Converting your shed into a welding workshop
MANY a welding workshop has been established inside the Aussie backyard shed.
After all, the shed is often a relaxing, private space and can provide the ideal atmosphere for a day’s welding.
But there are a few dos and don’t when it comes to setting up your shed as a welding workspace, so we suggest you consider them before you start converting your shed.
Some planning factors to consider
• Make sure your shed floor is flat and stable. This does not necessarily mean you need a cement or concrete floor, although this is ideal. Some of the best welding workshops are established on dirt shed floors but the the surface must be as flat and stable as possible. The environment must also be dry, as welding and water do not mix!
• Ensure that your shed has an adequate electricity supply. The average welding machine has a 240 volt output and many welding machines require a 15amp power supply. However, a common Australian power point in only 10amps, so you may need to get in an electrician to increase the power supply.
• Ensure you have adequate ventilation. If you are in a fully enclosed shed, you will need to invest in an a exhaust system; but if you are in a shed environment where the doors can be kept open and there is good natural ventilation, an exhaust fan may do the trick.
• Sparks often fly around when you weld, so make absolutely sure your shed is cleared of any flammable materials. That means no paper, wood, books, and, obviously no petrol cans. Take a good look around your shed and identify any potential fire hazards. As a precaution you should always have a fire extinguisher on hand in your shed because you can never be too careful.
• Make sure you have good lighting. If your shed doesn’t have an overhead light you should consider investing in one, as is important to be able to see what you’re doing when your weld.
• If you are welding with gas, make sure your bottles are securely fastened to the shed wall. And, before you start welding, test your gas bottle gauges for leaks. Also,test your hoses for cracks
• Make sure that you store your welding machine in a clean and dry position in your shed. Dust and water could prematurely damage the machine. Also, keep the welder unplugged when not in use.
• Finally, invest in a steel welding table. This is a necessity for any welder's working shed, since welding on a wooden surface is a fire hazard.
Of course, the above points may not cover all the issues related to your proposed workshop, so talk to friends who have a workshop and seek profesional advice, including from the local council.
Good luck and happy welding.