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Old 09-23-2019, 01:14 AM   #1
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Horrible time with welder, Looking for help estimating what the job is worth...

Pictures attached.... Its two boxes beside each other... one good one bad....


I hired a local company, it will remain nameless, it looked reputable and had good reviews. The owner came out a couple of months ago and took a look at the job, took a while to get booked but he was a nice helpful guy and everything seemed good. I did not plan the job, I figured his guys would know how to do it and with everything else going on I wanted to offload some of the work, I figured it was an easy enough job.

Had the work done on Friday, 2 guys show up.... I had a bad feeling already.

I show them the job, I have two 49" long 19X19" underbody truck boxes I purchased, both steel. I tell them I want them under the bus beside my existing truck battery box. We start talking about the skin of the bus somehow, guy comments its thin, I agree (Obs) and we get to talking about the lower rub rail, I tell him if it needs to get cut off it can just go no problem assuming it may be in the way.

I'm at the bus working, I get out of there way and tell them if they need anything come get me, 20 min in they are removing the rub rail, the screws and rivets are a bitch so I tell him he can grind them off if need be, he does.

I leave them for another 40 min, the guy comes over to me and says he cant weld the metal is too thin... I'm a little confused I go to see and they have tacked the box TO THE SIDE OF THE BUS.... Like its sticking out all 19" from the body.... welded to the side of the bus...

so I go " you know thats supposed to be under the bus".... commence the oh **** moment.... so they go at it, get the box positioned..... amid this time they bang the **** out of it.... they manage to hit it with the grinder in spots, dent it in others... the cuts through the bus body look like ****

The guy wants to weld it to my frame, I tell him he can't because I need it inspected to get the title changed..... decides to use the angle to make a frame-up top..... No ****!


They do the second one, it looks good, and is not damaged..... only took 2 tries.......

Now they are coming back tomorrow to finish the job.

The first day they worked 5.5 hours, now they are coming back with some other material to put the final welds on, he says its another hour of work (Hence his 6 saving me another half hour) (I don't know much of anything about welding, hence getting a pro)

Guys say he will complete the entire job for 6 hours paid, and material. Which he says is saving me the hour each day of driving time he would have charged me for the mobile welding.

oh and he's bonding the holes he made, and grinding that down, and he took the rub rail home to fix up and he says he will put it back on... not charging me for that bless his little heart...

This is the welder I've been talking too, I am calling the owner tomorrow morning.


So total amount of work 5.5 hours on site + 2 hours drive time for the two days (half hour each way 2 days) 7.5 hours and he has an hour of welding left so 8.5 hours he "would" be charging me.

His offer is 6 hours total at $120 Hr plus material so thats $720 and material.

Take a look at the pictures and give me your thoughts on what you would pay.

Sorry for the long ass post....
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:07 AM   #2
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The economy is so different between Canada and California. I'd do it right, down here in Cali, for about 600, and the additional materials wouldn't be much. I'd also repair his hack job for another $150
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:12 AM   #3
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So, on their initial attempt they cut off the rub rail and then tacked-welded the box on the outside? Those little holes in the side were from the tacks after the box was cut off?

Welding it to the outside is far beyond stupid. Miscommunication is common, but common sense would tell you that's certainly not what the customer wants.

Personally, I would not let these guys touch my bus again, and I wouldn't pay them anything. Let them chase you to small-claims court.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
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Personally, I would not let these guys touch my bus again, and I wouldn't pay them anything. Let them chase you to small-claims court.
I agree. They made a mess didn’t they? Didn’t send their A-Team that’s for sure. I’d be pissed and would have run them when they tacked the boxes to the side. What were they thinking (or not)?

When he comes back with the rub rail I’d take it from him and tell him to go. When he objects, tell him some other professional fabricators saw his work and were fairly disgusted.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:33 AM   #5
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I wouldn't be paying for that mess..



Have you contacted the owner and informed them what happened? I'd be talking to the owner of the company about the damage done to your boxes and bus and go from there.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
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My local mobile welder gets $40/hr. Even with the exchange rate, that's a lot of money for crappy work.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:12 PM   #7
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If I wanted crappy welding I'd do it myself. Which is exactly what I do.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:23 PM   #8
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If I wanted crappy welding I'd do it myself. Which is exactly what I do.
Same. I couldn't imagine paying somebody as bad as me, and these guys are worse.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
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You's guys crack me up

OP - sorry to see this done to your bus. How does the structural integrity look?? Given the hack appearance, does it look solidly attached? Hope so.



I'm about to purchase a welder and lordy I hope I can do at least as good as these guys. The welding instructor at our Jr College said he can teach a monkey to weld with a MIG unit. Guess I'll be buying a MIG welder. I'm eatin' lots of bananas to prep.



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Old 09-23-2019, 05:45 PM   #10
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OP - sorry to see this done to your bus. How does the structural integrity look?? Given the hack appearance, does it look solidly attached? Hope so.



I'm about to purchase a welder and lordy I hope I can do at least as good as these guys. The welding instructor at our Jr College said he can teach a monkey to weld with a MIG unit. Guess I'll be buying a MIG welder. I'm eatin' lots of bananas to prep.



Mike
I just finished a four-month night class on MIG welding at my local CC. It was pretty worthless, unfortunately. It was supposed to be 43 lab hours which ended up being less than 20 because of the teacher's many cancellations, and in all that time I got less than 10 minutes total interaction with him. It's good to get 20 hours of welding practice, but for $500 it's a bit steep.

Fortunately my bus is a mess and I've been getting a ton of welding practice on it.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:50 PM   #11
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Guess I'll be buying a MIG welder.
I've only done MIG but a lot of people recommend stick. I live in the Philly suburbs, but I have to drive a half hour just to fill up my small Argon/CO2 cylinder which is $29.95 a pop (and the cylinder itself is around $150-$200), and you really should have the cylinder properly secured, not sitting in the passenger seat of your roadster like me. Stick is harder to get started with (as I understand it) but you get to avoid the whole gas hassle. And real welders will have more respect for you.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:02 PM   #12
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*Usually* anyone who's really good at welding stays super busy. Anyone with time to come to you is probably either astronomically expensive or inept. Most likely both.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:20 PM   #13
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.........
I'm about to purchase a welder and lordy I hope I can do at least as good as these guys. The welding instructor at our Jr College said he can teach a monkey to weld with a MIG unit. Guess I'll be buying a MIG welder. I'm eatin' lots of bananas to prep.

Mike
You will learn buy doing. (practice and more the better) Get your welder and PPE safety equipment and find some scrap metal about the same thickness.
Then experiment with the settings and see what it does.

allways get your settings right each day on scrap FIRST that way you won't blow a hole in what you don't want to.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:32 PM   #14
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I've only done MIG but a lot of people recommend stick. I live in the Philly suburbs, but I have to drive a half hour just to fill up my small Argon/CO2 cylinder which is $29.95 a pop (and the cylinder itself is around $150-$200), and you really should have the cylinder properly secured, not sitting in the passenger seat of your roadster like me. Stick is harder to get started with (as I understand it) but you get to avoid the whole gas hassle. And real welders will have more respect for you.
There is one more small "Gas hassle" many people forget. Try using on outside on a windy day. the wind will blow away you argon and then you have A sponge for a weld.

I love mig welders. * But don't own one. I weld with a Lincoln "Buzz-box" 225 amp AC welding machine. Welds great as long as the metal is thicker 1/8th. Turn it up to 225 and you can "cut" with it.

* I have a big dislike for flux core (NO Gas required) mig welders.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:12 PM   #15
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What a mess. You maybe better off learning how to weld yourself if your not in a hurry. It really is not that difficult to learn but practice is the key. I was taught stick back in the late 70's while in high school. I forgot most of it but then decades later purchased a MIG and taught myself with the help of online tutorials. Start with small projects and before long you will likely be doing most if not all welding projects yourself.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:10 PM   #16
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Update, Thanks for all your replies!

So job is done, pictures attached.

This is the second time I've had someone work on the bus, both times I thought I chose well.... but was unimpressed with the standard of finish.

Oh well! Now I do all my projects myself LOL as I was doing before.... Time to learn to weld!

As for this welding job all said and done I am happy with the way it is attached to the bus, it's up to transport Canada standards so I'm gonna pass my inspection and the welds are strong and the two boxes won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

What I am not happy with is the finish... I kept the guy there to clean up his mess and he put in the time to secure the boxes well so what's done is done... I'm painting the lower half of the bus as soon as I am done anyways
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:33 PM   #17
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So job is done, pictures attached.

This is the second time I've had someone work on the bus, both times I thought I chose well.... but was unimpressed with the standard of finish.

Oh well! Now I do all my projects myself LOL as I was doing before.... Time to learn to weld!

As for this welding job all said and done I am happy with the way it is attached to the bus, it's up to transport Canada standards so I'm gonna pass my inspection and the welds are strong and the two boxes won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

What I am not happy with is the finish... I kept the guy there to clean up his mess and he put in the time to secure the boxes well so what's done is done... I'm painting the lower half of the bus as soon as I am done anyways
Looks OK. How did he fill those holes in the side (if he did at all)? How did the cut piece of bumper rail end up sticking out like that?
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:16 PM   #18
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Yeah it's ok, for now there is sealant in those holes. The guy was going to bondo it, it was of course raining at the time and I dont want moisture stuck next to the metal so I told him to leave it for now.

The rub rail is raised up because the cuts were between screws, he was going to add 2 more self-tapping screws to hold it down, I told him to leave it.

I didn't like his finishing work and I'll do a much better job making that thing pretty.

I'm going to add some more screws on the edges to hold it in line again, Bondo the holes and sand them smooth, and going to use some kind of dry hard epoxy to fill the cuts in the rub rail, I'll sand it down smooth after and paint the rub rails when I do the rest of the bottom of the bus in its final shade.

I was planning on doing bodywork before painting anyway so its just a little extra at this point.

I got my money off for the job so what's done is done, at least my batteries have a home now!
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:24 PM   #19
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Well done and good attitude. When life gives you lemons, stick them up life's tailpipe.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:20 PM   #20
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Obviously got their training in Tucson Az
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