How to Use a Clarke MIG Welder

Written by jonra springs
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How to Use a Clarke MIG Welder
A Clarke MIG welder is good for cutting and joining thinner metals. (welder image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

A MIG, or metal inert gas, welder is a cost effective tool that uses little heat and makes efficient use of the welding wire. This type of arc welder is suitable for slim materials like sheet metal, and it's faster than other types of welding tools. Clarke International makes a number of MIG welders, including the MIG 160 TM, which operates much the same as other Clark MIG welder tools. With the gas canister and wire spool in place, a novice can learn to weld quickly.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Welding mask
  • Protective clothing
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Slotted screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove all flammable materials such as paper and wood scraps, sawdust, cloth and solvents from the area. Open windows or use exhaust fans for adequate ventilation. Place nearby a fire extinguisher that holds CO2, powder, or something other than water.

  2. 2

    Turn the gas supply off and unplug the MIG welder. Twist the metal shroud off the end of the torch counterclockwise and pull it completely off the end. Use a slotted screwdriver to loosen the smaller contact tip and remove it from the torch end. Pull out any welding wire that may be sticking out through the tube and throw it away.

  3. 3

    Plug in the Clark International welder and turn it on with the switch at the side panel. Set the wire feed dial at the top of the front panel to 6 and depress the trigger on the torch. Let go of the trigger as soon as wire shows at the end of the torch.

  4. 4

    Turn off the Clark MIG welder and unplug it. Put the contact tip back on and replace the shroud at the end of the torch. Plug the welder back in and turn it on.

  5. 5

    Set the wire feed dial to match the gauge of wire you are using. Set the dial to a low number of 3 or under for 6mm wire; set it between 3 and 7 for 6 to 8mm, or between 7 and 10 for 8mm wire.

  6. 6

    Set the welding voltage using the slide switch and dial. The slide switch only goes to minimum or maximum and the dial goes between numbers 1, 2 and 3. Set the dial to 1 and the slide switch to either minimum or maximum for 6mm wire. Set the dial to 2 or 3 and the slide switch to either setting for 6 to 8mm wire. Set the slide to maximum and set the dial to 2 or 3 for 8mm wire.

  7. 7

    Put on protective clothing that covers all your skin. Button down your collar and secure your sleeves without rolling or cuffing them. Wear trousers that do not have cuffs at the ankles as they may catch sparks from the MIG welder. Cover your face with a welding mask that has a darkened lens.

  8. 8

    Clip the grounding clamp onto the work surface. Turn the gas supply and the power switch on. Hold the torch at a 45-degree angle about 1/4-inch from the work surface. Make smooth and steady motions with the torch as you weld with the Clark International tool.

Tips and warnings

  • Never work in a confined space that lacks airflow.
  • Avoid welding near walls and ceilings that have a combustible finish.
  • Be aware of others working in the area to avoid burning anyone as you weld. All within eyesight of the arc must wear a darkened eye lens.

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