dangerous to your eyes and skin. In chapter 3, personal
safety items, such as helmets, lenses, and gloves, were
covered. An important item that needs to be covered
here is welding screens. The welder not only has to
protect himself but he also must take precautions to
protect other people who may be working close by.
When you are welding in the field, you must install a
welding screen around your work area. It can be an
elaborate factory-manufactured screen or as simple as
one constructed on site from heavy fire-resistant canvas.
look at thes welding arc without
protection. Looking at the arc with
the naked eye could result in permanent eye
damage. If you receive flash burns, they should
be treated by medical personnel.
Another area often overlooked is ventilation. Weld-
ing produces a lot of smoke and fumes that can be
injurious to the welder if they are allowed to accumulate.
This is especially true if you are welding in a tank or
other inclosed area. Permanent welding booths should
be equipped with a exhaust hood and fan system for
removal of smoke and fumes.
EQUIPMENT OPERATION AND
Learning to arc weld requires you to possess many
skills. Among these skills are the abilities to set up,
operate, and maintain your welding equipment.
WELDING AREA REQUIREMENTS
In most factory environments, the work is brought
to the welder. In the Seabees, the majority of the time
the opposite is true. You will be called to the field for
welding on buildings, earthmoving equipment, well
drilling pipe, ship to shore fuel lines, pontoon cause-
ways, and the list goes on. To accomplish these tasks,
you have to become familiar with your equipment and
be able to maintain it in the field. It would be impossible
to give detailed maintenance information here because
of the many different types of equipment found in the
field; therefore, only the highlights will be covered.
WELDING MACHINE OPERATION
You should become familiar with the welding ma-
chine that you will be using. Study the manufacturers
literature and check with your senior petty officer or
chief on the items that you do not understand. Machine
setup involves selecting current type, polarity, and cur-
rent settings. The current selection depends on the size
and type of electrode used, position of the weld, and the
properties of the base metal.
Cable size and connections are determined by the
distance required to reach the work the size of the
machine, and the amperage needed for the weld.
Operator maintenance depends on the type of weld-
ing machine used. Transformers and rectifiers require
little maintenance compared to engine-driven welding
machines. Transformer welders require only to be kept
dry and a minimal amount of cleaning. Internal mainte-
nance should only be done by electricians due to the
possibilities of electrical shock Engine-driven ma-
chines require daily maintenance of the motors. Inmost
places you will be required to fill out and turn in a daily
inspection form called a hard card before starting the
engine. This form is a list of items, such as oil level,
water level, visible leaks, and other things, that affect
the operation of the machine. Transportation depart-
ments are the ones who usually handle these forms.
After all of the above items have been checked, you
are now ready to start welding.
SHIELDED-METAL ARC WELDING
Before you start to weld, ensure that you have all
the required equipment and accessories. Listed below
are some additional welding rules that should be fol-
Clear the welding area of all debris and clutter.
Do not use gloves or clothing that contains oil or
Check that all wiring and cables are installed
Ensure that the machine is grounded and dry.
Follow all manufacturers directions on operat-
ing the welding machine.
Have on hand a protective screen to protect
others in the welding area from FLASH bums.
Always keep fire-fighting equipment on hand.
Clean rust, scale, paint,
that are to be welded.
or dirt from the joints