Assisting the Welder
Advice for how to benefit the welding process as a student.

Assisting with welding

Welding is not currently available to students, but engagement and assistance with the process is critical for achieving the best results.

Students can assist in the welding process by:

  • Preparing components – ensuring they are accurate and clean.
  • Providing adequate information – including labelling how their parts come together.
  • Helping technicians position and secure parts correctly – particularly during tack welding.
  • Being on hand to check the object – ensuring jobs are processed as intended.

Workspace

As the space of the Metal Work Area is limited, it is vital to set up the area with safety and efficiency in mind. Follow these steps to ensure a productive space:
  1. 1.
    Advise others working in the immediate area of what you plan to do and what risks that may present. For example, if you plan to make a lot of noise, everyone in the space should be wearing ear protection.
  2. 2.
    Ensure passageways through and around the work area are clear and unobstructed. If you need to obstruct a passageway or other area, consult with a Fab Lab technician on the safest methods.
  3. 3.
    UV screens are provided, principally these are to protect others from viewing the welding arc; however these screens are also effective in helping to contain projectiles created when grinding. These screens should be positioned in such a way to protect others in the area.
  4. 4.
    Bench space is often necessary when working with metal, however a good levelled concrete floor is also acceptable. Before you begin work, ensure the space is clean, clear, free of debris and hazards. When possible, you should have the tools you require near at hand, and those you don't require stored away.
  5. 5.
    When cleaning metals with chemical products, such as acetone, it is important to work in an area with adequate ventilation. This may be either a fanned ventilation system or simply by working in the outdoor area of the workshop. Remember to wear your PPE and let others around you know what you are doing. Products such as acetone will have safety instructions listed on their labelling.
  6. 6.
    When finishing or grinding metal, a significant amount of dust may be produced. Typically this is heavy and falls to the ground and on a concrete floor this dust can become a slip hazard, therefore regular cleaning is advised.
  7. 7.
    Metalworking can require significant heavy lifting. This is mostly applicable to larger projects. Assess your project and make a plan about how it might be handled and moved once all the parts are together. Enlist help to move heavy objects, ensuring everyone has the correct safety gear to do so.