American Welding Society offers full catalog in PDF, print formats

If you're looking to catalog some of the services available from the AWS, I would suggest its 2005 catalog (until the 2006 version hits, anyway). Check it out here. You'll need PDF reader to see the online version, but you can get that at www.adobe.com.


American Welding Society's Free Online CWI Verification Service

AWS is touting a free new online service: its CWI (which stands for Certified Welding Inspector) Verification Service.

It's a web based service with a lot of appeal because you can get answers instantly in a browser. Here's how it works: enter a CWI number below. This number can be found on a wallet card or wall certificate produced by the inspector. The search will return the certification number, a name, and an expiration date for that individual.

The first four digits of the CWI number are the year and month of original certification. For example, 9603xxxx means that the inspector was certified in March of 1996.

The next three digits of the number are unique and the last digit of the CWI number indicates the level of certification. A last digit of ‘8’ means that the individual is a Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI). A last digit of ‘1’ or '3' means that the individual is certified as an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). A '2' or ‘4’ means that the individual is certified at the level of Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI).

See it here.

The Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) certification is widely recognized in the welding industry. The CWI examination is made up of three parts: Part A: Fundamentals – consisting of 150 questions, Part B: Practical – consisting of 46 questions and Part C: Code Book – consisting of 46 questions.


Bargain Shopping - How to get a good price for your welding purchases

So, if you're looking around online for a better deal on that Mig you just can't live without, where do you go first? You can look for bargain MIG welders on eBay easy enough; just hit eBay.com and do a search for what you're looking for. Besides the used welders offered by individuals, there are tons of eBay stores with new equipment. I have not done business with any of these people, but they are rated by their user feedback, and that's typically-- but not always -- a good indicator. I'd suggest that you use a credit card, not a debti card, for these purchases, especially with any online business. Your credit card company can easily help you dispute the charge if what you got wasn't what you were promised.

One place that I like a lot is Froogle, a service from Google. What's wicked cool about Froogle is this: you can enter a search term in Google, see information on it from the Google site, and then click the Froogle link to see products offered. For instance...

I entered welders into Froogle. Got a bunch of different results. However, I was really looking for a Hobart 500425 Tigmate AC/DC Tig Welder Kit. The results? This page, with a ton of different stores offering the weider online and all their prices. See it here. I got 3 pages of results and prices ranging from $1560.75 to $2,500. Quite a difference, and Froogle, like a lot of shopping engines, makes it easy to get price comparisons. Some of the older ones made stores pay to get in, so they only really are ads for a limited number of stores. Froogle's free, so everything's in it.

I've used it for everything major I've purchased for a while now, especially if I'm buying stuff over the web. Works like a charm.


Is the AWS Welding Journal out of Step?

Over at the AWS forums, this question came up. They've noticed that more and more of the AWS content is aimed at management and engineers rather than at welders.

I find all of it interesting, but as one poster put it...

"Is it just me or is the welding journal moving further out of the main stream of the industry? It seems to me that there is increasingly less information of any practical use to "everyday, real-world situations."

Most of the welding that I run into as a mobile contractor involves repair and maintenance work on heavy equipment and some tank and pipe work. It has been a while now since I have seen any articles on these topics. For example a recent cover story "Brazing in Space", while interesting, does not benifit me in the slightest. My absolute personal favorite was the article entitled "Tips from the Pros" with such indespensible advice as "make sure you get a good ground" and "Make sure there are no flammable materials in the area!" Please!! If you do not know this already then you are a Darwin Award just waiting to happen. Who was this little gem marketed to anyway?! A grade school special-ed class perhaps!? Amazingly, all three welders featured said almost the same thing.

I understand the purpose of the journal is to "advance the science, technology and application of welding etc.,etc." but does this mean that there will be no information geared towards the more common, everyday processes.

Please let me know what you guys think. If I am in the minority position on this issue then I will gladly keep my mouth shut, but I don't believe that I am the only one who feels this way."


U.S. Army Purchases SGI and VRSim Immersive Virtual Reality Welding Trainer Systems