2013-01-16 / Local & State

AVTS Students Get Hands-On Experience

Log splitters designed, fabricated by students to be sold
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Fulton County Area Vocational-Technical School students get the opportunity Monday morning to test a log splitter they designed and fabricated from scratch. Fulton County Area Vocational-Technical School students get the opportunity Monday morning to test a log splitter they designed and fabricated from scratch. NEWS EDITOR

Two months after being handed a list of available materials and a few measurements, welding students from the Fulton County Area Vocational-Technical School saw their hard work and dedication come to fruition Monday morning.

Unloading a trailer of wood, the welding students overseen by instructor Von McGee made a few last-minute adjustments before firing up two log splitters solely designed and fabricated through classroom and hands-on instruction. Moments later with the growing pile of cut-wood spilling across the pavement outside Southern Fulton High School’s welding shop, students made quick work of restacking the wood and prepared for their next lesson.

Certainly a get-your-hands-dirty experience, the male and female students representing Central Fulton, Forbes Road and Southern Fulton are getting something other students may not be – hands-on experience as well as a knowledge of what manufacturing companies are looking for in production workers and quality of work.

According to McGee, students were informed of the project approximately two months ago. They started with a blank canvas and used provided measurements to rough out a drawing of a log splitter and its various components. The students, in turn, had the opportunity to fall back on skills learned in class, including oxyfuel cutting, plasma cutting and mig welding to fabricate the necessary pieces. The only items purchased for the splitters were cylinders, valves and hoses.

“For a lot of these kids, the classroom is not their thing but this is,” McGee told the “News.”

The week prior to Christmas break, McGee said the students pulled together as a team to get their work done and meet an established deadline, yet another life lesson. “Even if you’re the best welder and put out the best product, you have to meet deadlines and company production requirements,” he added.

The students encountered some bumps along the road and had to adapt their plans, but that only reinforces the notion that the program is not just about laying weld down. McGee said the program is also about ideas and engineering as well as finding a solution for your customers’ problems.

“ Problems are good things. You can learn from them,” he stated.

The log splitter project is the most recent example of the welding program giving back to the community. McGee said in recent months an area farmer brought in a scraper blade needing repairs. Other farmers and area residents needing assistance with small equipment repairs are urged to contact the AVTS.

“The community pays for this program, and this is our way of giving back,” he concluded.

Sandblasting and painting of the splitters were personally finished by the welding instructor over the Christmas break. The splitters are slated to be put out for sale within the next week by the AVTS. Individuals wishing to inspect the log splitters or to put in a bid are asked to call the AVTS at 717-485-5813.

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