Learning a new skill – Welding

Perhaps you had a New Year’s resolution to learn a new skill such as welding, there’s a few courses and classes you can take. Once you have completed your welder training, you still have plenty to learn. Much of your training will give you the basic skills and tools necessary for succeeding as a welder; however, starting as a beginner welder will likely present you with new challenges. The following tips will help you on your way.

Use Fire-Resistant Welding Gloves

Avoid the temptation to purchase inexpensive welding gloves. High-quality gloves will stand up to the repeated exposure of welding. Tulsa Welding School recommends using fire-resistant gloves to prevent burns or injuries on the job.

Select a good helmet

Although most welding packages come with a simple face guard, you should use a welding helmet to protect your face and head, suggests the Welding Information Center. An auto darkening helmet makes initiating the weld easier so you can concentrate on your technique and worry less about the personal protective equipment (PPE).

Play with puddles

As a welder, it’s important to know how to create a puddle for melting the filler material. When you are not working on a project, practice leading the puddle of filler material without joining the metals. If your rod stays in one location too long, the rod will stick, or it will burn through your base metal. If the rod is too far away, the arc will fail, and the filler material may splatter. Being too fast or too slow will result in an inconsistent, weak weld.

Welder

Keep Filler Rods in a Dry Location

Moisture in the air will damage the integrity and stability of your filler rods. Some filler rods come in airtight containers; yet, many welders make their own resalable containers. Take a piece of three inch PVC pipe, and purchase two three inch PVC caps. Spray-painting the caps with different colors will help identify different types of filler rods. This will give you the airtight seal needed and keep your rods organized.

Consider Your Comfort with Ergonomic Equipment

Not all welding jobs will give you the opportunity to stay comfortable. As a result, you need to practice your ergonomic welding, or welding body mechanics. Body mechanics refer to your movements that lessen the strain and risk for injury to your body. Make sure that your clothing and undergarments fit appropriately and do not leave you miserable. If you are able to use tools, such as tables, chairs, or benches, for your welding, adjust the height to match your project.

Check Your Settings Before You Start Welding

After you have selected the filler rod you plan to use, adjust the amperage to meet the specifications of the filler rod. It is easier to adjust these settings up front than to try and change them mid weld.

5 thoughts on “Learning a new skill – Welding

  1. Rick says:

    I’d like to add one more point: select equipment which will suit you the best (work conditions).

  2. Rob Simpson says:

    Hello… Sounds great! I am totally agreed with your all guidance. Thanks for sharing this information to protect you while welding.

  3. Tom Bradly says:

    Thanks for sharing these! I usually shy away from tasks requiring welding since I didn’t have the tools needed for the job. Is it overly expensive to buy one?

    • Hi Tom, different welders cost different amounts. A simple arc or “stick” welder can be bought for less than £100. These are good for welding medium thickness materials but can be a bit tricky to get started with. The MIG welder is the “goto” for most beginners. Those cost a bit more starting around £200 and are good with a range of material sizes hence they are often bought for car repairs. The MIG is easier to use than the stick for most tasks but does require gas so running costs are a bit higher. Finally, TIG welders are the highest price but used well can produce very high-quality welds with no need for finishing. These start around £500 for a DC model but if you need to weld alloy then you could be looking at nearer to £1000 for an AC model. Most TIG welders can also double as a stick welder.

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