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What you need for an “at home” welding project

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What you need for an “at home” welding project

Some people like to paint things, others enjoy building puzzles, but there is also an at-home craft market for people who want to weld things. It can be a creative process and, generally, leads to items that can be used around the house afterwards.  

So, if welding is your thing, or you think it could be your thing, here’s what you’ll need for an at-home welding project. Other than knowing how to weld, of course.

 

Welding tools

So there are a few essential welding tools you’ll need to get started.

  • Welder: How would one be able to complete a welding project without a welder? This is your first item of equipment you need if you’re wanting to do any welding project. A MIG-welder will probably be the welder of choice for beginner welders.
  • Welding magnets: Welding magnets are the tool that will help you achieve the angles you desire and can hold the pieces of metal you’re working on in place.
  • Sheet metal gauge: Without a sheet metal gauge, you’ll be thumb-sucking the thickness of the piece of metal you’re working with and that can affect which setting you’ll need to use.  
  • Filer: The same concept as a nail file, you’ll use the metal filer to smooth out the edges after cutting pieces of metal with your angle grinder (another piece of welding equipment you could definitely do with) and also to file out the final project after welding.
  • Clamps: Welding clamps make sure your lose pieces stay in position while you go around to tack weld them in place. Without them, you risk your project being lopsided and you don’t want that.  
  • Markers: Metal markers will definitely come in handy because you can use them to trace shapes and points where you need to weld, without disappearing from the metal as a result of the heat. It’s a great way to make sure you stay on track with where you’re welding and making sure you don’t miss any points.  

There are so many more welding tools you can use in your welding garage, but these are the essential basics. As your skills improve and your interest becomes more of a hobby, you can start investing in the other pieces of equipment for more experienced welding projects.

 

Welding gear

Now, you need to make sure you’re wearing all the right welding gear to protect you during your welding endeavours. From your head to your toes, you need to be covered, so here’s the list that your set of welding armour needs to be comprised of:

  • Welding helmet: Starting with your head, you’re going to need a full-on welding helmet that will shield your entire face and have a glass area by the eyes for you to see through. When you’re welding there are sparks flying everywhere, not to mention the incredible heat of the flame produced by your welder that you should be protected from.
  • Safety glasses: If you want extra protection you can wear your safety glasses underneath your helmet, but otherwise they should be worn when you're using other tools such as your angle grinder or metal filer. You don’t need pieces of metal flying into your eyes while you work.
  • Gloves: As your hands and fingers are prone to be damaged by metal, heat and blades, while you’re working on a welding project, it’s a good idea to keep them protected with thick, industrial gloves.  
  • Protective clothing: With sparks in the air and your skin at risk of singeing, you need to find an overall outfit of sorts where your arms and legs are protected.
  • Safety boots: And, lastly, you need to protect your toes. Working with metal and heavy tools is an accident waiting to happen. Should anything fall or drop while you’re busy, you don’t want your toes to be the break in an object’s fall. Wearing the right safety boots will keep your feet safe from anything flying or falling around the working area.

It’s important to make sure you’re fully kitted out when you start or work on any welding project. Even if you think your hands can handle the machinery and heat without gloves, you’ll likely damage them in the long-term and, possibly, never truly recover.

 

Welding methods

There are quite a few welding methods that can be used, but not all of them will be used by hobbyists. The methods that you will likely be using are different Arc welding methods, usually one of the following:  

  • MIG welding: Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and is a popular welding method especially amongst beginners as it’s an easy welding technique to master.
  • Stick welding: This is one of the first welding methods that is now used as a low-cost method nowadays. It doesn’t have as “clean” results as some of the other arc welding methods, but it does require minimal equipment.

 

A project or two

Now all you need is a project or two to get started on. Some popular at-home welding projects include:

  • Tables and chairs
  • Light fixtures
  • Frames
  • Grill grates
  • Fences
  • Tandem bicycles
  • Arts and crafts
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