I have to admit that when I first started working for ESAB I knew very little about welding and even less about welders themselves. Over the last year I have been pleasantly surprised to find that welders, as a community, are friendly, intelligent and fun. But above all else – welders are passionate about their craft.
It’s possible that I may have had some preconceived notions about welders…
I’ve always respected and admired people who can work with their hands, who don’t mind taking on the tough jobs that other people don’t want to be bothered with – so, was it easy to picture welders with dirty clothes after a long day of work?
As a teenager, I watched my step-brother weld while building a trailer and even lovingly restore an old Volkswagen Beetle – so, was it easy to picture welders who craft handy, useful and often awe inspiring creations?
Sure.A custom ESAB motorcycle by Orange County Choppers' Paul Sr., on display at ESAB in Florence, S.C.
However, I can honestly say that it never crossed my mind to combine welders with social media. Not that I didn’t think welders were capable of being on social media, I just never dreamed they would want to be.
Boy, was I wrong.
Welders are not only all over social media, they kind of rock at it.
And rightly so – after all it’s welders who touch our lives every day, whether we realize it or not. It’s welders who make it possible for us to sit in our office chairs and even our buildings, drive our cars, receive our energy sources, and so much more. They’re holding it all together – literally.Beautifully fabricated performance stilts for a Las Vegas production. (Photo credit to the Instagram account of jedbread.)
Taking pride in their work is only natural. It has to be the ultimate feeling of satisfaction to know at the end of a hard day’s work that you’ve created something that wasn’t there when you started.
You can bet your bottom dollar I’d be showing off if it were me, and probably not nearly as humbly as the countless welders I see on social media – talking not about how awesome they are, but instead asking how they can become better, learn more and grow in their craft.
These guys and gals are smart because they realize one of life’s most important lessons: There is always something more to learn. And as it turns out, for welders, social media is the perfect outlet for doing just that.ESAB sales representatives train together to stay sharp on their welding and cutting knowledge.
In fact, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and particularly more visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram open up a whole new world to welders. With such a hands-on trade, learning by seeing and doing is essential to improvement.
When a welder shares their work or a particular tip or trick they’ve learned on social media, they are opening up the window to a virtual classroom that countless others can benefit from and then share further.(Photo credit to the Instagram account of madshlarsen.)
Social media has provided an outlet for welders where they can get down into the nitty gritty of their favorite subject, talk tactics and equipment, or even just give each other a virtual pat on the back by commenting, “Nice weld.” I've learned that welders can talk about practically anything, but what they LOVE to talk about is welding.
In an unlikely turn of events, social media has given voice to a community of hard-working, often unappreciated people who, it turns out, have a lot to say for themselves.
Isaac Carrion of Welding Repair Services in Austin, Texas, is a hard working guy. For those that haven't heard yet, Texas is pretty large. Servicing the greater Austin area with onsite welding repairs means driving a rig loaded down with special equipment through the nightmare of Austin traffic (seriously, it's often ranked as one of the worst in the U.S.), working in extreme temperatures and often ridiculous circumstances.
To say the least, Isaac (who has been welding for more than 24 years) is a busy guy. Yet, in his spare time, he leads a secret double life as icweld on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube! (Okay, so it's not so secret, but it sounded mysterious, didn't it?). Using tounge in cheek hashtags like #RelaxICanFixIt, #ThisAintEasy, and #RealWorldWelding, he's grown quite a following on social media.
Why would an insanely busy one-man-show like Isaac take time out of the day to share his work on social media?
"I like it because it makes you want to be a better welder. You see everyone else's work and it makes you want to up your game," he said. "It's neat to see all these younger kids doing it too because they're surpassing me and I love to look at their stuff. Some of them look up to me but I'm learning from them too."
It turns out that, for Isaac - whose job can often seem like a solitary endeavor - social media opens the door to a brotherhood and sisterhood of other welders who not only already appreciate what he's accomplished at the end of a long day, but who can offer advice, share similar stories, or even just show understanding for the satisfaction of a hard earned yet excellent weld.
Legacy Innovations owner Troy Spackman can definitely relate to that sentiment.
"Social media has created a new avenue to share our enthusiasm for pursuing a high level of esthetic and functional fabrication, and the growing desire for exceptional weld quality," said Troy, whose Instagram audience has grown to 15,000 followers and grown a community of car building enthusiasts.
Do you use social media to get in on the welding conversation or check out other welder's work? Do you share your own welding and cutting work on social media? Tell us in the comments below!
Follow esabweldingcutting on Instagram and "Share Why You ESAB" to win!
We’re asking people to “Share Why You ESAB.” Maybe you like our equipment or maybe you’ve created something awesome with ESAB consumables. Maybe you’re a fan of Victor Technologies’ torches and you’re pumped that they’ve joined with ESAB. Or maybe you just like the color yellow… or the song Black and Yellow.
Interpret as you will, just "Share Why You ESAB!"
Post your photo with the #WhyIESAB hashtag and tag three of your friends by March 31, 2015, and be entered for one of two Warrior Tech welding helmets.