Metal is at it's simplest form what brings us all together. How we form and shape hunks of metal to reflect our personalities through our cars and how we choose to build them. Car enthusiasts more than any other culture are well aware that metal, and the things we can do with it becomes an art form within itself. After recently witnessing some of the magic that C-Jay Mellinger, our resident metal magician, is able to perform armed with just his tools and imagination I was excited to take some time and find out what drives such a passion and constant learning curve in pursuits of perfecting a craft.
When did you begin welding, and why?
" Picked up my first torch handle around ten years old while helping my old man on a 56' Chevy Belair, from then on I was always interested in anything fabrication/welding related. I took shop class in high school and had the chance to lay down my first tig beads. After a few fails and getting electrocuted i laid down a few passes that were better than the teachers, he told me I had a talent and not to let it slip away... so i didn't."
What's your favorite kind of stuff to make?
" As far as favorite things to make... that's kind of endless, but car related stuff would be on the top of my list for sure. But honestly as long as I got a tig torch in my hand I'm a happy camper."
Biggest lesson learned?
" The biggest thing I've learned is to never say I can't do it. Some stuff is definitely difficult bit if i put my mind to something i'll make it work one way or another."
So are you going to make this your career? What are your goals in regards to that?
" Welding and fabrication will always be my career field. I plan on having a full fab shop of my own to retire from as well as getting into the blacksmithing industry. I've got 37 active certifications in just welding. Growing up I never really had the funds to go to any schooling but looking back I realize I've done pretty well self teaching myself with the help of a few old heads giving me pointers throughout the years. And I was always very appreciative of the advice I could get."
What does StayNmoist mean to you?
" The moist crew isn't just your average car club, it's a group of great people that anybody would be proud to call their friends/family. I greatly enjoy knowing that if something needs built or fixed I am trusted enough to be asked to take on the jobs and or have $4000 wheels in my hands to fix. I wouldn't wanna rep any other crew. Everyone should be a little moist!"
Be sure to get in touch with C-Jay on Facebook at C-Jay Mellinger or Instagram @charles_jay if you need ANYTHING built or fabbed up. Countless members, including myself have tasked C-Jay with custom cages or seemingly impossible repairs only to be left wildly impressed with the results. We are proud to call C-Jay one of our own and have yet to meet many people who genuinely encompass a "moist" lifestyle.