Like many, for Bill McCann the simple desire to build things out of metal is what sparked his interest in welding. He first learned to gas weld when he was 18 at a buddy’s shop in Wyandotte, Michigan. In his twenties he took a stick welding class, which led to a career in TIG welding. Now 70 years young, and retired, he still welds; he still likes moving the metal around. Bill came into the Arc-Zone Ultimate Welding Showroom one day to purchase some supplies, and we’ve seen some of his work on Instagram, and we were so impressed we wanted to find out more. We sent our own Arc-Zone PRO partner, Joanie Butler, out to learn more.
The detail and clean lines of these tiny bikes is amazing!
McCann prefers TIG welding these days and uses a Miller® Dynasty TIG Runner (his current favorite piece of machinery in his shop). He welds with a Weldcraft WP-280 TIG torch and uses a drill press, hand drill, and a variety of sanders and grinders on the regular.
Maybe it’s his background as a professional drafter, but Bill particularly enjoys conceptualizing the piece he is planning and being creative. One of his favorite welding projects ever was building turbos for dune buggies for drag car racer, Bruce Mcdowell.
We decided to put Bill’s creativity to the test and asked what tool he would make to solve a metal working problem. He came up with two: an Auto Focusing Welding helmet for TIG and a TIG torch that you could adjust the amperage based on how hard you squeeze the handle.
Even though welding is recreational for Bill, he still takes safety very seriously. In addition to the safety basics of covering up, wearing a helmet, jacket and gloves, he adds a respirator and ear protection.
Best advice he ever got? Don’t be too critical of yourself. Good advice we should all take!