How to MIG weld vertical up

Updated February 21, 2017

Metal inert gas (MIG) welding increases productivity and eases the welding learning curve for those new to the welding process. This is due to the MIG welding process using a continuous spool of wire over a short consumable electrode (stick) or a nonconsumable electrode and filler rod (TIG), which allows you to point and weld. Even though MIG welding is an easier process, there are still proper welding techniques that you will need to learn, including vertical up, one of the most difficult MIG welds.

Open up the front or side lid, depending on the welder manufacturer, of the MIG welder. Look at the weld-guide-chart for the recommended voltage and wire speed setting for 11 gauge (11ga) carbon steel.

Turn on the MIG welder and set the voltage and wire speed per the weld guide chart. The weld-guide-chart-settings are close, but you may need to make adjustments for your specific welding style.

Put on your safety glasses, welding hood and leather welding gloves.

Lay one piece of the 11ga carbon steel flat on the surface of the welding table and place the edge of the second piece of carbon steel on top of the first piece to form a T.

Align the tip of the MIG gun with the intersection of the two pieces of metal, lower your welding hood and pull the trigger of the MIG gun to form a tack weld between the two metal pieces. You need to hold the MIG gun trigger for 2 seconds to ensure a proper tack weld. Repeat the process to place a second tack weld on the two pieces of metal.

Stand the tacked welded pieces of metal vertically with the corner formed in Steps four and five facing toward you and tack one of the metal pieces to the top of the worktable.

Place the tip of the MIG gun at the lowest point of the fillet weld joint, lower your welding hood and depress the trigger of the MIG gun.

Run the tip of the MIG welder across the weld joint, up 3/16-inch at a 30-degree angle, moving toward the centre of the joint and back down 1/8-inch at a 30-degree angle. Repeat the process until the entire joint has been welded vertical up. You are creating small triangles with the weld puddle, using the centre of the weld joint as the top point of the triangle.

Allow the welded pieces of carbon steel to cool to room temperature before pulling the pieces toward the tack weld to free them from the surface of the welding table.

Things You'll Need

  • MIG welder
  • Two pieces of 11 gauge (1/8-inch) carbon steel
  • Safety glasses
  • Welding hood
  • Leather welding gloves
  • Welding table
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