Some welders might ask if this topic is even worth covering, which reminds me of being in my 11th grade Algebra II class. Before every session started someone in class would ask, “Do I really need to know this? When will I ever use Algebra II in life?” My teacher’s response always cracked me up: “When are you going to use it? Right now! So – to answer your other question – yes, you really need to know this, otherwise you won’t pass my class!” So, with that in mind:
Fact or Fiction: It’s Not Important to Understand Welding Math
Look at it this way, can a professional pianist still play the piano and compose music masterfully without understanding music symbols? Yes, he/she can, but they would be severely limited in many ways because of this lack of knowledge. In the same manner, it is possible for a welder to work on many welding projects without understanding the mathematics behind it all, but their welded pieces would always suffer from a lack of precision and polish. Their work would always look a little sloppy, and sloppy work won’t impress your boss or clients. Even yet, sloppy work won't get you a boss or any clients!
Ok, good point, but what if I only weld for fun? Why should take a whole class on welding math just to make a table or two for decoration?
Welding is just a hobby right? As with any hobby, eventually you want to know a little more or take on more challenging projects. What would happen if you wanted to go from simple welding tables (and for precision reasons you still need math for that) to backyard fire pits (a lot more exciting!)? You would need to read project plans, and anyone willing to put time and effort into drawing up plans for welding projects will certainly expect that the reader understands basic welding mathematics. Why limit yourself in that way?
Fine, I’m convinced. Please don’t tell me to take a class on welding math.
I thought I was done with school.
As a hobby welder or welding professional, it’s wise to always stay current with welding trends. You can take classes to always learn new welding techniques or refresh yourself on basics, but there are also alternative ways to learn:
Online video tutorials: Youtube is full of videos from welding enthusiasts offering advice, tips, techniques, and “how-tos” on many welding areas. One of my favorite welding Youtube channels is weldingtipsandtricks, run by the same welders on the website WeldingTipsandTricks.com. They have over 85 uploads and are always adding more videos to help out welders.
Welding Websites: I’ve already mentioned Welding Tips and Tricks, and you already know about us if you’re reading this. Other great welding sites for information include:
From tips to detailed project plans, you can find any welding issue on your mind in a book. For lists of welding books to consider, check out the lists we’ve drawn up below:
Welding Reading List: Welding Math and Blueprints
Welding Reading List: Back to Basics
Welding Reading List : Welding Encyclopedias and Handbooks
Hot Off The Press! Welding For DUMMIES
Do you think it’s important to understand welding mathematics? For the sake of argument, have you worked as a welder without understanding welding math? What was your experience?