Welding Zone

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Welding Zone
Coordinator: Matt Maessen
Contact: welding@tvcog.net
Equipment List: Welding Equipment
Zone Assistants: Assistants Needed


This zone provides metal cutting and fabrication equipment for uncoated carbon steel and aluminum.

Link to Wiki


Zone Orientation: Rules and Safety

The intent of the zone orientation is to familiarize new members with the capabilities, safety rules, and operational procedures of the Welding zone. It is not intended to provide detailed instruction on how to use the equipment. Those who are confident in their abilities to use the equipment may use it after completing the orientation. Those who are not should seek the assistance of the Zone Coordinator, other CoG members, or should enroll in an instructional class offered by the CoG.

General Safety

  1. Review of Lock Out/Tag Out Board and Process
    1. Apply whenever a tool is not functioning properly. Only Zone Coordinators and Facilities Specialist have keys to remove and will do so when equipment is safe.
  2. Required personal protective equipment
    1. Safety glasses - always.
    2. UV eye protection - MiG, TiG, plasma cutter.
      1. Note, some shields are labeled for MiG only.
    3. Hearing protection when grinders or chop saws are in use.
    4. Leather gloves - welding
    5. Leather apron or jackets - MiG welding
  3. Red curtains at entry of welding area MUST be closed when welding.
  4. Risk of entanglement from spinning equipment.
    1. Roll up sleeves, tie back long hair
    2. Remove jewelry
    3. Don’t wear gloves
    4. Don’t wear loose clothing or hoodies with pull strings.
  5. Risk of severe burns.
    1. Wear only cotton clothing, with no frayed ends. Cotton will burn and is easily extinguished. Synthetics will melt and adhere to your skin.
    2. Wear leather gloves. For MiG, wear leather apron or jacket.
    3. Metal gets pretty hot during cutting and grinding.
    4. Beware of exposed skin. UV light from welding will “sunburn” you, and sparks hitting exposed skin hurt.
  6. Risk of electrocution.
    1. Make sure your ground clamp is attached properly to your project. If attached to a table, make sure your project is in good contact with the table.
    2. Verify there is insulation between you and your work piece. If you are dressed properly, you will be fine.
  7. Risk of fire.
    1. Do not bring flammable items into the room.
    2. Clean all oil off of metal before welding/cutting.
    3. Keep an eye on the room for 30 minutes after welding to ensure there are no hidden smoldering fires.
  8. Risk of toxic fumes.
    1. This room has recirculating air filtration. It does not have fume exhaust.
      1. Turn on portable air filter (black box) and both room air filters when welding. Position inlet as close to work as possible.
      2. Only one person welding at a time.
      3. Only weld uncoated carbon steel and aluminum. Do not bring any other metals into the room (stainless, galvanized steel especially).
    2. Do not welding using filler rods or wire that contain flux (flux-core MIG or stick welding).
  9. Turn off and unplug equipment before changing filler wire, electrodes, cutting or grinding wheels.

General “Be Excellent to Each Other” Knowledge

  1. Communication is vital to keeping this community space functioning. Report any irregularities, low materials, or comments to welding@tvcog.net, facilities@tvcog.net, or on the whiteboard.
  2. The shop belongs to the members. If you have an idea for a shop improvement, just do it!
    1. The worst that can happen is a majority of users disagrees, and things get put back the way they were.
    2. Send purchase requests to zone coordinator and facilities.
  3. Use a Parking Pass if you will be leaving a project or materials overnight.
    1. Projects can be left out with a parking pass for up to a week. For longer projects, we offer shelf and floor space for rent.
  4. Turn on both air filters when welding or grinding. Turn on portable air filter when welding.
    1. While the welding and cutting permitted here do not release dangerous fumes, they do release smoke and tiny particles in the air, which can quickly migrate to other areas of the building if the filters aren’t on.
  5. Place welding blankets on the floor to protect it from sparks and weld slag.
  6. Sweep and vacuum more debris than you created.
  7. Place all tools back in their storage location.
  8. Gas and typical filler rod is provided. If you use a significant amount of either, please email the Zone Coordinator to determine how much you should pay.
  9. Grinder labeled for TiG electrodes should only be used for TiG electrodes. Contamination of other metals on these electrodes inhibits performance.
  10. If something requires excessive force to move, something is probably wrong.
    1. Do not overtighten bolts, clamps, or chucks on equipment. Snug is sufficient.

Equipment Overview

  1. Chop Saws
    1. Used to make perpendicular or angled cuts of metal stock.
    2. Hearing protection required.
    3. Clamp metal before cutting.
    4. Wooden blocks can be used to support long pieces of metal.
  2. Angle Grinders
    1. Used for cutting, grinding, and polishing. Easier to move between different grinders than changing the wheels constantly.
    2. Hearing protection required.
  3. Bench Grinders
    1. Used to deburr metals.
    2. Hold workpiece against the rest. Rest shall be as close to the wheel as possible.  
  4. Gas Cylinders
    1. Close valve after each use.
    2. Adjust regular for output required by welding operation.
    3. When not attached to a machine, valve cover shall be installed.
    4. If you run a cylinder out of gas, or notice that it is low on gas (<500 PSI on gauge), notify welding@tvcog.net. Specify which welder/cylinder and type of gas.
  5. Thermal Arc TiG Welders
    1. UV eye protection, leather gloves required.
    2. Grind electrodes after dipping into weld metal. Prevent contamination of the electrode by using only the grinder labeled “TiG Electrodes Only.”
  6. Miller MiG Welder
    1. UV eye protection, leather gloves, leather apron/jacket required.
  7. Plasma Cutter
    1. Used to make non-precision cuts of metals.
    2. UV eye protection required.
    3. Cutting MUST be done over tile. Place welding blanket over concrete floor. Ventilation MUST be turned on.
  8. FAQs
    1. Can I use my stick/oxy-acetylene welder here?
      1. No. There is not enough ventilation in the space for any welding process that requires flux or have open flames.
    2. Can I use my homebuilt car battery/microwave transformer welder here?
      1. No.

Reference Information

Material Resources

  • Bullet

Projects for Inspiration

  • Bullet