How to learn to weld by yourself. Part 6
Getting as much information as you can.
Where do you start? Obviously, if you are reading this, you probably have already started accumulating information about learning to weld. But if it is something you’ve just discovered you want to learn to do, you need to gather information first, as much as you can read and digest. There are plenty of welding text books online. One of my personal favorites is simply entitled “Welding” 2nd edition, by David J. Hoffman, Kevin R. Dahle, and David J. Fisher, published by Pearson. Textbooks take a more analytical approach to welding. Some dispense tons of information about welding to give you theory, while others ( like my favorite) teach through practical examinations and pictorial guides of the topic of welding and demonstrate a question and answer format, sort of a F.A.Q of welding information.
Several companies including Lincoln and Miller have free welding guides that are available for download on their site. For more advanced users, there are even purchasable materials you can buy and download. If you are seriously wanting to learn to weld, or have already started the process, accumulate as much book knowledge about welding literature as you can and read it. No, it cannot teach you muscle memory, or give you real world experience, but it can prepare you for what you are going to see and observe while welding. It can help you to problem solve your weld issues, and it can inform you about the standards used in the welding industry. It can give you real world exercises to work through and solve while welding.
A good welding text book or guide can give you all you need to know about evaluating the quality and strength of your welds once completed. If you’ve not started with good printed welding information, stop and go get some. Find whatever you can and read it. It will not do anything but help you in the long run and can always serve as a resource later if you need to look back on something for more information.