Oh I forgot like Petrj6 stated, SAFETY and long sleeves. I had to weld a couple pieces on my tractor a few weeks ago, worked inside the garage most of the day. Next day my arms looked liked they were sunburnt. Took me a couple days to figured out why I was sunburnt when I wasn't outside.....WELDER!
I use an auto helmet I got from HB, costs about $35, I am happy with it.
I will also second the safety glasses or shield. I wear glasses so shield is my choice. I was doing some cutting on exhaust with grinder, not wearing the face shield cause it was in the way. I ended up in Urgent care the next day cause my eyes were on fire. Ended up I had embedded in my cornea, the fibers from the cutting disc in grinder. Thankfully it was not rusting as it was non metallic fibers....I uised facemask anytime I grind or cut.
Also, get a decent grinder and get your cutting wheels at HB. They usually have a pack of 10 for $5.99 or so when you catch on sale. I also used to buy grinding stone wheels, once I used a flap wheel, I almost never use a grinding wheel.
Sounds like you maybe good to go with a 110V welder, try to find one that is a little more amps as it will let you weld just a little thicker material. Sometimes you can heat the pieces up before you weld, helps a bit with better penetration.
Sometimes scrap yards will sell new material. Do a google search like "metal supplier ( insert your town)"
We have a few around my area, we also have a Metal Supermarket, it's basically a store that sells smaller pieces.
Some of the suppliers will also sell short cutoffs cut from larger jobs for a little cheaper..