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  • Help Needed From Expirienced Welders

    Hello expirienced welders! Im new to the forums and to the welding field. I need some help! Currently i just turned 18 and am going into my second semester of college welding. Please don't make fun of me if I don't understand something, I am new and I would love the learning expirience.




    I am stacking classes and currently in route to graduating early. I have my structural certificate, and getting close to an aluminim mig cert. Our instructer makes us weld with different machines as old as 50 years old just so we can get used to different machines.




    The classes I am taking this semester are:




    Wire (GMAW/starting from 16 gage steel solid wire we make pressure boxes and open root welds and learn to weld with steel .035 wire, then starting from 1/8 inch material we do aluminum with 0.45 wire 4000 series and 5000 series and build pressure boxes, then we go into the same stuff with flux core and dual sheild on quarter inch material. All of this includes your basic tee joints, lap joints, and corner joints, etc in all positions.),




    Arc (SMAW/sets me up for basic pipe welding, flat plates, 6010 open root, 6010 hot pass, 7018 cap on 3/8" plates beveled at 37" all positions and this class focuses on all kinds of rods) we make our own coupons from start to finish




    Arc low-hydrogen (SMAW/this is my structural class, i have finished this class, i have flawless bend tests to prove it, 1/4" backing strip, with 3/8" plates beveled at 22 1/2" all positions).




    Gas welding (oxy-aceteline welding, welding on 16 gage material different joints until we make a pressure box, your basic cutting is done in this class too, i have already taken a lot of this class and plan to test out of it next semester)




    Next semester:




    Tig (GTAW/ stainless, steel as low as 16 gage and aluminum as low as 1/8", making welds all the way to making pressure boxes)




    Pipe (this is the basic pipe welding different schedules)




    Pipe Cert ( this is your certification, and includes lots of different types of rods)




    Im from Alaska, and i have big plans for the future. One of them is to own and operate a small or big welding business depends on what the future has for me. I want a seasonal business as i already own a small commercial fishing business that goes from mid spring till late fall that I can support my welding career also. Im thinking of getting a job after college and the fishing season to get a better understanding of your basic fabrication and welding. Then maybe start up my own business either mobile or shop. If i cannot find a job i will just start up my business anyway. I live in a fishing port with a permanent population of 10,000. There is a lot of aluminum work to be done here.




    I also want to do some work during the fishing season for fellow fleet members. Currently im looking at engine drives. Something that isnt too spendy (i can upgrade in the future). Something that can do ac and dc, can run plasma, gouging, and run on stainless, steel and aluminum. One of my questions is about the engine drive. I know it has to have a suitcase or a spool gun attachment, but am i able to run a tig torch off of it? Im currently looking at the bobcat gas kohler engine drives that can do anything. But the AC switch has a little triangle on it, what does that mean?




    Theres a lotta good welders up here in Alaska and im hoping i can become one too! The slopes really aren't for me My instructor says i have a special gift where i was born with welders arms and its really become a passion for me.




    So heres what i need to know more info on (this stuff needs to take a lotta work and the cheaper the better, basically good for its price and where i would be able to get this stuff without getting ripped off):




    An all process ac dc gas engine drive




    spool gun or suitcase for aluminum and flux core maybe a push pull gun




    stick welding leads (clamp)




    tig kit




    plasma cutter, i really like the miller one we have in the shop and ive been looking at a hypertherm 45




    cheap place to get an argon cylinder




    And last but not least ive been looking at a new hood. Either the esab sentinenel that just came out or the lincoln electric which is jodys and bob moffets go to hoods and everyone in our shop seems to like them. The easier and cheaper the lenses the better, but the better hood cancels that out.




    any other advice is appreciated or something i missed!

    Please put in thoughtful clear answers, because i really put my brain into this post, and welding is becoming a serious passion for me. Thank you!

  • #2
    Go to a local welder who does what your looking to do and when he tells you don't do it kid it's a crappy way to earn a living believe him and ask if he needs help even a couple hours a week you may figure out its not for you, also ask to see his book of deadbeats bet he'll have one of those thick as a new York city phone book, unless there's a union apprenticeship in your field that pays you to learn it's tough

    Comment


    • #3
      Why can't we make fun of you? Are you sensitive or something? Probably the wrong line of work if you are. If people aren't poking fun at you, then they probably don't like you. I plan to make as much fun of you as I can. Ask Olivero how much I can make fun of someone, he's scared of me now....

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks to me like you have some great skills already.
        For your engine drive, don't buy less than a TrailBlazer
        Bobcats are fine but they lack features to run accessories needing remote amperage on mig or tig.
        They also have Dig on stick.
        Bobcat is a very good generator with CC/CV but no remote capability and the cost isn't that much different esp. when you consider one job could pay the cost difference.

        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pat h View Post
          Go to a local welder who does what your looking to do and when he tells you don't do it kid it's a crappy way to earn a living believe him and ask if he needs help even a couple hours a week you may figure out its not for you, also ask to see his book of deadbeats bet he'll have one of those thick as a new York city phone book, unless there's a union apprenticeship in your field that pays you to learn it's tough
          ...I remember it well from years of my dad's welding business. Always something broken on equipment that " has to be working in the morning". You rush to get it done, late at night, cold, hot, dirt, mud, then try to get paid. And try. And try. You learn who not to do work for. Finally gave it up except for helping out close friends and went to a shop. Welding is fantastic, and I still love it 60 years later, but fixing stuff for small time operators is often a losing proposition. If you can find work building new stuff for reputable people, different story. Still glad for what I learned back then, and some of the cool jobs we did, but I went into electronics, then computers. Higher stress, but much better working conditions otherwise.

          Just set your sights on the right kind of work. It's hard getting started, and will take a lot of work, but there are a number of people on this forum that have found a great niche and are doing well. It's not all horror stories, but it ain't easy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Welding skill and running a business is two entirely different things.
            Welding and fabricating/fitting are also very different IMO.
            All 3 are needed to run a successful welding business.
            One should at least take a few courses in basic business or have managing experience beforehand.
            Seldom do you just go "on the clock" and expect to get paid when done. There should be an agreed upon ballpark price with a deposit beforehand, or you would be better off not starting the job. Unless it is a regular customer that pays well.
            I have actually had clients that jerked me around bad enough that I didn't write the total until they were writing the check, so I included the time they hem-hawed around to pay me. Then it wasn't quite so bad

            www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
            Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
            MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              I do mostly small time work. Something I have done with customers that are slow to pay...for one thing, I'm slow to return their phone calls...but I started listing "pay by" dates on the invoice. One amount if paid within 7 days, an increased amount of not received within 15 days and a much larger amount if not paid within 30 days. Some of my customers are net30, and we've worked that out right from the start.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                I do mostly small time work. Something I have done with customers that are slow to pay...for one thing, I'm slow to return their phone calls...but I started listing "pay by" dates on the invoice. One amount if paid within 7 days, an increased amount of not received within 15 days and a much larger amount if not paid within 30 days. Some of my customers are net30, and we've worked that out right from the start.
                In 20 years I have almost never done that.
                1/2 down...1/2 on delivery
                You can bet if it is a company, that they already received a deposit as well. If I do have a problem with them, I simply won't put any priority on their next project.
                I have overhead and have to produce paychecks. I would need to have at least 2 months of overhead set back to play that game. Plus I like my time off. If I had run my automotive machine shop this way I would still be in that biz.
                If they don't have money I'll find a client who does until they get some money. Plain and simple. And then they always miraculously find a way to come up with the cash.
                I had a few on net 30 etc. and they were the worst to collect from. Always conveniently forgetting me. Not anymore. Life is too short.
                IT has cost me several clients over the years. And we have also had to pay bills late in the past because we couldn't collect either. Now we have a large back log of work to cherry pick from. Cash is KING in the welding biz.

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info and the support, really appreciate it. Other than the fact that i should probably get a trailblazer instead, i would like to know more abouy the hoods . A few of the guys told me to take a business class, but i told them i understand how a small business works, my whole family owns a small business of their own and i also own a small business. Also, the part where i need to learn who will pay and who wont, thats why i chose to start my business close to home where the whole population pretty much knows one another. As for the doubters, im not gonna let you stop me, your comments actually drive me to do more. At least thats how i graduated from high school early and started my own business, all because of dirt kickers that doubted me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You've got the right attitude for success. Go for it, and go with Fusion Kings advice on billing. My dad was far too "soft". I learned a great line from a Chief I worked with in the service : Firm, Fair, and Friendly. It works.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ya, all you dirt kicking naysayers saying nah. Oh man, to be 18 again and know everything....we could rule the world....

                      Comment

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