How Great Welders Can Help You in the Home

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How Great Welders Can Help You in the Home
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How Great Welders Can Help You in the Home

Home welding could be taken up by homeowners either as a hobby welders or if they simply want to get small jobs done by themselves to save on costs. Whatever the case, several types of home welders are easily available to help get the work done. At the very outset though, the operational safety measures and adequate safety gear need a mention, and that they have to be strictly adhered to cannot be stressed enough. This emphasis only increases manifold when welding is done inside one's home.

Shoppers looking for home welders are overwhelmed by the plethora of machines that exist, from gas welders to metal inert gas, or MIG, and tungsten inert gas, or TIG, welders. Machines that use extreme welding methods as laser welders, and electron beam welders are for industrial applications. Home welders typically find the simple MIG welders adequate for small home jobs. However, it is important to understand how welders work as well as learn about the types of do-it-yourself, or DIY, welders available in the market. Home welders are widely available in stores selling home improvement products. Reputable online stores, such as eBay, also offer many types of welders for home and commercial uses.

How Welding Works

Welding involves melting filler metal to bridge the two separate parts that need to be fused, so that the molten metal on solidification forms a single unit. The filler is supplied with intense heat, and various techniques may be used, this being a distinguishing feature of the welding processes. Here, welding processes may be categorised as arc welding and torch welding, distinguished by the way in which intense heat is supplied for welding.

The second aspect of welding is protecting the melted filler, as it fuses with the working parts, from the atmosphere which contaminates the surface. If contamination or oxidation occurs, the weld will not be a strong one and therefore, various methods are deployed for shielding the weld pool. One method is to shield the surface by glass-like flux created by a mixture of metal oxides and silicates. Another method is to use inert gases, such as argon, helium, or carbon dioxide, as shielding gases that protect the molten weld pool. A steady stream of inert gases sweeps the air out from the weld area and forms a protective shield around it.

For joining two or more metals together, welding is the fusion method used, as are other methods such as riveting, soldering, and brazing, which are non-fusion methods. Although non-fusion methods may be used for small home jobs, welding is the preferred choice for its strong bonds. The intense heat created during welding melts the filler metals and fuses the filler and working parts with each other cohesively. Since a welded joint uses the same base materials, the final weldment is of equal strength as the base materials. In the other non-fusion methods, the joint is much weaker, and the materials are simply held together by a third metal.

Arc welders

Arc welders are of four types, depending on the method that each uses to create the shield around the weld pool. Arc welders may be listed as follows:

  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) or stick welder
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), also called Metal Inert Gas or MIG welder
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), commonly called Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welder 
  • Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW), categorised as gasless MIG welding

For welding joints, an arc welder uses intense heat to produce an electrical arc between the work materials and the filler materials. The name stick welder comes from the welding rod used, which is also the filler. The rod is mechanically or manually guided along the joint. The welding rod also conducts the current and melts to fuse the joint. Yet another function of the welding rod is to create the flux that shields the weld pool.

The MIG welder uses a spool of solid steel wire which is passed into the red hot contact tip of the MIG gun through the welder via a liner. When the trigger is pulled, the wire melts to form the weld puddle. Meanwhile, inert gases also flow through the gun to shield the weld pool, and hence the name Metal Inert Gas or MIG welder. Flux Core Arc welding, or FCAW, is gasless MIG welding that uses flux cored wires which create a shield over the weld pool.

A permanent, non-melting tungsten electrode produces the arc in TIG welders, while the filler material is added separately. This flexible process even allows welding without using fillers. There is also the option of using either AC or DC current as the power source. However, users need to learn about numerous specifications to follow when using DC current. These include the type of electrode to be used and on what type of metals, the thickness of the metals to be welded, and the type of shielding gas to be used.

 Some additional features of these three welders compare as below.

Stick Welder

MIG Welder

TIG Welder

Needs welding rods as consumables, expensive consumables, cannot be used on thin materials

Spool of steel wire in MIG torch used as consumable, lends itself to robotic welding, also performs flux core arc welding, clean welds, works on thin materials

Non combustible, permanent tungsten electrode, high quality welds, slow process, great on thin materials

Shielding flux of carbon dioxide created by the melting welding rod

Argon, carbon dioxide, mix of both as shielding gas.. For gasless MIG, flux core wire provides shield

Uses argon, helium, or mix of both gases as shielding gas directed by the TIG torch nozzle

Ideal for steel, stainless steel, cast iron

 For carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium alloys

Steel, stainless steel, aluminium alloys, chromoly, copper, brass, and reactive metals such as magnesium and titanium

Uses AC or DC current

Only DC current can be used

Constant current DC or AC, depending on metals to be welded

Training and practise required to master stick welding

Very easy to learn and use

Requires considerable practice and learning

Stick and MIG welders are ideally suited for beginners and do-it-yourself projects. The versatile TIG welder is recommended for the expert welder.

Torch Welding

The torch welding method uses an oxyacetylenettorch supply heat to melt the working material and filler metal. The welder uses the torch and filler simultaneously to create the weld and has total control over the process. This welding method is in use only for small repair jobs.

How to Select Your First Welder

Any non-professional welding job involving home repair projects or purely as a hobby can be a rewarding experience. Besides saving sizable amounts of cash, the person does the job at will without having to wait for the professional to turn up. There is also the satisfaction of having accomplished the job or achieving what was envisaged. However, while buying a welder, the primary considerations ought to be whether one has previous welding experience and the type of jobs that the welder is needed for. So, the type of metals and average metal thickness determine the type of welder to be purchased. Many home projects could include frames and fencing, minor auto body works, bicycles, lawn mowers, boats, farm and ranch works, and structural components. They could involve metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, and cast iron.

Crucial Safety Measures While Welding in the Home

For welding spaces in homes, people prefer the garage. Using safety goggles, auto-darkening helmets,, heavy-duty gloves, leather shoes, and protective flame-resistant clothing is mandatory. A welding shield can be created by hanging flame-resistant blankets from hooks in the ceiling. This contains sparks and also prevents spatter from spreading far across the garage space. When working with garage doors open, clear screens can be placed across the garage opening to block ultraviolet radiation from reaching the outside, while letting in adequate light for visibility.

The working area should be ventilated well to prevent build-up of harmful welding fumes and kept clean using air blowers, especially for those who also work with wood in the same space. Sawdust, wood pieces, and stored cardboard boxes can smoulder with just a small spark. Clear all cables and hoses that are tripping hazards. Keep checking the area until a couple of hours after completing the job to ensure all is well in the garage. Fire extinguishers should be ready at hand, and the user should be appropriately grounded. Perform maintenance checks on the welding machine periodically and replace worn or damaged parts immediately.

Buying DIY Welders on eBay

Small welding jobs can be performed by the homeowner using DIY welders. eBay sells numerous types of these home welders of varying capacities. Shoppers can findthe website's Top-rated sellers offering great products at affordable prices. New, used,, and seller- or manufacturer-refurbished home welders are available at affordable prices. Shoppers can also find spares for stick, MIG, and TIG welders.

Shoppers browsing eBay pages should start at 'All Categories' and select the 'Business, Office & Industrial' subcategory. The pull-down menu on this subcategory has 'Metalworking/Milling/Welding' where the shopper can select the 'Welding' pages with listings for different types of welders, spares, and other welding accessories. Clicking on the selected listing displays the individual listing page that contains detailed information and images of the product, seller details, price, and shipping information. Shoppers buying the product have numerous secure payment options to choose from. However, be sure to review the background of the seller before making a purchase, as you want to work with sellers with great track records.

Conclusion

Home welders are easy-to-use devices for small welding repairs jobs about the house. With a home welder, jobs need not be kept on hold waiting for the professional handyman. The homeowner can simply work on it on a weekend. Fixing a broken fence, staircase railing, small car, bicycle or motorbike, and so many other repair jobs can be taken on if there is a welder at one's disposal. While stick welding needs practice, and TIG welding has to be performed by experienced people, the MIG welder is one that is easy to learn and easier to operate.

Of course, there is money to be saved as well, as numerous items in a household are prone to damage and breakages. Investing  in the right home welder ensures that the items are repaired and reused, and over time, the home welder pays for itself. Along with the welders, shoppers should also invest in high-quality welding safety gear that is required when performing a job. Thanks to its wide network of sellers and variety of product offerings, eBay can help novices and professionals find just the right welders for their jobs, and at the right prices.

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