As any inexperienced welder will be quick to point out, welding is not as easy as it looks. Pipe welding adds further complexities on top of the need to be a proficient welder. Due to the nature of pipes it is important to make sure that the weld is kept almost entirely on the outside of the join, with as little as possible of the weld obstructing the bore of the pipe. If you are new to pipe welding then these few small tips detailed below will give you a basic understanding of some of the more common mistakes made by new pipe welders. The best advice would be to practice welding on old pipe stock before committing yourself to your fist pipe welding project.
- Pipe Welding Tip #1: Always prepare the join between pipes well. Remove all paint, oil, rust and other contaminants from the surfaces of both pipes that are going to be welded together. Be sure to spend time making sure the pipes fit well together before beginning to weld. Offer up the pipes to each other and make sure the fit is as near perfect as can be.
- Pipe Welding Tip #2:Tack welding should be used to join the two pipes in place before beginning the weld proper. Two to four tacks should hold most pipes in place for the duration of the weld. This also prevents the pipe join becoming distorted as the metal of the pipes heat up during the welding.
- Pipe Welding Tip #3: If you are going to be welding outdoors then make sure the environment is within safety boundaries. The temperature should be above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit the pipes should be warmed before the welding begins. Never weld pipes in high wind or rainy conditions.Don’t be afraid to use a spacer as part of the weld. One of the easiest ways to weld pipes is using a spacer as the basis for the weld. Spacers are sometimes called backing rings or chill rings and allow the welder to make sure the pipes are aligned during the welding process; they also make a handy location for placing tack welds.
I hope the pipe welding tips above have helped you. Welding is the easiest way to join two metal pipes together, it is quick and hard-wearing. Once a welder becomes proficient in welding pipes it also becomes a very quick way of building complex pipe layouts. Practice is the real trick to pipe welding, and it is recommended that every welder tries out at least a few trial welds on the kind of pipe they are setting out to join by welding.