In this special episode we are recording at Fabtech Atlanta 2022 from our booth. We had Beau Wigington from Weld.com join us and take time out of his busy podcast schedule. Beau runs the podcast for Weld.com called WELD by Weld.com. Donovan asks about some of the guest he has had on his podcast both at Fabtech and overall. Beau also tells us about what they do at Weld.com and how they want to help educate new welders with knowledge and resources to further their career.
Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.
Donovan: Hello, welcome to another episode of the Dusted Jobs podcast. We’re here at FABTECH again, and joining us is Beau Wigington from Weld.com. How you doing today, man?
Beau: I’m doing wonderful. How are you?
Donovan: I’m doing good. So you have been doing podcasts right across from our booth all show too
Beau: Right across the street, man? Yeah, we’re neighbors.
Donovan: We’re neighbors. We are.
Beau: It has been real fun.
Donovan: And now we are podcast friends.
Beau: Hey, we’re podcasting. Like I’m doing a podcast. You do podcasts. We’re just podcast people
Donovan: That’s it. So our podcast here at Imperial is, we talk a lot more about health and safety in the weld industry. Maybe some technologies that are coming out, but I feel bad. I don’t know a lot about your podcast and I probably know that some of the people that are listening to ours don’t know a lot about it either. So tell me what Weld.com podcasts is about.
Beau: So I took over the podcast back in April and when I took over… I’m new to the welding industry. I’ve been in it for about two years.
Beau: And I’m curious. I want to learn. I don’t know everything. I don’t pretend to know everything. So, that’s what I do on my podcast, I bring people on, I ask them what they do, try to learn things from them, and I try to ask questions like a beginner would. Because that’s what I am, you know? It’s not that hard for me to act like I don’t know what you’re talking about, cause a lot of times I don’t but and I’m okay. Like, I don’t mind if people are like, oh, well, he doesn’t know anything. I know a lot now and I’ve learned a lot through this podcast. But you’ve learned a lot from people?
Donovan: Same here. Yeah, I have learned a lot. I mean, we’ve had a lot of different industries on our podcast, and, I’ve learned about everything from OSHA regulations whole way down to Hemp manufacturing. And these are things I never thought I would’ve dug into, but there we are.
Beau: There you are. Yeah, I interview a lot of welders, a lot of manufacturers, just people in the welding, like pipe welders, production welders, CWI’s. A lot of our hosts come from Weld.com. We have people all over the world that are making educational content for us. So like, I’ve interviewed people, and we have a couple of German hosts.
Beau: A bunch of people up in Canada. There’s some people in South America. So it’s really interesting hearing what the industry is like.
Donovan: So if I jump on Weld.com right now, I get on there. What are some things I might get on there to learn about? What are some topics that are really good? If I’m a welder and I’m looking, what would I be finding out on you guys’ website?
Beau: So our website would take you to one of two places. It would say, hey, here’s our YouTube channel. We’ve got tons of educational content on there, but we also just launched an app because everybody loves apps, right? It’s not like you don’t have 700 apps on your phone but this one is for welders. It’s called the Weld app.
Donovan: Okay. Oh, got you.
Beau: By Weld.com. And the big thing on it is that instead of like… so Instagram is a big place for welders. Everybody. But the algorithm is just… you post something and it only gets seen by X amount of people. So we have a social media aspect. So if you want to share your work, ask questions, it’s not like you’re fighting an algorithm, it’s just there. It’s like you can see everybody.
Donovan: So, it’s just a place for welders to share that.
Beau: Yes. For welders to share… if you’re in the industry. So there’s also a job board, so If companies are trying to hire people…
Donovan: Nobody’s looking for welders right now.
Beau: I mean, yeah, there’s not many welding jobs out there
Donovan: There’s a total abundance of welders in the market.
Beau: Oh, Yeah, there’s too many welders and not enough jobs right?
Beau: No, it’s the exact opposite. Right. And so we have a job board where companies can compose, but we’re also going to implement it where a welder can put themselves out there and say, I’m certified in these things, this is how far I’ll travel and this is how much you’re going to pay me
Donovan: Oh, yeah.
Beau: So like, we’re really trying to advocate for welders. Yeah. We want to grow the industry and we also want to help people get paid what their worth, because, I mean, that’s a big problem with the industry right now. You get out of school and you’d try to go into the industry and you’re getting paid like nothing. You know, compared to what you’re worth. Like even a new welder, like they’re worth something. Like, all these companies try to bring them on and they’re just like, oh no, we’re not going to hire you unless you have five years of experience. It’s like, okay, where are those guys at? Then you’re going to hire them for $15? With five years of experience? You’re crazy!
Donovan: That’s not going to happen these days. Yeah. That’s crazy. And why wouldn’t you want to hire a guy out of school? You can train that person to weld the way you want them to weld. You can train them to do it the way that they’re not going to learn any bad habits from other shops. They’re not going to have, you can bring them into your environment and teach them. We’ve hired a lot of guys in our shop straight out of our trade school to our local trade school, and we know that they’re getting a good education there. And then we know that they’re coming in and we can continue to build on that. You know, so at our shop, I know we’re not afraid to hire a young guy or a new guy because in our mind that’s better than someone who’s…
Beau: I mean, you want to… it’s like, okay, I’m going to teach you how to… you’re going to learn on the job anyway. Like, if I’m going to go and do like, work in plants, you know, you might, you’re going to learn how to pipe weld in a school environment, but it’s not usually going to be on the material you’re going to do in the field.
Donovan: So, it’s not hanging upside down on a crane to do it
Beau: Yeah. You’re not learning how to do it that way and you’re going to have to learn it on the job. Right. You know, and that’s just the crazy part. So we’re trying to get more welders jobs. Right. Like more welders to just be out there and find good jobs. We’re also doing a marketplace, we’re still building that aspect of it. But Instead of buying machines on like eBay, Facebook marketplace and then they ship it there and it’s like full of like jelly beans or something, you know, it’s just a totally worthless machine. We’re going to try to vet stuff to make sure, you know, you’re getting a good quality machine right. Not a hunk of junk, you know?
Donovan: Well we’ve, you know, our machine has been in the market for a while and we’ve had customers call us that they’ve done that. They’ve bought it off on an online site and it shows up and it doesn’t have any filters or it’s missing half the parts. And they’re trying to…
Beau: And they’re like, Hey, what’s up with this thing I bought secondhand?
Beau: Well, you know, if you would’ve come to us, we could’ve definitely helped you out, but yeah, I’m going to still try to help you.
Donovan: Oh yeah, we for sure. We would definitely always help whoever’s out there and we have a team that can go out and we’ve helped them put it back together and service it so it’s up and running like new. So, yeah.
Beau: That’s awesome. And then the last part of the app, like the most important part is that we are a welding Education Company. You know, we’re trying to educate people. So we have a whole education suite on it. So, you know, if you want to learn how to do a specific certification test, we have videos on it with timestamps. You’re like, oh, I’m only having problems with my bills on my 3G stick plate. You know, I’m having a hard time with that filler pass. I’ll just jump. It’s all broken out into, you know, you don’t have to scroll through it. You can go right to what you want to see. If you have a question, the instructor that made that video is linked at the bottom, you can ask them directly the question that you have, like, if there’s any questions. You got it. And also in the feed, we have a lot of newer welders on the weld app right now because on Instagram if you post a bad weld everyone would be like, give up! Go home!
Beau: You know?
Donovan: It’s full of positivity.
Beau: Oh yeah. It’s a wonderful environment. Yeah. You know, it’s like, it doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out. Yeah. The big thing we’re trying to do is make people comfortable to ask questions. You know, because we have teachers, we have certified welders, we have CWIs, and we have people that can answer a question with real knowledge. And give you like, just help people. Because a big thing that’s happening in the industry is old people are retiring. Right? Like the older welders that have all this wealth of knowledge, they’re retiring and that knowledge is going with them. Right. So like, we’re trying everything we can to just get that knowledge, like save it and pass it on. You know, get people connected with people that can help them grow their skills. Because they’re not going to just learn it in school, you know?
Donovan: No. And I know those guys that are in our shop that are older, they’re excited when those young guys come in and they’re willing to listen and learn. They like it when they have questions rather than just trying to do something on their own. So I think there’s a lot of value in that where there’s a community of experienced welders out there that are really interested in this next generation that is coming up and getting them to not make the mistakes maybe they made when they were starting out. So that’s awesome that you guys are doing that. That’s great!
Beau: That’s a big thing. We’re just really trying to promote the app here, but you know, it’s just trying to like, we’re going to try to work with the CWB to like work on it in the Canadian content, you know, just like anywhere you go in the world, we’re trying to be a global welding resource, you know? So anywhere you are in the world, we want to help you get better. We want to help you get to where you want to be.
Donovan: Well, welding’s welding everywhere
Beau: It is. It’s crazy. You stick those pieces of metal and it’s the same thing everywhere. Exactly.
Donovan: So how many interviews do you think you’ve done at the show so far?
Beau: I have no idea. I have at least six hours, so.
Donovan: Oh man. You’ve been cranking it up
Beau: I have some work
Donovan: Have you heard any really interesting or crazy stories so far in the time you’ve been doing interviews?
Beau: In the time we’ve been doing interviews? Okay, Yes. So one of the craziest interviews I had, there’s a metal sculptor out of Canada, his name’s Kevin Stone. Crazy. He’s like building a giant replica of one of the Game of Thrones dragons. He’s built like, gigantic T-rexes out of stainless steel. He’s got the… he made the giant eagle at Dollywood, you know. It’s like he’s done some cool stuff and
Donovan: Pretty legit
Beau: Dude that, that story was crazy like… he had so many legal battles because people were trying to rip him off all the time. Like he had partners that just screwed him over, tried to like, sell stuff out from underneath him.
Donovan: Oh my gosh! And this is on one of your podcasts?
Donovan: So people could go listen to that on your feed?
Beau: Yeah, absolutely
Donovan: Oh, that sounds awesome, man.
Beau: That one was pretty crazy here I met a guy, his name is Mike Ride Your Bike. He’s awesome. Like one of the just very knowledgeable guy. Yeah. But he is like so passionate about welding, but he was telling me all about bush cutter planes in Alaska. He loves them like, he’s a forestry guy. So he was working on those all the time and he just told me all about these bush cutter planes and was so passionate about it. That’s my favorite thing when I’m talking to somebody. If you’re passionate. It’s like, that’s what I like. I don’t like okay, here’s your cookie cutter answer you know?
Donovan: So, if you listen to the Fab Tech podcast you’re doing, you might hear a little bit from Mike ride your bike.
Beau: Oh, you’re definitely going to hear it from Mike ride your bike. He’s one of my favorite hangs so far.
Donovan: Maybe Mike ride your Bike will get his own episode down the line.
Beau: Hey, I hope so. He is a wealth of knowledge man. It’s crazy just hearing him every time, I mean, because I’m trying to interview more just people coming through the conference being like, Hey, why are you here? What are you trying to get out of Fabtech? And like, what do you think? You know? It’s like trying to get. This is my first time at Fabtech, so I’m trying to let people not be as caught off guard as I was. I was just like, oh my goodness! This is crazy. People walking in. So that’s what my goal with this week is, kind of get people a vibe of what it’s like to be at Fabtech and why it’s important that’s another thing.
Donovan: And what’s interesting is just in those two stories you shared when we were talking about welders and we had one guy who’s a sculptor and another guy who’s working on bush planes and that’s just when you started to get into the welding community, it’s not just, you know, fixing the fender on a car. There are so many things that you could do. There’s just, it’s a skillset that you could probably go into a lot of fields and do a lot of really interesting things, whether from working on top of a building to you know working in Alaska.
Beau: That’s another thing that I want to do on the podcast. Like that’s a passion of mine. When I went through school, it was like, all right, you can, you can be a manufacturer welder, you can be a structural welder, and you can be a pipe welder. I was like, that’s pretty lame. I was like, there’s only three things to do. You know, and I was like, no way. I got to learn more. And so my goal with our Podcast is showing people how many different facets of the welding industry there are. So, oh yeah. You’re like, man, I really hate doing mig welding and I hate welding in general. Oh, well I could go into metallurgy. Oh cool! I can learn about filler metals. I can do robotics. It’s like, I don’t like welding with my hands, but I can program a computer. Dude, you got a job forever. Because that’s where the industry is going.
Donovan: There’s so many robots and co-bots at this show right now that if you’re a young person listening to this and you’re looking to get into welding, that’s definitely a realm that is going to be up and coming back Field.
Beau: It’s crazy. There’s laser welding, and there’s like micro laser welding. Yeah. There’s all kinds of crazy, like I was so excited to see these co-bots because I’ve been, I was told about them and I’m like, these things don’t exist. And so I finally saw it, I was like, damn! Crazy!
Beau: Like it’s innovating. Like that’s just going to help people out a lot
Donovan: Right. And, as we’re trying to make the industry healthier and safer. Yes. Those are some things that if you’re, you know, a lot of times when people were welding on really toxic materials that’d have to be in a respirator all day. Where now the co-bots are able to be there and they’re able to handle that and get the actual operator away from it. And that’s kind, that’s what we’re about here, you know, and then we can collect those fumes on that robot where you don’t have to be near it so you’re healthier and go home a little better. So yeah. Technology.
Beau: You won’t get the metal fever. You know, you don’t have to go home and eat a bunch of cheese and bread and milk and try to fight that metal fever.
Donovan: The metal fever. Exactly.
Beau: So everybody tells you… that was like, I was terrified coming out of school. They’re like, don’t you ever weld galvanize because you’re going feel like you have the worst flu you’ve ever had. And then like one of my first weld tests I went out to take was an uphill galvanized test. And I was like, do you guys have any like fume extractors? Do you have any like respirators? And they were like no it’s cool. I was like, awesome. Well, like they warned me about this. I like did my test like way back here I had it all stretched out and I went home and ate like five cheese sticks just in case. But I think I think I was pretty safe.
Donovan: Well you’re still here today so that’s good.
Beau: Barely. They hit through.
Donovan: So, I really appreciate you sharing about what you guys have going on in there. It sounds great. Exciting. If anybody’s listening, they can probably find you guys on every social media platform or?
Beau: Yeah. Weld.com is where you can find the majority of our stuff. If you’re looking for my podcast, it’s weld by Weld.com. It just weld. It’s like, what do you want to learn about? Weld. I want to learn how to weld.
Donovan: Yeah. Well that’s great. Hey, I appreciate you giving us a minute today to talk. I know you probably already have people lining up in your booth because they want to talk to you.
Beau: I got to set some stuff up that’s for sure
Donovan: So we’ll let you get going, but thanks again.
Beau: Hey, I appreciate you for having me
Donovan: Yeah, it’s great to meet you. Well, I’m sure we’ll probably talk to you again somewhere down the line.
Beau: Oh yeah, we’re right across the street. You come on. You got to come on mine next.
Donovan: You go. Maybe you have to come up and meet us up in Mercer, PA someday.
Beau: I would love to. I mean, just seeing like the gamut of what you all have, like it’d be cool to see it in facilities and stuff and I really want to help get the word out for yours too. Yeah. You know, it’s like this is American made good stuff. You don’t have to wait for it to come all the way over from like Shipped from out of the country. It’s right here.
Donovan: It’s right here. Serviced right here. It’s made right here by American welders.
Beau: That’s what we’re doing.
Donovan: There we go!
Beau: Welders doing stuff together!
Donovan: Exactly. Awesome. Well thanks for listening. If you want to enjoy more podcasts from us, you can watch them on YouTube. You can check us out on Twitter, Instagram. We’re on all the social media platforms. But until the next time we get to talk to you guys, stay healthy, stay safe and thanks for listening.
Beau: Thanks man.
Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer.