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Geeking out about welding

Hey, you have to like a science fiction movie that mostly features welders.

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A roundup of online welding tutorials

I have checked these out, and recommend the following spots for learning more about welding. Sometimes, you'll have to use multiple sites to get a good grasp on all the aspects of mig welding.

Of course, Amazon welding books are an excellent way to get started. I have several of these. They have an enormous selection of welding books (tried lately to find anything good at the local bookstore?). Check them out.

I like the Expert Village's mig welding video series. Mike Rogers does a good job and there are 15 different videos. I've never been one for overly long online videos, but these are well done and not long enough that you'll get the urge to browse away.

The Fabricator has a good one, "Mig welding -- the basics and then some". Check at the end; they link to even more how-to mig weld articles.

The Instructables is a newer site (at least to me) with a good illustrated guide to mig welding. They qualify it with "This instructable is not intended to be THE definitive guide on MIG welding, for that you might want to seek out a a more comprehensive guide from a professional. Think of this instructable as a guide to get you started MIG welding. Welding is a skill that needs to be developed over time, with a piece of metal in front of you and with a welding gun/torch in your hands."

(And that's good advice for any online learning. The web is a good place to start, but in no way should it be the end-point of your welding training journey).


What kind of jobs are welders getting, and where?

Projected to 2006 (so just a bit out of date, but still pretty solid), the American Welding Society is saying that there will be 393,701 welding jobs in the United States, most of them in a few states, and many of them concentrated in just a few industries.

Fabricators are the single largest employer of welders, at 10%+ of the total. That bears out what many people see--the lines of fab shops in any industrial district in any town in the country bear witness. These are pretty good jobs, but are often smaller companies which have both advantages and drawbacks.

7% of welders are self-employed. It's nice working for yourself, but it can be stressful not knowing who's writing you a check in two months, once a gig is up. After that, we are looking at automotive ( both body shops and repairs and manufacturing), about 6% and then construction for 3%.

Better in Texas?

Near-bouts, two out of five welders were employed in six states: Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois. Pretty much tracks to the largest states with manufacturing bases, but in this economy a good hand with a welding rod can find work anyplace.


Welding videos

Over at Expert Village, they have a nice series of mig welding videos from Mike Rogers that you should check out. There are 75 related videos linked from there, so it's worth a look.


Miller giving away $17,000 worth of welding swag

Check out http://www.millerwelds.com/ultimate.

The grand prize winner also getsa special training session with a Miller expert conducted at the closest Miller Regional Training Center, with the travel costs included. To get in on this, you gotta go to your local welding distributor and get a promo code. Then you register that at the link above. The package includes, among other things:
  • Trailblazer 302 welder/generator
  • Suitcase X-TREME 12VS wire feeder
  • Millermatic 252 all-in-one MIG welder
  • Spectrum 375 X-TREME portable plasma cutter
  • Dynasty 200 DX AC/DC TIG welder
Gives you an excuse to go to shopping, even if you' don't win the contest.

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Spectra-Curtain transparent welding curtain allows outside light into a welding booth to help the welder’s vision

Looks like a nice, portable solution for quite a few welding applications.

The Spectra Orange See-Thru Curtain filters welding arc images and all far U.V. radiation and blue light, while transmitting outside light into the welding booth.

The company said the Spectra Curtain is designed for low to high amperages in electric arc welding, and can be used for MIG, TIG, arc, plasma and other high amperage welding arcs. It is designed for heavy duty workplaces.


New welding standard listed for aerospace manufacturing


A new American National Standard from the American Welding Society (AWS) covers resistance welding methods for metals used in the manufacture of aviation and aerospace equipment. AWS D17.2/ D17.2M:2007, Specification for Resistance Welding for Aerospace Applications, also details criteria for machine and procedure qualification and the inspection of aerospace hardware.


Lincoln's "How I did it" - some good stuff, but more detail needed

If you grab a subscription to Lincoln's excellent iWeld newsletter, you got a link to the "how I did it" page of their website.

The page features welding projects from dozens of welders. The projects range from race car frames to hay bale handlers to bed frames to cactus shaped mailboxes. What would be really nice would be more project specifications to go along with the photographs. They have a nice start, but without the descriptions and project info, it's lacking.

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Free tungsten welding PDF for download

Check it out.

The book is self-described as: "intended to assist welders in selecting and preparing one of the most important and frequently overlooked welding process variables: the electrode. Welders can spend thousands of dollars on welding equipment, but if they do not select and prepare their electrodes with this less expensive process component properly, then their welding results can be poor, inconsistent, or problematic. This guide will help eliminate this variable as a concern in your welding and make it an asset."

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