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From welder to wrencher!

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From welder to wrencher!

Old 05-15-13, 06:40 PM
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From welder to wrencher!

So I was TIG welding for a small sheet metal shop for the past couple of months. Enjoyable at first but slowly started becoming like fingernails on a chalkboard after awhile. I finally left last month under a healthy parting. So no hard feelings and a good reference to use later. I've been relaxing at home for the past month and a half and actually registered at UBI for the professional repair/shop operation two week course this July. Today I was offered a full time mechanics position at a shop in town that I dropped my resume off at last week. So I'm holding off on the course for now. I don't want to drop two grand for a two week course in place of paid training and five months of full time experience from working at the shop. The owner asked me if I could push the course back to fall but he said I would most likely have everything covered from what I'd learn in the course and it wasn't a big issue if I didn't take the course.

But I'm super pumped to be paid to do something I love doing finally. Also I'll be able to work full time year round which is another bonus. Working full time year round back in Wisconsin would of been pretty difficult so I never really went for it. It's a decent sized shop with two locations and I'm only 12 miles away round trip from the shop I'll be at so it'll be a nice little ride I can get in to and from. I didn't ask to see what kind of discounts I get but it's not a big issue for me. I'll be wrenching on Trek and Cannondale everyday but the other location has a Campy tool kit so it all works out in the end. lol.

Yay!

Now I can pick up a jig that a local fellow has for sale and dust off my framebuilding skills I aquired two years ago. Double yay!
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Old 05-15-13, 07:29 PM
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Exciting! Congratulations on the job. I started working part time at my LBS a few months ago and have learned so so much
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Old 05-15-13, 07:35 PM
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Good for you! The employee discount is nice, but if they take trade ins thats where you find the good stuff!
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Old 05-15-13, 08:07 PM
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Congrats!
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Old 05-15-13, 08:13 PM
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Great stuff Henry. Congratulations on your new gig.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:14 PM
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Good for you and perfect....the best shops have guys who can weld and braze....who else would repair the broken weld on the rack or braze a Dropout into place?
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Old 05-15-13, 09:10 PM
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I'm in month two of my new job as a bike mechanic. I know exactly how you are feeling! I really enjoy the fact that I am learning how to build wheels and do some of the more obscure maintenence stuff.

Took me a while to efficiently work on the newer stuff (i.e. threadless headsets, hydraulic brakes and dual suspension etc) but the learning curve wasn't too steep and I've actually been teaching the mechanics there a lot about vintage bikes. Congrats on the new gig, Henry. You'll love it.

also, the discount isn't a bad perk either.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:35 PM
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The discount was an occupational hazard. I worked in shops for 4 years and spent a lot of money on bike parts. now I refuse to buy even mid level stuff for myself and I no longer have the discount...
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Old 05-15-13, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine
The discount was an occupational hazard. I worked in shops for 4 years and spent a lot of money on bike parts. now I refuse to buy even mid level stuff for myself and I no longer have the discount...
Goes hand in hand with n+1 as well. We bike lovers are doomed to forever ride broke.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:48 PM
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My wife was said I'm not even going to bring a check home now with working at a bike shop now. Honestly though my projects are finished and I don't really want anything right now. Modern production bikes don't do a single thing for me and not to mention modern Shimano or Sram make my eyelids feel heavy which I see 99.9% of the time. I'm just excited to work on other stuff then my own. I can only adjust and dial in my four bikes so much. lol.

Also I'm just excited to stop playing Mr Mom for the past two months I've been home and get back to grind. Don't get me wrong I love my kids and wife and have to give credit where credit is due what she gets done while working from home.
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Old 05-15-13, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoku620
Good for you! The employee discount is nice, but if they take trade ins thats where you find the good stuff!
Exactly. I've spent far more on trade-ins than discounted stuff. Ordering through QBP and such is pretty awesome too.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:11 AM
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congratulations! And good news on the jig too, I'd love to see what frames you'll come up with.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:45 AM
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Congrats. It's great being able to work in your field of interest.
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Old 05-16-13, 05:06 AM
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Congrats Henry on the new shop gig. And to you too Bryce! Got to say, I enjoyed the work at the bike shop the previous 6 months and acquiring old parts or bikes was a perk. The discount didn't hurt too.
Basically being paid to do your hobby. It was cool and fulfilling to be the C&V expert and fixing what others wouldn't touch. And the appreciation of the customers is rewarding.

I started a new job this month and left Bicycles of Scottsdale, I miss it already.
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Old 05-16-13, 06:32 AM
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Great move! Working as a mechanic is the best training out there, and scooping a trade in or two along the way will provide some nice hobby money!!

The other great part of this move is you can try the job out for a while, see if you really like it, BEFORE dropping serious $$ in the training. What if you don't like it? Better to know that now. And there is always the slow time of year to get that training under your belt. And actual wrenching will make the training that much more relevant.

Year round bike wrenching job = SCORE

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Old 05-16-13, 11:18 AM
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Great gig, Henry. You'd be my go-to guy, for sure.
Now you can find those ShimaNO 600 decals.

A poet once said something like:

"The difficulty in life is the choice.

Take care to do what you like,
or be forced to like what you do...."

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Old 05-16-13, 12:36 PM
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Good for you Henry!

- The only real downside is, you'll have to work on some cf/brifter bikes now and then.
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Old 05-16-13, 12:42 PM
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Congratulations. Hope you enjoy the new job!

Originally Posted by Henry III
Don't get me wrong I love my kids and wife and have to give credit where credit is due what she gets done while working from home.
+1. I have a hard time "working from home" when I'm watching my daughter. My wife is much better at it. Women, in general, are better multi-taskers.
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Old 05-16-13, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WNG
Congrats Henry on the new shop gig. And to you too Bryce! Got to say, I enjoyed the work at the bike shop the previous 6 months and acquiring old parts or bikes was a perk. The discount didn't hurt too.
Basically being paid to do your hobby. It was cool and fulfilling to be the C&V expert and fixing what others wouldn't touch. And the appreciation of the customers is rewarding.

I started a new job this month and left Bicycles of Scottsdale, I miss it already.
Thanks, Will!
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Old 05-16-13, 09:55 PM
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I called the owner up this morning to figure out my schedule and asked me if I could come in today. I said I could be there in an hour! Made a lunch and tossed on my backpack and rode to work. It felt so surreal to be pedaling to work and knowing I'll be wrenching on bikes all day. I caught myself a few times at work just thinking wow I'm actually here and this is really happening.

No more coming home blowing out black snot rockets and looking like I just crawled out of a coal mine. I had my trail mix right at my table and didn't even really stop at all today to take a break. The guy next to me was working on an Art Deco carbon Colnago but he's a mtb and didn't see any enjoyment in it. Poor guy. Lol. I worked on some crusty carbon bike...it seriously was crusty. I think the guy painted it himself and the bike felt and looked like something Walmart might sell.

Best part was when a younger guy came in and asked us if we had any banshees? We finally figured out he wanted a Bianchi as they used to be a dealer for them but dropped it and had a few townie bikes left over. That was pretty funny and had us all scratching our heads at first.
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Old 05-16-13, 10:19 PM
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Congrats Henry. Sounds like the boss is working with you. If you learn the technical stuff in the shop and get paid for it the two grand for the school becomes your own bonus. This gives you a tie in to find the right kind of customer looking for a new custom frame builder too giving you some extra side money. Job market in SoCal is getting better but it hasn't grabbed me yet. I'm just looking for something for the summer before fall semester starts.
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