Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Welding students, firefighters benefit from joint venture

By Brenda Gibson

Braxton County High School welding students just completed a five-week project involving the design and construction of lockers for the members of the Frametown Volunteer Fire Department.

Students undertook the project when the FVFD approached welding instructor Jason Knight about their need for lockers in their firehouse. The prospect of fulfilling that need while earning much-needing funding for his welding program excited Knight, who brings 22 years of experience in the welding industry to his classroom.

 “The opportunity for my students to use their welding skills to meet a real-life community need made the project a very worthwhile undertaking for us,” Knight said.

In the creation of the four sets of five crew lockers, which measured 18″x18″ for each individual locker and 72″x72″ for each crew unit, along with a 24″x24″ locker for the fire chief, students employed a wide array of welding skills and equipment.

According to Knight, students utilized Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), as well as the band-saw, drill and grinder, in the construction of the lockers.

Senior Josh Wimmer, project foreman for BCHS Welding, said the welders especially enjoyed the fitting of the pipes for the lockers. “The most challenging aspect of the project,” Wimmer said, “was leveling the locker units and adding the cage around them.”

Students in the Welding I/II classes assisted the Welding III/IV students with the project, which began in late January.

“Not only am I grateful for the experience my students gained during this project, I am happy that we saved the FVFD a lot of money too,” Knight said. “In addition, knowing that the Frametown firefighters will enjoy using these lockers for many years to come brings my students and me great satisfaction.”