Arc welding is the ideal way to join steel together to make anything from
security grills and gates, to timber racks and art works.
The equipment is simple, consisting of a welding machine with two leads. The
(the earth lead) clamps onto your job, and the other (the work lead or electrode
holder) is used to make the weld. This lead holds an electrode, which is a metal
rod coated in a special substance called flux.
Welding produces heat, sparks and intense ultraviolet light, so protect yourself
with welder's gloves, long sleeves (non synthetic), long pants, boots and a
welder's helmet. Make sure you remove flammable materials from your work area as
Use an angle grinder to prepare the metal to be joined by creating a "V" shape
and removing paint. Clamp the earth lead to your job and "tack" weld it at each
end to hold it in place while the rest of the weld is made.
To start, scratch the electrode lightly along the joint, like striking a match.
When the electric arc starts, lift the electrode up about 3mm and move it slowly
along the joint. Chip the "slag" off the weld and inspect it to make sure it's
complete before finishing off. PLEASE NOTE:
Always wear eye protection when chipping the slag from the weld.
Never weld over the slag or your welds will be weakened. Be careful not to build
up too much heat in your job, as it may be distorted.
While welding might look scary, Kevin reckons you shouldn't be frightened. It's
simpler than it looks so just have a go! We've only scratched the surface of the
art of welding, so if you want to learn more get a MitrePlan from Mitre 10, or
go to the website and follow the links to