Originally Posted by paulerow
remember those little balls of melted steel rolling off the table always get in your shoe, so wear bluejeans and boots, gloves and a leather welding jacket, and if you can afford it a auto-dark helmet
I can vouch for the strange attraction between shoes and molten globs of steel -- it taught me real quick not to wear those cheap, tops-vented-by-woven-plastic sneakers while welding. That cherry red steel ball will zip right through and the melted plastic makes it stick when it gets to your foot. Wear all-leather footgear!
Originally Posted by oldred
There are simply too many myths and bad habits associated with welding and unfortunately all too often these just get passed back and forth by well intentioned but ill-informed friends who weld but are not pros.
You mean even if I drink 2 gallons of buttermilk and put slivers of potatoes under my eyelids I still can't weld an army tank to an aluminum bridge using galvanized roofing nails for rods without a helmet? How about if I sit on a hot stove while doing the above? (Sorry, oldred, I couldn't resist).
Speaking of bad habits, and remembering the "more is better" syndrome that's somewhere in the Welding Coach
thread cboy linked, a new weldor should avoid substituting a build-up of weld for good fitting and good prep. Right after buying a 110V flux core wire welder, I attempted to weld up an exhaust system with it. I took the car to a local shop for a front-end alignment and the mechanic there, a friend, ran it up on the lift to check the underside. His first comment on seeing the exhaust system was, "You must have some monster mud daubers at your house."
I've since given away the wire welder and now have a true mig, based on advice received here. That plus an auto-darkening helmet and that Welding Coach thread made a big difference for me. No more monster mud daubers.