Welding class to sell yard ornaments

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 28, 2014

By Ngoc Vo

In the holiday spirit, students in Troy-Pike Center for Technology welding class are selling hand-made yard decorations to raise money for their Skill USA club.

The students are excited to be able to apply what they learn in their welding class to profitable projects.

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“I like working with everyone and using all the equipment,” said Zach Kilpatrick from Pike County High School. “My favorite part is using the cutting tools. You’re going to make a mistake and it’s going to be hard to fix… I learned the techniques of how to do it and to do it the right way.”

According to Rachael Brooks, the center’s counselor, the idea to sell yard decorations started last year.

“Edward Robinson, the welding teacher, initially made them for fun and people started to request to buy,” Brooks said. “We were looking for some fundraising projects and realized this is a great way to do it. We are trying to make this a holiday tradition for the class.”

All the decorations are made by students, Robinson said.

“The students make the items themselves, they even came up with the idea to put glitters on (the decorations),” Robinson said. “This is some good money making and they are trying to do a good job at it.”

The funds for the initial material come from the federal Perkins funds, according to Robinson. The décor-making process is a meticulous one.

The students hang the metal they purchased on vertical racks to draw outlines by hand or by using a projector. After that, they use the oxygen acetylene torch or plasma electrical cutter to cut out the shape. The final stage is smoothing up and cleaning the metal surface as well as putting on paint and drawing with their creativity

“Our students are really artistic about what they can do,” Brooks said.

The students will try to accommodate custom design requests, she said. They can cut the decorations in certain holiday-themed shapes with colors and designs such as initials to the customers’ liking.

The students at TPCT enjoy the project and learned many things from the work, including the importance of safety and team work.

“I feel that (making the decorations) helps our skills on working together as well as working independently,” said Tyler Turner from CHHS. “There are small one-person project and bigger ones such as the Christmas tree with three people working on it.”

The decorations are for sale for $30 each and $40 with a stand. Orders can be made by calling the TPCT.