I am working as a "Lab Assistant" in a technical college welding shop. I do general help of all kinds, but I also work directly with students in somewhat of a teaching capacity. (In other words, I am not a welding teacher, but I do teach welding.)
Anyway, I am looking for suggestions/advice on how to teach people welding. Does anyone have any good exercises to suggest, or simply ideas on an approach that works well? I want to do the best job I can in teaching kids to weld, and I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks much!
Get as good as you can. Lots of people teach welding, but can't weld. No practical advantage for someone having a head full of knowledge, but who can't show someone how weld. And there are students who don't read so well who wouldn't absorb the technical part, but who might just do really well at the physical part of welding. If a guy has a talent for welding, they will learn a lot if they just watch someone weld. It shortens the learning curve IMMENSELY. They need to learn it themselves and have those AHA moments, but a simple demonstration can lessen the time it takes to learn.
My suggestion is that you stick with the basics. The ABC's. That would be the angles of the stick relative to the position of the plate being welded. If that's off, the rest is going to be, too. The next thing is rod selection. Stick with about four, and if a person gets past that, they will learn more themselves. 6010, 6011, 6013, and 7018 would be those four, and they cover a lot of different things to be welded.
There are charts that can be had for free for rod selection. What rod to use for what thickness of metal and for what position. And then there are the selected amperage ranges. Show them that a lot of what they need is available for free and just for the reading. That way when they are alone, they can refer to something giving them parameters.
No course would be complete without safety. I see guys welding in t shirts all the time. I know they will be seeing the dermatologist in the future for skin cancer. Been there done that. Teach proper shades, skin protection AND HEARING PROTECTION. Lots of noise with the grinding and such, but a MAJOR hazard from ear canal burns. I am a big fan of wearing ear plugs when welding except for pipe when you need to hear what's going on. But I still use some Nomex sheets or other fireproof ear protectors. Eye protection while in the shop is important, because someone twenty feet away can spray you with metal shards.
You probably only get these kids for a short time. Use it wisely. Keep it simple. Show them instead of telling them. Insist on safety. Then let them weld. The talent will come out. You can leave the talented ones alone, and concentrate on those who may be struggling a bit.
The starting point is a flat steel plate welding about an inch long or so, not trying to join it to anything. Next take two plates of equal thickness and tack them together. 1/8" thickness avoids bevelling. Let it cool to the touch and chip/wire-brush it clean.
Next comes cutting and grinding metal such that the fitup is correct and edges are bright and bevelled. Still in the flat position, tack and then complete the weld, paying attention to heat warpage.
Once it's not flat, move on to positioning devices - clamps, magnets, weights and supports. Larger pieces need 4-6 hands to support the far ends. Some of those hands are stands, vises, sawhorses and the like.
Now address the other positions and joints. It's all in the practice.
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I teach a survey level quick intro class for engineering students. A couple of hours to get them acquainted with what welding is. But what I'm teaching there is radically different from what I would teach if I were trying to get them to be a somewhat competent production welder. And that would be only a tenth of what they would need to know for full out of position or critical application welding.
What types of equipment are you using, what skill level do they start with, what level are you trying to get them to, how many hours of practice time do they get?
Oooh! big question there. I have been teaching welding for about 12 years now, and there is a lot to it.
I offer you my previous posts on all welding subjects, just google my name at google groups to pull up the archive.
Also I answer a lot of questions at www.allexperts.com
I think Grant Erwin has some transcripts of the classes I have taught for the seattle metalheads.
If he doesn't respond to this just post on the mailing list
I have yet to find a textbook I really like.
Feel free to ask specific questions after scanning the archived stuff.
I have class notes from one-day seminars Ernie taught on O/A gas welding, on MIG welding, and to some degree on TIG welding. The material is good background, but I'm not certain how it would apply in the OP's case.
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:
A large portion of teaching anything is learning it yourself to the point where you can be very concise and consistent. I strive for that with everything I teach. I hate teaching anything I don't completely understand. I like finding ways to relate arcane data in simple terms, like when I talk about stick welding I equate 6010 to a bulldozer blasting a road through a forest, but 7018 is the road crew following behind laying clean smooth asphalt.
"Ernie Leimkuhler" wrote: (clip) I like finding ways to relate arcane data in simple terms, like when I
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ That's the sign of a good teacher. I can remember things from long ago, that were presented in graphic comparisons or descriptions, which I am sure would have otherwise been forgotten.
Thanks for the replies! I appreciate the advice recommending that I get as good as I can and become as consistent as possible. I try hard to do that, and in fact some of the instructors here laugh at me for how much time I spend practicing. Before a new process or position is introduced to the students, I practice it myself until I feel confident in my skill level. If I don't, I am pretty much incapable of helping them when they struggle.
I don't have any technical questions about welding at the moment, but I do have a few more specific questions about teaching it. I think I will start a new thread though. Thanks again for the replies!
On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:10:57 -0700 (PDT), matthew
I've had many people tell me I'm too picky and anal. I've also been asked why I run so many beads and push so hard. I tell them it's because I learn from every bead I weld. I don't just squirt weld on there. I look, I experiment, I refine.
When I'm done with a bead I study it. I find welding very challenging and rewarding. And when I look at the work of people who bust my balls it encourages me to keep doing it my way. :D
-- As Iron Sharpens Iron, So One Man Sharpens Another. Proverbs 27:17