Q. Hey Andy, got a real basic question for you. I work in a union shop in Detroit, Michigan and do a lot of welding, and I am interested in doing welding for race cars on the side...(roll cages,etc.). How do I get my foot in the door? Hopefully you've got answers. Thanks. (Submitted by: Troy Duquette from Unknown)


A. Is this something you would like to do on your own or for someone else? If it is on your own, you have a great undertaking ahead. Getting experience at a shop that builds racecar chassis is always a good start. Get to know the basics of roll cage design and chassis geometry. Bending tubing is harder than you might think. I have scrapped quite a few pieces learning bend radius' and stretch. You could try to get in with some of the local teams in your area. This is a good way to learn race car fab. After you have secured a thorough knowledge of race car dynamics, then get yourself a good fixture plate - I use the UNI-JIG (1-888-UNIJIG7)when building or repairing cars. It assures you of a square, straight base to work on. Start by copying what's out there now that works. Make small changes and do a lot of testing. You might try subcontracting out work from other builders. Get your JIG set up and weld their cars together in your shop. Good luck!