Welding Related Tools You Might Need

So, you've got a welder. Now what? How do you get started welding? What else are you going to need? Clamps. Lots of them too. You’ll never outgrow your need for welding clamps, vises, or locking pliers if you are going to be doing any regular welding. The problem is that a good quality clamp is going to cost you, and a whole collection of clamps will probably cost more than your welder. Don’t worry, buying a cheap clamp is better than none at all. There are different types of clamps that you’ll find helpful. Most people are familiar with the traditional C-clamp, and you’ll definitely need two or three. But the really helpful ones are the sliding bar clamps that work similar to a C clamp, but offer quick adjustment, and larger throat capacities. They offer tenacious grip and usually one handed adjustment so you don’t need an extra person to help set up. These clamps do pay for themselves, and it really pays to buy quality, because cheap ones tend to spread, or slip when force is really applied. The sliding bar type come in many different forms. One of my favorite has a bar on top with a “jaw” and the bottom looks like a locking plier, and is in fact just that. But with a 6 inch throat it is anything but a typical locking plier. I use it for fast set up and assembly. It doesn’ t quite provide the grIp for heavy holding but it does give enough to allow me to use my other hand to complete set up. Gravity feeds the jaw down, and a quick squeeze locks it in place. The sliding bar clamp lines have recently been expanded in most of the major companies. Creative inventiveness has ruled, and there are now more types than a person could imagine. Each one seems to be designed with either a specific, or a very broad range of use in mind. If your budget is small, start with a small bar clamp. You can spend less than 20.00 on the smallest one. But on the largest one, it’s not uncommon to spend 200.00 or more.