4 Facts About Automotive Welding for Those Interested in Automotive School
No one’s born with the know-how on fusing metal pieces together with an open flame. Inherently dangerous and testy to master, welding must be patiently learned and diligently practiced for improvement. Safety is also of the utmost importance when learning and using this skill. Those who learn to do it well will be able to offer prospective employers and customers a highly sought-after skill in the world of auto repair.
To understand a little more about welding, let’s take a closer look at this important process that should be on any mechanic’s skillset bucket list.
The Most Typical Welding Systems in a Mechanic’s Garage
There are three standard systems of welding you’re most likely to come across in an auto mechanic’s operation. Stick welding—also termed shielded metal arc welding—is the most basic of them, offering a less precise weld but still quite efficient solution for working on thicker pieces of metal.
Once a mechanic becomes more advanced in welding, they will often move up to the TIG (tungsten insert gas) weld, which provides a controlled index heat needed for cleaner, more advanced jobs.
The third top choice of mechanics is the MIG (metal insert gas) weld, less precise than TIG welding but easier to learn and often the go-to option due to its effectiveness on a wider range of sheet metal thicknesses.
The Most Common Welding Jobs Those with Auto Careers Should Know About
If you want to become an auto mechanic, you’re likely to hear your co-workers boast about all kinds of wild welding accomplishments, but three types of jobs are the most likely to roll into an auto repair shop.
Vehicle frame welding is usually needed to repair car parts that have been badly mangled in a collision. The bent pieces of metal are cut away, and new metal is welded in its place, often with a stick welder as this system is better for use on the thick types of metal found in vehicle frames.
When it comes to fender benders, a MIG welder is the mechanic’s best friend for putting damaged fenders back in place. Wheel welding has the mechanic using a TIG welder to repair wheel cracks caused by driving over potholes or other road hazards.
How to Setup for the Job
If you don’t set yourself up well before starting a weld job, the practice can take a lot longer than necessary, and can also be hazardous. To be safe and efficient, it’s best to plan ahead during auto careers by having all of your wearable safety gear and tools on hand, and making sure your welding area is free from all fire hazards. Sizing your patch before you start working is also an excellent idea, saving you a ton of cleanup afterwards.
Don’t Neglect Tacking for Preventing Distortion
Tacking is an excellent way to keep your metal pieces in place for good, clean welds. Not only will tacks placed at several points on the metal hold it in place, but it will also help to prevent distortion caused by too much direct heat contact.
To prevent excess heat and metal bends, remember to keep your heating time quick, move that welding point all the time, and be sure to keep your corners rounded. Practice makes perfect, so make sure to practice a lot during your training to gear you up for the real thing!
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