More Gear

Afternoon all.

I’m back after some crazy goings on in this last week. But I would like to continue to discuss some real good-for-your-money gear.


When it comes to gloves, there are differing opinions in the welding world. Some think just buy cheap gloves to do the job and replace when necessary. Others think spend the money and have high quality gloves to protect yours hands.

I belong to the latter.
I don’t like the feel of cheap gloves and I don’t like buying gloves every month. There are many different brands of gloves to choose from and many high quality options.

Tillman is still a leader in the glove world. The 750 series is quite possibly the most comfortable gloves I have ever used. They are an Elk-skinned glove that retain their softness even when heat is applied. Where leather gloves stiffen up and make it difficult to move your fingers, the Elk skin uses the oils from your hands to stay soft. And they last a ridiculously long time. I had to buy a pair every 3-4 months, it was great.

BSX also has some fine gloves that are worth your dollar. Their black stallion series not only look cool, but they protect while lasting forever.

So whatever your fancy, find a pair of gloves that allow you to move, grab, point and pull the trigger on performing high quality welds.


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Welding Gear

Howdy Welding world.

Over the next few posts we’re gonna talk about some of my favorite welding gear. The gear that’s good doesn’t have to be the most expensive stuff on the market. And there are many places where you can get the name brand gear for big discounts.


This is always a interesting topic when I talk to other welders. The only real choices are Auto or Passive. The brands vary and the prices definitely vary but here’s a few questions to ask yourself when it comes to a helmet:

What type of welding are you doing?
How much welding do you do?
How much are you willing to spend?

Type of welding: The different processes put off different levels of light. And different frequencies of light. The standard Passive helmet is always dark, but usually a lot cheaper. While the Auto-dark helmets are more convenient, the cheaper models don’t react well if you’re doing a lot of GTAW welding. The high frequencies that the start puts off can mess up the electronics, which cost as much as a new helmet. So if you’re doing a lot of GTAW, then I recommend a passive helmet. Unless you have a large budget. I have a $25 passive helmet from Northern Tool that does it’s job just fine. Also where you are going to be welding is a factor. If you find yourself it tight spaces having to weld, then an auto-dark would make practical sense.

How much welding: If you’re a hobby welder than there is no need to get a real fancy helmet. If you want one then there are many fine helmets for you. Miller is a big player in the Auto-dark helmet world, and they have some of the cooler designs I think. But if you are a welder professionally, then it’s worth it to invest in a higher grade helmet. Whether passive or auto-dark you’ll want a helmet that can handle the wear and tear of welding life. I use a auto-dark helmet that is actually a Northern Tool Industries product. Now, I know that Northern might not have the highest quality of stuff, but this helmet is the best helmet I have used. It’s a sturdy, comfortable helmet that requires little maintenance. It was around $130 but will last a long time.

Cost: Here is the determining factor for most people when buying gear. A decent passive helmet will be around $20-$40. A good reliable auto-dark helmet rarely will be under $100. You then have to ask, is the convenience worth the price?
Design is a not critical factor to the work-ability of the helmet, but you have to like to look at what you buy. Miller is my personal favorite when it comes to design, but you can check out welding supply stores for different looks and brands.

A good site to check out different helmets and compare prices is CyberWeld<dot>com. I have a link to it on this site and also one to Miller’s home site. Airgas too is a reputable provider of welding gear.

So clearly there is a bevy of resources to hit up for good deals and good product. Do a search for any local companies around your area to see what kind of deals you can get


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AWS Membership

Hey there.

Just posting tonight about something that would be a good idea for anyone in the welding field. Join the American Welding Society. The benefits for joining are fantastic. I’ve been a member now for about a year, and have enjoyed the benefits greatly. Most enjoyable has been the subscription to the Welding Journal published by the AWS. It’s a must have for anyone trying to keep up with advancements in the industry and new product lines.

They also serve as a job search resource for those in the market. You have the ability to post a resume online with them and they allow companies to search you out and contact you directly.

Most importantly,  the discounts offered through membership are amazing.
Health insurance, life insurance, publications, clothing, welding supplies, and equipment are just some of the things that an AWS membership gives you discounts to. As well as providing a nice resume point to prospective employers.

Visit the AWS website for more info on membership.

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Welding school

I thought I’d take this opportunity to mention more about the school I attend.

I attend Mountain View College in Grand Prairie, Tx. They have a fantastic welding program headed up by one Mr. Dewayne Roy. He is an extremely knowledgeable mind in the world of welding. The class book we have was co-written by Dewayne and answers almost all questions about welding. The classes I’ve taken so far have given me a lot of training in GMAW, GTAW, SMAW, and OFW. The degree program offers all of these processes and the certifications that you’ll need to appeal to employers. On top of that, an Associates of Applied Sciences in Welding Technologies is a nice high point on anyone’s resume.

All of the welding classes are self-paced, and the shop hours are flexible so as to meet anyone’s circumstances. Students are encouraged to bring projects up to the school and share their ideas with Dewayne, the other instructors and fellow students. On the current projects page, you find the train smoker that I am currently building at the school for my Welding Qualifications class. Many ideas have been bounced off of other students and instructors to give my project many different avenues of fabrication. This class is designed to allow you to work on whatever you want to focus on. Projects are part of the class to allow you to put your newly acquired skills to use.

Overall, this program is a perfect fit for me, and I’m sure that anyone who would like to get into the trade, or even just pick up a new hobby would enjoy this immensely. So if you’re in the DFW area, go to and check out the welding program for more info.


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It’s been a lil while since I last posted so I thought I’d chime in here…

The job search is still on for me. My current employment is frustrating to say the least. Anyone who has worked for a Family business and isn’t part of the family knows what I am going through. The politics and the hypocrisy of the situation is unbearable somedays.
Hence the search for different jobs. The welding market is quite vast so where to look is tough. The AWS has some resources in place to assist those who are looking for a career, which I have utilized. The only problem I can see as to my lack of response is my experience level and age.
Some employers may consider me a bit on the young side, but I have been at this welding game for 5 years. All the instructors that I have done welding work for have been impressed by my skills, but on paper I’m not attractive.
I would like the contracting market, but it’s even more difficult to get started there without a reputation in the industry. It would be nice to start with a established welding company, that way I could build up experience and be a little more secure in my job.

So if there is anyone out there reading this, and happen to be a human resources rep in the Dallas area, let me know.


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Fabricating our Future

Good day.

My name is Luke Parker. I have had this site created to showcase the fabrication and welding skills I have accumulated over the years.

First off, thanks to Mismikado’s Creations for the resume design,
she always does good work.

Soon I’ll be posting photos of project and stories about the fabrication process to give prospective employers some more info about me and anyone who wants some ideas for projects can fell free to take a look.


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{resume design by Mismikado Creations}

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