Patience Makes Good Welds

Published on: 16:07PM Jun 24, 2017

In my defense, we're paid on a flat-rate system that rewards fast, efficient work. But I was reminded last week that welding is one place where "quick" often results in flawed results.

I had to do some significant welding and maybe got in too big of a hurry--didn't take time to remove all the paint down to bare metal, didn't take time to bevel the edges of the pieces I was welding, didn't take time to close the shop's overhead door. I hadn't welded 1 inch when the sound of the welding arc warned me that I was doing a crappy job.

So I stopped, took a breath, and made myself take time to do proper preparation. I ground away all the paint near where I was welding, down to bare metal. I beveled the edges of the pieces. And I closed the overhead door so that stray breezes (it was a windy day) didn't disrupt the shielding gas on the MIG welder I was using.

The improved results were evident as soon as I struck an arc. It sounded like eggs frying, and the welding bead was smooth and flat and something I could be proud of. I knew that good welds come from good preparation. Even arc welders, which are famed for welding rusty, painted metal, perform better if things are prepped to optimize their performance.

I just need to remember in the future to slow down to weld better.