It helps to get started in the right direction by being taught, that way you will not pick up bad techniques which may be hard to correct later on. Enrol into a tech college, A couple of lessons will have you welding. Type and quality of arc welder will make a huge difference. The new inverter welders such as a Fronius are unbelievable to use and would make learning easier because they are such a smooth running arc when compared to standard arc welders. If you can afford to purchase a welder, go for an inverter type. It will cost you more money but the quality is in the welding. By the way the new type of inverter welders are very small. 140 amp machines are no bigger than a shoe box. Do not be deceived by there size. Always take care when welding, use gloves, jacket, long pants, sturdy shoes and a good quality helmet. Have a go and have fun.