If you are delving into the world of restoring old vehicles as a do-it-yourself hobbyist, there's no doubt you'll want to use a stud welding system to pull out dents. Using a stud welding system for auto body repair is one of the most effective ways to repair dents so you don't have to find replacement components, which can be difficult for older vehicles. However, there's some crucial information you need to know regarding safety issues of stud welding systems, especially if you have little to no experience with welding. Here's what you need to know to stay safe while operating a stud welding system.
Particles, Fumes, & Gases
When welding, very small metal particles can also get into the air. These small particles can be breathed in and cause damage to your lungs. Therefore, since the particles can be extremely fine and linger in the air long after you remove your protective gear, it's important to have a dust collector system installed in your shop to collect the fine particles. Don't rely only on wearing a protective mask and/or face shield with a respirator to limit your exposure to these small particles.
Welding systems emit fumes and noxious gases that can cause diseases in your lungs. Of course, at some point you'll need to remove your respirator, but the fumes and gases may still linger in the air. Therefore, it is crucial that you have good ventilation in your garage when you operate your stud welding system.
You could simply raise your garage door when operating the system; however, that may not be ideal depending on the weather conditions and temperature.
Speaking of weather conditions and temperature, it is very important to only operate the stud welding system in dry conditions. Stud welding systems produce an electrical discharge, which can lead to electrical shock when moisture is present. Of course, you don't want to stand on a wet surface or wear wet clothing when operating your stud welding system.
Also, if you rely on an open garage door for your ventilation system, it wouldn't be a good idea to weld when it's raining and windy outside. You won't want to take the chance of having any wetness in or around your welding area or you could get an electrical shock.
Stud welding systems produce excessive heat. In fact, in order for a welding system to work it needs to reach temperatures that can be as high as 9,900 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you may want to invest in an air conditioning system for your garage, especially if you plan on working throughout the dog days of summer. Also, because of the excessive heat that is produced, you'll want to be sure to remove all combustibles and flammables from your garage before using your stud welding system.
Keep in mind also that this means removing all fumes produced by your gas- or diesel-operated engine from your shop before using the welding system. This is another reason a ventilation system with forced air is a better idea than simply opening the door to your garage.
Of course, there will be sparks produced when welding. It's crucial to wear personal protective equipment and gear. The clothing, boots, and gloves you wear should be flame-resistant to protect your skin from burns. Always make sure your eyes are protected or you could risk losing your eyesight.
In conclusion, it may be a safer and more affordable idea to contract out all stud welding work instead of attempting to do it yourself, especially if you are unable to make these types of essential upgrades to your garage.