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Tony Tyree

Tony Tyree All's Weld That Ends Weld

Tony Tyree, Welding & Fabrication, Class of: 2005
Making something from nothing.

That is the challenge that Tony Tyree enjoys most about welding.

"It's exciting…taking a bundle of metal and turning it into something useful," said Tyree, 25, who graduated from the Lorain County JVS Welding and Fabrication Program in 2005.
How useful?

Soldiers entering into battle receive training in urban combat simulators - trailers fabricated to imitate the HUMVEE, a four-wheel drive combat vehicle used by U.S. Armed Forces - trailers that Tyree helped to create for Lockheed Martin during his JVS internship at Eaton Fabricating Co. Inc. in Grafton.

"These trailers have rotating turrets and are fully functional, so my welds had to be perfect, very particular, very precise - a custom machine finish," said Tyree.

Tyree also built sub-frames and lower dashboard assemblies on outdoor vehicles and power equipment for another major client, MTD, during his internship - metal finishing skills that Tyree learned at the JVS under the tutelage of welding instructor Mark Schreiber.

"Mr. Schreiber said, 'There is always time to do it over but never time to do it right.' I'll never forget that. It's burned into my brain."

Drills, grinders and torches are intimidating to some folks, but not Tyree.

"Sparks and flames aren't for everybody, but once I got that first callus on my finger, I was hooked," he said.

After graduation Tyree welded for HMF Engineering Inc. in Brookpark, which designs after-market exhaust systems for sport, work and recreational vehicles and motorcycles. Clients include Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

"During race season (spring through early fall), I probably welded about 180 mufflers a day, but I loved it," said Tyree. Currently, Tyree works for Don's Auto and Truck Services in Elyria and is a welding instructor for EHOVE Career Center's adult education program.

His LaGrange family home is also the workshop for his own company, Broken Wrench Performance, where he welds after-hours, working on automobile intake manifolds, exhaust systems and suspension components.

"It's tough juggling three jobs, but I've always dreamed of being my own boss, having a business of my own," Tyree said.

Tyree also studied at WyoTech in Blairsville, Pa., where he received his Associate degree in Automotive Technology and Business Management and another diploma for high performance engines and custom chassis in 2006.

"My JVS training made college so much easier," said Tyree, the only student in his class at WyoTech to ace the welding portion of his exam.

But Tyree said that he almost withdrew from high school when he was a sophomore.

"I didn't like classrooms. I struggled. I would not have made it through high school without the JVS," he admitted. "My JVS classes involved welding - even math - where the instructor associated math principles like volume and measures with welding. It all made sense to me, and now I'm back in the classroom, only this time as the teacher!"

The JVS also made sense to Tyree's family. His stepfather, Donald Minney, his mother, Marsha Minney, and his two sisters, Misty (Early Childhood Education) and Destiny (Culinary Academy) all graduated from the JVS.
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