Don’t Go in Blind: Welding Basics
By guest blogger Kristin Furjanic
It’s amazing how the act of creating art with your hands – molding it from one medium to another – can leave you feeling so accomplished and inspired. At least, that’s how I felt after leaving Dabble Denver’s Intro to Welding Class, with Nick Geurts. He had a calming presence, and brought everything back to basics (which – in all honesty – didn’t make it any less unnerving for me, be it that I was / am a complete welding noob).
I went in blind – literally (turns out, it’s really hard to see what you’re doing when a flaming ball of fire and molten metal is set six inches from your face) – but I eventually figured it out. Watch and learn, friends. “Welding? You welded?” was the response that I got from my dad when I called him super jazzed after the class. Heck yeah I did! Why? Well, why not? If and when you get the sudden urge to step outside of your comfort zone, you should absolutely, always take the leap. With that said, here are 5 things that you can expect when trying welding for the first time:
When it comes to welding, safety is not optional friends. Not even a little bit! There are a few necessary pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment) that you should wear while welding. First, long sleeves and pants are a must; cotton works, but leather is best – avoid any type of synthetic material. Other PPE could include: a welding mask, goggles, gloves, close-toed shoes or work boots, ear protection, and a respirator. Make sure that you have a clear, ventilated space with a fire extinguisher handy (just in case).
I learned that there is an array of accessible welding processes (and at first my head was spinning, but have no fear – Nick’s visuals are way better than my descriptions), it really just depends on which machine you get. Who knew?! Arc Welding is the most common, and there are two types: Metal Inert Gas (MIG) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding. The main difference lies in the way that each machine penetrates the metal. However, I’ll let you take the class to get the full explanation.
Without the right tools, you can’t make awesome things! In this class, we used pieces of scrap metal (good for practice). Check our your area for a welding supply store near you – they should be able to provide most of the necessities. You will be able to find all tools (wire brush, clamps, pliers, grinder, welder) at the class as well.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice Makes Perfect If you’re looking to grow in any kind of practice or form of creative self-expression – open yourself up to learn from others, but also don’t be afraid to teach yourself.
Finding materials, scrap metal, tools, PPE, and actual welding machines, can definitely add up. Spend wisely, always ask an expert, and do your research! Yes, you could keep reading, but you should probably do yourself a favor, and try it out for yourself! I promise that you will learn more about welding than I could ever tell you here, and perhaps even adopt a new craft. Don’t be afraid to dabble friends! Keep learning, keep growing, and book your next Dabble adventure today!
Check out welding classes in Denver!
Kristin is a Digital / Content Specialist, freelance copywriter + blogger, yoga nerd, and night owl.
She loves exploring the outdoors, surfing the web, and painting accent walls in apartments she