Metal Fabrication students have fun forging pot belly stoves as part of their training

09 May 2023

Thirteen CQUniversity students put their metal fabrication skills to the test, by constructing metal pot belly stoves during a workshop in Mackay recently.

The students worked hard during the workshop taking a flat piece of steel and turning them into pot belly stoves as part of the final block of their Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication Trade studies.

One of the students, Courtney Pollard, 25, who is an apprentice boilermaker for Mackay Sugar, said she enjoyed learning new skills while making the stove.

“I like the different variety of work we get to do in our training. It’s very refreshing learning new skills every day,” she said.

“To have something to bring home and be proud of is a huge highlight of being a boilermaker.”

Another student, Simon Nell brought sausages and a rack of ribs from his parent's business MeatCo, to cook in his pot belly stove and share with his fellow apprentices.

Teacher Chris Weeks said the students had to plan out their stoves carefully before fabricating them.

“The students come in for a three-week block and during the first week they learn how to draw out different templates using geometric development,” he said.

“The second week is when they enter the workshop and begin transferring their templates on to 5mm sheet plate and begin pressing and rolling their pieces of steel to form the required shapes.

“The final week is when they begin to fit all of these parts together. They are then left to design their own doors, hinges, smokers and lids for the pot belly stoves. Some can be very creative.

“Once they see the finished product they are super proud and the best part about my job is seeing them progress over the years and ultimately transform into the young tradespeople of the future.”