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would a rig welder be good for a beginner?

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  • #16
    If you really want to help your son become a good welder, rig or not, buy him some books. The Pipefitters blue book, the pipe fabricators blue book, Pipe template layout, IPT's metal trades hand book, IPT"S pipe trades hand book.

    http://www.pipefitter.com/dolphincar...Cat0001&page=3
    '08 F-350
    Vantage 400
    SA-250
    SA-200
    Invertec V350Pro
    Invertec V205T-AC/DC

    Miller 12VS suitcase
    Miller spectrum 2050

    Pipe beveler's
    Track torch

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    • #17
      I would say give him the $4000.00 and let him put the money where he needs it the most. Right now there are alot of welders I know with rigs sitting. $4000 will buy the accessories to be a rig welder thats about it. With another $50,000 he can a good truck and welder.
      Lincoln Vantage Kubota diesel 30 amp spool gun , Hobart 210 with spool gun, Thermal dynamic pak master 75, miller 304xmt all mobile all ready to go.

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      • #18
        Yep, I'd go with the above comments, $4k doesn't come close to what a contractor would require just to be on the job, and without a good working references and contacts, it's quite unlikely he'd get work as a contractor anyways.

        Best to work by hand a few years and build up some hands on working knowledge. Then decide later on if being a contactor is the way to go

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        • #19
          with a 4k budget thats gonna be tight i would try checking out the rental companies to see if they have a used welder for sale. sometimes they have some good deals on machines with a few hours on them.

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          • #20
            Is this correct?

            Then there are the more "hobby" type welders which may do stick and Tig, but not much else. ANd they plug into an outlet, either 110 or 220 and the better ones will do AC/DC. They are about $400 - $600, depending.

            I started asking questions before I even knew what questions to ask.

            I have just finished talking to my son about a few things and it became readily apparent to me that he is NOT ready to do anything on his own for welding --- not even small home projects for someone. And that is despite working on and earning his combo certificate. He just does not know enough. And like me, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

            So, he has started applying for some good welding jobs for an employer. BNSF is looking for track repairmen. A local company builds oil rig equipment and has an opening. He has applied at a couple of the shipbuilding outfits.

            So, I am going to get him one of the smaller plug in type of welders so that he can continue to practice his skills. It will run me about $400 - $600 - depending on whether I go new or used. And I will give him the money for the difference for getting on his feet.

            Thanks for your help.
            This screams Miller Maxstar 150. I would have killed for one when I was that age but they were not invented yet. You listed 4 to 600$, stretch a bit and get a Maxstar S at about 750. So portable, same type of machine used on jobs, uses light cord, doesn't need extra lead, will run great from 120 for general work. As for it being too small, not really, and even if it was so in some cases it would still get use, I got bigger units but use the Max more.

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            • #21
              Bravo, Rig Hand, exactly the answer!

              Elaine, your son maybe should look on Craigslist and BUY HIMSELF an old used "buzz-box" (an A-C stick welder, simple and tough)(might cost $50-$125) and start bulding little things, and studying, as Rig Hand suggests, while he lines up a job. I made thousands of dollars with my first $50 180A buzz-box, moonlighting while working as a toolmaker at Boeing, so when they laid me off I was able to get an entry-level welding job.

              Meanwhile, Elaine, put the money to work earning interest, maybe in a trust for the education of any grandchildren, which promises to be ever more expensive. For now, see how your son handles things ON HIS OWN. "Helping him along" with money or goodies at this point is not the best move. Your boy is going to be making his living among blue collar men, a crowd that includes a lot of tough, hard-bitten, self-made, no-nonsense individualists who aren't likely to feel much sympathy for a kid who has had too many things done for him. I was a college-boy-turned-blue-collar; I did it because I liked working with my hands, and preferred the company of skilled tradesmen to that of white-collar professionals, but over the years they haven't all preferred MY company until they saw I really could do a few things.

              There was a union welder who wrote for the op-ed page of one of the local papers some years ago, and in one column he talked about welding for his non-welding readers. It was his stated belief that there is less b---s--- in the welding profession than in any other. It doesn't matter what education you have or who you know, whether you were a Boy Scout, a felon, or a panhandler before you showed up, or even whether you have a wallet full of certifications, because before you get the job you still have to take and pass a welding test. From what you've said, Elaine, your son might want to take one more quarter of school.

              It's a new world, and a far harder one than we old baby-boomers grew up in. The day of lifetime employment is gone, and even lifetime careers are going to be increasingly rare. Kids growing up today will have to compete for jobs against people all over the world, as companies already are having to do. Willingness to study, to educate himself (and this site is a goldmine), to relocate whether he likes it or not, and to be flexible and resourceful, these are what it will take to make it in the cold-blooded new world of labor. Get your son to read your thread.

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              • #22
                Elaine, Lota smart guys here have given you some good advice, and smitty probably laid it out the best.
                That said, today I was welding with my new to me Dynasty 200DX. What an amazing little welder. MY lunch box is bigger, yet it can do 200 amps of AC/DC stick and tig. And like you said in an earlier post, it's a machine that will last for years and go into the professional world. Your son could practice with this machine and not feel like he was using a substandard hand-me-down buzz box.
                This is a state of the art welding machine. It comes in under budget. You should start with an air cooled torch and build from there up to water cooled torch in years to come.
                Sorry to throw a monkey wrench into all that sensible information.
                Good Luck,
                Bob
                Millermatic 252 w/30A
                Big Blue Air Pak
                Ellis 3000 Band Saw
                Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
                8-RC
                Dynasty 200 DX
                XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
                Millermatic 211
                Passport Plus
                Spectrum 625 X-TREME
                Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
                2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
                SA-200 Black Face '59
                SA-200 Green Lite '84
                SA-200 Green Lite '80
                SA-200 Red Face '69
                SA-200 Red Face '66
                SA-200 Green Lite '81
                '70 Black Face Round Barrel

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                • #23
                  Elaine, as a 798 rig weldor myself, it is amazing the talented people in this industry. A lot of good advice from SBERRY, but I would recommend the Dynasty 200DX myself. Amazing little machine, especially when it is water cooled.

                  As was stated, there are a lot of rig weldors sitting idle most of the time. Contacts need to be made in order to pull some work, even as a union rig.

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