Re: Arc Welding Newbie


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Posted by George on June 22, 19100 at 18:29:35:

In Reply to: Arc Welding Newbie posted by Dave on April 19, 19100 at 21:45:36:

Depending on its input requirements, running your welder from your "dryer socket" may not be safe. Many arc welders require a minimum input circuit amperage that exceeds those applied to dryer circuits. Check with a local electrician. Any qualified electrician should be able to look at the specifications tag on your welder and tell you what power it needs. We're not talking voltage here; we're talking amperage. If you use it on an under-wired ciruit you could cause a fire.

Don't worry about "pretty" when you're learning to weld. Concern yourself with creating welds that are strong. Pretty comes later. I'd suggest you try to find a night school program, or something similar, where you can get some hands-on training. Self taught welders expose themselves to a number of problems, some of them potentially serious. For one thing, self taught welders tend to develop bad habits which are difficult to overcome as they progress. They may also fail to realize the hazards associated with arc welding which can cause significant risk of fire and/or personal injury to themselves and others. Additionally, learning how to "read" a weld puddle, which rod to select for specific types of metals (grades, thicknesses, etc.) and what type of weld to use (groove, butt, etc.) is important to the quality and safety of the finished product. There are also many different kinds of metals. Some should not be welded on without special pre-conditioning processes.

Two of the three "plugs" on the front of your welder (high/low) may represent different power levels. It's not uncommon for SMAW equipment to have a low range (for welding at power levels in the lower range of the output) and high range (for applying amperages within the upper ranges) of the machine's capabilities. Before you start using your welder, you'll want to learn about duty cycle and how to apply it to the work you're doing so you don't inadvertently burn up your newly acquired welder.

In my opinion, there are no shortcuts to learning to weld. It's not unlike earning a merit badge. You gotta go through all the steps.

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