How to learn to weld by yourself. Part 7

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The substitute welding teacher.

The last thing you’d expect that would help you to learn to weld is a substitute welding teacher, even if you had a daily welding class. But in reality, that is who is teaching most of the self taught welders. Substitute teachers? How? By video of course! If you are anti-technology, then you probably aren’t aware of all the wonderful and accurate welding resources that are found online these days. In fact, even if you are fairly tech savvy, you may not have had time to review the vast amount of information that has been posted online about welding on places such as Youtube. However, trust me, there is a gold mine of information out there.

But as with gold mines, most of the stuff you wade through to get to the gold is of little value. If you are up to looking around on the internet, you will find a lot of videos that profess to be welding related or that claim give you really valuable welding tips and tricks. Yes, there are many good videos out there, but don’t be fooled by the posers. In order to sift sort through these videos, be sure to look at the number of views. While views don’t ultimately determine the worth or value of the content in the video, it does give you some indication of their authority. The other is too look for arc shots. Long, unfiltered arc shots without up close detail often can be from amateurs who are new to welding but excited to share their newfound interests.

Another way to figure out how worthy a video is for teaching is to look at the comments section. If you see a lot of positive questions and answers, this video is likely to be a good video for use in your self-education. If you see no comments or a consistent run of negative comments, pay attention as these videos may be teaching you something wrong. Lastly, take a look at the weld and arc shot close ups. Do the welds look nice, even and stacked in comparison to other videos you have seen? If so, then pay attention to the content. You can learn something. Keep in mind though, that videos make things look easy. Arc shots often distort distances and what you will and can see while welding. The reality is practice is the only way to be able to master welding.