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Beginner Welding Tips
Marie Swan, Writer, Rare My Welder
Are you new to welding? If so, you may be looking for some expert advice to help you to get started. Getting some hands-on experience is key to learning welding, and practice and time is always essential before being able to put your new skills to use. Here are some top tips to help you to adjust more quickly and more effectively to your welding training.
- Leading the puddle
The basics of welding lie in creating the puddle to melt the filler material in. You need to practice leading that puddle without actually trying to join the metals. If you wait too long in a single spot, you may end up burning a hole right through the base metal, sometimes your welder may get stuck too. The distance maintained between the base and rod and the speed that you travel at are crucial. If the distance is too close, your rod is going to stick. If it’s too far, the arc will be disconnected or it’ll splatter. Again, if you travel too slow or too fast, the filler material won’t be consumed at the correct rate. This will result in a weak and inconsistent weld.
- Care for your tools
Always care properly for your welding tools. If you’re TIG welding, the rod’s purity and the surface material’s cleanliness is vital to a strong and secure weld. You should therefore store your filler rods properly in a capped PVC pipe.
- Get the travel speed right
Once you’ve found the right travel speed, you’ll find the arc stays in the puddle’s leading third. If you travel too slow or too fast, the consequences will be different. If you weld too slowly, too much material will be deposited into the puddle. This will end up creating a convex weld bead which lacks the right penetration. It will also look as if it’s sitting on top of the base metal surface. Also, it will focus the heat towards the puddle rather that towards the base metal and this weakens the weld even more. If you weld too quickly, the bead will be too thin and may undercut the metal surrounding it resulting in a recessed or concave shape. The bead may also be inconsistent since the puddle will have to try to keep up with your weld.
- Calibrating the electrode size and amperage before welding
The amperage will generally be determined by the type and size of electrode you’re using. If the amperage is too low, sticking is more likely. Also, your arc may stutter or go out, even if you’re holding it at the right distance. On the other hand, if the amperage is too head, burn-through is possible as is excessive noise. Your electrode will usually char and this affects the flux’s effectiveness. Also, the puddle will be too fluid and this will make spattering more likely and the puddle more difficult to control.
- Use an ergonomic welding solution
You’ll know by now that welding is very physically demanding. Therefore, using your body properly to guard against long-term injuries is important. You can make welding more comfortable by finding a comfortable and stable working position in which you can stay for extended periods, using tables and lifts to bring up lower work to the right level for you. Also, store your tools where you’re able to easily access them without needing to stretch too far and always lower your welding helmet’s shield using your hands instead of jerking your head. If you’re too tense, muscle strains are likely, so stay as relaxed as possible and take plenty of breaks for stretching. Choosing the right footwear is part of staying on task. While wearing appropriate welding boots is vital to guard against accidental impacts or burns, you should always choose footwear which is guarantees comfortable all-day wear. With the right boots, your feet will be safe without suffering from blisters or aching from long hours of wear.
Follow these top tips for beginner welders and get your new hobby or career off to the best possible start. If you follow this expert advice, you’ll be more comfortable and more proficient when you finally begin on your first welding project. Good luck!