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  • How did you get where you are at??

    And what I meen is this, you were a kid and always helped your dad weld and he showed you and now you own or run a shop or what ever.

    As for myself, I am new here to the forums, love TIG welding specially Stainless Steel. Been doing it for a few years now and want a job in this area. Hopefully I found one. Trying to get somewheres with it now. Unfortunately when I was in school, we didnt have a TIG welder, to much skill to learn it the instructor said. So I steered away from it until about 8 years ago, it got my interest and jump on the chance to do it whenever I can. Took a class which I thought was a flop, wanted it for tig on ss, but it was aluminum. Want to know more about purge and walking the cup. Think I got it, but im always willing to improve and learn. Read alot and try to do what I have read. Lots o practice. For some reason I am really hung up on stainless steel tig welding, cant seem to get enough of it.

    Any stories you guys would like to share?

  • #2
    necessicity is....

    I started out as an electrician. I got a late start too. Nothing in school interested me but science and fabrication. I love shop! Since the science thing was unrealistic (not enough edumacation) I ended up in construction wiring houses.. This SUCKED as far as I was concerned. So I jumped from construction into the film industry. Then a member of my crew was killed on the way home from a shoot one night.

    Kevin Richard Petersak was loved by all. He was funny and had a way of raising anyone out of the dumps with his comical anecdotes. When he died, everyone took it pretty hard. I made a commemorative brass plaque in memory of him. This was my very first hint of things to come... and since I made this plaque completely by hand....Well, that got my gears goin'.

    Shortly after this show was canceled I took on another show you may have heard of called "Andromeda" What a farce..... sigh... Anyway I got raked in on this one. Ended up getting injured and that left me in the lurch. I bought some graphic equipment and started making signs. This grew over a few years and then I figured it was time to step up to the plate. So, I bought more equipment, welders, fab tools, more graphics stuff etc.. and here I am. I'm doing fairly well, even though I should probably charge more for my welding & and fab.... skills......... Sign.. errrr I mean sigh....

    I love what I do. There are good and bad days but no two days (daze) are alike and that appeals to me as I get bored really quickly... I could never work for anyone else again. The monotony would lead to something similar to "going postal"....

    I really enjoy welding Aluminum.That's what gives me a H/O... There's something about it that I find really satisfying... Besides, its great for making thermyte and also nanoparticle rocket fuel -just add water!! Really!

    So that's part of my story...

    Cheers
    Will it weld? I loooove electricity!

    Miller 251/30A spool
    Syncro200
    Spectrum 625
    O/A
    Precix 5x10 CNC Router12"Z
    Standard modern lathe
    Cheap Chinese mill that does the trick... sort of...
    horizontal 7x12 bandsaw
    Roland XC540 PRO III
    54" laminator
    hammer and screwdriver (most used)
    little dog
    pooper scooper (2nd most used...)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SignWave View Post
      I really enjoy welding Aluminum.That's what gives me a H/O...
      I know I’m old, and been doing this way to long, but none of it has ever done that to me!
      Caution!
      These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

      Comment


      • #4
        WOW, talk about opposite ends of the spectrum there. I thought I was all over the place, holy cows. Ive been mostly in maintenance and the job im at now is the first job that I deal with sanitary welds. Some reason I really enjoy it.
        Nobody else there has ever taken the time to figure out this kind of welding so one day I picked up the torch and went to town. After a day of trial and error, I got pretty good at it. (Sanitary welds) Now they come to me for pipe welding instead of out sourcing.

        I think sonora iron hit it on the head though. Im pretty hung up on ss but not to that extent. ROTFLMAO.

        On a side note, I think thermyte is awsome, isnt that what they use for "rail road stick" welding?
        Last edited by dj722000; 12-15-2009, 12:30 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wanna peica candy!?!

          Hahahahaha!! you'ze guys take things soooo seriously!!! Wanna come over to my shop? I'll show ya my "setup" ! Hahahahahaaa!!!

          Thermyte - the heat of the Gods. It is used for welding rails together yes.. and also other less credible or acceptable purposes.. It has many uses. I just like the reaction. Its an awesome spectacle to witness. How else can you make molten steel so quickly without the use of electricity?

          BTW: the sign industry is the Wild Wild West of job descriptions.. Look around and see how many different ideas, processes and descriptions exist for sign work.. Its amazing. I wish I knew more... But then again, the more I learn, the less I know.. I'm just glad that I ge to use all of my skills in one way or another. That's the cool part for me.
          Will it weld? I loooove electricity!

          Miller 251/30A spool
          Syncro200
          Spectrum 625
          O/A
          Precix 5x10 CNC Router12"Z
          Standard modern lathe
          Cheap Chinese mill that does the trick... sort of...
          horizontal 7x12 bandsaw
          Roland XC540 PRO III
          54" laminator
          hammer and screwdriver (most used)
          little dog
          pooper scooper (2nd most used...)

          Comment


          • #6
            My dad had bought a 50 amp monkey wards ac buzz box and I always wanted to try it but he said it was not worth the time of day (and he was right). So when I got to high school and signed up for shop class right away, and I was all charged up could not wait to weld. Once we got through the initial 4-6 weeks of demos and book lessons I was burning rod and wire as much as I could. The summer after my freshman year of HS I got a job welding and wrenching on cars at a local shop and the rest is history. That was actually the last time I worked for anyplace welding too, I worked several jobs while in high school but kept close to metal and welding. Over the years I have done many side jobs and just this summer started my own business welding.

            But all that would not have happend if it was not for my father and his inclination to fix any thing and everything, and to always do what was right. He is the reason I would rather work with my hands on mechanical and metal things then sit at a desk (which I do 40 hours a week right now).

            -Dan
            Last edited by engnerdan; 12-16-2009, 07:22 PM.
            Owner
            DW Metalworks LLC
            Miller Trailblazer 302
            Miller 8RC Feeder
            Miller Passport Plus
            Miller Dynasty 200 DX W/Coolmate 1
            Hobart Handler 135
            Hypertherm PowerMAX 30
            Smith O/A Torch Set
            Plus more tools then my wife will ever know about....

            Comment


            • #7
              As a as teenager living on a ranch I always wanted Dad to get a welder so I could made stuff but he didn't think we needed one.

              So I started out as a mech-racer pushing Chevy small blocks on the 1320, then became a machinist working in the VERY high explosives industry.

              Ended up in in the Rice Bowl, Hanoi Tech Vs Saigon U where I gained a lot of yardage throwing passes down range...Artillery.

              Came back and was working as a AFL-CIO IAM on jet engine fuel injections...met a gal who would not marry me till I went to college...went to college got some degrees, she dumped me and the Army called me back as a software engineer and IT Architect. Retired, consulted to major Corps on IT issues, started my own company, sold it retired again.

              Along the road of life my love for cars and Jeeps in particular later led to rock crawling and other Jeep sports. The more I let folks work on my Jeep the more unhappy I got. Few shops had any idea of engineering, they just bolt or welded it on and hoped the **** it worked and did not break.

              Then being retired and starting to get bored I reinvested in tools again, began working on my Jeep and had more and more success. As I continued to grow and grow my Jeep I needed to weld too. My rep as a guy who knew how to and WHY started to keep me more and more busy. Then one day my wife said that it looks like you are in business so why don't you be in business....thus SavageSun Engineering LLC came about. 'built to get you there, engineered to get you back'

              Now I have a small fab shop, building, developing and fabbing mostly Jeeps and some trucks. I just announced two new products yesterday for Jeeps.

              I am on my 3rd Miller and the old man is having fun hoping to learn more and more from the Pro's on here...
              Don
              Scottsdale, AZ
              www.savagesun4x4.com

              MillerMatic 211 AS
              Hypertherm PowerMax30
              Bernard 300 Amp Q Gun
              Bernard 200 Amp Q Gun
              Milwaukee Band-saw/stand
              10 Angle Grinders 8, 4 1/2" -2, 7"
              DeWalt Chop Saw
              Craftsman Twin-Blade Saw
              12 Ton Shop Press
              Optrel Satellite Helmet
              Miller Elite Helmet
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SignWave View Post
                Wanna come over to my shop? I'll show ya my "setup" ! Hahahahahaaa!!!
                No thank you!
                Caution!
                These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

                Comment


                • #9
                  both of my grandfathers we licensed welders so when I had gotten older I went to school and got my training and now I own my own welding truck. looking at building a shop soon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I worked the cotton mill, then military, then cotton mill and military/ Air Guard at the same time. Somewhere in there I took a year of Tech School welding. Then started helping tig weld boat props on the side (mid 80’s), still do and get to see a lot of crazy projects come through there. Mill work got slack, went into a hydraulics plant.

                    10 yrs later, 2009 hit. 25 people in my dept. was let go and 3 of us worried folks were waiting on our turn to be next out the door. Late in the game I bought my own machine, thinking just in case, maybe I can get a few jobs. Always wanted to try my own business anyway.

                    Well a few months into it now, very few jobs and the plant picks back up. 12 hour shifts six days a week. Helps a bit cause I took a 6 buck an hour cut to stay but all I want to do is weld now, I’m just too tired. I went out to the shop a few minutes ago thinking I’ll fire it up but just stood there and looked at it instead.

                    I’m still in it for the long haul though. Getting started with my own shop has really brought back some hope for the future. Maybe in a few years I can walk out of that plant and never look back. That’s the dream, might be years longer but at least I have hope and that keeps the postal thoughts away, LOL.

                    So here I am with some sort of a plan for working for myself one year. Can’t put much effort in it right now but there is a design taking place. It’s happening slow just like it should and the only way it can.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

                      Never had to work for a dam thing in my life.

                      Believe me, that's the only way to do it.

                      Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Started welding for a living as soon as I turned 20. Small plant, same place I had worked at since graduating H.S. One day my boss asked me what the he!! I was doing working there. Thought he was mad at me or my welding. Just mad at me for working for peanuts at a little factory. Told me to get my sh!t together and get a "real" job. Big confidence booster, had a construction job welding a huge Marion 8750 dragline for AMAX Coal Co. about a month later. That lasted about 1 1/2 years then went to work for AMAX until they closed the mine in Dec. of 83.

                        Moved to Arizona a month later and got a job welding in a machine shop the 2nd day out there. Long story short, I've worked about 10 different jobs, closed three places (was it something I did?), worked construction and factories, non-union and UAW, UMWA and have been a Union Boilermaker for the last 19 years. Always bettered myself when I left and always left on good terms. NEVER burn a bridge.

                        Best advice I ever got was on that dragline job. Crane operator and I were talking about work and he said, "Kid, if anybody ever tries to teach you how to do something listen and learn 'cause you never know when it might come in handy!"

                        Sometimes things that I learned even a little about made enough difference to give me the edge for getting a job over somebody else after the welding tests were done.

                        Some jobs I planned for, some I guess I just got lucky, but welding has been one constant through out. Even 10 1/2 years spent working as a machinist came about because of welding and that crane operators advise. I still love welding as much now as I did way back when and it has provided a good paying and very interesting living.
                        Flash me! I'm a welder.

                        American by birth, Union by choice! Boilermakers Local 60

                        America is a Union

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          wow never thought about it much .guess dad had more sons than trucks so i was'nt lucky enough to drive so was the laborer.when iwas about 20 bought a GE d.c. gas powered 6cyl crysler(dont laugh it welded good)did cutting edges bucket repairs and equp. repairs .learned how to tig after i dropped my harley and the gen cracked the case and paid the local weld guy 400 to weld a 1 inck crack not much weld schooling read a lot of books and asked a lot of questions .25 yrs and 2 kdny transplants and i still love building stuff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
                            I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

                            Never had to work for a dam thing in my life.

                            Believe me, that's the only way to do it.


                            Your kidding right. I thought you own your business.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Got in major trouble in high school I was facing some serious time but the judge cut me some slack and set me to a reform school to finish high school. While there I did the normal academics and to keep out of trouble I took night classes Drafting, Welding, And landscaping that included heavy equipment operation. After high school Dad paid for my trade school at a community college, Got a job as a apprentice in a machine shop while in school. bounced around with a few jobs in the early 90's the economy sucked as you know. I learned to Mig and Tig weld on the job. Self taught aluminum tig. Found a good job in an injection mold shop and stayed there for eight years. Opened a little side business fixing fishing reels and that gave me the additional funds to acquire my machine tools and welders that I have now. Now I'm looking at starting my own shop. It'll be a machine shop for sure but will also have welding available to customers

                              But to just say my Dad paid for my trade school Cuts him a little short. He was the one that taught me my work ethic. Showed me to not be afraid to take something apart even though you may not be able to get it back together. Although I learned to put everything I took apart back together.

                              Every time I feel like calling in sick. Every time I hate my job. Every time I complain about anything in life or at work I remember my Dad and no matter how life kicked him in the teeth he still went on working and taking care of his family. That is the image, The standard I have to live up to. If I can do right by that I can die a happy man.

                              Thanks Dad
                              1947-2006
                              Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                              Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                              Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                              South bend lathe 10LX40
                              K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                              Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                              A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                              Auto shades are for rookies
                              www.KLStottlemyer.com

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