How to Set Up a Welding Space in Your Garage or Shop | MillerWelds

How to Set Up a Welding Space in Your Garage or Shop

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From shop layout to must-have equipment, learn how you can create your own welding space.
Welder MIG welding on table in shop with hand tools hanging on wall behind


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). 

Choosing shop tools 

In addition to a reliable welder, some basic tools are must-haves for any shop or garage. 

  • C-clamps: It’s almost impossible to have too many c-clamps, especially if you work with larger fixtures. These are handy for holding and clamping metal pieces or parts as you work on them. 
  • Vise: Every shop or garage needs a good bench vise to hold parts as you grind or cut them. A vise can also be used when you bend heavier pieces; clamp the part in the vise and then bend it with a hammer or heat it up with an oxy-fuel torch to make bending easier. 
  • Right-angle grinder: This standard shop tool can be used with numerous attachments, including grinding discs, wire wheels and flap discs, for material cleaning, cutting and preparation. 
  • Tool to cut metal: Whether you choose a chop saw, band saw, plasma cutter or oxy-fuel kit, you will want some kind of tool for cutting metal pieces and parts. Oxy-fuel torches are good for cutting thicker pieces of metal, while band saws are a good choice for cutting longer lengths. Plasma cutters provide a precise, clean cut. 
  • Tool to bend metal: You’ll also likely at some point need to bend metal in your shop. A hand brake is good for bending larger parts, while seamer pliers work well for bending smaller parts and pieces. 

With the right tools and equipment, proper organization and safe practices, you can weld safely and efficiently in your shop. 

Check out this garage welding projects page for more ideas on how to organize and optimize your welding setup.