How to Weld Your Own Stuff

Learn something new in the New Year: Bob Vila explains how to make repairs and craft one-of-a-kind metal projects with welding.
Bob Beacham Avatar
new year new skill how to weld your own stuff


We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Welding is an increasingly popular hobby, and for good reason. It can be used to fix a gate or repair a car, saving a bundle in the process. DIY welding projects can also include attractive fire pits or sculptures for the yard. High-quality welding equipment has never been easier to use, and it has become remarkably affordable.

Getting started is easier than many people think, and Bob Vila supports those who want to learn to weld with an extensive range of articles. We cover a number of topics, including welding terms, different types of welding, and practical tips on how to weld for fun or profit.

What Is Welding?

Welding is the process of permanently joining two or more pieces of metal together. A welding wire or filler rod is used to create an electrical circuit called an ‘arc’ that fuses the metal at very high temperatures. When formed correctly, good welds have tremendous strength and durability.

While welding can be used in anything from tin-can manufacturing to shipbuilding, in this article we’re focusing on how to weld at home. MIG (metal inert gas) is the most popular type of welding for beginners because it is easy to learn and the equipment is relatively inexpensive. However, there are several other types of welding, so those who start this fascinating hobby will never be short of new things to try.

4 Types of Welding Every DIYer Should Know
MIG vs. TIG Welding: What’s the Difference?

Welding Projects for Beginners

The most popular welding projects for beginners are basic repairs to fences and gates, fixing auto bodywork or trailer damage, making small furniture items like stools and side tables, and developing sculptural pieces that allow welders to explore their creativity.

Each of these can be accomplished with minimal experience, and can save substantial amounts of money. Scrap welding projects are also popular, allowing beginner welders to practice at minimal expense. These could still result in impressive art pieces. Rust, dents, and scratches are an integral part of the industrial appeal of this type of work. Knowing which types of welds to use for different projects is key to welding success.

9 Types of Welds and When to Use Them

new year new skill how to weld for beginners

Essential Tools of the Trade

MIG welding is invariably recommended for beginners, and our top tool pick has been chosen to meet this need. The remainder of the tools and equipment can be used for all types of welding. They have been selected from leading manufacturers, and the extensive buyer’s guides written by Bob Vila researchers.

The Best Welders for Beginners
How to Use a MIG Welder

Welding Tips and Tricks

Learning the basics of how to weld at home is not difficult, and with MIG welding in particular, beginners can achieve success relatively quickly. Nevertheless, being patient, and taking time with each welding project will invariably produce better results.

Preparation is a key element. Planning each task, and having everything at hand when you start allows full focus on the job being undertaken. Also, while it is possible to weld dirty or rusted metal, cleaning up the edges to be joined will help improve weld strength.

It’s also vital to consider safety. Never attempt to weld without a mask or gloves. Welding can produce unpleasant fumes, so adequate ventilation is important. When welding at home, make sure kids and pets are kept clear of the area. This is not only for their own safety but to prevent you from being distracted and injuring yourself.

new year new skill how to weld your own stuff - man welding in home shop

Expand Your Welding Repertoire

While easy welding projects that can be found online are a great place to start, there is tremendous satisfaction to be gained from improving your skills, and expanding the type of welding you do. It often means work can be accomplished more quickly, and may reduce costs too. Some people take their welding further, and turn a hobby into a profitable side hustle.

There is no substitute for learning how to weld from someone with experience. It may be a friend who is a welder, and can act as a mentor, or it might be at local classes. If these aren’t available, then online welding courses are a viable alternative.

The Best Online Welding Courses