Complete Beginner Workshop Welder

Complete Beginner Workshop: Welding

Out of the three specialized workshops  we’ve talked about, the welding workshop is probably the simplest.

Again this workshop will assume you have everything in the DIY’er workshop, so it won’t cover basics like a tape measure or hammer.

Download “Ultimate Workshop Set-Up Checklist”.

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Protection

Auto Darkening Helmet

The most critical piece of protection gear is a helmet.

Welding can easily damage your eyes if you don’t protect them properly.

An auto darkening helmet is great for beginner welders and professional welders alike.

What’s even better is that these helmets are often very inexpensive.

A lot of good quality auto darkening helmets are only about $40.

Thick Gloves

Gloves that are thick and insulated will make you feel much more comfortable and confident as a beginner welder.

Gloves can protect your hands and wrists from hot pieces of metal or sparks, and even from some of the electrical current in mig welding.

They also provide a beginner with the confidence to weld, knowing their hands are protected from the heat and electricity.

Welding Jacket

Thick welding gloves protect your hands from some of the hot metal sparks but you’ll want a good welding jacket or apron to protect your torso from those sparks as well.

Cotton clothing is flammable so you won’t want to be doing a lot of welding in just a t-shirt.

For welding jackets or aprons, thick ones made from leather reduce the chance of you catching on fire.

Tools

Mig Welder

The best way to start welding is with a mig welder.

They are simple to understand and fairly simple to use.

Another bonus is that they aren’t that expensive!

A decent mig welder might cost a few hundred dollars, but if you shop around the used market you can find them for even less.

As you get better at welding, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a different kind of welder like a TIG welder.

But for a beginner, learning how to weld on a mig welder will be much easier and less expensive.

Angle Grinder

Every welder needs a good quality angle grinder.

This is probably the most versatile tool in a welder’s shop.

Angle grinders can be used for many different welding applications from cutting metal to cleaning up welds.

As a beginner welder it is important to be safe with the tools you’re working with and that is especially true with angle grinders.

They are extremely useful, but can also be dangerous if handled improperly so use caution when working with one.

C-Clamps

As with woodworking, you can never have enough clamps.

For welding you will want mostly C-clamps as they allow for a lot of odd shapes and thick materials.

Clamps work as an extra set of hands to hold a workpiece down and for welders this is really important.

No one wants to deal with a workpiece that slides out of place when cutting or one that wobbles when being welded down.

C-clamps work to keep things from sliding or being too wobbly, and the more you’ve got the better.

Chipping Hammer & Wire Brush

A simple pair of tools that will help you become an effective mig welder are a chipping hammer and a wire brush.

Both of these tools help you clean up your welds from welding slag and other imperfections

They are also really cheap which will be great for your wallet.

Welding Magnets

Welding magnets help you square two pieces of metal before you weld them.

They also help hold the pieces together while you weld them.

You can think of them as a speed square and clamp in one.

They are not as strong as clamps on their own, but they usually provide enough support to a piece to keep it in place while you tack it.

Welper

Welpers are an absolute must have for any mig welder.

They are a unique pair of pliers that have several different functions.

  • They are used to remove spatter on the inside and outside of the nozzle.
  • They can cut wire.
  • They can remove and install tips.
  • They can pull wire.
  • They can remove bushings.
  • They can also be used as a hammer when necessary.

That is a lot of utility for just one pair of pliers!

Metal Drill Bits & Cutting Flui

You should have a decent drill, assuming you’ve got everything in the DIY’er Workshop.

You’ll want to pair that drill with a good set of metal drill bits and cutting fluid.

Since you’ll be working with metal, drill bits that cut through metal easily will be very useful to you.

To make drilling through metal even easier, you’ll want to use cutting fluid on those drill bits.

This will lubricate the bits and extend their lifespan.

Tap & Die Set

After you drill a hole through your workpiece, you may want to have that hole threaded to fit screws or bolts.

In order to do that you’ll need a tap & die set.

For beginner welders a basic 20 or 40 piece tap and die set should be enough as that will cover the most common sizes, but you may want to upgrade as you progress further.

Chain Hoist

Metal is very heavy.

As you weld metal pieces together they just get heavier.

In order to save your back muscles from an awkward lift of something that weighs more than you, you’ll want to invest in a chain hoist to do that lifting for you.

Not a lot of welders think about this when they start out, but a big welding project is eventually going to be moved from your workshop to somewhere else.

In order to get that workpiece on a truck it would help to have the workpiece lifted for you.

A chain hoist can also help you just lift things onto your workbench.

Organization

Workbench

Speaking of workbenches. A welding workbench is usually a lot different than a normal workbench.

What makes it so different, is that it’s usually made out of metal.

If you think about it, it makes sense. A metal workbench is a lot less likely to catch on fire than a wooden workbench.

When you’re causing hundreds of sparks every minute you weld, not catching fire is a good bonus.

Welding workbenches will also usually have a lot of holes in them for special clamps.

You can get by as a beginner with just C-clamps but as you go on, you’ll be glad to have a workbench that can accept other clamps as well.

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