Some of you are probably wishing you could get into the shop and learn a few new skills.
Welding 101 is one of the most popular classes we offer at the Innovation Hub. So, I thought I would share with you all some of my favorite welding and metalworking videos. There is something for beginners all the way up to the most experienced metal fabricator. So without further ado…
The Make Something channel is one of my favorites. While most of his videos are about different woodworking projects they have recently been expanded out to other materials. This video is fantastic for the beginner. In this video, Dave, the host, has been having trouble with his welds—they don’t look very good and not being very strong so he invited a friend and former instructor over to help give him some advice while he is welding. This is so important because he gives those little hints that are so hard to remember when just talking about how to weld. Little things like what to listen for and why and how to adjust your angle when welding different joints. They also go over some basic settings for setting up your welder. It’s a fantastic video full of useful information.
Jimmy Diresta’s YouTube channel is the well I can always go back to and find something awesome and inspiring to build. In this video he has two other makers, JD Brewer and Jody from welding tips and tricks, at his shop to help him show all of us some tips and tricks for welding. I would put this video in the beginner to slightly experienced range. They go over a bevy of different tricks to help you set up your machine and how to dial your settings in. There are also tons of little tips they give you in the video that you only learn from decades welding. If you have only dreamed of welding together a couple of pieces of metal you will learn how from this video and if you have been welding for a while now you’re sure to learn something. This video is a little longer than the normal videos for this channel but don’t let the time stop you from watching it. I’ve watched it multiple times and learned something new every time.
So you have your welder set up and can weld metal together pretty good. Awesome, now what? Well in steps This Old Tony with his video on Oxy/Acetylene. This Old Tony is a fantastic metalworker and you should watch all his videos. This video is great for the beginner torch wielder. In his video about setting up and using Oxy/Acetylene you will learn exactly how to do just that. What I love about this video over so many other videos out there about the same topic is he has a very simple way of explaining why you do things a certain way. He doesn’t go into extremely scientific explanations about the chemical reactions you can get, he does explain why but he keeps it simple. He also has a very fun and dry sense of humor in his videos and clearly likes to have some fun. If you need to know how to use this amazing tool this is a great place to start.
What’s this another This Old Tony video so soon? But you already talked about him in just the previous video, you might say. Well trust me his channel is chock full of amazing videos and I wanted to make sure you watch them. In this video This Old Tony makes a scissor lift to raise and lower his motorcycle. He goes step by step on how he builds, from scratch, this impressive little lift. What I really enjoyed about this video is how it shows him working through the problems he comes across and shows that it’s ok if not everything is done exactly perfectly. I mean not everything has to have a super tight tolerance. While you might not have all the same tools at your fingertips that Tony does you can get away with a little slop in your build and it will still work. As an instructional video this one might be better for the more experienced metalworker but is still fantastic for the beginner to watch just for the inspiration.
What’s this, a Bon Appetit video on a list of metalworking videos? How could I get so confused? Well fear not, this video is about welding an outdoor grill. Jimmy Diresta and Brad Leone team up to make the ultimate grill. This video shows you not only how to build an awesome grill you can take anywhere you want to go, as long as you’re going in your car that is, but it also shows you the thought process of designing the grill and how important it is to not always stick to your initial design. Sometimes it’s ok to change your design along the way if you come up with something better. Plus on top of all that it’s just fun to watch. The second part of this video series is Brad teaching Jimmy how to cook on the grill and is well worth the time to watch as well.
I hope this gives you some ideas and at least a solid foothold on welding and what you can do with it. Remember there is one thing all of these videos have in common, people out doing stuff. The most important thing you can do to become a good welder is start. Practice all you can when you can. Remember none of these people started welding perfect beads they had to spend time doing basic welds to get better. I can’t wait to see you all in the shop with your welding hoods when this is all over.
Adam Kittrell is the Wood and Metal Shop Foreman at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. He has been working in and around shops since middle school and has only cut his fingers on a saw once. His shop teachers would be proud.