What Is A Welding Mirror?
Trying to weld a joint on your car but with no easy angle to see what you’re doing? That’s when a welding mirror comes in.
With welding mirrors available for professionals or DIY fanatics, these mirrors can be positioned to give you a clear view of the area you’re working on, allowing you to use the reflection as a guide for welding. If you don’t have a tailored welding mirror, any mirror can be used as long as it’s the correct size and shape for the task.
Whatever mirror you’re using, you’ll want to ensure that it is strong and sturdy enough to not crack either in your toolbox or during the welding process. A welding mirror is the mirror itself that is used during the process, while mirror welding describes the technique of using this apparatus to achieve the desired finish.
Mirror welding is useful for many situations, such as when welding a joint around the diameter of a pipe that is close to the back of a wall. It can also be used when the part which you are welding is so large that it obstructs your view.
For first-time mirror welders, the process can seem daunting, as you’re effectively working in reverse using the reflection. However, with a little know-how, you’re sure to be welding successfully in no time.
How To Weld Using A Mirror
Perfecting your technique takes practice. Begin in your own workshop away from the job at hand to remove the pressure of getting it right the first time, and set up some parts in the rough position you’ll be welding in.
When you attach your mirror, ensure it’s secure to prevent your view from being distorted by vibrations. Depending on your work surface, your mirror can be attached via magnets, but duct tape is just as effective, as are vice grips.
Play around with the position until you have a clear view of what you’re about to weld, and then get to practicing. Keep your eyes on the mirror as opposed to your hands, and trust in your welding skills. Welding towards your mirror makes the process easier.
Tips For Mirror Welding
With a little practice, you’re sure to be an expert mirror welder in no time, and then you can complete your welding job. However, if you’re still apprehensive, it’s helpful to know some top welding tips before getting started on the real thing.
Position the mirror as far away from the weld as you can. While you want to see your work clearly, you also need to keep the mirror clear of smoke and weld spatter which could further obstruct your view.
When selecting a mirror, go for a rectangular one to provide you with a better view, making the process easier.
If it is helpful, you can choose a magnifying mirror to give you an even clearer view of any small parts.
Stock up on a few mirrors. Mirrors may break or become covered in spatter so always have a spare on hand so that you don’t have to stop working.