A beginner's guide to welding on the farm
Welding is an invaluable skill to have. Whether it's fixing a small break in a machine or bringing a labour-saving device to life, there's great satisfaction in being able to "do it yourself".
While the welding of some parts and materials require more sophisticated equipment and higher levels of skill than others, a lot of jobs can be done around the farm with even a fairly basic skill level and beginner's welding equipment.
Before you can begin welding you will need some basic equipment, much of which will probably be lying around the average farm workshop anyway.
A file, a wire brush and an angle grinder are all very useful tools for edge preparation. Once these three are assembled you will have to get your hands on a welder.
An arc welder is a cheap and cheerful option, typically costing from €200-€300. Arc welders are well suited to the beginner because they are cheap to both buy and run. Most are powered from a 16 amp, 220 Volt source, but some can even be run from a standard 13 amp 220 Volt source (three pin plug). Arc welding is the most common type of welding undertaken by novices.
A few safety considerations must be taken into account before you begin. Check that the leads of the welder are in good condition and that the electrode holder is undamaged.
Ensure that the dark glass of the welding helmet is intact and not cracked. If you have an automatic welding helmet (one that darkens itself when you start welding), check batteries are in good condition or if it is solar powered, that it is fully charged.