Welding & Soldering Equipment
Welding and soldering are valuable skills that can be used in a variety of applications. Ranging from industrial to hobby applications, soldering, brazing, and other techniques that take metal to its melting point can produce everything from fences to stained glass. From a new welding torch, to a new soldering iron or station, to supplies for completing your latest project, you are sure to find what you need to apply some heat with a wide array of soldering accessories and welding tools.What basic equipment does a beginning welder need?
Basic welding equipment will vary depending on the type of welding you want to do. Many types of welding exist, including MIG, Arc, TIG, and more. Certain parts are needed, regardless of the type of welding.
Every welder will need the following safety equipment:
- Welding helmet.
- Welding gloves.
- Safety glasses.
- Welding apron or heat resistant clothing.
The following welding tools are also useful:
- Sheet metal gauge.
- Metal file.
- Welding clamps, C clamps, or welding magnets.
- Soapstone for markings.
Welding, brazing, and soldering are three techniques used to join metal. Although similar, all three methods have some distinct differences. You will want to choose appropriate products for the method you are using. To understand the differences, consider the following:
- Welding: This process involves using high heat to melt similar metals together to form a weld. A weld forms the strongest bond of all three methods.
- Brazing: A braze is formed by melting an alloy or filler and high heat to join metal. A braze can be formed with two different types of metal and is often used with nickel, silver, gold, copper, and aluminum.
- Soldering: Similar to brazing, soldering uses a filler known as solder that has a low melting temperature. This lower heat method of joining metals is frequently used for copper, iron, brass, gold, silver, and with electronics.
Choosing a soldering iron for electronics is straightforward. An iron in the 20 to 60 wattage range is appropriate for soldering work on circuit board parts and other delicate components. Some soldering irons are specifically designed and labeled for this type of work. An option with a narrow soldering tip is preferred and will improve the accuracy of your solder application. Finding an iron that is compatible with rosin core flux is essential, as this type of flux will improve electrical contact and increase the strength of joints connected with solder.