Category: Safety (page 1 of 2)

New Website:



I’d like to thank you personally for being a subscriber to my videos and to this “vlog”. You guys are the best.

I thought I’d just make quick announcement that’s going to be very exciting for a lot of you…

I get questions all the time like, “What sort of welding machine should I buy?” or “Where can I get a bargain on gear?”

I can answer the first question sometimes based on the user’s needs, but I don’t usually have a great answer for the second question… Gear can be expensive.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve finally got a solution for people looking for a great deal on gear.

My team and I have created a new marketplace for new and used tools. This will be a place where anyone can post their tools for sale, buy tools at great prices, all with totally secure transactions.

It’s like eBay for fabricators. A welder’s dream site for getting gear.

And here’s the kicker – the fees for selling on this website are way lower than what you’d pay to sell on other marketplaces like eBay. In fact, we charge less than half.

We just need listings! If you’ve got a tool or two that you’d like to sell, and you’ve got a few minutes, head over to and create a listing today. It will be well worth your effort.

Thanks again and Go Knock It Out.

– Jody

WeldingTips&Tricks: 2014 YouTube DVD

2014 DVD


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Welding Helmet Tips & Tricks


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TIG Welding Stainless Tubing

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This week, we weld stainless tubing.

After talking about scratch start tig welding a few weeks ago, I thought I’d talk about how to weld stainless tubing…a 6g stanless tube test using the same crude scratch start tig setup. It’s a Lincoln 225 AC buzz box with a diy rectifier hooked up to a tig torch. But with a twist.

Tig Finger (product image)

I made a crude foot switch so that I can stop and maintain shielding gas. It might seem rinky dink, but it really makes a big difference on a scratch start tig rig.

Stainless tubing used for food and beverage applications is mostly done with no filler metal.

Why is that?

One reason is that the main quality issue on food service tubing is the surface of the root pass. Not strength.

The ability of the surface of the inside of the tube to resist bacteria growth is the main goal…

And that means a root pass free from pits, oxide islands, crevices, etc.

A sugared root from no purge is about the worst thing that can happen.

The goal is a smooth and silver root pass with no crevices that can grow critters. Periodic bacteria swab tests months and years after the welds are made will tell the story. If tests are bad, it is very expensive and your reputation is at stake… it’s a big deal.

Islands of oxide added to the puddle from the end of a filler wire can also be a problem. That is one reason why filler metal is often not used. If filler metal is used, make sure to wipe it down and keep the hot end of the rod shielded with the torch argon.

In order to get a good purge, vents must be placed in the right places, to allow the argon to displace the air in the pipe. That’s why I put the vent in the very top of the 6g tube.

To get a good purge, it is helpful to think about argon like it was water.

Argon is heavier than air. It fills a container much like water does. So best practice is to insert the argon hose low, and position whatever is being welded so that the vent is the high point.

Also remember that argon does not support life. Tig welding in a small confined space can kill you because argon displaces air in small spaces like tanks, sumps, etc. Make sure to have ventilation anywhere you are tig welding.

Another thing to remember is what water does to an argon purge.

One drop of water in a stainless tube will prevent a really good purge.

Water evaporates and adds oxygen and hydrogen to the argon and that prevents a silver root.

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Air Compressor Belt Guard Welding Project

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In this weekly video, I am fabricating a belt guard for an air compressor.

Normally, I don’t sweat things if my air compressor goes out.

That’s because I have several electric grinders. 4 and 4 1/2″ 90 grinders, straight grinders, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Makita, and even a Harbor Freight straight grinder that will hurt you if you are not extra careful.

But my welding shop is inside a machine shop with CNC equipment. And when the air goes down in a CNC machine shop, they are not going to make any parts.

Shop air to a CNC machine shop is almost like electricity is to a welding shop. Without it, you are dead in the water.

A nearby shop offered an old air compressor that had been in storage outside in the laydown area.

It runs, but has no belt guard and that is kinda dangerous.

So this is Part 1 of a 2 Part Video on fabricating the belt guard.

50 years ago, no one would have got excited about no belt guard on a compressor.

Well today, things are different. What we viewed as normal 50 years ago, we cringe at as terribly unsafe in this day and time. Sometimes it goes too far.

For example, I had a comment on a video a few years ago about grinder guards. One fella ranted that in 30 years of work, he had never used a grinder without a guard and had no tolerance for anyone who made excuses why they had to remove the guard to get in a tight area.
He must not have worked in the same universe where I work because I have been in all kinds of areas where a grinder guard completely prevented any reasonable access.

I am all for safety. But common sense has to be part of the equation, too.

When common sense dies, unrealistic rules are made by unrealistic people. People who think all risk can be removed from the work area.

The only way all risk can be completely removed from a job is to just not do anything.

It used to be a common joke on construction jobs to stop working when the safety man came around. That way, you couldn’t be written up for a violation.

I even worked one place where every vice had to have rubber washers on each side of the handle because someone once got a blood blister from the handle.

I am not saying that is right or wrong. I am just saying.

Ever see the photograph of construction workers having lunch on a beam at the Rockefeller center building in 1932? Today, It evokes gasps. It makes some people just cringe to see all those men up so high in the air with no safety restraints. Yet no one on the beam seemed to be cringing at all. No safety belts, no harnesses, no hardhats. Just a bunch of men having lunch on a beam that happened to be hundreds of feet high.

Alright… Enough of the rant. Lets move into the welding project.

So before we get this air compressor piped in and up and running, I am going to fabricate a belt guard so that nobody accidentally sticks 5 fingers in and only pulls out 4.

Here is how I am approaching this:

  1. get dimension between centers of pulleys and radius of pulleys
  2. use plasma cutter to cut 4 inch strips and 1 inch strips from left over 16 ga carbon steel sheet metal
  3. use circle cutter attachment to cut radius lip pieces that are 2 inches larger radius than pulleys to allow for adequate clearance.
  4. clean all the edges with a 4 1/2″ grinder flapper wheel for tig welding
  5. roll 4 inch wide pieces using pvc pipe and whatever else is available for a mandrel
  6. make end pieces first, clamp in place according to distance between pulley centers
  7. mark and cut pieces to fill in the gaps.
  8. tack weld every 2 inches or so and then weld out.

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