Went to Southeast Tech, Groton Connecticut Class of 81
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02-10-2013, 03:00 PM #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
02-10-2013, 06:20 PM #12Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
I started welding with 6011 stick when I was on a crew traveling around building grain elevators, welded with stick for a year and then my boss introduced me to mig welding in his garage shop. I decided to get out if the elevator construction and keep my feet on the ground while welding so now I have been mig welding in a shop building side dump trailers for the last year and a half.
02-10-2013, 08:03 PM #13Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
A little over 30 yrs ago, I was laying on a straw bale in the bottom of a mudhole repairing a split in an underground waterline to a center pivot. (Manufacturing defect in the pipe, of course almost on the bottom.) The owner of the ranch drove up and asked, "Where did you learn to weld." My response, "Places like this ditch." Then he invited me to lunch at his house. Life was good. And I was nearly done with the repair before the straw bale caught fire.
02-11-2013, 06:56 AM #14
Now that's a story...
02-11-2013, 09:42 AM #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- Sweetwater, TX
Here is some history if anyone feels like reading.
Summary - Learned to weld at 7yrs old.
Long history of welders/iron workers in the family. Grandfather is a welder and was still welding well up into his late 70s. He set the antenna on the Hemisphere Tower in San Antonio and help build the Pecos river high bridge. I don't have a clue what all else he got to work on. He was VERY well known at the Potash mines as well. Many years later I worked at the mines one summer and some of the guys out there would tell me how well they liked my grandfather. Father was a welder from a young age, constructed some power plant in Corpus Christi, TX and worked as an iron worker in Minnesota for a while. He use to tell of how they would climb the vertical columns bolt bag on and all by hand with no ladders to get up to where the crane was setting the next beams. And though I will never try it, he mentioned they would skip down the bar joists jumping from one to the next to get down to the other end of the building. I found out the hard way my first time walking them, you don't stop on a 60ft bar joist that doesn't have bridging in place (lots of swaying when you stop in the middle for a moment).
My father was always really busy, was running his own welding business when I came around. When I was 7 yrs old he had a shop hand show me how to strick an arc with 6010. By 10 I was also getting familiar with oxy/acet cutting torch, although cutting a long straight line was still out of the question.
At 14 I started working for my dad at the shop every summer. Was cutting scrap iron to sell off making $3.25hr. Would fill a semi trailer using a backhoe and after it was full with a few tons they would haul it off to be sold. Spent alot of time as a welding helper going to rigs to help out with well heads. Got to work as a swamper a few times. There isn't much out there harder than loading a backhoe bucket up with drilling mud using a shovel. Went out on several jobs to help out and install gas/mud seperators.
Got to go out to rigs as the welder a few times doing small jobs like tacking collars, welding the flange back on the pipe for the rat hole, and once got to cap a conductor pipe. Of course it always would be on a friday afternoon when no other welders could be reached and I would be the one working till sun up saturday. One of the shop hands would always go with me who knew how to get to the rig and would talk to the rig hands and get the ticket signed since I wasn't even 18 at the time.
When I was 17 worked as an iron worker/welder putting up a bank in NM. That was my first time getting to walk iron and never was a day boring. The crane operator foreman was actually a foreman for my dad long ago, so it had a lot of meaning to it as well. Carrying 200ft of welding lead across beams was always a rush since you had to make sure the cable didn't get hung up and pull you off. Wasn't really any way to be tied off when walking the iron or at least none of the welders I was working with were until they sat down to start welding. Welded in a LOT of bridging that summer. Was at that job till we completed the roof. When the roof was going on that job was miserable since even with a wide brim hard had, the top of my ears would blister from the reflection off the roof.
That was one of my favorite welding jobs. Got to slide down the beams at break and eat lunch in the banks cement valt (irony) to be in the shade.
That job welding and hanging iron I was making minimum wage.
At 18, before senior year in high school I spent the summer at the Potash mines during a summer pre-shutdown. Got to help replace rusted out beams and make a temparary brace support for a 300' conveyor belt line that had dropped almost 6". Of course they couldn't stop the conveyor belt while we straddled it putting in supports in the tunnel, they said they could only run a courser form of potash so it wasn't so dusty. It got so bad in there you couldn't see light at the end of the tunnel. By lunch every day I could pour 2 cups of potash out of my bolt bag. It was basically raining potash all day long. Some places were rusted so bad when I would stand in the webbing of the beams I'd have to kick the rust off the bottom of the beam to make sure I wouldn't step through and I could break the bolts off with my hand. I'd get to use air-chisels and replace bolts at times.
My last year I worked in the shop more with an older gentleman building stock for around the tank batteries. Several times there would be 3 or 4 of us working all afternoon and into the next morning making cuttings boxes (box with no top and 1 end open) for the rigs. +20ft long by around 8ft wide by 6ft high (big enough for a backhoe to scoup stuff out) 5/8" plate, jet rod and 7018 all the way. We'd have it loaded on trailer with a roustabout 5 ton wench truck by 8am.
Then went off to college and now the welding it just a hobby.
Last edited by clint738; 02-11-2013 at 01:45 PM.
02-11-2013, 10:13 AM #16
Thanks for taking the time to relay that story. My dad has some interesting stories about him & his dad too. They sure don't make them like that anymore. We've all gone kinda soft...
02-11-2013, 12:39 PM #17Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Central Kalifornia
Learning to weld
I learned from my Dad first, he is now 83 years young and still welds to this day. When I was in high school I took a metal shop class. That helped, but I didn't have the desire. Five years ago I borrowed a friends welder and found out I enjoyed the time I spent welding. Bought my own equipment and I use it as a hobby for stress relief.
02-11-2013, 12:58 PM #18
God bless him. I'll bet he can still run a good bead too.