Okay, now keep in mind I have never welded before and bought this Lincoln Electric AC-225 stick welder to teach myself how to weld.
I have looked through, briefly, the "manual" (if you want to call it that) Lincoln Electric includes with this welder, and it doesn't tell you (or me anyway) very much. Now, I realize I need to use the grounding clamp to ground the welder to "something" which they refer to "work" or "earth ground" in their little "pamphlet" they included. Now, what I want to know is:
What is safe to clip that clamp on to? The "thing" I am attempted to weld? I need definite specifics here, because I don't want to kill myself or anything of that sort.
So far, that seems to be my main question. I used to work in a factory that used MIG welders, and they used to clip that ground clamp on to a metal fabricated table, which I assume just sat/stood on the concrete floor. Now, I don't know if those tables were hooked up to anything else like thick guage grounding wires that went to some other point in the shop to "run off the charge" or what.
The diagrams in my "pamphlet" for the welder seem to show the ground clamp being clipped to the item you are welding, and then shows an arrow moving straight off horizontally, and then dropping 90 degrees down. Which, to me anyway, tells me nothing. Why can't they just tell you in plain English. "You CAN..." or "You CANNOT..." before you do anything. They have me so paranoid about getting electricuted, I don't want to touch anything unless I am wearing a rubber suit and standing on a rubber mat. :)
Whatever you're welding. You need to complete the circuit so the current can flow from the stick to the work and back to the welder again.
If you have a metal welding table it is OK to clamp to the table itself and lay the piece you're welding on the table which will complete the circuit.
As for the safety of grounding the table itself I'll have to plead ignorance and hope someone else will answer that one. :-) I know that I do not do it myself and have never had a problem but there may be some reason that it's better to do it that I'm not aware of.
The welder itself will be grounded through its power cord that's plugged into the wall, assuming the outlet is wired correctly of course. Normally for that welder it will be a plug that looks just like a normal household plug except much bigger. The round prong is the safety ground just like on a 110V cord.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall email@example.com
Okay, I somehow thought maybe I did have to clip the clamp to what I was welding. Why Lincoln Electric couldn't have SAID that in PLAIN English, I don't know. But, I appreciate the help.
The people at the shop I used to work at probably just clipped it to the table for convenience sake since they were always having to flip parts over and around. But, it is better to not assume and ask questions before getting yourself in to trouble.
I just had an electrician wire the plug for it, and other than getting the fan to come on (since I had no actual idea HOW to make it weld -- no laughing!), I had no way of actually knowing whether or not there was power going to the welder. He knows nothing about welding either, so he was no help. Mind you, he did like my machine.
Alright, now I just need to wait for the gloves and clamps I won on eBay, and I am ready to rock and weld. :) Funny thing is, I DID have a couple pairs of welding gloves that I had recently seen (I recently moved so I can't find anything right now), but now that I need them, I can't find them.
I really, really appreciate the help. Tomorrow I will get my thick rubber mat to stand on, and maybe that will keep me from electrocuting myself when I either find my tig welding gloves or my gloves come in the mail.
The recommendation from Lincoln in one of their on-line notes was to ground the table. I emailed them that the table in their illustration had rubber wheels on it and they said they would correct that and they re-iterated grounding the table.
A better term for the clamp is the work-piece clamp (not ground-clamp) because it is not usually grounded like the metal case of the welder. The secondary of the transformer is insulated and not referenced to ground like your household power is. A ground on either the workpiece or the table is not required to create the welding arc; there just has to be a circuit from the stinger to the work-piece clamp). My table is on rubber casters and is not grounded either.
It is possible to come up with a scenario where the transformer's secondary insulation fails and it becomes energized with respect to ground which would mean having a grounded table would place the operator at more of a risk than a non-grounded one. However, if this were to happen all the other grounded devices in the shop including a damp floor would likely create as much of a hazard. It seems to be a general rule that metal things around electricity are safer when grounded.
You WILL eventually learn how to position the joint and lay an adequate bead from the electrode. I recommend starting with 1/8" 6013 at 120 amps.
But first, safety equipment:
- Bill-to-back welders cap to cover your head
- Clear safety glasses
- Welding helmet with flip-up lens shade #10
- Welding gloves
- Long-sleeve shirt or leather jacket - arc-burn protection
- Rag/scarf/collar at neck - arc-burn protection
- Denim pants without cuffs - arc-burn and spatter protection
- Leather shoes or boots - arc-burn and spatter protection
- Cotton socks
- Shielding to block the arc visibility from passers-by
- Fan or wind to avoid breathing the smoke from the arc
- Lock-joint pliers to handle hot steel, do NOT use the gloves directly
- Clamps to hold the metal in good contact with welding table
- Welding magnets (do not hold the metal to be welded)
The arc will throw molten steel drops (2700 degrees) at your body and will generate enough ultraviolet radiation to severely burn exposed skin. If in doubt, cover it up. You WILL end up with little holes burned into any fabric which you wear.
All this is done before ever plugging in or turning on the welder.
Steve, that was cold. If I was Tom I would go to any welding house and have them give you a run through... Before buying anything you should know what you are doing... Then if you think this is not for you, you will not be out the money... Can I buy the welder at 1/2 of what you paid when you get scared of it?
A. He had already done that. B. He already had some good advice and directions from netusers. and C. He was ready for a little humor.
Many a man has bought a piece of machinery or a tool and had very little idea how to use it. Some were lucky enough to get the hang of it before serious or permanent injury was sustained. Since he could still type, I figured he was getting the hang of it.
"Tom Martinello" wrote: (clip) Tomorrow I will get my thick rubber mat to stand on, and maybe that will keep me from electrocuting myself (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Tom, you don't need a thick rubber mat to stand on. And, having one will probably do you no good. When you are welding, you have the stinger in one hand--the so-called ground cable--call it the work cable, will be connected to the thing you are welding. The only way to get a shock is to touch the "hot" electrode clamp, somehow, while, at the same time touching something that is connected to the work. Most welding stingers are so well protected that it would be hard to deliberately make contact with the power. If you have one hand on the thing you are welding, or the metal vise holding it, etc., your body does not get any protection from a rubber mat.
Of course, wearing leather gloves is a good idea, both from an electrical standpoint, and for avoiding burns, etc.
And if you weld long enough, you will have little white spots all over your body where dingleberries have left a trail.
One caveat: NEVER, EVER wear any denim or other fabric that has a fray on it. Where you can see the white thread, I mean. That stuff will catch fire while you are welding, and the first thing you will notice is the smell of something burning.
Now, is the bottom-line here still that I should ALWAYS clip the ground/work clamp on to the piece I am welding? See, your reply is basically understandable by anyone wo knows what they are doing. However, since I have no clue yet, it seems to be the same as Lincoln Electric's "pamphlet" had explained it all. I had thought about the same thing, though. If I clip the clamp to a metal table, or anything else metal, and some shock DOES occur, isn't it all just going to go in to the ground you are standing on, anyway?
"Don D" wrote in message news:Bna2c.31910$qL1.28808@fed1read02...
That is the whole problem around here. Nobody is certified anymore. You get one person who went to school for welding back in the 1920's, who opens up a factory and teachs everyone themselves. It is passed down over the ages, but nobody really sticks to the whole process. Either that, or they set things up by "trail and error" and see what happens. I remember standing at this robotic welding machine we used to have at that place I was mentioning earlier, and this thing just started up out of nowhere, and through the electrician working on it 20 feet across the room. Nobody around here that I know of uses stick welders anymore, either. Everything is MIG, TIG, and robotic. You don't even seen oxy/acyetlene around here much, anymore. What kills me is, we USED to have these remedial type schools here that taught you "factory related" materials and such. But, you had to be virtually retarded to attend those types of schools. So, essentially, the school board was telling you that if you wanted to be a mechanic, welder, woodworker, draftsperson, etc. you best be getting yourself in to a lot of trouble that gets you kicked out of a "regular" school or you best be as stupid as a rock so you can learn the fundamentals of "hands-on" type work. Which kills me, because these are the jobs that you make all the money in. The college here offers welding courses, but by the time you actually LEARN anything about welding, you've spent three (3) years worth of tution money on what I just found out in this newsgroup. The MAIN problem is, if I wanted to spend five (5) hours reading about welding, I could read the entire book Lincoln Electric put out which I bought off eBay. But there IS the problem, reading what someone who KNOWS how to weld writes, doesn't help me out much. Obviously they need to include the "what could happens" for people who are really stupid and standing barefoot in a puddle of water with the 230 volt plug in one bare hand, and the electrode holder in the other. But, if they actually ever got around to the point of what they SHOULD be teaching you, it might help you to learn. So far I have learned from the book that if you are a welder, you are highly likely to die from cancer, coronary/pulmonary heart complications, or electrocution. I would like to see this in the books and manuals. "It is ALWAYS safe to ground your clip/clamp to..." and "NEVER clip/clamp your ground to..." Like to me, there is obvious stuff you wouldn't ground to. Like your gas line.
I don't think I will need to worry about selling it, because I am not actually afraid of it. I contemplating buying it for a long time. I was going to get a MIG welder, actually, but who the hell wants to take ANOTHER course (or set of) to get gas certification so you can buy your argon tanks. Like from what I have gathered from the "product descriptions" companies put out on their welders. If you have a MIG welder, and you don't have the gas kit for it, you might as well be using a glue stick to be putting your metal together. Now that I know I can ground to the piece I am working on, I should be fine. I still need my gloves and my rubber mat, but those should both be here soon.
"SteveB" wrote in message news:Xyb2c.5460$BA.791@fed1read03...
Don't worry, I wasn't offended by it or anything. I took it as a joke, too. I am a hands-on person. Yes, I CAN read, but who wants to? I would much rather play with the stuff. My wife is in to the whole reading thing. So I hand her the manuals and stuff of that nature, tell her to go to town on them and summarize it for me so I can get to work. Ahaha. I used to work in a building supply company, and I asked my supervisor (if you want to call him that) to give me a quick run-down on how to use this welder we had there. Now, to me, I am almost positive it was an arc welder, but I think it ran on wire. Which, I don't think is possible, is it? The bottom-line is, we had acquired it from the owner of the company, who's son took welding as a passing fancy until his dad bought him a roofing company to run. So, we had no paperwork on how to use that, either. His response to me about a run-down on using the welder was, "you either know how to use it or you don't." Logically, I wouldn't have been asking him for the run-down if I could use it. :) But this is also coming from a person who doesn't even wear the welding shield/helmet, as it messes up his hair. In most cases I figure I will play with things to some degree to get the hang of it, before I need to open the manual or something. I am more worried about the fact that I just bought a piece of machinery made by some under-paid, third-world country employee who might be on his first day at the job. I have worked in enough companies and factories to know that Quality Assurance only works when you have people going around and physically checking out the work being done. My welder came in pieces. I didn't have to assemble it from the ground up, but the stinger/electrode holder and work/groiund clamp have to be put on to the ends of the wires. Now, to me, it would have been nice to specifically say SOMEWHERE in the manual, "The thick, bare gold ended wire gets connected to..." and "The wire with the steel connector and hole at the end gets connected to..." But even that was too much work for whoever wrote the manual. They were sure to enclude a "Make sure your welder is wired properly and everything is connected right before plugging it in" though. Which, I am sure if you work at Lincoln Electric you would be able to know. My manual that came with the welder consists of a parts list, which MAY or MAY NOT containing the following, depending on the model you have. A VERY brief description of how to assemble the helmet. A VERY brief description putting the electrode holder and work/ground clamp on. And then the rest of it (the English part anyway) is basically them telling you that now that you have your welder, you will most likely die from either cancer, electrocution, or fire.