Just as the subject says, I want to start welding. I am 15 years old and I enjoy making all sorts of things. I always watch shows such as "Monster Garage" and "Junkyard Wars" and you always see people welding and doing extrodinary things with the process. I want to try and build a few things... a.)go-kart b.)rails/stuff for snowboard tricks c.)I want to be able to customize parts of my car which I will be purchasing soon to fix up and "trick out." My questions are, what do i need to do to start welding? What kind of money will the equipment cost? What other skills should I have in order to satisfy my needs in building the things I listed? Thanks a lot!
Do what I did. Fork over $150, go to your nearest vo-tech and take a welding class. Best money I've spent in awhile. It won't make you an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but you will learn the technique to build from.
You will learn to use stick and MIG, maybe even TIG (depends on the school). That will help you decide what type of machine to buy as well.
Vo-tech or school welding class is best if available. If that isn't practical get beginning welding book for about $10. from Sears, Tractor Supply, building supply store or amazon.com .
Click on Owners Manuals link in banner at top of this page and download Hobart Handler and Stickmate manuals for lots of good free information.
Next find someone to give you basic welding instruction. Welding shop, body shop, muffler shop, near by farm or mechanic. Offer to sweep shop floor in return or somthing if money is tight.
Could just buy a Hobart Handler MIG welder and start using it. If you take that route must follow all saftey precautions. Learning saftey precautions, welding technique, joint design, fitting, and metalergy is much easier with instructor. So plan of formal training at some time.
OK, sounds good. What gas does a welder use? Like I said I have not much knowledge in this area. The one you recomend looks cool. I just plug it in and use it looks like (lol probably a little more complicated than that). It say something about with or without gas, can I use it without gas? Im pretty confused haha.
Also, there are two books that I recomend reading, They are Performance Welding, and Welder's Handbook, both are by Richard Finch. I am a self tought weldor, and these two books have helped me come a long way. The best place to start is to read, then you will know what to look for in a class, and what to look for when it comes time to buy a weder.
Im 16 and just picked up a Hobart 135 a little before x-mas, at first i started out useing Flux-cored wire to practice with but i just moved up at bought a 40 size Co2/Argon mix bottle (about 100 bucks filed) and must say if you do go MIG.... get the gas! it makes alot better welds with less to alomost no smoke and splater. I have NEVER welded before this and i must say its alot easier (MIG welding) than i thought it was going to be.
Just make sure you take the right safty precations like ventalation, eye, skin protection and dont settle on crapy equipment.
AND READ THOUGH ALL THE MANUALS, BOOKS...ect THAT YOU CAN! it helped me a great deal.