There are a few types of welding but for the DIY welder it's likely that either Mig welding or Arc welding will be used as these are the most common and are the easiest to set up at home.

When welding it's essential that you wear the correct PPE as the UV radiation that is created when welding can be harmful to your health.



The arc from stick welding

The arc generated during the welding process is extremely bright and can easily damage eyes!

As well as ensuring you are wearing the correct PPE when welding you must also make sure that other people are either protected or are out of the area, this includes pets! Eyes are most at risk from the welding arc and can easily be damaged. Arc eye can be caused by looking at the welding ark without the proper eye protection, people that have had arc eye describe it as being very painful and it feels like having sand in your eyes!


Total protection from harmful UV light

Before doing any kind of welding it's important to get the correct PPE, here you can see that this person is well kitted out before he starts welding. Because the UV light is so intense you need covering from head to toe. If you were to leave a part of your body exposed to the UV light you could suffer from severe UV burning- just like if you were to go out on a hot summers day with no sunscreen.


welding helmet

Traditional welding helmets like this are surprisingly cheap. They offer good protection with the correct shade of screen installed. One drawback of a screen like this is that you cannot see through the screen until the arc is struck which makes it difficult to use, especially for a beginner.


speedglass 100 welding helmet

This is a quality welding helmet made by 3M.

This speedglas100 is comfortable to wear and offers good protection. The screen on this can be seen through before you begin to weld and as soon as the arc is struck the shield darkens in 0.01ms . In 2012 this helmet was £190 so be very aware of buying similar looking cheaper versions as they are not the same thing. I have seen similar helmets for sale on ebay for £30.


welding cap

This is a welders cap, it is made from flame retardant material. A normal welders helmet/face shield only protects the face and leaves your head unprotected, this can mean that your can burn your scalp or you can get hot spatter/molten metal landing on your head.

It's normal to wear this with the sun shade at the rear, that way the welding helmet/head shield can be worn with ease.

welding gauntlets

Welding gauntlets are essential when welding. These are longer than normal gloves ensuring that no part of your arms are exposed when welding. These gauntlets are thick and heat resistant to a certain degree.


safewelder overalls

When welding Nylon overalls must be avoided as they can easily burn through. Flame retardant overalls should be worn such as "Safe welder" overalls. If you are welding in a difficult position you may also need to wear a welding apron or a welding jacket for even more protection.


Steel toe cap boots

Safety boots are important when welding as they are often heat proof. Welding in trainers is not a good idea as you can easily burn through them.