Work Ready endowment used to buy welding units
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) – Money through the Education Foundation of Muskogee can help welding students land area jobs, said Muskogee High welding teacher Jason McPeak.
The Work Ready grant helped McPeak buy two TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding units. The Exchange Club of Muskogee grant was awarded in April by the Education Foundation.
McPeak said the units enable students to weld a wider variety of metals beyond iron and steel.
“This machine allows us to weld on primarily aluminum and stainless steel,” McPeak said to the Muskogee Phoenix. “If you had the rods to do it, you can weld on silver, gold and just about anything else.”
Ability to weld aluminum and other metals can be a plus for landing area jobs, he said.
“This is northeast Oklahoma, where we get into lake country,” McPeak said. “We have a lot of aluminum boats, stock tanks, boat trailers, hitches.”
MHS sophomore Joshua Furr said the TIG units will give him the experience he will need later.
TIG welding uses a tungsten electrode to deliver the current to a welding arc. McPeak said that, because tungsten is such a hard metal, welders can run an extreme amount of heat through the rods.
The units are portable and can be carried to different locations. They can hook up to standard electrical outlets.
MHS junior Jaiden Carter said TIG welding does not cause as many sparks as the other types.
“You don’t burn your clothes,” he said.
However, Carter said it is harder than other types of welding.
MHS senior Darren Boelter said such welding “is very tricky.”
McPeak said TIG welding is much more precise, requiring a steadier hand than other types of welding.
“This is way less forgiving than regular welding,” he said. “You’ve got to be super steady, you’ve got to be super smooth. Every little bauble and every single mistake gets shown on this.”
McPeak said TIG welding “is the kind for experts.”
“This is the kind of welding used on pressure vessels, you’re welding on boilers, heat boilers, propane tanks,” he said. “If they’re holding huge amounts of pressure, you’ve got to make them hold.”