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Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / Best Job in the World
- - By 803056 (*****) Date 02-23-2013 00:38
Hello everyone.

Well, I'm wrapping up another job this evening. Now all that is left to do is to prepare the reports and look forward to an 8 hour drive home in rain, sleet, and snow squalls. Brent; you would be right at home in this weather!

The job was to inspect a large press to make sure it can go another 100,000 miles. Some preventive inspections before something happens rather than after something breaks. That's what I call good management and forward thinking.

While I was on-site I was able to watch them pound out some nickel alloy and titanium alloy. It always amazes me to watch how steel and other alloys are made, starting with the pouring of a ingot, cogging it down to a primary and then forging it into bar or a finished forging. It is one thing to sit in class and memorize how steel is made and formed, but it altogether different to see it happen as you watch. What I found truly amazing is how there is a heat gain as the alloy is pounded into shape. The alloy bar gained about 50 degrees F with each pass through the forging machine. It was fascinating to watch. You would not think they would have to let the material cool between passes through the machine.

These presses are amazing pieces of equipment. They are huge self-destruct machines that try to tear themselves apart with each stroke of the dies. Talk about fatigue! And I get to keep them running. What a job! You either love it or find something else to do. If you are afraid of grease and grime, it is not going to be your cup of tea, but everything you learn in the classroom comes into play. It is like a working on lab experiment and you get to play a part in keeping the machines alive and running. It is the best damn job in the world.

When I was an apprentice I took time off from a job to attend an AISC conference in Houston. I paid to attend out of my own pocket. While I was at the conference I happened to run into the owner of the company I worked for. I actually saw him before he saw me. I tried to avoid him because I didn't want him to know that I was playing hooky for the week. Long story short, he final did see me. He walked up to me and said, "I see you have iron in your blood. I have to warn you son, once an Ironmonger, always an Ironmonger!" He laughed and walked away.

Later I learned that one of the office people that was at the conference with him asked if he wanted me fired for taking time off from work. He told them “No, if the kid is interested enough to pay out of his own pocket to attend this conference he's worth keeping.”

I like to believe he was right, that is, I hope I was worth keeping. He was correct about one thing, if you get a taste for working with steel it becomes a lifelong obsession. “Once an Ironmonger, always an Ironmonger.” There’s nothing about metals that isn’t fascinating to me. Metallurgy, fabrication, casting, forging, welding, designing and making repairs, there is simply so much to learn and so much to do.

This work isn’t for everyone, but once it is in your blood there is no getting away from it. Some of us are lucky, we love what we do. I feel sorry for all those people that hate going to work in the morning.

Best regards - Al
Parent - By ravi theCobra (**) Date 02-23-2013 01:12
Parent - By 46.00 (****) Date 02-23-2013 02:06
Well said!
Parent - - By DaveBoyer (*****) Date 02-23-2013 03:02
What shop was this at, if You dare say ?
Parent - - By Tommyjoking (****) Date 02-23-2013 18:37
I remember the first time I was in a rolling and extrusion plant.  I was goggle eyed at the size of the machinery and the operation, maintenance is taken very seriously at those places "usually".  Got to get around a lot of skilled millwrights and fabricators on that crew and learned tons of things quickly and yes it gave new meaning to the words getting dirty.  Nice to be on a job where your efforts are recognized and things are done right, good for you AL.
Parent - By Stringer (***) Date 02-23-2013 19:49
Parent - By NWPAwelder (**) Date 02-25-2013 14:22
"Some of us are lucky, we love what we do."

This is so true!  I was doing a shut-in at a compressor station a few years back and the head man in charge of the station came up to me and said he could tell I enjoyed doing those tough tie-ins that we were dealing with and that it was easy to see...and that the guys who are enjoy their work are usually good at it! It really took me back and made me feel good to hear and see directly from a customer that they appreciated what you were doing and the manner in which you were doing it. Made spending a solid 36 hours straight all that more memorable and worth it. :smile:
Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / Best Job in the World

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