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Hot Rods Hot Rod Tig Welders?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by krylon32, May 28, 2021.

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  1. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,476

    King ford
    from 08302

    Well, politics is frowned upon here so I won't share my thoughts on why it's HARD to find anybody willing to actually WORK.... fat, lazy, soft nation rotting from 60 years of age I was fortunate enough to catch the latter portion of the best era in the best county ( at the time) ever...and, appropriately THANK YOU to all who served this once great nation...
    chargin03 and 46international like this.
  2. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 1,219


    The economic foundation of any successful country is its ability to manufacture items. Canada decided to implement a national ship building strategy sbout 10 yrs ago to try to keep ship building jobs here. Not sure if it will be successful, and its had its share of problems (like lack of skilled workers, lack of manufacturing knowledge, etc), but the intent was good. Look at South Korea in terms of its ability to build ships. Puts most western countries to shame. The ability to design and build ships, planes, trains, etc is the pinicle of manufacturing technology, and without skilled trades people it just cannot happen. Those countries that willfully or ignorantly choose to ignore that simple fact will be watching from the sidelines and will be at the mercy of those that understood the critical importance of in-country manufacturing. Canada has just learned this hard lesson at it pertains to being able to manufacture drugs and we are now at the mercy of others waiting to get Covid vaccines.
    ffr1222k, Tman, hendrcs and 3 others like this.
  3. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,949


    Well a former PM shut down th elaborate in Montreal that could of done it...
    I'm glad we are finally restoring our ship building industry and we should also implement a policy for govt contracts to go to Canadian companies providing of course there's no gouging.

    Now to get this back on HAMB territory a lot of those skilled machinists, welders, etc. might one day say, "Hey, I've got the bucks and the skills it's time to build a rod or custom!".
  4. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,662


    When I retied as an IBEW wireman in 2004, the union rate ,paycheck and bennies was nearly twice the pay in SF as in Rochester NY. it says more about the insane cost of living in SF more than anything else...
  5. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 2,151


    Yeah....I'm in the blame the parents camp! Thank goodness the pendlum seems to be swinging back the other direction. TOO many kids are college grads majoring in (fill in the blanks) living in their folks basement....or looking for anything that will pay a decent wage.
    Liberal Arts degree sounds pretty cool until you start looking for a job doing............what arts?!o_O
    I went through an apprenticeship program.....meat cutting and the other apprenticeship program welding!
    (BOTH are extremely boring once you get good at it!):rolleyes:
    My folks wanted me to go to college and have it better than they did. (I tried it and dated some fabulous drunk a lot....stayed out of the draft for a couple years...didn't learn much though)
    The OP needs an old retired welder that wants some spending money(even better if paid in cash) and wants to get away from his wife.
    When I was welding.........the last thing I wanted to do was get a welding job on what few weekends I had to spend with my family.
    Wish we lived closer.........I would gladly work a few hours a week for 30+ an hour. (cash)
    I love the smell of Argon in the morning, it smells like.........TIG work!
  6. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,363


    After observing the fine craftsmanship that comes out of Krylon32s shop I
    would work there for free just to learn the skills displayed in the end
    products that come out of that facility. I have basic metal skills as well as
    some welding. No where near the skills of a fellow that can command 50$
  7. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,098


    I can see both sides, I'm a retired equipment operator, I "work" for a local guy for extra, till I came along, he couldn't find someone skilled. As I see it, the media is filled with diy shows, everyone can build, plumb, do the electrical, it's easy, just watch a few shows, go online, anyone can do it. They can rent a machine, dig all their own stuff, anyone can "drive" one of those things.
    OK, but I spent a lifetime learning shit I can't teach, I can make iron sing, work areas that are considered tough with ease, dig out settling ponds in quarries, (ever tried that?), work peat bogs, climb, ford rivers, unstick stuck stuff, point is, us old guys spent a lifetime learning, every day, we improvised, made do, learned tricks, suffered out the tough days to get the job done.
    That attitude is what I think is missing today, that attitude helps me build cars from the ground up, helps me be better, learn more, figure out another way to get it done. The words "I can't" don't exist among our generation, we understand that whatever it is....needs doing, get it done.
    I sympathize with the op, finding someone is tough, good luck to you.
    alanp561, ffr1222k, cfmvw and 2 others like this.
  8. Bring back aptitude testing!!! When I was a kid..... we got aptitude tested in high school which was helpful and reassuring to the young mind. Then, if we were 'lucky' enough to 'help' our Uncle Sam, we got tested again and trained in our 'aptitude'. That gave a lot of guys an education in thetrades that they could pursue when they got out. But, that's not PC today, is it?
    ffr1222k, Tman and cfmvw like this.
  9. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 3,055


    It's too bad we aren't local to each other. I'd take on that welding job. It would be perfect for my schedule. Good luck to you, Hope you find someone.
  10. BSARoadRocket
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 13


    I'm 46 years old and I live and grew up in San Diego. Right now I'm a High School Special Education teacher for kids with mild disabilities and I work for the largest school district in San Diego. I worked as a substitute teacher in the same district for years before landing a contract so I know pretty much what all of the high schools and junior high schools in the district offer.

    I have so much to say about the problem of a lack of shop classes that my head is spinning just trying to figure out where to start! I work at a high school with no shop classes, not even ceramics.

    When I was attending high school 30 years ago most of the shop classes had already been eliminated. Unfortunately even more have been eliminated since then. Some have been brought back but not many. San Diego State University quit offering an industrial arts teaching credential in about 1995. Right now many new academic go-getter types with their masters degrees and administrative credentials and sometimes even doctorates are moving into administrative positions as the older admin retire. Some of these new admin are as young as their early 30's so all they know is academics. They grew up with no shop classes and are from the video game playing can't drive a stick shift generation.
    Working in the schools is very political. By the time a person puts in the years required to get a degree and a credential and actually land a contracted position you start to realize how difficult it would be to re-train for another career. With this in mind everybody ends up going along with what ever the person who is above you wants to do because you know your job is at risk if you don't. The academics in charge are running the show and the only success they know is academics. Right now the big buzz word seems to be "technology" and the vision that the top administrators in San Diego seem to be pushing for is to turn San Diego into the next Silicon Valley.

    Every school day I look down on the athletic track that used to be Balboa Stadium as I drive past to park my car before walking into my classroom. As I look down on the athletic track I start to day dream imagining all of the midget car races and jalopy races that took place there before I was even born. I imagine the countless completely rust free 1932-4 Ford coupes that met their fate in the stadium and all of the fun people had watching those cars being destroyed at the races. I imagine the excitement that must have been buzzing around in the auto shop when the kids knew there was going to be races right outside the autoshop on the weekend. Then as I park next to the old autoshop building I remember that it is now a computer lab. A computer lab with an I-beam bolted to the celing that has a large chain hoist that appears to be from the 1930's suspended in time to remind me that what once was was actually real.

    I walk into my classroom and I see a pile of special education paperwork screaming for attention so I sit down and turn the computer on and begin the day's work of paper shuffling in the information age. I think for a moment of how much I could get done for the kids if I spent half as much time helping them as spend doing paperwork. I check my google calendar and realize there is a staff meeting via zoom at the end of the day where the admin is going to dither and debate over next years schedule. I keep my mouth shut because I know from experience that simple common sense ideas are not popular. As the dithering and debating drags on I start to think I must be daydreaming that I'm in the movie Idiocracy.....then I realize I'm not daydreaming and that today's culture really is going in the direction that the movie Idiocracy portrayed.
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
    alanp561, Tman, warbird1 and 9 others like this.
  11. When I was in high school in San Francisco, (I graduated in 1958 ). I took auto shop, machine shop and wood shop classes as well as the regular courses needed to graduate. I had wanted to go to trade school, but my father said that trade school was for the " wise guys ". I spent most of my life in manufacturing, and I am proud of what I know. 17 years after I retired, I was called back to work as they needed me to do what was needed. My younger sons went to work as soon as the laws let them ( 16 years old ). I am proud of them as they went to work every day, and did what was needed to get the job done. They are both doing well today. A lot of their learning they got from me, thankfully. Get up, go to work, do the best that you can. I used to tell them, I don't care if you become a floor sweeper, just be the best floor sweeper there is. A lot has to do with the parenting. They were both married, and bought houses before they were 23 years old. I bought my first house when I was 24 years old. They did me better. I am proud of them and their work ethic. Now it is their turn to teach my grand-children the same values.
  12. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 959


    I took all the Industrial Arts classes in high school, even received the Industrial Arts award at graduation. I also took drafting classes (back when you used T-squares and rulers) and art classes. I had some great teachers for those classes! Combined, I learned how to design something, how to make it aesthetically pleasing, and how to build it.
  13. Blaming people, parents, and teachers? Did they move a bunch of manufacturing overseas?
    impala4speed likes this.
  14. $50/hr for 5 hours every few weeks? You're also looking to turn (sell?) the business over to someone?
  15. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,494


    Kids are smarter than us old goats. Worked my ass off most every day and I have little to show for it as far as money goes. Nobody's fault but my own
  16. gee....was hoping it was a thread about actual tig welders....I dunno,.....product comparisons, brands, applications, preferences......useful shit. Nope.... Just the same old talk about the great american decline and , of course, young people today........Same stuff our grandparents said about us. Funny how it all works out in spite of ourselves.
    Guy Patterson, cretin and X-cpe like this.
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,662


    I am a hobbyist welder...I bought a Miller Squarewave 2000 a few years ago. 240 volt...It's a TIG, does steel and aluminum AC DC and stick welder. I like it because it's not complicated..Just look it up online for specs..
    thintin likes this.
  18. SilverJimmy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 463


    When I was signing up for classes before my high school freshman year I really wanted to take welding class because both my dad and grandfather were BoilerMakers. But by the time I got to the front of the line every class was full, so I signed up for Vocational Autos instead. Found out I was a natural, ended up taking Autos all 4 years. Served me well, worked as a Plant Mechanic for 10 years at the largest coal fired power plant west of the Mississippi, then used my mechanical knowledge to help me sell Snap-On Tools for the next 30 years. Been retired now for just over 2 1/2 years and I’ll be 60 next month. Just ordered a Miller Dynasty 210DX complete setup with all the bells and whistles, really want to learn how to competently weld, not stick things together with my MIG! Luckily my buddy who actually can Tig weld razor blades together is going to smack my hands with a ruler when I do it wrong...
    seb fontana likes this.
  19. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 728

    from Detroit


    Old timers still look at 30/hr or 100k like it's the holy grail it was in the mid '90s. Cost of living keeps going up and, as a whole, wages have stagnated (at best) since 1979. Now companies want to throw an extra few bucks out there on the line and when their hooks come up empty they can't figure out why. A lot of guys and girls in their 40s ditched the trades when they realized that the money to work ratio was a hell of a lot better elsewhere. You can't offer a bump and have long term effects immediately. There has to be a concerted effort over years to entice the best and the brightest to your field.

    There has been a resurgence of trade schools run by people who've actually been out in the field, and they're pumping out some excellent welders. But more and more they're working for themselves or starting their own business because established employers have looked at labor like a fixed number for over 4 decades.

    This isn't to say the OP doesn't have a valid point.

    I feel for the smaller hot rod shops. There are too many other opportunities out there to make good money now. As soon as you find someone good at what they do, they're gonna want more money or move to greener pastures...whether they're actually ready to or not.

    Kids are willing to work. If you get bored look up my blog (, especially the Still Building America posts where we feature a young blue collar worker every month.

    I write a lot about the skills gap, or the myth of the skills gap, too. It's kind of a pet peeve. Economists actually have a definition for such a thing, and it involves the unemployment percentage of a trade and the pay change year over year. Basically if you're claiming there's a lack of employees but the average salary doesn't increase much over inflation, as has been the case for many, many years, there's a pay gap and not a skills gap.

    Overall, blue collar trades don't come close to fitting the definition of a skills gap. They do operate at a pay gap. That's not to say there aren't location or niche job outliers, but the real numbers, the ones that come from the Board of Labor, tell the story of industries that like to cry about a lack of workers while also saying "well, what we pay is what we pay, scarcity be damned."
  20. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,885

    seb fontana
    from ct

    ""us old guys spent a lifetime learning, every day, we improvised, made do, learned tricks, suffered out the tough days to get the job done""
    alanp561, trollst and X-cpe like this.
  21. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,862


    Us middle aged guys are doing it also.
    Nostrebor and trollst like this.
  22. outagas1961
    Joined: Jul 5, 2020
    Posts: 115


    also dont forget the pension! im 59 and i just retired from 31 years as a union carpenter with a pension that will pay me not to work for the rest of my days. when im 65 and get S S ill make more than when i was working. NO COLLAGE LOAN TO PAY OFF and no robot will replace you. ive told young guys recently to look into the union trades but no one seems interested
  23. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 3,332


    Interesting. $300K a year means $150/hour.

    If you try to open a welding shop in this area with a shop rate of $150/hour, you will be lucky to bill 20 hours a week. If your paying the guy welding that $150/hour, you won't cover any shop expenses, and the 20 hours a week you would be lucky to bill sure won't pay the guy doing the job. For those that don't want to do the math, that 20 hours @ $150/hour shop rate adds up to $156,000 a year gross income, if you can bill the full 20 hours every week. Just the shop liability insurance to cover product liability starts at 10% of the gross income, and that insurance doesn't cover anything else in the business., it just barely covers your butt if the welder screws up. Now add in rent, electric, taxes, heat/AC, welding gas,& filler rod, safety equipment like gloves, ventilation, health and other insurance, the list goes on. For a shop to break even, they need to set a shop rate at at least double what they are paying the employees. In the example above, that means a shop rate of $300/hour if your paying the worker $150/hour. That doesn't leave anything for the shop owner, or any investors there may be. Remember you were lucky to bill 20 hours a week at $150/hour, how many hours would you expect to bill at $300/hour?

    The pay gap shortage reported earlier also needs to reflect the location's ability to support the shop rate. When the shop rate exceeds the location's ability to support the shop rate, eventually the shop will fail. I guess that explains why several large welding companies have closed their doors in the last 5 years.

    Labor rates are part of a working world economy. When it gets out of sink with reality, it begins to increase inflation and in the end the people have less buying power then they had before the big income. Real inflation is in double digits right now, that indicates another major correction is about to take place. The world economy self corrects itself when things get out of sink. Gene

  24. Yeah, the Bay area is hardly a good litmus test. Here in Western Sodak we are seeing huge property value increases. Lots of it from folks moving in from out of State. Maybe some of them are as Gimpy says working remotely. Those huge incomes are all well and good until those folks that paid 200k over asking lose their remote jobs. Finding a local replacement would be impossible, something similar would be 70 to 90K. Had a pal the pissed away a 100K job at our local Regional Hospital hub. He thought he could just walk into anywhere and find another. He thought wrong and had to move to Colorado AND take a pay cut.
  25. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,862


    $300 thousand a year doing what ? Working remotely and hiring them with out seeing them. Sounds like a high failure rate of employees if you ask me. Or a crazy business plan.
    alanp561 and Tman like this.
  26. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,753


    to '28phonebooth

    I am a teacher. (a shop teacher) and FOUGHT hard to KEEP my school district from disposing of my program over the years. IF you live in an area where shop class doesn't exist.. ask yourself why? did you pay attention to school board meetings? did you ever go to one?
    did you voice your opinion that shop was Important? If not, the NO SHOP stuff is your own fault.

    Sorry that you have such a low opinion of teachers, Id be happy to offer you the chance to take over my class any day of the week.. I have 22- 25 students at a time in a woodshop, multiple classes a day. I'll only ask that you don't forget to plan to how you will accommodate all the learning styles, language and speech barriers, and behaviors you will encounter.

    I cant legally send you IEP's, but I can promise that a large population will have some sort of legal document describing (no dictating) how you will accommodate each student.

    If thats not enough, make sure no one gets hurt, and while you are teaching remember to look for and report any signs of child abuse that you see, you will also be required to be able to recognize if a student is homelessness, or seems to have harmful behaviors (suicide to name one) make sure that you report all this to your building administration and perhaps in some cases to an outside group.

    and PRAY that you are never wrong. because if billy really did fall off his bike and get that black eye you will look like a fool for reporting something.

    sorry but the school year is almost over.


    For the record. In my state the (teacher) EMPLOYEE contribution is 7.5 - 11 % of salary. I.E. teachers are FORCED to contribute that amount for their "retirement" (so its NOT a free ride)

    Those contributions are SUPPOSED to go into a pool and be invested. to YIELD returns and to then further FUND Pensions, however here in PA. the legislature steals from that pool of money.

    The MOST important point I will make.

    Public teachers pension operates VERY MUCH like social security, if the government can take away that pension.. they can take away your S.S..

    on another note..

    This fall I am scheduled to teach a class on cnc machining in a community college (if enough students enroll). As a result I have (lately) paid close attention to what local machine shops offer starting machinists.

    Last week a large shop here posted up an offer of $15 an hour to start for operators (bar feed - lathe work)

    the same day I drove PAST a walmart and noticed a sign.. OVERNIGHT material handlers (stockers etc.) 16.00

    sorry.. but THIS is why the trades are understaffed.

    until I read jdustu's comment I didn't know it was called A "pay gap"

    The O.P. had what I would see as a pretty sweet deal, a part timer who was qualified. and who was being paid a pretty good rate (probably a great rate for Nebraska)

    IF the O.P. were hiring a full time employee at 50.00 an hour. Id HOPE at least a few would show up

    This thread peaked my interest and I just googled "welding jobs philadelpha" which located a mig / tig welding position at a shop that builds exhaust systems (for porshe and the like) they were Hiring at $18 - $26 an hour to start. (if you pass their weld test)

  27. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,409


    Parts of Europe have done something similar for decades. After the test results come in you are either put on a track towards learning trades or you are put on a track aimed at University degrees and being able to use them. One reason the powers that be here always claim that US students score lower on tests than Students in Europe. They test a selective group, we test everyone no matter who you are. Probably the reason we have so many young people burn out after a few years of college or after working in a cubical somewhere instead of doing what they are actually geared towards.
    As far as wages here, there and everywhere go. It is the buying power of your hour of work where you live that counts. Big wages usually mean big expenses locally and your expendable money left after all the have to be made payments are made may not be what the guy making half of what you do in another part of the country has.
  28. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,098


    What else can be said....except, damn, there are some awfully intelligent people here, there's always something to learn on this forum, it's why I stay.
    Nostrebor, KKrod and dirty old man like this.
  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 22,337


    Writing code. Almost all of our programmers work remotely. As long as you have a decent Internet connection, you can be anywhere, and get SF Bay Area pay. The job criteria is work done, or work not done. Nobody cares what you look like, where you are, or if you are even wearing pants.

    If you do the required work, you get paid. If you don't, you get let go. For what we pay, the work gets done, and it is good.

    We only lose employees when someone pays them even more. We have 2200 employees, and $1,000,000,000.00 to spend each year.

    Crazy? Maybe, but it is working just fine.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
  30. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 22,337


    I never suggested a welder would or could get $300k. In fact, I said the opposite. A welder is not likely to ever see $300k. That is my point. I work with 30-year-olds, who never get dirty, who push buttons for a living, and can out-earn any welder, two, or three, or four to one.

    They all have 5-years of experience to get to that rate of pay. We hire at $150k, for entry-level coding positions, and those can be remote, too.

    This is what is on-offer to those who want to make real money. At that rate of pay, wiping away a "collage loan" is not a challenge.
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