ABOUT BWI

OUR STORY

about bwi - barkers welding aerial photo

About BWI: Barkers Welding, Inc is a fabrication and repair shop that has been serving the Twin Ports and surrounding area since 1984. We welcome jobs of any size. Steel, aluminum, or stainless steel.

Our employees have decades of experience in the ‘job shop’ atmosphere. A certain type of personality gravitates toward this type of work. Production line welding can be robotic, mind-numbing employment void of independent thought. The constant travel involved with construction work may not fit into the family life of skilled fabricators. The certified welders here at BWI have chosen a shop of this type because they enjoy the challenge presented from a wide variety of jobs. Rotating from small repairs to large industrial fabrications are part of what keeps our minds fresh here at BWI.

Our doors opened in 1984 when my parents (Dan and DeAnn Barker) purchased Barkers General Welding. Dan Barker had 21-years’ experience at Frasier Shipyards in Superior as a welder and pattern plate burner. Beveling 30ft long arcs in 1-1/2” thick shell plates was a daily occurrence throughout his two decades at Frasier. DeAnn Barker out of necessity became a self-taught small business manager and an accounting software expert after entering the small business world. In 1999 our name was changed to Barkers Welding, Inc – and in 2017 I purchased the shop allowing Dan and DeAnn a well-earned retirement.

I began cleaning shop, sweeping floors, and working as a welder’s assistant from day one. After we purchased our first CNC pattern machine in 1987 the torch and PLASMA cutting became my expertise. By 1995 job quotes and CAD work had completely consumed my time moving me into the office.

about bwi - bulk tanks ready for delivery

My education could be described as incomplete. Then again, anyone with an open mind can make this same declaration. I earned an Associate degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1990 then transferred to the Industrial Engineering program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After failing Differential Equations in 1992 I decided outside forces made attending college too difficult for me. I probably had a list of people to blame at the time but of course my name is the only remaining. I was extremely fortunate for the opportunity to work at BWI. This allowed me to continue pursuing my love for CAD design and creating industrial metal products. For better or worse, my decades of continued education has consisted of real-life settings rather than classroom instruction.

The enjoyment of fabricating finished products from little more than an idea is shared among all of the employees here at BWI. We enjoy the unique challenges of all jobs big and small.

Darrin Barker

President