Welding 101 For Beginners

Welding 101 For Beginners

Posted on Jan 20 , 2022


Jonathan Lewis


Welding is a welding technique that can join metal pieces together. It uses heat and welding rods to melt the metal, entering the elements into one solid piece. Welding has many applications in industry and construction and at home for hobbies like welding jewelry or making your furniture.

For those who want to start welding- this article will provide you with all of the basics you need!

Welding: Definition

Welding is a welding technique that can join metal pieces together. It uses heat and welding rods to melt the metal, joining the elements into one solid piece.

Welding can be a complex topic to cover- there are multiple types of welding, different welding techniques that vary from place to place (even within one country!), plus many safety precautions you need to take when using welding equipment.

How Welding Works?

There are two welding processes- fusion welding and resistance welding.

Fusion Welding

A type of welding where the melted materials from workpieces form a bond, fusing. That is achieved by heating metals to their melting point with intense heat (using an electric arc or hot flame) then forcing them together under pressure. The joining metal at this stage is known as the "fusion weld pool." Once cooled, the resulting piece will be only one solid material rather than multiple separate ones held closely side-by-side because of high temperature while cooling down.

Resistance Welding

That relies on pressing two objects against each other to create friction that heats both parts enough for welding without additional heat source application. Resistance welding is mainly used for creating strong bonds between materials that could not be fused by other welding processes (like dissimilar metals, very thin or small pieces).

Welding in Different Formats

There are multiple different types of welding that people use- while some welding techniques require more specialized equipment than others (like TIG welding), they all have one thing in common: they create a bond by melting materials together.

Arc Welding

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a form of welding in which an electrical arc is used to produce adequate heat energy for fusion welding. Arc welding is used in welding techniques such as Gouging, Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, and Shielded metal arc welding.

MIG Welding - Metal Inert Gas Welding

Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is a process by which two pieces of electrically conductive materials are joined together wherein heat energy from electric current passing through wire/torch melts the metals. The welding rod is automatically fed from a spool to the gun.

TIG Welding - Tungsten Inert Gas Welding

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) or tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a form of welding that uses an inert gas such as helium or argon to protect the weld site from airborne pollution. A-consumable tungsten electrode is used to strike an electric arc between the workpiece and welding rod, causing heat energy that melts the welding rods.

Stick Welding – Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

A welding process uses an electric arc between a consumable electrode welding rod and the workpiece to melt metal.

Using an electrode that is coated with a flux material, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), also known as hand-held metal arc welding (MMA), is a method of joining metals. This electrode is then used to strike an electric arc between the workpiece and the electrode- this causes heat to be created, which melts both the base metal and the welding rod, fusing them.

Oxy-Acetylene Welding

Oxy-acetylene welding is an arc welding process that uses a welding torch to weld metals using oxygen and acetylene gas. The welding torch is held against the workpiece and directed at a more upward angle than other welding techniques, allowing for deeper penetration.

Forge Welding

Forge welding is a welding technique that uses heat energy to join two pieces of metal by heating it until the metal becomes soft enough to hammer into shape. This type of welding is often used for repairing and creating smaller objects, like jewelry or knife blades.

Welding Equipment: Things You'll Need

First, you will need some essential welding equipment. That includes:

Welding Helmet

That should be worn at all times while welding to avoid eye and face injuries from the bright light of welding arcs. A leather cap with glass lenses is often firmly pushed against the head (but not so tightly that it's uncomfortable).

Welding Gloves

Although they don't have much grip, they're comfortable to hold while welding and provide a good surface on which to work. They protect your hands from burns, hot metal shards/welds, sparks, and other hazards thanks to their thick but pliable construction, including cowhide or pigskin.

A Leather Welding Jacket

Welding jackets are worn over your clothes to protect your upper body and arms from flying sparks and high-temperature welding arcs. A good welding jacket will include two layers: an outer layer that can withstand a powerful flame for a short time and an inner lining that absorbs heat away from your body.

Welding Belt

A welding belt is also needed for holding tools as welding requires a lot of moving around to get the welding torch in place. A standard carpenter's leather or canvas belt will do just fine- make sure it won't be too loose and that your welding gloves can fit through its loops comfortably.

Welding Boots

Welding boots, like other shoes, are designed to safeguard your feet from sparks, hot metal shards, and other hazards associated with welding. They should be water-resistant and have a firm grip on the floor to avoid falling and hurting yourself.

Welding Rods

Welding rods are available in different sizes and types, so picking the appropriate ones for the task is critical. A decent welding rod will have a high melting temperature and produce a good weld.

Welding Tips

Welding tips can be either gas-tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and come in various sizes. They're essential because they help focus the welding arc and produce a good weld. Different tips work best with other metals, welding rods, and welding techniques.

Welding Electrodes

As the name suggests, welding electrodes are used to create an electrical arc that is then passed through filler material (welding rod) inside the welding tip to melt it into a weld puddle at the point of contact with the base metal. They're made up of core wire covered in flux with different sizes depending on their use. When you purchase welding electrodes, make sure they match your specific needs!

Weld Test Coupons- Plates

To test the welding process and ensure it's working correctly, you'll need some weld test coupons. These are small pieces of metal that can be welded onto larger objects as a way to test and practice your welding techniques. You can purchase these pre-made or cut them from scrap metal.

Welding Machine

Welding machines come in various types, sizes, and welding processes. The MIG welding machine is the most common type, which uses a wire feed to create an electrical arc. Choose the device that's best for your needs- there are plenty out there to choose from!

Welding Gun

The welding gun is the part of the welding machine used to apply heat and weld metal together. It should be light enough to hold and have a trigger so that you can easily operate it.

Welding Chipping Hammer

A welding chipping hammer is used to remove slag (a type of waste product) from welds and can also be used to weld metal in difficult-to-reach places. It should have a comfortable grip and be easy to hold, with a sharp blade on one end for chipping away at the slag.

Welding Apron

To protect your clothes from welding sparks and welding spatter (a type of waste product), you'll need a welding apron. It should be made of heat-resistant material to prevent the sparks from burning through it and have a welding rod holder.

Welding Table

A welding table gives you a surface to weld metal, store welding equipment, and perform other welding-related tasks. A step ladder should be tall enough off the ground to prevent sparks from flying into your legs or feet when welding, and it must be made of heat resistant materials that won't burn through if welded, as well as include a welding rod compartment.

Welding For Beginners

If you're welding for the first time and don't know anything about it, start with a simple welding project like welding up some scrap metal or welding together two pieces of wood. It's essential to understand how the welding machine works and what types of welding rods are used before beginning more complicated projects! Before you start learning to weld, make sure you're prepared.

Do Your Homework And Research It

Before you begin, learn about the many types of welding and which one is best for you. Decide whether you want to do it as a pastime, an art form, or a new career; this will help you make more informed decisions.

Learn From Professional Welders

Many welding schools across the country offer classes and workshops for all skill levels. If you're serious about welding, it might be a good idea to attend one of these! You can also watch welding tutorials online or take welding classes from a professional welder in your area.

Welding Safety Tips

When welding, always wear safety gear- a welding helmet, gloves, boots, and long pants and sleeves. Ensure the welding area is clear of flammable materials (like oil or gas) and combustible materials (like wood). Never weld in an enclosed space and always have water nearby to extinguish any fires. Finally, never weld if you're tired of the influence of drugs or alcohol. Welding is a serious activity that requires your attention and care.

Know What You Want To Achieve

Before welding, decide what you want to create and how. Are you trying to weld a metal sculpture or piece of art? A welding table for your garage? Before beginning any welding project, you must know the size, shape, thickness, material type (steel vs. aluminum), etc.

Welding Metal In Difficult-To-Reach Places

Sometimes welding metal in difficult-to-reach places is necessary. In this case, use a welding chipping hammer to remove the slag and then weld as usual. Be careful not to hit the welding electrode or welding wire with the hammer while you're working!

Weld Different Types Of Metals Together

In some cases, it's necessary to weld different metals together (steel and aluminum, for example). Please do this by first welding them together using an appropriate welding rod, then grinding off the excess material until they are flush with each other. Finally, use a MIG welder to "seal" two metals together by welding over the entire welding seam.

Welding Rods And Electrodes

The welding rod or electrode you use should be as thin as the thickness of your metal, and make sure it's coated with flux to prevent oxidation (rust). You can also purchase welding rods that are already covered in flux for each type of welding activity, like welding aluminum wire and welding steel wire.

Get A Welding Table Or Workbench

Any welder will benefit from having a welding table since it provides them with a solid working surface to do their hobby safely and efficiently! Look online at garage workbenches or used tables from Craigslist if you want something cheap but effective. It doesn't need to have an adjustable height so long as it has sufficient room between its legs and the welding machine. You can also weld on a piece of metal that's resting on two sawhorses- make sure it's stable and there are no flammable materials nearby!

Welding Projects

Now that you know some welding basics, it's time to try your hand at a welding project or two. Many welding projects for beginners are easy and fun to do.

Looking For Welding Equipments

Welding materials can be expensive, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Superior Welding & Fabrication is a welding supply store where customers are treated like family and competitive prices.

When it comes to quality equipment for your next project, look beyond our company! Visit us today or contact us by phone at ((254) 859-0660 if you want more information about what we offer.

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