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Students Use Miller Electric Equipment in Fabricating an Award Winning Motorized Stool

When Chris Overfelt's welding class at the Burton Technology Center in Salem, Virginia came up with the idea of constructing a motorized wagon, focus shifted elsewhere after three students stumbled upon the idea of a motorized bar stool after scouring the Internet. What became of this initial curiosity would soon earn the three students top prize for the district Skills USA contest (scoring 97 out of 100 points) and ultimately 6th place at the state competition.

Having a similar motorized stool as a boy, Overfelt knew what needed to go into such a project. Taking an estimated 150 man hours to build, the stool comes fully equipped with rear disc brakes, 5-HP horsepower Briggs & Stratton motor, and yes, even gas and brake pedals taken from a Winston Cup car.

The Miller motorized bar stool.

The stool, which was modified from its original specifications for safety measures, was fabricated using only Miller products. The Millermatic® Pulser all-in-one MIG welder, XMT®; 304 CC/CV mulit-process inverter, and Syncrowave® 350 AC/DC TIG/Stick welder all contributed to how Overfelt now travels to faculty meetings', on the stool.

"Basically our whole entire shop is Blue," Overfelt says. "I learned to weld with Miller, and I've never had much trouble out of a Miller machine."

The frame and main structural part of the chassis was MIG welded using the XMT 304, while the floor pans, rear drive cover, and brake and gas pedals were TIG welded using the Syncrowave 350 LX. In building parts of the chassis, such as filling holes, the students used the Millermatic Pulser.

As an educator, Overfelt appreciates the way Miller has helped his classes flourish over the years. "The support from our district manager, Ed Hickl has been fantastic. I cannot say enough about the things he's done for our program. He's helped donate two Millermatic 135s, and that really goes along way, especially for a school environment. Other manufacturers help out, but they don't go as far as Miller."

The masterminds behind the Miller motorized bar stool!

The three students who built the stool, J.D. Riddle (18), Josh Thurston (17), and Chance Worley (17) have walked away from the project with something that Overfelt stresses as a teacher: teamwork. "To be able to get a group of kids and get them to work as a team, that's a big thing that a lot of industries want," Overfelt says. "If I can build that teamwork concept into them, then I'm teaching them two things at once. As a teacher, you couldn't ask for more."

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