5 Arc Welding Tips for Beginners

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Arc welding can be an exciting way to create art projects or to put together pieces of metal for practical use. Welding projects use either AC or DC electrical current as well as electrodes to create sparks and heat. An inert gas is used in the welding area. By learning how to properly arc weld, you can create the finished project you desire safely, easily and inexpensively.

Safety Matters

Since you will be working with electricity in arc welding, you need to be concerned about shocks. The longer the arc you desire, the more voltage you will need. Ideally, you should use new equipment to create the arcs, helping you to control the electrical output. In addition, you should always wear protective gear to help shield you from electricity and debris from the metal. Heavy leather gloves are recommended to protect your hands. In addition, a respirator designed to filter the air will allow your lungs to be safe.

More Safety Concerns

A sturdy mask is essential for protecting your face as sparks fly. This helmet should have UV protection for the eyes. Some new helmets have a plate on the front of the helmet which will darken as UV light grows in the area. If others are around you, you will need to have a protective curtain around your work area if they don't have protective eyewear. Keep in mind that if you have a pacemaker or weld around anyone who does, the AC component might affect the way the pacemaker works.

Check Your Rod for Moisture

While you might be busy with other tasks, it's crucial your rod not become wet. This will hinder the welding process and can put you at risk for injury. If you notice wetness on the rod, stop what you're doing and put the rod in an oven for an hour at 400-degrees Fahrenheit. This will cause the moisture to evaporate and you can use the rod again. Moisture on the rod can cause corrosion in certain metals when used in welding.

Equipment Malfunctions

As you're working on your welding project, the cables of your weld may begin to move, causing kinks and troubles controlling the arc. Always look to ensure your cables are free to move. When they are not, they can cause a magnetic field, which creates an arc which you can not control easily. Before you begin a project, make sure your equipment works and is free of tangles or other troubles.

Take Classes

As with any new project or skill, taking classes from a professional will help beginners. In a class, you can gain instruction, but also have the ability to ask questions as they occur. Over time, you become more comfortable with the welding process. After a short while, you can then practice welding without supervision.

Arc welding is a dangerous method of binding metals, but it is also inexpensive, so it's a popular form of construction. With safety knowledge and basic instruction, you can begin to learn proper arc welding.