Setting Up A Mig Hobby Shop
This is the introductory article on setting up a hobby workshop using Mig. I'm calling it A Mig Hobby Shop and will write with the beginner in mind. This is my idea of what you would need to do, buy, build, etc. to get you a good work place going for your handiwork. As a union Iron Worker I'm used to working on structural steel, but in my 15 years of teaching High School and College classes I've learned some things myself about hobby welding also.
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It might be a surprise to find out you don't have to have a lot of room to set up a Mig hobby shop. Of course, the more room the better, but if you just have a small space in your garage or outdoor shed, that'll work.
FIRST and FOREMOST is SAFETY!!!
Make sure you have a safe work area to weld and cut in. That means you especially have to consider fire and fume hazards. Your personal Mig hobby shop has to be fire-proof and you have to make sure it has adequate ventilation. You should have a fire extinguisher AND know how to use it. I've seen people panic during a fire and not even be able to get the fire extinguisher to work, much less know where to point it! (Aim at the base where the flames are being fueled.)
Whether it is a huge factory, or your small Mig shop, safety has to be your number one concern. You could catch the place on fire, blow yourself up, asphyxiate yourself, get cut, smash appendages, get light and contact burns on your skin and eyes, and even get crushed if you keep big plates. So just because it's just your little Mig welding hobby shop, it doesn't mean it can't be dangerous. All that aside though, if you use a little common sense and educate yourself you can keep a safe working environment.
In your Mig welding hobby shop the main thing to remember is slag from a cutting torch can bounce 35' across a floor so you gotta' really look around before you start. Remember that a rag or paper can smolder with little smoke and then later catch on fire. With Mig you use a shielding gas that can cause your lungs to collapse if you breathe it so you want ventilation. When Oxygen and Acetylene from a cutting rig escape and accumulate you have a BOMB waiting to go off, so again the ventilation is important.
I try to warn as many people as possible about working on used containers. I don't do it no matter what! They can be flammable (burn you), explosive (concussion blow you up) and toxic (asphyxiate, poison, etc.) Almost every year I hear of someone getting hurt, maimed or killed working on containers.
So here's where I tell you to make sure to study up and LEARN all the safety procedures, safety is up to YOU!
Go to Setting Up a Mig Hobby Shop - Part 2