A welder in a welding supply store can feel just like a kid in a candy store. There is an assortment of products available for welders, including everything from safety items to fancy welding tables. While a welder may not need every product available, it sure can be fun to look at the different types of products available and collect them when the tool budget allows.
Welding Machines Generate Heat and Melt the Metal
A welding machine is typically the first purchase a new welder makes. These machines are required for machine welding and they come in an assortment of types. The job of the machine is to heat up the metal and generate the heat needed to weld. Choose the type to purchase based on the type of welding projects that will be completed with the machine. Common welding machine types include:
• Spot welding machines, also known as resistance welding machines, are used in projects that involve overlapping metal sheets.
• Stick welding machines are often used for outdoor projects and can be difficult for the novice welder to master.
• Plastic welding machines are used for welding plastics. The two plastic pieces are joined, pressure is applied, and then the machine is used to combine the two pieces.
• Laser welding machines are one of the newest types of machines out on the welding market. This machine uses a laser to melt the materials and can be used with both metals and thermoplastics.
• Resistance welding machines use electricity to heat and then pressure to bond two materials together. While many metals can be used with this machine, common types include aluminum, steel, copper, nickel, titanium, silver, and gold.
• TIG welding machines are used when a precise and exact weld is needed. This machine is typically used for stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum.
• MIG welding machines, available in single-phase versions, three-phase versions, and all in one options. These are used with metals like stainless steel and aluminum.
Don’t Forget a Specialized Extension Cord
A new machine calls for a new extension cord. Yes, the machine comes with a cord, but it may not be long enough for certain projects. Generic everyday extension cords will not cut it for welding machines. A welding machine needs a cord rated 40A, 250V, and 10,000W.
Welding Tables Provide a Project Platform
Just as a scrap booker needs a craft desk, a welder needs a welding table for his or her welding projects. Deluxe versions have drawers for storage and have measurements marked on the top. A welding table provides a safe place dedicated to welding.
Every Welder Needs a Welding Helmet
Welding without a helmet is equivalent to driving without both a windshield and a seatbelt. The helmet protects the welder’s face, eyes, nose, ears, and beard. The light given off when welding can quickly damage a person’s vision and a stray spark can easily blind a person. Having a helmet blocks out the dangerous bright light and protects the welder from heat, stray sparks, and even catching their facial hair on fire. When visiting a welding supply store, look for a helmet that is labeled as an auto-darkening helmet. These allow a person to see the project clearly when they start and it auto-darkens while in use.
Protective Welding Sleeves
Welding burns happen, but a good pair of welding sleeves can help prevent them. These protect the welder’s skin from the heat from welding, as well as from stray sparks. These are available in an assortment of lengths, sizes, and materials. Many gloves also protector the wearer from being cut as well.
Look Cool in a Welding Apron
Protect fabric and clothing with a welding apron. These are typically made of a flame-resistant material such as leather. Look for one with pockets so that the wearer can keep tools, writing utensils, and their cell phone nearby. Welding aprons are not just worn by welders; chefs, medical staff, and even meat traders are known to buy and wear this type of apron. These items protect the wears not just from stray sparks and heat, but also from splashing liquids and the penetration of sharp objects.
A Metal File to Clean Up the Project
Just as people file their nails to make the shape more appealing and to smooth out any catches, welders use a metal file to clean up their welded pieces. Metal burrs are common on cutting projects, and a metal file allows the welder to get rid of those unwanted burrs. Best of all, metal files are budget-friendly, meaning every welder should consider getting one, or even two.
The 6013 Welding Rod
The 6013 welding rod is a type of electrode used for light to medium welding penetration. Welding with a 6013 rod is highly suggested for beginner welders because it’s a great choice for fitting joints that don’t fit properly, and the arc is very stable. It is commonly used with allow steel, mild steels, and galvanized steels. Welders use this on light fabrication projects, general projects, with sheet metals, on vehicle repairs, ship repairs, and even with steel surfaces that are overly worn out and damaged.
A Welding Fume Extractor for Air Quality
Another great product that can be found at welding supply Tulsa stores is a welding fume extractor, perfect for welders who will be welding indoors. People welding with gases and metals can be exposed to some dangerous and stinky fumes. This machine uses a fan switch and sucks the fumes out and away from the welder.
Visiting the Welding Store Can Be Fun
In conclusion, there are so many products available for welders that they can fill an entire welding supply store. Some products are needed for safety such as gloves, helmets, and fume extractors. Other items available are basics that a welder needs to enhance the process, such as welding tables, welding rods, welding wire and welding machines. Keep in mind that there is a third category of welding products, which is those that are available just for fun.