Category Archives: About Joe Welder

Practical Welding for Off Road Truck Racers

In the upcoming issue of Practical Welding Today (March April 2015) you’ll see an article we did about helping Jeremy McGrath set up his welding equipment in his new race shop.  If you’re not familiar with McGrath… well clearly you’re not a Supercross fan! He’s the winningest Supercross racer of all time, known as the King of Supercross, and his nickname is “Showtime” for his signature aerial move the Nac Nac.

Jeremy’s now retired from Supercross but last year he put together an Off Road Truck Racing team Jeremy McGrath Motorsports (JM2).  They race in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

When Arc-Zone’s PRO Partners were in town we went up to Lake Elsinore to the races, and to tour Jeremy’s shop. Continue reading

Welding and Racing: Connections for Life

Recently I was invited to a Bikes and Burgers Charity Event in SoCal by my buddy Tom White.

Jim Watson and Tom White

We’d run into each other a couple years ago at the Concourse D’elegance Motorcycle show in Del Mar California but I first met Tom and his twin brother Dan at an AMA District 37 TT Scrambles race at Huntington Beach Speedway back-in-the-day. To me, a 12-year-old kid, they were impressive: a couple of cool, classy, good looking guys who raced dirt bikes! They had their own truck and two beautifully prepared Bultaco “boat tail” Pursang TT bikes. They even had their own t-shirts with a tag line “Bultaco’s are Best.”

I’m so glad I was able to reconnect with Tom and attend the Bikes and Burgers event at Tom’s Early Years of Motocross Museum. The event was not only held in an amazing place, it was a fundraiser for the High Hopes Head Injury Program.

Tom’s Motocross Museum is only open for special events, but this is a truly world-class facility with over a 182 rare dirt bikes and related memorabilia—it was impressive.

It was cool to see all the dirt bikes, but seeing all the photos and posters really took me back to those days with my family, and to the time when I first met Tom. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Weldcraft-Miller Consolidation

Even though things are constantly changing and evolving, the New Year is always a good time to reflect on changes.  Here at Arc-Zone we’re getting new computers, we just launched the redesign of our website, and we’re adding new products to our store.  For some people change is scary, it’s a negative thing–but for me, change has always been a way to expand my network, find new opportunities, and learn more.

Jim Welding at FABTECH

Jim Watson with Josh Sprinkle of Weldcraft at the Miller booth, FABTECH 2013

One big change happening this year is the further consolidation of Weldcraft and Miller. They announced this back in November, but you should start seeing these changes now. Here’s the official word from Miller:

APPLETON, Wis. (Nov. 14, 2013)  —Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has announced the consolidation of the TIG torch and accessory lines from Weldcraft under the Miller brand. The consolidation allows Miller to better serve distributor and end user needs by offering best-in-class TIG torches and accessories as part of a total TIG welding system.  Continue reading

Thankful for: Weldcraft and the Crafter Series TIG Torch

I started with Weldcraft when it was a small manufacturing company in Burbank, Calif. making welding accessories. When the company was sold in 1985, I had the opportunity to work my way up to Director of Manufacturing and I even became a top performing sales manager. I was able to travel  around the world representing a quality manufacturer in an industry I enjoyed. I met with international distributors, system integrators, and end users and began to really understand what our customers needed.

CS-300 Crafter Series Air-Cooled TIG Torch

CS-300 Crafter Series Air-Cooled TIG Torch

It was out of this experience that I developed the Crafter Series TIG Torch and earned a patent for both the design and the improvements to functionality.

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Review: Miller Digital Elite welding helmet

In the ULTIMATE Weld Shop TIGGing some aluminum

In the ULTIMATE Weld Shop TIGGing some aluminum

It’s National Safety Month so I thought it would be a great time to let you know what I think about my Miller welding helmet.

There’s a lot to like about the Miller Digital Elite welding helmet, and not just the fancy paint job from Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan! I like the shape and design–it’s well-proportioned and the contours of the shell fit just right. There’s a reason the new Miller head gear has become legendary when it comes to comfort and adjust-ability. The helmet and head gear is light and easy to put on and easy to wear for long periods of time if needed.

In the past (15 years ago) people would rave about the old Huntsman brand welding helmets (now part of the Jackson line). They were known for the most comfortable head gear. In fact they ran ad campaigns in the major trade journals– full-page ads of the two Hunstman brothers wearing their helmets in the most ridiculous places –like playing golf! The tag line was “It’s so comfortable, I forgot I had it on” Every month in the trade journals there would be a new ad. It was a crack up waiting to see what those guys would do next!

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Funniest Welding Story Ever Told

It was in the days before auto-darkening helmets. And before hand held TIG remote controls….

My dad and I would be working on our race car: me welding in the chassis and my dad on amperage control duty.

But like many fathers and sons, we had a communication problem, or maybe an outright failure to communicate.  He’d crank up the amps and I wouldn’t be ready.

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