A welding story

A friend of mine without a lot of "formal" education - but with LOTS of hands on experience - was interviewing a young fellow who had just finished a welding course and was proud of it. He turned a welder on and handed the young man a piece of tin and a heavy piece of I-beam with instructions to "weld the edge of this tin to that I-beam." I don't recall if the younger fellow even tried but insisted it could not be done whether he had tried it or not. The older fellow took the welding lead and proceeded to do just what he had requested of the other man.

The secret - keep the heat on the heavier piece just close enough to the light piece to provide the needed heat.

It wasn't me, but I'm one of those withOUT a lot of experience. :-)

Reply to
Al Patrick
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I don't think the young man in the story completed a very competent class.

Reply to

Sometimes, it just comes down to mentors. I, personally, have welded many hundreds of hours, but started out at 0, as everyone else did.

At times, I took pieces and just tried and tried until I got the "AHA!" moment, and then committed that to the memory banks.

Other times, I had the benefit of mentors I could ask, or who would show me. One of the first things I was told before going out into the oilpatch was, "If you act like you know everything, everyone will just leave you alone. If you say you don't know and need help, the old guys will help you plenty."

I was young, hardheaded, and egotistical. (YES, YOU IDIOT, I KNOW HOW TO WELD, AND HAVE THIS PAPER THAT SAYS SO!) It took a few times of swallowing hard and asking about things to learn that decades of experience were at my fingertips to be had for the asking.

Someone who really wants to learn to weld, and isn't so egotistical that they have to go through the LONG trial and error method is on the right track. A mentor can show a student more in five minutes than they can learn in a day on a particular method or process.

It takes a good student and a good mentor. Many times the mentors are crusty, rough, and harsh. But when the benefits are weighed, the price is cheap. I look back at these experiences and memories with fond memories. I wonder where they are now and how they are. Fitters who couldn't read or write, but who could branch and saddle 12" pipe with only a piece of paper and a piece of soapstone. And have it come together real purty. Pipe welders who made a whole job of four months twelve hour shifts without a cutout.

Men who would help a newbie who admitted he needed a little help. People who know it all are really basically stupid.


Reply to

Reminds me of the time I had to weld 16 gauge cold rolled sheet to heavy six inch angle framing for beehive style sawdust burners. We used 5/32 E 7024 We ran around 250 amps. Once you knew the trick it went fast. Steve's last statement says it all. Randy

Reply to
Randy Zimmerman

Good for him. That's an awkward weld, he knew he couldn't do it. Much better that than someone who knows everything already.

The young guy was fresh off a welding course. Now just how much are you expecting here ?

Reply to
Andy Dingley

If he's young I discount the character flaw that is unable to recognize the difference between "it can't be done" and "I can't do it" but as a blanket statement from someone right out of school, I'm curious as to what he was taught on the subject.

Reply to
carl mciver

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