Are you a beginning level welder looking to improve your welding skills? Or maybe you’re a seasoned pro, with lots of experience, who wants to brush up on some basic welding principles. No matter where you are in your welding journey, it’s always a good idea to continue learning and expanding your knowledge base in the pursuit of perfecting your craft.
In this blog post from Vern Lewis Welding Supply, we provide 8 tips that will help you become a better welder and improve your welding abilities.
1. Never Forget About Safety Measures
Welding comes with some high risks, from health hazards to potential dangers like fires, poisoning, or electrocution. This is why safety is uttermost important for any welder, from an entirely newbie one to a master in this art.
Wear protective gloves, non-flammable clothing that covers most of your skin, eyewear, ear protection, closed-toe shoes, and a face shield. Hazardous gases are also one of the main causes of injury, so make sure you wear a mask and you work in a well-ventilated area.
2. Use an Adequate Working Area
Slag can bounce up to 30 feet away when you weld, so your working area must be free of flammable or explosive substances and materials. Your workplace must be very well ventilated, as fumes will be emanated during welding and could potentially cause irreversible injuries.
3. Clean Properly Before You Start
Cleaning and preparing the metal before welding is essential in obtaining a durable weld. Remove any rust, dust, and dirt with a wire sponge and keep the working area as clean as possible, as impurities (especially hydrogen) can compromise your weld.
In some cases, you will need to clean the metal with a solvent or special sandpaper that can be used on metal.
You should also be familiar with the techniques that prepare the metal to bond through welding. Cuts can be made with an angle grinder, a chop saw, a band saw, and so on. You can consult tutorials or someone with more experience to choose the right technique for your project.
4. Check the Angles of the Assembly Position of the Elements
Check the angles and positions of the pieces you are welding together before you start, and keep them nice and steady with clamps. Check your angles with the carpenter’s tools to measure the inclination and make sure everything is symmetric for a perfect weld.
5. Get a Machine that Fits Your Style and Skill Level
Working with a welding machine that fits your style and is appropriate for the skill level you have will ensure a smoother path to becoming a better welder. Choose your equipment with the help of someone with experience and try the machine out before purchasing that model.
6. Learn More Things About Metal
Welding like a pro involves knowing a lot of things about the metals you work with and how they behave in certain conditions. You will need to be familiar with information like: melting point, conductivity, strength, how the metal reacts to bending, stretching, and so on.
7. Get to Know Your Machine Properly
Before you start using your machine for actual welding, read its user manual and inspect it thoroughly, so that you get to know every function it has and how to control it. The manual also has useful technical information, which will give you a clear idea of what supplies work best with your welding machine.
8. Keep up to Date with Welding Advancements
Welding keeps getting more advanced as the industry develops new technologies. Keeping up to date with these techniques, materials, and methods will keep your skill level high and it will nourish the interest and passion you put in your welding. This attitude can make the biggest difference between being average and being the best at what you do.
Do You Want to Expand Your Knowledge or Equipment?
Need more in-depth information on welding equipment, materials, or training? We at Vern Lewis Welding Supply offer the highest quality equipment and materials for welding, as well as a wide range of training and classes that can help you become a better welder and develop new welding skills.
Contact one of our 8 locations for any information you need about welding and we will be happy to help in any way we can!