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Pipefitter[1], Pipe-welder, Highly Educated Prole, and technology enthusiast.

  • I am working in WOODRIVERThis is near St. Louis, four and a half hours south on I-55. I have an apartment in Alton. Currently working around Algonquin, IL helping my father
  • I am a traveler-pipefitter[2], this means I may not be in the Chicago Area (let alone the country) at all times, email me for post-card.
  • My (home) apartment is located 4.5 hours South along I-55. When I visit I will be sleeping Either in Algonquin (unlikely) OR out in Belvidere, IL (more likely)
  • If we are to meet at PS1 to work on something or if I am Authorizing you on a welder, please respect my limited time; by being on time or letting me know you will be late/cancelling.

Email? Help? Welding? Where am I? WHY IS FITTERDAVE IGNORING YOU?

  • email is: fitterdave.chicago a t gee-mail
  • If you need something welded up and have the parts cut, cleaned and prepped; no problem. We can schedule something usually, if I am in town.(see top of entry)
  • I usually only Authorize one person at a time. This is something I try to plan out.
  • If you write me an email like this:

Hi Dave. I'm a member at pumping station 1. I was hoping to get certified from you on the aluminum welder. What is it good time for you

This is a direct copy/paste of an email sent to me. I am omitting the worst offenders that have been sent. If you notice there is no name mentioned, no explaining prior experience with metal working, or a simple Question asked : Dave are you in town? I will simply not even reply.

Certifying/Authorizing on Welders at PS1

Right now there is a bit of debate with being Certified /Authorized to use equipment, Vs. Certifying/ Teaching/ Authorizing. It boils down to: just because you have been shown how to use some equipment, does not mean you can teach how to use that equipment. Needless to say the difference in complexity of some of the things in the space adds to the debate. The lack of readily available and qualified teachers also add to this.

 So here is my take on the welders (since I work with them professionally). 

If you can explain to me in laymen terms how the machine basically works, demonstrate how to safely set up, use, break down (put away for storage), and maintain/replace consumables along with safety equipment you should use. Then I have no problem Certifying/ Authorizing you on any of the welders with out any classes or sessions. I realize that what members of PS1 want to do with welding is not necessarily what I do with it, my main concern is Members personal safety (flash burn of the eyes or skin), then making sure the machines are not inadvertently damaged (duty cycle, shorting out). You do not need to know every minute detail and technical name of everything on the machine, but if you cannot use and maintain it without hurting yourself and the machine, if you cannot do this with a certain amount of accuracy; I will not certify you. I am firm on this.

The session/ class or whatever I teach is mostly about what I previously mentioned, and some basic techniques (helps if you have a project goal in mind). I am not an authority on welding, and there are all kinds of ways to learn, all I can teach is what I know about welding equipment and techniques I use (I weld on pipe). If you find/ Watch/ have an idea that works for you, please share this knowledge, its the best way to learn a possibly better way. Personally I like the Miller and Lincoln welder sites for additional training materials.

If you get Authorized by some one else (with a easier schedule) make sure they add you (or add yourself) to the WIKI on the equipment page, it is a pain, but currently it is the only way we can track who taught who, and all that. We have a very nice NEW machine and a good group of people who can more reliably be at the space since I travel for work so much lately (02/08/2016). We have another member who also welds for a living, she is very talented, and on the other end of the welding spectrum from what I normally work with; I look forward to learning from her how to weld ultra thin stainless since she does it for a living.

Other wise classes/ sessions normally run about 2-1/2 to about 3 hours depending on how often different tangents get discussed. Usually a week before I get back I try to narrow down a good time to Authorize . I cover everything from welding lens shades and why there are different shades for different jobs, to fire safety practices, and what is happening chemically to what you are welding (and why its important for a strong weld).

All the welders are on the wiki and at the space. A little research goes a long way.


  • + 16 years pipefitting. 8 years traveling, 9 years happily divorced, 5 years DEBT-FREE!
  • Finished formal union trades apprenticeship (5 years of training). Educated Union member
(no I won't talk politics, I will talk about positive action for more educated skilled craftsmen)
  • Welding Certifications(expired/2015): 6g x-ray on Stick, Tig, Mig, and Combo. for Carbon and stainless.
  • My hobbies are: Practical uses for RFID/NFC, Body modification,(ask me how to combine the two[3]), 3D printing (read Makers yet?[4]), and locksport.
  • "There is no short-cut for time and effort"
  • "Actions speak louder then words"