Tig welding Repairs for machine shops

Interested in starting your own tig welding business?

Here is how I got started getting side jobs...

A Mom and Pop machine shop owner asked me if I could repair a few parts. In his case, it was just a Pop ...it was just him.

But he was in a jam.

He had several thousands of dollars of labor and materials tied up in some parts and the weldor he took them to had cobbled them up real good.

Oh yeah...He needed to deliver the parts within a day or so.


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Basically, without criticizing another mans work too bad, The guy he took them to Migged where he should have Tigged...And He Tigged where he should have Migged....There was bad undercut, crater cracks...you name it.

So this machinist asked me if I could save the parts.

Over 20 years later, I am still doing work for that same machinist.

Tig welding For machinists...

Machinists often make parts from free machining 303 stainless steel because it is so much easier to cut than say 304 stainless steel.

And 12L14 free machining steel is also a favorite over plain cold rolled steel for the same reason.

But the problem is that its easy to get bad undercut on both these steels.

And that is what happened to the previous weldor.

But I had a few tricks up my sleeve.

Since none of the welds were critical, I chose to use 312 stainless filler for the 303 stainless welds as well as the 12L14 steel.

Reason? 

312 stainless is often sold as a maintenance type rod for welding all types of dissimilar metals.

312 stainless steel tig rod has a combination of elements that seem to make it very crack resistant for  many applications.

I had used 312 stainless before on unknown steels with good results and the data I found in reference books also supported that.

So I tried 312 on a scrap piece of 12L14 carbon steel as well as on a piece of scrap 303 stainless and it seemed to work.

But would it work on the actual parts?

Only one way to find out...

It worked!  I repaired all those welds!

And then another machine shop owner asked me to do their tig welding

I guess maybe it could have been by word of mouth.

who knows?

But another machine shop owner asked me to do some work.

Most if their work was stainless food service type parts.

Some of it was ornamental stainless brackets for condominiums in the Caribbean.

And then another machine shop owner asked me to do their tig welding

Geez!

What was going on?

Another small machine shop owner called me and asked if I could do tool and die repairs and injection mold repairs....and then aluminum concrete cutting saw frames.

Before I knew it, I had more side jobs than I wanted.

And quite by accident.


Could any weldor get this type of work?

Well  first of all, you wouldn't want this type of work unless you were up for the task.

I wouldnt recommend going after machine shops as customers unless you have several years of tig welding experience.


But...if you do have several years of experience of tig welding carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum (as well as some tools steels, high strength steels, and low alloy steels) ...

then this is a definite possibility for getting started with your own welding business.



Your Calling Card

Here is what I would do if I wanted to start a welding business...based on what happened to me quite by accident.


  • First, I would set up my welding area with a 200 -250 amp tig welder along with workbench and grinders.
  • Then, I would have some business cards made.
  • Then...I would weld a bunch of box cutter blades together and fasten them to my business card.
  • Then, I would search for Small Mom and Pop machine shops within driving distance.
  • Then, I would visit and drop off my card along with welded box cutter blades...and ask if I would follow up by email with photos of previous work.
  • Then I would drop them a short email once a month asking if they had any welding work 
  • If I wanted work badly enough, I  might even offer to do a one hour job for free just to have the chance to show skills...of course, I would make it up on the first paying job they sent my way.

hope this helps,

Jody

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