Are you starting your career as a welder or looking to improve your professional skills? We can help! We’ve compiled a list of common mistakes every welder should avoid so you can avoid some typical pitfalls that have plagued other welders.
Lack of Preparation
A welding job can go bad before a welder even lights his torch without adequate preparation in place. Before welding, welders must remove dust, rust, paint, and any other substances or contaminants on the metal.
There are multiple methods for preparing the metal—most metals don’t require much more than a chemical solvent, like acetone, for cleaning. For dirtier or more rusted metals, an angle grinder or abrasive blasting tools are more effective in wiping away rust and other contaminants before welding.
Insufficient Safety Precautions
No matter what or where you’re welding, safety is always the top priority for yourself, your workstation, and others nearby. One of the most common mistakes welders make that should always be avoided is not wearing adequate safety gear.
Pro Tip: One of the biggest complaints welders have is uncomfortable safety gear, so invest in safety garments that are comfortable to wear.
Dressing appropriately is a safe welding habit that every welder must practice. A welder should never work without a welding helmet, hearing protection, steel-toe boots, and fire-resistant clothing. It’s easy to get complacent and forget things like fire-resistant garments or proper footwear, but all it takes is one slip-up without the correct gear to sustain a severe injury.
Incorrect Tool Selection
A welder has a wide selection of tools for various applications, so, naturally, sometimes they use the wrong tool for the job. Different electrodes and wires are suitable for numerous applications, and whether a welder doesn’t know better or thinks they can get away with it, they end up using the wrong electrodes and wires, and the work suffers.
Not only does the wrong tool likely lead to mistakes and failures, but it can be dangerous for the welder and their surroundings. Ensure that you’re using suitable tools for whatever welding applications you’re doing before beginning—it’ll save you future problems and keep you safe.
Neglecting Tool Maintenance
A welder is only as good as their tools, so their equipment must be well-maintained, clean, and suitable for work always. But tools don’t just clean themselves automatically, and it’s all too common for welders to procrastinate or neglect tool maintenance.
But equipment maintenance is essential to a welder operating effectively, efficiently, and safely. Always set aside time before and after using your welding tools to ensure that they’re always at peak functionality when using them.