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Creating a Welding Space
Are you ready to turn your garage or shop into a welding space but aren’t sure where to start?
We’ve got tips for layout, equipment selection, organization and more — so you can get inspired to create your own welding space.
Tips for shop layout
The first step is determining how much space you have and how to organize it. While it’s possible to create a welding space in a single-stall garage, a two-car garage is ideal to have enough room to work and store tools and equipment.
Organizing your space into two separate areas — one for welding and one for cutting and grinding — will help you keep materials clean and avoid weld defects or problems. Weld prep processes, like cutting and grinding, are often dirtier than welding, so it’s good to do them in a separate area. This is especially critical to maintain clean conditions if you are TIG welding or working with aluminum.
Once you’ve got the space identified, follow these tips for shop layout and organization:
- Keep your welding space tidy and organized to eliminate tripping hazards and avoid caught or snagged cables.
- Make sure welding leads are as short as possible (don’t use a very long weld cable when a shorter one will do) and ensure proper grounding for the best conductivity.
- Be sure to know what power you need for your welder, whether it’s 120 or 240. The multi-voltage plug (MVP™) on select Miller® welders allows connection to common 120- and 240-volt power receptacles without the use of tools. Also, set up your welder as close to the power outlet as possible to avoid having to use long electrical cables or extension cords strung across the floor. Damaging or cutting electrical cords when they are laying on the weld table or floor can pose a shock hazard.
- Have a proper work surface for welding. A welding table with a thick, sturdy metal top is a good choice. Avoid tables with thinner, sheet-metal tops, which can easily warp or buckle as you work. If space is tight, a folding ArcStation provides portability and space savings. You could also eventually invest in a welding cart for even greater portability for your welder.
- Think about what size of gas cylinders you want. A size 90 shielding gas bottle is a good option for welding. It allows you to weld for three straight hours at a constant gas flow of 30 cubic feet per hour and is still light enough to be carried by hand. Keep in mind that the smaller the container of shielding gas, the more often it must be replaced or refilled.
- Don’t forget safety! First and foremost, read and follow all labels and the Owner’s Manuals carefully before installing, operating or servicing your welding equipment. Keep your welding area clear of all dirty rags and flammable materials. This includes any wood shavings or dust that result if you are cutting or preparing wood in the space, since these can be flammable. Using welding screens in your shop or garage will also help protect others who may wander into your space while you’re welding. And of course, always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).