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.
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.