How often do you utilize welding in your footcare practice?
Do you only forge weld, or do you utilize a welder?
I weld shoes all the time. Horseshoeing is a business, we do it to make money, sure I can spend twice the time forging a shoe, but it is just going on the bottom of a foot. If I can build a shoe with an arc welder in half the time and still make it right, it is a no brainer. It's called ROI (return on investment.) Time is an investment, use your time wisely. Its not the apparatus it's the application. Weld it, put it on and go to the next one.
In the past I have carried an oxy acetylene torch on the rig, but now I forge weld more. I have a torch and mig welder in the shop and can build some shoes at home ahead of time if I know I need them.
We use a Lincoln wire welder and build all of our bar shoes.
I used to use a welder often but do not not as I opt for using oxy/act. The main reason for the swith had to do with no or lack of power supply at barns and less options (cutting) and having to change welding wire if changing types or metals or carrying several different rods for a stick welder. Using oxy/act allows me to braze aluminum and braze weld steel and copper.
If the need to weld arises in the fiedl, I do it in the fire. I think it keeps my skills sharp, adds a "wow" factor for the local horseowners, and it is the only method I have at my disposal now.
If time allows I prefer to forge weld. It definitely helps keep my skill level up, as well as markets my ability to customers around. I believe that every shoe is advertisement, good or bad. I do carry a mig welder on my rig though in case I'm short on time.
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