Welding is one of those trades that looks simple enough, but can actually be fairly complicated once you get into the process. Therefore, it is always a good idea to do your research and plan well if you invest in your own welder and plan to tackle a few welding projects on your own. As a novice welder, it is not only easy to make mistakes; it is also easy to get injured. Before you grab your welding mask and try to weld for the first time, there are a few welding supplies you should make sure you have on hand.
1. Make sure you have a stable welding table. - You cannot just prop up whatever it is that you are welding on the floor or atop a wooden workbench and expect everything to go well. Make sure you have a good stable welding surface to work with. Welding tables (which are designed specifically for the purpose of welding) are ideal because they are resistant to high temperatures and often have attached fixtures to hold your materials stable while you work.
2. Invest in a good pair of welding gloves. - A spark here and there while you weld may not seem like a lot, but these flyaway fire particles can be extremely hot and do have the capability of causing severe burns. Welding gloves are made of material that will withstand the heat and keep your hands and arms protected while you weld. While there are many types of welding gloves available, make sure to look for a pair that allows your fingers to remain flexible so you maintain complete control.
3. Wear eye protection beneath your welding helmet. - As a novice welder, you may assume that a welding helmet is all you need to protect your vision while you work. Unfortunately, welding helmets provide little in the way of eye protection from thrown sparks or flying debris. If something makes its way behind your helmet, your eyes should still be protected. Pick up a pair of low-profile safety goggles that fit comfortably beneath your helmet for an added layer of protection for your eyes.
4. Pick up an inexpensive grinder. - Running a bead of welding material as a novice will be especially challenging at first, which means your first few welds may look kind of sloppy. With a small grinder, you can taper down rough edges of a weld to make them look more uniform and professional.
Talk to a company like Vern Lewis Welding Supply Inc. for more information about these and other welding supplies.