The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
I was talking recently to a production welder, and he told me that while welding he wears a full-blown, insulated leather welding gauntlet on his left hand, and a TIG welding glove on his right hand. The welding gauntlet allows him to comfortably position, hold and move hot metal pieces. The lightweight TIG welding glove protects his hand and wrist from sparks and slag, but its lightweight goatskin hide is flexible enough to give him better "feel" while holding and operating a stick electrode, or MIG handle and trigger.
In the past I've used either heavy welding gloves on both hands (which was clumsy) or lightweight cowhide leather gloves on both hands (then I couldn't handle really hot metal, and the cowhide shrank and got "hard" when exposed to extreme heat.) Using different kinds of gloves gives me the flexibility I need with my right hand, and the extreme heat protection I need on my left hand.
Maybe you had already figured this trick out, and always use different gloves when welding. But it was a "Duh!" moment for me.
And--in case you're one of those "manly men" who are tough enough to weld bare-handed, without gloves--the quality of my welding improved significantly when I started wearing gloves because I wasn't always jerking and jumping when sparks landed on my bare hands.
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