Fiery Fuse

Two Seniors Weld New School Sign


Mai Cachila

The sign at the front of the school will soon be replaced with a new top designed by the students and teachers of the Agricultural classes. Seniors Thomas Chavez and Connor Ross plan to finish their project soon to be put up before they leave for their senior year. “I think it would be a good experience to get to see how to make things,” Chavez said. “So maybe down the road I can make something similar.”

Heidi Williams, Reporter

Sweat droplets slowly dripping down his face. Music blaring in the background. Sparks flying. Senior Thomas Chavez moving the electrode in a circular motion, careful for the right distance between it and the metal for a precise weld. Everything has to be performed perfectly.

For three years, seniors Chavez and Conner Ross have been trying to do just that. Their process involves using the correct protective equipment, which involves a welding helmet, gloves, cotton long sleeved shirts, cotton pants and closed-toe shoes. All these items protect welding students from the scorching heat they deal with everyday. 

“You can burn yourself really easy,” Chavez said. “Your metal can melt really easily if you don’t know how to control your amperage.”

Many students find themselves in either the welding shop or welding teacher Myles Russell’s classroom because of the friendly atmosphere. Usually, after taking the class for a year, the class gets double blocked and students are surrounded by the same faces every day.

“The teacher and my classmates [made me stay in welding],” Chavez said. “You get close to them, and the welding shop becomes your house because you are always in there.”

Welding hasn’t always been in Chavez’s future. After finding a video on TikTok, his attention was quickly caught and he later signed up for the class. 

“I like to make things with my hands, so this [class] is perfect,” Chavez said. “I was doing some research about welding and I really liked what it said, so I decided to join. You learn and you get paid well.”

For four long months, the two have been spending their time together working on a gate sign for the school. Due to existing problems with the current one, the two decided to start a new project for their final year at this school.

“[We are] working on a sign for the school that states, ‘Welcome to Cedar Park High School Home of the Timberwolves’,” Ross said. “There are two wolf heads with lights inside of them.”

Throughout the process, Ross said the two encountered some problems.

“There have been a couple rough spots in the project,” Ross said. “Like [the] school delays and bad welds, which made us grind them down and redo them.”

After high school, Chavez plans to get a job where a company will send him to places to weld for it. With his first project being a red table, working on something for the school makes a notable impact, as not every welder can say they welded something for their school to use forever.

“I think it would be a good experience to get to see how to make things,” Chavez said. “So maybe, down the road, I can make something similar.”