I’m Garrett Strong with makemoneywelding.com
I’ve been helping beginners learn how to weld online for several years now, especially those looking for a cheap welding experience to get started.
You may also enjoy these articles… “How To Quickly Start Hobby Welding” and “How To MIG Weld Steel In The Flat Position”.
To start hobby welding and not have an idea of the amount of money you want to spend is not a good idea.
Cheap Welding Tip #1: Don’t Go Too Cheap
There are a lot of cheap welding machines on the market today, and no I don’t recommend going with the bottom of the barrel when you’re just starting.
The higher you go on the scale of power for a welder the more expensive they get. Just know that if you go with a more powerful welder you can always turn it down to weld thinner metals.
Everybody wants to save money, but it’s not the best idea to go overboard here and disappoint yourself.
I always recommend that beginners to welding start out with a MIG welder just because they are so easy to use. You can literally lay a nice weld bead right out of the box when using a MIG.
If you’re not sure what the difference is between the different welding processes, you may want to check out my post “What’s The Difference Between MIG, TIG, and Stick Welding?”
Cheap Welding Tip #2: Don’t Overpay For A Welding Helmet
There are lots of welding helmets on the market and some even cost upwards o $400. For diy welding projects you don’t need a helmet that expensive.
I’ve had several of these helmets and they did the job for me, but here’s a not of caution. Some of the cheap welding helmets are made kind of flimsy and might break on you eventually.
Besides that, it will work fine for you while you’re just getting started.
Cheap Welding Tip #3: Build Your Welding Cart
It’s good practice to build you own welding cart, and the materials to do it might cost you $30.
Check out my FREE welding cart project here for an example of how easy it is to build a welding cart.
All you really need is some angle iron, expanded metal, and wheels.
Cheap Welding Tip #4: Check The Scrap Pile At Your Steel Yard
If your local steel yard has a scrap pile that you can search in it’s a good idea. A lot of times they will discount pieces of metal that have been cut on.
I was just practicing my welds, and the metal was FREE!
If you buy the steel from the racks in full 20′ pieces it’s a little more expensive, but it’s the way to go when you’re building a project.
Cheap Welding Tip #5: Buy Your Welding Rods and Wire Online
It’s cheaper to buy your welding consumables online, like at Ram Welding Supply or Ebay. It’s not only cheaper, but you don’t pay tax on online purchases if they’re out of state.
If you’re buying your MIG welding wire online you have 2 different options because a MIG welder can work with gas or without gas.
If you’re using it with gas then you would buy solid wire. If you’re using it without gas then you’re using it with flux core wire.
Using your mig welder is cheaper when starting out by welding with flux core wire. This is because you don’t have to buy a gas cylinder.