Minimum age for welding?

Hi,
My 10 year old son wants to learn to weld. Anybody taught their kid? How old were they? Any caveats about the teaching process? I've got a
TIG/stick machine and a Ready Welder and I'm undecided which to use...
Peter
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No useful comments on the process other than if you decide to do it talk up the postive not the negative about what he is doing. Teach the safe and right way to do things not the "real men do it this way" type of crap.
I would not let a person that young weld without a respirator. Their lungs are delicate and they have a lot of years ahead of them for the mistakes of the past to develop into something nasty. Billh

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Don't do it . Learning to weld only leads to unreversable atitude changes. one of the most noticable ones is "DIY". The first sign is a resistance to just buy it off the shelve,instead of spending hours making it yourself. My dad got me a buss box for chistmas when I was 17.I built all the toys I could not buy that year.This lead to building the engines I wanted.The next thing I new I was working overtime like a HO,so I could buy a dragster chassis. I wish my dad had a tig when I was 10

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wrote:

I taught my daughter to run beads at about that age. I used my Millermatic 135 which when turned down for thin metal doesn't throw to many sparks and is fairly easy to handle.
I'd worry about him being strong enough to handle the Ready Welder but MIG is definitely the best process to start them on in my opinion. It's easy to get decent looking beads and provides instant gratification. Important to hold there attention at that age.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://members.dslextreme.com/users/waynecook/index.htm
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I taught my ex girlfriends 13 year old cheerleader preppy daughter to TIG, MIG oxy/act cut and braze. She helped me build some of my clients engines as well. If he is willing to learn- start strongly with the safety first and then have at it. She is the only cheerleader I know of who can weld and put a 14-71 blower motor together. It helped me teach her how geometry and trig are used in the real world. You are lucky to be in the position you are in!
All the best,
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA.

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Can he solder yet? I made my kid solder his own RC car motor connections. Then propane, sweating copper pipe joints. This was a natural progression from soldering, but added in the sparker, the flame, and so on. Then we went to O/A...
With this approach, it all seemed much more obvious, i.e. flame is hot, gas burns, turn the valve like the knob on the stove, and so on. No need to mess with the helmet, with voltage or amperage settings, wire speed, HF, electricity, etc.
I totally agree about making it fun and successful - if he gets frustrated, he will never come back. This would eliminate stick, I would think, which I myself still find frustrating today...

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He has soldered and has done a fair amount of "structural soldering", i.e.. soldering wires together to make toys/art pieces. The idea of using the propane torch is a good one - I may try that first. He could use the bandsaw to cut copper pipe and make some larger structures with the propane (and then I could practice welding copper which I've never done).
I am very safety oriented in general and he always wears his safety glasses when he's in the shop, and that orientation would not change with welding. Finding gloves to fit might be challenge...
Thanks to all for the suggestions!
Peter

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I think that arc welding (in proper attire) is much safer than torches...
I would teach my son (now 4.5) to weld as soon as he shows ability to not panic and general mechanical aptitude.
i
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taught my neighbor kid at 12..mig...we built a go kart together
My daughters both used the mig at 7 years old....they would write their names on some sheet..

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Just one question/suggestion.... Do you have any welding bad habits? Try to not pass those along as well. Teach him the "right" way, not your way to weld.
My Dad resisted for a long time teaching me how to weld because of this. He certainly knows how to weld, but has his own way. He learned "proper", but a lot has just come from years of experience.
But, if he is eager to learn, first start by getting a second helmet and letting him watch you do it. Show him what a proper puddle looks like, how you stitch in the parent material, etc. Then let him have at it. Watch what he is doing right and emphasize that. Try to be constructive on what he is doing wrong. You know your kid, so you should be able to guide him in the right direction.
If it was me, I might lean towards starting with the stick and some 1/8"-1/4" plate. Some 6013 rod and crank it up. Won't burn through, but should have enough power that starting should be fairly easy. First just run beads on the face. Eventually try to do some lap welds, then move on to butt welds. Last should be outside corner welds. Try to teach him some out of postion stuff too. At some point need to explain the whys of what he is doing. How the amperage setting is determined, which rod, etc.
Maybe someday he will have the small pleasure of outwelding his instructor(s). :) I still remember an Into to Mfg Process lab in college where my welds outlasted the instructor's and still failed properly. Made me feel pretty good that day. And also made me realize how many engineers have NO hands-on experience.
JW
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I think 10 is a little young to start them off but if you must, start off with safety as the top priority. I know a lot of you breath fumes all day and don't pay much mind too it but it's not cool, so if you do teach children make sure there's good ventilation. And make sure they understand basic electrical safety. A good shock can kill them. As far as what to teach them? Well I would go with what would be more useful at that age. With tig they can weld small intricate things and fix go carts etc.. Mig would be good too. Stick is actually a little harder too learn and can be spendy when they start wasting rod. Just my 2c
B.H.
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As opposed to tungsten, filler rods, argon, alumina cups?
MIG is pretty cheap, but TIG is fairly expensive to learn on, and fairly difficult to pick up on with no understanding of "basic" welding process.
Likewise, just my 2c.
JW
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As a beginner, I find stick to be much simpler conceptually. Fewer variables to worry about and the welds actually come out quite serviceable (able to withstand stress). The hands are also much farther from "work" and one can get away with wearing heavy gloves.
Therefore, with kids, I would start with the stick process.
i
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True the Mig is best. Tig can be reasonable once the learn.
B.H. http://www.totalprocessservice.com/
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I was a whole lot older when I started welding, but after many years of electronics soldering and some plumbing soldering, I found TIG to be very easy to learn. One thing that would likely be an advantage for teaching a child is TIGs clear view of the weld puddle and lack of spatter and smoke.
Pete C.
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I learned to gas weld @ about 12... made everything seem easy after that. TIG is a snap if you can lay down a good bead with oxy/acet. And MIG seems like child's play...
I still get frustrated with stick though...
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"Brian Hill" wrote: (clip) And make sure they understand basic electrical safety. A good shock can kill them.(clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Every aspect of shop safety is important, but I think it is actually pretty hard to get hurt with an electric welder unless you are standing in mud or water.
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Well I've been a professional welder for almost 25 years and I've had the crap shocked out of me a couple times. Ask any veteran welder and most have been shocked at one time or the other. It's rare but I'm just thinking of kids in a shop and it would be a good idea to kinda fill them in. If anybody can cause something to happen, it's kids and I got three of em ;)
B.H. http://www.totalprocessservice.com /
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"Brian Hill" wrote: Well I've been a professional welder for almost 25 years and I've had the crap shocked out of me a couple times. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You've got my attention. Would you care to tell us your stories?
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Well where should I start. how about the time I was fitting some 12" Sch 80 steam line at Dixon Canning in Calif and my buddy accidently touched his stinger opposite the piece with the gnd and I became a human conductor or the time I was out in TX building well heads and some one laid down a lead with bad insulation on a isolated frame holding a big generator and I was on a metal platform next to it and you get my point. Things can happen.
B.H.
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