MIG Welding Techniques for Building a Mild Steel Roll Cage

MIG Welding Techniques for Building a Mild Steel Roll Cage

Hi, I’m Chris Jarman from Eliminator
Kustoms here in Goodrich, Michigan. We kind of specialize in high-end racecars,
street car, metal fabrication and engines. Today I want to talk to you a little bit
about the proper techniques and procedures on welding mild steel roll
cages in cars. A lot of times we get people that try to do it their own or
shops that are unqualified, which is great but they don’t pass certification
and a lot of these cars have to pass certifications. So what we’re going to
talk about is different angles that you will find in these race cars and that
you need the proper technique to get the proper weld techniques down. We’re going
to go over some joints that we recently cut out of a customer’s car that would
not pass certifications. I’d like to point out some of the flaws in the
welding process here. Here you can see the weld is very cold. The fusion is not
in some spots etching into the metal on both sides. On this joint you actually
have a lot of stop and starts and you can actually tell the way the weld looks
that there was a huge gap that the person tried to fill in, which is
something you really don’t want. What you’re really trying to achieve is is a
perfect world like this. Great fusion on both sides, we had good tight joint
preparation which aids in the welding process to get to this finished product.
For our project today we’ve chosen the Millermatic® 212 Auto-Set™. We’re going
to be using this to weld one 34 wall DOM roll cage tubing mild steel. We’re
choosing to use the machine in manual mode because we’re going to be making
fine adjustments to our weld and wire speed due to the angles and notches
typically found in the roll cage application we’re going to be doing.
We’re going to be using 0-30 wire. We’re going to be using a 75-25 argon CO2 mix
also in the process. Okay, the first joint we’re going to go over today for with
our tips is the 90 degree joint. First you want to make sure that you have a
really good fit. This is going to lead to a good weld joint. The next thing you
want to do is make sure you tack in good four spots, okay. Usually typically go top
and bottom side to side. If you do that you’ll actually probably depending on
your weld side will actually when you’re welding you’ll weld over top of your
tack. We like to weld and actually tack in the four corners that way we can
actually start and stop at our four tacks. Okay, we’re going to talk to you a bit
about a tip about welding direction. On this joint actually is thicker tubing. We
actually use the pull method which is actually pulling the gun towards us, the
MIG gun. What that’s doing is it’s actually creating more penetration due
to the weld wire actually going towards the heat at all time. If you’re going to
be using thinner metal what you might want to do is try the push method,
because what you are doing the wire is actually transferring towards the cooler
part of the joint, which is creating less heat for less penetration which will
give you more control and not as much of a chance to actually blow a hole through
your weld. Okay, the next joint we’re going to talk
about is our 30-degree joint. We’ve already got it tacked up. We chose to
tack it on each side and on the bottom and three points. The reason we’re going
to do that is we’re going to actually start in the deepest part of the bevel.
We’re going to go down one side. We’re going to come down the other side and
then we’re going to finish to weld the bottom up. Okay, we finished up our 30-degree joint.
During the process the gun nozzle was able to get down deep enough in the
joint to actually permit us not changing the settings on the machine. During this
process we actually use the push method so we could actually watch the arc and
the puddle as we were actually doing the weld. Okay, we’re going to go on to our
last joint here which is our 45 degree. You can tell the joint is much deeper.
We’ve gone ahead and tacked it up. The one thing I want to show you is a little
tip. We are going to be adjusting the machine now. We’re going to be turning it
up just a little bit; the heat. Reason being is the wire is sticking out of the
nozzle a little bit farther because we cannot get the MIG gun tip down in the
joint as far as such on a 30 degree angle. What happens is we’re going to
turn up the machine to promote the wire burning off hotter in this joint because
it’s sticking out longer so we can get better penetration in the weld. Today we showed you a lot of typical
joints that you’re going to find on common roll cage construction. One of the
highlights that we pointed out was your actual MIG gun nozzle placement in the
joint as you’re welding. Another good tip to remember is depending on your
material thickness whether you want to use the pull or drag method or the push
away from your method. The drag method towards you will promote more
penetration and more heat for thicker metals. If you’re joining the weld center
metals, you might want to try the push method because it directs the heat away
from the weld with less penetration to prevent you from blowing through your
material for getting the weld too hot. For more racing, customizing, and
restoring tips go to MillerWelds.com.

100 thoughts on “MIG Welding Techniques for Building a Mild Steel Roll Cage

  1. Damn, look at those arcs… this guy's a champ. He never even touched-on the hardest part about welding tubing; making smooth arcs. Pulling a weld around a tight circumference like that is annoyingly difficult. You're basically welding blind. That's why most MIG'd cages have more of a diamond shape to the welds, rather than a circle. Even on 3" exhaust tubing, it's difficult to go all the way around without welding off into the sunset somewhere.

  2. I understand your method of turning up the heat to get into the joint better and that is fine. My mothod is to keep the settings untouched and pull back the nozzle exposing the inner tip more allowing me to get further into the joint like your 45 degree example. just be careful not to touch or dip the tip.. Other than the risk of dipping the tip there are no negatives to the method I have mentioned.. Just a tip from a professional fabricator to anyone who may not be so experienced.. 

  3. I keep seeing a lot of talk about vertical down and vertical up welding, push or pull. Some people question if its good or bad? In the end the answer is…..yes. Anyone can set parameters for a vertical up weld and set them wrong. Yes, one position gives more penetration given the direction of travel blah blah blah. Its a well know fact to all of us that weld for a living. Now, I'm a Welding Engineering Technology major right now and one of the biggest things that our studies have found is that a big part of penetration lies in the work/travel angle. We have found a lot of tests that support the vitality of your need for penetration lies in your parameters (easy enough to figure out) and your work/travel angle. I'm still not sure why this is. I believe that GMAW is becoming such a fast solidification process that lack of penetration/fusion or even partial fusion can be solved by some angle adjustments. Just some food for thought. Not saying I'm right or wrong. Just wanted to let some people know so maybe they could try it and see if it helps somewhere down the line. Cheers!

  4. Hello. what Amp do i need to have on my welding mechin to be abel to welld a steel Roll cage?
    have a 230V 180amp welder now…. will it do the work?

  5. Those weld that were at the start were just horrid , how ANY supposed fabricator could charge for such shoddy work is disgusting and potentially life threatening 

  6. I was hoping you could answer this, is this technique of goin forward and then back before goin forward again somethin you have found to work good for cages or is this just how you typically weld. Ive seen and done alot of techniques and do this w tig sometimes but never tried it w mig. Your welds look great and was very curious to see the forward then back. Was hopin u could give some insight on that technique. Thanks and love the video ill be tryin it

  7. Hi, I am a hobbyist welder and I was getting holes in thin metal, now I know why, thank you so much for the little tip in your video

  8. For some tubing joints I find I have to stop and start again because of a poor position.  Any tips on proper restart?

  9. pushing preheats where you are going unlike pulling which leaves it colder, and when pushing you aren't sitting in front of the puddle, you're actually right on the edge which leaves it good and hot, when you pull the bead gets cold faster and gives penetration, for a good demonstration look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEF61gyN5Gw

  10. If i gonna be welding with stick welding machine what electrodes should I use? and what amperage for the 30 and 45 degrees ?

  11. THIS IS VERY IRRESPONSIBLE…you should warn people to wear welding goggles before watching this else they will get arc-eye…

  12. nice tips, even being novice to welding from some time ago i knew about drag and push methods, and their purposes, but still the only time i welded at home some really thin steel square tubings (2mm) i was using drag method with low amperages and special stick electrodes, the metal got melted almost instantly, didn't thought back then it could have been i was using wrong method, now imma try pushing and see how it goes

  13. LOL THIS is just an advertisement. he's talking up his work so much.
    really great stuff tho!!!!!! beautiful mig work too!

  14. vertical downhill is usually the sign that its a cheap job , farmers weld like this in sheds , try that on a pipe line job and you will be on your way home by lunch time.

  15. Your video is awesome CHRIS .Is it good to use a MIG light when your welding inside corners? Also Chris, is a 135 MIG welder good enough to start with.? Will the joint welds have the same strength as a 175 welder?

  16. thanks for showing how to do it right i never knew about push and pull this is the first time ive' seen this in all my years welding

  17. if I could weld that nicely I wouldn't even paint the finished product lol… just prep-wipe nice and clean and clearcoat, let the artistry speak for itself…

  18. Great video! Noticed that you have a really nice lack of splatter going on and I was wondering how you control that? I can do some good welding with good penetration but it looks like a ball-bearing factory afterwards. I also normally use 75/25 Argon-Co2 and what flow rate do you use and why would you increase or decrease it? Thanks!

  19. Great video! Do you think will be posible to create a strong welding surface with FluxCore (without gas)?.
    Could you record any other vídeo about it?, video with tips about prepare material, direction welding, protection surface…

    Thanks a lot

  20. your weldiong skills are on point man! lol apparently i need to practice a little more. good info and thanks for making the video!

  21. Every thing looked great but what I wanted to see more was direction, how welder moves his arms and wrists from the top to bottom around the tube which is the hard part for me to do, making it look smooth.

  22. I guess I'm one of few not impressed by these welds at all, although I do think it can be done adequately downhill. I would expect miller to have someone more impressive representing their equipment.

  23. 2:35 + 3:00 + 5:00 = Nice Welds. The others (not counting the beginning counter-examples) not acceptable.

    BTW: VD is OK on thin metal and usually necessary to prevent burnthrough.

  24. lmao retry with this settings : 19volts 240/250 amps and go fast you will not had penetration, be more slowly if you need pene, but you have really small short circuit transfert settings, try it with spray arc

  25. Could you use this welder

  26. Hey miller is there away I can connect with someone if I have any questions so I’m not asking on here all the time thanks

  27. Good video Chris, I like your technique. Best thing about welding is every welder has their own unique way to generally get the same result, a quality weld is what we are looking for. You should make another video showing how to finish welding a roll cage in its final position.

  28. In response to some of the comments, I have welded both in the field on oil sell sites and on roll cages and had them cut apart. It is ok to weld downhill on a cage because you will get the needed penetration and after the main bars are installed, you have to be a contortionist to install the rest of it, only giving the option of welding downhill many times.

  29. Quick question regarding amps and wire speed I’ve google amps and wire speed charts and in one miller chart it says when using .30 mig wire size the speed is 2 ipm per amp and i just downloaded the Miller app and in there it says 2 ipm per amp when using .35 wire size im a bit confused now with your experience which wire will it be easier to control the wire speed? In which wire size do you usually go 2 ipm per amp or roughly close to 2ipm?

  30. Mundy you are a fool..There is always one idiot. Comparing roll cage tube to structrual..you idiot this is not an ibeam…

  31. I'm always looking for ways to make the welds I make with my powermts better. Thank you for your informative videos.

  32. What voltage were using for this when not in the 45 degree Vee and what voltage when you were? That steel you used? Is it SCCA approved and how much do you think that Camaro’s cage weighed.

  33. @MillerWelds – The presenter covered the need for change in settings for the tighter corners, but did not say what the changes were. Also noting the base metal thickness, amps, feed rate etc would be good to add.

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