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Hi everybody! Advice?

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Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby MrHotShoe » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:10 pm

Hi everyone. I'm looking to become a professional welder. I have wanted to do this for a long time but have followed other career opportunities. I am 31 yrs old single no kids, have paid off my house, and have limited welding experience (some but nothing noteworthy). I have a little farm with about 20 animals and pets in South Central Kentucky, so I can't just jump on the pipeline tomorrow. I have 5k I can spend if need be. What approach would you take if you were in my shoes to get into the industry? There are limited opportunities (online postings at least) in my area, near mammoth cave.

Thanks
Mr Hot Shoe
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby Mike » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:27 am

Welcome to the forum.
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby aland » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:51 pm

Welcome to the forums.

You should have a herd of folks telling you how to spend $5k anytime now...there's no shortage of advice on spending money. :D

My less than professional advice, get a good used machine, if you can find a Miller Dynasty 280 DX in the $3k-$4k range, that would be all you need for the workload a professional will demand. A Dynasty 210 DX would be cheaper, as would a 200 DX which is an older model I believe.

I would think that on a farm, stick would be pretty useful. And mig may be useful also...but tig is also very popular, I think it really all depends on what you want to do.

I think you really need to provide more information on what you want type of welding you plan to do as a professional, if it's stick, tig or mig? You'll need to narrow that down first. Spending your money is the easy part, try to do it wisely and buy what you need, not what you think you need. A good welder is the base to any welding work, IMO. Get a good known quality brand like Miller or Lincoln. You can spend your $5k on a new 280 DX, but I think it would be wiser to buy a used one in like new condition. My $0.02...

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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby Artie F. Emm » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:37 pm

Welcome to the forum! I'm impressed that you've paid off the house: free and clear has a nice ring to it.

"Limited welding experience" suggests to me you might invest in some training. That could also be an indicator of whether you truly like welding enough to stay with it long term.

With few jobs in your area are you thinking of mobile welding, or welding from a shop on your farm, maybe?
Dave
aka "RTFM"
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby cj737 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:41 pm

If there are limited local openings, and you are unable to travel due to animal and property obligations, how then do you expect to service customers? It sounds as though you need customers to come to you. So opening a shop that offers repair or small fabrication work sounds most likely.

To do that, you will likely need to have skills in Stick welding, Flux Core (gasless version of MIG) and also hardwire MIG.TIG would likely be reserved for clean, new fabrication work, but in a shop you can possibly do that with MIG anyway. And MIG is much a faster process and easier to learn.

For a small shop, a good quality multi-process box would be my recommendation. Lincoln MP-210 or Miller MultiMatic 200/215. Both offer great Stick, MIG and Flux Core ability. They also do DC TIG, and can weld aluminum via a Spoolgun (DC MIG). One box, weld anything. Each costs about $2k, so your budget would accommodate helmet, tools, clamps, gas, and some lessons/certifications, plus a business license and business insurance.

There’s my $0.03 ;)
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:47 pm

Step 1 is decide what you want to do in welding. Tons of stuff to do that requires different equipment choices.

Some classes are in order, that might help you narrow down what you want to do.

Without a direction you can easily spend way more than the $5k and not really be any closer to what you want.
Dave J.

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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby Farmwelding » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:23 am

MinnesotaDave wrote:Step 1 is decide what you want to do in welding. Tons of stuff to do that requires different equipment choices.

Some classes are in order, that might help you narrow down what you want to do.

Without a direction you can easily spend way more than the $5k and not really be any closer to what you want.

+1 welding on a farm, welding pipe, and fabricating aluminum are very different things. What work do you want to do?
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything. Want to become a knower of all and master of none.
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby MrHotShoe » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:00 pm

Thanks everyone for replying! I don't have the funds to shoot for an all out mobile setup(but that's the goal one day). I'm looking to become a well rounded welder in the meantime. There is an assembly job I've been eyeballing and they want MIG/TIG experience.

There is a school about an hour from me that has a 4 week SMAW class, it costs about 4k and starts mid April. My thinking is I could buy a cheap stick/tig machine and a bunch of steel/stainless for less than that. I could get more hood time at home than at school. I have an el cheapo flux core box, would those skills transfer to MIG?
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby MrHotShoe » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:15 pm

This is the welder that seems the most promising. I'm not looking for a welder that will live longer than me. I figured I could use it for a year or two and resell/upgrade when I figure out what I like.

https://www.amazon.com/EVERLAST-PowerARC-160STH-160amp-Voltage/dp/B00H2VETB6
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Re: Hi everybody! Advice?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:41 pm

MrHotShoe wrote:Thanks everyone for replying! I don't have the funds to shoot for an all out mobile setup(but that's the goal one day). I'm looking to become a well rounded welder in the meantime. There is an assembly job I've been eyeballing and they want MIG/TIG experience.

There is a school about an hour from me that has a 4 week SMAW class, it costs about 4k and starts mid April. My thinking is I could buy a cheap stick/tig machine and a bunch of steel/stainless for less than that. I could get more hood time at home than at school. I have an el cheapo flux core box, would those skills transfer to MIG?


Normally to increase your learning curve I'd recommend taking the classes and then continuing to weld when you get home each day and on weekends - but you seem to have ruled out taking a class.

Have you checked to see if the class has a track record of job placement?
If they have a really good track record then it's money well spent in my opinion.

If it's just a "learn a little and have fun" type of class - I'd definitely pass that up for what you are wanting.
Dave J.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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