I've read a book (Richard Finch's) and some internet material, own no equipment but can buy what I need, and have no prior experience.
I would like to make what amounts to ornamental "sculptures", as a hobby100 pound load, about 2 yards X 2 yards in size draft then design as I go over several months, -- I need to do the welding myself using only 1/8" round steel stock welded together and about 1000 small welds.
oxy-acet-- I don't have a safe place to store the tanks -- I have a house with an attached non-ventilated garage which gets to 130F in the summer. Covenants forbid storage sheds. I could probably put a small1-2 yard tall box with ventilated sides in a well-shaded area, although it would get a little wet. Would this work? Summer temperatures reach up to 110degrees here. If I could get around the storage issues, I would use small tanks since tank refill versus convenience is not an issue. What kind of torch would I need?
wire-feed mig -- will a 115volt house current welder be able to do the job? I'm really concerned about the ultraviolet radiation which is why I would prefer the oxy-acet. But I suppose mig is what most novices are using. Would a decent fan blow safely blow away the toxic fumes? Probably. I've read the automatic darkening eye helmets allow some UV radiation through while they're darkening. UV eye damage is cumulative.
brazing? Not sure if I could join two 1/8" round stock rods together so they'd stay together. I'm trying to imagine two rods, one lying on top of the other, perpendicular, and I see not much of a contact area for a braze (1/32 of an inch?) particularly for someone who doesn't know what they're doing.
spot welding? -- too thick
So, from what I know up to now, it looks like a 115v wire-feed mig with a good helmet and all the other clothing protection, with a fan to blow fumes away, and some type to sight baffle so kids and pets don't look at the flame, or, if the storage works as described, some type of oxy-acet welder, which I would prefer. I would buy from the local supplier and make sure they would refill.
here's a link to fume and other safety issues: