John Carey knows just about everything about the science of welding. He has over 35 years of experience in the trade.
Carey first discovered his love for welding at 13, when he took an agriculture class at Blairs Junior High School under Robert Pollock. “I had grown up working on a small farm. We were always fixing or building something. It was the next logical step in my mechanical career,” he added.
Over the years, Carey has become proficient in several types of welding techniques, including MIG (Gas Metal Arc Welding), TIG (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding), Stick (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), and Brazing. He has worked on countless projects, each one presenting its own unique challenges. But Carey welcomes the obstacles. “I feel a challenge just improves my skills each time.”
One challenge stands out in Carey’s mind. He remembers a coworker who had been trying to weld a crack in a large vertical pipe all day with no success. “It wouldn’t get hot enough,” Carey said. He suspected there was still water in the pipe, but the maintenance crew had said that was not possible. “I traced the line back and found another drain. It was simple after that.” This experience taught Carey the importance of problem-solving in any trade.
Safety is always a top priority for Carey and his team. “We use gloves, certified welding helmets, guards, screens, and keep the work area clear of flammables. We must make safety a priority so we can come back tomorrow and keep our customers satisfied.”
And speaking of customers, Carey believes client support is directly related to the success of any service-oriented business. “Without it, you probably won’t be in business long. If a customer calls at 3 AM on the weekend, I get on it.” He attributes the company’s longevity to this philosophy. “It’s how we have grown from a one-man shop in the backyard to where we are today.”
To Carey, welding is a mix of art and science. It requires the proper equipment, materials, gases, and heat for every job. But it also requires the ability to make extremely consistent passes, even when welding overhead lying in mud with hot metal and sparks dropping on you. I Knowledge is essential to do it correctly. “Most experienced welders and machinists are very willing to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Thankfully, I have had many mentors,” Carey added.
When asked about the small business climate in Danville, Carey was very optimistic. “The City of Danville has many meetings and classes to see what they can do to help businesses start and grow. They are very knowledgeable and helpful.”
For anyone interested in pursuing a career in welding, Carey offers this advice (for all trades). “Get started as soon as possible in school or at home. Develop your mechanical aptitude, work with trained people and be willing to accept their advice, but think for yourself. Learn to problem solve. But most of all, nothing beats a good work ethic and attitude.”
The skill and precision required to make intricate and beautiful designs make welding a unique form of art. Carey’s passion and experience using various welding techniques allows him to create finished products that are aesthetically pleasing and functional. He is a true master of his craft and an inspiration to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in welding.