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Curtis Rutledge (IG: project_shift_6)

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Curtis from Shift 6 Veteran Non-Profit and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases 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!


This week's #WELDERSHOWCASE is...


Name: Curtis Rutledge

Business Name:  Shift 6 Veteran Non-Profit

Country/State Location: Bakersfield, CA.

Socials: IG: Project_Shift_6  FB: ProjectShift6

Websites:  Under Construction

Specialties: Stainless purged pipe and aluminum

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade (backstory)? And how long?
In 2017, I was going thru a midlife crisis and did what most do and bought something above my skill set - a 1968 Chevelle. Once I had a car in front of me I realized she was a little worse for wear and with that I checked around for a welder to do panel replacement and patch panels. Once I realized how pricey it was I thought I would use that last of my Veterans Affairs GI Bill and go to welding school - 3 years welding.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Staying busy and keeping my mind focused on projects at hand. Most of all my family.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
I absolutely love my workbenches that have all the fellow tradesmen and women's stickers on it. That kind of cohesion is hard to find but once you have it you never want to let go of it.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
My favorite thing is a tie between shortening a C10 bed and frame and a duramax engine stand and it being my first welding job and the fact it's still roadworthy amazes me. I think that at the beginning we all doubt our skills until we see the fruits of our labor.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
What I'm doing now being the founder creator of Shift 6 getting to interact with prominent members of the automotive culture and bridge them with the veteran community. To me personally it's like a whole another form of therapy.
  What BA product is your favorite and why?
I'm simpleton when it comes to tools and products. I prefer quality before quantity, so without a doubt I absolutely love the longevity I get from BA's flap discs, flap wheels and sanding belts. I've also used the wire wheels and cup brushes and can't complain at all.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
Hands down the length of use I was able to get from the flap discs kinda amazed me at first, then I just realized you get what you pay for.
  What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Starter kits or all in one kits are huge, I love that as a regular Joe I can already buy in bulk from BA. I just think maybe a trades pack or starter kit would be cool like an automotive startup kit, welder kit, or hell monthly subscription!
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Hands down would be a hard tie between Sean Flottman aka "Dabswellington" or the one and only Bob Moffat! I started off like many others watching Bob and learning when I felt like I was getting nowhere. Sean's personality is just downright  cool and once you get to know his trails and overcome adversity makes it 10x better. Both amazing gents that personify the trade and always seem to live by Semper Doctrina!
  Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Don't get discouraged, we are always learning and growing as humans. Never give up, never surrender. Set your mind to your goal and do it, it doesn't matter if it takes you 10 mins or 10 days - do you and be proud!
What are your future plans for your shop?
We hope to grow nationwide and be able to have a couple different campuses. In the near future we are aiming to have enough certifications and test our own veterans in their favored skillset (Mig,Tig,Stick) free of charge.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Just our motto - "Rehab, Rebuild, Ride" and our mantra of sort - 'Sempre Doctrina'


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us Curtis!  You're doing a great service to help out veterans and train them in the crafts giving them many opportunities. Sempre Doctrina!
Previous article Wil Smiley (IG: @_grumpy_gramps_

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