I entered the 2007 Professional Welders Competition!
The contest took place during the AWS/FabTech welding show in Chicago this November, and was geared towards certified welders – seriously, check out the spec’d out procedure and you’ll see what I mean.
With some good prizes ($5,000 for first, $2500 second, and $500 for third) I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Besides, I had a good time talking with the facilitators, the AWS Indiana Section put together a fantastic operation with everything needed to laydown some metal! I would like to comment on their choice of stick electrode holders – they were the basic “open jaw” type. Take it from me, if you do any Stick (SMAW) welding you need to step up to the Bernard ShortStub electrode holder. It is much more comfortable to hold, and the mechanical gripping power of the screw type rod holder allows you to have much better control of the weld puddle and even lets you bend the rod to better adapt to different angles etc.
As I said they gave you everything except time–You got 5 minutes and they weren’t kidding. As soon as I completed my last pass, they stepped into the booth and said time is up — stop now and they took my test coupon! It was a great experience and although I hadn’t done any Stick welding (SMAW) for many years I managed to laydown some good looking beads within the called out bead profiles etc.
It was good time and brought back memories of my early welding school classes at Pasadena City College. Best of all I got a cool 2007 Professional Welders Competition T-shirt! Thanks Guys. . .
EDITOR’S NOTE: The AWS announced the top 12 competitors, out of 188 professional welders from all parts of the United States, and Canada! Read the official announcement, American Welding Society Announces 2007 Professional Welders Competition Award Winners (.pdf)