Whats in a Good Fabricator?

dezert_nerd

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I want to know what all you guys who own Fabrication shops look for in one of your employees who fabricates for you. I started welding with a guy who owns his own shop who also does lessons on the side. So far I'm somewhat good at MIG, getting better at Stick, and mediocre at aluminum TIG, havent stepped up to stainless TIG yet. I'm a senior in High School and plan on graduating here in June. So from now to then I want to learn as much as I can so I can start in a shop right away. What are your suggestions that I do to focus on or improve on? I'll take as many suggestions as I can. Thank you in advance.
 

fathead

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Get in to the stuff that separates you from a guy that can be taught in a short period.. Don't just learn how to weld, learn the different fillers to use and why/when to use them. Get good at solid works/ cad, even if your shop that you work at now doesn't use the programs, they might later, or you'll at least have one more thing on your resume. See if you can get in to a trade school at night while your still in high school, you'll save money since you are a current student and you'll be ahead of the game in June. Good luck!
 

mike mcqueen

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If you want to work with your hands and be a tradesman(you wont get rich, but you will enjoy the creation of what you do)whether its in fabrics, wood, fiberglass, or metal, the most important thing to learn is pattern making. Second is familiarizing yourself with the material you are working with. wooden shipbuilding goes back 5000 years and will teach you more in a short time than any other trade. As i said patternmaking is paramount.

Mike McQueen
 

PDANK Racing

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You are on the right track by asking questions and having the drive to learn.

Fathead has some excellent advice

One suggestion I can give is to practice your welding and fabrication as much as possible. One idea might to put a picture portfolio together of projects you have worked on. Since you don't have any paid work experience, it would be a good way to pad your resume. I haven't seen anyone do it, but that could be something that sets you apart.
Keep track of the time it takes you to complete a project, be detailed about the different steps you have to take. This doesn't have to be included in the portfolio, but you can use it to evaluate yourself. Efficiency is an important trait that I look for in people I hire.

See what your local tech school has for introduction classes, learn the different parts of fabrication and see what you enjoy the most. Specialize in something, but learn enough about the other parts to get by. The more skills you have, the more value you bring to a potential employer.

Never sacrifice quality for any reason, period.

Good luck
 

randy s

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If you want to work with your hands and be a tradesman(you wont get rich, but you will enjoy the creation of what you do)whether its in fabrics, wood, fiberglass, or metal, the most important thing to learn is pattern making. Second is familiarizing yourself with the material you are working with. wooden shipbuilding goes back 5000 years and will teach you more in a short time than any other trade. As i said patternmaking is paramount.

Mike McQueen
true dat regarding ship building. if you can work with radius', you can do everything else. takes a long time to learn how to do it well.
 

scottrune007

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I wish I had a portfolio of everything I've built. For work or whatever. That's a good idea. Nothing like pictures if your looking for a good employee.
 

dezert_nerd

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Awsome, love all the advice!!! Currently I go to a shop where I get my lessons at everyday after I get out and help the owner with whatever he needs done. I was paying 75 an hour but now im down to paying nothing and recieving free lessons. So far I've been going in as much as I possibly can since christmas.
 

DesertGuy1

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What Makes A Good Fabricator?

Professional/Respectful: Pick the brains of everyone you can... if they are willing to share their hard-fought knowledge, learn from their lessons. Be respectful to all, regardless of your perception... typically the most knowledgeable are the most humble.

Time Management: If you know it will take two MONTHS... don't say you can get it done in two WEEKS (Unless you CAN).

Efficient: No need to "engineer" a 10.00 gizmo to replace a 1.00 part, practice common sense (unfortunately, it isn't too common)

Skilled: Practice, practice, practice. Once you have it "all figured out"... go practice some more.


...The words "Shred" and "Dez" should never be used in the same sentence.....
 

TRichards

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Learn to use a bender, level, tape measure. Have a good attitude, time management, honest and professional. Don't be late, be a flake, and arrogant.
 

glamisrnr

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Amateurs practice till they get it right, professionals practice till they get it wrong, analyze why it was wrong then keep doing it some more. It is a trade that you are always learning in the more you can learn the better off you will be, learn the odd parts of the trade, if you can take some classes in metallurgy, basic machining, and some basic CAD. I applied for the job I am currently at as a CNC operator, they let one of the welders go and I was the only person who had production based welding background at the shop, I am not the greatest welder by any means, but I can run just about any tool in the shop, from manual mills, and lathes to TIG welding stainless on a rotator (running two pedals at once). What I am trying to say is get the welding down, but don't stop there, like stated earlier benders, shears, breaks, plasma cutters, OXY FUEL rigs, (My biggest pet peeve in the shop is people who don't know how to set the blade and feed speed on horizontal band saws, learn it!), Learning fillers is a big thing. Aluminum is good to know, where do you want to take your fabricating career? Do you want to stay in the racing stuff or go into other industries? Another big thing, be drug free and sober, and show up sober EVERYDAY, seems hard for people here in Havasu to grasp the concept of showing up sober to work.
 

dezert_nerd

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Well was offered a job at a local boat propellar repair shop today for the summer, so excited!!! Also my instructor wants to put me in a friends Machine shop so I can learn how to make hard parts as well! I'm so stoked!!!
 

utahsbest

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Excellent work ethic and a positive attitude goes a long way. Ambition is also highly desired in this industry. These things along with the ability to learn and be creative is very important. It seems you are already on the right path just by starting this thread. Good luck!
 

dezert_nerd

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UPDATE. went to the Prop shop and didnt like the work. was just boring to me. I've been hanging out with a Guy by the name of Ralph Chadwick (some of you may know him) and I've been helping him out with prepping Larry Job's probuggy. I've learned a lot from being around these guys for the past couple months not only about prep but also racing and just day to day life. Really like hanging out with those guys! Also gettin g paid hourly at the welding shop now which is awesome. I'm lovin it!!! If any of you guys need help with any of the races or just prep work (local of course) I'm more than welcome to volunteer my time!!! And thanks to all of you that are taking the time to look, respond and giving me your opinion on what I should do and how I should approach certain situations, Its means more than the world to me at the moment!!!
 
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