for the Hobby Welders
With more and more cable shows showing what can be
done with welding, it is becoming more popular as a hobby. I've taught surgeons,
engineers, airline pilots, business men and women, home makers, mechanics and
all kinds of various career people and tradesmen in my community education welding
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what do I
need to get a shop started at home? The answer is a BUNCH of money
kidding, you can actually start out pretty cheap. But one thing you gotta' remember
is cheap is not always good when it comes to tools and welding equipment.
used to be hard to find a place that sold welding equipment other than a welding
supply store, but that has changed drastically over the last few years. Now there
are paper catalogues, on-line catalogues, local hardware stores and big chain
hardware stores such as Home Depot and Loews. I remember the welding equipment
section at Home Depot and Loews barely taking any space on a shelf, and now they
have their own section not only with welding equipment, but also machines.
Tool and Harbor Freight come to mind for paper or on-line catalogues, and actual
stores where you can obtain welding equipment. Most all of these have both top-of-the-line
products, and cheaper not-so-top-of-the-line products. I bought a few grinding
brushes for my high-school welding shop the other day at a fraction of the cost
I usually pay. And they lasted a fraction of the time also!
first I thought my students were messing them up, but then I remembered what I
paid for them and the ol' saying
"You get what you pay for!"
know better than to buy welding equipment that is way too cheap, or know nothing
about, but I got suckered in by the low price. I "figured" a brush is
a brush, but boy did I figure wrong. That's not to say there aren't some good
deals out there. A lot of times stores will be over stocked in welding equipment
and just like any product want to get it off their shelves. That's when you can
find the real bargains if you keep on the lookout.
The more you check out
the catalogues, and visit the stores, the more you'll get an idea of the costs
of all the welding equipment out there. You'll also start becoming more familiar
with all the different kinds of tools available, many that are very handy, and
a lot that you can do without.
I once had a new student walk into my shop
looking like something from outer space. The welding supply store had sold him
about $250 bucks worth of stuff he didn't need. I sent him back for a refund for
everything but his gloves, hood, chipping hammer and brush!
Next, a list
and description of the welding equipment you'll want for a hobby shop.