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Codie Aljets (@codiealjetsart)


Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Codie from @codiealjetsart and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. And for those of you that take the time to share your story with us, we'd be happy to provide a free BA banner. These spotlights are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Name:  Codie Aljets
Business Name:  Sage Country Customs
Location: Gunnison, CO
Socials: IG: @codiealjetsart 
Specialties:  High detail metal art
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I grew up in a mechanic/body shop. We had a pit frame rack so got introduced to welding early in life. My family started working us at 8. I have been in and out of welding through time but I have always made things and have created art on the side. I’ve also done structural welding and blacksmithing in the past. I was a full time firefighter before I took the leap and went full time as a metal artist 2 years ago. It’s been an amazing journey
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
This was my retirement plan. I’m only 43. After life threw some curveballs I went for it. I don’t make enough to support my family yet. I don’t have a backup plan and try to push myself further everyday to make this sustainable. Nobody is going to do it for me! I want to show my boy that hard work and dedication can let you live the life you want.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
I have to say that my favorite tool changes through time. It's usually a new fancy tool but I find myself going back to the basics often. I probably use these few hammers the most currently. I know they are not typical shaping tools but they work great for me! They are inexpensive and I’ve learned how to push the material the way I want with them. I use them in combination with a leather bag, wood block, and anvil. I do most of my work cold. I also shape the nylon
teardrops for different uses. My plasma and grinder would be a close second.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
I was fortunate enough to get commissioned to make Ward Davis a thank you gift this past 4th of July. I really enjoy making gifts and rarely do I get to see the reaction. It was an honor to present it to him on stage and see it touch him.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I’m doing it now! I absolutely love creating! I know it's hard to make a change especially when it's uncertain financially. In 2020 I didn’t think I was going to make it past that year. Time is not guaranteed! Make the change today if you're not happy! I feel like I am just starting to touch on what I want to do with this in the future. My progression has been great lately and I’m enjoying every minute in my shop. I have many moments of greatness late at night by myself. No one gets to witness it and I’m totally happy with that. I start many projects uncertain on how I’m going to accomplish them. I think it’s part of the fun! It’s also an amazing reward when you finally make it come to life!
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I used to be a manufacturing rep for a top 3 abrasive line. I have been happy with the quality of all of the products I have tried. The jumbo flap discs are great but I really like the ceramic flapwheels. They last super long and stay cooler. With the materials I work with, keeping them cool is huge. The ceramic takes off the material quicker and I can keep the detail I need to get the finish I’m looking for. I also have to give the cutoff wheels a shout out. I was skeptical since they are thinner than I normally use. I was surprised at how well they cut and last. I also torqued on it a bit and the flex is good. I’ve definitely taken a wheel to the face in the past.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The cut off wheels. I was really surprised at how well they hold up for being so thin. I try to really push products early and was definitely impressed.
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
I know I might get some flak for this but I like to back cut some of my flap disc. I work in tight areas and this lets me get into those areas well. It also great for cleaning up welds on T-joints
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Kevin Stone and his team! My goal is to make large public art at the same detail I make currently. I think it would be amazing to learn how he has scaled his pieces over time. I know he has made a bunch of tools also. I find myself making tools for almost every project now. It could save so much time in trial and error. I also think it would be a bad ass piece! Hit me up Kevin!
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
I’ve jumped around over the years chasing money. I went from the shop to being a traveling rep and back to the shop. Don’t chase the money! Find a passion and follow it! Yes you need money to live. Your mental and physical health are priceless for you and your family
What are your future plans for your shop?
I want to get a fume extractor in the near future. I need to sell more art first! It gets -30 here and really need to keep the heat in. Wearing a respiratory mask all day isn’t awesome! I’ve used PAPR in the past and they are great. I want something that I can use all around, grinding, plasma, ect. I really try to consider health risks after my past couple years. Someday I will have a dedicated shop and get out of my garage!
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Take care of your mind and body. I used to tough out everything. In 2020 I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer two weeks before my 40th birthday. I’m all clear currently but looking back I should have listened to my body better. It’s been a long road of recovery and post op changes. Get yourself checked out! You're not weak to take care of yourself. If we don’t do it for ourselves we won’t be there for our families! What it looks like to be a man or woman in 2023 is much different than how most of us were raised. Just my opinion and trying to be better for my family. Also be willing to fail! If you're not failing, you're staying in your comfort zone.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Codie! Really enjoyed reading your answers and after my day today it feels like you were talking to me directly. You should give our mini-flap discs a try to get into those tight spots, especially our curved flap disc quick change discs for those T-joints! Great input all around and I'll see if I can make an introduction with Kevin for you. :)  Cheers!
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