Learning Path — Advanced

Take your welding to the next level, from thicker steel to aluminum and stainless.
We’ve put together the following list of classes as a “curriculum” of sorts that we recommend for those looking to crank things up a notch. It’s only a general guide — the more you learn, the more you’ll know what you want to learn next — but we think it’s a good place to start:
Class Details: 3 Session class, 3 hours each. Happens about every 3 months.
Class Description: Wanna take your MIG welding game to the next level? In this series, we’re going to cover advanced MIG welding technique: thick plate, flux core, aluminum, and go deeper into the mig welding chart. Three nights, lots of hands-on practice, and lots more skills.
Requirements: Intro MIG but NOT Intermediate MIG. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: Roughly every other Friday from 4–10pm. Cost is $250 per person.
Class Description: Welding with TIG is a lot like driving a Ferrari: it’s precise, powerful, and difficult to do really well (except I haven’t driven a Ferrari). It requires the use of both hands and one foot and expensive machines. But it’s worth it. With TIG you can make beautiful welds on steel, stainless, aluminum, chromoly, bronze, copper, titanium, magnesium–you get the idea. You can even weld dissimilar metals. And you can do it all with tiny little welds that look so pretty you won’t ever want to grind away a MIG weld again. Plus, if you can TIG weld, it’s a pretty damn good life merit badge.
About TIG: TIG uses electricity to melt the metal. You generally hold the torch with the right hand, add filler metal with the left, and use a foot pedal to control the amperage (heat) as you go. TIG allows you to adjust the temperature and filler deposition rate as you weld so it allows you to make much more precise welds. They’ll generally be stronger and prettier than MIG and you can weld more exotic materials. But it’s way harder and slower to do.
Requirements: Nothing is required, but Intro MIG is strongly recommended. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 6 weeks, 3 hours a week. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $540.
Class Description:
A six-session class to get you making quality welds on the three major metals: steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. We’re going to spend two nights on each material. First class each section covers the technical details: how to set up the machine, technique, metallurgy. Second night is practice, practice, practice.
Requirements: Intro TIG. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 2 sessions, 3 hours each. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $180.
Class Description:
In this 6-hr class, we’ll cover how to use the bending machines in the shop. We’ll go through the JD squared bender to bend up some legs for a stool, use the tubing roller to roll up a ring for the footrest, and join it all together with some tube notching, some welding, and some fine sitting. Tube bending is useful for all sorts of framebuilding, roll-cage making, and furniture making. The bends look professional and you can make something beefy or delicate depending on your turn your tubing size.
Requirements: Intro MIG. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 6 sessions, 3 hours each, over 8 weeks, with 10 hours of Open Shop included. Cost (total of consumable materials and instruction) is $460.
Materials Budget (estimated): Tube set $120, lugs $35-50, seat stay caps $7, drop out $20, water bottle and brake bosses $30-50
Class Description:
This class will be taught by Martin DeWinter, who besides being an ex-certified Belgian welder, he has about twelve frames under his belt, all fixed gear, all lugged and brazed. This class will be six sessions, but spread over 8 weeks to give you 2-on-1 time for the jig and the attention of Martin for the most difficult parts. 10hrs of open shop included to give you time to build and finish your frame without rushing. (Note: It is not designed for future professionals though. If you want to go pro, or learn from an absolute master, go to Yamaguchi ($2700), United Bicycle Institute ($2950), or Bohemian in Tuscon ($3100). If you’d like to learn the basics in a fun and affordable environment, come to us.)
Requirements: There are no prerequisites for this class, but it does require patience and ability to work with power tools, open flame, and the desire to do it right (don’t want a wonky frame that’ll fall apart). 18 or older.