As a homeowner, handyman, tinkerer, and serial DIY’er I can think of few skills that are as useful as the ability to weld. Whether it be a want, or a need, the ability to securely join metal together can add greatly to many home projects. Unfortunately many people, including do-it-yourselfers, lack this skill and are often intimidated by the thought of high flowing electricity and the ever-present sight of sparks and molten metal while welding metals together, not to mention the cost of welding equipment and consumables. It can be a scary hobby to dive into.
For those of you unwilling to overcome the trepidation, you are missing out, thanks for reading. For those of you willing to learn new safety, process, and scientific methods, read on and enjoy. Although learning to weld safely most definitely requires beginners to learn a wide array of welding safety practices, it can be done by anyone in a very safe manner with little risk to the welder, and good welding safety practices can be learned from a variety of free and readily available sources such as this industry leading company.
Since the time I was probably 16 or 17 years old I had wanted to learn to stick weld but had no idea where to turn for my education. Despite working as a weld quality inspector for several years I did not start my journey in welding until a year or two after I left the industrial inspection field. A few years after becoming a homeowner and completing many projects and repairs around the house myself, I realized that welding would allow me to be so much more versatile as a do-it-yourselfer and some projects that needed to be done would not be possible for me without being able to weld. Now that I was insistent on learning to weld I faced two major road blocks in doing so, first, welding equipment is expensive, and second, I did not have anyone to teach me.
THE FIRST SOLUTION
Knowing the cost involved with welding was not low, and not knowing whether I would be any good at it or even like it, I began researching cheap, off-brand welding machines in hopes of finding one with decent reviews in my price range. After weeks of research and internal debate, I decided on the Goplus 110/220v Arc Welder, a decision that I would not regret. At a price of just under $100 I figured the financial risk to reward was relatively low considering it had overall pretty good reviews. The only issue that I ever had with the machine was that it did not work upon arrival. I opened the metal cover up and quickly discovered that it came to me with the ground wire unattached to the cover due to not being screwed down by the ground wire connection screw. About a minute and 6 turns of a wrench fixed the issue and this machine was off and running.
THE SECOND SOLUTION
Since I had no one to give me any hands-on training on how to weld metal I did what I considered to be the next best and closest thing to getting private instruction, I searched the internet. I watched hundreds of videos, read hundreds of blog and website posts, and even bought books on how to weld. Though I learned from each and every source that I have viewed, to this day my personal favorite are the videos made by YouTuber ChuckE2009. I do not know this guy, nor have I ever met or spoken to him, but he has taught me more about welding than anyone else on the planet, for free! He has an extensive collection of video resources on YouTube that demonstrate just about everything from basic welding techniques to project how-to’s.
I do not now, nor have I in the past claimed to be a professional welder, but I can make metal permanently stick using the process. It all began with a cheap welder and a YouTube subscription to some guy who lives in God only knows where’s channel. Both have served me well. I now have a brand name home/shop level welder that is definitely better than the cheap Goplus, but it can not do anything more than the Goplus. If you are on the fence about jumping into the welding game I would highly recommend testing the waters with the Goplus machine before becoming too heavily invested in a craft that you may not stick to. I would also suggest checking out ChuckE2009 on YouTube for some great welding education and project ideas as well.
Below are links to product pricing and reviews for several different levels of arc welding machines and welding products for just about any budget. I have also attached a link to ChuckE2009’s YouTube channel. Be safe, and enjoy the learning experience!
Thank you very much for stopping by. Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share. Below I have attached pictures of just a few of many of my home welding projects.
I would love to see your welding creations as well. If you would like to share them with the world please click the link to tool-school.com’s Facebook group and share your work. Thanks again! https://www.facebook.com/groups/419636965149174/