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hoffman
10-20-2005, 05:42 PM
I checked out the local trade school today (They call it a Techincal College) for an evening class.

I talked to the instructor about what I'm wanting to do and they have a night TIG fabrication class coming up in Jan. He was tripping out when I told him about my antique welding gear!

They have some real nice equipment including a BUNCH of MIG's and about 5 TIG's.

They are all red http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

The whole class ( 5 courses/20 credits) costs about $900 and is 4 nights a week/4hrs a night. That's gonna be tough with the day job and all but I may do it.

topct
10-20-2005, 06:45 PM
What about a book instead? The photos of your welding look like you have somewhat a grasp of the situation. Some more practice and a book to fill in the details and you might be money and time ahead.

Classrooms bore me, and I would learn much faster with my hands on the damn thing.

And besides, there are some very good welders here that can answer any of your questions and we here could kind of listen and watch your progress. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif



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Gene

Your Old Dog
10-20-2005, 07:10 PM
Good luck with the school. Been looking myself for some Board of Cooperative Extension Courses where they at one time offerd metal arts, welding, machine shop all after hours for adult education but not having any luck. sounds like it may work out for you alright. Send pics http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

hoffman
10-20-2005, 07:14 PM
I'm going to wait until the paperwork comes in the mail. $1000 is pretty steep to me! If I can sign up for maybe one class for about $200 that'll be worth it.

They said they have 12 folks per class and the class usually fill up pretty fast.

I can buy some neat stuff for a grand...

I may go by the school and see what text they are using.

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 10-20-2005).]

RAD1
10-20-2005, 07:27 PM
I just graduated from a tecnical college this spring. I was 3 years full time for machine tool, worked a part time job, and took welding classes part time 2 nights a week and saturdays on a part time basis. It definitly consumed alot of my time since I also had to travel 50 minutes one way. But it was definitly worth it. Most of the time in the welding class was spent hands on welding. Best of luck to you.

hoffman
10-20-2005, 07:33 PM
Congrats Rad! Sounds like you've worked very hard.

RAD1
10-20-2005, 07:34 PM
The text we used was from hobart and it was very easy to follow. It sounds like that is a very good deal if it is a quality accredited school. I paid about $650.00 dollars per class. basic structural, structural, flux core, and basic tig.

hoffman
10-20-2005, 07:40 PM
It's an accredited school that has co-ops with the local AFB and some other places in mid-Ga.

I almost hate to take up class space from some guy who wants to learn the trade to get a better job...

RAD1
10-20-2005, 07:49 PM
Only problem is the lack of decent jobs in this part of Maine. I really think I'm going try my own business. Although I'm a bit nervous about it since I lack experiance, but as my experianced father and friends say what better way to get experiance. although half the people out there will say one should get experiance first. I think the ones who say you'll learn alot more going on ones own are on to something since if someone works for someone else you'll be on one machine for a long time. As one 85 year old machinist with 60 years of maching say's take what you can handle with the machinery I have and what I can handle. I'm probably a little slower than an well experianced machinist but the speed will come. what do you think.

Wirecutter
10-20-2005, 08:04 PM
Hoffman, RAD -
Good for both of you. I finally found a single welding class that wasn't full, and guess what? It's at one of the county's VoTech schools.

Would I pay $900 for such an intense class? Probably, although getting a beginner's course or two is good for overview and helping to choose a specialty, if needed. Once I'm done with the class I'm in, I would definitely pay for a class like what you described. Never underestimate the value of having an "old hand" looking over your shoulder and providing guidance. And all that time in the "lab" - yeah, I'd do it.

-M

hoffman
10-20-2005, 08:05 PM
You may want to ask some of the more experienced guys here about opening a shop. Most would discourage you...

I'm working towards that as a long range supplemental income deal and I only pay cash for my equipment, which is often pretty ratty (well, always http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif), I have a small place in a rural area that needs a general machine/welding/fab/agricultiure shop so my edge should be in very low overhead and the day job will pay the bills if I can ever get moved down there.

I'd hate to HAVE to get work in order to pay the bank if they owned my equipment.

Healthcare ain't cheap either especially if you have a family...

mochinist
10-20-2005, 08:23 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by RAD1:
Only problem is the lack of decent jobs in this part of Maine. I really think I'm going try my own business. Although I'm a bit nervous about it since I lack experiance, but as my experianced father and friends say what better way to get experiance. although half the people out there will say one should get experiance first. I think the ones who say you'll learn alot more going on ones own are on to something since if someone works for someone else you'll be on one machine for a long time. As one 85 year old machinist with 60 years of maching say's take what you can handle with the machinery I have and what I can handle. I'm probably a little slower than an well experianced machinist but the speed will come. what do you think.</font>

If you think you can scrape up a customer base, that will be the first problem solved. The next is capital, when you start the business you will have a zero credit rating and it is hard to set up accounts at first, credit card's can be used but be careful and don't stretch yourself to thin. You will need the cash to buy materials and supplies and more cash to feed yourself and pay the bills. The customer typically doesn't pay up front, so that is why you need the cash, a piece of metal can really set you back, especially if you junk it on your first try and have to buy another. Consumables like drills, endmills, and saw blades are also not cheap as I am sure you know already.

Preferably I would learn a little more about the trade on someone else's dime, and save some money before going out on my own.

RAD1
10-20-2005, 08:30 PM
Yup looking at repair type stuff. I have supplimental income, work part time and I have medical through V.A. and wife will be working.I currently own vertical mill, 10"x24" lathe, Surface grinder, horizontal band saw, dividing heads, large rotary table, and quit alot of other tooling, stick welder, as well as unlimited access to an 16" x 72" lathe. I'm not planning to go into debt over it and if I do it will be under $5000.00. Insurance and s-corp. and what not. Most of my concern is lack of experiance but my Dad is very knowledgable although he is 73 years old. Of course it would be good to get him out of the house helping me If I decide to go for the gusto. Also if it is slow which it will be at first I can do some lawn care and some small engine repair.

RAD1
10-20-2005, 08:36 PM
Oh ya that metal and tooling definitly adds up, especially if I scrap a part. I've been doing work for people on occasion and I am learning how to deal with people. mostly until this point I've been charging very little just to get some experiance with different things and my own machinery.

RAD1
10-20-2005, 08:38 PM
I feel bad I hope I didn't steal this thread with my question.

mochinist
10-20-2005, 10:31 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by RAD1:
I feel bad I hope I didn't steal this thread with my question.</font>

Dont worry bout it
http://img480.imageshack.us/img480/1749/hijacked5hr.jpg

PS sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of things, so do it and good luck.

RAD1
10-20-2005, 11:49 PM
LOL!!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

cntryboy1289
10-21-2005, 01:36 AM
Rad1, I started off in a welding busines just knowing a bunch of folks that needed some welding done. I even started off just using an AC/DC cracker box. I got my business license and insurance before I charged for any job. I used to farm out any machining work and still made money at it. I kept my overhead very low since I had most of my tools ahead of time and learned to charge what the work was worth instead of helping out a buddy all the time. If you learn one thing from this post, learn that very quickly. You can go broke very fast helping a guy out so you can learn.

I wouldn't hesitate to start my own business, especially since you seem to be very well tooled up with the machines you have already. I would keep it simple and as you grow your business, add the money back to it when you can afford to do it. Machines will fail and need to be fixed as well as work will come in that you might need a specific machine to do the work. Farm out that particular work until you can afford to pay cash for the machine without hurting the bottom line of the business. Good luck with your endeavor.

Your Old Dog
10-21-2005, 07:05 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hoffman:
I'm working towards that as a long range supplemental income deal and I only pay cash for my equipment, which is often pretty ratty (well, always http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif), I have a small place in a rural area that needs a general machine/welding/fab/agricultiure shop so my edge should be in very low overhead and the day job will pay the bills if I can ever get moved down there.</font>

Hoffman, I can't imagine you failing in that endeavor. (period, no smiley faces or other sh-t) A good businessman has to be resourcefull, if you aren't anything, you're are resourcefull.

mark61
10-22-2005, 07:42 PM
Way back in 1992 or '93 I went to Lincoln's Tig welding course at the main plant. It was 1 week and cost $300. I went on my vacation week. Company I work for paid for the course after I passed. Had to buy a book from Lincoln. All we really did was practice, practice, look around the plant and practice some more!
As has been said already, bout the only benifit you will get fromt he class will be someone looking over your shoulder and making suggestions. From the pictures you have posted of your welds so far I would say just keep practicing. They are looking better all the time! If you got a problem these people here can help answer it cheaper!

Mark61

snowman
10-22-2005, 07:48 PM
Maybe you can talk to the instructor and see if he want's to make a little cash on the side....or maybe trade for some equipment or something.

-Jacob

hoffman
10-22-2005, 07:51 PM
I probably won't be going to trade school. I bought another few pieces of aluminum today http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

My wife was with me and was griping because all I'm doing is "wasting it"! I've been buying 3 foot pieces of 1/8" x 2"-3" and welding on both sides of the coupons I cut from them. It's kind of relaxing.

Some day I'll have some aluminum to melt when I do something with this stuff :

http://images.andale.com/f2/129/111/8188590/1125511563501_foundry.jpg

A project for another day...

RAD1
10-22-2005, 07:55 PM
I agree with mark1.In that some of those beads are looking pretty darn good.

Rustybolt
10-22-2005, 11:51 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hoffman:
I probably won't be going to trade school. I bought another few pieces of aluminum today http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

My wife was with me and was griping because all I'm doing is "wasting it"! I've been buying 3 foot pieces of 1/8" x 2"-3" and welding on both sides of the coupons I cut from them. It's kind of relaxing.

Some day I'll have some aluminum to melt when I do something with this stuff :

http://images.andale.com/f2/129/111/8188590/1125511563501_foundry.jpg

A project for another day...</font>

I thought we could combine all our aluminum coupons and build a boat, or an airplane. We could keep it at your house;-)

rogerolsonemail
10-24-2005, 12:46 PM
In TN us seniors(over 60) can go to any state school for free... audit classes... no tests... but total access to machine shop and welding shop. Very nice facilities.
This is true for any TN state school... University or Vo-Tech.


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rog

JDF
10-24-2005, 12:52 PM
Roger, Do know where I could find some more details about this? I've taken a few shop classes at TTU, and never saw anyone taking advantage of that program. Must not be to well known?

rogerolsonemail
10-26-2005, 08:09 AM
JD...
You are right about the TN senior program not being well known. However, all you have to do is talk to the folks at the admissions desk... tell them you are over 60 and would like to audita class or two.
I have taken several CNC classes and have regular access to all of their shop machines.

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rog