I got a PM from @Knick asking me a question. I think it would be good to answer it on the open forum as other may want to know these things as well.
How or why did I get into the welder and plasma cutter repair business.
Some times things just start to happen. The up and downs will point you in the direction your life will take you.
When I was young about 12 or 13 I learned to weld from a neighbor's son that built dirt track race cars. Then I got one of those AM radio kits to put together that started the repairing electric stuff. I did not go to school to learn electric repair, just read a lot of books on it and trial and airier. If I repaired it and it didn't blow up then I learned something. If it did blow up I learned I did something wrong and needed to find out what caused it. Got into the auto mechanic field and did a lot of wiring problems others could not fix or find. Then I started working on CB radio's and auto wiring repair a lot. I also did welding repairs on the side to make some extra money. One day my welder stopped working so I took it apart and fixed it. That started the welder repair thing.
Then the plasma cutter came out. I used a OA torch and other means of cutting and wanted one but they were more money then I could afford at the time. Then a deal came up on a plasma cutter that was a demo unit at the price I could deal with.
This was a game changer from the OA torch on a lot of cutting on cars, trucks, trailers, etc. As you can guess I took it apart to see how it worked.
Then I started to pick up broken welders and plasma cutters at yard sales, actions, news paper adds, etc. and repairing them to make some extra money. Back then you had a lot of places to get electronic parts like Radio Shack, etc. Then selling them from news paper adds, resell shops and word of mouth. Things started to get busy. Working all day then repairing welders and plasma cutters for a few hours every night, along with any welding jobs I had.
I had contacted Harbor Freight about there welders and plasma cutters for parts for repairs and made friends with one of the people in the parts department so I could get parts for the plasma cutters and welders faster.
Then I got a cheap computer for the kids and started to learn about how to use them for things other then games.
Things took a down turn in the mid 80'S and life got way out of control for a few years.
In 1990 I got a job for a local government working on police cars and ambulances on the night shift. This left all day to do other things so I did odd jobs to make a little side money. Then I rented a bay from a shop. I bought a welder and plasma cutter and got back into welding repairs, fab work and repairing welders and plasma cutters and selling them out of the shop. I ended up with the hole shop and started George's Plasma Cutter Shop. Worked at the gov. job at night and my shop all day.
Got a computer to use finding parts and info. That changed thing as a place came out called Ebay so you could sell thing to other people all over, get paid and ship the items to them. I started selling on ebay in 1999 and still do today.
Then HF started telling people about me and sending them to me for repairs of their welders and plasma cutters.Then I was contacted about working with the R&D department on there units in 2008 and did till 2011 when HF divided to drop the R&D team. Some of the people at HF still refer me to customers for repairs and parts for there welders and plasma cutters.
In 2004 I closed the shop I was in and moved. The new place had a small shop and I still had all my road service equipment. Well things were not as good as were I was. I sold off all the road service stuff and just worked out of the small shop. Still doing welding and repairs, selling welders and plasma cutters and repairing them..
Started advertising to give welding and plasma cutting lessons one on one and it took off as I was booked for at least 4 days a week. this was getting a lot like work and didn’t have a lot of time to relax. So in 2011 I retired from the government job to do my thing full time.
Then COVID came and killed the welding lessons. Things slowed down a lot from then. It started picking up some but that’s OK as I am getting old 73 now and it takes more time to do things and take care of life.
Life has been good for me for the most part. The businesses has done well and I don't regret any of the hard work it took to get were I am today.
The only thing I regret is there is no one to leave the business to or keep it alive after It is gone.
Life is short so take every opportunity to do thing you like. Its hard to believe I have been doing this for so long as it seems like just a few years ago I started it.