I would like to learn about welding for the purpose of furniture making. Welding together table bases. Potentially cutting metal for applications. Whats the best way to start to learn about this skillset? Obviously there is youtube but that can be piecemeal info. Wanted to see if there were courses or approaches I should begin to investigate. thanks
I am still not a great welder but improving.
I have been using Flux-core as I did not want the hassle of gas. For the stuff I have been doing this is working well enough.
I have used MIG and I think it’s easier to get a better weld than FCAW.
My learning approach was:
Watch YouTubers, practice, watch more YouTube, practice… repeat
Get a decent welder, it matters. You must have the heat capacity needed to weld whatever thickness/type of material you plan on welding. I started with a HF but ended up with a Lincoln, man what a difference.
Then you have to learn how to set up the welder. The right settings, wire type, and gas or flux. Learning this for me was a mix of videos, mentorship, and practice. The optimum settings for every project are different.
Learn how to prepare the material. Like brazing/soldering the weld area needs to be clean. Proper grounding is important as is the work holding.
Find a mentor… my brother is a professional welder. Sitting next to him and watching him boosted my learning curve.
Very good advice, if you live near a technical school see if they do welding courses, local makerspaces are another way to get hands-on help.
I’m lucky enough to have done a welding course at my technical college, and got to do some in the workshop at university too. There is nothing like practice for this; dont expect to get good results immediately. My first attempt to seam weld two plates together was described by my tutor as looking like ‘bird shit on a plate’. I got much better with practice.
Around me, there are also community colleges where you can take welding courses; another source of info.
When you talk about furniture, I’m assuming that you care about how the weld looks. You’ll probably eventually want to learn TIG welding in that case.
I’ll chime in to also recommend a local tech school or community college. They often have great welders, tables, and other gear that will let you focus on the welding itself. Once you know how to weld it’s 100x easier to know what gear you need for your own shop.
this is all great info. thank you all so much.