Welding 101 – Beginners Guide To Welding In 2022

Welding 101

Welcome to this Welding 101 guide. Here we will cover the various types of welding that as a beginner welder, you are likely to encounter.

Welding is an excellent skill to acquire that allows you to join metals together to create your own projects or products or do repair work. Whether you are interested in pursuing welding as a hobby or considering it as a potential career path, this beginner’s guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge and techniques to get started with confidence. If you are thinking about welding as a career or just want to do welding as a hobby or for DIY welding jobs around the home, we’ve got you covered.

Contents

First Things First – Welders And Their Uses

There are multiple uses for welding and many different types of welding processes. While the subject is multifaceted, what we are concerned about here is what equipment to use and how to get started in welding.

With most welding, the uses are generally confined to welding light to heavy gauge steels and alloys. These materials are what most items are made from as far as the products we use in our day-to-day life and business. We use these materials in fabricating and as well as doing repair work. As the majority of our welding is likely to weld steel and Aluminum Here we have various welding processes available, including MIG, TIG, Stick, and Flux-Cored Arc Welding, each suitable for different applications.

The basic types of welding are MIG, TIG, Stick, and Flux-Cored Arc Welding, and Gas welding.

Sick Welding And Where It Can Be Used.

arc weldingArc welding is the same as stick welding. We use a stick electrode that is coated in flux which protects the weld being done from air contamination. Arc welders have been around longer than any other type of welder and are the backbone of many industries.

Arc welding is used in many applications from DIY home repairs to heavy industry and shipbuilding.

Stick Welding For Beginners

For beginners, this type of welding is the cheapest option and is the most versatile by the way of what you can weld. Arc welders are simple to set up and the weld quality is strong once the basic techniques are mastered.

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Possibly not the easiest of the four techniques to master, however like everything a little practice will soon result in successful welding.

For beginners, arc welding is best used for welding mild steel sheets of 1/8 inch and thicker, flat bar, solid round, and square bar, RHS steel sections, and pipe. Stick welders aren’t great for welding thin sheet metal so if you are going to weld things such as autobody panels the preferred welding equipment would be either a MIG welder or a TIG welder.

Which welding rods to use for mild steel? Most steels can be welded using general-purpose welding electrodes from local hardware stores. There are hundreds of different types of welding electrodes used in all areas of welding. Check out the Miller welding site for tips on choosing weld rods.

Stick Welder Electrode Guide

MIG Welding, The Best For Beginners.

beginer mig welder

MIG welding (gas metal arc welding) is by far the easiest way to get started with Welding 101. Not only is MIG welding quick to learn but you can cover several different types of welding using one machine. The best MIG welder to get started with won’t cost the earth and is the best machine for beginners.

Mig weld machines operate using a continuous wire electrode that is on a spool inside the Mig welder machine. When the operator pulls the trigger on the welding gun this activates the wire feed mechanism and feeds the welding wire direct to the weld being done. Mig welding in most cases requires a shielding gas to protect the weld pool from contamination.

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Flux Core Welding

Flux core welding is a welding process using a MIG welder (Metal Inert Gas) to weld metals without the use of shielding gas. Flux core wire is available to use in a standard MIG welder. There are also wire feed welders available that are flux core-only welders, these welders will only weld with gasless wire although some machines have the added function of stick welding. These are great welders for use outdoors or in field maintenance work. Depending on your settings and the power of the welder a flux core welder can weld upwards of 1/16 metals.

Depending on what you intend to weld will dictate the amount of power you want in your Mig Welder. For example, heavy industry MIG welders will operate machines of around 400 Amps. These machines will weld up to three-inch steel plates and are not the type of welder you want to carry about!

For DIY and beginner welders, a machine of between 140 and 210 Amps is fine. This will allow you to weld up to 3/8 inch steel and the machine will be light enough to carry from job to job if needed.

TIG Welding And Its Uses

Tig welding 101

With TIG welding, (gas tungsten arc welding) you will find this is a more specialized process. Tig welding is best used for doing high-quality and neat welds. This is the type of weld you are likely to find holding your mountain bike together and is widely used in the food manufacturing industry. Tig welders give pure welds that require little or no cleaning up.

Though not widely used for beginner welding 101 they may have their places for those with more specialized hobbies, like bicycle building and autobody repair for example. Not as quick as Mig or stick welding as the process is manual whereas the operator feeds the wire rod into the weld being done.

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Tig welding machines are specialized and will usually be able to be used as a stick welder also. Modern TIG welders are very small and compact and are ideal for site work. Tig welding capabilities are also incorporated in many Multi purpose welder machines that are a MIG, Stick, And Tig welders all in one machine.

Gas Welding Or Oxy-Acetylene Welding

gas weldingGas welding uses oxy-acetylene gas to create a very hot flame. The oxy-acetylene welding torch heats the metals to be joined to the melting point at which stage a filler rod is introduced to assist in the fusion of the weld.

Very much an old-school type of Tig welding using the same methods. Not used much anymore for DIY but does have a place if you are doing work with copper and brass where braising metals come into play. Also handy for heating purposes and gas-cutting steel.

This type of welding is somewhat cumbersome as you require two large gas bottles to haul around.

FAQ

Q – Can welding give you sunburn?

A – Definitely. Always wear protective clothing. If you are welding in a metal-lined or similar reflective shed, you can also get the back of your neck burned simply from reflection, wear sunscreen!

Q – Can welding damage your eyes?

A – Yes, but only if you don’t use a welding helmet. Always use the best welding helmet you can afford.

Q – Can welding cause lung problems

A – Welding in confined spaces without proper ventilation is asking for trouble, however, most welds are done in open areas so the risk to the lungs is minimal as long as you don’t excessively inhale the fumes.

Q – Which welding machine is best?

A – For beginner’s general use I would suggest a small Mig welder such as the Hobart Handler 140

Q – Is welding hard?

A – Welding is like anything new and takes a little time to pick up. Some people will be up and running in half an hour whereas others may take a few days to get up to speed. But It is doable for most people.

 What Safety Equipment Do I Need?

Welding is dangerous without any safety equipment. The arc emitted from a welder will seriously damage your eyes and skin if you are exposed without safety gear and using safety precautions. The bare minimum for any welder is

  • Quality welding helmet or welding hood
  • Leather welding gloves
  • Long sleeve shirt and Pants
  • Leather welders jacket
  • Leather welding apron or leather pants
  • Steel-capped welding boots.