Thanks for the kind words, but I promise I can blow a hole or lay some turd-looking welds on there just like everyone else.

Getting a nice weld does involve a little skill, but mostly it's in the prep (making sure it's clean), making sure it fits well, and getting the machine set correctly.

BTW, I learned to weld out of embarrassment...

When I started doing this years ago, I started working for a person rebuilding total-loss wrecks. I worked as an apprentice but quickly advanced because of attention to detail...In other words, the less I did that he had to correct, the more responsibility I was given. Speed was important to him, but quality was top priority. However he had only one person that he trusted with his welding, and it wasn't me. It was the older guy working on the other side of the shop. I would get something ready, cut it, fit it, tack it, then sit back and watch someone else finish my job.

I couldn't stand it. I had a family member who was a welding instructor, so I would go home every day from work and practice welding on anything from damaged fenders to plate steel. My welding skills started to improve.

One day, the guy who normally did the welding was out sick...so the boss relented and asked me to weld the floorpan only on a top and tail section. He would save the A pillar and rocker panels for his 'welder'. The next day he was out. And the next. Finally the boss asked if I was comfortable welding the rockers and windshield posts. Of course I agreed and from that point forward, I did all my own welding. Eventually, I replaced the experienced bodyman, but only after learning everything I could from him. Not all good, but knowledge nonetheless.

The boss? I still work with him on a regular basis. Primarily on old car restorations, but we still build a few total loss vehicles along...

Sorry for the thread hijack...

SamG