A lot of people will tell you a lot of different things when it comes to welding — what’s the best, easiest, and fastest way to do it. Really it all depends on what you’re doing. This list is for people who want a general selection that can apply to the whole idea of welding and not just one specific process.
1: Safety. Safety, I believe, is the most important thing to think about before you start any sort of welding project, whether it’s a quick repair to the sheet metal on your truck, to the construction of heavy machinery. I mean, sure you want to finish the project, get paid and go home, but what’s the use if you hurt yourself so badly that you can’t do it again the next day?
2: Cleanliness. Keeping the area to be welded clean and free of oils and other debris will make the weld easier, stronger, and better all around. Keeping a clean work area is important too. You’ll be able to find the tools you need and it’s not quite as dangerous if you’ve cleaned up the oil from under your truck before welding it back together.
3: Materials. It’s important to know what materials you’re working with so that you can select the correct process and filler rod for the job. Aluminum rod probably won’t help if you’re doing stainless steel, and if you’re working with cast iron, well, good luck.
4: Process. Selecting the right process for the job is essential and ties closely with the materials. Brazing would be difficult with a MIG welder and explosion welding probably wouldn’t be right for an art project.
5: Technique. Finally we get down to the actual weld. It’s important to have the right technique for the job. TIG welding on aluminum takes a different approach than MIG with sheet steel. So too do fillet and butt joints require different angles and settings on the machines.
I hope that this small but important selection will help before you begin any welding job. Welding is really quite fun and can be very lucrative as well. One last thing to remember is to practice as much as you can. You can always reuse scrap metal, but if you mess up on a big project it’s a lot harder to recover. Relax, have fun and thanks for reading.
Written by Dustin Saunders