Good Weld vs Bad Weld: Explaining Various Techniques for Consistent Results

With this article, you'll learn how to see good weld vs bad weld in various techniques and receive weld testing tips
By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: July 18, 2022
Weld Zone is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

The rise in DIY projects Trusted Source Why Home Improvement Has Surged And How It's Changing America : NPR The pandemic has sparked a sustained, unprecedented tidal wave of home and backyard projects. The demand outstrips the supply of materials and labor to do the work, leaving homeowners to get creative. www.npr.org has skyrocketed in the past year, partly due to more people spending time at home and partly because of the financial incentive to improve one’s home. Now more than ever, homeowners are trying their hands at plumbing, electrical, and woodworking. Those that are even more ambitious, may have tried out welding. But as with any DIY project, it’s important to know if you’re actually doing a good job or should perhaps hire a professional instead.

We’ll examine the differences between a good weld vs bad weld and explain how to make the most out of your new ability. Hopefully, by the end of the article you’ll have more knowledge about welding or at the very least, know if you should hire a professional instead.

Universal good weld criteria

Below we’ll get into the different welding techniques you can use but first, let’s get into what actually makes a good weld.

At its simplest, a good weld needs to provide strength and quality.
Welding is all about connecting two metals permanently. Without proper welding, we wouldn’t have machinery, cars, or skyscrapers. You can weld different metals but aluminum is the most common, and it is fairly easy to find quality welders for aluminum.

If you are new to welding, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the techniques. There are many online guides, including this simple-to-follow article from Popular Mechanics Trusted Source How to Get Started With Welding Whether you want to restore a car or just make your own mailbox, with the right tools and a little bit of patience, welding is surprisingly easy to pick up. www.popularmechanics.com . After you have an idea of what welding is, the next is to purchase a welder, practice, and then practice some more.

TIG technique

Good Weld vs Bad Weld: Explaining Various Techniques for Consistent Results

This is an expert technique so if you’re just getting into welding, it won’t be something you try. However, for experts, the TIG technique can be exactly what you need.

TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas and is an arc welding process. It uses a tungsten electrode that is non-consumable to create the actual weld. The reason this method is used is because there isn’t a need for sanding or grinding afterward. Instead, while you work you create a superior finish, thus eliminating a few steps along the way. It is often used on aluminum and there are many TIG welders for this job.

Good

A good TIG technique will result in a clean finish and won’t leave you needing to sand or grind the weld after your work.

Bad

Signs if a bad TIG technique weld are pretty standard. There may be a porous finish and evidence of undercutting. Furthermore, there won’t be the distinct beading pattern that the technique uses.

Oxy technique

Good Weld vs Bad Weld: Explaining Various Techniques for Consistent Results

While the Oxy technique is a bit more common than the TIG technique, it is not often used for general welding work. Instead, it is often used for routine maintenance or to cut gas metals.

Oxy stands for Oxyacetylene and is also known as simply Gas welding. It works by mixing oxygen with acetylene gas. The result is a strong flam that can melt steel.

Good

A good Oxy technique will result in a stable, non-porous surface. There won’t be an excess of melted metal, or globules to distract from the new bond.

Bad

When determining if an Oxy technique is a bad weld, be sure to check the underside of the weld. It may have insufficient penetration and as a result globs of metal will form. Other signs include a porous surface, cracking, and undercutting.

Stick technique

Good Weld vs Bad Weld: Explaining Various Techniques for Consistent Results

Also known as Arc welding, the Stick technique is one of the most basic ways to weld metals. It is the first technique to learn and even DIY welders can quickly master this technique.

For Stick welding to work, an electric arc is used to melt the joining pieces and this melted metal then connects the joints. If you want a basic but quality Arc welder, consider the YESWELDER ARC Welder. Not only is it affordable but it offers great precision.

Good

With good stick welding, you will see a nice, straight line that is even in texture and appearance. There should be no beading and no drips.

Bad

Bad Stick welding is easy to spot. The line will be copy and uneven. There can be evidence of splatter and undercutting, and sometimes even cracking.

MIG technique

Good Weld vs Bad Weld: Explaining Various Techniques for Consistent Results

Those just starting out with welding should definitely master the MIG technique. Short for Metal Inert Gas, this technique creates an electric art between the pieces of metal you are working on and the consumable wire electrode. The heat then works to melt both pieces of metal, which is then used to connect the two. The Forney Easy Weld 261 is a great starter welder because it is lightweight and portable, meaning you can use it for any DIY project around the house.

Good

Again, you want a nice, uniform line. It should be straight and even, and neither too thick nor too thin. Aim for about 1/8 of an inch wide for your welding line. Too thin and it won’t be strong enough. Too thick and it will be clumsy.

Bad

The differences between a good vs bad MIG weld are easily discovered. Bad signs of MIG welding include beading and metal discoloration. It may also look too thin or too thick.

How to test weld

We’ve gone over some ways to spot welding but even these can be deceptive. A good weld can seem fine and vice versa. To test your weld and ensure it is strong and durable, there are a number of tests you can perform including an X-ray test and an ultrasonic test.

In fact, there are more than fifteen different types of welding tests that you can use. Some are good for all welding techniques while others are better for individual ones. The bottom line is that you should get used to testing your welds, especially when you are just starting out. The last thing you want is for something to leak, or worse break and collapse.

Final thoughts

Welding can be quite intimidating. High heat is involved and you need some serious protective gear. But this shouldn’t stop people from taking up the hobby if they are really interested in it. There are four common welding techniques and while the MIG technique and the Stick technique are the easiest to master, you should also try your hand at the more complicated TIG technique and the Oxy technique. Once you have completed your welds, consult our descriptions to determine if they are good weld vs bad weld techniques. Along the way, you will probably make some mistakes but if you keep at it, you’ll be a master in no time.

References

1.
Why Home Improvement Has Surged And How It's Changing America : NPR
The pandemic has sparked a sustained, unprecedented tidal wave of home and backyard projects. The demand outstrips the supply of materials and labor to do the work, leaving homeowners to get creative.
2.
How to Get Started With Welding
Whether you want to restore a car or just make your own mailbox, with the right tools and a little bit of patience, welding is surprisingly easy to pick up.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.