Welding is more than a skill. It takes a trained eye and a skilled hand to tackle different welding projects. You also need the right tools to get things done right. But, how hard is welding anyway?
What Is Welding?
You might be here because you plan on taking welding tasks at work or you might be a student eagerly awaiting welding projects in shop class. But before you start thinking about the job, let’s find out what welding is and the science behind it.
Welding is simply a method of bonding two metallic pieces together. Although there are other ways to join metal like brazing, riveting, and soldering, welding is more preferred because it is practical and versatile.
There are different ways to weld metal together. Some methods use heat to melt the two pieces being joined, and usually, a filler metal is used to bind the parts effectively. There are welding techniques that use pressure while there are some methods that use heat and pressure.
When combining metals using brazing and soldering, the two metal pieces retain their properties. In welding, the parts being joined undergo changes. It is because of these changes that the bond created is very strong, even as strong as the original material that the metals are made from.
Common Welding Types
The following are the most common types of welding:
- Wire Welding – this type of welding uses spools of metal wires that are fed through a welding gun to reduce interruptions in the welding process. The continuous process allows the welder to create strong and clean joints. Wire welding is fast, more cost-efficient, and ideal for beginner welders. This type of welding is commonly used for thin metallic sheets.
- Stick Welding – this is a type of welding used for small, quick repairs. Stick welding is the most commonly instructed type, and instead of using metal wires, a stick electrode is used. Stick welding is slower but can weld even rusty metals together.
- Welding Using Tungsten – TIG or tungsten inert gas welding is often used for automotive work. This is more preferred by professionals because the results look clean and well made. TIG is perfect for combining thin metals and sheet metals. Tungsten welding is the hardest, but still learnable.
What Do You Need For Welding?
You may learn how to weld from experience. For example, if a family member owns a garage and repairs cars for a living, then you may have taken interest to learn how to weld. But still, the best way to learn about welding is to undergo training from a professional.
Only after you have completed training will you be provided with a license to work as a qualified welder. But if you don’t plan on working as a welder and just want to work on projects for personal use, then a license is not required.
To be able to weld different materials for various projects, you must have complete, efficient welding materials and tools. You will need the following:
- Working Material – the working material is the metal pieces that you want to join together. For successful welding, the materials should be strong to withstand heat and should be malleable to create a strong bond.
- Tools – there is a wide variety of welding tools available in the market. The most common are oxyacetylene torches, consumable rods, shielding gases, and measurement tools. You also need clamps, saws, and hammers.
- Protective Materials – you may have seen welders wearing safety equipment like welding shields, gloves, overalls, protective shoes, etc. You need these to protect yourself from the intense heat that torches and gasses emit. Wearing protective equipment is a must because these ensure that you will be able to complete tasks safely and more efficiently.
Welding involves the use of electricity and extreme heat. It’s essential to wear safety equipment before you begin to protect yourself from these extreme conditions. Whether you’re welding materials at home or at work, you need to follow safety guidelines when it comes to using electrical equipment and overall safety at work.
At home, follow a “shop safety” list. This list should include specific instructions on how to keep your shop or working area clean and safe. This should also include tool maintenance because well-kept tools are safer than poorly kept ones.
Keep your tools and materials in the right places. These should be ready and should be well-accounted for after use. And mostly, keep your supplies under lock and key.
Is Welding Easy To Do?
Welding is easy if you have acquired proper training for it. There are different demands of welding tasks, and each one is different with varying levels of complexity. For instance, welders who work in shops manufacturing metal furniture have it easy compared to underwater welders tasked to construct oil rigs.
Welding is easy if you have the right tools, too, but the level of complexity may rise depending on the type of welding tool used. For example, welders using tungsten inert gasses need specialized training to use their equipment while stick welders may not require extensive training.
Still, welding is easy if you have a lot of experience with the activity. Newbies may find it too complicated and may fail once, twice or thrice, but it’s a guarantee that with time and continued practice, this will be an easy and worthwhile activity.
Note To Beginner Welders
If you are new to welding or you are just starting to train for it, don’t worry too much. As long as you pay close attention and you follow rules of safety, welding will be easy. You are not expected to learn the task at one time.
But as much as possible, train and work hard. There is a massive demand for welders for local projects as well as abroad. You can get extra training to take welding tasks for different industries like automotive, construction, oil and shipping, and so on.