If you had asked me six months ago if I had any interest in welding, I would’ve shot you a withering not in a million years look. I probably would’ve rolled my eyes and laughed.
People change. In preparation for our van dwelling conversion, Jef and I took a MIG welding class today, and it was SO MUCH FUN. If I didn’t think that the fumes and airborne particulates would give me cancer, I’d probably want to learn welding as a trade. I mean, what’s cooler than being able to make your own stuff? To develop a design for a product or a piece of furniture, and then to be able to simply make the darn thing out of plain steel―it’s the coolest skill ever!
We started the day off by learning all the safety protocol. Important stuff when you’ve got a little gun (with a hair trigger) in your hand that shoots electricity out of it. Mere minutes later, the entire shop was abuzz with fans whirring, welding guns sizzling, and AC/DC blaring in the background. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little old school heavy metal to set the mood.
The metal pillows we created in class seemed like a strange departure from learning actual welding techniques, but I assume the purpose was to stress the joints to see if any of our welds ripped open. Thankfully, mine did not.
I wish I took some photos of the my lap welds before I ground them, because they were beautiful. And I really mean that. Gorgeous rows of shiny beading, no gaps, divots, or bubbles. You’ll have to settle for this one shot, one nice line of beading surrounded by hurried sloppy garbage.
I had no idea that along with welding, today I’d be learning how to use a grinder. What? Grind away excess metal? Can you even do that? Yes, it turns out that you can. And should.
By the end of the class, we figured out that I enjoy welding, and Jef enjoys grinding. This works out very well because I hate grinding, and Jef hates welding. We can already see how the division of labor is going to go when it comes times to actually make something. One or two classes more, and we’ll be ready to go.