I participated in on my first EAA Webinar tonight – TIG Welding. The speaker was Scott Skrjanc of Lincoln Electric. The webinar was conducted using the software associated with GoToMeeting, a product of Citrix.

Clicking on the link to the webinar provided in the reminder emails took me directly to the webinar site and signing into the webinar started the download process for the GoToMeeting software. I was not required to sign up for GoToMeeting even though I was using their software to participate. The download and install process was quick and seamless. No interaction was needed. Within 30 seconds I was listening to the seminar moderator, EAA’s Charlie Becker,  give us a tour of the webinar screen. He explained the very simple process of submitting a question to the speaker. Charlie acted as the moderator and, when feasible posed the submitted questions when they would not be a detriment to the flow of the presentation material. No unusual equipment was needed to participate in the webinar – just a computer with a working speaker.

Scott’s presentation lasted about 45 minutes. He then spent almost another half hour answering the submitted questions that had not been covered during his talk. Scott’s presentation was an excellent overview of the TIG welding process. He started by posing a question to the webinar listeners (about 280 were signed in at that time). He asked what kind of welding experience everyone had. A multi-choice question appeared on the screen and we could answer by selecting one or more choices – experience in TIG, Oxy/Acetylene or MIG welding or no welding experience at all. Over 90% of the listeners submitted answers with about 45% having had Oxy/Acetylene experience while  27% of the listeners had no welding experience at all.

I have a little experience welding both with Oxy/Acetylene and TIG and have taken a community college welding course. I still felt that I gained a lot by participating in the webinar. I reviewed some material that I already knew and learned some things of which I was not aware. It was also good to hear the recommendations for amperage settings, electrode types and filler rod materials to use when welding various metals. Scott was about to leave for the Sun-N-Fun fly-in at Lakeland, FL where he will be manning the Lincoln Electric booth and helping out at the welding workshop. Stop by and say hello to him and pass along that the Webinar was great!

This was my first foray into the EAA Webinar experience, but I highly recommend the experience. You can learn of Webinars planned for the future by visiting the EAA Webinar site.