I am kind of surprised that no one mentioned the most common mistake we have all made ...especially in the beginning..
DO NOT GRAB THE PIECE YOU JUST WELDED
Now you have to keep your eyes out on junk night for when you see bed frames and other useful items that can be repurposed in steel fabrication
Good luck with the machine
The above applies to metal pieces you've cut off with a torch too..
They can remain very HOT for several minutes after they stop glowing orange!.
One day at the repair shop a friend worked at,I came in and heard his boss chewing him out for leaving a muffler clamp he had cut off just before I showed up on the floor--he went in to talk to him and stepped on it with sneakers,and it melted into the sole and burnt his sock & foot!..
Needless to say he was very angry...angry enough to say "I'm going HOME for awhile,change my socks and shoes!--I'll be back later this afternoon"..
My friend had a hard time not laughing,he thought it was pretty funny,and said "he should know better than to come out in the shop wearing sneakers--last week I had a brake drum sitting on the tire machine,and he came in wanting to take a tire off a rim--it slid off and landed right on his toes--the same foot too!"..
About 2 months later I was at the shop again ,they let me use their tire machine to swap some better tires on rims,and my friend was working on a Ford pickup..
He had to cut off a large hex nut that holds the radius arm bushings on,and it was bright orange when it hit the floor...about 30 seconds later it went back to looking black...
Just then his boss comes in and says "hey,I just got a call,a customer is coming in and wants his--HEY--how many times do I have to tell you NOT to leave (censored) lying on the FLOOR where it can puncture a tire,or injure someone!..and before either of us could say anything,he stoops over and GRABS the nut,and goes "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !--and he whips it across the room!...we heard a crash like glass breaking..
He stares at his hand for a minute,runs into the bathroom and pours cold water from the sink on his hand..he comes out with his face red as a beet,and didn't say a word,he just went out in the office,got in his Corvette,and laid about 200 feet of rubber as he sped off..
My friend said he didn't come to work for 2 days after that!..(he had keys to the shop so he could open up if the boss didn't feel like coming in )...he said he almost got fired,he reamed him out good for leaving the hot hex nut lying on the floor...
Then he showed me where the nut went when he flung it across the room--it hit the almost new alignment machine's TV screen monitor and smashed it!..it was almost $400 to replace it!..
Friend said "he said he was gonna make ME pay for it by taking it out of my paycheck--but I told him I didn't throw it--YOU did!..told him I'd quit if he made me pay for it!...
The boss returned 3 days later and didn't say a word to him for the whole day..his hand was still wrapped up with gauze..it was a good week before they were back on talking terms again..they agreed the boss stays in the office,and my friend does the shop work!..