How to Become a Welder: Steps to a Professional Career

When erecting the 5.4-ton Iron pillar of Delhi in India at around 310 A.D., the workers could not know how much influence welding would have on the world today.

Sixteen hundred years later, our progress beyond the ancient forge-welding process is evident. Anywhere you look there are bridges, skyscrapers, airplanes, and even cell phones, all thanks to welding.

As the American Welding Society states: “Welding is the secret ingredient that keeps today’s world together.”

Now, are you thinking: “What exactly does it take to become a welder?”

If so, then you’re in luck. In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step everything you need to know about how to become a welder.

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The 7 (Or So) Best Welding Books in My DIY Library

The right welding book by a gifted instructor-author will have you welding in no time. And a good book can help you push through when you hit a wall with a new project.

It’s a great time to take up welding. Welding machines are more affordable, safer and easy for beginners to use.

While new welders are easy to use, developing basic skills and knowledge can ensure you'll enjoy welding. Beginner frustration (lack of success) can end hobbies before the fun begins.

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What Size Gas Cylinder for MIG Welding? It’s Decision Time

Have a new welder? Or, making the switch from flux-core to gas? Then it’s time to think about what size gas cylinder for MIG welding is right for you.

As with starting any new hobby,  you probably have no idea how much welding you'll do—let alone how much gas you'll go through. But you'd like to have some sense of how long MIG gas will last before deciding on cylinder size.

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What is a Tweco® Style MIG Gun?

How many innovative product designs can you name that have lasted half of a century?

In 1969, Tweco Products, Inc. (formerly Townsend Welding Equipment Company) introduced a new MIG assembly design. Tweco’s invention used a single cable to transfer gas, welding wire, and electrical power to the MIG gun. The MIG gun was also a new lightweight, cool-operating design.

Most MIG guns mounted on today’s modern MIG welders follow the fifty-year-old Tweco design. And, many product descriptions include the phrase “Tweco Style” when referring to MIG torches or consumables. Many buyers are left wondering: What is a Tweco Style MIG gun?

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MIG Welding with 100% Argon Shielding Gas

Welders are problem solvers—and running out of MIG gas in the middle of a project is a problem. 

We also experiment. So you may ask if the gas kept on hand for TIG, or MIG welding aluminum could be pressed into service. Would MIG welding with 100% Argon on mild steel let you finish your project without a trip to the local (or not so local) gas supplier?

Or, is it possible to get by with one bottle of 100% Argon welding gas for all your MIG and TIG work?

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What Shade Lens for MIG Welding? The Easy Way to Be Safe

Hands-down, my auto-darkening helmet is my favorite piece of welding safety equipment. I appreciate technology that not only makes a product safer but more comfortable and enjoyable to use.

Adjustable auto-darkening welding helmets protect your eyes from radiation and bright welding arcs with lens coatings and electronic shades from DIN 3 to a super dark DIN 14.

A light shade setting of number 3 or 4 provides enough visibility to position your MIG gun without having to lift your mask, but what shade lens for MIG welding?

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How to Reduce Spatter When MIG Welding: Top 4 Fixes

As a beginner hobbyist welder, I was getting more spatter around my welds than I thought I should — sometimes a lot more. Because my skills with the grinder were improving faster than my welding skills, I looked into how to reduce spatter when MIG welding.

I found that the top causes of excessive weld spatter fall into four categories. You’ll find more troubleshooting tips below, but here’s the checklist I’m using to reduce MIG welding spatter.

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How to MIG Weld Aluminum Without a Spool Gun

You’ve heard the horror stories about MIG welding aluminum without a spool gun—but you’re still thinking of giving it a try.

I get it. Spool guns are expensive and have drawbacks.

Sure, aluminum welding is tricky even if you’re using a $250 spool gun. But if you’re up for the challenge—and have a little patience—I’ll show you techniques and tips to use your welder to MIG weld aluminum without a spool gun.

And you’ll see how one of the most popular 120-volt hobby welding machine does on aluminum straight out of the boxwithout a spool gun.

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Lincoln 140 MIG Welder Reviews: The Models Explained

Read any Lincoln 140 MIG welder reviews and you'll see how popular they are with hobbyist and DIY'er welders. 

But are you clear about the differences between the Lincoln 140 vs 140HD vs 140C MIG welders?

How about Weld-Pak®, MIG-Pak®, Easy-MIG® and PRO MIG® branding?

Most Lincoln 140 MIG welder reviews don't address model differences.


WelditU
REVIEW
LINCOLN 140HD
(RETAIL)

QUALITY


EASE OF USE


FEATURES


VERSATILITY


VALUE


SUMMARY
SCORE

Quality transformer-build makes it on the heavy side. Easy to use and dependable for the hobbyist. Aluminum capable. Somewhat pricey. 

OVERALL SCORE

3.9

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Best Welder for Beginners? 19 Smart Reasons for MIG

The best welder for beginners, if chosen wisely, could be the last you'll ever need. As a bonus, you won't weld like a beginner for long.

Ease of use and versatility combine to make a welder the best for beginners. 

Simple enough to use that a beginner can quickly start making useful welds without frustration, and versatile enough to weld popular metals of different thicknesses under a variety of conditions.

And, the best of these machines will continue to meet your needs well beyond your beginner's stage.

I like how this forum member summed it up:

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