The way I look at things, if you want to do something like learn to weld, there are a couple of ways you can do it.
1. Get a welder, and start welding – You might have some success, you might get frustrated and stop. You might get OK at welding on flat pieces You won’t have much of an idea on what you are doing wrong, and how to fix it
2. Get a welder, get a book, and start welding, and reading when you have a spare moments. This is the way I’m doing it so far. My book is actually more than one book. Its the whole internet. One the internet, there are many forums, and many websites, some helpful, some less than helpful. If you look hard enough, you can find books and PDFs with valuable information in them that can help you
3. Get a welder, get a book, and get an education. This is probably the best way to do it, and really the only way in this day and age if you want to earn a living from it. You’ll have someone to give you feedback, to tell you what you are doing right / wrong. You’ll have access to equipment that you couldn’t get to use otherwise. You’ll learn much more, and experience much more than you could just at home.
The actual references:
For the time being, I’m taking the #2 option, of welding, and trying to read. Trying to take in what I can. I thought I would do this post to show others wanting to learn to weld were I’m finding my information. Some of the references I’ve found are posted below:
Books / PDFs
CIG’s The Manual Arc Welding Handbook. This is a pretty old book I belive, but seeming the process hasn’t changed much, if at all over the last 20 – 30 years (or longer) I figure its still a very handy book to have a look through.
The Miller Arc welding guide is a handy reference. You can download it from their website HERE. It could also be worth taking a look at their website, especially if you are looking for info on TIG or MIG welding, as they have guides for those too.
The tutorials at www.mig-welding.co.uk are a fantastic place to start with your learning. There is an stick/arc tutorial as well as a MIG tutorial. I’ve seen them linked to quite a bit on the net when people are asking how to weld. They also have a great forum which is definitely worth a look.
The Welding Web forum is also a great source of information. It is an american welding forum, populated by a lot of very experienced welders from all over the world. If you ask well thought out questions, and can post welder settings etc… and photos, they seem to be fairly happy to offer feedback. I’m yet to post my practice welding on it, but at some point I think I probably will, to get some feedback on how I’m going. I think at the moment I’m still learning from my own critical review process.
So, that’s a start. There are other references out there, there are books and videos out there that could be informative, you just need to do a bit of research. I’m a bit short for time this week due to our honeymoon, uni work, regular work, and another trip, so I couldn’t add more of what I have, but I’ll try to tell you all about more info when i can find it.