Temperatures above 7,000 degrees — Fahrenheit? Centigrade? At that point, who cares? About a gazillion sparks shooting off the grinding tool. And then there’s the warning from our teacher not to wear synthetic fabrics because they could melt right into your skin if they catch fire.
But my five-hour beginner’s class in welding ($160) was great fun. At the end, I had welded a steel “pillow” and gained some confidence that I could figure out a simple repair and, with help, maybe make something simple.
I learned the basics of arc welding (or MIG, metal inert gas) with five other people in Matt Jones’ cavernous Molten Metal Works studio in Echo Park. It’s the easiest kind of welding, he says, and the equipment to do it can be rented from home supply stores. This is not a class for aspiring structural welders; it’s for artists and DIY metalworkers.