Welding stainless steel can be a challenge, but here are some pointers to make it easier for those who are just starting out. Whether you are into stainless steel tank fabrication or creating a large sculpture, there are things you can do to make the process smoother.
There are three basic types of welding machines available:
- Arc welders
- MIG welders and
- TIG welders
Arc welders are inexpensive and easy to control, and most artists who are interested in working with metal start here. Arc welding machines will join metal even if it is rusty and somewhat dirty which makes them a versatile choice. MIG welders are the easiest for beginners to learn to use and create very smooth joints. You can join thinner pieces of metal with a MIG welder than an arc welder, but all surfaces must be absolutely clean. The TIG welder creates very strong, very smooth welds and it is the choice for stainless steel tank fabrication and working with softer metals such as aluminum. TIG welders work at lower temperatures than arc or MIG welders.
Welding requires an array of safety equipment:
- a helmet with a faceguard,
- heat-proof gloves,
- heavy boots,
- a shirt with long sleeves,
- a welding apron and
- a fire extinguisher.
It’s very important to have the proper equipment to protect yourself and prevent injuries.
Welding is not something you should try to pick up on your own. If you want to expand your art into the metal area, look for some classes for beginners. Career and technical schools often offer night classes for people who want to learn to weld, and there you will be taught the correct and safe way to do it.
Welding can be a fun and exciting process if you have the correct equipment, pay attention to safety and learn the proper techniques. Even difficult material such as stainless steel can be made into beautiful works of art.