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Being The New Boy.

                         Being  the new boy.

When I was 16 I sarted a job as a trainee welder.
Iwas set to work with an old guy (about the age I am now).
The first thing he taught me was how to weld two strips of-steel bar with beveled edges together. It was simple 'Down-hand' welding.
I practiced this for almost the whole of the first day.
Now welding is a pretty Hot craft, and I soon became very warm, so the old guy suggested I should take of my shirt and work in just my Tshirt. which I did.
Immediately I felt the little sparks landing on my forearms but, I assumed this to be just a normal  part of being a welder.
The other thing I noticed was the heat from the welding on my arms. but as this was not unpleasant I ignored it.
Finally my first day as a trainee welder was over, and I put my shirt back on and clocked out.
The next morning OUCH! My arms from where the welding gauntlets ended, up to the short sleeves of my T shirt were bright red, it was like a medium bad sunburn. And in fact that is basically what it was.
The rays given off from Electric Arc welding are high in ultra violet which is what causes sunburn.
I realised at once that I had been the butt of a nasty practical joke.
When I got to work that morning, with my long sleeved shirt firmly buttoned at the wrists, all the welders greeted me with cheerful inquiries and quips about, 'how are your arms'! I gave my new work colleagues the dirtiest look I could muster, and studiously ignored my sore arms.
The 'sun tan' faded after a few days, but the little burn scars took a little longer.
The joy of being the 'NEW BOY'.

AlmostAristotle AlmostAristotle 61-65, M 4 Responses Jun 6, 2012

Your Response


Typical to play pranks on newbies. Truckers ask newbies to load the truck with windmill fuel. ;-)

I can totally relate Ari! When I first started welding I got "flash burned" from watching a guy weld from what I thought was surely a safe distance on a sunny day...NOT (meanies)

I thought you might relate to this story Hilly.

Wow. Well, I guess we should be thankful that they didn't tell you to take off the eye shield thingie so you could see better.....

'Arc eye' is a sympton that most welders suffer from at some point in their careers.
It's usually caused by accidently exposure of the eyes to Arc welding rays.
It is absolute agony, like having hot sand in your eyes.
It usually passes after a couple of days.

Agreed! It's awful pain!

Aww, that was a dirty trick!! :( But you weathered thru it like a real champ! Wow...welding...another facet of Ari we get to learn about. You've done sooo much in your years..... You're one cool guy!! ♥