Do you have all to welding tools and equipment you need to operate effectively and safely? Even if you’re just setting up shop, you probably already know some of the essentials (like a welder, for instance), but there are a lot of things you might not have thought of. That’s why we’ve put together this list: the comprehensive guide to a fully loaded welding station.
When you’re dealing with temperatures that are measured in thousands of degrees, your wardrobe choices matter. From top to bottom, make sure you’re covered for welding. You’ll need:
- A welding helmet: Helmets today come with quite a few features, including auto-darkening and fixed or variable shade levels. Choose a helmet that has a large viewing field and is comfortable, not too heavy and dark enough for the kind of work you’re doing. If you opt for an auto-darkening model, consider the number of sensors, too. The more sensors there are, the less you have to worry about them getting blocked and failing to darken your lens.
- Safety glasses: Even with your helmet, you’ll want additional eye protection. Make sure they fit properly.
- Welding jacket: At the very least, you need a flame-retardant shirt, but a leather welding jacket or other fire-resistant, lightweight jacket is much better. Those sparks are no joke!
- Welding gloves: A good pair of gloves is vital since your hands are most at risk for burns. Choose a well-insulated pair that fits and overlaps your sleeves.
- Pants: Opt for denim or fire-resistant pants.
- Boots: Your boots should be leather and tall enough to overlap your jeans.
- Welding apron: Your welding jacket may offer enough protection, but a full welding apron offers even more flame-resistant coverage.
Welding Tools You Might’ve Overlooked
Once you’ve got all the items to suit up properly, make sure you round out your equipment lineup, too, with:
- A fume extractor: The fumes produced when welding are serious business, especially when working with aluminum. If welders are exposed to them day in and day out, it can be a real health hazard. A fume extractor sucks those dangerous particulates away from the work zone before they can harm anyone. (For more on why this piece of equipment is essential, see “Why a Fume Extractor is a Must for Shop Safety.”)
- Dedicated welders for aluminum and steel: Be sure you’re ready to work with both aluminum and steel with separate machines for the different metals. For example, the MULTIMIG 522, has two separate guns. Aluminum will corrode steel, so it’s important not to use the same torch between the two materials.
You’re set! Check off the items on this list, and you’ll be ready to do some great welding – effectively and safely.
Learn more about welding by downloading our Basic Resistance Welding Installation Checklist.