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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    9

    Default Newbie With Question

    Hello Everyone!

    I have been MIG welding, with and without gas, for the past two years. However, actual welding time in those two years has been pretty minimal. What I have learned is mostly from reading, and then trying to apply what I read. I've had mixed results, but I feel I'm improving with each project, practice session, or actual repair attempted. I'm definitely still a "beginner" at this!

    I have not yet built a welding table for my shop. I am still finishing the inside of the shop with insulation, plywood, etc. and then need to move equipment to their final spots, wire them up etc., etc.

    So in the mean time, is it possible/practical/safe, to weld on a wooden bench topped with fireplace type bricks? Since the table I would be working on would not be grounded, am I putting my self at risk for electrocution and how? Thank you all for your assistance.

    Chip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    33

    Default oh Yeah

    Yeah you should fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    375

    Thumbs up ground your work piece

    Hi, Just make sure you ground the piece you're welding. It is actually better this way than grounding the table (in my opinion). Be sure to check the wood on the table after you are finished welding to make sure it isn't smoldering etc. I do all the welding I can outside under the natural light of the sun, I can see better plus I don't have to worry so much about burning the shop down.
    Thanks!
    Gone But Never Forgotten!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    "Grounding" means bonding to an earth-ground electrically, like the third prong on a grounding plug.

    If you are referring to clamping the WORK lead from your welder, that is not grounding. It is just one of the paths for the welding current. It is a WORK lead, not a ground lead. It can be any polarity, depending on the process you are using.

    For your machine, there is no need to "ground" the work or the table. Just make sure you have a good work lead connection back to the machine, either through a table with good weldment contact or directly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I would be carful welding in your wooden shop, be aware of where your sparks are going. I preferr a cocrete block shop. Make shure the bricks you are using for your table are not concrete. If they are the concrete will send little chunks blowing off in all d********s. this happens when the concrete gets hot or if you are using a cutting torch above them.
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    375

    Default Ac

    In my part of the country everyone around here refers to the work cable as ground..probably from so many using AC welders and then Ground would be correct (Right)
    Farris
    Gone But Never Forgotten!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thank you each for your replies!

    I also try to weld outside if I can or if it is practical. But since it is winter, well, you know. I do keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times when welding, grinding, cutting, etc. When I ordered a couple of sheets of metal siding the manufacturer put an extra sheet on the top and bottom of the banded stack to protect my order. These "freebies" will protect the plywood walls in the welding and grinding zones in my shop.

    I also understand what "earth grounding" means, and I understand what the "work lead" from the welder is. I previously thought the work table or work piece had to be "earth ground" as well as connected to the "work lead". I take it from your replies that "earth grounding" of the weld table or weld piece is not necessary.

    New Questions:

    So what if you need to lie on the ground or concrete to MIG weld something? Is there any chance of electrocution from this?

    Also, I've been watching these new TV shows where they are TIG welding on project motorcycles and cars. Every once in a while the welder gets "zapped", and then everyone else starts laughing. I did not think this was funny; I thought it could be deadly. What have they done to get "zapped" and why are they not dead or seriously hurt?

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experiences.


    Chip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    25

    Default

    when you are laying on the ground/concrete you will be fine(i do it all the time for overhead) just try not to be in any water. I'm not sure about the tig thing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fyoung
    In my part of the country everyone around here refers to the work cable as ground..probably from so many using AC welders and then Ground would be correct (Right)
    Farris
    Actually, even then it wasn't correct. When AC welding, you are still using two hots from the secondary side of a transformer.

    I'll have to research to find out why "ground" became a common term, probably just because it was a clamp instead of what you held to do the job with.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    I've been shocked by welding current before. It is very painful. I was a assembling a billboard, and the work lead was connected to the bottom of the sign. We were working at the top, welding a piece to it. Well, I was holding the piece, which had wood and steel, to the sign while another guy was just about to weld it. Apparently, the wood was the only part of the part that was touching the sign, and the arc was struck on the metal part. So just before it formed the bead and connected itself electrically, I became the path of least resistance, DC thankfully. THAT's what you have to watch out for.

    We've all welded on the ground. If you haven't, you aren't a WELDOR!!

    I've never watched the fine examples of welding demonstrated on those TV shows, but I would imagine they were probably TIGging with high-frequency to keep the arc stabilized? You usually want to "ground" everything for this because HF likes to run over the skin of everything, including you, if you let it.
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-31-2006 at 12:41 PM.

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