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Questions from a newbie about welder safety

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  • Questions from a newbie about welder safety

    I'm a newbie welder who just bought a new Millermatic 210

    I'm doing good with the little bit of welding I've done so far, but have some questions for those "in the know".

    1) is there anyway for a guy to shock himself using a MIG welder?

    2) I've heard about guys getting "flash burns" on their eyes. How does this happen and how can I prevent it from happening to me? I plan on buying an "auto darkening" helmet, but am borrowing a friend's Auto darkening helmet for now.

    Thanks in advance for a great forum!

  • #2
    Hi Saxart,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of welding!

    To answer your questions, yes you can shock yourself with a MIG welder, it was a stinking hot day here one day and I had just changed a roll of wire, I was just checking the roller tension (pinching your thumb and forefinger over the wire at the end of the gun) I pulled the trigger forgetting that I was sitting down and got the nice electric tingly feeling. I was sweating so much that my gloves and clothing were wet with sweat so it gave the electricity a good path to travel along! So yeah, if you happen to be the path of least resistance, then it will electrocute you.

    By far the best way to prevent "flash" is to buy a good quality auto darkening helmet!! You can go with a manual one with a pair of sunnies underneath but that really sucks and doesn't not offer anywhere near the protection of the autodarkening helmets. Also when you are tacking resist the temptation to just simply blink as you place the tack. Flash is something I would never want anyone to get, and you know if you do get it that you have most likely caused some sort of damage to your eyes. You only get two so you might as well look after them!!

    Also make sure you wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt, gloves. Bit of sunblock on your face and neck is a good idea also. Wearing hearing protection is another good idea, I have worn it for 99.9% of the time I was welding, the .1% time that I didn't wear it I got a perforated ear drum courtesy of a rogue spatter ball!! Hurt Lots!!

    Hopefully I haven't put you off with all of this, I have found that in the time I have been welding there is a lot of satisfaction to be had in fabricating things and watching your skills improve.

    Have fun!
    "Its the way it spatters that matters!"


    • #3

      Welcome aboard from me, also.

      Starting out with a 210?? Way to go! Your machine has a contactor that only closes when you pull the trigger, so the wire is electrically "dead" when the gun is sitting. There is no danger until you pull the trigger, and then it is minimal unless you get between the work and the work lead somehow. Basicly, unless you clamp the work lead to your body, you will be safe! Do beware that the machine has a rather large capacitor across the output, which will retain a charge for a while after you stop welding. If you are going to change wire or feeder settings, touch the electrode wire to ground (or the work lead) before you stick your fingers in there.

      As for the flash, Andy249 pretty well covered that point.

      Be well.

      ...from the Gadget Garage
      Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
      Handler 210 w/DP3035
      Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange


      • #4
        take your time

        best safty is only good if used dont rush thats where most flash burn come from . you get in a rush and start short-cutting . take your time make shoure you have a good ground on your work and a good helmit ON AND IN USE . and not only will you be safe but your welds will look better for it. a rush is a bad thing people get hert and your work quality always drops.
        take your time and you will lern to love welding and be happy doing it for years without accidents.
        happy welding and welcome
        thanks for the help
        hope i helped
        feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
        summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


        • #5
          Welcome aboard, safety is a preaching post for me, Safety is above all else. The tips from the guys are on the money, I would like to interject another safety area that is often forgotten Ultraviolet light UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. These are in order of danger and they can put a big hurt on if you don't cover all your skin from the welding arc. These arc rays can and will cause skin cancer. Welding stores sell inexpensive green welding jackets with high collars for about $20 and blue jeans without any frays or holes good leather welding gloves and a good hood and your set.

          Skin cancer is a very dangerous deal, my wife is currently undergoing treatment for melanoma cancer from enjoying the summer sun too much but many welders suffer the same effects. It is the second largest welding related diesease only to lung cancer for claiming lives. Learn safety now, cover up!

          Time to get off my soapbox, peace
          ps enjoy your new mm210, love mine


          • #6
            Regarding 'Flashburn", never wear light colored shirts, the arc will reflect off them and go in the bottom of the hood, I know, I have only been flashed once and that was while wearing white, besides, they get dirty quick and make yaou look unprofessional. Good Luck, Paul
            More Spark Today Pleasesigpic


            • #7
              Thanks for the "open arms" welcome, I appreciate your patience with "the new guy".

              Yea, I started with the 210 because I figured I'd just be stepping up at somepoint anyway, so the way I look at it, I SAVED money by buying the 210!

              Thanks for your thoughts on helmets. I was going to buy one of those ebay cheapies, but figured after spending the money for this welder, I'd better just save my "beans" and buy a decent (name brand) when I can afford it. I've got a friend's that I'm borrowing now, so it isn't a big deal at this point anyway..