Ladies Night on the Lakebed

Wednesday night was a special night for the ladies of the Means Dry Lake Bed; it was our night to learn something new and be pampered, just a little bit.  Miller Welding hosted a Ladies Only event and taught fifty of us grubby,dusty girls how to use a plasma cutter and a welder.  In addition, they put out a nice spread of food and drink, and even put table cloths on the table.  It was pretty sweet.

Now welding may not be your thing, but it was kind of cool to be able to say, “Hey, look what I did!”  I have a good friend who is on tv, Jessi Combs has been on MythBusters and a number of other male oriented shows – part of the Power Block on Sunday mornings, and while she is just plain adorable, if you ask a man why they like her, the response is “She Welds!”  What a great testament to what a girl needs to know how to do.  I never knew when I was raising daughters that knowing how to weld was an admirable skill.

The crew from Miller took the time to explain various processes and tools for us.  First, we heard about plasma cutting.  The tool they use is very powerful, can cut through ½” steel like it’s butter.  Not something you want to play around with, it’s like wielding a very sharp knife.  Next came an explanation of MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding.  This is your basic welding, done with a self-feed spool that creates a bead of weld between two slabs of metal.  It is used for almost all basic welding, there are many different size welding wire and different size machines to accomplish this.  Our last lesson was on TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding.  This is used for the finer welding.  Two hands are used, one to manage the tool, the other to feed the welding rod.  When TIG welding is complete, if it’s done right, the bead looks like stacked dimes.

Okay, so know that I may have gotten some of this wrong, but it was fun to be introduced to a cool part of what it takes to be a racer.  Welding is something they all know how to do, and we were lucky to have some terrific teachers.  Each of us got to make a metal nameplate.  I opted to forego the welded base since I don’t have any flat surfaces in my world and just used the plasma cutter to create, but I practiced MIG welding with Seth anyway.   Thanks again, Miller Welding for a fun night, and my friends, Patricia and Shea for hanging out with me.

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