How to MIG Weld Pipe Saddles

Written by susan kristoff
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How to MIG Weld Pipe Saddles
(Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A pipe saddle is the connection of a secondary pipe to a primary pipe. The secondary pipe can be connected perpendicular to the primary pipe, or at an angle. The secondary pipe can be welded to the primary pipe without cutting a hole in the primary pipe, or a hole can be cut, depending on the application. The most difficult part of creating and installing a pipe saddle is cutting the hole in the primary pipe and the end of the secondary pipe and matching up the profiles to ensure a clean weld. Once the profiles have been cut, welding the pipe saddle with a MIG welding unit is straightforward.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Primary and secondary pipes
  • Pipe saddle template
  • Grease pencil
  • Cutting tools
  • Degreaser and rag
  • Grinder
  • Stainless steel brush
  • MIG welding equipment
  • Shielding gas
  • Filler material

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    How to MIG Weld a Pipe Saddle

  1. 1

    Select the pipe saddle template for the pipe size and angle required for the connection. Wrap the template around the secondary pipe and use the grease pencil to trace the pipe saddle contour. If a pass through to the primary pipe is required, repeat this process for the primary pipe.

  2. 2

    Use the cutting tools to cut out the saddle contour.

  3. 3

    Clean the weld locations with degreaser and wipe away with a clean rag. Use the grinder to remove any oxides and scale at the weld locations, and clean away particulates with a stainless steel brush.

  4. 4

    Align the two pipe pieces and use the MIG welding equipment to add a tack weld. Hold the electrode at a 10 degree angle from vertical, pointed in the direction of travel. This method of holding the electrode is called the push method, and it is necessary to keep the shielding gas over the weld area. Adjust the alignment and add additional tack welds around the perimeter of the joint.

  5. 5

    Use the electrode to create a pool of metal and slowly push the electrode, moving the pool of metal forward around the pipe saddle. Adjust the voltage of the MIG welder to create spray transfer of the metal.

  6. 6

    Maintain a consistent movement rate forward, while adjusting the speed as the work piece heats up in order to maintain a consistent weld width. Complete the weld and let the piece cool before finishing.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear proper safety equipment when MIG welding, including a welding mask, gloves, and coverall clothing.

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