Welding is a useful skill that everyone should learn in their life. However, it isn’t something you learn in school or college. Hence, this article has some helpful tips to learn to weld at home. Follow along and you will master welding in no time.
Choosing the Right Metal
The perfect metal to weld for almost any project is stainless steel. If you live in Texas, a great place to get surplus steel is Texas Iron and Metal. You can find more information about them and other metal dealers via a quick Google search.
Practice with the Welding Gun
Firstly, practice handling the gun without actually welding. Rest its barrel in one hand, and support that hand on the table. The other side operates the gun’s trigger mechanism. Stand in a comfortable position and slide the gun steadily over the work surface. Adjust your posture and gun movement so that the process feels natural.
For the first trial, attach the work lead to the workpiece. Then hold the gun, so the wire meets the weld surface at a 30-degree angle (approx.). Touch the wire very lightly to the exterior, press the trigger, and gently pull the gun towards you to start your first test weld. The wire should melt off into the weld puddle at a consistent rate and make a steady crackling noise as you go forward. Adjust the welder settings if needed.
Prepare the Metal and Tack the Pieces
Draw a line with a carbide scribe and cut with a metal-cutting chop saw. For a reliable weld, clean the metal with a degreaser. Next, grind or file a slight bevel along the edges you’re welding. This ensures the weld penetrates as deeply as possible and countersinks it so you can rub it flush. Don’t overdo it or you’ll burn through the metal when you weld. Check the assembly’s position with a square. Use a carpenter’s aluminum triangle square on the inside of the joint, or a steel carpenter’s square on the outside.
Next tack the pieces together at a couple of places along each joint. Check again for square corners; if anything shifts and puts the assembly out of square, grind away the tack weld, reposition the parts, and try again.
After you’ve tacked everything into place, lay down your final weld beads. As enjoyable as it is to create beautiful, smooth welds, resist the temptation to overdo it. The more metal you deposit, the more you’ll need to grind off while finishing.
Once you’ve done the above, clean off the extra metal with sandpaper or a small grinder. After this is over, your weld is completed.