It seems every time I look at at headline that has “welding” in the title it’s about a welding school expanding their offerings–the predicted shortage of welders is here.
There are a lot of welding school options, from your local community college where the courses may be more affordable, to the more specialized training schools like Wyotech, Lincoln Electric’s Welding School, or Tulsa Welding School where you can learn pipe welding, automotive technology, shipfitting and sheet metal fabrication. (Check out the American Welding Society’s Welding School Locator to find a program near you.)
Once you’ve made the decision to go to school you’ll need to have some of your own gear. Most welding schools will most likely give you list of welding supplies, starting with welding safety.
Start with Welding Safety
There’s been such a big push to get more women interested in welding as a career, and I can see by some of the comments on this site, our readers are often women who are looking for information about getting into the industry. And so, with summer winding down and Labor Day just around the corner… that means Back To School! Your first classes will probably be basic MIG and Stick welding, so you won’t need fancy expensive equipment at first, but you will want some good basic personal protection equipment (PPE) products. We recommend at a minimum: welding gloves, a jacket, a helmet, and a respirator.
Your welding gloves should fit well for optimal dexterity (to figure out your size, check out this handy chart) so unless you have “Big Man Hands” you’ll want to select a glove made for women. We like the Revco One of our favorites is the Revco Angelfire Welding Glove. It’s constructed with top quality thin cut kidskin leather, with pig skin palms for the best in protection and the ultimate in flexibility. And be sure to save your welding gloves for welding and use more rugged metal worker gloves for your prep and finish work. Continue reading
Arc-Zone’s Joanie rockin’ the VelvetArc jacket and looking pretty stylish in that respirator!
June is National Safety Month and I heard a story the other day about a young (wet behind the ears) man who showed up for his summer job at a construction site wearing those super baggy, hang-below-your-behind pants. You know, the kind of pants you have hold up with one hand to keep ’em from falling down… Well, this young man was advised that he needed to wear pants that fit, and I’m sure the young man thought his boss was a jerk, that he didn’t understand just how cool it is to wear the baggy pants. After the 3rd day of not complying, the boss told him that if he continued to show up with those baggy pants, he’d have to pay him half his wage, since he was only using one hand to do his job and everyone else was using both hands.
Now you’re wondering what that story has to do with welding safety, right? It’s all about fit! Baggy pants can drag on the floor, rolled up sleeves can come undone, gloves too big make it hard to work. As a woman welder the ill-fitting welding apparel is all too familiar. Fortunately there are some better fitting options available for us. Continue reading
Given the continued projected shortage of skilled welders, one can only expect the number of women in the welding industry to grow… and with that growth, a demand for welding apparel that fits well.
AngelFire welding apparel for women
We all know that women are shaped differently than men. But did you know that AngelFire is not the only welding apparel for women?
Miller is introducing a new women’s line of their Arc Armor® apparel.
We are excited to see more options for women who weld in terms of apparel. Continue reading
If you’re in the market for a new welding helmet, you may want to check out these uniquely American helmets:
This is the Pro-Hobby American Eagle II Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet from Miller.
- Engineered for Affordable Performance With Cool Graphics & Styles.
- Industry Leading Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Perfectly Balanced Between Performance & Price.
- The Best Performance & the Best Styles From the Best in the Business.
This stylized Eagle Helmet is also available in the Performance Series from Miller.
As someone who has worn glasses since the 4th grade one of my greatest fears has always been that I would go blind. So this last week of National Safety Month I wanted to write about Eye Protection.
Fortunately, welding helmets are a lot more comfortable than what’s shown in this Library of Congress photo from 1944!
Protect your Eyes While Welding
It sounds obvious, but eye injuries are one of the most common types of injuries on the welding job. And in the case of arc flash–which you can get even if you turn your head away instead of wearing UV protection–the damage can accumulate over time. And even seemingly innocuous tasks can result in foreign material in your eye, so always use eye protection: goggles, safety glasses, or welding helmets.
At Arc-Zone we developed this Guide to Eye Care for Welders (.pdf), print it out and keep it in your shop. There’s a section on what to do in an emergency that I hope you never use, but keep it in an easily accessible spot if you ever find yourself in an emergency….