Now that I’m done with that

Completed the retest on the Overhead (4G) test plate for Dual Shield FCAW certification. I had previously passed the Vertical (3G) test and not passed the overhead due to excessive porosity.

Not a problem this time. We switched out from the wire made by the black and yellow European company to the red, white and black U.S. company’s wire. Normally, I would just blame myself for the error, but the contrast between the results from each was too much. Plus, I wasn’t the only one. Apparently, this batch of “all position wire” was not quite up to the task.

Here was my view of the test plate as I took a break to let it cool down a bit


That was six feet, ten inches off the ground per my tape measure. I found a booth that I could get the ventilation and table up high enough that I could stand under it with my boots and hood on. On my previous test, I had to sit below it while the slag rained down upon my lap. I was able to hang it off the right side of the table and keep my left shoulder blade resting on the pole in the back of the booth for balance.

12 passes later and the one inch thick plate’s V-groove was full. The test allows a 1/8in reinforcement height above the plate for cover passes, I was at 1/16th at my highest point.

Cut and bent and here is the result.


You can make out the fusion in the V-groove of the plate in this picture.

My apologies for being too dumb to operate my phone and desktop at the same time and deleting the shot of my 3G and 4G plates sitting next to each other like bros.

Not sure what I’m going to do next. I still need to finish vertical TIG aluminum and both flat and vertical stainless steel TIG.

A problem has arisen and I will likely be coming back for Winter Quarter. Not sure if it will be full time or at night yet. While a MIG cert this quarter is not out of the question, seeing as how I have less than 14 days left in the quarter, it will be tight.

I’m thinking that if I come back full time I may do the MIG cert and a Stick cert and try for a Sanitary Stainless Steel pipe cert, even though I’ll likely have to buy my own pipe to practice on since it isn’t in the curriculum.

My instructor likes that plan a lot. I only hope my student loan folks do too.

Posted in Kewel! | Leave a comment

Protest for me, but not for thee

This was supposed to be a post last week, but life and stuff happened.

The leftosphere is up in arms that us peons who lost an Initiative vote might engage in some of that old fashioned civil disobedience.

Ammosexuals plan to be on the march in Olympia, Washington to protest. What are they protesting, you ask?

A law requiring background checks of gun buyers at gun shows and outlawing the transfer of guns from one party to the next. Thanks to the NRA and the Gun Owner’s Association of America along with all the Paulbots in the eastern part of the state, they’re absolutely certain that having to run background checks at gun shows will cause their guns to be taken away.

And so they plan to bring their guns and their bad selves to the state Capitol to openly trade guns within view of the state legislature. Not only that, but police don’t plan any arrests as a consequence.

Remember ladies and gentlemen: Riots and looting over a justified shooting by an armed citizen against a larger and stronger attcker is OK. Completely peaceful civil disobedience over being stripped of a civil right to exchange an inanimate object you are Constitutionally guaranteed to be allowed to own if you are a law abiding citizen,without have to pay for it, is the most horrible and evil thing to take place in the history of Democracy.

Their slogan for the day is: Respecting election results is only for Democrats. Ammosexuals are free to ignore any results they don’t like.

Every time you repeat that sentence in your head you lose an IQ point.

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid | Leave a comment

Warning: May Cause Stupid

Hyper-sensitivity leading to hyper-stupidity

Berkeley City Council Approves Warning Labels for Gas Pumps

Berkeley, Calif., could become the first city in the country install warning labels on gas pumps. The city council voted late Tuesday to move forward on a plan to festoon the city’s fueling stations with stickers warnings that “burning fuel contributes to global warming,” the Associate Press reports.

San Francisco (obviously) is also considering a proposal to install the warning labels on gas pumps, which supporters have compared to the health warnings on cigarette packages. The program is estimated to cost up to $20,000.

Glad to hear they have solved every single other problem facing modern major metropolitan areas so that they can focus on these important topics.

Posted in The Global Warming Death Cult | 1 Comment

Split Decision

Well, once again, I have done well on one of the positions and poorly on the other.

My Vertical weld was flawless. Both cosmetically and structurally.


However, that porosity I had to fill in on the overhead killed me. One of the bend coupons had a pore in it and the other had a glass crack.

So, back to the booth for some practice and I’ll test either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Should have results on Friday.

There may be some bad news on the job front mid-week next week. But I’m still going for it.

Posted in Kewel! | Leave a comment

A solution

To the incoming mess in Ferguson, MO.

The enablers won’t like it, but I’m not caring about their feelings.

Here are some “protesters” in Ferguson this last August, using the “Hand Up, Don’t Shoot” signal.


Here is the slogan spelled out on a bridge that was twatted tweeted out.


The solution to make sure the peace is kept.


Problem solved.

Next problem.

Posted in Kewel! | 1 Comment

Vertical Flat

I’ve been talking to a gentleman who works in the architectural testing business and needs a welder. This wouldn’t be a full-time job. He has “jobs” he needs done every so often, and when I have time available, I help him out.

He’s the guy I made the vault door for.

He has a wall that is 20ft high and 45 ft wide of 3/8 plate steel he uses to test architectural structures.


That’s Clayton standing in front of The Unicorn. That is my name for the wall, because no one believes it exists until they see it.

Anyway, he needed another, smaller one built for a very special test. He bought pre-made pieces and just wanted it put together. We negotiated a price and I invited a few members of the top talent from my class to lend a hand.

We arrived at 8am on Saturday, unloaded the truck and got to work.


It consisted of three pieces of 1/4in plate that were 12ft x 5 ft getting welded to three frames of the same dimension except made of 4in x 4in x 1/4in angle iron. I asked that they be laid out on blocks on the concrete so that we could weld them flat.


We used jacks and gradually slid the wood blocks down as we worked so as to prevent distortion in the steel.

Because there were three pieces, we were able to do half of the welds on a particular piece and them move onto the next piece, and so on, to keep the heat down.


All in all, it was six and a half hours work and one hell of an experience. I’m hoping to get an excellent reference from the guy who runs the shop. And for my knees to stop hurting by Wednesday (yes, I wore pads. But six hours welding on the deck for a guy who isn’t used to it is still painful).

Posted in Kewel! | 1 Comment

Call Me Consigliere

While Phil’s been away at welding school, I’ve been getting schooled as well.

One of the delights of being an in-house attorney is that it’s the “last refuge of the generalist.” At any point in my day I may be handling contracts, regulatory work, labor claims, insurance issues, real estate financing, litigation, you name it. Now I can add restaurant franchising to that list.

For the past three years my bosses have been trying to put together one or more franchise deals; all failed until this one. At the end of September shit got real, and with a 30-day closing date I faced the prospect of doing three months’ work in one. Ok, no problem. I’ll just do my usual: bring in high-skilled administrative temps from my go-to temp agency, let’s call it Half-Bob.

It should have worked like a charm, but instead it barely worked. The temp market in the SF Bay Area is broken.

Of five high-skilled temps I brought in over four weeks, the first was good — but he got snapped up for a permanent position by another company. My error in not seeing that possibility and nailing him down first.

The rest of them sucked. This is extremely unusual.

In each case, within two days I knew I was in trouble. I needed my regular staff doing other things, but they were having to spend precious time re-instructing the temps and checking — and redoing — their work. Eventually it would become clear the presence of the temp was actually hurting us and I’d throw them back into the pond and bellow “send me another one!”

Bear in mind, I’ve used Half-Bob for a decade now. Their talent is always extraordinary, and I’m willing to pay top dollar for it. This time they sent me idiots. This has never happened before.

As a result, I spent the month of October averaging two to three hours sleep a night, one of my permanent staff (who is pregnant) ended up working herself into the hospital, and the rest pushed themselves to the wall. We got it done, but just barely.

One of Half-Bob’s higher-ups spoke with me candidly after this was all over, and by way of apology offered that we’re in a 3% unemployment market in the Bay Area (damn Silicon Valley boom), and of that 3% pool of available talent, 2/3 are “pretty much unemployable, that’s why they’re with a temp agency,” and so I’m reduced to hoping I get somebody in that top 1%. Gee, thanks, pal.

So what to do? We barely got the deal done and now I’m faced with legal and operational issues related to vendors, backend systems, making payroll for 900+ people, HR (don’t get me started on Obamacare) and all sorts of other franchise-related things that will require competent people to manage. I’m my bosses’ fixer, so failure’s not an option.

First thing I did was I gave my staff preemptive raises so I didn’t lose them. And we’re hiring. Which means I’m reading resumes and honors-thesis writing samples from major universities riddled with grammar and spelling errors….

For the first time in my life, I understand how productivity can grind to a halt due to a lack of available talent to hire. Because I’m living it.

Posted in The Economic Way of Thinking | 2 Comments

This is a mess

But the results should be great!

I took my Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) certification with Dual Shield wire today and it went well enough. My vertical was damn near perfect. My overhead plate got swamped with porosity on the seventh pass, but I think I welded it up well enough after that that it should be OK. We’ll find out on Monday.

Anyway, the pics…

As I said in a previous post, this is virtually the same test as my TIG certification, but there are some differences: The plate is 1 inch thick instead of 3/8in and the process is a wire-feed type.

Dual Shield is so named because it not only uses a shielding gas for the welding atmosphere, it also has flux in the wire (hence, the name). All in all, Dual Shield is one of the easiest process to use and it is strong as an ox. Bridges, skyscrapers, boats and just about anything else “big” uses FCAW because it is strong and goes down fast and smooth.

The downsides are that it is toxic as hell to put down and it is dirtier than stick welding.

This is my root pass


That ugly colored, rough textured surface you see is the slag on the outside of the weld. Underneath it is a shiny steel weld that will polish up nice and takes paint well. A few whacks with a chipping hammer and a couple passes with a wire wheel on an angle grinder is all it takes to remove it.

Yes, I took this pic while the top of the plate was still glowing red hot.

Continue reading

Posted in Kewel! | 2 Comments

Time to Buy A Shirt

You can buy it here.

This is why you want to.

Posted in Freaks, Mutants, and Morons, Heroes, Comrades and Brothers, Order of the imperial upraised middle finger. | 10 Comments

I don’t do the Bookface

So I hadn’t heard about this until now.

Tens of thousands of Connecticut gun owners chose to become overnight felons rather than comply with that state’s new gun registration law. The defiance spurred the Hartford Courant editorial board to impotently sputter about rounding up the scofflaws.

New York’s similar registration law suffers such low compliance that state officials won’t even reveal how many people have abide by the measure—a desperate secrecy ploy that the New York State Committee on Open Government says thumbs its nose at the law itself.

Now Washington state residents pissed of about i594, a ballot measure inflicting background check requirements on even private transactions, plan an exercise in mass disobedience next month.

The fellow getting much of the credit for organizing the rally is Gavin Seim, a former (unsuccessful) congressional candidate and passionate conservative. Seim got a lot of buzz last month when he pulled over an unmarked police car and demanded that the officer show identification. Perhaps surprisingly, Seim not only wasn’t ventilated, but the officer complied.

Seim and his allies (the Facebook event page lists Kit Lange Carroll, Sondra Seim, and Anthony P. Bosworth as co-hosts) plan a rally for the Washington State Capitol, in Olympia, on December 13 at 11am PST. That’s nine days after the law goes into effect. So far, almost 6,000 people have indicated their intention to attend and “exchange guns” without going through a background check, in defiance of the new requirements.

My last day of school is the 11th of December so, excepting an alien invasion or volcanic eruption, there shouldn’t be any reason for me to not be there. However, I would prefer to go with someone I “know” to complete the exchange.

So, if you’re in Western Washington and are also looking for someone to exchange valentine’s firearms with temporarily at this shindig, you know how to reach me. I have a number PSH inducing items I can bring to exchange, or we can be as tame as yer momma would prefer.

Posted in Have Gun, Will Travel | 5 Comments