There are welders and there are welding inspectors. This is about a welding inspector.

John Nieboer is a welding inspector at Landscape Forms in Michigan.

Welding inspector John Niebor of Landscape Forms.

John Nieboer, Certified Welding Inspector

Landscape Forms designs and manufactures both standard product lines as well as one-of-a-kind outdoor installations.

They may use both metal  and a proprietary concrete in the products they produce.

John does both visual inspection and destructive testing using hydrochloric acid (HCI) on stainless steel.

He recently bought a Model 340 Ductless Containment Hood with an acid gas activated carbon filter because acid gas filters trap the vapor molecules produced by some industrial acids, like HCI, before they can be inhaled or spread throughout the workplace.

Inspection process

Much of John’s testing occurs before actual manufacturing begins. At this stage, his testing is used to adjust machine settings as well as analyze the weld itself.

Sentry Air's Model 340 [ss-340-dch] Ductless Containment Hood.

Sentry Air’s 40-inch wide Ductless Containment Hood configured with a 10-pound acid gas activated carbon filter.

He uses a band saw to cut cross sections of the seam.

Sometimes code provides guidelines on where and how many cuts to make, sometimes it’s his own experience that guides him.

Typically, John tests 2 or 3 samples a week, most no larger than 6” x 6” x 1”.

He places each sample in a glass dish containing HCI in the hood.

Then John moves on to other tasks because HCI can take up to three hours to bite into the steel.

After the acid has revealed the steel, John can inspect the internal structure of the weld as well as the transition between the weld and the base material.

This destructive test method provides good information about the integrity of the weld.

Safer chemicals

While HCI sounds hazardous – and it is – John prefers it to more aggressive chemicals, such as nitric acids, that could reduce the time required.

That puts John in the company of non-profit organizations and governmental agencies, such as OSHA, that help users of chemicals use the least hazardous chemical needed for a task.

Certified welding inspector 

Slide about Hobard Institute of Welding Technology excerpted from a Sentry Air Slideshare.

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology is one of 5 schools we feature in our recent Slideshare about fume extraction for welding classrooms.

John has a two-year associate’s degree in welding technology.

To get ready for the welding inspector certification exam he took a preparatory course at the well-regarded Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.

He then passed 3 exams to be awarded the welding inspector certification.

April is National Welding Month

We admire the work of welders and their reputation for precision and tenacity.

Sentry Air thanks John for letting us profile his work in our blog. It’s an interesting view of another aspect of welding.

Our acknowledgement of National Welding Month includes a vintage welding photos board on Pinterest. If you’d like to add a favorite, please do.



Control of Hydrochloric Acid Vapors in a Lab Setting
John purchased the same filter media tested in this industrial hygiene report. The filter removed >99.99% of the hydrochloric acid fumes.


Welding Month banner by Sentry Air Systems.