Safely welding at home

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New member
7 Jul 2022
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Hello, my wife wants to do a project involving tig and mig welding at home.
We have a communal area where we cut wood up outside (it's a covered driveway), I need to know how we can weld safely and legally in this space.
I'm a bit concerned about anything we could accidentally or unknowingly do to harm ourselves or our neighbors.
Apart from PPE for ourselves what do we need?
First, both MIG and TIG welding procedures require using of the gas shield (usually Argon and CO2 mixtures nowadays 82:12 ratio for welding of carbon steel and 97,5:2,5 ratio for welding stainless steel). If you weld outside, this shield can get blown away by the wind, resulting in very poor quality welds with lot of small holes (pores). Stick welding is better for welding outside. If you were to weld inside, you need to have appropriate ventilation, because fumes from welding (especially stainless steel) can be dangerous. You need to remove or cover all the material that can start fire like wood, flamable liquids, gases, etc.).

There are safety standards that you need to comply with, based on what you want to weld, what is the surrounding environment, if there is a risk of fire,etc.

If you have never welded before, the best advice is to get some welding and safety training before. Even online training can warn you of some risks.

Here in Slovakia, you are not allowed to weld legally unless you have qualification for it (3 week course with qualification exam, part of the exam are safety precautions).

I will give you just one tip. Never degrease the steel with products that contain trichloroethylene. They are commonly used as degreasing agents. During welding trichloroethylene decomposed into phosgene, which is a warfare poisonous gas.
That sounds like a bit of a challenge. How much welding experience do you have? A couple of things to think of. 90% of welding is preparation. That’s very noisy, creates a lot of sparks and metal debris. Think noise nuisance and fire hazard. Also think about the shielding gas. Any slight breeze will be a problem. If I’m not working in a workshop, Arc (stick welding) is the only way to go. Arc is a PITA on thinner metal and more difficult to make look pretty!

I don’t know you and you may be an experienced welder. YouTube makes it all look easy, but it isn’t. Anything that will take a load or affects safety needs to be done by a competent welder.
Welcome to the forum. :) What is the project??
What about looking for a communal workshop where you could do the work? I wouldn't weld in a communal area. It will almost certainly annoy someone.
My dad welded up some stands to stick the old curtains outside.
He was afraid of someone/animals getting blinded.
My dad welded up some stands to stick the old curtains outside.
He was afraid of someone/animals getting blinded.
Animals would need to look into the welding arc for a longer periods of time. I do not think that someone would get blinded, but it irritates eyes a lot, so they become red and you feel pain later.
Simple stick welding can be easily picked up by the novice.However, welding in an industrial environment may require certification etc..For the DIY welder basic safety measures need to be considered. So, invest in a decent helmet with auto-darkening, leather gauntlets, arm gaiters and a leather apron if sitting below the. Think about the material being welded....avoid galvanised steel as the fumes given off can be deadly. Think about the fire risk and have water or appropriate extinguisher to hand. Invest in a range of appropriate welding clamps. Welded steel will bend and deform. As others have said, screen your welding to avoid "flash eye" to animals and people.Finally, keep practicing.
In addition to the safety concerns you need to consider potential damage to surfaces that may be caused by welding and grinding- the metal particles produced by grinding will go everywhere and leave rust stains in time, also avoid grinding near any glazing, particularly if it has a soft coating.
You would need screens so that neighbours (and animal as previously mentioned) do not get 'arc eye'. I does not take long to get it and someone just standing to the side can get even though they do not look directly at the arc.
Believe me it is PAINFUL!!! It's like being blind.
If you do start welding use the new type helmet (to me anyway) where the screen goes from clear to instantly.
Tig welding is more involved as you have to use both hands and be quite meticulous. Mig is point and squirt and the weld is instant.