Welding Area

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Safety First

Welding is a great way to join and form metal. Welding use comes at some risk. Let's be careful out there.

  • Eye protection. You must protect your eyes from the bright welding light. If you are TIG, MIG or Arc welding you should be wearing a welding helmet. If you are using oxygen/acetylene welding then you should be wearing a pair of gas welding goggles.
  • Consider the eye protection of others around you. Will they get flashed by your welding arc? Use the blue welding safety screens to protect others in the shop.
  • Proper clothing. Shorts and T-shirt won't do. Arc welding gives off extremely bright light, and you will become badly sunburned in no time. Best is long sleeve cotton clothing and long cotton pants. Polyester clothing will melt easily and should never be worn by anyone welding.
  • Proper footwear. Leather closed toe shoes should be worn. It doesn't take long for a small hot bead of metal to burn right through the top of your canvas tennis shoes. Also consider wearing boots instead of low cut shoes. Think what will happen if a drop of molten metal gets inside your shoe. Ouch.
  • Wear welding gloves to protect your hands.
  • Don't forget that it takes time for hot welded metal to cool. Use pliers to lift work off of the table. Don't leave hot work where an innocent bystander could become burned.
  • Quick.. where is the nearest fire extinguisher?

Let's Learn to TIG Weld!


I3 is fortunate enough to have the use of a very nice P&H Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welder. Instructions for use follow:

  • Turn on the Argon Gas bottle at the wall rack. Remember that the seal system for inert gas only completely seals the stem at full closed and full open. Turn the knob in the desired direction until it stops. When the TIG machine is turned on, you can adjust the argon flow (watch the red ball in the vertical glass tube).
  • Check the power switch on the junction box on the wall. Is it turned on?

Quirks of the I3 P&H TIG machine. 1) Sometimes the foot pedal sticks just enough to turn on the solenoid. This is very bad, particularly if you are using an old style welders shield. Its too easy to flash your eyes in error. Best action, is to ensure foot pedal is at top of stroke before you turn on the machine.

2) Argon use. The machine flows argon gas whenever the machine is turned on. Argon gas is expensive. This means turn off the machine when you have finished your weld, and don’t turn it on again until just before you are ready to run your next bead.

Machine settings: What are you welding?

Steel? If you are using steel, set the Polarity Selector Switch (large three position switch on the right hand lower area) to the full clockwise position, Direct Current Straight Polarity (DC Electrode Negative)

You should be using the red tungstens (2% Thoriated) for DC TIG welding.

Aluminum? If you are using aluminum, set the Polarity Selector Switch to the full counterclockwise position, Alternating Current (AC).

You should be using the green tungstens (pure tungsten).for AC TIG welding.