Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way
Instructional DVD – 18-minute runtime
Text and photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 1-18-2011
The Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way DVD focuses on stick welding only. Naturally Lincoln’s long-time favorite “Red Box”, the venerable AC225 is the only machine you will see in the DVD. The good news is that Lincoln didn’t make a welder commercial and pass it off as an instructional DVD. Actually, this DVD is offered by the James F. Lincoln Foundation and sold on the Lincoln welding web site.
At 18 minutes of runtime it should be obvious that this is a short course meant to familiarize the new welder with the basics. Lincoln offers other DVDs that focus on safety so that material is left to those offerings. Lincoln offers some of those types of DVD’s free; you just pay a shipping charge. See the link at the end of this review.
Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way is at times dulled by the evil PC police but the two men in the presentation manage to get their point across nonetheless. The “instructor” on this DVD shows a new welder the basics with good explanations of what the goal is and how to move the rod. I would like to have seen a bit more info on selecting rods but there are charts available that suffice.
In addition to helpful descriptions of each stick welding procedure Lincoln incorporates supporting video that gives the novice a good look at puddles and what the stick is doing during the weld. Oddly throughout the video both the student and instructor are using single-state helmet lenses and the dreaded flip-down technique. Auto-shade lenses have been out for the general public for a decade or so and would be a good addition to this type of video. Taking the flip-the-helmet-down out of the equation is usually a big help to new welders.
Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way walks through the basic types of weld from horizontal, fillet, vertical down, vertical up and ends with overhead welds. The amount of practice needed to successfully graduate from one type of weld to the next is only briefly discussed in Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way and could leave the impression that you can learn these welds in an afternoon or two. I also have misgivings about the instructor suggesting to the newbie that overhead welds are “easy”. I can already hear the yelps from new welders that just caught a glob molten metal on the neck. (Never mind how I know where it tends to fall…..)
Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way is a good training tool as long as the new welder realizes that there are many hours of practice ahead of them to get the feel for each of the basic welds shown. I also think it would be helpful to have some bad welds shown with basic explanations of how and why they occur.
Overall the information provided is clear and useful to the new welder. With a price of just $10.00 (1-18-2011) Learn to Weld – the Lincoln Way is a good deal, warts and all. A rank beginner can learn from this DVD as long as they add in lots of practice hours between the fast-paced segments.