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What You Need To Know Before You Weld

By Kenzie Thompson

Welding How To: What You Need to Know Before You Weld

People rely on welding to accomplish many tasks. In fact, the art of welding dates back thousands of years to the Bronze Age. Since then, man has discovered many advancements and improvements that make welding easier, safer and more vital to civilization than ever before. Welding is used:

1. To manufacture cars, trucks and other modes of transportation.

2. To build homes.

3. To build and repair machinery and equipment.

4. It's even been used by artists to create beautiful metal sculptures.

Inside or outside, on land or underwater - even in outer space - welding is vital to all areas of our life. It's no wonder, then, that more and more people want to learn how to weld.

If you'd like to learn how to arc weld, we"d like to help. Below, you'll find important information and resources you need before you can start welding: what equipment you'll need, along with some free online resources that will provide step-by-step, practical welding how-to advice.

Basic Arc Welding Equipment

If you want to learn how to AC (alternating current) arc weld, at some point this will require some hands on training, and hands on training will require tools. When you're ready to start practicing, here's what you'll need (you should be able to find all of these items at your local farm store or home improvement warehouse):

A 230 volt AC power source (also known as a "buzz box")

A welder's helmet with additional goggles underneath to protect your eyes when your face plate is raised

Gauntlet style gloves

A heavy leather or other natural fiber jacket and cap

Thick rubber soled boots

Heavy duty denim jeans

E6011 and/or E6013 all-purpose mild-steel electrodes - Get a few pounds each of both 1/8 and 5/32 diameter rods to use with metals of 1/8 thickness or more.

A pile of flat steel scraps in various thicknesses (though ideally you want 1/8 to 3/8".) You can find scraps at your local metal supply for around five cents a pound. Then, when you're finished, you can sell it back as salvages for about three cents a pound.

Once you've gathered these materials, you're ready to start AC arc welding. If your finances or schedule prevent you from signing up for classes at your local college or technical school, we"ve gathered together a few free online resources to help your get started.

Learn How to AC Weld Online - For Free!

Here are a handful of free how-to weld resources available on the World Wide Web.

With a little equipment and training and a whole lot of practice, you can be well on your way to mastering the basics of AC arc welding. Whether you need to learn this art for work or simply for around the house, you'll soon be prepared to tackle all of the welding jobs that come your way!

About The Author
Kenzie Thompson practices both ornamental and industrial welding on his 5 acre ranch in Northern California. For more information on how to weld, visit


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