Metal Working and Learning the Craft of Welding

Learning How to Work with Metals and How to Join Them

Metal working is considered an art form and it is what the backbone of our infrastructure is made of. As a welder you can build just about anything you want. This is a talent that can be just a hobby or even an excellent career choice. Metal joining trades are versatile and always changing while still using the same fundamental techniques.

As a welder you have the opportunities to work in any industry that deals with metals in one way or another. Metal working skills can provide a comfortable life for you for many years to come and until retirement. With so many opportunities and demand for these skills you need to know the answer to the obvious question. How do you learn to work with and join metals?

For most people the answer is to find a welding or metal working class to attend. Classes can vary from learning to create metal art as a hobby all the way to learning to weld for a living through a college level training course. As a metal joiner you can earn a comfortable living as long as you have the right skill set. In today’s market there is a shortage of qualified welders that can do the jobs employers need.

Metal joining can be done in many ways but the most common is thermal joining involving some sort of heat source. The most common heat source comes from electricity in the form of an arc. This is considered arc welding and is what most welders learn to do for a living. Welder training programs focus on arc welding because it can be used on just about any metal. This is the skill that is used for building our infrastructure and it does not look like there will be any change in the methods for many years to come.

If you are interested in learning more about working with metals then it would be a good idea to look into some local classes. Metal working can be dangerous and deadly when done without the proper training. This is even more reason why you should learn from a professional that is a certified welding instructor or has finished an apprenticeship program. Another place that you might be able to learn these skills are working as a shop helper for a small business. There are many small businesses that need help doing manual labor and they will teach you the tricks of the trade in return for doing a good job. Some of the work a shops helper can do day one is grinding, metal preparation and soon they will start learning how to cut different alloys. Once the helper gets these basic skills down then they can start spot welding and getting a taste of the higher skilled tasks needed in the ship.

When choosing a welding class you will need to know exactly what you want to learn. A class that is just a intro to metal working is not going to offer the same level of training as a class that you would earn a two year degree. Most welding programs are as good as the instructor’s who teach them and that is exactly why you want to do your research. A good idea is to get references or look for reviews about that program. When learning these skills safety is a big concern. As a new student you need to have the right safety equipment before attending class.

The cost of these types of classes varies depending where you live and what types of schools are in your area. Some schools even offer free training because local businesses need these skills. Other programs can be subsidized for local residents and a class can cost just a few hundred dollars. On the other hand there are programs that will cost tens of thousands of dollars for those people who plan to use their talents to earn a living.

Once you start learning your new skills chances are you will love what you do. Metal working is relaxing and fun. It also is a skill that produces a real product that you can touch and metals are what keeps the world running. There are many other professions out there but very few can offer what working with metals can. The possibilities of career options are endless and job opportunities are waiting for you.

Saucier – A Position of Prestige Nonetheless

A career as a saucier is highly prestigious because it is the highest position of any of the station cooks. This style of chef is found in the classic brigade style kitchens used in some of the larger restaurants and entertainment venues. It is the person who is responsible for creating all of the sauces, stews, soups, and may also be responsible for hors d’ouevres and sautéing food to order.

The job description of a saucier chef is going to vary from restaurant to restaurant. In most instances, they will be responsible for preparing items as required by a daily menu. They will operate a variety of kitchen appliances and follow all job related duties as assigned to them by the executive chef and potentially the sous chef.

To take on the career as a saucier, it is important to attend culinary school. This is because any employer wants to see basic knowledge of sauce, soup and stock preparation. Some employers will even put a person in the kitchen for a day to see what they know prior to making an official job offer. Those who understand flavor profiles and the importance of being able to layer and develop flavors will be successful within their career.

The highest paying saucier chef is found in the larger resorts and well-known restaurants around the country. A saucier at a Las Vegas resort may be paid $65,000 a year or higher, according to GlassDoor.com. New York City, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles are known to be other metropolitan cities that pay extremely well for a saucier.

One need to understand the job description of a saucier chef through and through in order to be prepared for what one is going to face on the job. A person may have to make chicken stock, beef stock, consommé, or stew on a regular basis. Depending upon the ethnicities found on the menu, the saucier may have to make Alfredo sauce, romanesco, marinara, vinaigrettes, buerre blanc and more.

Some saucier chefs will be able to have free reign over the sauces that they create while others will follow a recipe that has been approved by the executive chef. Many saucier chefs will be given very limited on-the-job training because they are supposed to know how to perform their job from the moment they walk through the door. If a person does not have a degree from a culinary school, it will be hard to learn about all of the sauces within the job.

Creating sauces and stocks is considered to be one of the hardest things that a chef has to do. Cutting vegetables, grilling meat, garnishing, and other tasks in the kitchen are visual. A saucier has to rely on their taste buds in order to develop the flavors and know when something else has to be added. The job becomes especially difficult when sauce is needed in a timely fashion – and this is why the position has prestige.

While a saucier may be a member of the brigade and only on one station, they hold the best station there is because not everyone can do their job. If you want to be a saucier, you have to know your stuff. If you do your job well, you may even be promoted to sous chef.

KUKA Advanced Programming Class in Appleton, Wisconsin

I spent the week of March 8th through March 12th in Appleton, Wisconsin attending a KUKA Robot Advanced Programming class. This class was held at Fox Valley Technical College. The daily classes consisted of a 1 to 2 hour lecture period followed by a 1 to 2 hour programming problem. The programming was carried out on a KUKA KR 16 robot. We started each morning at 8am and finished at 5pm. The weather could have been worse; it was overcast and rainy everyday with very dense fog every morning.

We started off Monday morning with a review from the basic programming class. It has been a couple of years since I attended the basic programming class so I really enjoyed the review. We covered safety issues like you should never enter into the robot work cell unless the robot controller is in the T1 teach mode. The robot work cell is the area surrounding the robot where the robot is able to reach and perform its function. We also reviewed the KCP. The KCP is the KUKA Control Panel. This is the handheld device used for programming the robot.

During the basic programming class I took a couple of years ago, we spent the week learning In Line Programming. At the time, it was not an easy class, but one I could handle. In Line Programming consist of choosing a pre made line of code for whatever I wanted the robot to do. After choosing the form, you could change specific parameters for that particular line. This week was much harder. We learned script programming. With Script programming, you don’t choose a readymade line of code; you write everything using KUKA keywords.

The training facility at Fox Valley Technical College was nice. They had six KR 16s set up in a large work cell. There were also two KR 6s that were not mounted in location yet. I also saw two KUKA SCARA type robots that were not being used. In the back was a KR 100.

Top 5 Film Schools And What Sets Them Apart

Having gone to film school three times and being a member of a family where education was held in the highest esteem, obviously I am a fan of becoming film educated. However, I do stress becoming “educated”. School is not the only way to become educated, and in certain situations, there is no official school to learn critical information. Never the less, school is a time tested successful method for laying down a formidable foundation.

The Big Five

The Big Five films schools are The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), The University of Southern California (USC) and The American Film Institute (AFI) on the West Coast in Los Angeles, and New York University (NYU) and Columbia University on the East Coast in New York.

UCLA is best known for their writers who dominate the summer movie screenwriting credits, USC is better know for their powerhouse directors, AFI often has incredible cinematographers, NYU is heralded for its East Coast filmmaker style, and Columbia is an all around great school with exceptional film theory for all programs. Any school you go to at the Big 5 will be an incredible experience for each program. You will also have big name professionals and heads of big companies teach courses or speak as guests because of the school’s notoriety. You can’t lose.

The downside to USC is that they run it like a studio. Only 5 people get to direct a thesis project if you’re a graduate directing student. Every directing student comes in to be one of those 5 and then 20 or 30 people in the end don’t get a thesis project, but get to help crew on the 5 people who did get to make one’s film. The upside to USC, is again, that they run it like a studio. USC is often unparalleled in its networking capacity and markets its students aggressively to the industry.

UCLA is most known for its screenwriters. USC might be capable of out-networking UCLA, but its writers can’t out-write UCLA writers. An average UCLA Graduate Screenwriting student will leave with 8 feature length screenplays. UCLA screenwriters write a feature-length script in a 10-week quarter, which most resembles a real life 8-week writing assignment. USC screenwriters will write 1 feature-length screenplay over a period of 1 year. You do the math.

The Peter Stark Producing Program at USC is great for producing movie executives, but the UCLA Producing Program is great for teaching producers everything there is to know to go out there and just start doing it.

Similar to USC’s “only 5 will direct a thesis project”, AFI is even more hardcore. Not only are there are a limited number of thesis projects, not every filmmaker is always invited to come back to school for a second year. It’s harder to get into any of these film schools than it is to get into Harvard Law School, simply because Harvard takes a higher percentage of its applicants than the big film schools do, so for me AFI and USC really wasn’t worth getting cut or snubbed over after you had to already defeat the odds of winning the lottery to even get accepted. Having to win the lottery a second time just wasn’t desirable.

Other Film Schools

Another school worth mentioning is Florida State University, which accepts an equal amount of writers, directors, cinematographers and editors so they can form teams for thesis projects. This seems to make the most since. Temple University in Philadelphia is great, and a must-apply for experimental filmmakers.

But in general, any film program is a great film program as long as you are learning.