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  1. #11
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    It been decades since I welded for a living, but yes, I did lots of TIG welding on pipe, walking the cup putting in the stringer in and feeding in the filler rod from inside the pipe on the bottom. I certified on just about any alloy used in refineries and chemical plants. I have TIG welded aluminum (my least favorite), Carbon Steel, all Chrome alloys from 1.25% to 12%, All 300 series Stainless Alloys, all Inconel alloys from 625-800, Titanium, Zirconium, Hastelloy, Carpenter 20 (dirtiest welding stuff you ever saw) and likely others that I cant think of right now. I also certified with most of those with TIG/SMAW, except the titanium and zirconium which can only be TIG welded. I did some MIG/FCAW welding but not a lot of it. I got my first welding supervisors job in 1975 but kept my hand in by certifying for next 10 years, then moved up to QC Manager and pretty much just watched it till 1990 when KBR wanted to invest in local community training at Long Beach City College. That required certification per ASME Section IX and B31.3 for all instructor, so I tested and passed and became an after work welding instructor at LBCC for 3 night per week @3 hours and 8 hours on Saturday. That was the last time I certified as a Pipe welder. Now my eyes require tri-focals, my neck has all the vertebrae fused except for the top 3 so I cant move my head much more than 10% of normal movement anymore. Now its pretty much what I can look straight at to see if I want to weld
    Gary,

    I understand where you are coming from, I was a Union pipefitter and sometime welder. Even ASME vessel certified. Started out in the refrigeration side of the trade but hated service work after about 15 years. As I had worked a lot of steel pipe on industrial ammonia plants I convinced the dispatcher to change my card to pipefitter. I never worked as a pipeliner and never saw a project where the welders were Prima-Donnas. The welders I fitted for took their certification ticket serious and would not let the fitter near the weld much less grind it. This was especially true where each weld was ided to the welder. I could fit for and keep 2-3 welders working when they did their own cleaning. I got them fitted and tacked and went to the next joint prep. I was never without a job, as soon as employers new I was on the bench the dispatcher got calls for me by name. Made a lot of foreman pay doing journryman work. Was foreman and gen foreman a lot. In 72 I left the trade for management.

    Ron

  2. #12
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    WOW! You pipe welders sure get to work with a lot of different alloys. Way, way out of my league! When I go to the grand kids sports games I usually run into Navy shipyard welders, amazing the things they get to weld on! Remember one time talking to one of the high pressure pipe Tig welders, he said he would not accept a joint from the fitters if the joint varied more than .010"! In my line of work if you said that to a fitter, they would beat you within a inch of your life.


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  3. #13
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    I worked for Brown & Root, Inc. now called KBR for better part of 45 years. Welding procedures allowed for 1/32 mismatch (.031") so that is what we could hold the fitter too. Sometimes you just couldn't get that good and with welder foreman approval we would allow up to 1/16" formally but I have welded much more than that on fit ups to vessels and boilers when it just couldn't get any better. TIG and a wide gap can make a lot of hi-low almost invisible to the xrays.
    I was telling about an experience back in 1975 of taking a test at the Celanese plant and lost the entry so I will try again. Celanese wouldn't let you use a grinder, only a file and wire brush allowed in the test booth. Even clean up of the test coupons was with a file. Anyway, B&R was doing a shutdown on an ethanol reformer(turned natural gas into ethanol alcohol) that the operator has literally melted the furnace tube in. All Inconel schedule 160 wall tubes that came from Washington state about ever 2-3 days we would get a truck load and when they were welded we laid under the furnace and napped so it was a gravy job. One day the supv. came and asked for volunteers to go take a stick rod test and no one volunteer (of course) so he volunteered me and an guy from Ok. we called Red. So we go up to the test area and meet the Celanese inspector, he gives us a wire brush and a slightly worn out file and some rods (6010 and 7018) and tells us to run a 6010 root, no hot pass with 6010. After the root we had to use 7018 for the rest of it. Well I was pretty much fed up with filing by the time I got the land filed down and not really caring whether I passed or not, I shot a slick 6010 downhill root pass, took a welding rod and scrapped off the slag, grabbed some 7018 3/32" rods and cranked the machine to about 160 amps and ran the next filler/ hot pass. I could only get about 1/2 of the rod burned before it melted out of the holder. I knocked off the slag with my file, cranked it down to about 125 amps and filled it and capped it off while Red was still trying to file out the slag lines in his. I went back to the furnace and checked in with my supv who was a bit surprised that I finished so quickly. He called the Celanese inspector to go look at it and he was happy with the visual. Xray was clean so I passed, so did Red but about 4 hours later than me which meant now we had to do stick rod. Well it turned out OK as the shutdown ended in about 2 more weeks but we continued to work there for 2 1/2 years and I got a lot of experience on different alloys including the titanium and zirconium, Hastelloy, Inconel, and all the other listed alloys. This plant made all kinds of chemicals and used just about every kind of alloy in existence so it was a really good place for me to learn a lot as I had only been pipe welding for about 3-4 years and I later got set up to welding foreman on that job and General Foreman on the next one and about 2 years later Welding Supt and my first overseas job in Saudi Arabia then to Venezuela for a couple years where I met my present wife. Oh, I got divorced while working in Saudi, perils of working overseas single status. For the next 15 years I worked stateside jobs moving from welding supv. to QC Manager in 1985. Then in 1990 went back overseas but took my wife with me on a 5 year job in Canada as Project Manager- Construction QC and stayed in the overseas job force for the next 12 years last 5 of which were single status so wife stayed home so she could play with the grandkids. All in all it worked out well for my early retirement which I had always wanted to retire by 62 and ended up retiring at 61 1/2 then went back for a 5 month job after I turned 62. As the godfather said, I'll make you an offer that you cant refuse so I didn't. I made $180K in those 5 months which was too irresistible to turn down.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #14
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    I have one more tale of the Celanese job. A few days after passing that SMAW test, my supv. said go to test booth Celanese wants a heavy wall test weld made. So I go up and wait an hour or so for the inspector bring my test coupons and my file and wire brush. Eventually here he comes followed by a carry deck crane (DROTT) with 2 coupons about 12" long x about 10" in diameter which they use the crane to unload them. I have never before OR AFTER seen anything that thick. The test booths had sand for floor and I couldn't move the coupons, I found a piece of pipe that I could use for leverage to stand them up so I could file the landing down, as this was to be a TIG/SMAW test. Well after fitting these things for a couple hours I had them prepped but no way could I lift one, heck I couldn't even roll it in that sand. They were about 4" wall thickness and must have weighed 200# each. I finally got someone with a radio that I could call my supv on and request a cherry picker. Of course he asked me why I needed a picker for a welding test and when I told him I needed it to lift up the test coupon, he immediately says "hold on, I'll be right there" He was astounded to say the least and started laughing. The test was supposed to be heavy wall schedule 160 6" pipe which would have been about 1/2" thick not 4". It would have taken 100+# of welding rods to fill that other coupon and a couple or 3 days to do it.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  5. #15
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    You do have some great stories Gary!
    Almost 40-years ago I was working around a couple pipe welders who had just come off a job at the Port of Oakland CA assembling a container ship crane. Seems as I remember them saying it was 12 or 16-inch pipe with 2-inch wall thickness. Whole lot of welding for sure.


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  6. #16
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    I have had some experiences, like the time me and my whole staff were held hostage from 8am till 2 pm one day by the Nigerian workers who were irate over some money that they thought they were owed. Even though we had nothing to do with their pay as they worked for a contractor who worked for us an a lump sum contract, they caused us to lock our selves in the office and break out or bullet proof window covers (actually they were only bullet proof for 9mm pistol not AK 47 rifles which they were discharging all around us. The security folks finally got enough police to safely get us all away and back to camp around 2pm. As Fabrication shop manager I had to go back around 4 pm with our HR folks to listen to all 200 of them and their grievances and then make a report to the Senior Project Manager. He met with their tribal leaders and the workers representatives the next day and addressed the issues which they weren't happy with the answers and continued to strike but peacefully for the next week. All my staff got to stay in camp for 2 days while the senior management was working with them. All this followed a car bomb that had went off the previous week at the Governors mansion which caused us to have to evacuate the Warri Port Fabrication facility via crew boat which they had to move back 30 miles up river from the actual construction site to get us. Another very tense moment. When stuff like that happens and you are right in the middle of 4 million restless folks from 5 different tribes that 10 years previously went to war with each other and still harbored resentment big time, you don't know what to expect so you have to prepare for the worst. We had several instances with violent eruptions from the workers over really nothing that escalated into bullets fired and people dying so our security had to be on alert at all time. We were constantly in danger when on the road travelling the 13 KM from camp to the work site of being hijacked and possibly kidnapped. There was kidnappings just about every week of foreign nationals mostly for money and usually not more than $100K some times as little as $5K and then the hostage would be released unharmed. Only a couple of times were the hostages killed and we never found out much about those instances. All that is not too scary, what is scary is being out on a road alone and being stopped by a 12 year old kid with an AK 47 or an Uzi when he starts pointing his weapon around and demanding something that you have no idea what because you don't speak Arabic and don't know if you are going to be shot or robbed or if he just wants some water.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  7. #17
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    Wow, having to put up with all that, not sure the money is worth it!
    Back when I was a superintendent one time I had a project manger who had worked in Mogadishu, I think it was for J.A. Jones. He had his family there with him. One night a local broke into their house, he had a machete! Dan said he was in the fight of his life, and a fight for his family's life.
    Also worked for a guy who was in Libya when Gaddafi took over, I think that was for Brown & Root. He said one morning he was awaken by someone poking him in the head with a machine gun. All the construction workers were escorted to the border. That may not have been for Brown & Root, but I know he worked in Vietnam for Brown & Root.


    Miller Dynasty 300.
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  8. #18
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    One does take his chances when he leaves the USA border AND sometimes inside our border. Likely 9/11 took more USA lives than all the lives lost by workers in foreign countries not including war activities of course.
    A fellow needs something to tell his great grandkids about. While it may be a little on the dangerous side, it beats telling them "well I went to work and came home everyday for 50 years from the same job at the same place". I could never do that and don't know how others stand working in the same location for all their careers. While I did stay with the same company most of the time (I did leave to work for others 2 times) it was usually 1-2 years at the same place and then move on. Only one lasted 5 years and it ended too soon as I loved working and living in Canada. Fishing was great and so were the people at least the ones in Western Canada where I was, cant speak to the eastern provinces. Most of the Canadians from Alberta didn't particularly care for the Ottawa bunch.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  9. #19
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    Gary I know what you mean, in my younger days I had a policy. I would not stay on a job more than 3-months. One year I had 13-W2s. One time I had 3-jobs in one week. For quite a few years my wife had no idea who I was working for. I would quit a job, and get another one on the way home. I would quit a good job close to home, because another contractor was working lots of hours somewhere else. The company I worked for the most in my life, I quit them 4-times over the years for one reason or the other. Most people don't understand how construction works.


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
    LF-72
    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  10. #20
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: fixing my disc.

    I was a little like that when I was single. The first 3 years I worked with KBR, I never finished a job with a ROF, if they pssst me off, I was gone. More hours somewhere else, I was gone but then I settled down a little and stayed with the jobs till they were over or I got transferred by the company. B&R was pretty good in the 60's thru early 90's about keeping their folks a job, might not be where you wanted to go, but you had a job, then Halliburton stepped in and started dictating the policy and darned near killed the company. Finally they got out of our hair by spinning it off as a separate IPO and they are slowly making a come back in construction. For the last 15 years we have done mostly construction management which is where the big profits are but not many personnel needed and I was lucky to have a skill that is needed in this field and since most of our contracts for this service is outside the USA, that is where I worked for last 12 years of my career. Many or most of our construction staff went to work for S&B or Jacobs or Parsons. KBR is just now trying to get back on the bidders list for construction projects with Exxon, Shell, Chevron etc.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

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