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XOIIO's avatar

Any tips for a novice welder?

Asked by XOIIO (18120points) July 15th, 2010

I know the basics of welding, and once I get a welder I can try it out, but from the experienced people, what should I know? Any advice or “secret” tips?

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9 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

My tip is this. Have a potato with you at all times. My father was a mechanical engineer that owned a welding and machine shop. After school we went to the shop. When I wasn’t sweeping I was bolting things together or drilling holes. I was also taught to weld as good as a child can be.

WTF does this have to do with a potato? There is a thing called Welders Flash. You will eventually look at welding while your mask is up. It takes a while to kick in but it feels like someone went stabby on your eyeballs. I was about 8 and woke up in the middle night screaming after I had been welding for a few hours earlier in the day. My mom instantly knew what was wrong and cut a potato in half and placed the cut side on my eyes.

It still hurt but it was a lot better.

And practice.. Being a good welder is a art.

YARNLADY's avatar

Never skimp on the safety equipment. The first time you do will be the only time. My Dad was a successful welder for many years. (And no, he never skimped)

Jabe73's avatar

It will take alot of practice. Knowing the right amperage settings on your welder helps greatly. MIG is easiest to learn, stick and TIG will take more practice. If you can stick weld than the others will be very easy for you with a little practice.

You should get scrap metal and practice horizontal, vertical and even upside down welds. Make sure you have the best type of welding mask and make sure the lens are clean (they get dirty from welding spatters, dust, grease, ect). Make sure you can clearly see what you are welding. Once you know how to work the bubble (molten metal) you will get smoother welds. It does not hurt to get some pointers from welders themselves or at some welding course but in the end getting proficient at welding comes down to practice, learning to work your welder settings combined with hand-eye cordination.

Austinlad's avatar

All’s weld that ends weld.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The automatic-darkening masks make life so much easier. No guesswork about where the stinger is before you strike that arc.

XOIIO's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I was going to buy one when I get my welder.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@XOIIO They’re worth every penny and make learning so much easier.

rangerr's avatar

@johnpowell mentioned my biggest thing with welding.. Even looking at the arc for a second or two can fuck you up.
I took auto body in high school and I was the only one to use the welder/plasma cutter. I figured out you can get away with not wearing gloves… but looking at the arcs without the protective eyewear will give you a result about 50 times worse than a hangover.

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