If your an avatar nerd that’s fine, I liked the movie myself despite the poor story line and under developed characters and Weaver’s avatar looking just a bit to young for her actual age or the marine commander who makes Arnold look like Einstein but I have a problem with those of you who are having mental melt downs over the fact that Pandora is not real.  What the hell is wrong with you that you’re getting all depressed over that you can’t travel to a fictional computer generated planet that depicts the extremes of beauty and destruction?  If you want that you can find it here on planet earth in places like Madagascar and many places in the Asian pacific rim.  You can find it in central and south America and in other places along the Mediterranean as well as from Malaysia westward.  There may not be a bunch of glowing plants but there are still a great deal of beautiful plant and animal life that you can’t see at the local zoo or botanical gardens so if you want to go somewhere beautiful and touched little by man then get out some geography books and start looking around but until then get your shit together and grow up already, your just as bad as the twilight dorks who are no better than the emo queers.


One thing is certain about welding and that is it ain’t easy when you start to learn how to do it.  I’ve been working on learning how to tig weld and it has been a pain fighting a problematic machine, hectic instructor, students in other classes who refuse to clean up after themselves when they use my booth and my lack of knowledge on techniques and reading the bead during and after the weld.


Monday I went back to school and tackled tig head on running into the same problem that I had prior to winter vacation which was difficulty in getting a bead to form on a T joint.  My hands were a bit shaky which I resolved by getting a snack but I still had problems with the bead forming even with the tungsten a hair from the weldmont.  So after two days of this I got the instructor involved and proceeded to watch him contaminate the tungsten repeatedly and adjust the amperage up as much as 50 amps to get the bead to form on 16guage steel sheet.   Both my instructor and another agreed that there was something wrong with the machine so the next day that I came back I swapped out the pedal by way of advice from several members of a forum site for welding that I go to for advice and tips.  http://weldingweb.com/

After replacing the pedal I was able to get an adjustable arc strength and a better heat range and finally a quickly forming bead which allowed me to create decent looking  T  joints in the flat / horizontal / vertical up positions and move on to over head and then to butt joint for bend testing.  So its always good to know your machine which I am still learning the operations of the miller xmt 350 CC/CV, its also good to get advice from other experienced welders and always try to put pictures with your questions and give the best details possible.


Ok so this is my second attempt at blogging and this one will be more directed at what I am going to school for right now which is welding.  I’m currently a student at Advanced Technical Institute in Virginia Beach going for my associates in applied science in the field of structural and maritime welding.  The course work covers shielded metal arc welding, metal inert gas welding, and tungsten inert gas welding including advanced training in all three types to ultimately reach the certification for 6G welding.

The first thing I have to say about welding is that its not for everyone out there who thinks it can be done by anyone…….unless you have patience and a steady hand as well as no fear of creating a small sun in front of you that generates about 5,000 – 6,000 degree’s of heat and can light you up with an instant sunburn in less than ten seconds this is not for you.  You also need to have a good head for visualizing what your finished piece will look like and you need to be creative and that doesnt mean you have to be able to draw, several welders that I know are highly talented musicians that play in local bands here in Virginia Beach while others like myself dabble in photography and sketching and painting and writing.  If your hand is not steady your going to have a difficult time of properly welding two or more pieces of metal together and this is important because you have to have an equal bond between each metal part otherwise the bead will break on the weaker side or may itself break.  Each time you strike an arc you really are creating a minny sun right in front you no more than an arms length away some times and at other times inches from your welding shield ( this is the funnest for me to have that little glowing arc of light a few inches from my lense, its like playing with Zeus’s lightning bolts).  Because of the intense heat and the full spectrum of light that the arc puts out you have to wear protective clothing to cover all exposed parts of your body and you should also wear leather or cotton for most of your clothing except your hands and feet while avoiding polyesters which can melt and burn in a flash.

Like I said its not for everyone and as much as I hate some of the aspects of welding I do love it but there is one more thing that needs to be covered and that’s safety which given the track record of three of the night classes at my school recently I can see about 35 or so future welders who will either loose a limb or eye or their lives.  In welding its very important to know your area, this means that you need to walk around not only the area your in whether it be a room or an open floor plan but also to go outside of that immediate area and inspect the rooms around yours as well as those above and below for anything that’s flammable and or explosive whether it be solids liquids or gaseous and remove these items or cover them if they are not movable with fire cloth or venting gasses or flooding with an inert gas to remove oxygen.  Its also important to make sure your work area is clean of anything that can cause you to trip or fall on you and that can hinder your movements while welding in any way shape or form.  With the students I mentioned cleanliness of work place is apparently a four letter word or a concept that they have never heard of and its a daily occurrence for my class to come in and have to grind down work tables to get the spatter and weld beads off as well as sweep up all of the slag and to fish out un used filler rods and welding rods from trash cans along with un used welding coupons to minimize the amount of waste.  If your about to say “why haven’t you said anything to your instructor?”  well I will say that I have over a dozen times as have others in my class and not only is he the instructor but he is also the head of the department and as of this past Tuesday I am working on making my own personal table so that I don’t have to clean up after a bad welder.

Well that’s it for today, I will have to dig out some pics of my work to put it up and on slow days I will talk about where I live at as well.

Bill