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elissa
07-07-2008, 07:22 PM
As in welding for metal sculpture, would it be loud? I have heard welding before, I think, and it was sort of a zip-zap kind of sound, but not super loud, in my memory anyway.

My character is watching a woman do some metal sculpture (it just occurred to him that he maybe shouldn't be watching without eye protection, but at least he doesn't have contacts!), and I'm wondering about what it sounds like.

Thanks! :)

qwerty
07-07-2008, 08:18 PM
If you're talking arc welding, there would be a zzz zzz sound and sparks like from one of those hand-held sparkler fireworks kids wave around. Gas welding would produce a whooshing sound as from a blow torch. There would also be the occasional popping sound.

Either way, the welder needs protective eye goggles. A spectator needing eye protection depends on how close they are standing. If your on-looker is bending close to see how it's done, then, yes, eye protection.

elissa
07-07-2008, 08:33 PM
OK, pardon my stupidity. Which of those is a MIG welder? That's what I have been studying in online tutorials, but obviously not studying well enough! He was watching from quite a ways away, but then the welder offered him a chance to try it, and he put on a full face mask thing, as well as big heavy gloves.

Thanks for your help, qwerty; I think the zzzz sound is the one I've heard before! :)

RJK
07-07-2008, 10:55 PM
MIG welding is arc welding. The ZZZ sound is loud enough that you would not be able to carry on a conversation with the welder. The electric arc that forms the weld is white hot and is bright enough to burn your retina, permanently damaging your vision. I would not look directly at the arc from anywhere in the same room without eye protection. The protection is very dark glass. You would not be able to see anything through it until the arc was struck (One ot the tricks of the trade for welders).

MadScientistMatt
07-08-2008, 04:17 AM
OK, pardon my stupidity. Which of those is a MIG welder? That's what I have been studying in online tutorials, but obviously not studying well enough! He was watching from quite a ways away, but then the welder offered him a chance to try it, and he put on a full face mask thing, as well as big heavy gloves.

Thanks for your help, qwerty; I think the zzzz sound is the one I've heard before! :)

MIG welders are a sort of arc welder; one feature about them that stands out is that the operator uses a sort of device that looks almost like a squirt gun on a hose. The tip releases a metal wire that vaporizes in an electric arc so you have a continuous stream of molten metal coming into the weld area, along with a shielding gas. You can sometimes hear a bit of a hissing sound from the gas along with the much louder sound of the arc.

MIG torches make good general purpose welders. You can get versions that will weld most metals, they're pretty easy to learn, and they put down a fairly strong weld pretty quickly. They're not quite so good at really intricate, tiny welds.

The welding helmet you wear with a MIG torch covers the entire face and only a small section of it is transparent. The face shield is so dark that, as RJK noted, you can't see out of it when the torch is off. (An oxyacetylene torch lets you use a less dark face shield - you can see out of those welding goggles.) Most welders these days use auto-darkening helmets that change their darkness level when the torch is on.

If you're welding for a very long period of time with any arc welder, the UV light from the arc can give you sunburn. Many professional welders leave no skin exposed any place they could have light from the arc touch their skin, but welding for a few minutes does not present the same danger.