Let me say first off I'm not a welder by trade or in the fabrication field at all, I am a computer programmer by day. I did work in a machine shop when I was younger and have mig-welded for maybe about 20 minutes in my whole life.
I sold one of my pistols today and the idea struck me that I could use that money to do something productive, and whenever I'm in places that have 'em, I always look at the welding machines. And I thought: "I wonder if there's a way I could make some money in my spare time building/fabricating things?"
So I've got a few questions for you guys. Is it reasonable to think that I could get started at some level with welding with a $500 budget including protective equipment? If so, what would you recommend? Are there limitations of MIG that I should be aware of vs other types of welding? Do you need different machines to weld different kinds of metals? And finally, what kind of workshop area should I set up?