First rule: be safe.
(See arc welder safety). Dress properly for welding by using a good welding
helmet to protect your eyes fro UV (ultraviolet) rays and keep sparks and slag
from your hair and face. Goggles arenít good enough. Wear clothes that are fire
retardant, and that are comfortable.
Donít wear excessively loose clothes. I like a leather apron in this
Your welding area is as important. It should be suitably ventilated and dry.
You can get some tips on preparing it from our arc welding safety area. Maybe
RTFM: Oh, and please: read the manuals and instructions for your
welder. Itís basic, but you have to pay attention to the fundamentals.
Okay, nowóletís strike that arc!
Striking an arc is pretty easy. With your helmet up so you can see, put the
electrode about ľĒ away from the weld surface. Lower your helmet and jab with
the electrode. Look out for the arc, then be ready to pull the electrode away a
tiny bit. Move the electrode into the weld; it melts off into the weld pool.
How you lay a beadÖ
A good arc makes hisses. It cracks as the electrode burns. Holding the arc
too far away makes more buzzing and spattering. Holding the arc to close makes
the rod overheat and sometimes stick to the work. Keep the electrode moving into
the weld pool as you move along. Horizontal beads are easy. When you make
vertical beads, move from the top down.
For long beads, tack weld every 6" to prevent warping. Tack entire projects
together and then finish the weld once itís structurally sound. This keeps
shapes from warping. Tack every six inches along all your seams. Metal is too
expensive these days to allow it to warp.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. How do you weld a good bead? Same
Categorically, you canít learn to weld from this, or from any other website.
You learn to weld by practicing. A lot. Get inexpensive metals and weld them.
Try to make a beautiful bead. Try to make good welds without burning through the