Privacy Policy and information about the cookies we use on this site

Privacy on this website

In brief, this website assumes that anything you do not post on the forum is private and should stay that way. Your registration information is not stolen, nor sold on, and no other mad stuff is done with it (with the excemption of people who register only to spam - see 'the forum' below for more details).

But you do leave a trace behind you as you use the internet. This page describes what your trace is on this site, who knows about it, how to avoid leaving that trace, and even how to request to have it removed.



The forum uses cookies for authentication. 'xf_user' and 'xf_session' are cookies used for this purpose. These cookies allow the forum to remember you have logged in so that you don't have to log in again on every visit. The cookies also help provide forum features like highlighting unread posts. Cookies are small text files, so are harmless.

There is now a further cookie called 'eucookie' which remembers not to show you the eu cookie message again after you have dismissed it. What a counter productive law that was!

Another cookie called 'preferences' is used to ensure visitors who use ad blockers are shown only ads that the blockers consider to be acceptable. See

If you do not wish to accept these cookies you can set up your browser to refuse all cookies, or if you get clever with the options in your browser you could refuse cookies only from this website. The site would still work, just not quite so well (which is why we have the cookies).


Google advertising and even more cookies

We sell a little space on some pages to Google who fill it with their adverts. The adverts come from their server so when you view a page on this website containing their adverts you are effectively looking at one page on this website and one page on their website at the same time.

Their contribution is covered by Google's privacy policy. They can collect much the same information as this site can collect (see the log files and cookies sections above), and might add that to information they collect from other sites - generally they'll use the information to target advertising at you which is why you might see ads on one website with the same topic as a website you visited earlier. It's not spooky - they are trying to target the adverts you are most likely to be interested in.

It is possible to refuse cookies from Google and their advertising partners. The easiest way to do that is to block third party cookies in your browser settings. It won't affect this site but might possibly reduce the functionality of their adverts.


Log files

Like most website servers we use log files. These files record IP address, high level operating system and browser details, and if you followed a link to this website sometimes they tell us where that link was from. The data is used to record website traffic and occasionally to help diagnose problems reported by visitors.

There is no mechanism to remove the trace of your visits from the log files, partly because it's impossible to tell which logs are from you and which are from someone else with the same internet service provider.


The forum

The email address you submit when you register with the forum is not visible to other members and not disclosed to any third parties. So long as you don't make it public by including it within a forum post it should remain safe.

The exception to this rule is where spammers who presumably aren't interested in welding register just to post spam. For spammers we may share your registration email address, IP address and username with an anti-spam database to help other forums reduce their spam registrations.

Most information you submit to the forum is stored in the database and could be visible to the website owner via direct interrogation of the database. Passwords are encrypted in the database so nobody can see those. Administrators and moderators can see your registration details and some elements of log file information. If somebody reports your private message the admin and moderators will be sent a copy.

The private section of the forum is visible to all members but is not visible to people who have not registered to use the forum. It is possible that internet robots could register on the forum and see the private section of the forum.

By default the the forum will send an email to alert you of a new private message. You can change this setting in your options page.

Members should be aware that you are solely responsible for the legal position of any posting that you make on this forum and, if we receive a demand to divulge a member's details as part of a proposed or in-progress legal action, then it is possible that we will comply with that request.

You may request that we remove any personal information on the forum by sending a private message to a moderator.


Links to other sites

The website and forum often contain links to other websites. We can't vouch for these third party websites.

You can avoid these other websites by sticking around here. It's a much nicer place than those other sites anyway.