Starting a new piece of work

05Dec09

Ok so this is my second attempt at blogging and this one will be more directed at what I am going to school for right now which is welding.  I’m currently a student at Advanced Technical Institute in Virginia Beach going for my associates in applied science in the field of structural and maritime welding.  The course work covers shielded metal arc welding, metal inert gas welding, and tungsten inert gas welding including advanced training in all three types to ultimately reach the certification for 6G welding.

The first thing I have to say about welding is that its not for everyone out there who thinks it can be done by anyone…….unless you have patience and a steady hand as well as no fear of creating a small sun in front of you that generates about 5,000 – 6,000 degree’s of heat and can light you up with an instant sunburn in less than ten seconds this is not for you.  You also need to have a good head for visualizing what your finished piece will look like and you need to be creative and that doesnt mean you have to be able to draw, several welders that I know are highly talented musicians that play in local bands here in Virginia Beach while others like myself dabble in photography and sketching and painting and writing.  If your hand is not steady your going to have a difficult time of properly welding two or more pieces of metal together and this is important because you have to have an equal bond between each metal part otherwise the bead will break on the weaker side or may itself break.  Each time you strike an arc you really are creating a minny sun right in front you no more than an arms length away some times and at other times inches from your welding shield ( this is the funnest for me to have that little glowing arc of light a few inches from my lense, its like playing with Zeus’s lightning bolts).  Because of the intense heat and the full spectrum of light that the arc puts out you have to wear protective clothing to cover all exposed parts of your body and you should also wear leather or cotton for most of your clothing except your hands and feet while avoiding polyesters which can melt and burn in a flash.

Like I said its not for everyone and as much as I hate some of the aspects of welding I do love it but there is one more thing that needs to be covered and that’s safety which given the track record of three of the night classes at my school recently I can see about 35 or so future welders who will either loose a limb or eye or their lives.  In welding its very important to know your area, this means that you need to walk around not only the area your in whether it be a room or an open floor plan but also to go outside of that immediate area and inspect the rooms around yours as well as those above and below for anything that’s flammable and or explosive whether it be solids liquids or gaseous and remove these items or cover them if they are not movable with fire cloth or venting gasses or flooding with an inert gas to remove oxygen.  Its also important to make sure your work area is clean of anything that can cause you to trip or fall on you and that can hinder your movements while welding in any way shape or form.  With the students I mentioned cleanliness of work place is apparently a four letter word or a concept that they have never heard of and its a daily occurrence for my class to come in and have to grind down work tables to get the spatter and weld beads off as well as sweep up all of the slag and to fish out un used filler rods and welding rods from trash cans along with un used welding coupons to minimize the amount of waste.  If your about to say “why haven’t you said anything to your instructor?”  well I will say that I have over a dozen times as have others in my class and not only is he the instructor but he is also the head of the department and as of this past Tuesday I am working on making my own personal table so that I don’t have to clean up after a bad welder.

Well that’s it for today, I will have to dig out some pics of my work to put it up and on slow days I will talk about where I live at as well.

Bill

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One Response to “Starting a new piece of work”

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