After a great week of MIG welding I rewarded my efforts with a little tour of some famous Cleveland sites. My first stop was the Cleveland Museum of Art to reconnect with my creative side. I always love to take photos of paintings and sculptures that speak to me in some way. Next up was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see if my friend, Peter Holsapple is on the wall yet. It’s $22 to get in and filled with tons of Rock and Roll memorabilia. The current highlight exhibit is The Grateful Dead and I enjoyed seeing Bill Graham’s Father Time robe on display because he had been a neighbor when I was growing up. I finished my day at the “A Christmas Story” house. A fan of the movie bought the house in 2005 in an Ebay auction and restored it to its film condition in 2006. So, with a little culture, a little music, and a little comedy I was primed and ready for week two of welding school at Lincoln Electric.
Just had my first day in TIG welding class. Though I have done a little bit in the field with Jim Bollinger, there is nothing like getting hours of practice in the Lincoln shop. My teacher, Charlie, compared MIG and TIG welding to driving an automatic and a stick shift. That is a great description. There is definitely a rhythm to TIG welding and I worked on several plates today to find it. I found that the hardest part is slowing down after MIG welding but the weld itself is beautiful when done correctly. I have tried singing slow songs in my head, counting really slowly, and applying a word to each movement but the most effective welds came when I just carefully watched the puddle. After numerous attempts ended with my Tungsten tip firmly attached to the plate, the slow song in my head turning into a stream of foul words, and yet another visit to the grinding wheel, I made real progress by the time the ventilation fans were turned off signaling the end of the day.
My friend, Lon Damon, reminded me to always finish a weld in a comfortable position. It sounds easy but I can tell from the curve in the line of my weld I have not yet mastered that either. Tomorrow I will add that to the list.