Did you know women represent a mere 5% of the Welding Workforce? One would assume that in today's modern society, this statistic would reflect greater female presence as opposed to the shocking scarcity that currently exists.
Join us ToolFreak, as we talk to Welder & Fabricator, Rachel Bohnet, whose passion, we hope, will transcend to many women across the globe. This piece aspires to give greater insight and understanding into this skilful industry, in hope that it will inspire many to continue to break stereotypes and evoke change.
36-year-old old, Rachel Bohnet, from British Columbia, has been working in the Welding Industry for over 20 years now. While reminiscing her earlier days of deciding which career path to embark upon, Rachel remembered the help and support she received during her time at high school. “I had THE best shop teacher who told me I had an eye and the feel for this and pushed me into the world of trades, I’ll never forget him and his encouragement”.
Over the years, the Welding wonder has had many jobs within the industry, but one that sits at the forefront of her memory is her time spent, “working in the Northern Climate running a service truck on the oil rigs, this pushed me to my limits and taught me to be quick on my feet and it has helped me in so many ways in my jobs to come”.
While speaking to Rachel, it was extremely evident to understand and quite frankly feel the love and passion that she has for the Welding Workplace, “I love being a Welder. I have worked so many jobs where things needed to be done in a certain way that making the decision to go on an adventure of running my own welding company has really been the best part, I have free reign and design on all the jobs I choose to do”, expressed Rachel.
While there have been countless great and memorable moments throughout Rachel’s career, one certain memory certainly stands out, “My career highlight was definitely being given the opportunity to work on a TV show with some really amazing people!”
While excitedly detailing this story, Rachel went on to describe how this awesome and unforgettable opportunity came to surface, “ I was called in to help with fabrication on hot rods and other cool projects”. Throughout her TV debut, Rachel was able to showcase her very own work, “I also talked about my business, learnt some new things and gained some great contacts, I can’t wait to share more details when it’s released in February”.
Throughout Rachel’s career, she has been able to create cool commissions for her customers, one of which being a table she created last year, “I have made some really cool things in my years, but the table I made last year was my favourite, it was made completely of old tools, parts, nuts, bolts and washers, that was a fun build”.
As with any job, working as a self-employed Welder does have its taxing moments, “I do feel that as a female in the industry, although things have come a long way since I started 20 years ago, I need to work a little bit harder to gain respect in a male dominated industry”.
Rachel explained that this can often feel challenging, but the end result, of being both pushed and proud of what goes out of her workshop doors, has been an incredible accomplishment for the inspirational and independent business owner.
While on the topic of owning a business, Rachel detailed the roles and responsibilities she favours, “Owning and running a business has many roles; and I know I struggle in the ‘business’ side of it, once I get in my shop I am laser focused and on my game”, explained Rachel.
Following on, the Independent business owner expressed that, “it doesn’t feel like work when I get to create, it feels like work when I have to organize receipts”...
On a typical working day Rachel wakes up to get her kids out the door with a cup of coffee in hand, “I workout daily just after they leave, then gear up to head into the shop and crank the tunes of the day, I keep busy welding, drilling, grinding and hammering on my anvil until the kiddos roll back down the driveway”.
Since starting her own business, Rachel has enjoyed having the creative freedom that comes hand in hand with her role. One aspect that Rachel thrives off is collating scraps and junk and creating something beautiful and purposeful, “it feels great”. Alongside this, the creative welder finds great joy in aluminium or stainless steel tig welding.
Since starting up, Rachel has created an array of cool commissions, “I’m currently in the process of building a customer a ‘steam punk’ saddle rack for her barn; I am also doing a full rebuild on an aluminium jet boat, I have a few other really fun pieces on my creation board! Never enough time!”.
An important factor when it comes to working with a number of different tools; as well as large machinery is the need to remain safe on the job, “I always ensure that I have proper eye, hearing and foot protection; and I am always have to be aware of the surrounding to ensure all the proper PPE is used”.
If you would like to take a look at Rachel Bohnet, who is also known as @countrycustomfab on Instagram, head over to her site and her socials! The extremely talented creative makes insanely beautiful and unique pieces, so be sure to check her work out!
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Keep your eyes peeled for new, exciting content coming VERY soon!
Thanks for reading,
The ToolFreak Team!