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Students learn oxyacetylene gas welding

September 5, 2018

NEEDLES — The Career Technical Education class Welding 100 (WEL 100) oxyacetylene gas welding has started at Needles High School and is being taught by Deb Pontbriand.

As stated in the course outline, students will receive hands-on training in oxyacetylene welding of plate and sheet metals. Students will learn various types of welding equipment and safety practices to be followed in performing welding lab exercises.

“The types of welds that we go over are butt, corner, tee flap and edge joints in flat, horizontal and overhead positions,” said Pontbriand. “The students learn to run a bead. The first thing they do is melt the base material and turn it into a puddle then add filler to the base material.”

Pontbriand attended Ventura College in California to earn her welding degree and then spent 21 years in the U.S. Navy honing her craft and eventually became a welding inspector for the Navy.

“When I was with the Navy I was able to weld on high beams and hull structure in submarines and on surface ships,” said Pontbriand. “But I had the same start like a lot of these students right now. I took a welding class in high school and enjoyed it so much that I decided to make a career out of it.”

As Pontbriand retired from the Navy she decided to go the teaching route.

“I like helping people learn a new trade. It’s very satisfying,” said Pontbriand. “I used to be an English teacher but I like this better than teaching English. Being able to weld is something that can be used every day. Even if students don’t pursue a career in welding they’ll be able to do their own repairs.”

Pontibrand stated that once the students finish all of their projects they get to weld an art piece together which according to Pontibrand, can make great Christmas gifts.

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