5 Things Your Kids Can Learn From a Veteran

Having a relative who has been active in the honorable service for a long time is a blessing. Besides being a source of livelihood, the acquired experience is integral in the upbringing of children and the society in general. Probably you can’t think of anyone in your social circle as being a veteran but thanks to the veteran day your kids can be enlightened on a few life lessons that will mold them to be better citizens. Some of the things veterans teach children are:


  • The three Ds of life


Determination, discipline, and dedication are essential traits that are crucial in life far beyond ability. Sometimes, this may not sink well until you hear from the horse’ mouth and the military being a highly regulated profession, it is impossible to succeed without the above three. By observing how ex-military personnel conduct themselves, your kids will learn the art of commitment to task and determination.in spite of imminent insecurity, veterans worked to ensure sanity within the borders, and this is widely attributed to dedication to the task. Discipline and etiquette learned from a veteran will spare your kids from the net of peer influence.


  • The art of perseverance


The armed forces are often associated with work in uncomfortable situations and stressful conditions, and it takes a lions’ heart to survive. Life will not always be smooth and at one time or another difficult situation will be unavoidable but then how you cope with the events is paramount to your survival. The sweetest victory is achieved from the most discomforting battle, and this is quite vivid for a veteran hence when you engage your kids to a veteran, this will be transmitted. Moreover, a veteran will teach your kids to strategize quickly and act swift in difficult events as routine is never  guaranteed in life.


  • The value of exercise and effective fitness techniques


It is no doubt that military personnel undergoes intensive training in the barracks to keep fit and this not baseless. A veteran can teach your kid the benefits of physical exercise and some proper techniques to do the same; this is better appreciated than the gymnastics. Health benefits associated with exercise are enormous and having a veteran inculcate the habit of physical exercise in your children by a veteran will be amazing as they are not likely to forget.


  • Being responsible


One of the things a veteran can teach your children is the virtue of responsibility which will give them a self-drive and as well spares you of having to monitor their actions frequently. In the military, responsibility is adored, and often you are confronted with events requiring some responsibility as a person or on behalf of a multitude, your kids will portray some sense of responsibility having contacted a veteran.


  • Appreciation for freedom


Most kids will never understand want freedom is, and it requires the intervention of someone who has contributed in a way to the attainment of freedom so that this gets in crystal clear. By doing this, your kids are molded to avoid infringing on others freedom and participate in enhancing freedom when the time is right.

Welding Helmet: A Sight for Sore Eyes

When you understand the amount of raw power a welder works with, it only makes sense to want protection. But protection is a matter of degrees. It’s one thing to protect your skin from becoming singed, it’s another to protect your eyes from feeling dead-tired when you come home after a long day of welding.

And protection is just one of a dozen things a good welding helmet can bring to the table. As with almost any tool, both your productivity and the quality of your work can be improved when you’re properly equipped for the tasks at hand.


Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Series

If you’re only doing a small amount of amateur welding, then it’s alright to use basic equipment, and to suffer through all its various limitations. But when you’re doing more, you want to make sure your gear gets in your way as little as possible. It seems Lincoln Electric constructed the 3350 Series for exactly that purpose.

Compared to less impressive helmets, the VIKING 3350 and its 3lbs weight does feel fairly weighty in your hands. But its pivot-style design helps to evenly distribute that weight across your head, which allows for comfort that lasts throughout the day. And an extra swivel on its backside makes this headgear easy to throw on, even one-handed.


Welding with Clear Vision for the First Time

The 3350 is built to provide a fairly impressive 3.74″ x 3.34” viewing area. When you’re welding a larger project, the more you can see, the better off you’ll be. But you don’t just see more, you see clearer as well. That’s because the VIKING 3350 is one of a handful of Lincoln Electric helmets built with 4C lens technology.

Translated into real-world terms, this technology provides several things. It offers a real-color view of the world. It includes automatic darkening filtration to help protect from flashes and flares, with variable lens shade control between 5-13.

That’s considerably better than the standard grinding modes many welders have become accustomed to using. And maintaining those levels of clarity in both active states and inactive states means you never have to swap off your helmet while working.

Eye Fatigue & Switching Speeds

Last but not least, protection from eye strain is another big selling point. Slow switching can contribute to eye fatigue, especially over the course of a full day of welding. The more rapidly your eyes can be protected from high intensity, the less tired they’ll feel at the end of the day. Supporting a switching speed of 1/25,000 sec, the Viking 3350 is capable of reacting to flares almost instantaneously.

Battery Performance

The 3350 is powered by CR-2450 solar cell batteries, quarter-sized batteries which are fairly easy to find and cheap to replace. It’s worth noticing the 3350 has made enhancements to its ADF circuits, allowing for considerably improved battery performance. You might expect about six months of daily use before having to think about changing batteries.

Other Considerations

Aesthetics and style is a matter of taste, and often a personal decision. You might be the type of person who wants their helmet to have a flaming skull-and-crossbones placed over the backdrop of an American flag. While many VIKING Series helmets do indeed have interesting designs, the 3350 series is built with a plain black chassis, nothing short of professional.

For all its strengths, the VIKING 3350 has at least one significant limitation. Its electronics are not waterproofed. You might not want to gamble with this helmet in wet conditions. Beyond that, the VIKING 3350 includes two extra lenses, a bag, bandana, and a 3-year warranty.

Who Should Choose the VIKING 3350?

The Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 brings three important things to the table. It allows no-flickering operation while you’re doing low-amp TIG welds. It provides a large, colorful view-screen. And it’s got enormously fast switching speeds that doesn’t leave your eyes tired at the end of the day. These factors combined, the Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 is ideal for a huge variety of industrial applications with stick, TIG, and MIG welding.

Having the right equipment for the task in front of you can make you more productive, and the 3350 series is adaptable enough to handle almost anything. It’s not the right gear to use outdoors in Seattle during the rainiest parts of the year. But from shipbuilding to pipeline construction, there are otherwise few limits to what the 3350 can help you accomplish.

5 Ways You Can Reduce the Stress of Water Damage Cleanup

When your home is flooded by water, you can’t afford to have peace of mind. This is because the water can really damage your valuable items including furniture and electrical appliances. Further, a flood can actually make your home inhabitable. Besides that, if the flood is caused by a burst pipe, you might have to pay a high utility bill at the end of the month. The good thing is that there are ways of countering the damages that’s caused by water. You only need to follow the tips explained below and you will be on your way to restoring your home to its former self.

  1. Switch Power Off

The first thing to do when you realize that water is flooding uncontrollably in your home is to switch off power. This helps in protecting you against short circuits that happen when water comes into contact with electricity. In fact, you should also unplug all electrical appliances to prevent them from getting damaged. If the water is in every room, you should consider seeking refuge elsewhere say a hotel or at a friend’s house until the problem is solved. You should also evacuate your pets because they are also vulnerable to electrocution.

2     Close the Water Source

In most cases, water damages are induced by burst pipes, loose faucets, blocked and malfunctioning toilet tanks and heating cylinders. The problem will persist as long as the source of water remains open. You must therefore identify what’s causing the problem and then close the main supply. If it’s a burst pipe, you may try to cover the gap with a rubber band temporarily. Incase the water is flowing from the toilet tank, the toilet must not be used again. However, if you are dealing with groundwater, you can dig a trench to redirect the floods away from the house.

3     Remove Moveable Items

Before you step out of the house, you should consider removing everything that has come into contact with the water outside. This includes all items that are close the floods. If you live alone, you should call your neighbors to come and help you in carrying the items to safer ground. You can actually put them in the backyard to avoid attracting the wrong attention. If the floods come during wet weather, you should cover your items with a material that’s resistant to water to prevent them from intense damages. The rugs, carpets and curtains can be placed on the clothesline to dry.

4     Manually Remove the Water

Once the situation has been brought under control, you should use all means possible to remove the water. For a start, you can use buckets to draw the water. But this is a bit tedious. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum machine and mopping rugs to suck the floor dry. You should also consider turning the heater and the fan on because they enhance the drying process.

5     Call Water Restoration Company

Since you don’t have advanced tools for cleaning out floods, it’s recommended you call Water Damage Restoration Headquarters. Such a company will be able to fix the flooding problem once and for all. Owing to their experience, you can be sure that no amount of water is too much for them. They even bring their professional plumbers to the site so that they can fix damaged pipes.

4 Tips to Remodeling Your Kitchen

With only a few tips and tricks you can remodel your kitchen into a comfortable and spacious room. Here are some tips to remodeling the kitchen that you can use.

Brighten up your kitchen

Kitchens need enough light so that you can comfortably prepare and cook meals. Small kitchens go well with bright colors which make them appear more spacious and elegant. Keep in mind that dark colors make a kitchen look dull and dirty.

Repaint your kitchen walls and cabinets with bright shades so as to absorb enough light into the room. This can either be white or semi-gloss paint to enhance your kitchen’s appearance. Semi-gloss paint is easy to clean, especially when cleaning spills. It also gives the kitchen a unique shine.

Improve lighting by hanging pendants and bright colored curtains which will improve your kitchen’s aesthetic value. Have the bulbs placed over the cooking top to allow more light as you cook.

Consider the function

Open kitchens have become common in many homes. If you have an open kitchen, try to separate the kitchen from the dining area by creating space. During remodeling plan on where you will place the counters and cooktops so that you can make the cooking process simpler.

Incorporate shelves on the walls where you can safely store cooking utensils and other appliances. Place hooks on the wall near the cooktop where you can hang your cooking pots and pans. This will not only save you some space, but it will leave your kitchen looking neat and organized.

Make the walkways wide

Depending on your set budget and kitchen size, you can decide to change the size of your kitchen. Create ample space in your kitchen to carry out various meal preparations by widening the size of the walkways. If you have kids, even with a wide, spacious walkway you will be comfortable to have them help you out in the kitchen. Ensure that there is space enough for two people.

Also, arrange your appliances in such a way that they do not limit your space. For instance, when you are preparing a meal and someone wants to open the refrigerator or cabinet door; the pathway should be enough to accommodate them while allowing you to continue with meal preparation.

Consider safety

A lot of kitchen appliances and tools such as knives and other sharp tools can be dangerous, especially to kids. Remodel your kitchen to create space in case your kids walk in while you are cooking. This will help prevent accidents that an end up being fatal such as spills and burns from food that is cooking.

Position your appliances in a place where they are easily accessible by everyone. You can also include child locks on your kitchen cabinets and drawers to protect your kids from having access to dangerous and sharp items.

While some people might opt to DIY their own kitchen remodeling, not everyone has the time or expertise to DIY. You can decide to hire a professional to help you with your kitchen remodeling. Professionals will also help you determine the right way that to make use of your kitchen space as well as share ideas on the best materials. Use these tips for picking a kitchen remodeler to help make the best choice for your kitchen remodel project.

Key Business Purchases For A Welding Startup

With the initial startup cost for a welding shop estimated at around $10,000 to $50,000, the financial barrier to entry is a small one. While qualifications and experience are irreplaceable, the right equipment is essential in order to get off the ground properly. With the right space, good gear, and a head for business, a welding startup could soon become a money-making machine.

Find The Right Location

For a welder, the workshop is key in delivering a high-quality product. While a home garage can easily be converted, there are a few things to consider. The location needs to be fitted out for welding purposes and provide a safe environment for projects to be completed. This means enough counter space for smaller projects and floor area for the bigger ones. Sufficient lighting and ventilation are also important. While welding isn’t particularly noising, additional services such as cutting and grinding the metal might disturb the neighbors if done from home.

Have A Mobile Setup Too

Welders are often required to work on site which means that the gear should be transportable. A business van which has been modified for this kind of work is the ideal solution and can also improve the range of clients. Specialized insurance on this type of van is important, as the regular insurance options might not cover all the risk. Additional requirements for the mobile setup include a generator, spotlights with their own stands, power cables, and the required gear.

Buy The Best Quality Gear You Can Afford

One of the most critical things in any business is proper cash flow management. This can often lead business owners to purchase the cheapest option in terms of gear, but it might just be to their detriment. For welders, the quality of their iron and the welding rods are directly linked to the quality of the job they perform. It’s also important to buy good safety gear such as the helmet and gloves, with the higher quality ones topping the list. Running expenses need to be managed properly in order to keep the business healthy and on the right track. Utilities, wages, and the purchase of stock and consumables are non-negotiable in the successful management of a welding business.

For new welders who are not keen on joining the corporate world, opening up their own business is a natural next step. While the business can be started with virtually no overheads, the quality of the product remains key.

Amico Power – 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder

When compared to the point-and-shoot simplicity of MIG welding, it’s true TIG welding is somewhat specialized. But integrating a solid TIG platform into your toolkit has considerable benefits, helping you perform beautiful work with minimal spatter and cleanup.

Unfortunately, cheaper TIG welding equipment tends to suffer arc stability issues. And they can have a dire impact on the overall look of your weld. The shortcomings of more affordable equipment have even kept some people away from using a TIG torch. But there are some noteworthy exceptions to the rule.

Amico Power – 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder

Amico Power is an American based company, specializing in engines, generators, and a variety of service-oriented tools. Arguably one of the more formidable instruments in their lineup, this 2-in-1 style TIG Stick Arc machine delivers a multi-purpose design with very few drawbacks. It’s adaptable enough to slash through thick steel, then turn around and almost immediately be applied to gentler tasks.

Dynamic Build

One of the first things you might notice about this machine is its generally small size. The inverter’s chassis is composed of a mixture of lightweight aluminum and ABS plastic, measuring 16.6 x 11.8 x 7.5-inches. Compared to similar equipment, that’s actually quite compact and portable. Even with respect to its seemingly bulky 25lb weight, portable TIG welders are often twice as heavy.

The 200 Amp TIG Stick/Arc machine includes just about everything you need to start welding out of the box. Its scratch-start system centers around the included TIG torch, with the included cabling providing you a maximum range of 13 feet.

Among its long series of included extras, there’s a pair of 1/8 and 3/32” electrodes, as well as and a pair of tungsten measuring 5/64”. The electrode holder, work clamp, and transfer plug cabling runs marginally shorter than the torch itself, reaching to 10 feet.

Performance Capabilities

Conveniently placed along the front face of the machine, you’ll find every control necessary for operation. That includes supporting 110/230V dual voltage inputs, enabling you to connect through any ordinary power supply, and giving this platform full range of control options.

Using a red analogue dial on its front, you can modulate the system between 20-200 amperage, granting both precision and power. It’s enough raw force to carve through ½” copper, alloy steel, stainless steel, chrome, and cast iron. Equally important, the equipment has a modestly heavy duty cycle of 60%, helping to deliver on its promises of time efficiency.


Other Considerations

Hypothetically speaking, you could splice the wire running from the machine to the torch, and run a foot pedal through the splice. But ignoring that extreme possibility, this TIG Stock/Arc machine does not allow you to attach a foot pedal.

Instead the torch makes use of a readily-accessible button on its handle. It’s great for welding within tight spaces, many of these being spaces where a foot pedal wouldn’t help you to begin with. In any case, it’s hard to hold this against the torch because it was always intended to be more of a compact and portable instrument.

The 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder was constructed in China. Before reaching market, each unit is tested in the United States. Amico Power also includes a 1-year warranty with all their equipment.

Who Should Choose the Amico Power 200 Amp TIG Torch?

After a few minutes of handling, it’s easy to see why people like this torch. The equipment is made to deliver a near-flawless weld, leaving you with very little post-weld cleanup. Its multi-purpose design, letting you toggle between stick and plasma cutting with the flip of a switch, can be a huge time-saver.

With a close examination, you find a standardized design from top to bottom. From the standard threaded fitting used to connect the gas, to the commonality of its replacement consumables, there are no secrets or surprises waiting for here. And there’s no proprietary design that locks you within the Amico Power ecosystem.

Every tool has its limits. This torch isn’t appropriate for working with aluminum, and it has all the previously mentioned limitations with respect to remote pedal control.

But if you can put those restrictions aside, you’ll find the Amico Power 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder is a fairly impressive instrument.  Between the ability to dynamically adapt to new conditions as they come along, and its exceptionally strong price to power ratio, it’s not hard to find reasons to look past its shortcomings.

SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine With Screen Display Dual Voltage 110/220V AC 1/2” Clean Cut (CUT 50)

Not long ago, plasma cutting systems were about as portable as a car without wheels. You needed a DC power brick the size of a refrigerator. You needed water cooling, and you’d tear through consumable pretty quickly. But once you had everything together, you could tear through an inch of steel like it was wet paper.

Although plasma cutter welding machines are still pretty bulky by modern standards, just about every other aspect of their operation has immeasurably improved. With the right instrument, plasma cutters are now one of most time efficient and cost effective methods of cutting through metal.

SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine

SUPER DEAL constructs everything from commercial ice shavers to electric towel warming cabinets. When you’re shopping for quality instruments, it’s often a good idea to apply extra skepticism to products from generic brands like this. But the DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine is a bit of an exception. If nothing else, it’s an excellent example of how far plasma cutters have come in recent years.

Intended to be an efficient, economical alternative to more traditional methods of slicing metal, this welding machine is a high-duty instrument that’s ready for light industrial use. For professionals and do-it-yourselfers, this machine is a fairly capable and cost effective solution.

Finding the Right Cutter

When choosing new equipment, one of the most important variables to consider is the cost and lifespan of consumable components. Those concerns are magnified by other questions, like how often are you using the instrument? How much portability do you need? How thick are the pieces you’re cutting through? These kinds of questions can quickly narrow down if you’ve found the right equipment.

Another thing to watch for are consumable replacement costs. Inexpensive cutting machines like this often lock you into proprietary consumable ecosystems, you end up paying more in the long run. But SUPER DEAL’s included torch, the LG-40, has seen decades of service. Consequently, consumables are both cheap and easy to find.

Performance Capabilities

When you’re selecting a plasma cutting tool, you typically don’t want to cut corners on power. The included power supply is a standard 110V/60Hz, but the inverter is capable of using a 220-volt plug. And it’s equipped to handle 20-50A current. With that much power behind it, the torch can slice anywhere between 1-12mm.

Cutting smoothly so you don’t have to return to polish, the torch rips through thin material in seconds. Given ten minutes of use, you can have this torch in operation for six minutes before it needs to cool off. It’s a duty cycle that compares well to any other cutter as portable as the SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine.

Nearly All-Inclusive Instrument

With a fairly compact 18.5 x 11 x 13.5-inch design, the inverters chassis is also fairly rugged. The orange-yellow body of the device was constructed from heavy duty iron, giving its electronic guts IP21 protection. The front-side makes use of a digital display and highly visible air pressure gauge. The digital readout makes it easy to see where you’re dialed in, helping keep you in control over your weld.

The DC inverter includes an air regulator, LG-40 cutting torch, earth clamp, PG Head, wire brush, chipping hammer, and welding face mask. It includes a pair of plasma tips, gas pipe claspers, hoops. And it includes a user manual, but it’s not particularly well-written. If this is your first time using a plasma cutting torch, it will take you a moment to get your bearings.

The kit does not include a plug-end for a 220/110 connection. Depending on what you’re trying to do, you may need to purchase a plug-end, an air supply line, and a replacement for the non-adjustable welding mask included in this kit. Picking up those things will tack on a few more dollars to the price tag, while helping to keep an exceptionally high cost to performance ratio.

Who Should Choose the SUPER DEAL Inverter Welding Machine?

The Super Deal DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine is suitable for lighter industrial use, sheet metal, automotive, ducting, maintenance, and site work. For the do-it-yourself crowd, it’s an almost-all inclusive, and highly economical option for what can be an essential instrument.

Plasma cutters tend to involve more of an upfront investment, especially when compared to alternatives like oxy-fuel cutting. Cutters like this pay for themselves over time, usually in the form of lower operating costs and time efficiency.

If you can benefit from either of those things, and you’re not looking to heavily invest in a top-shelf instrument intended for heavy industrial use, then this welding machine is worth careful consideration.

Among The Last Torches You’ll Ever Buy: The Blazer GT8000

It’s important to have equipment fit to scale. Whether you’re soldering small pieces of silver, or you’re inside a smaller workspace, you always want the right tool for the job. It ends up reflected in the quality of your work, the efficiency with which you complete a task, and in your personal safety. And the right tool isn’t always your biggest, baddest torch.

Blazer GT8000 Big Shot

Shakespeare once wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” I can think of no better description for the Blazer GT8000 Big Shot. From its physical construction, to its performance, to its capacity, the GT8000 often exceeds expectations instead of simply meeting them.

As one of the most popular torches for welding on a smaller scale, much of the admiration its acquired seems to be due to the sheer number of details it manages to get right.


Ignition System

Streamlined would be another good description of the Big Shot. It ignites with a piezoelectric ignition system, so there’s no need to carry external ignition. And that’s far more predictable and reliable than dealing with matches, or relying on external components.

With respect to ease of use, the GT8000 is one of the simplest torches you may ever lay your hands on. Turn the fuel dial counterclockwise and you’ll hear the hiss of butane. Press in the rectangular ignition switch, and you’ll feel tactile feedback against your finger as the torch ignites. In other words, flip on the fuel, pull back the trigger, out comes the flame. Pretty simple.

The fuel dial is also where details start to matter. The dial provides firm responsive motion against your fingers, helping you adjust it with greater precision. Turning the dual, flame reaches between 1.25” and 5”, which is roughly a full inch longer than the bulk of comparable torches. Taken to its highest setting, the Big Shot is capable of heating to 2,500 °F.

Butane Efficacy

Nobody likes wasting their butane. And the Big Shot is rather excellent at making efficient use of fuel, all without performance compromises. Even as your butane runs slow, the flame doesn’t begin to sputter, it continues to burn consistently until your fuel has been totally exhausted.

As one might expect, the Big Shot is refilled with butane canisters. One downside worth pointing out is that the GT8000 can only be refilled with butane cans from Blazer. But there’s a good reason why.

Blazer crafted a unique relationship between their butane cans and the GT8000 to include a gas inlet valve. This ensures you never need adapters to refill your torch, and makes it far easier to get butane inside with minimal waste.

One more thing you’ll notice while filling up is the 35-gram capacity for butane. Far more than similarly sized torches, it actually takes nearly 20 seconds to finish filling the GT8000. With the fuel dial cranked to its maximum setting, this torch burns about one gram per minute, providing about 35-minutes in total.

Who Should Choose the GT8000?

When a tool falls short of expectations, it’s not long before it gains a reputation for those faults. Bad tools become easy to spot because their reviews are really what get torched.  Which is why it’s consistency that really makes the GT8000 exceptional.

Just about the only thing about its design worth nitpicking is that two hands are required to ignite the torch. The piezoelectric ignition system is convenient and reliable. The entire system is economical with butane. It even burns a bit quieter than similar equipment. Those are the kind of luxuries that become a necessity after you’re used to having them.

Because it feels good to have the right tool for the job. And for many smaller scale jobs, the Blazer GT8000 Big Shot Butane Torch will be the right tool. Whether you work exclusively on a smaller scale, or you’re just trying to find another burning buddy to expand your toolkit, it’s a versatile instrument almost any welder should be able to put to work sooner or later.


Top Welding Jackets for 2018

If you’re a welder, you know how valuable quality welding jackets can be. Considering sparks are flying and you can’t move because you’re in the middle of a weld, a welding jacket is your best protection from burns—and one of the most appreciated welding supplies in your arsenal. Thin shirts or low-quality welding jackets can lead to an unwanted bead or weak joint as you dodge to splatter.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top welding jackets for 2018. But first, let’s take a look at which welding jacket best fits the job at hand.

Welding Jacket Materials

It’s important that not every welding jacket offers the same quality and comfort. Across brands, welding jackets come in varying levels of composition (typically leather), insulation, and structure. As an adept welder, you probably know that a pare of welding chaps and a welding jacket offer the best possible protection—though it can be pricy to own this amount of welding gear. So, a high-quality welding jacket is the best option for cost-conscious welders.

As an item of protection that can guard against high heat and metal splatter, you’ll want to find a welding jacket that offers both fire-resistant materials with some form of thermal insulation. Of course, welding jackets are perfect for cold weather environments, but they are can be year-round solution for personal protection, provided that you don’t overheat while working in higher temperature environments.

While leather is the go-to for most welders, you can find welding jackets made from chemically-altered cotton that offer resistance to heat and flame, but offer more flexibility, comfort, and lower heat-retention.  Other synthetic materials (like aramids, popularly known as Kevlar and Nomex) can offer superior protection, but may not keep your body warm in cold-weather project environments. Then there’s carbon fiber welding jackets, which tend to be less flexible, but offer protection in high-temperature situations that experience a lot of splatter. It’s important to know that some jackets incorporate vulcanized rubber into the materials, which helps out in heavy splatter situations. Lastly, if you’re an occasional welder, a denim jacket can be used in low-splatter situations, though you should expect the jacket to not last very long for more work-intensive projects.

How Long Do Welding Jackets Last?

Like any of your welding supplies, you know that there’s a window of depreciation that a welding jacket has, based on the amount of use and wear it receives. Most welding jackets are designed to last between 3-5 years with regular wear, and even less if you’re welding every work day. It’s a fact of welding life that the heat- and flame-resistant features of the welding jacket are going to wear down, so expect to upgrade accordingly.

Finding the Right Size

Typically, welding jackets are given a standard size (S, M, L, XL) that’s based on your chest measurement. To find your size without having the option to try on a variety in-store, you’ll need to wrap a tape measure under your armpits and around the bulkiest part of your chest. It’s important to make sure that the tape measure is snug, but not so tight that it presses into your skin, leaving red marks or constricting your breathing. Also, be careful to relax during the measurement (i.e. don’t puff out your chest), as this can throw off the true reading. Once you have the measurement, compare it to the sizing chart of your choice of welding jacket to get the correct size for your welding needs.

However, it should be noted that if you have a larger-than-average belly, you may want to substitute a belly measurement for the chest measurement. The reason is that you may find it difficult to button or zip up your jacket when it comes time to weld, limiting your mobility and making it difficult to feel comfortable. The process to obtaining a belly measurement is nearly the same, but you’ll want to run the tape around your bellybutton instead. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid measuring around the hips, as this area tends to be thinner than your true girth.

Top Welding Jackets for 2018





Women in Welding (written by Helen Carey)

As with many areas of manufacturing, the welding industry is in need of workers. Traditionally a male-dominated field, welding has been facing a labor deficit for about a decade now and past efforts to expand recruiting efforts have largely failed or remained inconclusive. But new initiatives aim to change this, specifically by attracting women to the industry.

The older generation of welders is retiring or nearing retirement age, creating a gap that needs to be filled — and quickly. But welding hasn’t been particularly inviting to women over the years, with many companies operating under the assumption that only men would want to weld in the first place.

In 2016, women welders made up only 4% of the industry.

The Evolving Welding Sector

The stereotypical image associated with welding doesn’t help matters — a noisy, dirty factory floor; the constant risk of workplace injuries; and generally unpleasant conditions. But welding, like just about every other area of manufacturing, is evolving and shifting with the times. As technology continues to advance and industrial operations become increasingly digitized and interconnected, the welding industry becomes progressively more high-tech.

Automation technologies are creating safer, more efficient working environments, freeing up workers from more menial tasks and allowing them to focus their time on more interesting aspects of the job. Robotics, computer programming, and engineering skills are becoming more highly sought after as technologies advance.

As the industry evolves, so too must the recruiting techniques used to attract workers to the field. The manufacturing industry as a whole has been grappling with a worker shortage in recent years, with companies and organizations across the country trying to pinpoint the best methods for recruiting — including creating more apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities, raising awareness and funding for trade and technical schools, and targeting underrepresented groups through media and community outreach.

Why So Few Women?

So why aren’t women showing more interest in welding, which offers career stability, flexibility, good pay and benefits, and room for growth?

Simply the fact that women are so outnumbered may be a deterrent; working on a factory floor as the sole woman may be an unappealing prospect for many individuals, not to mention the fact that welding jobs are often associated with workplace hazards and demanding conditions.

Combine this with the fact that workplace harassment remains a constant concern, and the low numbers seem less surprising. In a New York Times article published in December of last year, 80 women factory workers were asked about their workplace experiences, with many describing instances of sexual harassment. And those who don’t face harassment must often deal with an overarching culture of machoism, leading women to feel disrespected or out of place.

Recruiting Women to the World of Welding

With a focus on improving working conditions for women on factory floors, employers, unions, and various nonprofit groups are looking to change these perceptions and shift the country’s welding culture.

The Ironworkers Union, for instance, recently agreed to offer six months paid maternity leave in an effort to attract more women to the field. United Auto Workers made history as one of the first unions to specify in its contracts with Chrysler and Ford that members could file a grievance if they are sexually harassed.

Previous recruiting efforts tended to focus on emphasizing the perks of a welding career, like high pay, good health insurance and benefits, and job stability. Scholarships for trade programs also sprung up, and educational opportunities for younger women became more popular.

Assessing the numbers and determining whether these initiatives were fruitful are more complicated than one might think, however, as the manufacturing industry saw more people — and therefore, more women — entering the workforce during this time. In 2010, 4% of the welders, solderers, and brazers were women, and that percentage remained the same by 2016.

Women Who Weld, a Detroit-based nonprofit, is seeking to create an entirely new welding culture — one that caters to women and offers valuable educational opportunities in female-focused settings rather than simply trying to attract women to traditional, male-dominated programs and apprenticeships. The nonprofit offers welding classes and hands-on training sessions, many of which are led by women, and serves as a general resource and support network for those looking to enter the field. Emphasis is placed on financial literacy, and sexual harassment training is also offered, encouraging women to know their rights on the factory floor.

Sparking a Brighter Future for Women Welders

As new advancements continue to enter the market, welding will continue to evolve — both in terms of the technologies used and the way the industry is perceived. With initiatives like Women Who Weld reaching young women from all walks of life and unions and employers ramping up efforts to create safer, more inclusive working environments, the future seems bright for women in welding.

In the meantime, industry experts, employers, and nonprofits alike will continue to monitor the numbers, trying out new initiatives and working toward a better future — for welding, women, and the manufacturing sphere as a whole.