Over the weekend I did a welding introduction class at The Fortress. I had touched welding since high school and we did mainly torch welding then. At the time the teachers thought that torch welding was the easiest to learn and eventually we did a bit of stick welding.
20 years latter and MIG Welding seems to the new introductory welding type. We started using a MIG welder setup with gas ( Argon 75% and C02 25% ) which was pretty easy and when setup right didn’t create alot of splashing.
After the MIG with gas we switched over to MIG with filament, the filament melds and creates an inert gas around the weld too. The filament leaves behind a bunch of powder so you need to clean the weld to really see it. The MIG with filament also create alot more splashing so you see get alot more sparks but it seemed like it would be better for outdoor work.
Lastly we went did stick welding, this is the simplest setup with a welding stick and filament in a holder. Touch it to the metal and it starts, no trigger required. The sticks we had were very fast and it was difficult to get the distance right to get the weld right.
On the safety side the new glasses with auto darkening are really great. You can see perfectly until you hit the trigger and the weld starts. A UV sensor auto darkens and will auto brighten with the weld is finished. Even with this it was a challenge to see my welds and I often round myself going off line while welding…
I don’t think I’ll be welding anything major anytime soon but it was an interesting way to spend the afternoon.