really basic MIG welding technique question

I bought a MIG welder some time back, and have used it extensively since. I'm getting pretty good with it except in one area, where I'm not happy. Fillets are
driving me up the wall. They're strong, and nearly OK, but I know I could do much better.
On a fillet weld in the horizontal position, should I aim the wire at the junction and try to move it smoothly along the seam, or should I wash the wire up and down?
What's happening is I'm getting uneven welds. I think part of the problem is that I'm having trouble seeing the puddle what with the MIG gun nozzle and the two planes of metal.
Anyone?
Grant
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Drag the wire rather than pushing it will make the puddle a little easier to see. You should be able to look from the left while the nozzle is tilted to the right. It could help to aim a halogen light source into the fillet area from the same direction that you look toward the puddle.
On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 19:33:15 -0800, Grant Erwin

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Movement depends on the heat of the arc compared to how thick the metal is. If you are running hot on thin metal, then a straight stringer bead is more than sufficient, but if you are welding heavier materiel I would recommend a slow weave.
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

I found that most of my welds looked like they were done by a three yr old . Then I got a helmet with a big lens , and now that I can see the puddle with the bifocal part of my glasses , they look better . Like maybe they were done by a seven yr old . Seriously , I found that dragging the puddle lets me see what I'm doing better . I also found I needed to increase my shield gas flow a bit . I still have trouble with depositing too much filler , but I'm getting decent penetration and stuff stays together . Good enough for me !
--

Snag aka OSG #1
'76 FLH "Bag Lady"
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Unless the bead is very small ( under 1/4 inch fillet) I move a bit. Don't aim at the corner. Maintain 45 degrees but aim one wire diameter below the corner and slightly forehand. That is not very much but it works for me. Randy
I bought a MIG welder some time back, and have used it extensively since. I'm getting pretty good with it except in one area, where I'm not happy. Fillets are driving me up the wall. They're strong, and nearly OK, but I know I could do much better.
On a fillet weld in the horizontal position, should I aim the wire at the junction and try to move it smoothly along the seam, or should I wash the wire up and down?
What's happening is I'm getting uneven welds. I think part of the problem is that I'm having trouble seeing the puddle what with the MIG gun nozzle and the two planes of metal.
Anyone?
Grant
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Hi Grant, I think most of the time that getting your body into the right position and being comfortable is half the battle this means getting a line of sight in front of the gas shroud so that you can see exactly where the wire is contacting the joint, if your anything like me cleaning the lens a little more would help see what's happening. I tend to run the wire slightly more on the bottom plate in a HV fillet and wash up onto the vertical plate without a noticable weave, remember stringer runs to build up the size of a weld is often more desirable than a woven weld. When settings and angles go awry with the mig, breaking the weld open under a press can be a real eye opener. Makes me wonder about some of the home made car trailers belting about the countryside at 100 km/h.
Rod

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