At first glance welding may look really easy – just melt the edge of two pieces of metal to join them together. What most beginners don’t realize is that it is much more involved than that and welding requires both skill as well as experience.
If you’re new to welding and want to get off to the right start, here are a few important tips that you should definitely follow:
Understand the main types of welding
Contrary to what you may think, there are actually several different methods that you can use to weld metal together. The four main types are MIG, TIG, Stick, and Flux-cored.
Each of these methods is unique and is used in different situations. That is why it is important that you understand them, and figure out which one you’re going to use.
Prepare the metal
Before you start to weld, you need to prepare the metal in advance. That encompasses cleaning the surface to remove any dirt, rust, paint, or other contaminants as well as grinding out cracks or bevels so that the metal is flush.
Aside from that, it is also a good idea to mark a line in the position that you’re going to meld then tack the metal in place so that it remains stationary.
Protect your eyes
Always make sure that you wear a welding helmet with a shade when you weld metal. Even indirect exposure to the welding arc for a split second can damage your eyes – so you don’t want to take any chances.
For beginners, it is a good idea to use an auto-darkening welding helmet that lets you adjust the shade.
Find a comfortable position
When welding you’ll very often need to hold yourself in a fixed position and keep your arms steady for a prolonged period of time. To avoid any mishaps you must make sure that you find a comfortable position that won’t put you under too much strain.
Initially, it may be a good idea to try a seated position before slowly experimenting with other options.
Experiment and play with the puddle
The main skill that you need to grasp when welding is creating a small puddle while moving that you then use to melt the filler material. If you remain too long in one place it can burn a hole in the base metal, whereas if you travel too quickly the weld may be inconsistent and weak.
It requires practice to correctly grasp the right speed and angle that you need to use, which is why you should experiment and play with the puddle to hone your skills.
In addition to these tips, be sure to prepare the right equipment that you need to weld effectively. While you can start with a basic welding kit, eventually you may want to invest in a more advanced welding set such as Sherman welders.
Make no mistake, it will take time for you to become a skilled welder, but these tips should help put you on the right path.