Can you teach yourself to weld?
Anyone can teach themselves to weld at home. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people do exactly that.
It is as easy as buying some second-hand welding equipment or leasing you need. Then, watching some beginner welding videos, following along and practising what is being taught.
Provided you keep practising you will soon be able to quickly achieve reasonable results and carry out basic welding tasks. Of course, taking a few classes will speed up the learning process.
It is easier to learn how to weld when there is someone there watching what you are doing and helping you to make the necessary adjustments. But, if there are no face-to-face classes in your area, or they are too expensive, don’t worry. It is 100% possible to teach yourself to weld.
Why welding is a good skill to have
Welding is a skill for which there is high demand. People who take the time to teach themselves how to weld find it easier to get well-paid work.
At the time of writing, many Western countries were reporting that they were having problems finding good welders. For example, Over in the States, The American Welding Society is predicting that the US will face a shortage of 400,000 welders by 2024.
When you know how to weld it is possible to save money by making your own repairs. Being able to weld your exhaust rather than have to buy a new one is just one example.
It is also relatively easy to make a side income by taking scrapped items, welding them and selling them. Demand for used goods is increasing as people struggle to make ends meet and/or want to buy used items as a way to help the planet.
There is also a growing market for artwork that is made out of recycled materials. You will be amazed by how easy it is to turn scrap metal into beautiful sculptures, wall hangings, railings, fencing, furniture and ornaments.
Plus, a lot of the skills you need to be able to weld well are highly transferable. People who weld have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. Their problem-solving skills are honed and they tend to become more creative.
Is it hard to learn to weld?
Learning to weld takes time and practice. But it is not hard to learn to weld. Practically anyone can do it.
There are plenty of resources out there for you to use. Including lots of step-by-step how-to videos. You can also learn from books and online courses.
But face-to-face lessons are best. Most people learn faster by watching someone else and then giving it a go yourself is the best way by far to learn to weld. They can see what you are doing and recognize if things are starting to go wrong. Enabling them to then step in and provide a little extra guidance.
How long does it take to learn basic welding?
Most people can learn the basics of welding in a day. But mastering the skill takes far longer. Being able to create a secure, neat looking weld every time requires hundreds of hours of practice.
Getting enough practice is perhaps the biggest challenge a beginner welder faces. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to overcome this issue. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
How can you practice welding at home?
Surprisingly, there are a few ways to practice your skills without actually having to pick up a welding torch. You can find an example of this here.
You can also simply get some scrap metal, cut it into reasonably sized strips and continually practice with them. It is surprising how many practice welds you can get out of just one sheet of metal.
Helping friends and family out with their repairs also gives you a chance to practice. As does getting involved with charities and community projects that need welders. You may also find a local garage or repair shop that will be happy to let you weld alongside them in return for helping them out if they get busy.
What skills are needed to be a good welder?
Most people can learn to weld and become good enough at it to earn a living doing it. But someone with the following skills will find it easier to become a good welder.
- Manual dexterity
- Good eyesight
- Good hand-eye coordination
- A willingness to learn
- A degree of strength
- Good attention to detail
- Sound communication skills
- The ability to work in hot conditions
- Safety conscious
- Mathematical skills can be helpful
You do not need every single one of these skills to be able to start to learn to weld. Most of it you can learn while on the job, or there will be ways to get around anything you lack.
For example, if your hands are not particularly strong it is not to build them up through exercise. Or to use more clamps to hold things in place.
This is certainly the case while you are learning to weld. The more advanced the projects you tackle are the more important it will be that you have the list of skills mentioned above.
What is the easiest welding to learn?
If you are wondering where to start, try MIG welding first. The machine feeds the wire that is melted to create the weld at a preset speed. This means you do not have to think about how much heat is needed, the gas or anything else. Having only one task to focus on makes the process of learning to weld a lot easier.
As you can see it is possible to teach yourself to weld. So, the only question now is, what is your first welding project going to be?