I 've been watching Jody's videos for a while but just joined the forum yesterday.... am I yakking too much here too soon?
For references, I encourage those starting out to consider using qualified welding procedures and the product catalogs of suppliers like ESAB and Lincoln. These give specifics on what process to use, filler metal and/or electrode, amperage settings, gas flow and gas composition, joint preparation, base metal types and thicknesses, pre/post heat and interpass temps, like or dissimilar metals, etc. for pipe, plate, sheet, harfacing, casting repairs, buttering..... you guys know.
The idea is, technique and skill are not the only things we need to make a quality product. When the variables are set correctly, producing quality welds does not depend on talent alone.
For jobs that must be done right, I start by finding the best procedure from a qualified source. That might be looking up a hardfacing electrode within a certain hardness range and base metal type from the Lincoln products catalog. Or, calling my guy at AirGas to recommend Ni99 or Ni55 for a repair. When the inputs are on your side, you can focus on learning the techniques with far less frustration and disappointment.
Wishing everyone success-