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Welding on the side for extra money

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  • Welding on the side for extra money

    I got a job tig welding aluminum 6 months ago. i had a 1 week oxy acetylene course in my plumbing entry level 6 month course and i applied at a skylight manufacturer for a tig welder i said i'd never done it, they gave me a week and i learned how. they said 6 other guys tried before me and failed but on to the topic.

    I only have 6 months of experience and i weld in different positions, mostly corners and flat surfaces. I've pretty much mastered this..

    I'm getting really good at the whole tig welding thing. I can make pretty welds if i take my time, or ones with V shaped beads if i go really fast. I weld on a miller syncrowave 250 DX. I want to buy one now and weld somethign myself that i can sell or put the welder i buy on a truck and do mobile aluminum repairs or whatever.

    before i invest $2500 in a welder..

    What chances would i have of surviving in doing aluminum welding repair for other people? and possibly steel since i hear its easier than aluminum.

    i asked my boss about it and he said maybe boat trailers. i don't have any idea how to start and get into that, any help there i would love.

    I could try to spend a few months putting together a 5' x 10' Steel utility trailer or something of the kind. sell it for $1200 and do it again hopefully quicker the next time. and i would have to learn and perfect my steel welding.

    any help?

  • #2
    Just buy yourself a good 220v mig and you will be the king of your neighborhood fixing stuff for everybody. I get 1-3 people a day bringing stuff over to fix and i don't advertise much, except for my website that no one sees, its all word of mouth. And referrals. But you never know whats comming in and you need to be prepared to do it all or turn it down to someone else.

    Also start making small wrought iron stuff to sell the women love them and they talk alot I have lots of idea's if you need some...Bob

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
      Just buy yourself a good 220v mig and you will be the king of your neighborhood fixing stuff for everybody. I get 1-3 people a day bringing stuff over to fix and i don't advertise much, except for my website that no one sees, its all word of mouth. And referrals. But you never know whats comming in and you need to be prepared to do it all or turn it down to someone else.

      Also start making small wrought iron stuff to sell the women love them and they talk alot I have lots of idea's if you need some...Bob
      Start talking ! ! !

      I am in the same boat . . . Soon to finish fast-track welding class. Training is in basic MIG & Stick. I have a new MillerMatic 251 & a Lincoln AC/DC Tombstone.

      Looking for ideas to make a few extra dollars on the side.

      Thanks in advance to anyone who may have some suggestions . . .
      Steve( aka Wacko Welder )

      Comment


      • #4
        Lots of extra $$$ welding on the side.

        I just thought I would send you my opinion on this post, I do alot of welding on the side for extra $$$ and the thing that I like about it is that you can take your time and really do a better job becuase you may not have the boss's standing over your shoulder to see if your doing it right or really pressed for time. We live around a large Amish community and they always have stuff they want me to weld for them and also if other people know that you weld on the side they will be calling you alot (cheap labor) I usually charge a min-$25.00 for anything. But some times I might do something for free just to split the difference in cost,and they seem fine with that.
        So my point is if your going to spend the money and get a welder for portable repairs do it and have fun but also make sure you know how to do the job right and if someone ask any questions you should be up on any info you can becuase they will allways ask if you know what your doing just to pick your brain. hope this helps and BEST OF LUCK TO YOU.

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        • #5
          Ideas 4 Welding Projects

          Originally posted by WACKO WELDER View Post
          Start talking ! ! !

          I am in the same boat . . . Soon to finish fast-track welding class. Training is in basic MIG & Stick. I have a new MillerMatic 251 & a Lincoln AC/DC Tombstone.

          Looking for ideas to make a few extra dollars on the side.

          Thanks in advance to anyone who may have some suggestions . . .
          Steve( aka Wacko Welder )
          If you do anything you might start with some lawn iron work such as, sheperds hooks, plant hangers, trelless for climbing flowers potting racks just to name a few off the top of my head that I have done myself. form (safetydave)

          Comment


          • #6
            More to think about

            Krazay,
            I was just where you are a couple of years ago. You have a talent and want to expand on it, possibly to pad your pocket a little. There is definately potential there to make additional money doing different welding side jobs. If there is one thing I would recommend, it would be to "start small". What else will you need to fabricate a trailer, repair a broken bicycle seat post, put an addition on an aluminum or steel canopy? You can't imagine the types of requests for jobs you'll get. If you already have a good assortment of tools, then you're probably good to go. If not, this is where starting off small comes in. If you're going to buy equipment, start with the items you'll need for cutting, preparing, fitting, clamping, etc.... Once you have this type of equipment, lean toward adding the machine to do the work you'll be doing at first. You'll soon find out that you're going to have to add more equipment to your arsenal. Unfortunately, one machine won't do "everything". If you're truly interested in doing this for extra money and still have some things to learn (like all of us), pick up some books or magazines and read, read, read!!!

            Just like you'll here by most other members of this forum, you can be successful doing your own things, but it'll take a lot of quality work, a kind heart and word of mouth. Start with a small plan for yourself and go from there. Lots of luck to you and DON'T EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU, "YOU CAN'T DO IT!". I've come a long way, let me know if I can help with anything. You can private message me on this forum also. Have a good one!

            Comment


            • #7
              i would suggest looking to a landscaper or residential construction firm. talk to them and get your name known. might even have to take a hit or 2 (freebie stuff) to let them see your work. i make more on the side than i do at my full time job building handrails, gates, fences, and the likes. my wife wont let me step out on my own full time, the pay is to sporadic for her likes... and you all know how the saying goes "when momma aint happy, aint nobody happy. when daddy aint happy, nobody cares"

              Comment


              • #8
                if you have questions about bidding, the best thing that i can say is to call a company that does that type of work and ask them how much they charge per foot installed like on a fence or so. a portable machine will help out alot, like an engine driven welder. it isnt constrained by "where" the job is. i started by doing a ton of handrail and guard rail repairs, 99% of that was onsite. there are several engine drives that are capable of multi-processes. look in the paper, your local welding supply, and the likes for used or trade-in machines fro cheaper than new and you'll be set.

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks for all the replies everyone i really wasn't expecting to have so many good ideas nor replies. My dad dug up this decent lincoln electric 100 weldpak, it can do up to 3/16 inch mild steel and it has the argon gas kit. think this will be good enough for neighborhood repairs?

                  aametalmaster: what kind of small wrought iron things? i'd love to hear some ideas =) pm me with some ideas if ya like

                  safetydave: i know what u mean about having a boss standing over your back. i think i got lucky with my workplace though, if i ****up or take too long my boss will just make a joke about it.

                  PLWeld: i really beleive anyone can do anything i'm with you on that one. I have lots of tools but what i really need is a chopsaw for myself and clamps! i think i may just start by putting a sign up somewhere for custom welding repairs.

                  welderone: theres a company down the street that welds custom aluminum boats ive been meaning to talk to him maybe do a couple hours a day of work for him for cheap to learn how to make boats, we'll see. gates fences and especially handrails sounds like a good idea. if you have any advice on building handrails i'd like to hear it because that sounds like something i could really do well at.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    welding on the side

                    Hey krazay ! jsut thought I would drop you some more info, like I said I do alot for the Amish around here by me and a lot of times it is on site work so if I was you look into a good portibale unit that is user freindly to do several procedures if you can that will help cut done an haveing extra machines you might not need. Also if you have any small manuf shops around you you could check with them on doing small repairs and charge them for time & mat, I did this for a large waste dump outfit and ended up getting a huge contract for all their dumpsters within a 100 mile radius $2000.00per week CASH just repairing the holes in them ,so just start asking around and you will get work easy if your any good and know what your talking about when they have qeustions on your abillitys (walk the walk & talk the talk) If there is anything I can help with just drop a line or pm me, just glad to help out anthor weldor in the field. Keep on welding what ever you do, it pays the bills.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I understand you must be pretty good already at tig aluminum.
                      I have done nothing but tig aluminum for 11 seasons straight. I would call myself what ever name you choose and include aluminum welding in my name...ie...Joe's aluminum welding. Then if you get a biz phone when you get simply listed in the yellow pages you will get the majority of the first calls. I did it and didn't realize it would work out that way. I used to get fancy ads but with this biz I stumbled into this great knowledge...everyday it seems I get a new customer just from the phone book.

                      I have a Bobcat welder but I now have a Dynasty 200dx and if I was to choose only one it would be the Dynasty. Times are a changing. By sticking to tig aluminum I get a bunch of work from other welding shops/mfgs that I would otherwise compete with plus I get warranty field work from aluminum mfgs. If you spend your hard earned money on a engine drive make sure it will run a newer inverter if you wish to weld aluminum mobile. The inverter will go indoors and weld in places you would have to string leads otherwise.

                      Everybody knows me because I drive a junk truck hauling TOP-NOTCH welding equipment and I get all the good jobs from the guys who drive newer trucks hauling old junk wore out underpowered welders.

                      I also stay at the top of my game by sticking to aluminum. HTH

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        railings

                        If your going to get into railings check out some of the decorative iron catalogues. I recomend making a product out of aluminum or stainless steel instead of doing metal railings(unless they're fancy fancy). everybody and their dog is welding steel. With aluminum and stainless you can do custom one-off pieces and charge more. If you're planing on going into business making custom rails, than thats a different story. hope this has helped.

                        Dustyhaze75
                        Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 01-21-2008, 04:22 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by welder_one View Post
                          i would suggest looking to a landscaper or residential construction firm. talk to them and get your name known. might even have to take a hit or 2 (freebie stuff) to let them see your work. i make more on the side than i do at my full time job building handrails, gates, fences, and the likes. my wife wont let me step out on my own full time, the pay is to sporadic for her likes... and you all know how the saying goes "when momma aint happy, aint nobody happy. when daddy aint happy, nobody cares"
                          TELL ME ABOU IT!!!!! When my wife aint happy nobody in the whole state is, she will make sure of it....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My bad .........

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dustyhaze75 View Post
                              My bad .........
                              ? did i miss something?

                              Comment

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