Even though I'm a carpenter who loves working with wood, I've found that my welding equipment is as useful as many of my woodworking tools. With the right welder and a few basic metal-working tools, I can quickly make repairs to broken equipment or fabricate useful accessories. I don't make critical structural welds on building projects, though; for that I call on a certified welder.

I was first introduced to welding back in my high school metal shop, but it really isn't difficult to learn the basic skills. Our local community college offers noncredit welding classes at night, and there's probably a similar course for adults available in your area, either through a university cooperative extension service or a continuing...

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