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I'm interested in MIG/TIG welding and plasma cutting but unsure where to get the best information from. Forums I have been to seem to be a bit "backyard job" advise.

Can I raise questions about settings, common materials and things like that here?

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I'm on the fence with this one. A welder is a tool, and questions about the use and maintenance of tools is on topic. However, I'm not sure welding is a common skill required for residential home building and repair.

It seems to me that this could open the door to "Arts & Crafts", and "hobby" type questions. So we'd have to be vigilant.

I'm also not convinced that there's many professional welders hanging around the site. So I'm not sure the advice here, would be any better than the forums.

I think if the question is about using or maintaining a welder, then it should be considered on topic.


Notes:

The site does have a tag, though it's only used on 3 questions. And of those 3 questions, only 1 is really about welding.

19 questions contain the word welding, though I didn't go through the results to see how the word was used.

24 questions contain the word welder, most of which ask about supplying power to the welder. After a quick scan of the results, at least 1 question actually asks about a welder (Can I use flux core wire in a MIG welder that was designed to use argon gas?).

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  • Thanks for this answer! I like the stats you put up. I actually answered a question! I think I probably will get the same help from a forum. I'll make yours the answer, simply because it's not a "Yes" or "No" answer. Because I can still ask things like Can I use "this" in "this" setting for "this" type of work? as an example. And the answer to that is... Yes. – BBking Aug 3 '15 at 0:35
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YES. Often ignored is the first and foremost description of this site:

Home Improvement is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. – The Tour

If the 'experts' can't ask each other questions, they have no non-altruistic reason to be here.

I'm not a licensed contractor, however I did use my wielder to make a set of stairs last summer, sorrily my plasma cutter wasn't up to the task for the thickness involved, or I'd of put it to use as well. I could offer you my rudimentary understanding of wielding, but surly there are other people here who have learned proper techniques, from other than watching YouTube videos.

Putting proper wielding techniques off-topic, would be a disservice to the community as a whole. As far as I'm concerned, if you do real* 'work with your hands', it's on topic here.

(There's a video I'd recommend, which I cannot recall, but if there's a giant, articulated exhaust hood in the background, that's probably it. I think his name's Mike and the hood was either red or the background was. It was extremely helpful.)

*Arts and crafts don't count.


Disagreeing with BMitch while paraphrasing:

To be on topic, we'd need to see how it applies to something typically encountered in a residential home by contractors or serious DIYers.

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    Commercial and industrial building construction have been flagged as off topic in the past. A good meta question is if these should be on topic and whether the scope needs to be clarified in the hep center. – BMitch Aug 1 '15 at 16:12
  • @BMitch No one seemed to care that this question was for a commercial workout facility. OFC it's obviously applicable to most homeowners who have to patch a hole in concrete. But people shouldn't have to lie about their situation to be on-topic. – Mazura Aug 6 '15 at 3:52
  • We don't catch everything, and some questions apply to home repair like that one. But other questions have been closed before. – BMitch Aug 6 '15 at 13:52
  • @BMitch I remember that one (obviously ;) and it was suggested to be migrated. It still could be if you think it's just noise here. It would have been wrong to close it before they figured it out, considering the community did help them. But again, I could re-word that question with lies if I needed an answer to that. (I just realized that's 6 links - I was talking about, closed) – Mazura Aug 6 '15 at 14:07
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This is likely getting off topic depending on your specific question. To be on topic, we are looking for questions that cover home improvement, where welding and plasma cutting questions asked here often fall into the category of a hobby project. To be on topic, we'd need to see how it applies to something typically encountered in a residential home, such as repairing a railing. Also, if the question is on topic, I think we have a pretty thin audience for welding and plasma cutting here.

What may make good questions are those related to creating the environment for your hobby, fire safe materials for your home or running electrical connections from the circuit breaker.

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  • Given enough time and projects any serious DIYer is eventually going to end up welding. Banning these kinds of questions means that as you get more involved an a project that was on topic, questions about that same project become off topic. That is an absurd result, counterproductive for our most knowledgable and eager users, and harmful to the community. – alx9r Jul 31 '15 at 17:10
  • The answer above was anything but a blanket ban on a topic, it laid out what is needed to be considered on topic, and the key requirement is that it should cover residential home improvement. This may be a regional thing, but in the dozen or so homes I've helped construct from the foundation up, and countless more I've seen constructed, I've never seen welding or plasma cutting. But as long as it's not commercial construction or a hobby project, my answer above indicates that welding and plasma cutting for residential improvement is on topic. – BMitch Aug 1 '15 at 16:01
  • Constructing and repairing railings, constructing the steel reinforcement for concrete and granite countertops, repairing appliances, and modifying equipment racks are just a few examples of my residential DIY projects where I've welded. Welding is just another tool to get the job done right. My concern is that your answer here is ambiguous enough that we'll start seeing votes to close as off-topic because "welding is for hobbies and hobbies are off-topic" and then link to this confusing meta post. – alx9r Aug 1 '15 at 16:21
  • The "welding is for hobbies and hobbies are off-topic" isn't an accurate logic, but I can see where you're getting that from the wording of this answer. I'll do a little rephrasing. – BMitch Aug 2 '15 at 5:52
  • That reads a bit better. However, I very much disagree that "we'd need to see how it applies to something typically encountered in a residential home". We don't insist on this validation for questions about power-driving screws. Why should the underlying reason for asking the question matter? We know that power-driving screws and welding can each be used in either commercial or residential settings. If it's a good question that is applicable to residential, who cares why it's asked? – alx9r Aug 2 '15 at 13:17
  • It's an audience question. 90%+ of DIYers will use power drills and screws, and so questions will often apply to tasks seen by the average DIYer. But that number is on the other end of the spectrum for welding, very few own the equipment or have tasks that require it. – BMitch Aug 2 '15 at 15:44
  • I agree that welding is long-tail (at least for now). You seem to be implying, though, that questions should be off-topic because they are long-tail. I often benefit from knowledgable users answering interesting long-tail questions. I suspect you'll see fewer knowledgable users engaging if long-tail questions are banned. – alx9r Aug 2 '15 at 16:26
  • I've seen the reverse, experienced contractors that enjoyed answering questions around here but lost interest in the site and commented about all the "weird questions". Too many long tail questions result in the core of the community to lose interest since there's nothing they can answer. That said, on/off topic decisions deal with shades of gray, there aren't a lot of absolutes, and my goal is to follow the community's request. So if the other opinion is up voted more in here, I'm happy to follow it. – BMitch Aug 2 '15 at 18:46

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