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  • #16
    I'm Don! 34 years old, originally from Athens, Ohio. Joined the US Army after high school, and became a satellite communications operator/repairer. Did alot of Desert Storm/Shield stuff along with some space shuttle missions when they came around. Now I work as a shop foreman in a repair facility on Okinawa.
    Besides taking care of a small daughter, I spend most my time spearfishing, boating, welding, and machining on my lathe and mill.
    With luck, some of my speargun accessories will soon become commercially available thru a great company I deal with in Hawaii.

    Here's hoping! $$

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    • #17
      Iam Matt i am 24 married have a 5 year old son and a new baby on the way . I like anything mechanical. I grew up helping my dad out in the garage working on everything from Pontiacs, to B model Macks. Over the years we have build trucks, cars, trailers and have restored about 10 Garden tractors. I went to school for electronics and worked in that field for about a year till the placed closed. Then I went to work as a pipeliner for Delta Gulf and then to Tennessee Gas. Then I made a bad job choice and went 2nd shift and hated it. Now Iam in between jobs but looking everywhare.

      Heres some pics of my projects.
      Attached Files
      Matt
      MM175, Lincoln Ideal arc 250, Miller Legend

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      • #18
        My name is Chris I'm 26 from Covington, Louisiana I'm going back to school fulltime now for welding. I enjoy shooting trap, fishing, snowboarding, welding and anything outdoors. I first went back to school for Automotive Technology but got borred with it and now giving welding a try and so far really like it alot. I hope to be able to one day build my own cutom rock buggy for wheeling and a custom Bobber and hopefully after school find a good tig job.

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        • #19
          Merc69: real name Bruce

          I have lived in Northeast Florida since leaving the Marine Corps many years ago. My occupation has nothing to do with welding or fabrication. several years ago I took a break from work to make a runn at the 96 Olympics for rifle shooting. A friend of mine owned an Awning Company and I did part time installs, then sales and finally fabrication of the frames. I was told there is the welder, the scrap barrel and to play until I could get it right BTW I was welding .063 aluminum 1" box tube with a Hobart mig welder and a spoolgun. After welding like that steel is a dream to weld. Well after not making the Olympic team that year I returned to my profession and did very little welding until about 3 years ago when I bought a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Well there has been a lot of fabrication on that rig and others in a local club.

          Recently the Awning Shop has asked me to make frames on a part time basis for them again. I look at it this way...extra money to buy that Dynasty 300 and a MM350P It's tool money.

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          • #20
            Hey guys. My name is Rai and I live in Quebec Canada. I'm 39 years old and have a wife and 2 sons 7 and 13. I'm an auto mechanic and have my own small auto repair shop. My hobbies are building cars, camping, fishing and 4 wheeling. I recently built my own house with my father and built myself a nice 30x40 garage to go with it. So now with a garage at home I hope to get back into some car projects.
            Dynasty 200 DX

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            • #21
              I appologize for the long winded essay, but once I got started it was kind of theraputic to vent it out and I got kind of got caried away.

              My names Pete and I'm 44 years old, I'll be 45 next month. I'm a busted up mess with serious injurys starting in 1972 when I got my hips crushed in a tracktor accident while planting corn on the farm. I needed to get 7 pints of blood from that incident witch is the most likely cause of my heppititus C. Becouse of the vast amount of blood circulateing at that time due to Viet-Nam war and the fact that they had no idea what heppititus C was then, the drug companys claim if you recieved blood durring that time you more than likely have the C. I joined the army reserves after high-school and was a heavy equipment mechanic. I was with the 429 th combat engineers earth mooving battallion co. c, known for being the best operators in the battalion, heavy drinking and lacking the abillity to march in a strait line. The company has since been disbanded.I operated drill rigs for 10 years in Pa. give or take and built signs for 10 years in Az. give or take. I left the drilling becouse I was doing so much hazmat work it was starting to scare me. I did a lot of exploritory work on the superfund projects and other really nasty places I'm not at liberty to discuss.
              In Tucson Az I was a passenger in a crash where the driver fell asleep at the wheel leaveing me with 6 broken vertibra in my neck, ascrewed up knee and and broken sinuses. I tried to work but it wasnt working out, even though the guy I worked with said he would pay me to come in and do nothing, I always tryed to work and ended up hurting myself worse. After my brother died I came back to Pa becouse I knew my mom was takeing it really bad and could really need someone around as she still lives alone on the farm in the middle of nowhere. Since being back, my health further declined with the bones in my legs and feet dieing cousing a lot of nonstop pain. There is nothing that can be done about it except to controll the pain with medication. I also did a year and a half on interferons and 7 months on pegasys to treat the hep. C with no success and left me with really weird lingering side effects from the drugs. Now I'm on diabillity and play around in the shop when I can to keep from going crazy.
              I've always been into bikes, antique cars trucks and tracktors. I'm a pipe collecter and enjoy carving and woodwork.I also like fishing a lot but my hobby pursuites have been greatly diminished by my medical condition.
              Thanks for putting up with all this.
              To all who contribute to this board.
              My sincere thanks , Pete.

              Pureox OA
              Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
              Miller Syncrowave 250
              Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

              Comment


              • #22
                Joe here 44,married 20 years 2 teenagers 17/19,been selling welding supplies for 18yrs I run a store for Linde Gas LLC in Ma. love all types of motor sports anything with an engine have restored a few old cars 64 MGB,69 t-bird,61 ford galaxie,72 monty carlo nothing right now but am in search of a car or truck to do now

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                • #23
                  bigdogjoe62

                  what kind of truck or car are you looking for?? do you restore original or make custome hot rods??
                  thanks for the help
                  ......or..........
                  hope i helped
                  sigpic
                  feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                  summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                  JAMES

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                  • #24
                    Harold, 69 in April Electronics Engineer, Retired as Engineering Test Manager from a large aerospace corp. in 93. Bought a small 10 acre flower ranch in San Diego, A bunch of heavy earth moving equipment and needed to start welding in a much bigger way. Started welding as a hobby in 1964 when I work for NRDS in Nevada. Bought my first welder out of necessity, needed to thaw frozen water lines in our new home on LONG Island.
                    Harold
                    Craftsman Colormatic AC
                    Victor Journyman Setup
                    Syncrowave 180 SD
                    MM210 With Spoolgun
                    Dynasty 200 DX
                    Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
                    Miller HD Tape Measure

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      jack of all trades master screw up of some

                      hey all i'm jim, 52 was married twice. (14 yrs each) 5 kids i'm sure of (i think ) joined the navy in 71 to get away from my dad, he retired USN 30yrs ww2, korea, two tours nam, at 17 i went to nam for a yr came home told him, when i left thought he was the dumbest SOB i new. shook hands with him and said i'm amazed at how much you learned in 1 short yr. after i got out of the navy i went to college for 3 1/2 yrs, majored in auto engineering. Quit and bought my first big rig. ran 48 states and canada. in 2001 my 2nd wife devorced me and got my kids, 11 rigs and house, property, tools, and sanity. then worked for local college for 2 yrs doing the most scary and life threatening job iv'e ever had. teaching truck driving. my brother died in a motor cycle wreck 2 yrs ago so i moved back to the family almond farm to run it. when i'm not farming or sitting in my boat fishing, i'm in my woodworking shop (building something i usualy give away for a thank you and a smile) or i'm in the weld shop pretending to be a welder my daughter 14yrs, sons 11 and 7 are all learning to farm, fish, and their in competition to see whose the better of the 3 is at wood working and welding. now if everyone i know will stop trying to get me married i might live happily ever after. not the end
                      miller 225 bobcat
                      miller aead200le (with miller hf tig trailer mounted)
                      mm175, mm211, TA181i
                      mm252 w/30a spool gun
                      precision tig 225
                      hobart stickmate LX ac/dc
                      Speedglas 9100X & XX / Miller Digital Elite
                      hypertherm 380 & cutmaster 52
                      victor journeyman & super range
                      ridgid chop saw, kalamazoo band saw
                      steel max and evolution carbide saws
                      6 4.5" & a 20lb 9" rockwell grinders
                      case 580 backhoe (for what i can"t lift)
                      if first you don't succeed
                      trash the b#####d

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I'm 39 with a lovely wife, 3 kids, 4, 6, 8, and a dog, I live in Michigan 45 min west of Detroit, I bought 8 acres in 2001 near Ann Arbor MI, I built a welding shop last year and this spring I am starting my new house on the property.
                        I learned to weld in High school and started welding out of my uncles garage for the neighbors, opened my first shop in 1989 and finally saved enouph money to build my own, Its taken a long time but I am finally getting what I have dreamed of having for many years.
                        My Passion has always been motorcyclcles riding at Road America, Mid Ohio and a few other tracks in Michigan Has been more fun than I can convey,
                        However I have given up motorcycles for now due to my kids own my free time.
                        My welding business is another passion of mine, I have two rigs, a shop, tractor, dump trailer.
                        My specialties are welding and conveyors, However I have been doing a little dirt work and concrete work that goes along with my steel ********.
                        I find that as I get older Life just keeps getting better.
                        I have learned that Hard work, High morals and honesty will get you Money, friends, and a good life.

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                        • #27
                          rvannatta

                          I've spent 60 years living on the stump farm that has been in the family for 65 years. It started as a cattle ranch and when that didn't work we tried hogs. Meanwhile, I grew up went to college, then Law school, and went to work in my father's law office to try to help make enough money so we could afford the ranch and spent 5 days a week there for 30 years spending the other 3 or 4 days a week working on the ranch. Ultimately, we sold the hogs, parked the combine under a tree and started selling logs and the trees had finally gotten big enough to harvest. My older brother has been the lead dog on the logging side of the business, but we didn't have any roads, so while is was selling logs, I spent the time I wasn't in the law office building 20 miles of logging roads, and opening a couple of rock quarries, and producing enough rock to rock them to all weather status.
                          Eventually, my brother Who by then was 65 couldn't keep up with the
                          wrench both logging full time and wrench pulling all the busted logging equipment, so I cranked the law office down to 1 day a week and spent a couple of years working down the back log of heavy shop work jobs that needed doing. when I got that caught up, I took over the log truck driving also, so I now spend a couple days a week on average steering a log truck between the ditches.
                          Learned to weld in highschool, but have spent more years holding the broken pieces that needed to be welded than holding the stinger. OFten when we do a project together, I run the the lathe and he runs the welder.
                          I taught myself to be a computer programmer about 25 years ago and wrote the accounting system for my law office which is still in use today, and eventually I morphed that ability in to the ability to write web sites and my website: www.vannattabros.com has been a 10 year work in progress. Although I sell nothing over the site and spend no money promoting it, it has on average 2,000 visitors a day.
                          In my spare time over the last 20 years I have been a director of our local electric utility, and more recently a director of a telecommunications utility that provides fiber optic transport around the state of Oregon. Oh yes, there is a wife of 31 years and 4 now adult daughters.

                          We have never quite given up cattle or farming, and have been baling our hay with the same 2nd hand John Deere Tractor now for 51 years. We also got a new hayrake and baler 51 years ago, but the baler died probably 20years ago, and the rake gave up the ghost after 50 years. they just don't make'm like they used to.

                          We like to buy equipment in 3's it seems and we have 3 farm tractors, 3 log skidders, 3 link belt log loaders, 3 backhoes, 3 mostly retired Drott log loaders, 3 off highway log trucks, and shish only 2 off highway rock trucks, 3 engine driven welders, 3 lathes, 3 bull dozers, 3 service trucks, but only 1 road grader, 1 compacter, and 1 highway log truck, and but 1 mechannical feller buncher, and 1 dangle head processor, and one yarder, and 3 front end loaders, as well as a couple of fire trucks. (Loggers have to have a fire truck on duty in the woods).
                          All this is why our Miller bobcat often powers a battery charger. What we don't have is 3 employees. My brother and I, his son, and usually 1 hired man run the operation.
                          Most of the iron is old, as there isn't enough money on the planet to buy a new spread of that much iron, but we will buy multiple old machines when we have a chance, use them all until they die and then cannalbize to keep a survivor going.

                          On going shop projects at the moment include repowering a FIAT Allis 21C (D-8 sized dozer) with a 300 HP John Deere Industrial engine, and the latest is that yesterday I was out with one of our M-911 off high OSHKOSH trucks hauling rock to repair some of the winter mudholes, and apparently turned a pinion out of one of the rear ends. It's a 60,000 lb Eaton which makes a lot of bad noises and doesn't move. I haven't taken it apart yet, but when the input shaft turns and makes unhappy sounds and the wheels don't, I can always hope it is a broken axle, but fat chance. If that thing needs a gear set, and I can't imagine it not, some vulture is going to fatten on us.

                          R. VanNatta
                          rvannatta
                          www.vannattabros.com
                          Miller Bobcat 225G
                          Miller Big 40 ('79 gasser)<gone>
                          Miller 375 Plasma cutter<gone>
                          Lincoln Vantage 400
                          Lincoln Pro-Cut 80

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                          • #28
                            I’m Buddy, and I’ll be 52 next month. Went to the US Air Force Academy, got a degree in engineering mechanics, picked up silver pilot wings, and racked up over 2000 hours in trainers and fighters (a Colonel in the reserves due to retire in July). Left active-duty in 1985, and worked for General Dynamics selling F-16s and developing cockpit interfaces for the same for 2 ½ years. Got on with Delta Air Lines after that, and flew as a First Officer and Captain for 16 years. Saw the writing on the wall, and decided to retire before the ---- hit the fan. Whew, was that close!

                            Well I remodel, repair, and generally build homes, but decided I wanted to add to my repertoire. Welding is something I have always admired, and now am in a crash course to learn. Finishing up SMAW, and Layout and Fab courses at the local college, and will start GMAW and TGAW courses on the 20th. Constant welding/immersion—it is fantastic. I have a great instructor, Charles Credicott, who is patient and talented beyond words. It is a pleasure to be in his class, and I am looking forward to the next two, and the Flux Core class in the summer. Jam packed!

                            I don’t truly know where this will lead, but every day the confidence goes up. I hope to be fabricating in the future, and maintain contact with Charles indefinitely.

                            Of course I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am married to one of the smartest, most beautiful women in the world (28 years). How she remains so beautiful, I don’t know. Genes I guess. My daughter is a 1st year Vet student at Texas A&M, and wants to be and Equine Orthopedist. They put up with me, and for that I am grateful!

                            I look forward to becoming a sponge on this forum. You guys are full of knowledge, and my hat is off to you!!!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Howdy all from Charlotte

                              Hi I'm Glenn, No I don't live here but I 'm here in charlotte soakin up 2 days of great Nascar stuff. If you get the chance go to charlotte & see Hendrick, RCR and Rousch. """""""""""""ITS AWESOME BABY"""""""""" Thanks ANDY!!!& MILLER !!!!! I live in Palmdale CA. about 50 miles north of Los Angeles up in the desert. I work for a welding supply company in Valencia CA, I have been at it for about 15 years now. I enjoy welding woodworking , Remodeling the house slowly, and spending time w the wife and two girls 5 & 12.Well Its After midnight & I'm flat out pooped. better log off & get some shuteye lots goin on tomorrow too Gotta love it Later days GB
                              Dynasty 200DX With TEC Superflex 9 & 17 Torches,
                              Hypertherm 30A Plasma
                              Rincoln SP130T Mig

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                The welding obessed.

                                Larry in San Mateo, about half way between San Francisco (the fruits) and San Jose (the nuts) that hankj referred to. I am paid to do commercial real estate investment and development—family business—not my choice. Would rather be doing heavy equipment grading, weld fab/repair, auto/truck repair, weld teaching, retirement in that order.

                                54, married 28 yrs to a goddess, two boys; oldest is 25 yrs attending Cal State Santa Cruz majoring in Bioscience, the youngest is 22 yrs attending College of Hard Knocks working retail at REI. No grandkids (that we know of).

                                Like SPARX, I’m not spending $200 on something that will take me 3 months to build and will triple in cost. I too enjoy grinding the gears of the brain trying to design and redesign stuff to make it…no longer useable!

                                Started welding and brazing in high school. Could barely afford a Miller 225 AC buzz box in my first year in college. Dropped out of college after 3½ years. Wasn’t going anywhere.

                                Worked in the family paving/grading/underground business. Love moving dirt —still can’t get enough of BIG IRON.

                                Ran the traveling circus owned and operated by my Mother and her husband. No, I mean a real circus with lions, tigers, fire-eaters, high wire acts, etc. Ran it for about 5 years. Fabed what ever was needed. Repaired what ever was broken. Did it all except perform. Tried it once…only once.

                                Ran their tent rental business for another 5 years or so. No, these were big event tents. Over 10,000 sq. ft. It was very cool to put up a huge “building” with a couple of guys were just hours before there was just an empty parking lot or open field.

                                Moved on and started an auto/truck/trailer repair business. Loved welding the best. Although, the more things I welded the more welding questions I had.

                                Married in ’78—life began. First son born in ’81—reality began. Wife pregnant again, in ’84—total panic began. I had a wife and soon would have two sons and I had no career plans!

                                Enrolled in College of San Mateo’s two-year (4-semester) welding program. Great welding program. Legendary. Aluminum, steel, stainless, copper, welding symbols, drafting, blue print reading, CNC, FCAW, SMAC, GTAW, GTAW-P, GMAW, GMAW-P, OAW, OAC, PAC, TB, TS, metallurgy, on and on. Learned a ton and then some.

                                Graduated in ‘85. Hired by Westgo in the metals R&D department. Worked on their exotic brazing alloys—metal to ceramic, silver and gold based vacuum brazing alloys etc. Very cool stuff. Very cool lab. Great guys I worked with. Took a temporary leave in ’86 to help my grandmother in her real estate business. I’m still there.

                                Have always done all the welding at my Dad’s ranch. I call his place the Winchester Mystery Ranch. At age 81+ he is always building, modifying, or installing something. Keeps him busy—young. He works harder than I do! God love him. Everything he does now has a major metal/welding component to it. I think he dreams things up just to keep me around—and to get me out from behind the desk. I love him.

                                I out grew my buzz box quite a while ago and have, over the many years, worked my way through many machines starting with red but came to my senses and graduated to blue. Between my two shops I now own a TB350D, XMT 304 CC/CV, XMT 350 CC/CV, Dynasty 300DX, S-32P, two Suitcase RC 12s, XR 30, 22A, two Coolmate 3s, two Spectrum 2050s, HF-251D-1, Optima MIG pulse controller, LDR-14 & RHC-3GD34A remote controls, and enough extra torches & tips (MIG & O/A), guns, liners, consumables, cables, cylinders, gauges, hoses, regulators, gas fittings, etc., to start my own welding supply house!

                                Yes, my wife knows about my addiction. She says I am obsessed with welding. Ya think? People tell me “You are in real estate.” “I didn’t know you could weld.” I just smile. Once the arc gets in your blood, you can’t get it out.

                                Thank you all for sharing a part of your lives with us on this great thread.
                                Larry

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