Jeesh: Do I Smell that Bad

StuckRod

Member
Messages
24
Good Post Points
18
Location
Maine
Kind of a funny situation.

I was a welder for years, watched what I had for vices, watched my money closer, and realized after 23 years as a professional welder, I could retire. I had a few acres, a working farm, and could easily farm to make enough money to get by for my family until I could pull my retirement when I was 55 years old.

Then I got sick.

After struggling for four years, I finally checked my pride, realized I could no longer physically farm any more due to my sickness, but REFUSED to file for disability like my medical team wanted me too. It took me a few months, and I was actually going to college for my high pressure steam license, but then I saw a job as a welding instructor. I applied for it, and got hired.

So then I started, on a Monday, a co-instructor for 60 students. Then...Covid19 came, they shut the school down, and I have been chomping at the bit to teach again.

So the real question is: was it really Covid19 or do I smell pretty bad! :)
 

poncho62

Well-known member
Messages
83
Good Post Points
59
Location
Ontario, Canada
This Covid 19 thing is screwing with everyone......You will get through it. That teaching thing sounds like it might be fun.
 

StuckRod

Member
Messages
24
Good Post Points
18
Location
Maine
Yeah if I get a project, I can buy the steel for it, and have the students weld it up. I can run the project through my business that way they can get some on-the-job training credit for their resumes.

They are always looking for those kinds of projects so the advance students get a chance to do some real-world welding.
 

Old Irish

Well-known member
Messages
70
Good Post Points
15
Location
The River Sticks
Welder
Lincoln SW200,PowerMig 180, A/C225 with rectifier, 2 Chinese plasma, stick, tig- 1-Chinese stick w/hot start&arc force and 1 Chinese 205A mig
I salute you and thank you for being willing to teach. I became fascinated with welding at the ripe old age of 6 years old while watching an uncle build a 50 foot steel hull trawler in his back yard, fast forward to high school and FFA I took every ag class including farm mechanics which included welding but as luck would have it the ag teacher couldn't weld so there was little in the way of success for any of us. I bought my first welder at about 22 or 23 and have been at it ever since but really wasn't getting better until I was introduced to YouTube and Jody Collier at welding tips and tricks and Weld.com. My oldest grandson is starting high school in the fall and had planned on taking welding but they won't let him until he is 16 but I was so proud of him that I told him I will set him up from head to toe when he starts. I have meet the instructor at a Lincoln event and he truly takes pride in his students and like you is a professional welder. I wish you all the luck in the world, with the decrease in young folks entering the trades you are much needed because the few will need to be all the more skilled.
 

Norm W

Member
Messages
9
Good Post Points
3
Location
syracuse, ny
Welder
Miller 225, Lincoln Tombstone 225 stick, Montgomery Wards DC converter, Hobart mig
I can't believe the number of "College" educated people that have no idea what it takes to build something. They also have no idea where their food comes from. I applaud the parents that encourage their children to learn a trade. Even if they learn a trade in high school that doesn't mean they can't go to college. But just "Book" learning usually won't get them the "Job" they want. It's what else they can bring to the table. The engineer that has machining experience is a better choice usually than one without. I've seen too many "Educated" people with jobs putting tops on bottoms because they didn't have the real world experience to do anything else. Too many students think BOCES is for losers. The next door neighbor thought that. Paid big $$ to get her cosmetology license after she graduated from high school. She could have gotten it through BOCES for the cost of the test. I asked a guidance counselor what their criteria was for sending students to BOCES. She said they send the students that are in danger of dropping out of school. I told her she is sending the wrong students. Most of those students don't want to do anything, much less think or work. Send the students that will get something out of it. I hope you can get back to teaching students a skill that can earn them a living.
 

StuckRod

Member
Messages
24
Good Post Points
18
Location
Maine
In the next 10 years they predict there will be a 400,000 shortfall of welders in this country.

The kids that I teach will actually make more than I do at teaching welding, and they are just starting out. Most will be making 6 figures.

It used to be you figured your welding pay by the hour, but at the end of my career it was more fun to figure out what I was making by the minute. Regular pay was just over 50 cents a minute, but on overtime days, it would be over a $1 a minute, and on worked holidays, over $1.50 a minute.

That does not sound like a lot, but there is quite a few minutes in a work-day!
 

Gary Fowler

Well-known member
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687
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121
I started learning welding in high school using an old Forney welder that was so noisy you needed ear plugs (of course we didnt have any). Went to college for a year, got a summer job as a welder's helper in 1968 making $2.75 per hour. I never did get back to college, I followed my welding supervisor to the next job, he got me some OJT and gave me my first welding job 1969 (no test required) welding pipe hangers for $5.25 per hour. Some of the pipe welders would let me weld 7018 filler passes on heavy wall steam piping while they took a break and the xrays were good. I worked that job for over a year, went to the next one and got my draft notice in 1970. After Army basic, I was assigned as a welder in an armored cavalry unit. I didnt stay in long due to my father getting sick, but got my full veteran benefits, and went back to help on the farm. Did a lot of farm maintenance welding for a few years then finally went back to work construction as a pipe welder after passing a bend test on 6" pipe in "Arkansas bell hole" position (thats 6G position) with 6010 root /7018 fill.
I welded for about 5 years on just about every alloy known to man and finally got my first supervisor job. At that time every supervisor still had to test on every alloy and process so I kept my hand in the welding. I did a lot of OJT with pipe welders on the jobsite upgrading from SMAW welders to TIG. Years later I was working middle management and volunteered to teach welding at Long Beach City college in California. We started with SMAW plate welding, progressed to pipe welding and then TIG and a little MIG welding.

Later I moved from welding to quality control and finished out my career working out of country doing construction management. I got to work in some good places- Canada, Peru, Great Britain and some not so great places-Mexico, Nigeria, Algeria and Angola Africa. It was all interesting work and very good pay.
It was interesting work and I enjoyed every year of the 42 years of it.
 

Gary Fowler

Well-known member
Messages
687
Good Post Points
121
Gary, you have quite a welding career behind you. I tip my welding helmet to you sir !
I got a lot of experience welding alloys while working at a Celanese plant. They had more than any place I have worked. I welded pressure piping with Titanium, Zirconium, Hastelloy, Monel, Carpenter 20, 316 SS, 304 SS, 9%chrome, 5% chrome, 2 1/4 chrome and 1 1/4 chrome along with lots of carbon steel. Each alloy welds a bit different but some like Titanium and Zirconium weld in a field all their own.
 

Old Irish

Well-known member
Messages
70
Good Post Points
15
Location
The River Sticks
Welder
Lincoln SW200,PowerMig 180, A/C225 with rectifier, 2 Chinese plasma, stick, tig- 1-Chinese stick w/hot start&arc force and 1 Chinese 205A mig
I can't believe the number of "College" educated people that have no idea what it takes to build something. They also have no idea where their food comes from. I applaud the parents that encourage their children to learn a trade. Even if they learn a trade in high school that doesn't mean they can't go to college. But just "Book" learning usually won't get them the "Job" they want. It's what else they can bring to the table. The engineer that has machining experience is a better choice usually than one without. I've seen too many "Educated" people with jobs putting tops on bottoms because they didn't have the real world experience to do anything else. Too many students think BOCES is for losers. The next door neighbor thought that. Paid big $$ to get her cosmetology license after she graduated from high school. She could have gotten it through BOCES for the cost of the test. I asked a guidance counselor what their criteria was for sending students to BOCES. She said they send the students that are in danger of dropping out of school. I told her she is sending the wrong students. Most of those students don't want to do anything, much less think or work. Send the students that will get something out of it. I hope you can get back to teaching students a skill that can earn them a living.
you are on point on this, engineers can be a cross to bare. I have been lucky lately and worked with engineers with field experience and what a difference it makes. I have also been fortunate enough to work with some mechanics who could have easily been engineers had they wanted to but all the guys my age have moved into management or some other job that takes them away from their tools and with most of them being union they are useless to me when I need them because of guys coming in screaming that their work was stolen from them. I can hire good plumbers but the other trades are very difficult to hire in top mechanics. I did get a little reason to hope a while back, I had a ace mechanic hired in to do a rebuild on a 100 HP pump, I got to talking to the young guy he had helping him and asked him how he came to be employed in the trade, he told me that he was finishing up his welding training at the community college and his instructor recommended him for the job. at this point I am thinking he is a college freshman and asked, he replied that he had just turned 17 and only had 1/2 a credit to earn to finish high school so he took one class a day and then left and went to the CC for welding. I then asked if he was going to college when he got out of high school and he said no, when I finish welding I am going into HVAC classes and am going to pursue that as my permanent career. I asked him where the interest came from and he told me he had always liked working with tools and building things and had a welder at a young age and enjoyed it so he saved his pennies and at the ripe old age of 16 had bought a hobart engine drive and his first set of wheels was a mobile welding rig. gotta love it !!!
 
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