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How to Weld Safely in a Small Garage

How to Weld Safely in a Small Garage

1. Introduction

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast who loves customizing your motorcycle, you may be thinking about learning how to weld and setting up a welding area in your garage. However, creating a welding area in a small garage may be unsafe. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than half a million welders suffer injuries annually due to welding. Injuries are mostly caused by fire hazards, arc flashes, and toxic fumes. Another study by WeldingPros found that most welding accidents occur due to unsafe welding setups. If you are planning to make a welding setup in your garage, make sure to create a proper working area. This article explains how to weld safely in a small garage.

2. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Welding Safely

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Welding Safely
Flame-resistant clothes
Long sleeve clothes that cover your whole body
High-quality leather jacket
Leather boots
Leather gloves
Welding helmet

If you plan to create a welding setup in a small garage, you will need to get personal protective equipment to ensure your safety. The welding process emits a lot of radiation and sparks that scatter everywhere, making it important to keep your skin and eyes protected from burns. These radiations include infrared rays, X-rays, and ultraviolet rays. If the body is exposed to too much UV radiation, it can cause skin cancer.

Make sure to wear long sleeve shirts and cover your neck with the collar. To protect your body, you must wear flame-resistant clothes for extra protection. Good-quality leather equipment provides better protection from high-intensity rays, sparks, and heat. Wearing normal shoes can be dangerous as they can melt and stick to your skin. Good-quality leather gloves with a minimum thickness of 1.2 mm offer protection and are highly flexible.

The eyes are one of the most sensitive parts, so they must be protected while welding. Working with a regular motorcycle helmet with a black visor is not a safe choice. You must buy a proper welding helmet that protects your face and eyes from sparks and has auto-darkening to ensure better vision.

3. Setting Up a Welding Area in a Small Garage

3.1 Welding Setup

The best way to set up a welding area in a limited space is to make it portable. You can do this by setting up the welding equipment on a cart with wheels. A portable welding station will allow you to take it almost anywhere. Besides being safe and versatile, this also makes it easier to clean the garage. Make sure to use a cart that can carry a lot of weight as welding equipment tends to be heavy.

3.2 Storage

Do not use cardboard storage boxes or anything made of paper and cloth as they are highly flammable. It is best to use metal cabinets for storage.

3.3 Safety Precautions for Welding Safely in a Small Garage

Safety Precautions for Welding Safely in a Small Garage
Remove any flammable material
Keep fuel, oil, and gases away
Do woodworking in a separate space
Always check for strange smells and smoke
Keep a fire extinguisher close
Keep the garage maintained
Check for any leaks in the hoses
Remove cable clusters and power cables
Keep your welding gloves and hands dry
Switch off the welding machine when not in use
Make sure the welding equipment, including the welding gun and electrode holder, are properly insulated

Safety is important, especially when working in a small garage connected to your home. Even a tiny spark or a short circuit can cause a lot of damage. Make sure to remove every flammable material in the vicinity of the welding station, including fuel, oils, gases, and wood.

Do not weld in the same garage if it is used for woodworking. The sawdust accumulated in gaps and corners can catch fire with a single spark. If you have no other option, use air blowers to clean the garage, including every corner and gap. Also, make sure to check for smells, heat, or smoke after welding. Keep the fire extinguisher close to your working space.

Keep your garage clean and look for any hazards that can cause an accident. Make sure that there are no cable clusters, power cables, and hoses near your welding setup. Routinely check the hoses for any leaks.

4. Ventilation for Welding Safely in a Small Garage

Welding in a small garage can be hazardous if there is no proper ventilation system. The welding process emits hazardous gases and byproducts, including arsenic, lead, aluminum, and beryllium. Short-term exposure can cause you to develop nausea, throat infection, throat irritation, and dizziness. However, long-term exposure to these poisonous gases can cause serious illnesses, including cancer, respiratory issues, liver and kidney damage, and urinary tract issues. You can keep the garage’s window and door open to ensure constant airflow. However, installing a welding aspirator directly above the welding station can vent hazardous welding gases out of the garage. Also, make sure to place the exhaust vents away from other people.

5. Conclusion

Most motorcyclists have welding setups in their garages as they frequently need to weld motorcycle parts and customize their motorcycles. However, if you have a small garage, it can be difficult to work as welding can emit poisonous gases that can cause severe health problems. Therefore, it is important to have a proper ventilation system and to wear good-quality welding clothes to ensure that the sparks and fumes do not come in contact with your skin and eyes. The personal protective equipment includes leather boots, leather gloves, and a welding helmet.

If you want to customize your motorcycle, Viking Bags has ready-made aftermarket parts that can be easily installed. These aftermarket parts include sissy bars, crash bars, handlebars, seats, and fairings. If you want to improve the storage capacity of your motorcycle, Viking Bags also offer different luggage options, including saddlebags, sissy bar bags, backpacks, tank bags, and handlebar bags.

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