Minimalist welding skill and equipment acquisition

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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RusticBohemian
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Minimalist welding skill and equipment acquisition

Post by RusticBohemian » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:45 am

I'm interested in learning to weld, with an eye toward eventually making a bit of money off of it.

I'm looking for an 80/20 approach to learning enough to be effective in what I want to do and acquiring the minimum amount of equipment to be safe/effective.

I'm not particularly interested in welding pipes for oil/gas, etc. I'm interested in making furniture, railings, gates, etc.

I plan to go into my local high-end fabrication business, which does exactly the type of work I'm interested in, and asking if they can make suggestions for me.

But beyond that, I've considered two options:

1) Go to my local community college, and take the two non-credit courses they offer

- (WLDG 1009) will introduce you to oxyacetylene and arc welding techniques. Safety is an important focus of this class.

- (WLDG 1043) introduces the student to MIG, TIG, and flux-cored welding processes.

2) Look around for low-end welding businesses and try to get a job there to learn enough welding.

Do I have other options? Any suggestions?

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Minimalist welding skill and equipment acquisition

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:09 pm

Do high schools or tech schools have shop class? Maybe find out who the teacher is and have them tutor you directly, instead of paying more to take a standardized class. Or put an ad online asking for a welding tutor.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Minimalist welding skill and equipment acquisition

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:19 am

I think your ideas are good, especially if you can get someone else to essentially pay for your education. You could also look for a makerspace nearby, they often have welders and lessons.

If none of the other ideas work and you have a place to do it that you won't burn down you could also buy a cheap welder and give it a try. I learned on a used flux core mig welder. I never got enough experience to get good at it but I can weld steel and it isn't too ugly.

George the original one
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Re: Minimalist welding skill and equipment acquisition

Post by George the original one » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:10 am

The welding classes will give you experience in the broadest range, I think, which will then allow you to choose equipment based on what you like & want to use.

A friend and I taught ourselves with a tank of gas & MIG welder & solar welding mask & welding gloves. Neither of us are very adept at it unless the metal is shiny new and then we're pretty decent. We are both, however, very skilled with grinders and can undo what doesn't get done right.

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