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  • welding safety question

    Although I've been gas welding on a hobby level for years, I've just talked myself into buying a mig, and realizing it's a whole different way of doing things, I'm going to ask a question that shows how ignorant I really am.....I need to do some repair work on the floor of my pickup bed, and as I'm literally playing with electricity while using the mig, will I need to use something to insulate myself from the metal I'm welding, or can I just get down on my knees inside the ol' truck bed and weld away? How about standing on the ground and leaning against the truck body while I'm welding? (just thought I'd better ask before I do anything REALLY stupid)

    Thanks in advance, Bill

  • #2
    The voltages used in welding are usually not at a level where they present a problem.
    This been said, Many poeple have experienced getting 'bit' by there welder, usually, it is just an unplesant experience.
    The use of dry welding gloves, and protective clothing greatly reduces the chance of getting a shock from your equipment.
    Good sense is your best protection in any case, if you have any doubts about the safety of any practice, don't do it.
    work safe, always wear your safety glasses.


    Edward Heimbach

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    • #3
      Another bit of advice that has been on this forum several times: Keep the ground clamp as close as practical to the weld site. The sides of the bed area Ok, but not on the front bumper for example. This reduces the current localized and prevents damage to electronic gadgets most vehicles have these days.

      Bob

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      • #4
        HI BILL.............MAN THEIR ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS HERE. YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO BE STANDING IN WATER WHILE YOU WELD EITHER...............ELECTRICITY WILL TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE IF YOUR WET OR SKIN IS TOUCHING WHAT IS BEING WELDED ON THEN YOUR THE LEAST RESISTANCE AND YOU WILL GET LIT UP.....................IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO THINK SAFETY BEFORE YOU START THE PROJECT. LOOK AROUND FOR OBVIOUS THINGS THAT WILL GET YOU IN TROUBLE, FLAMMABLE MATERIALS, NEWSPAPERS OR THINGS THAT IGNITE EASILY OR WILL EXPLODE. YES AND MAKE SURE THE NEIGHBOR KID ISN'T WATCHING YOU WELD FROM TEN FEET AWAY ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE NOT GOOD...................HAVE A GOOD ONE.............................ROCK
        [email protected]

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        • #5
          As long as you have your work lead clamp properly attached you will be ok.

          Read and understand the owners manual. Always be safe, wear gloves, I have trouble with that one. You will create new words when you grab the metal too soon.

          We're here for all your questions, keep'im coming.
          It's not an optical illusion...it just looks like one

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          • #6
            Welding on the truck bed you should be mindfull of where the gas tank and lines are. Depends on the truck design, but a burn thru in the bed could drip molten metal on a rubber gas line: sizzle, sizzle, bang! Very not good.

            Bob

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            • #7
              Speaking of shocks, the worst one I've ever seen.
              Myself and another fella were building a mockup of a navy ship for firefighting practice, the job was draging out, 3 months in the dead of winter, cold and wet. One day it was raining and we figured ok, it's too wet to do any kind of good welding so we figured we'd tack some plates in position. You gotta understand, this mockup was 35' long and 15' wide, two stories so it was sort of sheltered but you still got wet feet and wet hands due to water dripping thru unwelded joints etc. Welll, this plate was only 8" or so square and it was in the corner at chest height, so my buddy was holding it in one hand with the other kind of supporting himself against the opposite wall. Dumba** me, instead of striking the arc on the bulkhead struck, or attempted to strike, the arc on the plate he was holding. As it was, due to paint, crud or ?? ther was no connection thru the plate to the bulkhead, the full jolt went thru him, I swear he glowed for 30 minutes afterwards, thru him back, tripped over his own feet and landed flat on his a** in the water. After I was done laughing, we went to the local tavern, I ended up buying to dull the pain, still laugh when I think about it....Mike

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              • #8
                Bill,

                That was my first concern when I first picked up a mig gun. That has been quite a few years ago, and I haven't gotten bitten by it YET.
                Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
                The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

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                • #9
                  About getting on your knees...I have had occasion to use my knee to kneel on the ground clamp to make it contact for tacking, or clamping on to a tab then tacking it on something for a ground connection. Welding current would sooner go back to the machine through the ground lead than through you, with the exception of Mike's story.

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                  • #10
                    I have welded while in water and showed others how. No tingle when done right. The trick is know and follow right procedures. Can't pilot an airplane as don't know right procedures. Can drive a boat or ship.

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