Basic Welding for Farm and Ranch
book review by Lynn R. Miller of Singing Horse Ranch
Hands-on human-scale farming will frequently put you in need of a way to repair implements and equipment, including gates, hinges, hangers and such. Success with your operation may well hinge on your willingness and ability to do most of these jobs yourself. Fifty+ years ago, when I got started farming, I was immediately intimidated by the cautions and precautions implicit with welding, either oxy or stick (arc). My first sense was that this process was not for the beginner or novice. I got over my trepidations. That was a long time ago. Since then innovations in welding technologies have come a very long way, adding to the hazards, and complexity, tenfold.
Over time, utilizing one adult education class 35 years ago, and learning through experience, I got modestly capable with my old Lincoln arc welder (some call it a stick welder). Didn’t know what I was doing but could get the job done, and those welds are still holding today. Additionally, I have my own blacksmith forge and enjoy working with the coal fire, so I have used it for heating, bending and chopping, with anvil hardies. For this reason, my needs for oxy acetylene were limited. Though I have all the stuff, I use it only once in a blue moon. Translating to I ain’t very good at it. I want to change that now. I am keen to do some sheet metal repairs to my old trucks.
The way things are today, many people will go to the internet and grab hold of one of the first four or five search results as gospel on how to proceed. Man, is that dangerous! Me, I want to share some time and space with a person who’s proficient at the work. And better yet, someone who knows what its like to drum the best ways forward into the anxious brain of a beginner who just wants to get on with the job at hand.
All of the above is why I am thrilled to write about Storey Publishing’s new book offering, Basic Welding for Farm and Ranch, by William Galvery. The subtitle succinctly answers the question of whether or not this volume is geared for us, it reads; Essential Tools and Techniques for Repairing and Fabricating Farm Equipment.
The author, William Galvery, is a retired professor of welding technology. He’s certified as an American Welding Society educator and instructor. He knows how to explain the important stuff so you understand. This book is expertly designed with very good photographs and precise, if a little dry, illustrations. Have a look here at this diagram. I can tell you from experience that these four stages of oxy flame adjustment look exactly like that.
But a better test, and example, of how this book works are the visuals on a torch-cut of heavy steel.
Galvery goes way beyond these basics, giving an old novice like myself a sense that I might be able to handle some of the new tools and ways, like for example mig welding.
But all the technical stuff, with variety from brazing to welding aluminum, from welding tricky old cast iron to finessing thin sheet metal welds, still needs context for my old brain to grasp it all. Galvery gives us context with a smattering of basic farm projects demonstrated clearly, cleanly and without fuss. These include putting hooks on a loader bucket, making a loose hay rack, building a receiver for a hay spear, or soldering up a maple syrup tank. Friends, this book is good, real good!
I plan on getting two copies.
With one, I am going to drill a hole in the upper left hand corner and thread a leather loop so I can hang it on my welder, in the shop, for quick reference.
The other is going in the house, on the book shelf but with a great big old nasty label stuck on it that says,
“This here is my book, I want it back, preferably even before you’re done with it! I’ve registered this loan to you of my welding book with the Good Farming Neighbors Board of Responsible Borrowing (GFNBRB). If you don’t return it to me I’ve empowered the board to ban you from the next community potluck supper.”
A little excessive perhaps, but I want no misunderstanding; this book is that good.
Again the book is called:
BASIC WELDING FOR FARM AND RANCH; Essential Tools and Techniques for Repairing and Fabricating Farm Equipment by William Galvery
©2019 the author & Storey Publishing
$24.95. ISBN: 978-1-61212-878-8