James W. “Buster” Hales

“Buster” Hales is the Owner and President of Specialty Welding & Machining, Inc. An expert in his field, Buster has
over 40 years of experience in the design, development and manufacturing of specialty welding equipment and
application procedures. His particular expertise is with laboratory and field-use prototype equipment for
fabrication and repair. His knowledge extends into the design and fabrication of various remotely controlled
maintenance and inspection equipment for field use during nuclear and fossil power plant outages. Buster also
has extensive machine shop experience; including, jig and fixture work, tool design, high-performance engine
component design and manufacture, machine maintenance, equipment selection and equipment installation.
Welding expertise includes gas tungsten arc, shielded metal arc, submerged arc wire, strip cladding and gas metal
arc welding. He also commercialized the “E S O” strip cladding system and various other production line welding
systems. Buster holds Associate of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.


  • Welding Procedure Development and Application
  • Semi-Automatic, Automatic and Machine Welding Procedures
  • Programmable Gas Tungsten Arc Orbital Welding Equipment
  • Machining and Testing Equipment
  • Tube Removal, Rolling, Welding, Plugging (mechanical and welded)
  • Tube/Tube Sheet Welding
  • Tube End Build-up Seam Drums
  • CNC Plasma Arc Cutting Equipment/Programing
  • CAD Systems

Accreditations and Affiliations

American Welding Society (AWS) – Member


# 4,193,735 German Patent #DE 29 12 658 A1 “Rotary Work Table for Stepped Platform”
# 4,513,786 “Mechanical Tube Plug”
# 4,583,411 “Dynamic Torque Monitoring Device”
# 6,596,957 B2 “Method and Apparatus and Prefabricated Replacement Tube for Localized Waterwall Repair”
# 6,884,959 B2 “Controlled Composition Welding Method”
# 11/799,394 “Overlay Cladding for Molten Metal Processing”