Starting a welding garage is a lucrative business decision. But actually equipping it with everything one needs is a headscratcher for most. A lot of people make a mistake and go head-on by spending too much money on some equipment they don’t even need and are probably not going to use. If you are a beginner welder who is just starting in this industry one should start with the basics. After a few years of work, more items will be added to expand your arsenal.
First thing’s first, you need to pick the welding process that you are going to start with. MIG, TIG, or Stick, whichever you are experienced with will be your starting point. But the point is not getting some of the top arc welding machines, one should start small. A multi-purpose welder for an appropriate price will do the trick for starters.
Starting off with the table, or the canvas that you are going to do your work. One will need a solid work area where you are going to be free to move about. A sturdy table will do the trick as it is the place you are going to spend most of your time in the shop. Make sure that the lighting around it is set properly and that you have additional lamps when needed. A nearby power supply is also a good idea. Make sure to put it near a power outlet or install some that are going to be close. A power generator as a backup is also nice to have. A very important part is that the table is grounded for safety reasons.
Speaking of safety, being equipped to handle the grueling job of welding in a safe matter is really good to have. The main piece of equipment here is a good welding helmet. But make sure to get an auto-darkening one as it is much more convenient for welding and perfect for beginner welders. Welding blindness is the most common affliction that people in the industry get and a good welding helmet is a lifesaver.
Welding gloves and safety glasses are also a necessary part of your safety equipment. Gloves will protect your hands from getting burned as you will need to touch or move some hot pieces of metal. You can expand it with a welding jacket to protect your arms and body from pieces of slag that might come fizzing around your workshop. This is also where welding goggles help as they will protect your eyes from all the small pieces of metal that go flying by.
Besides your main tools, there are some additional accessories that people tend to forget often. But an experienced welder knows better and will utilize these items to the fullest and use them properly. Welding clamps and magnets help you keep the weld pieces together. By clamping everything down properly you won’t have to worry about the pieces of metal moving while you work on them. Plus you will have a free hand and will not need to put additional effort to hold it.
A chipping hammer and a steel brush are necessary to remove the slag and clean the surface you were working on. Slag is usually created during MIG fluxed core welding or in stick welding. Using a chipping hammer you are going to remove all that excess slag and reveal the weld you have been working on. The same thing goes for the steel brush which is used for some finer removal so as not to damage the surface you have been working on.
Soapstone and marking tools are an underrated part of your welding equipment. You can’t use a pencil to mark the route you are planning on welding. You can use soapstone instead. It is able to withstand the high heat created by the torch and allows you to write on the metal without a problem. Marking tools are needed in almost any type of welding work but are much appreciated when it comes to some precision work or ornament welding.