kids and welding
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  1. #1
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    Default kids and welding

    My 5-year old loves to come to the shop and do 'projects.' These are usually making something out of sheet HDPE. Last time we built a toy Super Cub. Traced the fuselage, wings, and HTP onto the sheet, cut it out with the bandsaw and welded it together. He really wants to learn to weld metal, but he's still a little young for that. When our projects require welding, I set up a weld screen for him to stand behind. At this age, he's too young to actually do the welding, but he still likes it.

    I'd like to get him a jacket and helmet so he can actually see things up close. The smallest option I've found is the extra-small women's jackets. Helmets generally seem to be one size.

    My questions:
    1) Does anyone have any suggestions for PPE that is more kid sized (albeit probably still too big)?
    2) Any suggestions on teaching a kid to weld? I usually run gas-shielded flux core, but I'm thinking I'll switch over to solid to teach to minimize the fumes, those can't be good for a developing brain.

  2. #2
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    Love the idea of starting him young! Might consider a pancake style shield the pipeliner's favor, at least for watching dad weld. As to his own headgear, could have him double up on some stocking caps to make helmet fit? Or they do make those leather ones that go down over your neck as well.

    Surely if you mentioned this noble quest of PPE, leathers, etc. needing altered to someone skilled in sewing such heavy materials, they would want to help just because it's cool, and they themselves would be a trades person who could appreciate the whole matter.

    Hope it all works out for you two! I've taught some youngin's to weld over the years and we usually started out with brazing. I found that even the young grandsons who weren't 'wimps' in life, still were too young to take a hot mig bb through their clothes, so good on you to seek out a jacket.

  3. #3
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    Why is 5 too young? Stick a helmet on him and give him some gloves a mig gun and some scrap. Show him how and spend a few mins letting him do it. I wish my dad would have done that for me.

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  5. #4
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    Dad set me in front of some scrap with 6011 when I was 8. It took a lot more practice to strike an arc but when I was 10 and we finally got a MIG welder I was off to the races because I had already been doing it the hard way. I had my own helmet and gloves but pretty sure it was adult sized

  6. #5
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    As another datum, As a child of 7-8 I used to go to the 'yard' on Saturday mornings with dad. Dad introduced me to gas welding at the age of eight. The only PPE used was welding goggles, which were adjusted so they fitted my head. It didn't take too many sessions before I could weld bits of scrap sheet together by my self.

    Oxy-acetylene welding is fairly gentle and simple compared with the other processes. If you set up the parameters right and use clean stock, MIG can be fun if he starts by drawing lines on the metal with the gun, then progressing to inside fillets and lap joints where the work can guide the torch.

    Get something to sit on so thet you can be behind him looking over his shoulder and helping to guide his hands to start with.

    And report back on the successes!

  7. #6
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    Both of mine did a bit of mig welding when they were 8 or so.
    Gloves and long sleeves were fine- its not like they were doing production. Most adult hoods will crank down pretty tight, but worst case scenario, loosed the head gear, and then just duct tape it to about the right size.
    I would agree flux core is probably a bit smoky and spattery to start with.

    Kids also take pretty quickly to oxy-fuel welding- its small scale, with a fine tip, quiet, and easily controllable.

  8. #7
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    I have not watched in quite awhile, but on SV Seeker on youtube, he had his at the time 4-5 year old grand son Mig welding and from what I could see was pretty decent at it. That kid could do alot from operating the overhead crane etc. He may have been advanced for his age, but you never know until you let the kid try it.

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    Thank you for refreshing the memories.

    At 12 my youngest daughter wanted to help. Many evenings were spent together. Adult sized gloves and helmet were the biggest problem she had with a mig. She help with projects till she left home... Welded the neighbors mail box to the post. Fixed an early BF's bumper. all sorts of stuff...


    Almost 25 years later her husband got himself a mig and proceeded to learn to weld....
    She gave him a bad time about a girl could do better than that.... then showed him she could

    The conversation I had with him after learning she can weld is an example of why I have a great son in law.

  10. #9
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    My youngest was about 8 when he learned to weld. I had asked one of his older brothers to repair the deck of a bush hog and came out to find older brother standing to the side as Joe, my youngest, was running beads on the deck. He did over 20' of weld that first day with a Miller Dial Arc stick welder. Pretty quickly he moved on to MIG and by High School had also started working on his TIG skills.

    For PPE after that first day, I got him a small jacket, small gloves and we set him up with a hood adjusted to the smallest size we could get it to go to.

  11. #10
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    Blue Demon Little Demons MIG Welding Gloves - LITTLEDEMONS-MIG — Baker's Gas & Welding Supplies, Inc.

    I would think the hood would be the hardest think to fit. Other than that, I say start em young.

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  13. #11
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    My little guy just turned 5, on his birthday he parked his dirt bike right smack dab in front of the drill rig. next morning.the help didnt do walk around only needed to move it 10feet Of course crunch. my little guys first words after seeing it was we can fix that right? He runs cordless drills and smaller tools, no saws , also getting good on the skid steer. prabably time to get him on a welder everything that is learned young seems to be learned easier And easier to master later in life

  14. #12
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    ^^^
    This! Kids brains learn a lot better than our worn out ones.


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