Seven years ago, I didn’t know the difference between a MIG welder and a plasma cutter.
I worked in a basement in a lab and counted green dots on a computer all day. Then I went to The Burningman. When I saw all the cool metal shit there, I realized I could learn to make it too. I came back home and decided to learn. It took me a while to learn the basics, but I’ve managed to make a few things. (That’s me on the right, working inside the engine compartment of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship.)
The best part was getting to make things with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
I didn’t know what I was doing at first. And if you just bought a bunch of tools and read the manuals, you’d have no idea what you were doing, either.
There is no need for that. I want to teach you all the basic shit you need to know to make cool shit.
People make stuff all the time, and you could join them! Or, you can just start making your own stuff.
It all starts here (in Oakland, California). With learning how to weld.
But welding is only one step in building amazing things from metal.
To bring your metal dreams into reality, you’ll need to know everything you need to do before you start welding. You also need to know everything that comes after welding.
What you really need to learn? The fundamentals of metal fabrication.
Knowing these fundamentals will unleash your creative potential, enabling you to just somehow know how to make anything out of metal. Well, maybe not anything. But anything subject to the laws of physics.
When you’re done with my private, people-friendly metalworking class, you’ll know all the fundamental tools and skills needed to design and build almost anything from metal.
You’ll learn everything from the first steps of selecting the right metal, cutting it to size or bending it to shape, through the middle steps of laying the work out, planing when, where and how much to weld, through the final stages of making welds disappear and treating the metal so it lasts for years.
(And you’ll learn all the easy metal creations most people have no clue how to make.)
With each lesson, you’ll acquire a new fundamental skill. And, in each lesson, you’ll use your new skills to gradually create a small, personalized project that makes a great gift.
It’s just you and me, kid.
Because I teach individuals and not groups, you won’t be lost in a sea of students all vying for one-on-one feedback from the teacher.
My attention will be zeroed in on you alone–and on getting you really skilled, really fast. And we won’t be locked in with cookie-cutter lessons. The pace and direction of the class is customized for you, so we’re always making the most of your time and interest. The extra time gained in each lesson enables you to learn more methods and get exposed to far more tools then you’d get in a larger class.
And, because you know I’ll be your instructor for each lesson, you won’t be signing up for lessons and hoping you get a good teacher. You’ll be taught by someone with experience building everything from shelves to rocket-ships from metal.
If you are looking for more then safety and basic use this class is for you.
Not only will I be able to tell you what you need to do, I’ll also be able to tell you why it’s happening on a physical and material level, providing you with insights that will help you solve problems outside of the class.
If you’re just looking for someplace to learn how to quickly attach two pieces of metal and an instructor teaching twelve people at once, look elsewhere.
But if you’re looking to really learn the fundamentals of metalworking, one-on-one, and to understand how to design and fabricate complex metal projects, whether it’s an abstract sculpture or shiny custom shelving, I’m your guy.
These private metal fabrication classes are for individuals only. You may also invite a friend to take the class with you for a preferred rate.
Here’s a quick summary of exactly what you’ll learn:
How about some SKILLS AND CONCEPTS!
- Basic metallurgy and the properties and uses of common metals
- Know how to prepare the metal for welds, and when, where and how much to weld
- Make sure your edges are parallel, your corners are at right angles, and your holes are where you want them
- How precise do you need to be? Measure and cut with precision on a range of tools
- Make holes that accept screws and turn blank rods into screws
- How to take stock metal off its plane
- Make sure everything doesn’t move as you work
- How to make your ugly welds disappear, make the metal smooth, shiny and “finger-friendly,” and how to patina, paint, and seal your work so it looks good for years to come
Do you like FANCY TOOLS?
- MIG welder
- TIG welder
- Oxyacetylene torch
- Plasma cutter
- Horizontal, vertical and portable bandsaw
- Drill press, hand held drill, taps and dies
- Grinder, die grinder, various attachments
- English wheel
- Metal break and shear
- Milling Machine
- Calipers, squares, compass, levels
- C-clamps, adjustable clamp, cranes
- Numerous hand tools (files, punches, chisels, scribes)
You’ll learn all these fundamentals over the course of four, three-hour lessons.
Lessons take place in Oakland, California at my studio.
In the first hour, we’ll always learn a new set of skills or tools. In the following two hours, you’ll hone your practice, incorporating all your skills while completing work for your individual project.
Some of my students shares their thoughts on the last day of class.
At the end of the course, I’d learned more than I thought I could during the relatively short class duration.
If you’re interested in making things from metal, and want a great introduction to the variety of skills to make that happen, especially if you want to learn about why, not just how, I’d highly recommend spending time with Alan at Almost Scientific.
Although I had initially anticipated taking a class at the Crucible, being able to work one-on-one with Alan proved to be a much better experience as we were able to work at my own pace – stopping at various points to go into more detail on areas of my individual interest.
If you are interested in discovering the various aspects of metal work and how to start thinking about working with this incredibly flexible material then I would highly recommend Alan and his class.
I was impressed with the thoroughness of Alan’s lessons and his patience. The one-on-one classes were crucial for me to focus and actually learn and ask questions whenever I wanted to. Alan is a master at what he does and to take a class from him is a great opportunity to learn skills from someone who truly loves what they do and wants to share what they know. Thank you Alan!
Alan is a fantastic Instructor/Mentor; I would most defiantly recommend this course to anyone interested. Alan teaches to the level of the student, if you are a complete beginner or just needing some refreshing of techniques he is able to meet your needs. Alan is very knowledgeable in both the theory behind and the techniques of all aspects of metal fabrication. I very much enjoyed the time and came away with the confidence to proceed with my own projects.
My fee for all of the above depends on whether it’s just you or you and a friend.
Just You: $840 on or before the first day of class.
You and a Friend: $1,330 for you and a friend together.
This fee includes all material costs for practice and for your small project.
When you’re done with my classes, you’ll never look at anything made of metal again and wonder how it was made. You’ll also know how to use all those cool tools in the hardware store.
To learn more, please fill out the form below. We’ll schedule a quick, 10-minute chat, and I’ll send you an information packet so we can get started and lock in your schedule. This is going to be fun!