How to wire-weld: the complete guide for DIY and more

A continuous wire welding machine is an excellent partner for DIY projects and you don’t need to be an expert to know it! But above all, you don’t need to be an expert to weld. With do-it-yourself welding machines it’s easy and that’s why this guide was conceived to explain to you how to wire-weld. Just read the guide and get the right welding machine to get started!

Why wire-weld?

Even if you’ve never picked up a torch or pliers – of a welding machine, of course – you’ll know that there are multiple welding processes and that choosing the right one is important. So let’s start with the good news: wire welding is easy because you don’t need to already have good manual skills. So, if you’ve never welded in your life, wire welding is the right choice.
Also consider that compared to stick welding (for this process too you’ll find a complete guide on how to stick weld), with wire welding you can work on workpieces with thin thickness. This is especially true if you are learning: you can stick-weld thin workpieces but you need better manual skills. In short: wire welding is easier!

What materials can you weld with a continuous wire welding machine?

With wire welding you can weld pieces of iron, stainless steel and aluminium. Obviously, depending on the workpiece material to weld, you need to use the corresponding filler material, that is the right wire.
But before talking about the wire, don’t forget that you can weld with or without gas with a continuous wire welding machine. The difference is simple: if you weld continuously with gas it means that you will also need to have a gas cylinder connected to the welding machine; if you weld without gas, you do not need the cylinder but you will have to have a different wire. Nothing complicated: we are going to explain everything to you in detail.

How to wire-weld without gas

The gas that comes out of the cylinder is used to generate the weld pool, that is to ensure that welding takes place correctly. You can wire-weld even without a cylinder if you choose the right wire: flux cored wire. In addition to being composed of the filler material suitable for the workpiece to weld, this wire also contains a flux that allows the weld pool to be created. Simplifying (a lot!) we can say that the flux replaces the gas that should come from the cylinder.

How to wire-weld with gas

During welding with gas, the latter is delivered to the torch together with the wire to ensure that the weld pool is created and that the welding process takes place correctly. You need a solid wire for wire-welding with gas.

Which wire to use?

If you want to know more, you can read the in-depth article on the wire to use, or just follow these rules:

  • to weld iron use a flux cored wire or solid wire for iron;
  • to weld stainless steel you can use Al-Si wire in alloy 308 or 316;
  • to weld aluminium you can choose Al-Si5 or Al-Mg5 wire.

Cylinder for wire welding: how to choose one?

Choose the cylinder based on the material you need to weld. Easy, right?
Iron and stainless steel: you need an active gas cylinder which is composed of a mixture of gases: usually argon and carbon dioxide. If you want to speak like a pro, know that in this case you are MAG (Metal-arc Active Gas) welding.
Aluminium: you need a cylinder containing just one inert gas, which in this case is: argon. Here, too, you can learn the right term to use: MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding.
Regardless of the type of material, we recommend using non-returnable cylinders because this way you don’t have to worry about returning the empty cylinder when the gas has run out. MisterWork cylinders, which you can also find on the page dedicated to welding accessories, are those that we recommend using with our DIY welding machines. They are disposable and are very convenient!

What do I need for wire welding?

You definitely need a welding machine! And obviously everything you need to weld safely: the self-darkening mask that protects your eyesight as well as your face and neck, gloves (don’t forget your hands, which are worth gold to a hobbyist), appropriate clothing to cover the rest of the body and also a gas mask or fume extractor.
Remember: you will also need material to clean the pieces to weld and all the tools you can use to cut, grind, measure, etc. If necessary, here’s a list of tools for a welding hobbyist.
Finally, also consider the environment in which you will be welding. If you choose wire welding with gas, you must work in a sheltered environment, that is without draught. It can be the garage or the place where you create your DIY projects. If, instead, you are wire welding without gas, you can also weld outdoors.

Tricks for wire welding

Handling a torch is easier than with the electrode holder, but beginners can be a bit intimidated… No worry! No one is a born welder and with practice anything can be done. To help you, therefore, we give you two very useful tips:

  • Are you welding without gas? When you are welding you have to pull the torch, that is go from left to right, keeping the torch tilted to the left.
  • Are you welding with gas or aluminium wire? When you are welding you have to push the torch, that is go from right to left, keeping the torch tilted to the left.

All these indications apply if you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, you have to do the opposite.

How to wire-weld with ease

As you may have understood, our goal is to make things as easy as possible for you when you start welding or when you want to use the welding machine for your projects, whether they are DIY or not. That’s why, in addition to following this guide, we recommend that you choose welding machines designed specifically for hobbyists and therefore easy to use. That’s what our DIY wire welding machines are: perfect partners for your projects. You don’t have to worry about setting complex parameters because you just turn a knob depending on the thickness of the workpiece to weld! Could it be any easier?
You can learn more in this article that explains to you how to adjust the wire welding machine with gas or this one that discusses Setting a no-gas wire welding machine. Here you can find our DIY welding machines: filMAKER 182 and multiMAKER 192 (multiprocess welding machine).