Draper Tools’ guide to welding in the workshop

Draper Tools’ guide to welding in the workshop

The right welder can be an incredibly worthwhile investment for a garage, allowing for quick bodywork repairs and even repairing damaged wheel rims. The same can be said for a good quality plasma cutter. Here are some best practice guidelines from Draper Tools.

You’ll need the right accessories to use your welder safely, these include:

  • Welding helmet, an essential for any welder, make sure your helmet is EN175 and CE approved.
  • Welding apron and gloves, leather is a good choice for protection and flexibility.
  • Welding curtain, workshops should invest in a flame retardant welding curtain to protect from welding spatter and UV and IR radiation. Check your curtain conforms to BS EN 1598.
  • Anti-Spatter Spray – this is designed to prolong tip and shroud life and prevent adhesion of weld spatter to your work area.
  • Other essentials to look out for, dependent on your model of welder, include nozzle cleaners, scratch brushes, gas regulators, welding clamps and more.

Welding Best Practice

Safety first:

Always protect yourself with the correct PPE and welding accessories. Proper preparation is key, make sure you’ve prepared the metal you’ll be working with and check your positioning and your angles are accurate too. Ensure your work area is free of fire hazards too, be careful not to weld near electrical systems or with the vehicle’s battery connected. Always disconnect the battery first.

Avoiding errors:

One of the most common welding mistakes often comes down to simply using the wrong power supply. If your welder requires 32A power socket, do not attempt to use 13A plug. Store your welding electrodes and wire carefully and in a securely sealed environment, moisture and poor temperatures will affect their lifespan. Make sure you’re fitting the correct tip for wire size you’re using. This is common mistake which can mean the wire won’t feed. Extension leads being used on welders is not advisable unless you use 2.5-3mm core wire and not over 6 meters long. Always ensure the earth clamp is fitted to a good earthing point clean and not, for example, attached to a painted or rusted surface.


Correct cleaning and maintenance of your machine will help prolong its life and keep it operating smoothly, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for this. Replace any worn or damaged parts of your welder when they are spotted during routine inspection to maintain your welders’ performance and safety.

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