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View Full Version : Any Pipeliners from 798 here...I NEED SOME INFO


NavyGuy
10-28-2006, 11:37 PM
Howdy ya'll, I was recently sent an application to join the Local 798 Pipeliners and I need some advice from anyone who is a member of Local 798 or knows about them and how they work. Since I have been in the Military all my adult working life I'm still getting use to the civilian sector and how things are done...in other words I'm not to sure what to expect with a union...especially one as big and well known as the 798. For me this opportunity is a dream come true...its what I have been workin toward fer the last 2 years...to be a pipeline welder. Heres some of the questions I have:

- I have experience in Stick, MIG and TIG and have certs fer stick and MIG with my employer but I havent had alot of practice on pipe. The 798 application said they wanted me to come out to Tulsa fer a weld test...well I'm guessing that its gonna be a 6-G stick test...am I right about this? If it is a 6-G test right off the bat I don't think I could pass that just yet.

- The application asked if I had a welding rig. Well I have a welding rig for my mobile welding business but it doesn't have a welding bed on it yet much less a pipeliner bed. Not to mention that the welder I have on my rig is a Miller Trailblazer 302....hardly the kind of welder seen and used by pipeliners. If I showed up with that welder to the job wouldnt I just be laughed off the site or have any of ya seen this welder on pipeline work?

- If I did join the 798 will they limit what jobs I can do fer myself on the side and could I still keep my exsisting business?

- From the application I'm assuming that they believe I have prior pipewelding experience and certs...which I don't...YET. However if I can pass their weld test is that good enough fer them or are they gonna want prior pipe experience as well?

Now I'm not stupid or naive enough to believe that I could just roll into the 798 with no prior pipe experience or certs so I believe that I should request to join their apprenticeship program, if they even have one...BUT...if I go the apprenticeship route will they take my prior welding experience and certs into consideration to advance me along a little further than a new apprentice that doesnt have any welding experience? As an apprentice do ya get to do any actual welding or do ya just end up being the pipewelders gofer and grinder? I want to be in a position to burn rod fer 10-12 hours a day!

Sorry fer all the questions but I have sent multiple emails to various 798 officals and I havent heard a word from them so I figured that I would tap the vast experience of the members here. Ya'll have to understand that this is the goal that I have been working so hard to accomplish for the last couple of years...I have not been able to take any welding courses so I have had to learn everything by trial and error and just jumping in and doing it and not to forget all the GREAT advice and help that many SFT members have given me. I'm not afraid of hard work, long hours, workin outside in all kinds of weather, dirt , mud etc...in fact I enjoy the hell out of the challenge and every day being different. I'm just not sure I'm up to 798's standards yet and I certainly don't want to waste their time or mine. I would gladly take an apprentice position if I could get the training to be a pipeline welder and not just a helper or fitter. I would have to give up alot to pursue an apprenticeship or any other job with the 798...I'd have to leave my house and land, my business, a good welding job with a Defense Conractor and most of all I wouldnt be able to see my sons very often (sounds just like my Navy days..lol)....but I want this so bad I would gladly leave it all behind (expect fer my boys of course) in order to accomplish this goal....I understand this might sound crazy to ya but its just something I HAVE to do...come hell or high water. Anyway thats what I need some help with so if any of ya'll have any suggestions or information please share them with me so I can make this decision.

Thanks ya'll.....have a good one!!
Rod

b-footn
10-29-2006, 01:49 AM
The test is a full saddle 12" tee, and a 12" buttweld. You have to cut out the saddle, and then weld it arkansas bell hole position. (45°) Destructive testing after the weld.

As far as the rig goes, you can show up on the job with a pickup, and the jokes will fly about being a jackleg weldor, but it is just BS flying.

Your machine is questionable for sure. Not many 798ers use Millers, but it is changing. The pipepro is showing up on a lot of union jobs. An SA-200 is easy to come by if you know the right people.

Pile Buck
10-29-2006, 11:31 AM
Hi Rod, welp as you know I’m not a member of 798. But do have somewhat of a clue when it comes to Building Trades Unions. Generally it’s harder to get into an apprenticeship then to go in as a journeymen. In so many states now the government has their hand in the apprenticeships. I think this came about trying to eliminate the brother-n-law trick, or the father son trick. Use to, you could get a contractor to write out a letter saying he would guarantee you 30-days work, and the union would take you, IF, IF you new someone on the inside. If you don’t know anybody it could be years, if ever before your name came up.

Far as equipment, when I was a kid my dad was a pipeline welding inspector, but it was so long ago I can’t even remember seeing welding machines. But just a few years ago I was sent out to a pipeline job to look over the site to put a sheet pile cell in a river for a pump station I think. There were 5 or 6 welding rigs there, all had 798 bumper stickers on them, and yup they all had Lincolns in the back. Seem as I remember they were all pickups, maybe 1 was a dully, but still a pickup. I talked to couple of these guys trying to track down the pipe line superintendent, another thing I noticed, and you best go buy one of these. Is a belt buckle the size of a turkey platter :D .

Over on the Miller board there is a guy I think belongs to 798, is screen name is “Finny”, and there is always JT, but JT hasn’t been around for a while. He might be real busy, or out on the road him self.

readywelder
10-30-2006, 09:48 AM
Hello Rod,

Thanks for the write-in...

First of all, thanks for being an American who serves America.
God Bless you and your boys, and all the decisions you will make from this day forward. As far as any machine and or rig you may use on any future jobsite, don't spend too much time being concerned about how impressive your equiptment looks.... It is your skill, ability to improvise in a pinch,
consistancy and additude that will matter....If you are not ready for the test you know they are going give you, practice-practice-practice until you are ready. Take your time and don't rush.... It is good to see that certain others on this site know about the kind of test this union gives.. A little reading and a little research can bring you joy and relieve any level of anxiety when it comes to preparation.

Brian

NavyGuy
10-30-2006, 09:06 PM
Many thanks Chris, Carl and Brian. At least I'm starting to get some info....I posted this same question on "the other forum" and all I have gotten is a post from someone that thinks I dont know anything about welding....well I might not know everything but I have learned ALOT!!...otherwise how could I have have gotten the certs I have now...but Diverbill did make a post and he told me to call him tomorrow and he would fill me in on some things. Ok guys...time fer Q and A and NO Chris I didn't say T and A I said Q and A :D

FER CHRIS:
The test is a full saddle 12" tee, and a 12" buttweld. You have to cut out the saddle, and then weld it arkansas bell hole position. (45°) Destructive testing after the weld.

OK Chris...what is a Arkansas bell hole position...do ya mean the bevel looks like this and the tee is 45*?

________________
________________\
_________________\__
____________________\
_____________________\_

Or are ya referin to something else?


Will the tee joint be like this?

______________/__/
-________ ____/__/___
-________ ___________
or like this
__________________
___________________
___________\__\
____________\__\

Fer the butt weld I take it yer talkin a standard 37.5* bevel, open root right?
You said destructive test..ya mean no x-ray before?
Thanks fer yer info Chris...as usual I appreciate gettin the info from a Pro!

FER CARL:
There were 5 or 6 welding rigs there, all had 798 bumper stickers on them, and yup they all had Lincolns in the back. Seem as I remember they were all pickups, maybe 1 was a dully, but still a pickup. I talked to couple of these guys trying to track down the pipe line superintendent, another thing I noticed, and you best go buy one of these. Is a belt buckle the size of a turkey platter :D .
Over on the Miller board there is a guy I think belongs to 798, is screen name is “Finny”, and there is always JT, but JT hasn’t been around for a while. He might be real busy, or out on the road him self.

Well Carl thanks fer the info bud...my F-350 would be perfect to use fer a pipeline rig once I get a cance to build a pipeliner bed fer it....if I can somehow get in with the 798 I guess I'll just have to make due with the regular bed and look like a jackleg untill I can build one fer it. And fer the belt buckle...well I think it would gouge into my gut when tryin to make those out of position welds...lol...anyway I already got one ;) As fer contacting Finney I sent him a PM...aint heard anything from him yet...gonna send JT an email tonight.

FER BRIAN:
As far as any machine and or rig you may use on any future jobsite, don't spend too much time being concerned about how impressive your equiptment looks.... It is your skill, ability to improvise in a pinch,consistancy and additude that will matter....If you are not ready for the test you know they are going give you, practice-practice-practice until you are ready.
Brian

Thanks Brian fer yer message...I really appreciate it. Yer right about the welder.... I have used it on a few small pipeing jobs and it worked GREAT...I know it can do the job so I guess I would just have to take the BS that would go with it and let my work speak fer itself...but it aint gonna keep me from wantin a Pipe Pro like Chris has OR an SA-200. And as far as the test...since Chris has told me what the specs are I can practice that setup until I nail it...in fact I'm headin to a shop tomorrow after work to pick up a bunch of 12" pipe fer practicing.

Well this LONG WINDED post is over!! Ya'll take it easy and thanks again fer the info.
Rod

Pile Buck
10-30-2006, 09:18 PM
Rod I’m so jealous of you. You’ll do just fine. ;)

Arkansas bell hole is just slang for 6-G :)

Pile Buck
10-30-2006, 09:26 PM
Hey it just hit me, explaining what an Arkansas bell hole is, once before is how I met Chris on another forum. Chris needs to quit using that term. If corn fusses people! :D

b-footn
10-31-2006, 02:33 AM
Hey it just hit me, explaining what an Arkansas bell hole is, once before is how I met Chris on another forum. Chris needs to quit using that term. If corn fusses people! :D

All of this g position terminology cornfuses me. I've never cared how the pipe was sitting in order to weld it.

Rod, sometimes it helps to know the slang terms. I believe the computer industry calls their slang stuff buzz words.

b-footn
10-31-2006, 02:46 AM
And as far as the test...since Chris has told me what the specs are I can practice that setup until I nail it...in fact I'm headin to a shop tomorrow after work to pick up a bunch of 12" pipe fer practicing.



That is the standard pipeline test quoted in the DOT paperwork. I doubt that anything is different in TULSA. You can use many different methods to lay out the saddle, contour marker, or a pre-made template are the 2 that come to mind right now.

You can buy your way into the 798 group, but it doesn't mean that you'll get work.

NavyGuy
10-31-2006, 04:41 AM
You can buy your way into the 798 group, but it doesn't mean that you'll get work.

Thanks fer the info on the pipe test Chris...I was wondering if ya could use a premade template or not and now I know. As far as buying my way into the 798...HELL NO!!!...I refuse to buy my way into anything....If I get in anywhere it will be based on what I CAN DO..I believe that you should earn yer way into it and not just take the easy way in. Besides the 798 is not the only Union I'm looking at. I have been looking at the Steamfitters and Boilermakers Union as well...I already know I can get in with them but it aint exactly pipeline welding...and pipeline welding is what I REALLY want to do.

Take it easy,
Rod

Pile Buck
10-31-2006, 06:50 AM
Here you go Rod, just fer you! ;)

You need to buy these two books!

But until you get around it, print this off and give it a try.

b-footn
10-31-2006, 07:08 AM
Thanks fer the info on the pipe test Chris...I was wondering if ya could use a premade template or not and now I know. As far as buying my way into the 798...HELL NO!!!...I refuse to buy my way into anything....If I get in anywhere it will be based on what I CAN DO..I believe that you should earn yer way into it and not just take the easy way in. Besides the 798 is not the only Union I'm looking at. I have been looking at the Steamfitters and Boilermakers Union as well...I already know I can get in with them but it aint exactly pipeline welding...and pipeline welding is what I REALLY want to do.

Take it easy,
Rod

I do both trades, and I much prefer pipelining. Crawling around rafters in a building is hard on this old man. I've been piping a new Taco Bell restaurant recently at night. I was missing 1 90° fitting, and the tile guys started the next morning. Waiting til I can get back in to weld that last turn down to the grill area.

As far as buying your way in, you still have to test to qualify.

b-footn
10-31-2006, 07:20 AM
Here you go Rod, just fer you! ;)

You need to buy these two books!

But until you get around it, print this off and give it a try.

A lot of gas companies will make you do a practice weld first, just to see if you can do it, and then they want you to make another one for testing. I hate that sheet. When they called me in to Memphis years ago, they had gone thru 15 weldors, and I had one day to make 2 tees, and 2 butt welds. Talk about working my behind off that day. I didn't have a template, and had to mark both tees out with the contour marker as quickly as possible.

Pile Buck
10-31-2006, 07:28 AM
Here dust off that wallet of yours, and break out the plastic! :evil:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=Thomas+W.+Frankland&y=14&tn=The+Pipe+Fitter%27s+and+Pipe+Welder%27s+Handboo k&x=29



http://www.amazon.com/Pipe-Fitters-Blue-Book/dp/0970832125

Pile Buck
11-02-2006, 06:40 AM
Hey Rod check out this site. WelderDan on Miller posted it. I think you’ll really enjoy the pictures, I did! :cool:


http://www.perform53.com/

houlibar
11-02-2006, 01:41 PM
Hi Rod! Always good to hear what you are up to. If you are going to take a union test you might consider taking a crash pipe welding course to hone your skills. The last school I attended in Vermont will take you for a day, a week or whatever you need. As long as they have an empty booth. (Their main courses are trade welding courses that last many weeks. But once the courses begin they will take short timers as long as there is a booth to fill.) The class size is limited to 10 students, so you can get some very good one on one with the instructors. If you are like me, you can practice forever and still struggle because you are practicing the same mistakes over and over. But once you are shown the correct way you suddenly get it.

If time or funds are short, you may also consider some additional reading material. The welding school gave me a pipe welding workbook published by the Hobart Institute. (At the school they have video that backs it up.) The book I used was Shieldd Metal Arc Welding Pipe (uphill). EW-269 SMAWPU. There is also a downhill book, EW-269 SMAWPD.

You can get either the books or video from The Hobart Institute (http://www.welding.org/cart/training/skillwb.htm) The Hobart books have a lot more pictures and diagrams than the Hoobasar Rampaul book (Pipe Welding Procedures) and I would say a lot more helpful too.

The school is Advanced Welding Institute (http://www.advancedweldinginstitute.com/main.php?loc=home) and I highly recommend it. Either for a beginning student or an experienced weldor that needs to qualify.

Your dually should be fine. Most of the weldor's I have worked with were fitter/weldor's and all had welding beds on their trucks. In more recent years our welding contractor has brought pipeliner's in from Texas during plant turnarounds. Most of them used pickup beds.

It's just my guess that's because the fitter's have to carry a lot more tooling with them. Since one job may require them to weld different size pipe, make structural brackets, pipe shoes...etc, and use more than one welding process with several filler metals, and fabricate plate. Then once the job is done and if they have a good work attitude, the company may ask them to stay on and do some honey-do's that have been put off around the plant.

I think pipeliner's are required to carry less on their truck since they are basicly making the same weld on the same pipe for miles. If the need arises for specialty tooling, the primary contractor probably has it available. Plus I got the impression that these guys traded their trucks frequently enough that it just wasn't worth it to be switching beds.

You can expect to take good natured crap and friendly advice about your little blue welder. But you don't need to make excuses for it and it will weld good enough to pass any test as long as you have the skill. I would let it pay for itself, and that shouldn't take long. Then if you want a heavier machine you will have a lot better opportunity for good used equipment once you are on the inside of the biz. Or have a better idea of what you need if you want to shop new.