June 28, 2013

MIG Welding- not for the faint of heart...

Photo credit (Flickr) - neoplatonistking
     Hi there! So, I just took another class - this time in MIG welding.  It was at the same hacker space as before, but with a different instructor.

     I liked him a lot, but he wanted me to just jump into welding while having 5 ft. spark arcs shoot at me, which was on top of worrying about massive amounts of heat from
the welding tool and possibly getting UV sunburn on my eyeballs. Needless to say, it was a little hard for me to focus on just welding in the beginning. After all, our instructor did spend the first 30 minutes of class describing all the ways you could injure yourself during welding.

These dangers included:
  • Arc Eye Burns- intense exposure to UV light gives your eyeballs sunburn
  • Metal Vapora -the stuff you are melting together is hazardous to breathe in
  • Molten Metal- burns and scary stuff
  • Fire- from molten metal and sparks, combined with the O2 coming out of the tip of the MIG welding torch nozzle
  • Metal Shards- especially while grinding down pieces (thank goodness we didn't do this)
  • tool malfunction
  • Oh, and since we were welding in an unairconditioned metal box in the middle of June in Houston, TX, Heatstroke was another danger to watch out for...
Photo credit (Flickr) - dawnnakaya
You can see a fairly comprehensive list of how all that works and how to avoid it here- however,
warning- never try this at home or attempt this technique without training from a professional.

      Even after hearing and being with an instructor, I was thinking about sitting out and watching other people weld. However, I got over my fear and learned a few basics: how to draw a bead, do a tack-weld, do a overlap join, a T-bracket join, and side-by-side weld. It was a very intense class and I am glad I went, though I know it will be a while before I feel comfortable welding or have any real skill at it. But, I can keep practicing....

Thoughts on what my first welding project to tackle should be?

Please leave a post with comments- I'd love to hear your ideas or ways you have been successful with welding!

1 comment: