or turn the settings down really low to TRY and produce a good looking weld.  The problem is that welds that are done in this fashion have little to no structural capacity.  Trying to create welds in this manner is not going to get the penetration that you need to produce a strong weld.  Would you want to drive across a bridge where people were worried about looks over strength?

Base plates welded onto box columns with MIG welder

Some good looking MIG welds

Getting a strong and awesome looking weld is going to take practice….and lots of it.  I can’t reiterate it enough…Practice making strong welds over and over and over and over and over until you know with absolute certainty that you can make a sound weld before you start worrying about laying down a stack of dimes.

We’re currently working on putting together a new MIG welding video that will be dedicated to showing all the secrets to creating this look, but in order to have the skills necessary you might want to check out what we cover in the Advanced MIG welding video first.

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