How to Start a Welding Project
By Joel Ort
Congratulations on your new Hobart Welder! I'm sure you're excited to start using it for creative projects or as a tool in the garage. But before you get to work, you must take a few steps to ensure using your welder to create something from scratch goes as smooth as your bead lines.
Decide on Your Project
Create a mental list of everything you want to create with your welder. After 30 years of completing projects for myself or customers, I still need a clear idea of what I'm about to create and why. If you start before knowing, you could end up wasting materials and precious time. If you're still not sure and itching to use your new toy tool, think of something you need. It could be anything from a new fire pit, a welding table (if you're new to welding), or a rack to hold metal for your garage or shop.
Do Your Research and Personalize
Have you decided on what you're going to build? Great! Now, do as much research as possible on how. There are hundreds of forums, videos, websites, and even social media pages where people post their projects, tips, and ideas that can inspire you and provide shortcuts on how to better complete your project. The great part of combing the internet is that you'll find plenty of ways to build any project and pick up great ideas to personalize your piece.
What You Need To Begin
Now that you've finalized your project and design think about what tools or equipment you'll need to complete it from beginning to end. Depending on how long you've been welding and what you have on hand, you may need to purchase a few things. First, be sure you have the proper safety gear, such as a welding jacket, safety glasses, welding gloves, and a welding helmet. Here are a few tools I also recommend having:
- Good measuring tape
- Couple different size squares
- Clamps (the more, the better)
- Magnetic squares
- 4 ½" grinder with cut off wheels and flap discs
- A band saw (if you have one)
- A flat surface or welding table to lay out the material while building
For those of you who are just starting, you may not have some of the larger equipment, such as a band saw. There are many portable and affordable band saws available for purchase, but in the meantime, you can use your 4 ½" grinder with a cut off wheel to cut your steel.
Get What You Need
You're almost ready to strike an arc. Now, all that's left for you to do is gather the materials. Start by making a list of each size and type of material needed, such as 1" x 1" x .125" tubing, etc. Next, add up the number of pieces on your project that require that material size. Do this so you can calculate the total length needed. Follow those same steps for each type and size of material.
Once your list is complete, get in contact with your local steel supplier. Typically, they have a wide variety of material sizes on hand.
When choosing material, consider the following:
- Wall thickness of the tubing
- Size of angle iron
- Steel sheet thickness
- If you don't know how to size the steel, look to the forums for suggestions or ask the supplier.
Typically, steel tubing, angle iron, and solid bar stock come in lengths of 20-24 feet - price out having a single piece cut versus purchasing the entire piece, sometimes you can get the whole piece without adding much more cost. But if you can’t haul steel that long, look into delivery, many suppliers will deliver the steel for a minimal fee.
We Want To See Your Design
Once you have completed your project, share it with us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hobartwelders, @HobartWelders, or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HobartWelding!
We love to see what our customers are building and the creativity behind each steel masterpiece.
Joel Ort is a welding expert and has completed thousands of projects for his customers, for personal use on the farm or at home. With over 30 years of welding experience, there's not much Joel hasn't made out of steel and enjoys seeing the creative craftsmanship of fellow welders alike.