Welding on the lift

I want to do a little exhaust work in the near future that will require welding. Can I move the mig from metal to automotive, and if I can, what do I need to do to keep everyone around the lift safe from the arc? If not, then I just won’t do it.


You have to put curtains up that are in the metal shop.

1 Like

They are located next to the entrance door to metal by the PPE. They’re red with red tinted material.

As a courtesy inform the people around the area about the light; many don’t realize that the IR/UV is the real concern, the curtains only handle direct light. The safety glasses around the space are generally z87+u rated so will handle the arcflash for the reflections or if they need to walk by

There is a 3phase 208 outlet behind the car charger; please use this instead of unplugging the car charger. There is a 3 phase to standard 208 adapted in the grey cabinet drawer next to the metal shop kiosk.



Please keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.


We also have welding blankets to put over things. They are located in the bottom of the tan cabinet in the welding Bay.


I don’t know if you’ve done auto welding before, and if so, please forgive me. For anyone that hasn’t done this before, make sure the ground is close to the work so that you don’t fry any electronics in the car. Mig can get ugly if you don’t control how much air movement is around.


Probably a stupid question, but, . . . is this a concern for the lasers? EMP pulses and such?

The lasers are no slouch at throwing off spark gap RF either. They charge the tube up to around 5 KV, then arc through the roughly 4 foot long tube. Welding is only around 25 Volts and 1/4 of an inch. But the current is much higher. So I can’t say which makes more radiated RF. But I’ve mig welded up to 3/8 steel on a 240V welder with my phone in my pocket, and no electronic issues at all. The real reason to keep your phone away is the hot little little BB you throw everywhere cause thermal cracking and craters in the screen. And your mileage may vary on the electronics survivability, especially if doing TIG with HF start.


I would be more concerned about the car’s fuel tank being nearby.


Fuel tanks in any car that draws a slight vacuum are exceptionally good at venting away from the tank and the tanks are usually a form of plastic. Obviously, you want to be careful, but not as much of a hazard as one might think. Now that tank on a 70 chevelle, a completely different story.

I’ve stuck a couple pieces of metal together in the auto bay, and we draped the car, then let anyone in the area know that we were going hot, and not to look at any possible light or reflections of light.


This sounds like a great early morning project when attendance at the space is at a minimum.


Alright, ive learned a lot. Looks like ill shoot for early morning or late night when there are less people in the shop area and ill grab the curtains from the metalshop. Where is the car charger? i havent used it before so im not too familiar with it. Ill make sure that i use the plug behind it though instead of unplugging it.


The car charger being referenced is the EV charger in the dock. Teslas and the like charge their batteries outside.

Ahh. i know that one. i assume the plug is inside the shop area near the charger?

Yes it is on the wall between the two roll up doors


So I have a question about this. If the potential of reflection harming others is present, then is it not incumbent on the creator of the hazard to reduce the risk to others? preferably to zero percent… In other words, if the curtains only cover vertical, then should we not also require the welder to cover any and all other potential reflective surfaces as well? Blankets over the top sounds like it should be incorporated into the process to prevent UV reflection off ceiling tiles.

In a shared workspace, where you have potential for at least a few, if not a hundred, other people; why should the onus be on them to wear safety glasses? and what if you do manage to warn everyone, yet have someone new walk through and have their eyes damaged due to less than optimal shielding, whose fault is that? The warehouse area is not a safety glass required area at DMS.

I was present a few weeks ago when welding was occurring on a Sunday afternoon, there was probably 60-80 people in the warehouse. The class I was taking had about 25 people in it and the delivery method for the warning was less than optimal. exactly zero percent of the people in the class put on safety glasses in response.

It is 100% the responsibility of the person welding to make sure the other people in the area are safe before they strike an arc (a metal shop rule, and taught in the safety class before welding permissions). If it were me, I’d hand out safety glasses, and use the curtain.

OSHA says anything 30 feet or greater is permissible exposure for the arc rays. I wouldn’t worry much on reflected UV from the ceiling tiles, and probably wouldn’t worry about other areas except those that are the closest to the actual arc (laser and maybe the common work area).

Unless we had a large enough welding bay to completely cover the area, you will never get to 100 percent coverage. Even in the dedicated welding bay, some light escapes the welding bay.

As long as direct viewing of the hot work is covered, and reasonable notification has been applied, trying to cover every reflective surface is overkill.

1 Like

Thanks Malcolm, I think Ceramics/Jewelry is probably good there, but Laser and the work table area is likely who is at the most risk. Agreed that handing out safety glasses is the way to go. Walking around and just telling folks to put them on (other peoples words here, not mine- in a condescending manner) isn’t going to motivate them into compliance.

What about the folks who literally just walked in from the back door? mind you I’m not trying to be an a-hole about this topic, I’m trying to point out that overkill is probably needed here because you cant reasonably warn everyone in an area where glasses are not required. I, for one, do not want to lose some of my eyesight because of someone else’s unsafe actions.

So I’ll be the devils advocate here. I don’t expect it to be popular.

Yes the user doing the welding is expected & should shade all arc rays. Should they not, we need to talk to them & resolve the issue.

However, those are not the only hazards in the space. I feel that we should take personal responsibility in our own safety in to wear safety glasses. If you see me in the back, I always wear safety glasses. There is a reason for that, there are far too many people doing tasks that can & do cause flying debris. For me its habit but it was not always this way, only the past 15 years out of my almost 20 year career I’ve made it habit to wear them. Perhaps we should start progressing our culture into that good habit.

Some of you may remember several years ago in the open house. I had my kids with me & they had safety glasses on. They all ended up with spattered ice cream on their glasses. It was funny, still is. I don’t expect that the flying ice cream would have caused any harm, but how do you really know.