Originally Posted by Westward
The floor beams on my bus are galvanized so there goes welding on them.
What's with all this hate of welding galvanized steel? I've seen it all over skoolie.net. I understand the potential risk of feeling like crap for a couple days if too much is inhaled, but it's fairly easy to avoid. My bus has (or had. now partially rusted) a fully galvanized body and I've FCAW,GMAW welded the metal successfully many times. These 3 common sense rules have worked for me:
1. Don't weld indoors unless there is loads of ventilation. I conveniently had the windows removed in the bus during all of the indoor welding.
2. Keep your face as far from the plume as possible. This is the big one.
3. If you're welding in an area that can 'pool' the fumes (ie. under the bus, welding the bottom of the floor) and it's a perfectly still day use a fan to lightly push the fumes out.
4. If you're really concerned grab a half-face respirator and p100 filter cartridges (I think. the carbon ones) which filter welding fumes. Both are cheap. I've used them during a handful of welds, but for the most part haven't needed them.
Just did a quick Google search for something to back me up. I've read this information from many sources, but this was the first result I came across today.
Zinc Fumes -- A Safety Hazard?
...Extensive research into the effects of zinc oxide fumes has been done, and although breathing those fumes will cause welders to think that they have the flu in a bad way, there are no long-term health effects. Zinc oxide that is inhaled is simply absorbed and eliminated by the body without complications or chronic effects.
It's a decent read. Check out the part about lead content as well. Sort of alarming at first, but it sounds like the chances of actually getting much of it into the human body are slim.
I think the biggest concern about welding these buses are the long-term effects - and no - I'm not talking about health issues. I'm talking about crappy welds fatiguing and breaking and batteries, tanks, generators, etc skipping down the road at 100kph