A good article with lots of links to other additional resources on learning to weld. As with anything, take things you find on the net with a grain of salt, but there’s some good basic information in here, in my opinion.
I will say this Instructable on using an additional piece of carbon rod to "aim" your arc was interesting, anyhow. Although I have done very little welding, I would recommend spending the $40-50 bucks to get an autodarkening helmet. They work incredibly well.
Lincoln Electric has a new virtual reality training system to use for training welders. From what little I have ever welded, it looks fairly realistic. I wonder how the increased availability of this kind of technology will help people learn to weld.
This video shows what the student sees in the construction environment on the VRTEXâ„¢ 360. The student first looks around the environment and then proceeds to weld with the GMAW short arc welding process in the 2F position. Half way down the weld a long CTWD is used and porosity can be seen in the finished weld.
Rob Rohde-Szudy has put together one of the best "Welding 101" articles over at Duckworks Magazine that I’ve ran across. Not knowing how to weld (and not having the tools) is probably what drove me to a wooden boat instead of steel.
Someday this is a skill I’ll gain at least a little of.
Note that Alex also produced what is supposed to be a very nicely done DVD package showing the build sequence of a Brent Swain Origami boat. I haven’t seen it, but plan to order it:
…there is still available the 3 hour DVD set detailing the construction of an origami boat from flat sheet to bare hull, cabin and decks. $54 USD, shipped worldwide. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details if interested! Alex Christie
There has been a recent thread running on Origami Boats discussing the fire retardency of duct tape… huh? Well, it seems that somebody did a quick patch on a hole in their pants with duct tape…worked fine until they were welding and a hot spark dropped there… seems duct tape is rather flammable. They batted at it with their hand and got a ball of hot metal in their palm for their efforts. In the end, no serious injury, but a fair warning.
In the on-going thread there has been discussion of other fireproofing methods. One suggestion was starching the clothing to improve its ability to resist sparks and flying metal globs… might be worth a shot.
Most recently a product called PROBAN was recommended by Colin (below). I haven’t found a source of the chemical itself yet, but many clothing suppliers sell products pre-treated with it.
I bought some not-too-expensive overalls a while back, treated with some stuff called PROBAN. I was a little sceptical at first of how good this stuff was, so I tested ’em with a shower of sparks from a 9" grinder. (with a bucket of water at the ready) Heat under the material very quickly became unbearable, but no signs of burning or deterioration on the surface.
Guys in the race-car business claim that PROBAN-treated coveralls are good for around 75 washes, after which you’re left with cotton. Their preference is for Indura/Nomex suits, which are good for walking into fires with. But for welding and general fabrication, PROBAN appears good enough.