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Mini Rig on A Budget

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  • Mini Rig on A Budget

    Hey friends, let me start out by saying that this is strictly a cash side job that takes place on days off and before i head in to weld for the man on 2nd shift.

    Currently working on the side out of my 2003 Pathfinder and a 8ft utility trailer w, a home made rack. Millermatic 140, Diversion 180, and an array of DeWalt cordless and non power tools. I would love to upgrade to a pickup and something engine driven multi process, but just dont have the $. No way of getting it either. However what i do have has made light duty round railings, small repairs, and some light fab work.

    I eat, sleep, and breathe welding. Im only 24, but i just love it..something about pushin a good puddle behind my Miller Elite is just so relaxing. Got bit by the bug in 9th grade and now work at a local sheet metal fab shop mig&tig&grinding., and also attend a tech school outside of Boston. My goal is eventually to get to the point alot of you guys are at. But in the meantime i would love any advice on my mini rig. positive and negative feedback is ok.

    So for all you seasoned vets.. any pointers for a young hardworkin kid with a lot of passion for the trade? Gotta start somewhere.

  • #2
    Since this is not your primary income don't use it as such. Whatever money you make from side jobs save it, don't spend it. Then when a good deal comes along on a pc. of equipment, that can make you money, you have the cash to buy it on the spot. I got most of my stuff that way. Right place, right time, with cash in hand. You do not need to have every tool known to man or the latest/greatest stuff to make money.

    Also it is so easy to make a extra couple hundred & then spend it on junk/dinners/useless stuff like a bigger tv etc. Resist the urge. Put it away & you will be surprised at how much it adds up to over the years. Your young so now is the time to start thinking about retirement.

    Always do your best work no matter what the job. Being "raised" in a fab shop my customers still question me about why I clean up my welds so nice etc. even though it's only a xxxx. It's because I have pride in my work & want people to always say, that guy cares about his job.
    Trailblazer 250g
    22a feeder
    Lincoln ac/dc 225
    Victor O/A
    MM200 black face
    Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
    Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
    Arco roto-phase model M
    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
    Miller spectrum 875
    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
    Syncrowave 250


    • #3
      I would say if your side job welding income matches your trailer rig stay with it. Don't dream yourself into debt and an ulser. Spread your welding wings, always be open to and looking for new challenges, there is a lot to learn. Good luck jbskateboards


      • #4
        JB skate boards, I got my first tool box for christmas at about 13 years old, With Christmas money at the age of 16 I got a set of torches, At the age of 16 I went to school and worked as a dishwasher after school and found a way to buy a tool every week out of my money.

        However MMW is right you need to put money away so that when a pick up truck comes along at a good deal you can pay cash.

        Get some business cards made up and go out on your days off into the industrial parks and hand out cards. ( That is if you get days off during the week ) If not there is always Sat. 8 - 12.

        Keep this in mind : Many times the difference between a good welder and a bad welder is about 15 minutes.
        Meaning take the time to sweep up, grind and polish your welds and double check to make sure that you didd'nt miss any thing.

        Dont greet your customers with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth, Make sure you have safety glasses on, clean work clothes, a smile on your face when you greet them, talk positive and tell them you appreciate the work when they are paying you.

        Little things like that will keep them calling you back.

        You dont need a $ 20,000.00 rig, Take time to make brackets and keep stuff organized, If you rims are all rusty or your welder is beat up looking, spend
        $10.00 on some paint to make it look nice.

        Good luck.


        • #5
          And don't ever let people talk you into doing a less quality job than perfect.
          The only good word of mouth comes from good work. Once you go down that road it's pretty hard to turn back. They broke almost everything when it was perfect so you have to be better than that!

          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
          Miller WC-115-A
          Miller Spectrum 300
          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


          • #6
            Just what they said, I'm reading this to learn myself. I finally realized you buy an asset or liability. Things that can help you get ahead in life or make you money are assets and everything else are liabilities or no return on your money.

            Put yourself a Google add up. State in the add just what you want to do. It's free although they will try to sell you better spots and more advertising, you can just use the free add.

            I'm incline to think the more people search and look at your add, the better it comes up when the next person searches. There is even a dashboard area where you can see how many people searched what,,, related to your add and how many took action, meaning did they click yours or look at your address.

            You can even see where they were searching from. Its pretty cool.


            • #7
              yep, follow the advice posted. You gotta sell yourself and your work. Look and act professional. Lay down some fire blankets to protect welding area of customers. Bring out the fire extinguisher even it may appear to be silly. Wear proper safety gear . Make sure when you are done the work area is cleaner then when you arrived. SAVE money made to be used for more goodies for side work.
              You don't need a $ 50,000.00 rig or a $500,000.00 shop to make money.
              Friend of mine did automotive work in his home garage his ENTIRE life. He never had a 8 to 5 job. He had so much work it was amazing. He was good and everybody new it. Made as much money as he wanted and took off when he wanted. GOOD LUCK !


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hardrock40 View Post
                Just what they said, I'm reading this to learn myself. I finally realized you buy an asset or liability. Things that can help you get ahead in life or make you money are assets and everything else are liabilities or no return on your money.
                This is kinda what I was getting at when I last posted on your thread Bobcat 250, Hardrock. A heavier capacity trailer now will be more of an asset rather than the liability of a lighter trailer that will need to be sold and replaced for a heavier duty one later on.