Learning to Weld

>>> Learning to Weld

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.

Virtual Reality welding

>>> Virtual Reality welding

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.

Switchable Magnetic Ground Clamp

Alex Christie, moderator of the Origami Boats mailing list, recently put together a little video review of a Switchable Magnetic Ground Clamp. Looks like it could be quite handy if you’re welding, especially metal plates.

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 achristie@shaw.ca for further details if interested! Alex Christie

Welding clothing safety

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.