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What type of welding is best for my interests?

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  • What type of welding is best for my interests?

    Hey everyone ive been more mig welding since i was 15 (3 years ago) and when i started working at metal shop that makes plating and powder coating racks started learning tig on breaks and lunch. I just enlisted in the navy as an aviation machinist and when i graduate il be deploying, after i get out (could be 4 years, or could be 20 idk yet) id like to make welding a career and attending hobart school of welding. I like working on cars and all of my welding projects have been for that, at work i weld racks, carts etc. I like both but im also open to other career paths if anyone has suggestions.

  • #2
    Hi, welcome to the forum.......if you are going into the Navy as a machinist,but eventually want to become a welder you are wasting your time in either trade.

    You either spend all your time learning to machine or weld, because no welder makes a good machinist and machinists do not make good welders.

    If you've heard of the term "Jack of all trades".....that's a welder machinist, master of none.

    When you apply for a job, nobody gives a toot that you can machine if they want a welder etc.

    Attempting to be versatile in that you can weld and do machining only makes you average in the job qualification race.

    If you like fixing cars, welding and machining are a small part of that occupation.

    It's good to have the knowledge to know how to weld in various modes, like Stick, Mig and Tig, as well as being able to cut with plasma, Oxy/Acc etc, but the full time occupation as either machinist or welding will keep you too busy to excell in both.

    BTW, machinists do not work on cars etc, they work on machines like lathes and mills to make things that could be fitted to cars but also to an aerospace vehicle, and the same applies to a welder, he could be welding a pipe on a pipeline or welding a piece of aerospace componentry for a space shuttle etc.

    You must decide at this early stage in your life what it is you really want to do...specifically....and go in that direction fully focused as to the eventual goal of your ambition.


    • #3
      I took a lot of machine shop classes in high school and then decided to go into working on have equipment I.E. caterpillar and now a komatsu dealership. I currently do 90% of the welding that comes in our shop and also do portable line boring. Which includes welding and machining. There are cat tech colleges all over the USA and its a field not a lot of young guys are getting into. I know we are always looking for good mechanics. Good luck and be safe.


      • #4
        Originally posted by marblearch View Post
        Attempting to be versatile in that you can weld and do machining only makes you average in the job qualification race.
        ...unless, maybe, you want to have a business where you need to do both.

        Seems to me that's like saying, "Gee, you can be a framing carpenter, or you can be a finish carpenter, but if you try to learn both, you'll never make any money at either one."

        Nonsense. Having additional skills is never going to be a setback. Ever heard of a millwright, marblearch?

        Originally posted by marblearch View Post
        no welder makes a good machinist and machinists do not make good welders.
        Wow, could you possibly make a broader blanket generalization?

        That's like saying "No basketball player makes a good hockey player, and hockey players do not make good basketball players."


        • #5
          I appreciate the advice, even though the job title is machinist its pretty much aviation mechanic. When it comes to automotive stuff i shouldve specified.. i meant stuff like 4x4 fab where welding is a pretty large part of it. I can already use a plasma, and oxy set up, my mig is getting better and better and i just got a mm200 for home use, tig is improving and i practice when i can. Only form of welding im not really great at is stick.
          Also fwiw at the shop i work at the welders there are also very competent at operating and performing maintenance on all the machines as well as their jobs as welders.
          Im only 18 right now, still a senior in high school and so far ive become pretty good at using the various machinery at work, such as mills, punches, benders, lathes, etc. While my welding isnt the best, by far, im working to improve and for my age im proud to be as competent as i am. Please dont take that as me just proving you wrong like some d-bag, any advice is appreciated
          Last edited by ZJones1994; 12-03-2012, 07:00 PM.


          • #6
            The biggest key is to practice, then practice some more. Stick is kinda the basis for the other methods. Work with what you can and the rest will come in time. You never know where life will take you, and what you will end up doing. When I graduated from high school I never would have guessed that I would be working on farm equipment 15 years later. Sometimes it is good to have multiple skills, I might not be a master welder, but I can hold my own, and now do most of the shops welding work just because I am one of the guys that is better at it.


            • #7
              any time that you learn about any given trade, it will only add to your understanding how things are done. listen to your heart and follow your desires, you are a very young man with big plans for your life, most kids at your age could not care less with what they do. if you get into a trade and you like it, stick with it, it takes time to become a pro, but with the proper effort, you can do very well. and the most important thing that i have to say to you is a big thank you for serving our country. i truly appreciate your service in the navy. good luck


              • #8
                Thanks for the thanks! Haha way i see it is with.all this countru does for us its the least i could do. Also i like the advice, its much appreciated.


                • #9
                  Learn the process you need first, if you are a car guy stick is good to know but mig is so widely used in small shops, there is some specialty tig obviously but the skill set is different than some hard assed construction worker, piping, Ironworking. I have seen people go whole careers never use but one process. Its a good idea to play a little, I am construction minded, a guy that has bothered to learn sticks and a torch can probably do other things too. Field and site stuff, farm, carnival etc.

                  I seen guys dumb as a box, couldnt mechanic anything to save their ass but someone point to the joint, weld it like a champ, get to stand and jerk off for 2 more days waiting on inspector, master pay, do one thing they bothered to learn well or they have a surgical gift.
                  Last edited by Sberry; 12-05-2012, 07:42 AM.


                  • #10
                    Get a primer on different processes but dont get married to one untill you need to then perfect it. I am a farmer, I would be lost without welding, it was a trade I learned but even though technically I am not a full time welder we solve a great deal of our problems that way. Other general farmers in my class that are non trade level or even decent hobby types equipment looks like crap. Any serious mechanic should be a profecient welder, its like adding 20 IQ points to a guy if he can burn a nut or angle off without making a mess.

                    Tthe welding option not being foriegn just has such an advantage over the non. I was doing a trade show with welding demo, the crowd was interesting. Every once in a while unusual types, not alwas special but something to recognize. A guy, 25 yr veteren of repair, I stick him in the booth, he needs some glasses but has a gift, bang, I get a little detailed and zoom in about 2 rods you can see so he says,,, I got a bro in law a pipe guy showed me a thing or 2 a couple times, etc. I had to coment, are you close to this guy,, well yes,, I said,,, he might have showed you but did you a huge dis serrvice worthy of a slap, he should have taken some minimal effort to train you,,, I sent him packing to grab the bro up by the fukkin collar. 25 yrs in a plant and some 23 yr old kid with strong welding skills puts him out of a job. 25 yrs on the job never deliberately,,, despite watching hundreds if not thousands of repairs, never learned to weld.
                    Last edited by Sberry; 12-05-2012, 08:55 AM.


                    • #11
                      Really gifted types can hang their shingle on a specialty, some background doesnt hurt, Ironworker connectors, special layo0ut guys, pipe benders, some dont need to know much about welding to get by but the jack types do.