A few years ago most people didn't know much about
mig welding at all. Now it has skyrocketed in popularity after shows like Jesse
James' Monster House, the Tuttles' American Chopper, and various other cable tv
shows about hot rods, motorcycles, and other projects. We went 10 years with no
cable around my house until a couple of years ago. Now I don't know how I lived
without it! I've probably seen every episode of the above shows, most of them
more than once.
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All this attention has stirred up hobby enthusiast's interest
in using mig in their garages or shops. And since mig welding is easy to learn,
and really affordable to purchase, a lot of people are striking arcs and learning
to burn. The only negative I've seen is the lack of safety on a lot of the shows.
I've seen everything from grinding with no eye protection, to welding with no
eye protection. Drilling with the work piece not being fastened, not using gloves,
and other BAD safety practices, or should I say lack of safety practices are being
broadcast all the time.
I once had a professor tell me that we are all
"tab". What the heck is "tab" you might be wondering? Well,
I was wondering the same thing until she explained that we are all "temporarily
able bodied!" All it takes is a split second to change that. And if you've
ever been hurt bad like I have, you know that's true. My definition of hurt bad
is when your brain screams to you "OH MY GOD! YOU'VE NEVER BEEN HURT THIS
BAD!!!" The next thing you hear if you're lucky enough to be conscious is
the wail of the ambulance siren.
You then find yourself in the hospital
wondering if you'll ever be the same, when you're getting out of there and how
you're going to pay your bills when you do. It ain't fun getting hurt. So what
do we do? We do our best to keep from it! It constantly amazes me to see people
take chances in the shop or field. Instead of taking a lousy couple of minutes
to grab a pair of cutting glasses, they'll make a cut either without any glasses,
or with clear safety glasses.
Never mind that a nice glob of 2000 to 6000
degree molten metal might splash up in the eye. And those uv rays that are burning
your retina won't matter as long as you just make a few cuts, or just shut your
eyes while mig welding right? There's a lot of people with burned eyes both by
contact (the molten steel popping into the eye), or by light burns (the ultra
violet radiation) that wish they would've taken that minute or two to put on the
right eye protection.