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Ernie Leimkuhler


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Questions about Oxy-Acetylene welding/cutting, MIG, TIG, Flux-core, Stick welding, brazing and soldering, bike frames, air frames, motorcycle frames, structural welding. Also questions about Welding Certifications and Inspections. All questions about fabrication of metals (stainless steel, steel , aluminum, brass, bronze, copper). Basic questions about underwater welding. TIG is my strongest subject.

Experience in the area

Extensive background in most welding fields. 18 years fabrication of metal theatre scenery, 16 years structural steel, 2 years pipe welding, 9 years as a Welding Instructor at South Seattle Community College, and 5.5 years as a Welding Instructor at the Divers Institute of Technology. 16 years Industrial Welding Consultant for fabrication shops in the greater Seattle Area. 11 years Architectural Metal Fabrication. 8 years in Film/TV; SPFX/construction/set-deco/props/. 33 years Blacksmithing and Knifemaking. Currently a Field Welding Inspector for Otto Rosenau and Associates.


American Welding Society - Certified Welding Inspector Washington Assoc of Building Officials (WABO) - Special Inspector - Structural and Reinforcing Steel.


Do a search on google groups for "Ernie Leimkuhler" in the rec.crafts.metalworking and sci.engr.joining.welding groups. Blacksmith's Gazzette - Anvil Making


BA Theatre Technology - Purdue University.

What do you like about this subject?

All fabrication is based on using one or more of these processes to get your part made. Addition - Welding, Soldering, Brazing... Subtraction - Milling, Turning, Drilling, Sawing, Planing, Grinding, Punching, Shearing... Forming - Bending, Forging, Drawing, Rolling, Stamping, Spinning, Swaging... The trick is to know which one to use when.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

More NDT traing, especially Phased Array Ultrasound. Phased Array Ultrasound is very "Star Trek" future sci-fi stuff. Allows you to look right through solid metal and see a picture of what is going on inside in real time.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

People think of steel as hard, but the more you learn the more you realize it is more like clay than stone.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I see no barrier between trade skills. Cabinetry, glassblowing, jewelry, blacksmithing, pottery, metal-spinning, machining, cooking, knifemaking, welding... They are all just variations on a theme, with 3 parameters : Materials, Skills, and Equipment. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox. I love having options, and sometimes welding isn't the right way to go and a rivet is better.

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Pablo04/11/16101010Thank you Ernie!!! Your help was so .....
Mike10/09/15101010Thank you so much Ernie for such .....
BEN05/23/15101010thats great thank you
BEN05/22/15101010good response

Recent Answers from Ernie Leimkuhler

2015-10-09 Faint Concentric Circles In Bottom Of Stainless Steel Kitchen Pot:

The process used to bond multiple layers of dissimilar metals is a combination of pressure and heat.  The force is not always applied evenly across the whole surface.  The concentric rings visible in the

2015-09-05 Crack chrome bolt hole on zx9 2002 frame:

OK so it looks like you are talking about a 2002 Kawasaki Ninja Motorcycle.  The simple answer is YES.  The chrome plating has little affect on weldability, but is does pose problems for finishing it up

2015-05-22 aluminium welding:

Push-pull systems are for production welding aluminum on a large scale.  The systems are very expensive, even used, and if they break the parts are equally expensive.  When they are happy, they run great

2015-05-18 aluminium welding:

In the United States the best push-pull systems are made by Miller and MK.  The MK Cobras and, more recently, the Pythons have held the lead for decades.  Miller's XR-Edge system is also very good and

2015-04-28 Tig Root pass:

Drop your amperage to around 90 - 100 amps.  To make sure you have a proper bead on the inside you have to keep your amps low and feed a lot of rod in.  The second bead (hot pass) has to be kept low as


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