When you want to do some projects on your own property, you might entertain the idea of learning to weld. Welding can be an enjoyable task that gives you a sense of entitlement, but if you don't know what kind of welding to use for your projects, they may not be completed properly and you won't know why. Here is a breakdown of different types of welding that you might consider learning.
TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. A tungsten electrode is what powers the welding process in this kind of welding, and is cooled by Argon gas. Because a gas is not the source of power, TIG welding is sometimes seen as safer than other methods. It creates a soft weld that works for many home projects because it can be shaped and further fabricated at a later time. TIG welding may not be suitable for heavy equipment, however.
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. With this type of welding, a wire electrode in the tip melts metal upon contact and is cooled with Argon gas. Some of the larger industrial shops use MIG welding to work on their oversize pieces and equipment. MIG welding is useful for these applications because it creates a tough weld unlikely to be bent after welding is done. If you plan to hammer pieces into shape or refabricate metal sheets later, that would be difficult with MIG welding. This type of welding also creates more runoff, so if you don't have much room for waste, that could be a reason to choose another type.
Oxygen acetylene welding, commonly referred to as oxy-acetylene welding, is another type of welding to try. Unlike the other methods, oxy-acetylene welding does not use an electrode; it uses a flame. The flame, which results from mixing the two gases acetylene and oxygen, is applied to metal during a project. This kind of welding is what many people think of when they think of a welder at work. Like TIG welding, oxy-acetylene creates a soft weld that allows for hammering and reshaping of metals, which makes it suitable for home projects. Contact local oxygen acetylene welders for more info on this.
Because acetylene and oxygen are both gases that are flammable, it is vital to store them properly and away from the house so that you don't put yourself or your family at risk.
Now that you're better informed about common welding methods, talk with local welders, whether they be hobbyists or professionals, to learn more. Once you've started with a project, it's a good idea to have a professional welder provide guidance.