Go to welding shop, bring beer or Root Beer for welder so you can watch, learn some and offer to sweep up floor, do 'Gofer' work for basic lessons. Help with prep work will teach you to wear gloves, safety glass, long sleeve shirts- have GoJo, Goop or Simple Green soap handy. Learn to grind bevel edge before butt welding to get good penetration, tack welds, short beads. Arc welding with 6011 rod, basic Lincoln 60 to 90 amp will be a basic- but the MIG is also now a beginners basic- 1/2 full gas tank for many small jobs and the right brushing of welding surface, steady hands and good helmet that is carefully adjusted, the flipup shields are useful but not critical. have fire extinguisher handy , water buckets. MIG is easier to weld upside down - very handy when doing exhaust pipe work with vehicle on lift or jackstands. Solid work bench or good clamps, jigs or braces helpful. gusset plates needed somtimes, overlap joint good enough other times and thick butt welds mean careful grinding first.