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Strength of steel

Welder melds metal to build machinery

August 18, 2012
By Aaron Post - Sports Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

Jacob Stout says welding is dirty, hard, physical work, but he has been at it for 12 years.

"Welding a frame can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks," Stout said. "I build the frames with square welding tubing."

Stout has only been working for Filmtec Inc. for five years, but says he enjoys his job.

Article Photos

Jacob Stout welds a frame at Filmtec Inc recently.

"I build the framework that goes around the equipment," he said.

Located in Fostoria, Filmtec was founded in 1964 as a magnet wire processing company, but began manufacturing wire spooling equipment several years after opening.

Stout said sometimes the frames he builds have to support 10,000 pounds of equipment.

"It has to hold pumps, motors and electrical boxes when it gets to the assembly department," Stout said. "We build machines that draw surgical wire from a bigger side through a smaller side."

He said he uses a metal inert gas welder.

"I'm not supposed to weld all the way around the whole structure because there are stress areas on the steel," Stout said.

He said the heat from welding causes the stress areas because it makes the metal brittle.

"Because it gets so hot, there are only certain parts I need to weld so it doesn't break," he said.

Stout said he generally works alone in the welding department, but sometimes he has a back-up.

He reads from a blueprint to ensure his frames are welded correctly.

"Blueprints have to balloon out for further explanations," Stout said.

After Stout finishes welding the frame, it goes to the assembly department where it waits for the machine to be put in it.

"From start to finish it can sometimes take six months to complete a machine," he said.



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