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Solder On: Tips for Beginning At-Home Welders

Even if you are nothing more than an avid DIYer, learning how to weld can be incredibly useful. This skill will help you tackle a wide variety of projects around your home and potentially save you some money on repairs. Here are a few tips and tricks for anyone who would like to start welding in their home workshop.

Invest in the Proper Safety Equipment

Welding is very safe when done correctly, but accidents can still happen at any time. That is why you must invest in high-quality safety equipment that protects your skin, eyes, and extremities. At the very least, you will need a welding helmet, thick gloves, work boots, and leather welding apron. You are also going to need some kind of fume extractor or air purification system if you plan on working indoors. Welding produces toxic fumes that can damage your throat and lungs.

Stock Up on Scrap

As you are learning the basics of welding, you will most likely go through quite a bit of metal. Many smaller metal fabricators sell their scraps to the public or give them away for free. Once you have a good supply of scrap metal, you can begin practicing skills such as tack welding and making precision cuts. While you are learning the basics, you might come to realize that certain skills such as spot welding or metal rolling are best left to the professionals.

Deciding between TIG, MIG, and Stick Welding

Stick welding is the easiest type of welding to master and the most inexpensive way to fuse two pieces of metal together. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to produce strong and attractive beads with a stick welder. MIG welders take more time to master, but their welds are extremely durable and much more pleasing to look at. For those who want to produce professional-grade welds, a TIG welder is the best option.

Don’t Forget the Other Supplies

Your welder will be just one of the many tools that you are going to need. After mastering the basic skills, most amateur welders begin upgrading their peripheral equipment. You might find yourself needing items such as a larger fuel cylinder, sturdy clamps, a welding table, magnetic squares, and a metal saw. Until you know exactly what type of welding you would like to do, you should avoid purchasing any unnecessary equipment.

Just like many other tools, welding tools can be extremely dangerous when used improperly. Taking your time and learning as much as possible about how the machinery works will reduce your risk of a life-altering injury.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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