3617 San Fernando Rd
Glendale, CA 91204
Hours for open shop or studio tours are Tues through Sunday, 1-6pm, and 1-10pm on Weds. Closed Mondays.
If you want to drop in or tour the space, feel free to drop by on a Saturday, or contact us to make an appointment
Molten Metal Works is located at:
3617 San Fernando Rd
Glendale CA 91204
(we moved 5/1/16 and this is the new address)
At Molten Metal Works, we can teach just about anyone to weld, but our insurance requires you to be at least 14. For more info on classes for minors, see here. Additional stuff–if you have a pacemaker, you should not be doing arc welding (any welding using electricity). The magnetic fields do something. If you have trouble seeing in the dark, doing things like night driving, or have really unsteady hands, you will have additional difficulty. We can usually find some work-arounds to help, but those are the most common complaints. Other than that, bring it on.
Awesome, glad to have you. First thing you should do is to take a look at the answer to the next question and see what kind of welding you might be interested in learning. Most people who come into the shop start with either the Intro MIG class or the Welding Taster Class.
The Intro MIG is about six hours of welding on a Sunday (and most Weds), where you really get a feel for that welding technique. You get a lot of practice and you learn how to use grinders and it allows you to come back for open shop hours and work on your own stuff then. The other one, the Welding Taster, shows you all three kinds of welding in about three hours on a weeknight. You’ll get a chance to try each of the techniques, learn what they’re good for, and build a cowbell. We cover a lot of material quickly and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s not enough training to come back for open shop. Of course, some people also dive right in and sign up for one of the oxyacetylene series classes where you get 6-weeks of classes in using a gas flame torch, building a Calder mobile, a chandelier, or a sculpture.
We currently offer group classes in MIG, Oxyacetylene, and TIG. MIG and TIG are forms of Arc welding, which means that they both use electricity and an electric arc to weld. Both are much faster processes than Oxyacetylene (because that arc heats up to 7,000-10,000*F almost instantly), but both MIG and TIG have their downsides.
MIG (Metal Inert Gas, also called FCAW or SMAW for flux-core arc welding and shielded metal arc welding) is like using a hot glue gun. Not super precise, but quick, easier because it’s largely one-handed, and great for putting things together, especially when you are just cutting and welding straight pieces. TIG I’ll get back to in a second.
Oxyacetylene uses a flame torch (between 5,800*-6,200*F) to heat steel up and weld it together. It’s best for material under ¼” thick but with the same tool you can cut, weld, braze (aka solder), or heat-and-bend. Oxy is great for making curvy shapes, or wrought-iron looking things. If you’re good, you can make really pretty welds and it’s not super-bright, so you don’t have to wear a welding helmet. It’s pretty quiet too.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) is like a combo of the above two. It uses a super-hot arc to melt pieces together. It’s the hardest process of them all, as well as being the most expensive (about $4500). It requires using both hands independently and using one foot to control the amperage of the arc. Benefits of it are that it’s very precise, you can make very pretty welds, and you can even join dissimilar metals. It’s also the best for fickle aluminum or stainless (though we can MIG aluminum in the shop). TIG is best used on those specialty metals, or when precision and reducing grinding time are the primary factors. Good on straight or curvy materials.
We teach stick welding via private lesson. Stick welding is mostly used for structural welding: building bridges, buildings, welding I-beams together, and shipbuilding. Things where you need to weld 1/4″ steel together. It’s not good for furniture, or sculpture, until you get into forklift size stuff (generally). If you are looking to get into any of that, check out the welding classes at LA Trade Tech. We can teach stick via private lesson if you’re curious, or you have a specific project, but we are not geared towards certification or testing.
Open shop is a good time to work on your own projects with some supervision. It is not lesson time, but we’ll be available to answer questions, particularly if they relate to a matter of safety or tool usage. You must have taken intro welding with MMW and signed a waiver. Open Tues-Sun 1-6pm with extra time on Weds, 1-10pm. $5-15/hr based on how many hours you buy, and there’s even a monthly membership pass. Read up all about it on the Open Shop Page here.
What about canceling classes?
I hate to cancel classes, but MMW reserves the right to cancel classes for underenrollment. It’s partially a matter of money, but more so, it’s a matter of class experience. Classes are more fun and informative when there are more people in the class. Not only do other people add more energy, they also ask questions you didn’t think of right then. Generally, I’ll need two people in the intermediates and four in the intro classes.
You should wear all natural fibers clothes (cotton, wool, leather) in long sleeves and pants, with no holes for sparks to get down. Additionally, you should wear all leather or canvas shoes that cover your foot entirely (no clogs, sandals, or ballet flats). Things like cowboy boots, Vans, Converse are great. No running shoes or mesh or synthetics. Definitely no Crocs, comfortable as they might be.
Feel free to bring your own sunscreen and safety glasses, though I’ll have off-brands available for you. Yes, my sunscreen makes you smell like pina colada. And I like it that way.
Check the resources page.
If the class is filled up, the mindbody registration engine will allow you to add yourself to the wait list for the class. You must pay in full for the class in order to be added to the waitlist and it will only notify you if someone drops from the class (if no one drops, it does not trigger an announcement email). The system will also not automatically add you to the next class. So you should sign yourself for both classes (both the waitlist one and the later date one with room). The system should only charge you for one class. This way you’re guaranteed to be in the later one and you’ll be notified if the earlier one opens up.
It is not a very good wait list system and I’m sorry for the hassle, but as of yet, I haven’t found a way to change it.
Everyone is welcome to join the classes. I have taught people from age 14 to 76 how to weld. And as long as your eyesight is decent (you can night drive and have reading glasses that work) we can teach you. The welding helmet has a very dark lens and it can be difficult for people who have trouble with things like night-driving or low-light vision. Other than that disclaimer, come on down.
What about minors (under 18)?
Students 14-17 can sign up for our group classes with a participating adult or have private lessons in a 3:1 student:teacher ratio. Students aged 8-14 we’re working on developing more classes that do not involve welding, but there’s gonna be some fun ones coming up, all with real tools and real skills, just no power tools at this point.
I should also mention once again that these classes are not designed for people looking to become professional, structural welders. That usually requires training and certification using stick welders, which I do not teach. These classes are designed for amateurs, craftsmen, DIY-types, artists, and enthusiasts. People who’ve always loved working with their hands and want to add metalworking to the arsenal.
You bet. Give me a call or shoot me an email and we can set something up. Cost is $85/hr for the first person and each additional person is an additional $30/hr. $90/hr for TIG plus $40 each additional person. Starting June 2020 there will be a variable COVID PPE charge depending on what we’ll need, but to give you an idea: gloves $15, respirator for grinding $10, etc.
A non-refundable deposit of 25% will be required to reserve the shop time and instructor time, but if you reschedule up to 24hrs before the class, we can apply it to your next session. Lessons are generally held on Weds 1-10pm and Sat 1-6pm and sometimes on Tuesday and Thursdays (all by appointment).