Welding, Machining and Fabricating in your area?

Mini Bike & Go-Kart Parts

I've been wanting to do a write up on this somewhere for a while. I figured this is a good place for it.

What area are you from and how is your access to welding, machining and fabrication when a work or personal project (not just minibikes) exceeds your skill level or capabilities? What is your local economy based around?

I've lived all over world and have always had work and personal projects going on. I currently live in southeast Michigan and feel blessed with the access this area provides with subject matter experts in these skilled trades. In fact, I've never seen anything like it. The ease of getting things done here is unbelievable. Not only are there welding and machine shops on every corner, I believe this area provides me access to the finest welders, machinists, fabricators, tool makers and engineers on the planet.

I know it's just sort of a rant but I'm truly blown away. I did not realize the scope of what's going on here. I've been to the manufacturing centers of Europe and Asia. Nobody has this. China does not have this. This is lightyears ahead of "German efficiency". Most Americans don't realize what they have going on here. They read all these depressing stories about Detroit and this area but for someone who produces products and requires these skilled trades, this is heaven. I could go on and on.
What got me thinking about that is when I needed to instal the torque converter and headlight on my ct200u. I had the bike in the back of my van and walked into a local welding shop. Turns out it was a production welding shop that was doing the battery trays for Chevy volts. As I was leaving a guy in a back office yells "bring it in". 2 days later I picked it up "no charge". Every thing they did looks factory. They even welded me in a battery tray and matched the paint on all of it.

Just a good example of this area.