at 21, books or welding fumes?

by McGuire
(Northport, MI)

I've worked with my dad during summers and now full time for about 9 years now restoring cars and the like.

I can definitely say from experience that going into a skilled trade today is met with a LOT of resistance, even as the 4th generation in a family business.
I went to school for 2 and a half years for electrical engineering because I was encouraged to go to school.

I realized that for me, at least at this point in my life, academic achievement doesn't mean much to me and neither did the prospect of sitting behind a desk fiddling with simulations and the like.
Most of what I learned in college was how to drink.

I was always pushed towards college and white collar because I was 'smart,' 'gifted,' whatever. What I know is that I like working with my hands as well as my head which is something our society doesn't value much anymore.

So, here I am trying to figure out whether I want to continue on working for my pop at an established business, or venture out on my own in an unfriendly environment for skilled trades.

I'm sure most people haven't had the opportunity to work for/with their dad. It's a mixed blessing, I'll tell you that much. on one hand, you know the boss. but, there have never been two people argue more vigorously than father and son.

In this economic climate, I'm inclined to stick it out.

on a more technical note, a lot (at least from the sampling I've had personal dealings with) of bike builders use somewhat questionable methods. A lot of them are 90% plastic packaging, 10% goods much like the rest of our consumerism-driven country.

for example, you don't need to make a gas tank out of 14ga cold rolled just so you can grind out the big ass dents you put next to the weld seam trying to get it to line up. make it out of 20ga and fit it up nice the first time. TIGs up real nice that way.

I think a lot of that comes from people who have a marketing outlook trying to get into something they could be legitimately good at, but there are no mastercraftsmen and teachers left.

I have a lot of respect for Jesse, but he certainly has inspired a lot of shoddy workmanship in people who don't know any better, regardless of his technique.



here is a piece of advice...

Whichever path you take, just realize that what you are really doing is getting ready for the next big thing. preparing yourself for something better one day.

very few people know exactly what they want to be when they grow older and most people change their mind somewhere along the way anyway.

find what you can do uniquely better than anyone else. and make sure you like whatever that is.

if you decide to go with welding fumes, take it as far as you can with the high tech stuff that not just anyone can do...sounds like you are plenty capable of doing that.

thats all i got ,


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