Video Review: "HOW TO ARC WELD - TIPS, TRICKS AND PROCEDURES"

This video is being sold on eBay and the web by Shining Star Video Productions for "beginning and intermediate" welders. Before
purchasing it I tried searching for any reviews from others, and didn't find any.
The short review is that I was mostly disappointed with this video.
Now for the longer review. My background: I took a high school welding course 26 years ago. It was about half gas welding and half arc welding in the flat position. Last year I bought a welder and since then have burned about 5 pounds of rod. So I consider myself to be a rank beginner.
What I was hoping for was something to show me proper technique to produce quality welds in the various positions.
This video features discussion and demonstrations by a welder named Joe. Another fellow, David Welch, was the producer/director/cameraman/etc. It was clearly low-budget video, but the overall video quality is fine. Joe isn't a professional media personality, but he's clearly a nice guy who is trying to be helpful. There is welding shot through a welding lens that shows pretty much what you see through the helmet, although more close-ups would have been helpful. The dialog wasn't scripted, and sometimes it dragged on too long. The DVD version was copied from the VHS tape, and shows it.
I came away from this thinking that Joe has no formal welding training, and is describing things he learned on his own. He says he is certified in Indiana in "arc and wire" welding. Given the way he fearlessly welds over top of weld slag on tack welds and previous beads, I'm sure the Indiana welder certification has nothing to do with AWS or other professional certifications. I'll also bet he's never had a weld x-rayed. Frankly, the beads I (rank beginner welder) put down are nicer looking than what's shown in this video.
The video starts out with safety, and Joe says always wear your eye protection. Then the next section is on metals for welding. Joe describes how you can use a spark test to differentiate mild steel from cast iron. He demonstrates this with the bench grinder, and, you guessed it, unprotected eyes.
He talks about the intensity of the UV in arc rays and how you should always cover all skin to prevent being burned. The demonstrations have him with an unbuttoned shirt, work gloves instead of welding gloves and his sleeve cuffs unbuttoned so his wrists and forearms were exposed during all the welding.
There's a talk on removing all flammables from the welding area before he does all his demonstrations on a cluttered wooden workbench against a garage wall with numerous flammable things in arms' reach.
Did you know that drinking a glass of milk before welding galvanized steel can prevent poisoning by zinc fumes? Joe actually demonstrates drinking some milk before welding galvanized steel, and appears to be OK in the minutes afterwards.
And if you get arc flashed, as Joe has many, many times (Joe wears quite thick glasses, by the way), he has a remedy. Finely grate a raw potato, and place the mush over your eyelids for half an hour. Fix you right up.
Joe's also against auto darkening helmets (or "electronic hoods," as he calls them) because he says it takes them a "megasecond" to go dark after the arc is struck, and if you strike an arc 50 times a day, you'll be in trouble.
There's a section on welding cast iron (Joe repeatedly calls it cast steel) where he tells you to run short beads and let each cool before putting the next one down. Joe demonstrates by putting down a bead, then a few seconds later, takes off his glove and touches the bead. There must have been some time edited out of the tape since none of his skin stuck to the weld.
Before I get off safety, I'll also mention that Joe wears bib overalls to do all his welding, including the overhead position.
Now to the welding.
Proper weaving techniques is something I wanted to see in action. It's one thing to read about it in a book, but quite another to see what the motion should be. Joe demonstrates rod weaving - side to side, circles, pauses, forward and back, etc. -- all in the same bead, and for every bead where he uses weaving. Completely random motion. Nothing like the books show.
Sometimes he talks about how the rod should be positioned when doing a particular weld, other times he doesn't.
I already mentioned welding over slag.
There's a section on welding rusty metal. I don't think he says you're better off grinding the rust off before welding. He just goes on to produce a really ugly, porous weld bead.
Maybe it was to help the video shooting, but he threw away each rod once it got down to 4" or 5" long. Seems like an expensive practice.
He talks about metals, but doesn't mention how you can run into trouble with high carbon or alloy steels. He knows cast iron when he sees it, and how to weld it, but he keeps calling it cast steel. He apparently doesn't know cast iron and cast steel are two different animals.
There's some explanation of technique for out-of-position welding, which often doesn't match what my Miller Guidelines for Shielded Metal Arc Welding booklet says, but mostly he does a bead and says it's done like that. The number of out of position joints is pretty limited as well.
Over the years I've worked with welders who've had structural, high pressure piping, aerospace and even one fellow with nuclear certifications. They all did beautiful work. They were all pros. They all worked safely. Compared to them, Joe, although he's a nice guy, looks like a self-taught hobbyist welder.
I'll say the video does a good job of showing the first-time beginner how arc welding is done, but welding is fundamentally dangerous and while Joe talks about safety, he ignores his own rules through the rest of the video. A beginner should be taught to work safely first, then once they understand the dangers they can intelligently decide what risks they wish to take. Because this video doesn't demonstrate safe working practices, I don't recommend it for beginners.
Because the quality of the welding is so poor, I don't recommend this video for intermediate welders, either.
Tim
PS: Milk does not protect you from zinc poisoning. And grated potato mush placed over your arc flashed eyes doesn't heal your eyes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nice review, a little wordy, makes the point. - GWE
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gee I gotta get me one of those! Hobart put out an excellent series intended for vocational training. I am wondering if any of those old VHS tapes are for sale to the public??? They started with safety and went through all positions with stick. Randy
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for a great review.I was considering on buying that vid but not now.Thanks for saving me the money. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"tony stramella" wrote: Thanks for a great review.I was considering on buying that vid but not now.Thanks for saving me the money. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I agree that is is a useful and well-written review. Thank YOU, Tony, for putting your message out without top-posting, and without draping the long review across the screen after it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12 Jan 2006 10:26:09 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Tim,
I am a beginner as well. I am only doing occasional oxy/acetylene welding with my torch. However, I bought a couple of DVDs from http://www.weldingvideos.com/ that I was really pleased with.
I have the "Oxy/Acetylene Welding" and "Torch Cutting" videos. They are really clear, straightforward, and the instructor, Steve, answered a couple of questions I had via email. There's also a 30 day money back guarantee if you're not satisfied.
The videos show you how to properly start up, shut down, and use the equipment. They also have great close-ups and make it so that when you go out to cut/weld, you have a feel for what you're supposed to see and hear. I have little to no access to a stick/mig/tig machine yet. I still have to get the electrical upgraded in my barn before I can buy my own machine. However, when I do get a stick/mig/tig machine, I will be buying videos from Steve at Wall Mountain.
rvb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rvb wrote:

Thanks. In fact, I phoned them a few days ago and ordered on of the arc welding DVDs they offer. A search of this group showed someone posted a positive recommendation for their DVDs a while ago.
Glad to hear you liked their gas welding DVDs. I'm looking forward to seeing the arc welding one I ordered.
Cheers,
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 31 Jan 2006 11:51:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you don't mind, post a review of it. I'd love to hear what you think.
rvb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.