Welding is the most efficient way of joining metals permanently and this is one of the most vital processes regarding a country’s economy. If you take a look at the things and objects we use every day, you can notice that nearly everything is welded, from coffee pots to skyscrapers. Therefore, the significance of the welding equipment is huge. Starting off as a welder might be very intimidating for first-timers. It can be a dangerous occupation as electric shocks, fumes and gases, fire and explosions might happen which can jeopardize the welder’s life. However, if all the safety precautions are taken, then welding can be a safe job. In order to be completely protected and operate successfully, you need to have the proper equipment and safety gear.
Welder machine is the first and most important piece of equipment that lays the foundations for everything else needed. The most important factors to consider when choosing one are the voltage power, AC/DC settings and the duty cycle. You can choose between MIG, TIG and stick type and the differences are based on the costs, skills, portability, convenience and the what kind of a project you are undertaking. MIG welders are simple to use but cost more and are not easily portable like the stick. On the other hand, TIG finishes the project with high quality, clean weds but it takes much more practice and skill to learn the process.
Next, the type of electrode you are going to choose is closely related to the type of welding process you have previously chosen. Thus, stick welding uses a consumable electrode that is melted so that a weld joint can be created. The MIG welding uses a consumable electrode wire that is fed through the welding torch and they are different according to the range of their thickness. And the TIG welders use non-consumable electrodes that can be ceriated and lanthanated. It is a good idea to avoid thoriated electrodes because they emit radiation.
Other important welding supplies are the clamps. They are a small part of the welding process but have a huge significance in terms of securing the weld joint lines in place properly. You can use as many clamps as you find suitable to ensure that the workpiece will not shift. Finally, the angle grinders are critical for preparing the metal before the process of welding begins. They are actually portable tools that have the arbour at 90 degrees in relation to the tool and they can vary from 500 to 2500 watts depending on their size.
When it comes to choosing protective welding supplies, helmets are the most important piece that ensures safety. You need a helmet because the welding process emits ultraviolet light rays and the extreme brightness can cause inflammation of the cornea and burn the retina of the eyes. There is even a huge possibility of going blind when the right welding equipment is not used properly. An auto-darkening helmet is the best choice as it allows welders to keep both hands on task without having to put on the darkening visor.
Another important safety gear is the clothing and gloves. Leather clothing is the safest choice, but it keeps you the warmest as well. That is why welders prefer a combination of long leather sleeves, leather apron or bib and a cotton shirt under the apron since it is not flammable. You should avoid synthetic materials as they can get on fire when sparks begin to fly. The gloves should also be made from top-grain leather. They need to be flexible, offer heat-protection and be heavy-duty in order to withstand high temperatures, especially for the stick and MIG welding process. For TIG welding you can go for lighter and more flexible gloves.