Starting Your Welding Education? Supplies Your Instructors Might Require You To Purchase
A welding education begins at a vocational or technical college. There is a lot to learn, and the program typically lasts somewhere between six months to two years, depending on the institution. If you have made the choice to become a welder, good for you! There are a lot of jobs available in this field right now, and the pay is highly competitive. However, before you can get that first paycheck from welding, you will need to get through your training. Your instructors are likely to require that you purchase the following welding supplies.
A welder's mask is essential to protecting your face, your eyes, your neck, and most of your head. If you do not have a welder's mask, you cannot weld. The extreme heat from the torch, along with the sparks, is enough to burn flesh and adhere contact lenses to your eyeballs permanently. Your instructors are also not likely to allow you to get anywhere near a welding torch without a mask, so this item should be at the top of your supply list.
Just as the mask protects everything above the shoulders, the gloves protect everything from fingertip to elbow. These gloves may look all black and rubbery, but they are not rubber at all. They are specially designed gloves that are very heavy, very thick, and resistant to heat, flames, ARC welding materials, and metal bits that may fly off a project with the sparks. Again, your instructors will not let you near a torch without the right protective gear.
If you have ever seen a blacksmith's or farrier's apron, then you have some idea of what this apron does. It protects the body from heat, sparks, and flying debris. Welding is serious business with multiple dangers, and you have to suit up correctly when you do this job.
An ARC Welding Torch
You will definitely need to buy your own torch at some point. Initially, your instructors will probably have torches in the instructional shop, but if you are going to work on assignments and projects on your own time, you will need your own equipment. You can buy used equipment for less from an industrial source that sells older equipment if and when cost is a factor.
You do not simply fire up a welding torch and melt metal together. There are various solid media that you melt with the torch to create metal patches that fuse items together. Your instructor will tell you which ones to get, seeing as they are various metals from nickel to cadmium to steel.