Casey Huddleston (IG: @caseyscustommetalfab)

July 16, 2022

Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Casey from @caseyscustommetalfab 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 leo.benchmarkabrasives@gmail.com to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. 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!
Enjoy and Grind On!

 

 

Name:  Casey Huddleston

Business Name:  Casey's Custom Metal Fab

Location: Vancouver, WA

Socials: IG:  @caseyscustommetalfab    FB/LinkedIn:  CaseysCustomMetalFab

Specialties:  Tig welding aluminum and stainless.  Custom fab.

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
So in 2009 I was actually doing fiberglass since 2007, we built everything from light poles to bow thrusters for the shipyards. I landed a gig at Christensen Shipyards here in Vancouver WA for a fiberglass Laminator. The day I started they had some issues with materials being late so I was told to go help out in the metal fab shop sanding and polishing the 316SS handrails. These babies were so damn shiny when they were ready to install you could have your wife do all her makeup with it! These rails were beyond beautiful. So I was helping out there for about a month, in this time I was using every break and every lunch to practice my welding. In reality I wanted to get into welding since I was around 10. My dad was a steam pipe fitter in the union back in his day, rest in peace pops, and I wanted to get into some kind of welding. So after this month the supervisor noticed that I was laying down some nice beads. He then went and told the fiberglass super that he was keeping me! Once he told me he was hiring me for a metal fab position I was in heaven! I felt like a million bucks and was so determined to get better and better.
After 2 years I was super in the handrail dept with a crew of 6. We built all the handrails for the yachts plus several other fab jobs we did on the side, the other side did the bigger jobs for the yachts. I stayed there for 5 years and the owner had some financial issues and they ended up shutting the doors. I went to build brew tanks and pressure vessels getting my ASME Cert. Did that for around 2 to 3 years, then I went on to structural welding. I obtained my WABO Cert and stayed there for a little over a year, that kind of work wasn't really my thing I found out pretty quickly. I then went on to build aluminum wakeboard racks and towers for a few years then I found a sweet cush job, kinda production welding kinda not.. I'm TIG welding 90% of the time though and that is my favorite process with aluminum and stainless. I've been here for just under 6 years and really enjoy it. I have a beautiful family of 4 kiddos me and my wife, I'm very thankful how everything happened at Christensen all those years ago, I wouldn't have changed a thing.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
My motivation comes from my wife and kiddos and my dad. I've been through alot of ups and downs over the years and being a good dad and responsible dad. My dad was one of the best and always had a good attitude, and hard work ethic, that pushes me to want to be up there with him.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
My favorite shop tool is gonna have to be the Pirahna "ironworker". That bad boy can do so much in one spot. Shear, punch, notch, and demurred! Love that badass unit!
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
My favorite piece I built was my bumpers and headache rack for my Ford F150. Unfortunately, right before they were completely done my truck took a crap and had to get a new one.  I've built and worked on some really cool projects, it's hard to pick just one.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
If I could have any job it would be underwater welding.  That looks like a lot of fun and it's something I'd really want to do at least once.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
My favorite BA product that I've had the pleasure of using is your abrasives mostly. They hold up very well and get the job done flawlessly.  I'm looking into that Grinding Hood though and Tungsten to try out next.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
One person I'd like to collaborate with is overkill racing and chassis, they do some really cool trucks and everything that goes into them is so mind blowing.
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Advice I'd pass along to the next generation is to work hard and you can have pretty much anything you want. Stay determined and make your dreams come true.
What are your future plans for your shop?
Future plans for my shop is to eventually go full time and only work for myself. That's my big time goal
 

 

A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Casey! Sounds like all that time you put in paid off and that's how dreams come true.



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