New Additions! – Welders

We are excited to start teaching here at The Sunrise Workshop!  We’ve been putting a lot of thought into classes we will offer, looking for seasoned knowledgeable instructors, and exciting projects for people to take on.  There must be a “first” class, and if you have not read our bio, our first class has a bit of meaning to it.  I’ll save you a couple clicks and let you read the excerpt below.  If you have already read it, feel free to scroll down to the next paragraph.

“One Saturday morning, Katie and John were sitting on the couch in the shop, enjoying their coffee and scrolling through a social media feed on their phones.  That is when John spotted an article in the Onion, a satirical website.  The title on the article read “New Sip-And-Weld Studio Provides Opportunity To Drink Wine, Create Own Masterpiece With Blowtorch”.  The article also sported a woman in a welding helmet hoisting a glass of red wine and a huge smile.  John chuckled a bit and showed it to Katie saying “Why not?  I imagine there are a ton of women out there that would love to get the chance to craft something out of metal!”  John’s eyes lifted and scanned the relatively empty expanse of the shop.  As his eyes moved about the room, Katie said “Don’t say it… don’t even speak the words…”  but it was too late. It was true, they were living in the very type of place they needed to fulfil their dream, and they honestly didn’t realize it until that moment.”

Our idea grew from an article on wine and welding, so we thought it only fitting to make our first class a “Wine & Welding” weekend.  There are many different reasons for putting a class like this together.  From offering crafters a chance to add another skill to the toolbox, to offering women an opportunity to learn in an environment free from the stresses they might feel stepping into a regular “workshop” often dominated by men.  That’s right boys, you’ll have to sit this one out.  Girls only.  But fear not, there will be other intro to welding classes that will be open to you, we do not intend to segregate any of our classes in the future.  This one just happens to be a nod to all the great women I served with, worked with, and am related to.  

So what’s the new addition?  Welders!  We have purchased three brand new welders from “YesWelder” – a company that introduced a well-made, inexpensive, multi-process welder to the US market in recent years.  The welders are of course “made in China” and there is a reason we chose this brand; price.  We set out to find inexpensive welders obtainable by the average crafter.  Lets face it, if you have to drop three thousand dollars on a well known, socially acceptable machine that you can’t buy at the local big box store, the chances of you sticking two hunks of metal together just reduced drastically.  But, if you buy a less than top of the line for an affordable price machine, you just might find a hidden passion that will lead you to spend that three thousand dollars on a Miller, or Lincoln, or Hobart welder.  What we were in search of, was an entry level welder that you can acquire without breaking the bank.  YesWelder was our choice.

The model of choice is a MIG-205DS, retailing on that massive shopping website for $439 at the moment.  As it comes, it’s capable out of the box of gasless flux core wire fed welding. If you’re not familiar with welding, or welding terms, I’ll try and give the best short definition as we go along.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) (flux core) welding is an arc welding process that uses a wire electrode, containing a core that produces a shield from contaminants.  The wire is heated by electricity and fed into the weld pool from a welding gun. The two base materials are melted together forming a joint.  

Out of the box, the machine also comes with leads for stick welding.  Stick welding is an arc welding process where a short welding rod is clamped in the lead and when heated by the electricity, melts the end of the rod into welding pool.  The rods come coated in a material that forms the same shield against contaminants when heated.

The welder can also use solid wire with the addition of a gas mixture pumped through the welding gun supplied by a gas bottle at the machine.  This requires the purchase of a gas bottle and regulator.  This is the configuration that will be used during the class, however, all methods will be talked about and demonstrated.

An additional purchase of a TIG wand, gas bottle, and regulator, you can utilize the lift TIG function of the welder.  Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, sometimes referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) uses a wand that holds a short tungsten electrode, surrounded by shielding gas from the bottle, to melt the base metals and join them together. A “filler rod” can be added or “dipped” into the welding pool to fill the space left by the melting of the base metals.

OK, now that we’re done with all the techno speak, what is it really capable of?  For crafters, just about anything.  It operates on either 110 volt (common household outlets) or it can also operate on 220 volt (think electric dryer outlet).  It can weld sheet metal reliably up to 3/16” thick.  It’s perfect for small welds on many mild steel projects.  It is also capable of stainless steel welding with the stick or TIG process.  Sadly, it cannot weld aluminum.  Over all, it’s a capable little welder, with lots of options.  It’s easy to operate, and would be at home in any shop.

We will have three of these little units available for use during the Wine and Welding class, plus demonstrations on several other welders.  

What about the wine?  What wine pairs best with the YesWelder?  Truthfully, I don’t know.  We will be reserving the wine tasting and charcuterie board for after the welders are put away.  Regardless, we are incredibly excited to see this class come together!

Make sure your metal is clean, your ground is attached, and weld like nobody’s watching.