For this article’s sake, it will mostly be about arc welding or electric welding. From traditional standards, arc welding has been considered “stick welding”. The stick is an electrode. The electrode is covered in flux, which in this case is its shielding material. Imagine a wire covered in a chemical that looks like concrete. A clamp holds the electrode and electricity transmits through it. Other types of arc welding are mig and tig welding. A mig welder has a spool of wire inside; this is then fed through a gun with a small tipped end. Electricity passes through the wire into the metal it is welding. Mig welders can use inert gases such as CO2 and Argon mixture as shielding gases. Others use a flux core wire, which is very similar to the “stick welder” electrode. It is a wire covered in an anti-oxidation chemical. Aluminum can be tricky to weld as the material and electricity source need to be in a close proximity. Unlike steel mig welders, the welding wire spool is not located in the base of the machine. It is located in the welding gun. Tig welding uses an inert gas as well. The welding material is held in one hand and gas and electricity pass through a non-consumable tungsten electrode, which is in the other hand. The energy is controlled by a foot switch.
Yes, this can all be very overwhelming to the average low maintenance rider. Who would have thought welding could be such a complicated process? Once the trade is learned, it really isn’t very difficult. The next e-newsletter’s article will go into the actual steps of welding, so stay tuned for more!