MEET UP TO ORGANIZE FOR NO TANKERS


As a recently certified welder, I have been thinking deeply about my own choices of what kind of work I want to apply for. I am certified as a ‘structural welder’ by the Canadian Welding Bureau which boasts the highest standards when it comes to structural welding. I can choose to work with any small or large company that have need for welders to weld things together for good!

For example, I have applied to work as a welder for maintenance of BC Ferries, another example would be working with Marine Worker’s Union No.1 for a company that belongs to under the banner of Seaspan. Working in the shipyards would be a unique experience and one that I would welcome. Everyday in the news we hear about Port Expansion and development, I am learning about these issues, about our economy and where the jobs are for British Columbians.

There are three reasons I chose to go into welding. To use the skill of welding in the field of art, to apply it to creating public art and to work with other artists. The second reason I chose it is to have the ability to make more than ‘the living wage’ (which is 18.00/hr). The third and last reason, is that I wanted to challenge myself personally, to learn a practical skill that I could build on and get better at by practice. I look forward to working within the marine environment and hope to use the certification that I worked hard to attain. 

I am supporting the Dogwood Initiative because I will be a part of helping to conserve and preserve the Fraser River Estuary, the wetlands and marshes, and the coastline in general. I have decided that conservation is more important than development and prosperity. At the same time, I think that we can have a decent balance between the two. In the weeks ahead up to election day, I hope to have ongoing conversations with friends, neighbours and co-workers to further educate myself and continue to consider the near future, to understand what expansion and development means for BC’s coastline, so I can make informed choices for my livelihood for the environment and future generations.

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Each one is like a trophy

To give a visual I made this ‘mountain range’ based on what I have been working on at school. It is best understood like the journey of a marathon. Peaks and valleys are sharp some days you are coasting other days you swear you will quit or get left for dead on the side of the road without one of those nice people who will give you a cup of water! I am not certain what has been harder the mental or physical demand for certain it has been a complete workout or work over of mind and body!

Once upon a time I used to be afraid to light the barbeque, not anymore. Many days I light the oxy-acetylene torch and track cutter at school, which I thought I would never feel okay about and then marvel at what I am doing. “It is unnatural”, one Instructor said, here we are banging metal, joining it, working with it and learning how to make a structurally sound weld. At UAPICBC there are 32 welding booths, well equipped with ample room for the welder and/or Instructor and even a couple of other students who may want to watch a demonstration.

I was so happy to complete the SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding) ‘family of bends’ and am now well on my way to completing the GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) ‘family of bends’. Every welder who is working towards Level C must complete this and then go onto finish a CWB test and fulfill 1000 hours to obtain the ticket.

Each one is like a trophy, a terrific amount of work goes into the ‘coupons’. Measuring, cutting, grinding, welding and grinding again. Only to pass or fail. I have not yet come up with what I will do with all of them when I am finished, maybe put them in the garden or make some sort of sculpture.

I like the combination of science, functionality and creativity that exists in the trade. In the middle of the bend is the weld, which you can’t see. The welder who is successful will join two pieces of steel together making them one. Then you will go to the ‘heart breaker’, a press that tests the strength of the weld, aptly named by students and have it tested to see if it is structurally sound. It’s a pass or fail every time.

Thankfully safety gear is the best it has ever been and is getting better all the time, after a while I get used to wearing all of the equipment, if I ever get lax and don’t want to or forget because I am in a hurry, one small accident will solve that, whether it is slag in the eye or a burn.

First lessons learned: Safety, Setup and Comfort.

Carmen Electrode Blog Carmen Electrode Blog » Because Women Welders Rock!™

Carmen Electrode Blog Carmen Electrode Blog » Because Women Welders Rock!™.

E ssential skills

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Erika Koenig-Workman

Welcome to the first day of ‘The Journey’ the instructor said.

Five women and seven men sit in room 102 at UAPICBC on our first day of orientation. I am in a covert operation beginning with strangers who embark upon a voyage of work, dedication and pure determination to learn and train ‘to be’ welders. Indulge me for a moment, you know I have imagination!

I travel to far away Annacis Island through an industrial corridor which puts me in the mood to learn about welding and the industry. At the moment I am public transiting which is its own kind of curious experience, except if one is sleeping! It is a journey worth embarking upon and I have all confidence that I will learn ~e ssential skills for welding and life!

As I can I will keep you in the know, with short posts from time to time. Thanks for coming along on this maiden voyage with me. ~e

Pile o’ aluminum

Aluminum bin at Action Welding

03.03.12

Welding School on Anacis Island will be my destination from 03.03.12 full time for 6-9 months ~ff

I have been working

….steadily at learning the shop environ where of utmost importance and priority is safety for a tradesman or tradeswoman who should rarely be injured because what comes first is a ‘focused concentration’ for the task at hand regardless whether the effort required is great or small ‘we’ have a moral responsibility to respect the equipment and how we as artists/trades people and fellow workers inter act with the equipment at the beginning I really didn’t know how I would fair yet now I feel I am gaining some comfort if you can imagine working in a place that is darker than a room with natural light and heated in one of three rooms in winter….

When the garage door goes up and daylight comes streaming into the shop it is a reward like the hot zing of candied ginger on your tongue ….there is a palpable sense of accomplishment after having worked three hours in the morning and a few more in the afternoon the next best thing to do is build in a little ‘bounty’ in order to honour the physical work accomplished and the sense of feeling productive towards the end of the day is much like the rising of small bubbles to the surface now you can take a breather or two and feel somewhat complete and done although seven or more projects still await their end we press on while deadlines loom large clients call expectant of results after they have placed their trust in your ability to fabricate and assemble a useable commodity it is your assignment to deliver whether you are winning all along or fall down too many times to count. —Freyja Frigg