We teach welding and related technical skills efficiently. We are committed to making these skills broadly available to everyone.
We specialize in working with beginners. We strive to be the most accessible welding instructional facility in the state. We support women and LGBTQ clients that wish to learn metalwork and welding. We teach clients aged fifteen and older in classes, minors must have a parent sign a waiver. We will only teach clients younger than 15 years old in private instruction with a parent present.
We do not offer technical certification. Our classes are intended to help you develop specific competencies efficiently, rather than offering more general long term instruction as is done in a technical college. Please refer to the F.A.Q. for more detail.
Please do not take TIG or TIG on aluminum if you have no prior welding experience. Thanks for joining us!
We start clients with Metal Inert Gas welding, also known as M.I.G. welding or wire feed or GMAW. This is the easiest process to learn and use. It is versatile and straightforward and considerably easier to begin with than any other process.
Please refer to the CLASS CALENDAR for times dates and links to detailed class descriptions.
Begin with one of the following:
Quick Intro to Welding: A hands on practical class for beginners usually taught Friday evenings. This is a fun modestly technical class without a project focus $100
MIG Welding Intensive: This is our most popular class for beginning and intermediate students. It is a five hour class and you will be welding steel right away! $220
Private Instruction: We schedule private instruction for $280 for four hours. We are generally available for private instruction from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. If you wish to work in a small group of friends we can schedule each additional person for $160 per person. Please let us know which subjects you wish to learn. We will teach you as much as we can about any subject we teach within the allotted time. This is a good option for people that learn best in small groups, and people whose schedule does not allow for attending our other classes. We will help you with project work, and use any tools required.
Team Building: Our Team building exercises are intended for persons with no prior experience. Build bridges, then destroy them. We ask for payment in full prior to the event. We will refund in full given 48 hours notice. If you prefer we can provide a custom project-based team event. Use our CONTACT form for inquiries.
MIG Settings and troubleshooting: It can be difficult to tell exactly what is going wrong sometimes. Learn how to tell if it is gas pressure, wire feed, amperage, a damaged liner, misaligned drive roll, debris in the infeed guide, improper power supply, incorrect polarity, or any of a host of other problems. This two hour class focuses on teaching you how to ensure everything about your setup is correct. You will never wonder "What the hell is going on?" again, well, in this context anyway. Class is taught as an interactive game, you will handle the machines and learn how to correct problems.
T.I.G. Welding: Tungsten inert gas (tig) welding is different from MIG. It is a more complex and versatile process and it is much more demanding of fine motor skills. It is capable of producing smaller more tightly controlled welds. It is the preferred method for welding aluminum. We will get you to the point where you are producing decent Tig welds in a few hours, but, It takes hundreds of hours to learn to use TIG fluently. TIG is a much more prestigious welding operation. (What is the difference between MIG and TIG, Which do I need to learn?) The comparison between each process is not straightforward, in many cases either machine could be used to produce the required work. While Metal inert gas welding (MIG, running either GMAW or FCAW) is faster, easier and generally cheaper, it is often less expensive and simpler to set up a TIG to run a particular process; like stainless steel, or aluminum, or bronze, than it is to set up a MIG machine to do something similar. TIG is excellent for precision, but slower and more expensive than MIG to operate. TIG is very difficult to operate in any non flat welding position, MIG can easily be used for overhead, vertical up, down, and orbital welding. TIG is not particularly portable or suited to field work, MIG, running FCAW is very portable and powerful. TIG tends to work very well on thinner material it is less convenient for material thicker than 5/16ths. MIG is great for material that is from 1/16th to a few inches thick. Ultimately, every welding process has distinct advantages and disadvantages and welding competency can only truly be attained by mastering MIG, TIG, and STICK (smaw). MIG is the easiest to learn, and the fastest and cheapest process to run on steel. Start with MIG it will allow you to work with steel right away. TIG is best for aluminum. You can take this class repeatedly, or take the Practice and projects class to improve your hand skills with tig.
Intermediate and advanced MIG welding intensive: This class is our next level MIG welding intensive, taught on Sundays from 3:30 to 8:30. This class is small, responsive, open ended and loosely structured. We will help you figure out what you need to know and help you learn exactly that. It is intended to serve as an ongoing course for clients to study, learn and continuously improve without being committed to more than one session at a time. You can take this class repeatedly until you feel you have developed the expertise you wish to attain.
Welding often requires challenging operations like troubleshooting and adjusting your machine, welding thin 20 gauge steel automotive patch panels, welding thin to thick, using FCAW, Mig welding on aluminum (!), or stainless (!) how to weld thicker materials, blind welds, plug welds, skip welds, evaluating weld strength, when to use spray arc transfer, how to weld extremely thick materials. overhead welding, downhill welding, interval welding, "Stack of dimes" with MIG, filling holes. This class is structured to provide answers to your specific questions, the entire class will be spent on intermediate and advanced material. We offer this class as a way to teach welding the way we believe it should be taught, on your terms, specific to your purposes, and without the rigid time commitment required by community colleges.
Consider this class an ongoing course that you can attend when you feel like it.
If you take this class with us repeatedly, we will teach you new material each time and help you evaluate your progress. This is different from the beginning MIG welding intensive which is structured to cover the necessary foundational material. Class is priced at an introductory rate.
Womens' classes: We offer classes taught by women for women to help provide a conducive environment for learning. Welding is an historically misogynistic profession, we don't think women need to tolerate any bullshit just because they want to learn a great skill.
Practice and Projects: Clients that have either completed the MIG Welding Intensive, or 4 hours of private instruction, can enroll in the practice and projects classes to continue to develop their hand skills and grasp of theory and technique. We can provide you with a welding project, prices and descriptions are listed here. The following tools are available, Mig and Tig welding equipment, metal bandsaw, abrasive saw, bench grinder, drill press, and grinders. If your project requires any other tools please schedule private instruction.
Projects must be steel and must be smaller than person sized and relatively simple. We cannot support projects like motorcycle frames, or any project in which a project failure might cause injury. We will offer you advice, guidance and tips in this class, instructors will not weld for you. We will teach you how to operate shop tools in this class, and tips and tricks related to any system you have already been taught. Instructors will be dividing their attention between all clients. We can offer much more help with complex projects and individual attention in private instruction sessions. All work is conducted in the teaching classroom with the tools available there.
Pacific industrial Supply, located nearby at 1231 S Director Street, sells almost any type of material you might need, cut or sheared roughly to size. You must have completed instruction in TIG use previously to use TIG in practice and projects classes. Tig use is an additional $30 to cover the cost of gas and consumables, TIG is about 30% more expensive than other processes to run.
Project Based Classes, AKA Make-a-thing: We occasionally offer project based classes that teach the fundamentals of fabrication, each project is designed to teach clients the central skills of welding and metalwork. Some classes are more about bending, fitting, cutting, or cnc plasma cutting and grinding.
Custom Classes Projects: Sometimes clients have a particular interest in a class we do not offer frequently or routinely. We encourage you to let us know if you want to take a class you do not see offered. We are happy to teach subjects that are less in demand like aluminum sand-casting, automotive body welding, aluminum mig welding, cnc plasma cutting and general fabrication. Classes will generally be $30 per person per hour plus materials if applicable. Any date and time not currently scheduled for a class is available for custom classes. We can also provide instruction at your place of work, use our contact form to get in touch and let us know what you would like to do. We can provide you with fun sculptural or functional projects with prior notice, or, If you provide a dxf and jpeg file, authored in adobe acrobat or similar, we can cut your provided material on the cnc plasma for an additional rate of $3 minute per cut, assume roughly $30 to cut an intricate design in a roughly 4 foot square area and $1.20 per pound for steel purchased through Pacific Industrial.
Projects and cnc cutting: We can provide you with fun sculptural or functional projects with prior notice, If you provide a dxf and jpeg file, authored in adobe acrobat or similar, we can cut your provided material on the cnc plasma for an additional rate of $3 minute per cut, assume roughly $30 to cut an intricate design in a roughly 4 foot square area.Test your skills against multiple machines, materials and processes
Metal Mettle: Test your skills against multiple machines, materials and processes, represent your business, or tribe. Find out what you know and DON'T KNOW. Complete a series of difficult welding challenges and compete for the Grand Prize, a 24 pack of cheap beer and something to brag about to your friends. Hilarious, entertaining, probably illegal in some states, will get you dirty, might get you a date, maybe, no guarantees.