Fun Fact: Lehigh has a woodshop and metalshop on campus. Students can get certified in the shops and use them for projects etc. I happen to work in the woodshop and my boss is training my friend and me in the metal shop. I know how to weld from Steel Bridge, but I was taught from a student who learned from another student who probably learned from another student and so on. Needless to say, I knew nothing about the science behind the technique/process or even how to really weld properly. Not anymore!
Two weeks ago, my boss, Mike, started teaching us how to weld for real. He first explained how the welders work and the different kinds of welding. He also went over safety, which is a really big deal when you have 20-100 volts running through the circuit and you’re heating the steel to at least 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, we moved on to actually welding. The first type of welding on our list was stick arc welding because its the most basic but most difficult, so if you know stick arc, everything else comes easy. Stick arc is a manual type of welding that uses a stick of electrode that is coated in flux to lay the weld.
We started with basics and learned the motions without the welder being on. Once we knew everything Mike could tell us, we moved on to the real deal. Mike showed us how to strike an arc, do the weld, and finish the arc. After the demonstration, it was our turn. It was weird at first, but we both got the hang of it pretty quickly! Mike is going to keep teaching us a little bit each week. I’m really excited to become a better welder and be able to use my new skills for Steel Bridge!