preparation is key in welding
So you’ve taken on a welding project? First of all, congratulations on making a brilliant decision. Having the ability to weld not only introduces you to a highly satisfying, incredibly addictive, hobby it also opens up a whole new weld, i mean world, of possibilities. Sorry, no more cringe worthy puns, i promise!
Look around you, chances are something within your immediate vicinity contains a weld. You’re car is full of spot welds. Look at the the hand railing nearby, the table across the hall, the metal shelving out in the garage...You get my point. Welding is a key part of the manufacture of so many products which play an important part in our everyday lives. Welding also plays a part in all of the super-structures around us (like buildings and bridges) and the auto-motives we use every day.
By becoming proficient in welding and taking on your first project you are about to enter an art-form which will not only give you satisfaction and enjoyment, but help you to carry out DIY and renovation jobs, make new products, and save money. With any welding product, a few golden rules apply and I wanted to share one of them with you today. This rule applies whether you are undertaking a MIG, TIG or MMA welding process. It applies whether you’re carrying out a basic repair around the home or carrying our a major car restoration project.
Plan your welding job meticulously and ensure you have all the equipment you need to do the job right, and to do it safely.
Purchasing equipment for that first welding job can seem like a major expense. But remember, many of the purchases are one-offs, so these are investments in future welding projects. Ultimately by undertaking welding projects yourself you can save money, not to mention get a massive amount of enjoyment and satisfaction. So, before you start your project, make a list of all of the equipment you will need to do the job right, and to do it safely.
The welding machine
Obviously the starting point is to buy the right welder for your project. If you haven’t already done this, you’ve come to the right website. At eWelders.com.au we have a massive range of more than 100 quality welding machines which you can view here. If you need technical support on this important decision, you can contact us. I’m not going to go into too many specifics about which welder to chose in this blog, as this is another topic in itself. But, for those still to chose a welder, your starting point will be to ask yourself these three basic questions:
-What types of metals will you need to weld during this project and future projects?
- What is the thickness of the metals you wish to weld? * This will affect the level of power you should look for in a welder. And certain welding processes are more suited to certain metals and metal thickness
- What welding process (MIG, TIG, MMA) are you going to need your welding machine to perform?
(For help on which welding process suits your needs click here)
Once you know the answer to these three basic questions, you’re well on your way to buying the right welder. Don’t be overwhelmed by the highly-technical nature of welding, and the amount of choice that is out there on the market. Start by asking yourself the above questions and doing a little research. eWelders frequently asked questions section has a handy guide to which welding process are suited to which metals. Click here to view this.
For a beginner, it will definitely be worth purchasing a kit with your welder. These kits will come with things like welding guns, leads, torches, clamps and regulators, to save you having to buy them separately. Virtually all of our machines at eWelders come with a kit so that make this part of preparation prcess a little easier.
Contact us if you need some technical support and always buy your welder through a reputable dealer such as eWedlers.com.au. We also recommend buying a repuatable welding brand and we at eWelders only stock market-leading brands backed by strong warranty conditions and a nationa-wide service agency network.
What comes next?
Once you have your welder and you’ve worked out your welding process, it is time to make a list of all the materials and consumables you are going to need to do the job right. This will obviously vary greatly from job to job. But you will need to check off the following points.
What are your consumables needs?
Whether you’re using MIG wire, TIG filler rods, or MMA electrodes, ensure you think about the amount of consumable material you will use during your project and stock up accordingly. Also ensure you get the the right consumable for your project. Different MIG Wires are suited to welding different metals, for example. The good news is, all of eWelders’ consumables are clearly labelled and explained on our site, making it easy for you to select the right consumable. For example if you are going to be welding cast iron, with have a category page of our site devoted to Cast Iron MIG welding consumables.
What safety equipment will you need?
Safety should be the upmost priority for any welder. Welders expose themselves to electric currents, potentially harmful gases, extreme heats, and debris. Therefore you need to protect yourself before you start your project.
It is imperative that you use a specialised set of welding gloves whenever you weld. As you will see when you visit eWelders’ gloves page, they are not expensive but they do play a crucial role in the protection your hands, because specialised welding gloves are made from leather and are flame resistant. Do not use ordinary gardening gloves, or cheap cotton gloves when you weld.
You are going to need to protect your eyes, and your whole face when you weld. Without a hemet you risk damaging your eyes due to exposure to the extremely bright ultraviolet light which occur during a weld. You also risk burns to your face from sparks that fly up off the metal as you weld.
Like gloves, there helmets and then there are welding helmets. For a beginner welder an auto darkening welding helmet is an absolute must - at eWelders, these are all we stock. Auto darkening helmets work using solar-powered sensors that sense when a welding arc has been struck and automatically darken to protect your eye, far quicker than you can blink. All safety-standards tested helmets have specially UV coated lenses to give your eyes absolute protection.
The auto-darkening mechanism not only allows you to see what you are doing and have full eye protection ince welding, it allows you to see what you are doing right up to the point of striking your welding arc. The helmet sensors ensure you can see what your doing while you are getting your welding torch into position and then darken once the arc is struck. Non-automatic helmets are permanently in a darkened state and you can see virtually nothing through them before you strike your arc. You, therefore, have to get you welding torch or stick into position, then lower your helmet while trying not to move your torch, and you have to try to strike your arc in darkness - no thanks!
At eWelders we only sell auto-darkening helmets which start from $89 and then go up as the features increase.
Like your gloves, it is important to invest in a specialist welding jacket because welding jacket’s, unlike many general jackets, are non-flamable. Once again, eWelders.com.au has a good range of well-priced jackets for you to browse.
Now that you have your safety equipment, and your welder, start to forward plan. There is a good chance you will need something to cut your metals with during your welding project. eWelders stocks a comprehensive range of plasma and gas cutting machines which can be viewed. If you do not wish to purchase a plasma cutter at this point, you could consider purchasing a metal cutting saw, although be prepared for sharp edges around your cuts, meaning you are also likely to need an angle grinder - I'd recommend buying a plasma cutter which start from about $500.
If you’re working with sheet metal it may also be a good idea to have a pair of metal snips handy, and a sheet metal brake, to help you snip and shape your metals.
Once you have all of your safety equipment, your welding and cutting equipment, and your consumables sorted, it’s time to buy your metals. You can visit any hardware or sheet metal store to purchase your metals but do your homework. Work out how much of each material you need, allowing for off-cuts. For beginners, it will be worth buying some practice cuts.
There are a whole host of other equipment you may need to consider before you start your project, which is why it is important to have a plan. At your home workshop, for example, you may needs a work bench, and a trolley. You are also likely to need tools like clamps, and chipping hammers, and you may need to purchase cables, leads and adapters. eWelders is a comprehensive welding supplier and stocks all of this equipment. Remember the old saying - "If you have seven hours to cut a tree down, spend the first six hours sharpening your axe. By purchasing all of the equipment you need before you start your project, you are setting yourself up for success. You are also less likely to have to down tools when you realise you are missing something you require. That is a massive momentum killer!
Most importantly, you’re setting yourself up to weld safely, and to enjoy your project.
Good luck - call us on 1300 554 685 if you have questions.