American Welding Society Forum
Im a new cwi waiting on my first job proposal. Can any1 recommend a GOOD set of tools. I like the gal fillet gauges but other than that i could use the help. Maybe a specific mirror(size, brand), flashlight (size,lumina), and any other tools or gauges. Thanx to all.
GAL has an extendable arm mirror with a built in LED flashlight which frees up a hand. Dividers for measuring intermittent fillet welds; size and pitch. Allen wrenches to determine discontinuity sizes. Head/helmet light. Up close & personal Digital Camera with 8 or 16mb max storage SDHD cards.
New CWI? But you don't have the AWS supplied toolkit?
Well, Al covered many of the basics. But then, we don't know what code you intend to concentrate on, if you will be in the field or shop, or any of several other questions that would help us direct you.
I would add a V-wac gauge and maybe a Bridge cam. I also don't go to a job without my skewed weld gauge.
Flashlights, I carry at least 3: 100, 125, and 200 lumen.
Don't forget your code books: You may have D1.1 but few structural jobs get done without the need for D1.3, D1.4, even D1.8. Then, you need the AISC Construction Manual and their Seismic Supplement, and the ASTM assorted selections book. I wouldn't consider being on a job without the IBC-2012 book either.
How about your personal PPE?
Well, that should be a good beginning.
Even your mechanical pencil can be used as inspection tool to measure the pit depth (it's written in API RP). The lenght of your fingers can be used as well as inspection tools. But, inspection tools are normally controlled and supplied by many companies if you're their QC representative, some tools require regular calibration.
Don't waste money, seriously you can get it free as souvenir after you completed some projects.
You've gotten good suggestions so far, and I can suggest a couple more things. First, get a journal style notebook and keep notes on your daily activities. This record can be invaluable as it usually contains more information than winds up in your reports. I have separate ones for each customer if I make regular visits to their shop. Next, get yourself a good quality camera with a large memory card, I prefer the ones that operate on AA batteries so I never have to wait for a re-charge on the job. I take way more photos than I need... just in case I need them later on. This will make sense the first time you (or your customer) needs a particular photo, and you have it in your archive. (ProTip: Avoid taking a photo that might show something in the background that is none of your business, like a guy reading a newspaper at his workbench, or someone talking on a cell phone instead of working.)
I have a padded pistol case that carries my camera, small tripod, extra batteries, paint markers, a small spiral pocket notebook, and some sharpies. Before each sequence of photos I use a page in the little notebook to record the item and date. This is really helpful when you are searching through the memory card. In addition get a good photo processing program, I use Photo Shop Elements but there are plenty of others. I mainly use the program to lighten or crop photos, add arrows, or add text.
An oddball tip is to buy a cheap 10' tape and cut it into 6" or 12" sections. These come in real handy for placing into photographs, measuring depths of excavations during a gouge out etc. You can even glue a magnet on the backside for taking overhead photos. You can trim the ends in a variety of shapes for different tasks for example a "V" shape to fit into an excavation, or nip the corners for safety.
My wife makes fun of me because I pack around a lot of stuff in the pockets of my work clothes.... and here is what I generally have:
Buy tools that serve a specific purpose. Multipurpose tools perform several functions, but none of them very good.
If you need to measure angles, buy a protractor. A combination square is useful for checking stiffeners and as a height gage for reinforcement (within reason).
I purchased a couple of LED flashlights from RadioShack that are really bright and they do not exhaust the battery in a few hours. The Mag-lite is the next best light I've used, but they eat batteries up in no time. The high quality LED flashlights are expensive, but worth the money in my book.
Fillet gages, there are several types. I use a conventional set (like that included in the AWS tool kit) and a set that has been modified (from GAL) to fit into corners that are not perpendicular to each other.
Tapes and rulers of various sizes that are appropriate for the measurements needed.
A micrometer with a round anvil for measuring the wall thickness of tube and pipe.
Dial calipers for ID and OD of tubulars, thickness and the width of reduced section tensile test specimens.
A small spirit level and 2 foot level as minimums. I also have a Bazooka Bob for checking the plumb of columns if working in the field on a structural job.
I have several magnifying lenses, a couple with reticules that allow me to measure macro etched specimens with precision.
A clamp-on ammeter that can measure AC or DC current. A voltmeter to check voltage. A stopwatch for timing (although most cell phones include that function).
A couple of mirrors.
Don't forget the AWS roughness gage C4.1 to compare the surface roughness of torch cut surfaces.
There are a number of specialized tools that can be purchased when there is a need for them.
Buy quality tools.
Best regards - Al
Thanx guys. Preciate it. I didnt get a aws tool kit to take home. I think the code ill be using is asme. Havent got much info yet.
This is a set up that I have been using for awhile now, it's nice to have some of the smaller things handy. I have 2 flashlights, 2 mirrors, fillet gauges, undercut gauge, a small notebook, 2 6" scales, and lots of writing paraphernalia. This is not everything I use, just a way to keep my pockets from overflowing.
In addition to what others have noted, I have both the silver and red weld pencils and different color grease markers to mark discontinuities, different flashlights for aluminum (low lumens) and steel (high lumens), calipers, 12" scale, 6" scale and tape measure. I am thinking about a Jennings weld gauge...pricey but I really like it. I also have just about everything G.A.L gauge makes. One hint, get the filet gauges that are marked on both sides. It really makes it easier when you are in a tight position.
Opening my kit this morning I noted that I had failed to mention my most often used tool, other than filet gauges. My small illuminated magnifier.
Not sure how many of you have seen these before. It is made by Bauch and Lomb and available from McMaster-Carr.
"Extra-Sharp View—Magnifier has a grooved lens, which is also known as a Coddington magnifier, for an extremely clear view. It has a nickel-plated aluminum handle, plastic head, and a glass lens. Requires two AA batteries."
It is 10X, stock number 1504T14, currently $26.87. I have one I use and an extra one as a backup. I also have extra bulbs as they are not commonly available (also available from McMaster). The have a medium output bulb that does not kill your eyes when looking for crater cracks in aluminum, yet enough to see toe cracks in carbon steel. It is small enough to fit into tight places and odd angles unlike it's larger brothers with the internal scales.
You will not regret having one in your kit. It was a lifesaver during our 6061 aluminum debacle.
am I the single man that uses gimbal for taking photos or videos? :)
By the way, guys, it's really comfortable to use gimbals, because the video or photo quality improves very much
I have all the gauge but I do 99.9% with flashlight mirror and 6 inch metal scale
If you are a CWI, I hope you are not checking fillet weld size with a ruler.
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