12-year-old Giuseppe Iatarola on the Basics of Weldingby Giuseppe Iatarola
Let’s take a walk over to the garage where the youngest member of our Car Care team, Giuseppe Iatarola, has some beginner’s wisdom on a great skill that every shade tree car tech should learn…right here on MotorWeek’s “Your Drive!”
GIUSEPPE IATAROLA: I’ve been helping my father a lot in his body shop, as far as I can remember, and one of the most used tools is a MIG welder. If you work on cars a lot and you want to take your home shop to the next level, I suggest you getting a MIG welder, and learning how to use it.
Whatever welder you use, make sure you have the safety equipment for it. On my end, this is a MIG welder. Here’s how it works, you need welding gloves, a welding jacket and a welding helmet. The most important safety equipment is the helmet. When you start the weld, the light is so intense that the helmet darkens to protect your eyes. This studio has plastic floors, so you want to make sure you have a welding tarp on the floor. Check with your local welding supply store if they give lessons, they could even rent you a machine so that you can practice, and for you to choose the right machine that fits your needs.
TRAVIS REED: Typically, we tend to start with the SMAW process, which is what most people would call stick welding. It’s very versatile, doesn’t require any shielding gas, so it’s great for use in the field. Then we kind of, we usually move on to the MIG welding process. I happen to have a Fronius MIG welder right here. We use these in the shop exclusively for our wire feeder.
Anything automotive-related, this is probably the process that’s going to be used the most. And then, you have your GTAW process, or your TIG welder, which is done with an electric torch, with a non-consumable electrode, and it’s great because there’s no smoke, there’s no fumes. It’s a very clean, precise process.
Welding, like any other trade, once you learn it, it’s yours for life.
GIUSEPPE IATAROLA: It doesn’t take long learning the basics of welding. But like anything else, it’s practice, practice, practice. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to us here, at MotorWeek.