Signed up for Welding class

Good to hear!
Hope you enjoy your class as much as I enjoyed the ones I took!
It really can depend on the type of teacher you get, but you will be able to learn from it no matter what.
4 or 5 hours once a week was the format of all the classes I took. Some where 4, some where 5.

I didn't find that to be true for any of the classes I took. The teachers were standing around doing nothing half the time and it was easy to get them to answer questions or demonstrate a weld or give you feed back on your last weld.
Class sizes were typically 10 to 20 for us and most had both a teacher and an assistant to help out. Often, there were other students in the classes with a lot of experience that could answer questions as well.
The lab has something like 12 arc welding stations and 16 oxy-acetylene booths. After the first few classes, there were always people who didn't show up or who would drop out so most the time you would have a station to yourself for the full lab period. Only rarely would you have to share.
The general nice thing as well about the lab was that it had a wide range of different equipment purchased one or two at time over a period of years so there was there was a wide range of different types of equipment to learn to use.

Our CC doesn't have a single beginner class that covers all the processes. Arc welding is two classes: ARC-I and ARC-II. In ARC-I you learn flat position welds. In ARC-II you learn vertical and overhead. They also have a pipe class for ARC (which is one I've not taken).
Oxy-acetyline is another class. It only covers work on 18 gauge steel (and maybe a little bit on 1/8" but has one project with multiple out of position welds. It covers gas cutting and brazing as well and when I took it, we had a heat treating project thrown in as well.
Inert gas is another class which used to cover TIG and MIG but recently has been only TIG in another class.
Then there is a MIG and fluxcore class which is mostly steel but has some aluminum as well. This used to be taught with 18 gauge steel projects but the last time it was taught when I took it was mostly 3/8" structural steel welds in all positions.
These are all 16 week classes with about either 1 hour of class and 3 hours of lab, or 2 hours of class and 3 hours of lab. The lab time is always right after the class time and the class time is seldom over an hour even in the ones that are listed as 2 hours of class so they just end up with 4+ hours of lab time a week.
Even with full 16 week classes on each process you can only just begin to learn all the different processes and positions. Every process and position and material is like learning a whole new skill.
If you tried to touch on all processes in a single class you wouldn't have time to actually learn how to weld anything. Learning to make a good weld takes lots of practice. I suggested to one of the instructors once that they add an introduction course that covers all the processes, and his thought was that none of the students would actually learn to do a weld if you did that because the class would have to move on to the next process before anyone actually learned even a single weld in the previous process.
I spend about a year taking classes and there were 3 or 4 classes they offered I haven't yet taken. I could easily spend another year working on the process if I wanted to get better to be a professional welder. But I did it just for the fun of it for hobby/home use and I know far more than I need to know at this point.

There was reading, some homework, and tests, but most of that was trivial for the classes I took. I might have had to spend a few hours a week out of class total reading/studying/homework but the real work was all in the lab actually practicing welds.

Once you got to the know the instructors, they would give you a lot of flexibility to work on other projects as well. So as long as you were getting the required projects for the class done, you could switch over and practice other processes or other positions, or even bring in small projects from home to work on if you had something that needed to be fixed or welded. The previous welding instructor (that sadly died the 2nd week I was there) was always welling to help people fix things that needed to be welded.
One friend for example is auditing the oxy class this summer (which he already took last year) but not working on oxy at all - he's using it to learn pipe and other stuff. People sign up for classes basically just to get cheap access to the lab and the instructors.
In our CC, the welding shop is part of the auto mechanics and it's in the same building so when you hang out there doing welding you also get to know all the guys in the auto-shop program so again you get to know people who like fooling around with mechanical stuff and metal.
This summer, I'm talking an auto class which is an introduction to machine shop. I took it to learn the basics of mill and lathe work and I've spend most the class playing with the mill. I'm making a 6 sided dice which is almost done. I'll have to post pictures later. The class is really about all the specialized machine shop equipment used to rebuild engines so we only had one class on the mill, and one on the lathe and the rest has been on valve grinders and cylinder boring and honing, crank balancing, rod conditioning etc. It's an intro class that goes so fast you don't learn much of anything other than getting to see a demonstration of the processes but they have full classes you can take on each areas of engine rebuilding (one on heads, one on blocks, etc) if you really want to get into that stuff. The intro class is there mostly to get you familiar with the tools and the shop and teach safety. It's a pre-req for all the other auto machine shop classes.
I wish they actually had pure machine shop classes instead of just specialized auto classes but they don't. It seems they used to a few decades back, but it was shut down. I guess with all the automation in industry these days there's just not much demand for training people to be machinists anymore.
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com / http://NewsReader.Com /
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Curt, sounds great. If I can get 5 hours a week for welding, and materials, I will be very happy.
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