Welding has been around since the Middle Ages and is a popular hobby for many who enjoy home repairs and DIY projects. It can take time to perfect and refine your welding technique, but with the correct equipment, welding knowledge and lots of practice, you can advance your skills to work on bigger projects.
In this blog, we’ll discuss exactly what you need to begin welding, including tips, equipment and the types of projects to get you started.
What Welding Machine Should I Be Using?
When choosing a machine, you should look for one that has a simple user interface. There’s nothing worse than starting a project and getting confused with settings and configurations, so we would recommend a machine with logical progression so that you can easily choose your process, thickness and material type.
Focusing on arc welding, where metals are welded using the heat generated by an electric arc, you will require an electric machine with a consumable electrode — this technique is often referred to as ‘stick’ welding. MIG and TIG welding are also forms of arc welding.
MIG is probably the most common within the welding industry due to the continuous wire feed eliminating the requirement to stop welding to replace the used up electrode. When performing MIG welding, you will need shielding gas which carries out the same job as the solid flux coating on the rods used in electrode welding — they shield the molten pool from contamination.
Take a look at our blog, What is the Best Gas for MIG Welding, for more information on the benefits of our mixed gas cylinders.
Welding Projects for Beginners
Taking on a welding project can help increase your knowledge and understand the techniques required for a neat and solid weld. For beginners, you should get to grips with the basics of stick welding first, which will vastly improve the quality and technique of your MIG and TIG welds.
Whether you’re just starting out or are getting back into welding following a break, here are some beginner welding projects to get you back into the swing of things:
- Outdoor fireplace – Useful and interesting to make, the creation of an outdoor firepit requires basic MIG, TIG, and ARC welding skills. It should take approximately 2-3 days to complete.
- Garden trellis – a great outdoor project that is practical for climbing plants and vines. The size of your design will determine whether you can apply MIG, TIG or ARC welding tools.
- Storage rack – This project will challenge your creativity and is an excellent project for MIG welders. Once complete, you can hang it in your garage, home or garden.
Alternating Current (AC) Machines
Alternating Current (AC) machines are popular with beginner welders due to their lower price and decent quality welding capability. They are ideal for most welding jobs and a great choice for hobby welders who may not use the machine as often.
For AC, you must use rods strictly made for AC welding as the current flows back and forth, switching polarity sixty times per second – (60 Hertz). Don’t be alarmed by the low buzzing sound when AC welding — this is completely normal compared to DC welding.
Beginner Welding Equipment Tips
Sourcing quality equipment is as important as the final weld, and we’re here to help with a wide range of products, including TIG welding gas and MIG welding gas, as well as oxy fuel welding equipment.
Protecting yourself from hot metal, sparks, and UV rays is essential, so purchasing quality welding safety equipment is a must. Let’s take a look at the equipment you will need:
- Helmet – Our welding helmets give you full-face coverage, conforming to European standards for maximum heat reflection.
- Gloves – You can purchase our Parweld welding gloves in short or long sleeves. Both are fully lined with reinforced fingers for extra safety.
- PPE – Our protective welding clothing range includes aprons, leather spats and jackets, available in various sizes for safety and comfort.
- Welding Table and Vice – Ensure your welding table is big enough to hold your stuff. Welding vices are handy for holding pieces while you tack.
- Additional Tools – Depending on the project in question, you may need add-ons or smaller items to make the experience easier, such as a tape measure, soapstone (or chalk) and adjustable framing squares.
At Bottle Gases, we have everything you need to weld and more, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – we’ll answer any questions you may have, and we can advise on the best equipment or materials for your project.