The task of welding is more than just a simple skill or set of techniques. It’s more like an art form. It takes years to master and hone the concept to learn how to weld. Indeed, only reading about welding won’t give you the faintest idea about the task’s actual brutality. But you’ll still need a place to start learning the basic principles behind the science.
If you’re looking for an answer to the question – is welding hard? You’re in the right place. The task may seem to be utterly tricky at first and simply impossible to take up. But with proper guidance and persistent practice for enough time, it’ll soon become a hobby that you’ll fall in love with. Whether you take it up as a profession or use it for simple DIY projects, welding is a handy skill to have.
Types of Welding
Before jumping on to the techniques and skillful welding techniques, let’s first get to know about the most popular welding variants. There are three modes of welding in general – wire, stick, and TIG.
Wire welding can join thin sheets of metal together very quickly. The process involves feeding a welding gun with a continuous spool of fine metallic wire. You can create clean joints since there will be no interruptions during the process.
Mechanics and handymen prefer stick welding because there are no spools or messy metallic wires. Instead, the welding gun uses smaller stick electrodes to produce welded joints. Even though the technique is quick, it’s still strong enough to combine even rusty pieces of metal.
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding
This process involves TIG or Tungsten inert gas and is quite complex to take up since the technique requires precision and patience. However, the joints come out pretty neat, and the results are extremely satisfactory. You can use TIG to combine both metal sheets and thin strips.
Learn More types of Welding in Details.
What Factors Identify How Hard Welding is ?
Enough with the theoretical knowledge behind welding. Let’s look at some of the crucial factors you need to keep track of before starting to master the techniques. Most of them are quite obvious but still worth mentioning.
- Theoretical Knowledge
A basic understanding of the science behind welding is quite necessary. It’ll help you grasp the concept more efficiently and learn the techniques much faster.
- A Worthy Tutor
Just like any other topic you learn, welding is a skill set that requires a teacher to educate you about it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a person or even a book. It can also be a YouTube video or an online tutorial. Just make sure the source is valid and reliable enough to follow.
- Practice and Patience
Unlike many other intuitive skills, welding is a feat of absolute mastery. You can’t merely ace it overnight. The more time and practice you dedicate to it, the more your skills will shine. Intricate welding can take months, or even years, to properly take up the feat. It would be best if you had enough patience and energy to toil through the process without losing hope midway. Remember that it’s okay to fail at first, and there’s no shame in that.
- Personal Safety
If you plan to start to weld immediately after watching a YouTube video or reading an online blog, you are setting yourself up for a disaster. You could end up getting seriously hurt if you’re not careful enough about the risks. Make sure to use the proper safety equipment and follow all security guidelines while welding.
As intricate and time-consuming as this technique sounds, welding requires you to spend an ample amount of money to learn. You have to find the proper learning resources, invest in the right equipment, hire a tutor, or attend welding school. All these factors demand a rather hefty budget. So, it would be best to prepare yourself to spend considerably if you wish to master the art of welding.
How to Learn Welding
Like we said before, welding is much more an art than just theory. You need to get into action and spend enough time dealing with it, rather than only read about it.
There are two ways you can learn to weld. You can either get an apprentice job at an actual welder’s workshop or get into a profession that involves welding as a part of it.
Getting a job as a welder’s apprentice
The best way is to indulge yourself in welding is either by formal schooling or getting hands-on experience yourself. If you’re a bit tight on the budget, the former won’t be an option for you. So, it’s better to look for a job that allows welding.
Starting off, it won’t be easy to get a job as a welder since you have no experience. As the technique is quite prone to accidents, employers don’t want to take the risk of appointing novice welders either.
You can take a job as an apprentice to a professional welder instead. This will let you stay in close contact with a person who is actively involved in welding. It’s also an excellent opportunity to take up the various techniques that you can only learn by practicing and not reading. Within an ample amount of time, you’ll start to learn the tricks of the trade and start building your welding career soon.
Finding for an apprenticeship you can check below two websites regularly.
Getting into a profession that involves welding
If you can’t somehow score an apprenticeship or find anyone suitable enough to take you on, you can always option for alternatives. Many other professions involve small scale welding as a part of the job. You can get involved in any one of these career paths. You will admittedly learn at a slower scale, but it’s better than nothing. Here are a few such career paths:
- Electronic assembly & fabrication
You can use more delicate forms of welding in the tasks of repairing electronic gadgets or toys. At a larger scale, electricians are also needed when welding repairs need to be done in aircraft or boats.
Boilers are intricate equipment. The setup involves making tubes and plates by welding metal or steel. You’ll need to learn to operate heavy welding machinery in construction sites and mines as well.
- Jewelry and metal works
Recreating and redecorating jewelry is another prominent field that involves welding. You can try to learn welding as an art form when you work with precious stones or expensive jewels and weld them into ornaments.
- Machining and dye-making
Construction sites and dye factories need a lot of welding done as a part of the intricate process. You could also pick up welding by working in such factories or sites.
- Automotive mechanics
Any motorized vehicle or automobile will need welding when it needs to be repaired. The mechanics rely a lot more on welders than you might think. Being affiliated with the automobile mechanic industry can help you learn to weld too.
- Sheet metal works
This is pretty self-explanatory. Your job will consist of joining metal sheets together by welding. So, it’s a prime opportunity for a welder to pick up the skill efficiently.
- Metal and plastic molding
Molding materials like plastic or metal into different shapes might also require molding. These molded pieces are generally used as replacement parts in other machines.
- Plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting
This is more of a handyman job rather than actual welding. But it’s still a fair opportunity to hone your welding skills. You’ll have to visit the various residential or commercial buildings and work with fitting pipes, which require partial welding.
All of these career paths involve welding in some way or the other. It can be to a larger or smaller extent, but the process is there nonetheless. So, it can be a suitable alternative for you.
Is Welding School a good idea?
Like any other topic you would want to learn, welding school is an excellent way to go. The schooling system generally offers a 9 to 18 months long program to earn a welding certificate. Along with an additional associate’s degree, you’ll need to spend at least 8 hours a day at school for the said time.
If you’ve already decided to set up a welding career, it would be best for you to opt for the schooling system. It is the most formal and adequate method of approaching the whole process. The certification you’ll obtain at the end of the course will be proof of your ability to weld.
The right welding school will teach you all the necessary skills, including Welding both pipe and plate in various positions and all the major welding processes. You can even learn about reading blueprints, welding inspection, pipe fitting, metal cutting, and Metallurgy.
However, note that welding schools can cost you a hefty sum of money. Just make sure you do your research about the local welding schools in your area and choose one that is value for money.
In contrast to other heavy-duty mechanical works, welding is much more prone to accidents. The process involves heavy machinery, electricity, and extreme heat. It would be best if you kept yourself safe from the hazards that come along with welding.
There are some specific safety and precautionary guidelines that you must adhere to. This includes maintaining shop safety, using proper tools and machines, wearing safety gear, choosing a suitable space, keeping the workplace clean, and so on.
The most common things you’d be using are the working material, the tools, and the protective gear.
For high-quality welding, the working material needs to be strong and malleable enough to withstand enough heat. You can only then bond it properly by welding.
Variations of tools are including shielding gases, oxyacetylene torches, rods, welding shields, gloves, saws and hammers. It would be best if you used them all with proper care. Protective shoes are a welder’s best friend. No matter how safely and efficiently you use the tools and materials, there is always a high risk of accidents. These safety gear list will protect you from torches and gases.
Tips & Tricks
Before wrapping up the session, here are some of the most helpful strategies you can follow during your welding journey. All of the methods are proven and tested. Make sure to make do with this list and use them as a guideline.
- Practice, practice, and practice
Nothing makes welding more perfect than enough practice. If you simple rush with it, you’ll get nowhere. Pick up all the intricate details carefully and master them with precision.
- Learn from your mistakes
Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s quite natural to fail at first. But remember to get back up once you fall. No matter how easy we make it sound, welding is hard! And no one can get there on the first few tries.
- Get some rest
Welding involves operating heavy machinery and power tools. Regularly exposing yourself to such environments can take a toll on your mind and body. Make sure you get enough rest between sessions so you can sharpen your motor memory and retain information more efficiently.
- Try it out on your own sometimes
Watch and learn – that’s the way to go when you start with welding. But soon enough, you need to get into the welder’s shoes. If you want to become a pro welder, you need to test your skills in the real world. Don’t be afraid to take on minor welding tasks after you’ve nailed down the basics. But of course, be sure to do it under supervision!
- Patience is virtue
It’s all just a loop. Just like practice, having patience is a must when it comes to welding. You have to toil your way through the process and believe in yourself. With enough virtue and practice, you’ll get there soon enough!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you get hurt while welding?
The answer goes both ways. It’s extremely dangerous without the proper precautions but reasonably safe if you use the necessary safety gear. Make sure you have the correct tools and adequate training to handle welding tools before jumping in.
Does welding offer good money?
In terms of finance, welding is a rewarding profession. There is good money in the trade, and you can build a strong career in the field if you’re seasoned enough. However, the work can be a bit gruesome and heavy-duty at times. So, you should be ready to deal with exhaustion.
Welding can be a transformational career path for many. Since the profession does not require a college degree, the bar is set relatively low. But it does come at a cost. You have to be meticulous enough and willing to toil through the lengthy process of learning the trade.
If you’re up for the whole ordeal, welding can be your dream job. There is an explicit demand for welders in various industries like construction, automobiles, mining, etc. Just remember to keep at it and have fun while you learn!