Welding 101

Welding 101

This is the place to start if you need to learn the welding basics.  This page will give you some ideas of how to use this website and give you the plan to start your career.

Start with this page to learn how to become a welder and the basic idea of welding.  Once you understand these topics you can continue to the welding methods section to learn more details about the many types of welding.  The beyond the basics section will give information about other important areas of the knowledge necessary to be a welder.  Go to the welding gear page to get ideas of equipment, gear, and books to learn more.

How to Become a Welder

This website is dedicated to teaching you how to become a welder.  It will provide the knowledge base you need to start your journey to being a professional welder.

First of all… there are not enough welders that are qualified and hard working.  Now is a great time to become a welder.  Stick with it and you can become a successful welder.

Welding is largely an art.  However, to be a successful welder you need to do more than just practice welding.  A successful welder in industry must understand what is happening in the weld area, understand when and how to apply more heat and filler metal, and be able to manipulate welding equipment in the correct way to apply the heat.  If you are a welder that understands why things happen the way they do and why a particular method give better results will ultimately be a better welder.

A truly successful welder must also go beyond welding to understand reading blueprints, understanding weld symbols, and even understanding basics of metallurgy. 

What is Welding?

Welding is a fabrication method used to join metals with fusion.  Welding, in the basic concept, is essentially melting, flowing together, and freezing metals under controlled conditions to make a joint.

There are many different welding methods used for different applications.

Advantages of Welding

Welding has many advantages.  Compared to bolted connections, welding is a more efficient use of materials.  There is no need for connecting plates, like bolted connections, which saves weight.  In bolted connections there is joint strength reduction due to holes.  Welding allows for more compact sections because there is no loss due to holes.  Properly done, a welded joint is stronger than the material joined.

Welding also gives a lot of design freedom for structural engineers and architects.  There is less time for designers in detailing.  Bolted connections require far more detail drawings for construction.

Welding equipment is inexpensive.  The equipment is also portable allowing for use indoors and outdoors.

Welding Safety

You probably already know that welding takes practice!  The old saying is ‘practice makes perfect’, however you need to practice correctly and safely.

The first thing to state is that you should use good common sense!  All equipment should be kept in great condition at all times.

In welding machines, high voltage electricity is common.  If mishandled high voltage is dangerous!  AC welding machines are probably 220 or 440 volts and should be handled carefully.

A welder should always wear the proper protective clothing.  The proper protective clothing will protect you from burns.  Avoid wools and synthetics.  You should wear long-sleeve shirts.  Head shield and gloves are also essential.

Go to the welding gear page to learn more about proper equipment and protective gear.

Welding Standards

This section will not go into details on welding standards, but you should explore some of these on your own.  A couple you should explore would be the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).  These standards are backed up by years of research.