What welding accessories do you need to go with your welder?
- Shielding gas (purchased locally)
- Welding Helmets
- Welding Consumables
- Welding Wires & Electrodes
- Gas Connections & Regulators
- Welding Torches
Welding tables have to be strong enough to hold heavy material.
They generally have multiple slots or holes that will let you add clamps and attach jigs. This lets the welder affix the metal into the proper position prior to welding on it.
However, if you visit a factory, you will notice that most of their welding tables are simply made from 1/8-inch carbon metal. The trick is that the metal needs to be heavy enough to keep it from warping.
For more intricate work, we have a good article on the different welding tables and even discuss some portable welding tables.
Sparks and slag are hard on the shoes. Tennis shoes wouldn’t last a week in the standard factory setting before they would have holes burned into them.
You want a shoe that will deflect the slag and keep them from burning through the leather where they can hurt the foot.
A good welding shoe often has added covers to keep the hot metal off the foot. Additionally, they are slip-resistant and have a hard toe to protect the toes.
The welding helmet might be the most important piece of personal protective equipment.
The welding helmet protects the wearer from hot sparks, but most importantly it protects the eyes from the bright flash from the welder.
Most of the helmets have auto-adjusting lenses that sense when the welder is in operation and auto-darken the lens to protect the eyes. The amount of time that it takes for the lens to darken is measured in 1/10,000 of a second with the best helmets activating a dark lens in 1/65,000 of a second.
Lens clarity and color accuracy are also important. Personal preference comes into play here, but a standardized system of measurement makes it easier to figure out which one is best for you. Our welding helmets article discusses it in more detail.
The best welding helmets can cost hundreds of dollars, but cheaper ones are still very reliable for the home user.
Similarly to welding boots, it helps to have shirts and chaps that help deflect the slag from your skin. Busy welders commonly replace their gloves on a weekly basis and their shirts on a bi-monthly basis. Welding is hard on the clothes, but it is important to push the hot metal away from the skin with a comfortable yet durable set of clothing. In our article, we discuss the trade-offs between comfort and protection.
Guns and Consumables
The electrode wires that are used for welding, the tips and consumables for MIG welders, and spools to help make a MIG welder able to work on aluminum are all handy upgrades to your welding machine.
Tig torches tend to require more torch-specific parts. The electrodes are fairly interchangeable, but the cups and cones tend to be more specific to the TIG gun. Tig torches tend to come in multiple sizes based on their amperage.
Stick electrodes and wire electrodes are needed, and brands perform at different levels. We helped sort through reviews and provide our own recommendations on which options we think are among the best.H