Should I Build it Myself or Just Buy it?

build or buyThis seems to be one of the biggest questions floating around welding forums. No matter what forum I look through, I always see people asking if they should build something or just buy one already built. That question always seems to get asked by some of the less experienced people, and for good reason. Since they are newer, they are not sure if it would be cheaper or even better to build it or buy it.

The asking of the question has never pissed me off. It’s the smart assed answers by so called experts that usually seem to get the best of me. Without fail, you will always see some long timer virtually slap the guy in the face with a response like “you could never build it for what you can buy it for at______”. Then they usually follow that up with “from looking at your previous questions I don’t think your even capable of building that”.

It’s this type of a response that resembles the schoolyard. Do we really need bullies in a welding forum? Try to offer some constructive criticism to people when they ask for some information. What good does it do to tell people to forget building their project because they can buy it cheaper? Maybe the guy is looking for a project to pass the time on weekends. Maybe he just wants a good project to be able to learn more about the welding trade. Maybe money is not always the biggest concern for people. I personally love to see guys building their own projects. That is one of the things that makes most guys tick, to be able to get out to the garage and build something.

Sometimes the original guy that posts the question needs to be told that they should practice first, rather than try to build something that will kill him or others. Sometimes guys might be bitting off more than they can chew according to their skill level. If that’s the case, why not let them know that in a civilized way instead of jumping down the guys throat. If you get nasty with a new guy for asking simple questions, what does that make welders in general look like? It makes us look like assholes. There is no doubt that there are plenty of jerks in the welding trade. Heck, I used to work with more than my share. It really makes life hard if you have to be around people like that, so don’t be like that. Try to offer something of some value to people trying to learn about welding. We all need to remember that we were new at one time or another. Nobody was born a welding expert.