Being part of the construction industry means being a part of one of the largest industries in the world. The sector is worth a trillion dollars in the United States, with over a million construction firms. If you want to succeed in the industry, you’ll need to specialize. One of the most highly sought specializations is metalwork.
Metalwork is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, structures, or assemblies. It generally involves cutting, shaping, and joining metals together. Metalworkers use a variety of tools and machines to complete their tasks. Here are the five essential equipment for every metalworker.
Welder (Welding Machine)
Welding machines are the most common equipment you’ll see alongside metalworkers. Welders use an electric arc to fuse two pieces of metal. The heat from the arc melts the metal, and the molten metal is drawn together by a welding bead. This bead joins the two pieces of metal, and as it cools, it creates a strong bond.
There are many types of welders, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of welders are MIG and TIG welders.
MIG welders use a wire that’s fed through a welding gun. The arc’s heat melts the wire, and as it’s drawn through the gun, it joins the two pieces of metal together.
TIG welders use a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create the arc. The heat from the arc melts the metal, and the molten metal is drawn together by a welding bead. Among the two, TIG welders are more versatile and can be used on various metals. The average cost of a welder is $500. As a metalworker, the welder will be your bread and butter. You will work with it more than any other piece of equipment. However, you do need other accessories for it; one of them is a marker that can permanently mark steel surfaces. A special metal marking fluid can do this for you because, unlike any other marker, it can withstand high temperatures. It’s an essential accessory that you should have alongside your welding machine.
Cutting metal is something that you’ll often do. A plasma cutter is a machine that uses an electric arc to cut through metal. A stream of hot plasma creates the arc, and the cutting torch can be used to cut through any type of metal.
Plasma cutters are very versatile and can be used on various projects. They’re perfect for cutting metal sheets, pipes, and thick plates. The average cost of a plasma cutter is $600.
You’ll use this a bit less than the welding machine because it can only be used for certain projects.
If you need to polish something or straighten metal out, you’ll need an angle grinder. It’s a handheld power tool used to grind, sand, and polish. It has a rotating disc that’s covered with abrasive material. The most common type of angle grinder is the 4-inch model. However, there are also 7-inch and 9-inch models.
Angle grinders are versatile and can be used on various materials, such as metal, wood, and concrete. They’re also relatively inexpensive, with the average cost being $100.
You’ll use this more for polishing than anything else.
A band saw is a power tool used to cut metal. It has a long, continuous blade that’s mounted on two wheels. The blade runs through a set of guides, and the teeth on the blade are used to cut through metal.
Band saws are very versatile and can be used on various metals. They’re perfect for cutting pipes, tubing, and other irregularly shaped pieces of metal. The average cost of a band saw is $200.
This is another versatile tool that you’ll use quite often.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs)
Lastly, you’ll need to have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself while working with metal. One of the most essential is a welding helmet.
Pieces of equipment such as the welder emit intense light that can damage your eyes. A welding helmet has a dark lens that protects your eyes from harmful light. It also has a shield that protects your face from sparks and debris.
Another important PPE is gloves. Gloves protect your hands from heat, sparks, and debris. They also provide a good grip, which is essential when working with metal.
There are many other types of PPEs, but these are the most essential for every metalworker.
As a metalworker, you need to have the proper equipment to do your job properly and safely. The five essential pieces of equipment discussed in this article will help you get started on your projects. Once you have this equipment, you can specialize in this highly sought service.