A random person once told me “It is the responsibility of the old to teach and the privilege of the young to learn.” Today was just fantastic: for months I’ve been bothering my grandad to teach me welding. We never got around to it. But today I pulled up my socks, did my research and headed out for an adventure…… most people struggle to see welding as a helpful skill, but I see myself as an artist/ creator and any tool I can use to fulfill that roll should be mastered. Not only did I learn a new skill but I got to spend time with someone who knows all about life and could tell me bat shit crazy stories that make me laugh long after he told them. If you want to start on this endeavor here are a few things to consider:
Do your homework
Before starting most ventures in life it is probably a good idea to google the basics first. Not only will it familiarize you with all the terminology, but it will also be easier on your teacher/ instructor if they don’t have to start from scratch.
Have the correct safety equipment
When welding: safety is extremely important. Ensure you are wearing tough shoes and that you have a proper helmet. Online they suggest that you wear gloves and an overall, but in my experience (perhaps because I have not been at it for too long) I have not required them.
Find a good teacher
Welding takes a lot of practice and I defiantly did not master the skill my first time. Luckily my grandfather has been doing it as a hobby for many years and has acquired the virtue of patience. When you get a good teacher everyone will be more relaxed and you will learn useful tips nobody els knows. e.g. when you burn a whole in the metal (which I did a couple of hundred times) just melt a nail into the open space.
Unless you were born in a welding factory, don’t expect yourself to build a car on your first day. I started by gathering various pieces of scrap metal and then practicing my techniques on them. As you get more familiar with the equipment and the process you can journey ahead and build whatever your heart desires.
When I just started welding it was a catastrophe (to say the least). There are so many balls you have to juggle:
- try avoiding the hot apparatus.
- don’t keep the welding rod at once spot for the too long or move it too quickly
- don’t weld too close or too far from the surface
add wearing a helmet which inhibits the sense of sight and you have yourself a very interesting recipe. When discouragement knocks on your door just remember that everyone had to start somewhere and if you try, try and then try some more you WILL succeed in mastering this skill.
New experiences will open doors which lead to unexpected places. Personally, it is developing my inner artist and allowing me to transform KAROO into the thriving brand it is destined to be.