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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal


The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

Mar/Apr 2003 $6.00 US

Shop Talk

Comparing wire and mesh, page 42

Member Talk

A love for Victorian era fencing, page 53

Biz Side

Improving time management, page 68

Job Profiles

A railing built with ‘CAD power’

page 56

METALfab Show Report: View the industry’s latest products, page 16

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March/April 2003 Vol. 44, No. 2

This railing features designs cut from plate, with the help of CAD, page 56.

Tips & Tactics

Biz Side

Member Talk

Open Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Making proposals and presentations that sell. Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Bar polishing We Heard it Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 What drawing media do you use to sell your work?

Tucson fabricator finds a special niche....................................50 ADA requirements and new construction provide opportunities.

Discharging an employee: Do it CAREFULLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Firing an employee is already difficult but legal concerns add to the pain.

By John L. Campbell

By William J. Lynott

A special love for Victorian era fencing ...................53 A Michigan fabricator begins marketing his Gothic fence posts.

Improve time management by nuturing relationships . . . . . . 71 Free up time to meet customers by “downloading” tasks to others. By Dave Kahle

Special Feature

Job Profiles

METALfab 2003 Trade Show Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Miss the show, need additional information?

CAD plus a great client results in success! ..........................56 A great customer and profeciency in CAD yields a successful project.

What’s Hot! Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 ICC releases 2003 I-Codes.

By Dave Gutbrod

NOMMA News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Members are spotlighted in journal.

An introduction to repoussé . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Four methods for creating three-dimensional metal art.

Distance no barrier for this aluminum gate job ........................60 Despite the 1,300-plus mile distance, this job goes without a hitch.

Coming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 NOMMA celebrates the big “45.”

By George Dixon

By Chris Maitner

Shop Talk

A tale of three panels: Perf, expanded, and mesh . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Learn the pros and cons of four different mesh/wire paneling options.

A multi-layered grand driveway gate ....................................65 While challenging to produce, a custom made lattice adds a nice touch.

By Mark Hoerrner

By Steve Wilson

People. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Ed Powell begins a second life. Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Read up on European side arms. Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 An efficient glass wedging tool. Classifieds........................93

President’s Letter . . . . . . . 6 Editor’s Letter . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Reader’s Letters . . . . . . . . . 9 Fabricator Poll . . . . . . . . . 94 Where did Understanding the metal Gender doesn’t matter, and How do you implement the time go? we fabricate problems with anodizing. new ideas? Cover photo: AutoCAD played a key role in this railing project. Once the CAD drawing was approved by the owner, the same file was used for laser cutting the scrolls and circles from steel plate. Fabricator: Germantown Iron & Steel Corp.

President’s Letter

Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA OFFICERS President Belk Null Berger Iron Works Houston, TX President-Elect Chris Maitner Christopher Metal Fabricating Grand Rapids, MI

Vice President/ Treasurer Curt Witter Big D Metalworks of Texas Dallas, TX Immediate Past President Michael D. Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Bettendorf, IA

FABRICATOR DIRECTORS Doug Bracken Wiemann Iron Works Tulsa, OK Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron Peoria, IL Chris Connelly DeAngelis Iron Work South Easton, MA

Fred Michael Colonial Iron Works Petersburg, VA Rob Mueller Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Elk Grove Village, IL Rod Stodtmeister Stodtmeister Iron Sparks, NV

SUPPLIER DIRECTORS David T. Donnell Eagle Bending Machines Stapleton, AL

Pam Beckham Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Foristell, MO

Bob Paxton Lawler Foundry Birmingham, AL

NOMMA STAFF Executive Director Barbara H. Cook

Managing Editor Rachel Squires

Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington

Events Coordinator & Circulation Assistant Liz Ware

Communications Mgr. & Editor-in-Chief J. Todd Daniel

Technical Consultant Tim Moss

Where did the time go? If ONLY there were 25 hours in a day ... or maybe 8 days in a week! How many times have you thought that? There never seems to be enough time to do the things that we need to do, let alone the things that we want to do. Most of us work 10 to 12 hours a day, maybe longer, and never seem to get caught up at work. Then we go home to a list of things we never seem to get to and those shiny little faces that wonder why we couldn't come home before dark so that we could play catch or shoot hoops. How do we balance the responsibilities of work with the needs of our families? If anyone out there knows the answer, give me a call. So what would you do with an extra hour each day? Would you spend it at the office or at home? Would you spend it fitting up one more part or quoting one more job? Or would you spend it watching one more little league game?

What decision do we make? There is no right or wrong answer to the question. Yet often, when the moment has past, we regret the choice

that we made. It has been said that life is too short, but it always seems long enough for the things that we don’t get to to catch up with us, doesn’t it? We continually tell our families and friends that we can’t seem to find the time to do the things that we enjoy. That is because there is no “spare” time just laying around. We must make a conscientious effort to set aside Belk Null is time for our families, president of friends and, just as the National Ornamental and importantly, our Miscellaneous health. For without Metals Associathose, we truly can’t tion. be successful. As you plan each week that remains of 2003, I encourage you to find time to do what you must at work, but make time to enjoy life. You only get one chance at today, so make the most of it.

Operations & Membership Mgr. Cyndi Smith

2003 ADVISORY COUNCIL Patrick S. Kelly Decor Cable Innovations

Sharon Picard South Attleboro Welding

It’s not too early to begin planning for:


John L. Cochran, PhD

METALfab 2004 March 2–6, 2004 • Sacramento, CA


Fabricator „ March–April 2003

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Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator (ISSN 0191-5940), is the official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA). 532 Forest Parkway, Suite A Forest Park, GA 30297 (404) 363-4009 Fax (404) 366-1852 E-mail: Fabricator is published bi-monthly on the 15th of January, March, May, July, September, and November. Opinions expressed in Fabricator are not necessarily those of the editors or NOMMA. Articles appearing in Fabricator may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of NOMMA. Reader Focus Fabricator is targeted to managers and owners of ornamental and miscellaneous metalworking firms. News, literature, product releases, and other editorial matters Please contact managing editor, Rachel Squires, at (404) 363-4009, ext. 14, or Magazine display advertising Insertion order deadline: first Friday of the month prior to publication date Camera-ready art or film deadline: second Friday of month prior to publication date. Please call for a rate card and calendar. Classifieds $25 for up to 35 words, $38 for 36–55 words, $50 for 56–70 words. No logos or boxed ads. Pre-payment only. Send items to: Rachel Squires, Fabricator, 532 Forest Parkway., Ste. A, Forest Park, GA 30297. Ads may be faxed with credit card information to: (404) 366-1852. Deadline: Second Friday of the month prior to publication date. Subscriptions, address changes: 1-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30; 2-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $50; 1-year: all other countries — $44; 2-year: all other countries — $78. Payment in U.S. dollars by check drawn on U.S. bank or money order. For NOMMA members, a year's subscription is a part of membership dues. Contact: Liz Ware at (404) 363-4009, ext. 20 or Magazine subscription information is available online at: • Subscribe/renew • Change your address • Report duplicate issues. NOMMA Supplier Directory Published each December as a separate issue. Space reservation deadline is July 31. Deadline for all advertising materials is August 31. For info, contact Rachel Squires at (404) 363-4009, ext. 14 or Reprints Reprints of articles are available. For a quote, contact Rachel Squires at (404) 363-4009, ext. 14 or 8

How to reach us

Editor’s Letter

Understanding the metal we fabricate After several years of working on

Fabricator magazine, I began to realize that there was a great demand to provide articles on metal properties and design. Fabricators come into this business from all walks of life, and not everyone understands electrolysis, the properties of malleable iron, or the difference between an Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts architectural style. So, in the mid-1990s I began working with two gifted writers to start a series on these two topics. A talented metallurgist In early 1994 I met John L. Campbell, a semi-retired metals consultant and an aspiring free-lance writer. Finding a metallurgist who was also an author was a lucky find, and John has been writing for us ever since. His articles, which are always well researched and skillfully written, have covered the entire spectrum of the metal world, from castings to welding and from aluminum to rust. Of great value to the industry are the articles he has written about enemy number one—rust! One of John’s masterpieces is the May/June 2002 feature titled, “Combat Corrosion By Design.” This article not only covers the obvious but discusses factors that are often neglected in fighting corrosion, such as drainage considerations, placement, and materials used. A true lover of art and metalwork Just when I thought I couldn’t get any luckier, two years later I met Rick Schuette who was both an art historian and a member of the industry. “Now there’s a good match,” I thought to myself, and I immediately asked him to write a series on design. A true lover of art, Rick devoted a lot of ink to the importance of what I call “design harmony.” For instance, you

don’t want to design a French Rococo style balcony railing for a neoclassical public building. Rick gave new meaning to the term “design responsibility,” and once said, “You and your client have artistic responsibilities to the architectural setting.” Wow. On another occasion, I asked Rick why he thought it was so important to educate metalsmiths about their history, and he replied, “By getting a clear sense of our heritage we feel like we are a part of something and not Todd Daniel is just doing something editor of Ornamental & Misto be doing it. I think cellaneous Fabit will help us to do ricator. better at our jobs.” Other articles by Rick focus on iron castings and design components. While Rick left the industry before completing the series, the work he left behind is a treasure. Why do I bring this up? So why am I mentioning articles that are 5–8 years old? The answer is that I have good news to tell you. These classic gems, as well as other “Best of Fabricator” articles, are being placed on our website. If you are a NOMMA member, you can download them for free by going to the Member’s Only area and selecting the item you’d like. We are also exploring the idea of making the articles available to non-members for a nominal fee. In addition to the Campbell and Schuette series, we are providing articles on finishing and fabrication, as well as “tips & tricks.” Check it out at

Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Reader’s Letters Stainless is a better option I just read your article on anodizing. While anodizing has it use, it is not practical for top finish on custom products (which I think the majority of your readers make). We find products meant for anodizing must have a light brushed finish with no surface imperfections. Different alloys of aluminum give different shades of colors as do welds. Given the amount of energy it takes to get aluminum products ready for anodizing, I believe it is cheaper to make them of stainless steel. The article also left out what I think is an important plus for anodizing: it makes a great base for spray finishes. Thomas D. Erb Electric Time Company Inc. Medfield, MA Gender is not a factor There is a nice article about Bill

and I in the latest Fabricator. There are a few errors, but one I really had to comment on because it might offend a lot of women. The article quotes me saying that some of my women students don’t continue with this type of work because it’s too physically challenging and tedious. I don’t believe I said that just about women. I said that in reference to both male and female students. Chasing and repoussé can definitely be tedious techniques. They are only physically challenging in their repetitiveness and hammer/tool control. Very few of my students (male or female) actually continue the technique after a workshop. Gender does not predict any kind of success or failure with the techniques of chasing and repoussé, nor with any metalsmithing techniques in my opinion. I consider myself a feminist and

wouldn’t want to offend other women in the field. Kirsten Skiles Koka Metalsmiths Dakota, MN Magazine redesign a hit I just looked over the Jan./Feb. issue and the new layout rockets Fabricator to the next level of professionalism. Great Job!!! Allan R. Papp Papp Iron Works Inc. Plainfield, NJ W RI TE !

Tell us what you think Mail Letter to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 532 Forest Pkwy., Ste. A, Forest Park, GA 30297 E-mail Fax (404) 3661852. Please include your name, company, address, telephone number, and e-mail. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and length.

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Tips& Tactics 

Open Forum

Make proposals and presentations that sell Make efficient use of presentation time; meet you customer’s needs and avoid fluff. By Cynthia Paul Slide 35, you are 30 minutes into your hour-long presentation for one of the biggest projects you have ever gone after. It’s important to let the client know about your history, but are you focusing on the “right” stuff from the customer’s perspective? At this point in your presentation, you should turn around to see if your audience is still awake. It’s the future that interests them most, their own future. They have a lot at stake, and they are concerned that you might never finish the project if you can’t even get to the point of your presentation. When you find yourself in a situation like this, the best thing to do is turn on the lights, apologize and regroup. Maybe they will be thankful and let you come back again another day to make a presentation. FMI’s 2002 Business Development and Marketing survey revealed that proposals and presentations were the most effective marketing tools for getting work. But too many see presentations as an opportunity to show off their capabilities, and they forget to address the customer’s needs. When you submit a proposal, you expect to get the order. As marketing tools go, proposals are more exciting than sending a corporate brochure, PR, and project sheets to people who might not even read them. Nonetheless, it may have been a combination of marketing tools that helped get you into the hunt in the first place. Business development is a multistep process. Everyone in your company has some impact on the process. Proposals and presentations that sell

require good research, it’s a sign that your busiplanning, and careful ness development efforts preparation. Think of the are less than effective. In process as “one percent companies that don’t plan inspiration and ninetytheir business developnine percent perspirament strategies, the prestion.” Unfortunately, sure always falls on estimany contractors count mating to cut the price. on a great presenter or a The reasoning is that you handsome proposal cover don’t need to worry about to save the day. That the presentation if you Cynthia Paul, an FMI director, is the firm's practice won’t work with can show them a great national practice today’s savvy owners and price. From a business leader for business general contractors. development perspective, development and marYou’ll be wasting your that approach often leads ket sector leader for time and the customer’s if to poor customer relaspecialty contractors. She can be reached at you haven’t done the tionships. Phone (303) 398research to understand the When you are making 7206, or E-mail customer’s needs and cona presentation, you should cerns. If a customer needs anticipate the questions of a fast-track schedule, your audience and allow understand why. Show them how you for interruptions during the presentacan address their needs and how you tion. The proposal is a similar process. might help them save time on the projStudy the RFP and be sure to answer all ect. Become a partner in the process, questions and requirements stated in learn to think about construction from a the document. Then, prepare your procustomer’s perspective and you will be a posal so the customer can easily find step ahead of your competitors. the answers to his or her questions. If Routinely capture information on all you insist, you can put a brochure on your top prospects to create a dossier. your company history in the back of When the RFP comes in, you won’t have the book. Spend more time showing time to scramble for information about your concern about the customer’s the client and why they chose to send future, and why it will be better you an RFP. Train all your staff to gather because you are on the job. customer information. Instead of crashAlways rehearse your presentations ing proposals out at the last minute, you at least a day before you will be in front will have more time to sharpen your of the client. Likewise, always finish message and focus on matching your your proposal with enough time to criexpertise to customer needs. tique it and make changes. People pay If estimating often seems to be the to see polished productions, not most heroic part of your work process, rehearsals.

Our Guest


Want to write a column? Please contact the Editor at Fabricator, Attn: Guest Columns, 532 Forest Pkwy., Ste. A, Forest Park, GA 30297, Phone (404) 363-4009, E-mail March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


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Tips& Tactics 

Case Study

The advantages of polishing “True Bar” Not all flat bar is made the same. As an ornametnal fabricator, know the difference between “sheared & edged” and “true bar” could save you money. Not all fabricators realize the benefits

The Implications

of polishing true bar over sheared and edged bar.

This case study was provided for Fabricator by SSE/Diamond Brite Metals, HIllside, NJ. For info, call their metal polishing and metal service center (908) 206-9008.

The Solution

Both sheared and edged bar and true bar can be polished. When polishing the edges, the advantages of using true bar regarding width tolerances are eliminated due to the removal of stock from the edge by grinding. Consequently, for architectural applications where both the faces and edges are being polished, the substantial additional cost increase of using true bar over sheared and edged bar is wasted. Sheared & edged bar Sheared and edged bar can be made from plate or plate coll stock. Materials is sheared or slit to width and processed through an edging or straightening machine. This process corrects for camber, flatness, and removes the burr from the edge. This process is commonly referred to as "gauering," the name derived from the manufacturer of the most widely used machine that does this process. The edge will have a rounded appearance as a result of being deformed by the edging rolls in order to remove the burr. Tolerances: While no published figure exists for sheared and edged bar the following has been found commercially acceptable. Width tolerances for the following

Cutlines should be 4 points away from photos above

thicknesses are: .1875 - .3125 +- .030 .3750 - .6250 +- .060 Closer tolerances are available. True Bar

This form of bar is manufactured by hot rolling and pickling, then cold srawn via the extrusion process. The edges are square as opposed to rounded. Tolerances: Tolerances are considerably closer. Width tolerances for the following thicknesses are: 3/8 inch to 1 inch wide under .250 thick .004 over .250 .002 over 1 inch to 2 inch wide under .250 thick .006 over .250 .003 over 2 inch to 3 inch wide under .250 thick .008 over .250 .004 over 3 inch wide under .250 thick .010 over .250 .005


Fabricator would like to publish your problem/solution case study. For consideration, please contact the Editor at 532 Forest Parkway, Suite A, Forest Park, Ga. 30297. Phone (404) 363-4009, Fax (404) 363-2857, E-mail

March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


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Tips& Tactics 

We Heard it On Line

What drawing media do you use to sell your work? This question was discussed on NOMMA’s ‘members only’ Listserv during the week of December 26, 2002 through January 3, 2003. Initial question 12/26/02

What drawing media do you find most effective for conveying the visual weight of your forged designs, as well as some of the subtle textures? What do you draw with when you are creating the design to show a client? Forged steel is both heavy and strong, but also soft with subtle textures. How do you draw to get both of those qualities across? Do you prefer a certain type of pen, pencil, chalk, or paper? When I do drawings for clients, I typically use pencil, or thin line black pen. I do nature oriented designs, fairly realistic, very little repeated pattern. I find that when I actually make the piece I've designed, that I omit some of the elements in the drawing because the design elements have a greater visual impact in steel than they do on paper. That is what I mean by visual weight. The final piece does look like the drawing and the clients are always satisfied, but I'd like to improve. Kirsten Skiles Koka Metalsmiths A photo-realistic drawing

A photo-realistic rendering based on a CAD solid model and either converted to a freehand line drawing or superimposed on a photograph of the client’s environment is the most effective way to convey to the client what the project will look like. It also tends to show the client that you have complete control and understanding of their requirements. The process also lends itself to very realistic representations of metal finishes because you can “paint” the objects you model with a jpeg or bitmap of the actual finish photographed elsewhere. Please get in touch if you would like more March–April 2003 „ Fabricator

information on the processes involved (845) 623-8665. Dimitri Galitzine Design Development Associates LLC 2D models in CAD

The solid modeling Dimitri is referring to is a great way to communicate your concepts. Depending on your budget, you can render a 2D model in CAD using “line weights” you can set the size of each individual line to meet your requirements. You can superimpose this drawing also on a photograph to provide your client a preview of what you are trying to achieve. If you would like to see this process in action, I would be happy to show you how it works live on the Internet, (800) 255-9032. Dave Filippi FabCad USA Scaled hand drawings

For sales presentations I make quick hand sketches of forged patterns or use CAD drawings. Sometimes I will overlay on a CAD drawing to scale it properly and reproduce it by hand using ink on tracing paper, nothing fancy, just quick hand drawn layouts. I may spend no more than 20 minutes on a sketch for this purpose. If the customer needs it or my design is too difficult to render quickly, I will bring samples of forged or cast work along to shown them the size, texture, type of leaf etc. Then, once the job is sold, I often make a full-size pattern for their approval for size, finish etc. This is especially important when the contract is very valuable; there should be no misunderstandings between you and the customer on any job but especially the larger ones. This is the best

way to represent it (the design and finish) to the customer. Then I leave that sample in the shop while the work is proceeding so the mechanics/finisher can use it as a go by. This remains company property so I add it to the collection to use as a sales tool in the future. If the customer wants a more rendered sketch of the design or more detailed drawings I charge for them. Given this choice, my customers almost never want to pay for a better drawing, they want to proceed with the work, or they will shop elsewhere for free design work in which case they are not a great customer anyway. I used to spend a lot of time doing great drawings to sell the job but now I spend that time doing great layout drawings to build by; this makes the work easier. And, as far as I can tell, I have not lost any sales because I didn't spend enough time on a proposal sketch, but I have had some trouble because I did not do a precise shop drawing. Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks Digital hand drawings

I agree with Doug about the importance of accurate CAD drawings for production. The customer is usually more interested in an overall schematic approach. Doug, to aid in your presentation of “hand drawing” check out they have a program called “Squiggle” that takes a CAD drawing and converts it to a drawing that looks like it’s been done by hand. They have different settings from “on a napkin” to free hand architectural. It will save you the tracing time, and you can get it for about $130.00 Dave Filippi FabCad USA 15

Special Feature

METALfab 2003 Trade Show Report Missed the trade show? Need a phone number for a company you met? Then check out our profiles of this year’s exhibitors. Advanced Measuring Systems

The new AMS Pro-Loc is a state-of-the-art positioner and programmable stop system designd with the end user in mind. The Becterm control is designed to be user friendly and deliver incredible versatility. Drive units are sized to be efficient, accurate, and rugged. For info, call (888)289-9432, or visit: Alloy Castings Inc.

Alloy Castings Inc. of Mesquite, TX showed over 900 stock items of aluminum ornamental castings and aluminum hardware. Also at the booth were several examples of custom castings and corrosion resistant castings that have been created for fabricators and architects across the U.S. The picture of a 350 pound, 4 foot diameter, sea shell illustrates an example of custom fabrication. For info, call (800)527-1318, or visit: Alluminations Services Inc.

Aluminations Services Inc. now offers a new decorative bronze tone “Split-Shoe” to meet all your ornamental stair needs. For info, call (239) 694-9887. Arcadia

Arcadia is a manufacturer and nationwide supplier of ornamental forged steel, cast iron, and hardware components. Arcadia is the exclusive supplier of Artifer of Italy, a company with over 40 years of designing and manufacturing expertise in wrought 16

NOMMA’s 45th annual trade show took place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington, KY, March 6–8.

iron. For info, call (877) 501-3200, or visit: www. Architectural Iron Designs Inc.

Architectural Iron Designs Inc. showcased a variety of architectural metal components including ornate flower and leaf panels, their Tubenor line of unique ornamental tubular balusters and their unique line of “one-coat” (no primer) Vinylast paints and patinas. They offer over 4,000 different component designs and “readymade” gates and railings for immediate nationwide shipment from their New Jersey warehouse. Their web site also features FREE downloadable CAD details of their component designs. For info, call (800) 784-7444, or visit: Julius Blum & Co. Inc.

Julius Blum & Co. Inc. introduced their new Traditional Post Fascia Flange along with spindle cups that facilitate fascia mounted spindle railings. Not only are the new fascia mounting components available in bronze and nickel-silver, but also in steel. Additionally, new aluminum ornamental valances and valance bars were exhibited. From modern glass railing to the classic steel traditional railing, Blum continues to set the standards of excellence in metalworking. For info, call (800) 526-6293, or visit: J.G. Braun Co.

J. G. Braun Co. introduced the NEW GlassWedgeTM dry mount system for quick and easy installation of glass panels. GlassWedge is used with pre-drilled shoe moulding and allows repositioning or replacement of glass panels. The GlassWedge is complemented by Braun’s line of compoFabricator „ March–April 2003

nents for the assembly of structural glass railing using ½ inch or ž inch tempered glass including shoe moulding, railing, and mounting brackets. For info, call (800) 323-4072, or visit: Byan Systems

The Byan Systems HYD 1000 series operators are suitable for commercial and residential use. They are rated for continuous duty with adjustable opening and closing pressures. In addition, they feature automatic bypass for operation during a power outage. The unique rack and pinion design does not allow for the rack to disengage from the operator. A high-torque

motor floats with the gate so that even an 8-inch crown in the driveway will not disengage the operator. For info, call (800) 223-2926 or visit: The Cable Connection

The Cable Connection Ultra-tecÂŽ Cable Railing System features sleek, streamlined stainless steel hardware especially designed for railings with cable in-fill. Ultra-tecÂŽ cable railing hardware features mounting and tensioning devices that have no sharp edges, dust-collecting crevices, or other undesirable features often found in products designed for other purposes and adapted for use in railings. Complete fabrication specifications are offered for five railing frame styles designed to support the tension of cables when properly installed. For info, call (800) 851-2962, or visit:

The Cleveland Steel Tool Co.

The Cleveland Steel Tool Co. offers a complete line of ironworkers, portable metalworking machines and an extensive inventory of ironworker and other related tooling. The company exhibited several products ideally suited for ornamental metalworking including its new 30 Ton ironworker which features an electric, 3-inch stroke control, the new and improved Porta-Shear, which is a portable metalworking machine, and the 35-ton Porta-Punch, a portable hydraulic punching machine. For information, call (800) 446-4402, or visit: CML USA Inc. Ercolina

CML USA Inc. Ercolina provides sales and service to all North America Ercolina customers. At METALfab 2003 CML USA Ercolina showed its rotary draw benders. These machines are capable of bending a wide variety Continued on page 22

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Distinctive Ironwork . . . by Design! Steel Forgings…over

5000 component designs to choose from. CUSTOM COMPONENTS ALSO AVAILABLE!

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Brass & Stainless GlassGrip™

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Aluminum Balusters Visit for online catalog or call 800.784.7444

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950 South 2nd Street • Plainfield, NJ 07063 • Fax: 908.757.3439 E-mail:



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(800) 323-4072 (847) 663-0667 FAX

Flanges Pipe and OD Tube Flanges Heavy Flush Base Pipe Bevel Flanges Puzzle-Lock Split Flange Tapered Flat Base Pipe Flange Oval Pipe Flanges for Stair Railings Post Sleeves Snap-On Pipe and OD Tube Cover Flanges Concealed Mounting Flanges and Grab Bars Square Tube Flanges and Cover Plates Custom Bending Architectural Shapes Pipe & Round Tube Rectangular & Square Tubing Rectangular, Round and Square Bar



J . G . B RAUN

C O.

ARCHITECTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL METAL COMPONENTS SINCE 1850 Ornamental Balls and Hemispheres Brackets Handrail Brackets Glass Mount Brackets Bracket Components Snap-On Cover Flange and Base U-Brackets Rings and U-Bends Fabric Mounting Hardware

Beautiful Railings Begin With The Wagner Companies

Elbows Pipe and OD Tube Elbows Square Tube Corners and Elbows Wall Returns

Traditional Railings Glass Railings Forged Railings Brass Railings Stainless Steel Railings Stamped Ornaments Cast Rosettes Ornamental Balls Hemispheres Architectural Shapes

Tees, Elbows and Connectors Flush Welding Tees, Elbows and Crosses Socket Weld Pipe Fittings Stair Rail Ends Coped Drive-On Connectors Wedge-Lock Welding Connectors Splice Locks Couplings Square Post Fittings End and Post Caps Post Caps and Square Tube End Caps End Caps for Pipe and OD Tubing

Handrail Systems

Systems Kee Klamp Galvanized Slip-On Fittings Aluminum Slip-On Pipe and OD Tube Fittings Interna-Rail Non-Weld Pipe Railing System Non-Weld Aluminum Pipe Railing System Wagnerail Brass and Stainless Railing Ball Style Fittings

Brackets Flanges Elbows Custom Bending Aluminum Brass Bronze Stainless Steel Steel

Contact us for our latest catalogs! R & B Wagner, Inc.

(800) 786-2111 (414) 214-0450 FAX

J. G. Braun Co.

(800) 323-4072 (847) 663-0667 FAX

Flanges Pipe and OD Tube Flanges Heavy Flush Base Pipe Bevel Flanges Puzzle-Lock Split Flange Tapered Flat Base Pipe Flange Oval Pipe Flanges for Stair Railings Post Sleeves Snap-On Pipe and OD Tube Cover Flanges Concealed Mounting Flanges and Grab Bars Square Tube Flanges and Cover Plates Custom Bending Architectural Shapes Pipe & Round Tube Rectangular & Square Tubing Rectangular, Round and Square Bar

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of material and profiles. Models are fully programmable allowing control of bend angle from 0° to 180° and material spring back. The unit features patented rotary draw machines with capacity to 3-inch diameter, and bend pipe or tube to centerline radiuses as small as 1½ times material diameter with minimum deformation. For info, call (563) 391-7700, or visit: Controlled Products - no pic

Controlled Products Systems Group (CPSG) is the country’s largest wholesale distributor of door and gate automation equipment serving the access control industry. We have over $5 million of inventory staged in our 10 warehouses throughout the country. We do not sell to end users or general contractors and take pride in our technical knowledge, field experience,

and professional customer service performance. At CPSG we are proud of the role we serve in this important and growing industry. For info, call (909) 371-7212, or visit: www. Counsel Industries

Counsel Industries develops innovative gate solutions designed to ease installation requirements and eliminate premature wear on expensive automated operator systems. These systems include a line of state-of-theart hardware, which is based on our unique bushing technology that produces optimum efficiency from sealed bearings. In addition to our gate solutions, Counsel manufacturers an exclusive line of gate and fence handling material that is guaranteed to reduce employee injuries and costs associated with common installation applications. For info, call

(520) 320-0680, or visit: www. Cross River Metals - no pic

Cross River Metals of San Antonio showed their line of imported carbon steel and galvanized tubing. With their wide range of inventory, they effectively mix and match all sizes and shapes to fit customer needs. Cross River offers hot rolled, pickled and oiled, hot rolled, cold rolled, and galvanized tubing in round, square, and rectangular shapes, in sizes ranging from ½ inch to 4 inches. Quantity discounts are available. For info, call (800) 935-0449. Custom Orn. Ironworks LTD

Custom Ornamental Iron Works Ltd. displayed various wrought iron, cast iron, and aluminum components. The firm manufactures products such as balusters, railings, and various other ornamental iron products inhouse from Vancouver BC, Canada. We offer competitive prices, as well as efficient and cost-effective shipping. One can now view our products, assemble an order, and request a quote through our newly updated web site. For info, call (604) 275-6435, or visit: www. D.J.A. Imports Ltd.

DJA Imports Ltd., with over 20 years of technical and hands-on fabrication experience, can provide a variety of services including consulting, technical support, machinery for the industry, gate and door hardware, paints, patinas, blackner, high quality wrought iron components including stainless steel. The stainless steel systems was developed with the fabricator in mind: cutting the expense of fabrication time and additional machinery, assembling railings is a Fill in 41 on Reader Service Card


Fabricator „ March–April 2003

snap and there’s no need for a welding machine. You can even do it on the job site. For info, call (718) 324-6871, or visit:


DKS, DoorKing Systems

DoorKing’s new model 9300 slide gate operator features a direct driven 15-to-1 worm gear reducer and a limit switch shaft that extends out of the operator output shaft, providing precise gate control. The fail-safe design allows the gate to be pushed open during power outages or an entrapment event without any keys or cranks. Other features include anti-tailgating function, convenience outlets, power switch, reset button, plug-in loop detectors, and optional backup battery system. For info, call (310) 645-0023, or visit: Eagle Bending Machines Inc.

Eagle Bending Machines Inc., introduced the Z302PR Section Bender now available in 110 voltage. Our original CP40-H, 2 inch capacity Hydraulic Roll Bender has expanded tooling options: Spiral handrail support, MAXI twist and MAXI scroll tooling. Model CP30 and CP30R (horizontal/vertical operation) have dual rolling speeds standard and have new ergonomic controls on an extension arm for safe operation at a distance. These versions maintain EAGLE high quality standards yet are always economically priced. For info, call (251) 937-0947, or visit:

With our new multi-shear attachment, this may be the only ironworker you’ll ever need. With our powerful 25 Ton ironworker you can easily punch 1-1/16” round holes through 5/16” mild steel, shear 2”x2”x1/4” angle iron, 1/4”x 6” flat bar, and 1” round bar stock. With additional optional attachments, you can also do all the bending, notching or coping your project requires. This compact machine uses minimum floor space, plugs into a standard 110V power supply, and can even be outfitted with casters for instant mobility throughout your shop. Call the professionals at The Cleveland Steel Tool Company, or go online to find out more about this versatile machine. It sure makes a difference.

Encon Electronics pic no pic

Thank you for visiting our display at METALfab earlier this year. Encon Electronics is a distributor of gate operators, access control systems, and CCTV. Our product line includes equipment from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Since 1984 Encon has

1.800.446.4402 Fill in 132 on Reader Service Card

March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


been dedicated to providing superior technical support and outstanding customer service. For info, call (800) 782-5598, or visit: www. FAAC International Inc.

FAAC now features its own telephone entry system, the PhoneLink, pictured here with FAAC’s Model 760 in-ground operator. Designed for single family residences, PhoneLink works with an existing phone line and is available with 50, 500, and 1000

code capacity, programmable personal master code, unique double ring cadence, call waiting, adjustable volume, call button disconnect, and a night light and optional camera. For info, call (800) 221-8278, or visit: FABCAD.USA

FABCAD.USA demonstrated its

automatic railing and gate drawing programs and CAD Starter Package. This popular product has everything an ornamental/miscellaneous fabricator needs to develop attractive and accurate drawings. The package includes a customized version of AutoCad® LT, videos, over 2,200 casting and forging designs and predrawn gates, columns, rails, and fences. The latest features of the AutoRail program include an automatically produced bill of materials customization features that add piece marks and dimensioning options. FABCAD now offers live on-line tutoring, along with its plotter services. For info, call (800) 255-9032, or visit: FSB USA

FSB USA has over 30 years of experience in the ornamental wrought iron industry. FSB USA represents the American branch office opened by FSB Spain to assist customers in North America. The firm helps fabricators with a wide range of needs. EDF Equipment Sales has over 10 years of experience in metal fabricating, ornamental wrought iron machinery, and equipment sales. For info, call (407) 351-7017, or visit: or www. edfequipmentsales. com. GTO Inc.

GTO Inc. displayed its state-of-theart gate operators. The GTO-PRO line has DC powered and AC powered operators for every type of gate system— from farm, ranch, residential to heavyduty industrial gates weighing up to 3,000 pounds and measuring 60 feet in length. For info, call (800) 543-4283 [GATE], or visit: Circle 80 on Reader Service Card


Fabricator „ March–April 2003


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Glaser USA

GLASER USA Inc. demonstrated the Automatic Multiple-Purpose Iron Twister with 27-ton hydraulic. The machine can drive many attachments for easy fabrication of balusters, scrolls, belly bars, baskets and much more. Forge scroll ends, profile roll square tubes and bars, and bend arches and rings. Fabricators can assemble machines to meet their needs. Designed and built by a metal fabricator for the metal fabricator, this reliable equipment is easy to use. Produce more in less time with GLASER equipment. For info, call (888) 6688427, or visit: HEBÖ

HEBÖ manufactures complete machine systems and tools for industry, forges, and blacksmith workshops. Operations like bending, twisting,

profiling, basket and scroll production can be done efficiently with our machines. All operations can be done using steel, brass, copper, aluminium, or bronze materials. HEBÖ’s technical development guarantees a high production standard and makes them a leading manufacturer of wrought iron systems throughout the world. For info, call 011-49-6453-913321, or visit: Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc.

Interstate Manufacturing Associates in Newport, NH manufactures and distributes The Boss Hinge, which has been specially designed for use in the ornamental iron industry. Its design incorporates strength and high durability

and an elegant appearance while requiring minimal maintenance. For info, call (603) 863-4855, or visit: Jamieson Mfg. Co.

Illustrating their commitment to making safety simple, Jamieson Mfg. Co. displayed their complete line of gate hardware that makes any roll or swing gate application compliant with safety standards UL 325 and ASTM F220002. As America’s most trusted name in fence supplies, Jamieson provides access control solutions, custom gates manufactured to 300-foot single openings, brackets, and tracking systems for existing gates, in-house technical support, design layout services, and commercial fencing. For info, call (888) 2863362, or visit:

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

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Jerith Mfg.

Jerith Mfg., the nation’s largest manufacturer of Aluminum Ornamental Fences, introduced a new line of Ornamental Wire Fences to fill the niche between higher end ornamental fences and chain link fences. Manufactured and shipped in prefabbed 6 feet long sections, these panels offer consumers a lower priced product that is much more decorative than the industrial look of chain link mesh. Jerith also showed their existing line of aluminum fences. For info, call (215) 676-4068, or visit: www.jerith. com. Lawler Foundry Corp.

Lawler Foundry Corp. of Birmingham, AL displayed their traditional and latest ornamental iron castings and artistic forgings. Lawler continually develops new and different products for the industry and is the largest

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full-line producer and supplier of high-quality, lowcost ornamental metal components in the U.S. For info, call (800) 624-9515.

THE LAWLER LINE ® for the Fabricator and Forger


back. For info, call (800) 624-6225, or visit: Master-Halco


FORGINGS LAWLER FOUNDRY CORPORATION P O Box 320069 • Birmingham AL • 35232-0069

Phone 800-624-9512

Fax 205-595-0599

©LFC 11/2002 All Rights Reserved

Lavi Industries

With Lavi Industries’s innovative system, fabricators can combine a variety of handrail and short rail brackets for mounting 1½ inch to 2 inch rails while maintaining a consistent appearance. Choose from polished or satin stainless steel. Lavi Industries also introduces a stainless steel glass grip for ½ inch glass, available in satin or polished 304 stainless. The clip has an optional glass support pin and comes in radius back for 2 inch tubing or flat

Monumental Iron Works® ornamental is a modular system made up of component parts designed to support each other. When completely assembled, these parts create the strongest ornamental fence on the market. A duplex coating of polyester resin over hot-dipped galvanized steel ensures a long, low-maintained life. Also featured at METALfab 2003, Decorative Mesh by Master-Halco is manufactured from corrosion-resistant galvanized steel. Its heavy gauge wire mesh and powder coated finish offer lasting protection and security. For info, call (888) 643-3623, or visit: McGill Distribution

McGill Distribution presented live

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5823 Northgate #2032 • Laredo, Texas 78041 Tel: 1-888-New Metals • Fax: 1-888-813-4275 email:

Download our complete catalog at:

demonstrations of the Henrob Torch, a portable TIG and plasma cutter. The Henrob Torch welds all metals from .004 to ½ inch. It cuts steel from .004 to 1 inch and can weld and cut thin metal with very little distortion. The torch has a 50 to 70 percent gas savings, lifetime warranty, and uses standard TIG rods, hoses, and regulators. It runs off oxygen and acetylene and comes with instructional materials. For info, call (888) 342-6461. Frank Morrow Co.

Frank Morrow Co. introduced two new 1/8 inch thick bandings, available plain and patterned. These items are sold in coil form. Also new at this year’s

METALfab, Frank Morrow Co. presented white metal on annealed stems with larger leaves, new dapped shapes, and new motif stampings. For info, call (800) 556-7688, or visit: National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

NOMMA is the trade association for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. For info, call (404) 3634009, or visit: www. New Metals Inc.

DecoGuard™ decorative expanded metal mesh, manufactured exclusively by New Metals Inc., combines an

attractive design with the strength of steel. Available in eight distinct designs, DecoGuard can be used anywhere intrusion prevention is a must, such as in fencing, gates, window covers, and more. Great for strict building code compliance, DecoGuard is now available in a wider range of sheet sizes, including 6 foot tall sheets for residential fencing applications. Roman design shown. For info, call (888) 639-6382, or visit: www. Ohio Gratings

Ohio Gratings Inc. offers aluminum grating in many special commercial and architectural applications because of its lightweight mass, high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion-resistance, and its decorative appearance. Some of the products


PROFESSIONAL ACCESS SYSTEMS Bringing you NEW Services, NEW Programs, NEW Innovative Products and a NEW Direction in 2003. GTO has been providing the gate operator industry with quality products, unsurpassed service, and lasting partnerships since 1987. By providing you with even more programs, services and innovative products, our goal is to make your job easier and more profitable ... from your basic to your most complex access control projects.




Linear® is a registered trademark owned by the Linear Corporation


For more information on our complete line of PROFESSIONAL ACCESS SYSTEMS call... 1-800-543-GATE (4283) or visit our web site:


GTO is proud to partner with Linear® as a complete Access Systems Provider

Sa ID n A S Ap An E E Bo ril to xp E ot 25 nio o h -2 , T 74 6 X 6



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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

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available include: sunscreens, ceiling tiles, fencing, floor entranceways, stair treads, mezzanines, and walkways. These products can be anodized or powder coated in almost any color to match the architect’s color scheme. For info, call (330) 477-6707, visit: Old Iron Doors

Old Iron Doors is a manufacturer of custom wrought iron doors for residential and commercial entries. All doors are produced under ISO 9001

certification and are equipped with interior tempered glass panels that open independently for ventilation. All frames are insulated and have a high quality paint finish. All operating hardware is included. Production: 5000 units/month. For info, call (866) 840-1495, or visit:

Portable Power for On-the-Go Metal Fabricating

ved! mpro I d n a New

Omega Coatings Corp.

We manufacture all of our products in a state-of-the-art facility, located in El Dorado, KS. This central location allows us to service our customers effectively across the country and eventually in Canada and Mexico. We have distributors located all over the country, and one is sure to be close to you. For info, call (888) 386-6342, or visit: Production Machinery Inc.

Production Machinery Inc. showed a new roll-bending machine for the fist time in the U.S. The machine is manufactured in Germany and distributed in the states by Promaco. The model RBM 2-40 M performs common ornamental roll bending applications, such as moulded cap rail and pipe and picket twisting. This bender also offers a 2inch capacity in box tubing at an affordable price. For more info, call (410) 574-2110, or visit: www. R & B Wagner Inc.

The Porta-Punch–

The Porta-Shear–

The Handy-Mag–

Punch round and shaped holes anywhere!

Shear, bend, punch notch on the fly!

Magnetic drilling with maximum holding force!

•Punch mild steel up to1/2” •Weighs just 31 pounds •Operates from any 10,000 psi hydraulic source •Comes with four punches and dies in your choice of round stock sizes •Mount on workbench or cart for production jobs •One-year warranty against manufacturing defects

•Performs same functions • Handy-Mag I drills up to as larger ironworkers 1-3/8” through 2” material, Handy-Mag II drills up to •Shear flat bar* 1/4” x 6” •Shear 2”x2”x1/4”angle iron* 2-3/8” through 3” material •Shear round bar* up to 3/4”, • Maximum magnetic holding force for extra stability 1” aluminum or brass • Positive slug ejection •Optional attachments for system punching, braking, pipe • Large inventory notching, channel shearing, of cutters and square bar shearing available •Mount on workbench or * mild steel cart for production jobs For holemaking and general metal fabricating on the go, choose a portable machine from Cleveland Steel Tool that’s just right for your application. It sure makes a difference.

R & B Wagner Inc. introduced a new full color catalog at METALFab 2003. The catalog features new and improved products including ADA compliant brackets, ball style and flush fittings, polishing supplies, and cable rail and picket rail assemblies. Through an exclusive arrangement, Wagner now offers the legendary Strait-O-Flex tool. The Strait-O-Flex’s versatility and portability has made it an indispensable mainstay of miscellaneous metal fabricators for decades. For info, call (800) 786-2111, or visit: Rail Wizard

1.800.446.4402 •

RailWizard helps to build and install rail and fence efficiently and saves time in every phase of the fabri-

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Scroll and call

that’s all.

The only telephone entry system that lets you scroll to the name, push call and the number is dialed for you. Our new 1837 Series provides visitors with the easiest to use telephone entry system available anywhere! Now visitors only have to scroll to the residents name and press CALL. It’s that simple! Simple to use, yet the 1837 series is a sophisticated PC programmable access control system that can provide service for up to 3000 residents, control up to 16 entry points with tracker expansion boards, and stores the last 8000 events in its history buffer so you know the “three W’s” of access control: who, when, where. You can even control which floor a visitor has access to in high-rise buildings with our elevator control option.

No codes to dial

DKS DoorKing provides solutions for all your access control requirements including card access systems and vehicular gate operator systems. Call or email us today for more information.


DoorKing®, Inc.

total access control from one company since 1948

120 Glasgow Avenue, Inglewood, California 90301 U.S.A. Tel: 310-645-0023 1-800-826-7493 FAX: 310-641-1586 E-mail: Fill in 105 on Reader Service Card

cation process. Measuring a job becomes easier, materials become standardized, and traditional layout is eliminated. This program dramatically reduces fabrication time and helps to eliminate human error. RailWizard reaches out of the shop and into the front office. The easy-to-use software provides your company a system to design and sell and then fabricate and erect rails. For info, call (800) 4546070 or visit: Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products

Rockite is an anchoring and patching cement that sets up in 15 minutes.

New Kwixset Exterior Anchoring and Patching cement mixes with water and

sets up in 15–20 minutes. Use for installing railings and fences in concrete outdoors. Both products are stronger than concrete in one hour. For info, call 216-291-2303. Rogers Mfg. Inc.

Rogers Mfg. Inc. of Mineral Wells, TX presented its Presshear #10, an 18ton mechanical ironworking machine, at METALfab 2003. This 1-horse power machine features a square tubing cutter and an attachment to spear point tubing. Rogers Mfg. offers 10- and 30-ton punch capacity machines and other attachments such as pipe notchers, copers, bending dies, vnotchers, several styles of punches, dies, and shearing blades, as well as their new punch oiling system. For info, call (940) 325-7806, or visit:

Sparky Abrasives Co.

Sparky Abrasives Co. presented the firm’s extensive line of abrasives for the fabricator. The exclusive Sparky Flap Disc was featured. With this product, a grinder can take down welds and finish-sand with one product. For info, call (800) 328-4560. Stainless Stock Exchange/ Diamond Brite Metals

SSE/Diamond Brite Metals was proud to display their line of stainless, colored stainless, brass, bronze, aluminum, architectural grade polishing satin, long grain #8 mirror, and a variety of polished stock shapes and sizes. For info, call (800) 526-0438, or visit: Sumter Coatings Inc.

Sumter Coatings Inc. featured paints, primers, and topcoats especially for ornamental and miscellaneous metal. The firm’s popular Satin

Shield Enamel was a featured product. Satin Shield is a fast drying direct-tometal paint offered in assorted colors. For info, call (888) 471-3400, or visit: Tennessee Fabricating Co.

Tennessee Fabricating supplies a wide range of products and services for fabricators and blacksmiths from castings and forgings to hardware and machinery. We also offer custom castings, custom bronze and aluminum plaques, laser and plasma cutting, powder-coated fence panels and mail-

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

boxes, and everything in between. For info, call (800) 258-4766, or visit: Texas Metal Industries Inc.

Texas Metal Industries Inc. presented its line of aluminum castings, iron castings, steel forgings, gate and doorware, lampposts, outdoor furniture, mailboxes, and more. With two locations, one in the Dallas area and one in Detroit, the company has nearly one million parts ready for same-day shipping. For info, call (800) 2226033, or visit:

Universal Entry Systems of Cleveland, OH showed its imported, highquality gate operators for the residential and commercial markets. The company offers a full range of hydraulic swing gate operators from light-duty residential to intensive duty commercial, including in-ground models and rack and pinion and chain-drive models for slide gates. All operators and panels are tested, inspected, and have a two-year warranty. For info, call (800) 837-4283.

Just Released!!! The NOMMA Education Foundation is proud to announce two new videos:

Through the Garden Gate Straight Stair Fabrication For info visit or see the ad in the May/June Fabricator. Or, call (404) 363-4009, ext. 20 for ordering information.


Tracker CNC

Smooth, clean, precise cuts, time after time and so affordable that

Tracker is the preferred flame cutting system in hundreds of machine shops throughout the country. Tracker accepts any oxy or plasma torch. It’s so easy to set up you’ll be cutting parts the same day you receive your machine. Available in four sizes, from 2 feet by 2 feet to 4 feet by 8 feet. Complete systems include a fully configured lap-top computer, Windows based Command ‘n Cut software with your own part files already installed. For info, call (800) 590-7804, or visit:

Julius Blum & Co., presents its new Stock List Brochure. Find a complete inventory of architectural metal tubing, bars and shapes. Call or e-mail us today for your free copy

Universal Entry Systems Inc.

JULIUS BLUM & CO., INC. P.O. BOX 816 CARLSTADT, N.J. 07072-0816 800-526-6293 201-438-4600 fax 201-438-6003 E-Mail

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Shop Talk

„ Repoussé is one of the oldest metalworking processes where tools are used to push or press metal into various three-dimensional shapes. This article covers the major styles: pattern on the front, pattern on the back, hot into wood, and using stakes and hammers.

By George Dixon The Traditional Metalsmith Repoussé is one of the oldest metalworking processes. Even before metal was first smelted, copper and gold from naturally occurring surface veins were beaten into small sheets and decoratively embossed. At a time when any metal was precious, repoussé’s attraction lay in the fact that sheet metals gave the same presence that solid forms had, using only a fraction of the metal. This may be a significant reason why repoussé is found in such disparate cultures as the Inca, Celt, and Chinese. Early repoussé was worked with wood and bone tools. These were effective on very thin sheets of metal which are

soft anyway, such as gold or copper. In a literal sense, repoussé means “to push from behind.” The forming tools are applied to the back of sheet metals in order to impart volume. In a broader sense, repoussé refers to a combination of two, opposite processes: repoussé (push from behind) and chasing (push or compress from the front). When applied in combination, the sheet metal (gold, copper, silver, iron, steel, monel) is given volume from behind with repoussé tools, while it is detailed and refined from the front with the use of chasing tools. A pattern, geometric, floral, or anamorphic, applied to the sheet metal guides the first steps. Sheet metals have a two-dimensional presence; they have width and height but no depth. Repoussé gives them their third dimension. Repoussé styles

There are several major styles of repoussé. Some styles of repoussé start by applying the

For your information

An Introduction To Repoussé

Want to learn more about repoussé? In the last issue we featured an item on Moving Metal, The Art of Chasing and Repoussé (Jan/Feb 2003, p. 97). About the book Written by Adolph Steines, the text is translated from the German by Judy and Winfried Berger. A long overdue treat for blacksmiths and metalworkers, the text covers the subject in great depth and detail. The richly illustrated reference work covers design transfer, chasing, repoussé, sinking, raising, surface treatment, and much more. Hardback, 8 x 10 in., 131 p., 218 photos/drawings, ISBN 09707664-9-1. To order prepaid, contact Blue Moon Press, Blue Moon Rd., Huntingdon, Pa. 16652 $32.95 plus $3 S&H. PA residents add 6% sales tax. Check, MC/VISA Phone (866) 627-6922, Fax (814) 627-6922, Email, Web SI DE NOTE

This front door was crafted for—you guessed it—a hunter. It is formed with 1 mm (18 ga.) copper, which was repousséd. The entire frame is also clad with copper. 36

A sheet of copper of 0.7 mm to 1 mm (21 ga. to 18 ga.) thickness is easily shaped into a relief by working it with punches, alternating from front and back on a carpteted support.

In this article, as well as the book, Moving Metal, the French word repoussé is used as an equivalent to treiben, which means both chasing and repoussé.

Fabricator n March–April 2003

If you are not completely satisfied with any products ordered from Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works Co. at any time, return it to us, at our expense, and receive a full refund for your returned material.


Quality. Whatever it takes. T. 1.800.522.4766 F. 1.888.699.9666 e-mail

Art Deco


A style of decorative art of the 1920s and 1930s marked by the use of geometric designs and bright colors.

ca. 75 elements or pre-fabricated panels

Art Deco CAD library in DGW format, available to selected custom fabricators



Elements for French Style Railings ca. 75 forged elements in steel or forged brass


PN 107 PN 138

PN 101

PN 110 PN 119

PN 142

PN 141

Elements/CAD library in DGW format, available to selected custom fabricators


You have too much work but not enough skilled help to finish new projects.


We could custom forge the different elements to your Designer’s or Architect’s specifications and CAD drawings. You would be able to use the pre-fabricated elements for final fabrication in your shop.

Mtl. Wrought Iron Bronze Stainless Steel Aluminum

Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works Co. T. 1.800.522.4766 F. 1.888.699.9666 Circle 3 on Reader Service Card

One style of repoussé uses metal stake tools to back the

sheet metal while the front of the sheet is struck with repoussé hammers. pattern to the “front” of the sheet metal, others start with the pattern on the “back.” One style of repoussé uses metal stake tools to back the sheet metal while the front of the sheet is struck with repoussé hammers. Some repoussé work can involve multiple cycles of working front then back, using lead, plasticine, or pitch to fill the developing hollow forms. This

localizes the result of tool impact on the surface of the filled, sheet metal form. Repoussé pattern on the front

The pattern is developed with chasing tools, which are usually sharper than repoussé tools. Once the pattern is chased and chiseled into the face of the sheet, it is annealed (softened by

A variety of hammers are used for sinking and raising. Shown from top to bottom: Forming hammer, bordering hammer, planishing hammer, and raising hammer.

heating) and once cool, it is domed from behind. To dome, or impart volume, the patterned sheet is placed face down onto a backing media. Depending on the metal, its thickness and the degree of relief sought, such materials as pitch, lead, plasticine, carpet, linen, and wood are used. Tools ranging from small round nosed punches to ball-faced hammers are used to sink the metal into the backing media in specific areas. When the sheet is viewed from the front, the chased detail will have gone from a flat “drawing in metal” to a three-dimensional form with depths ranging from subtle Bas-relief to bold high-relief. Repoussé pattern on the back

The sheet metal is placed, face down, onto the backing media. The pattern is developed with repoussé tools, the working-ends of which are generally rounded. Attention is paid to the degree and location of the volume, or relief being imparted. For example, a flower rendered in this style of repoussé would have petals surrounding the stamen. In order to read correctly, those petals in the foreground will have more volume worked into them than the stamen or the petals in the background. Both volume and perspective 38

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Forming the sheet—Once the initial volume is worked

into the pattern, the sheet of metal is annealed, and the hollowed areas are filled with pitch, lead, or plasticine.

are used to create the effect of depth and distance in the image. Once the initial volume is worked into the pattern, the sheet of metal is annealed, and the hollowed areas are filled with pitch, lead, or plasticine. The filled sheet is then chased from the front to delineate the edges and details of the domed pattern. Repoussé hot, into wood

This style of repoussé uses either a precut sheet metal form, such as a leaf or it begins like the “pattern on the front” style. Once the design is delineated, the metal is heated to its hot working temperature (which varies depending on the type of metal) placed face-down onto a hardwood block and struck with repoussé or chasing tools to develop and refine the form.

Repoussé with stakes

Stake-backed repoussé usually begins with a pre-cut “blank” or flat sheet metal form. This blank, once annealed, is developed by hammering the sheet metal into lead to give it volume. The domed form is chased and refined with a hammer, as the sheet form is supported on variously shaped ends of metal stakes. The hammer blows are placed onto the sheet metal beside the area supported by the stake. The stake holds some metal “up,” while Punches with domed faces are forming tools, the hammer drives the adjacent while those with blunt edges are tracing metal down. The result is graceful tools. relief with crisp detail. or architectural scale work. Sheet Today, repoussé is used by artists metals, used cold for sculptural and working with sheet metals of various architectural work, can range from 22 thickness, from fine metals for jewelry, gauge (playing card thickness) to stock through thicker metals in sculpture, to 1 heavier sheet steel and stainless steel /8 inch thick. Some repoussé is also

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Anvils with slender horns are used for chasing and planishing of hollow forms.

done hot in thicker stock up to ¼ of an inch. Repoussé metalwork can be found as a stand-alone process, as in a vessel or jewelry. It can also be found incorporated as a detail or focal point in larger metalwork, such as in furniture and light fixtures. As a rule, repoussé is a one-sided effect. The presentation side, or face, of a project is the chased side while the repoussé side, lacking the refinement or detail of the chasing process, is usually not seen. In fact, in some applications where an otherwise fragile repoussé work is to be incorporated, the repoussé side of the work is filled with epoxy to strengthen the completed hollow form. As an art form, repoussé can be as basic or a challenging as you desire. Simple materials: copper or mild steel, simple tools: a ball-peen hammer and a handful of chisels and chasing tools, and a piece of end-grain birch can get you started. One caution in learning this process, beyond the standards of shop and material safety, is to start with large patterns and, once comfortable with all involved, begin to work at a smaller scale. As with everything, a good reference book and good instruction will make progress faster. Just as important is patience. As Chaucer observed long ago, “lyfe so short and the crafte so long to learne.” George Dixon is publisher of The Traditional Metalsmith, a quarterly journal of art-metalwork. For info, visit: Fill in 89 on Reader Service Card March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


Shop Talk

A tale of three panels: Perf, expanded, and mesh „ Wire and mesh infill patterns provide an aesthetically pleasing solution to even the most stringent building codes. The challenge is to determine the best product and design combination to meet your client’s needs.

Stair rails with a retro look! When an art deco stair rail needed a compatible infill panel, the designer chose an architectural wire mesh with a decorative graphic look. Framed in metal and hung between the rails, the patterned wire mesh seems to float between the rails as a design element and safety feature. Photo: McNichols Co.

By Mark Hoerrner Newer building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements have prompted many property owners to consider alternatives to the traditional pipe rail designs that have been commonplace for decades. The goal for designers, fabricators, and owners alike is to find a design that is aesthetically pleasing while meeting the most stringent safety codes. One solution is perforated metal panels. Traditionally, perforated metal has served a myriad of other purposes from sound abatement (such as in auto mufflers) to microwave and radio containment for blocking signal transfer. Perforated is an easy choice because it can be mass-produced, so designers and architects with hundreds of feet of stairs have an easy option. Also, fabricators say perforated metal is faster to produce, so when a project falls behind schedule, companies can easily meet the demand. Expanded metal panels also fit the bill and are easily created so that fabricators can cut the metal sheet to the necessary size. However, with expanded metal, great care must be taken in considering

For your information

The following companies are mentioned in this article and can provide more information on wire, mesh, and perforated metal products:

California Wire Products Corp. 1128 Bradford Cir. Corona, CA 92882-1874 909-371-7730 42

800-486-7730 fax 909-735-1070 e-mail web The G-S Co. 7920 Stansbury Rd. Baltimore, MD 21222 410-284-9549 fax 410-282-6499; e-mail; web Jesco Industries Inc.

Wire mesh infill panels solve code requirements, are aesthetically appealing, safe, and easy to install. Mesh can be purchased in various sizes, providing room for creativity. These stairs are located at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA. Photo: California Wire Products Corp.

WIPCO 950 Anderson Dr., P.O. Box 388 Litchfield, MI 49252-0388 517-542-2903 800-529-6692 fax 517-542-2501 e-mail jesco@ web McNichols Co. P.O. Box 30300 Tampa, FL 33630

813-243-1800 800-237-3820 fax 813-243-1888 e-mail sales@ web Sources are also available on the NOMMA online Supplier Directory. Go to, and then click on “Supplier Directory,” “Metal Supplies,” and then search under “Panels.”

Fabricator „ March–April 2003

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the application. Since most expanded metal projects involve simply punching a sheet and then pulling until a form of mesh is created, the result is a network of sharp edges. It’s quick, but the limitations may keep expanded metal from being a practical consideration. Making the right choice

The question, then, is whether or not the look of the perforated or expanded metal will work with the design of the building. “It depends on how enclosed you want to be,” says James Edmonds, owner of Paramount Iron and Handrail in Carson City, NV. “Perforated metal gives a very enclosed look. Most of my clients are looking for nearly invisible panels.” For this reason, Edmonds tends to stay away from perforated, preferring to do more with intricate scrollwork or, in more industrial applications, cabling.

Common Configurations

Guard Rails

Wire or woven mesh


Typical attachment detail

Diagrams courtesy of California Wire Products Corp.

“The cabling has advantages in that it’s virtually invisible,” Edmonds says. “With the cables spaced only two inches apart, the railing gives a high degree of safety enclosure.” Quite a few NOMMA members advocate wire mesh infill panels. The

mesh does not have the safety concern of perforated or expanded metal panels as the mesh is usually composed of rounded wire. Costs vary based on the job, and the mesh products are as varied as scrollwork designs. Aside from the strength of the wire,

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

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Sue Moss of California Wire Products Corp. says the wire is a natural for aesthetic design. The wire can be colored, given a patina, or galvanized to protect against weather erosion. In addition, the mesh can be developed in various sizes, with a core square of 1/2 inch up to 4 inches in diameter. California Wire has integrated The designers of a heavily used public infill panels at a number of facility chose painted perforated metal as the primary material for entry doors to sport arenas including complement the contemporary building. Safeco Field in Seattle, WA., and Soldier Field in Photo: McNichols Co. Chicago, IL. Mesh seems to be one of the better choices for children as well. “If it’s in regard to children you have to make special considerations,” says Bonny Des Jardin of Jesco Industries Inc. “Children are going to be children—you have to go with a smaller mesh. We generally don’t install anything over a 2-inch square.” Even with mesh, however, industry experts raise concerns. Some manufacturers, including Sue Moss of California Wire and Tom Schap of The G-S Co., caution fabricators to pay attention to the products they are incorporating into industrial designs. Several wire manufacturers tell stories of fabricators who try to replicate substandard wire components, cheapening the design and the overall product.

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“Some mesh products are simply spot-welded, making them less resilient,” Moss says. “Woven wire— the mesh we use – is more secure because the wire is crimped and woven in and out.” Opponents of the mesh speak of its mundane appearance, but Schap says his company has been able to produce some unique applications in their 75 years of operation. The company has crafted a number of hyperbolic stairway projects as well as a fence system around Battery Park in New York City. “While the infill panels were not a true mesh, the outcome was an understated but classy look,” Schap says. David Brenneman, vice president of Sales and Pur-

Keeping a residential security gate simple but attractive was the goal of a fabricator who installed a black ornamental gate in front of a low-rise dwelling. The wrought iron double-gated entry was backed with lightweight, black expanded metal to provide protection that was compatible in style. Photo: McNichols Co.

Breakdown of product types Mesh

Available from manufacturers in multiple gauges, metal types, and colors. Two styles—weave and welded mesh. Mesh holes typically 1 /2 inch to 4 inches in size. Advantage: Safe, easy to configure, good for safe restriction, ADA compliant. Disadvantage: Limited aesthetic variations, institutional look. Expanded metal

Several patterns available based on how metal is cut and extruded. Holes generally limited to 2 inch or smaller sizes. Advantage: Low-cost, excellent industrial applications, good for creating traction on catwalks, stairways. Disadvantage: Not transferable to situations where people might catch fingers, clothing, straps, etc. Perforated metal

Available in multiple patterns. Perforation size up to imagination and not restricted to geometric designs. Hole sizes of any variant. Multiple choices by utilizing varied metal sheets. Advantages: Adaptable to industrial or domestic applications, high degree of situational flexibility, low cost, moderate to high aesthetic appeal. Disadvantages: One side of metal has burred edges, very “closed” feeling, custom jobs a bit tougher if stair is on strange angle. Fill in 72 on Reader Service Card


Fabricator „ March–April 2003

chasing at McNichols Co., a large supply house with offices nationwide and internationally, said his company creates an array of infill panels utilizing all three possibilities. “The aesthetic goal is going to determine what kind of panel you are seeking,” Brenneman said. “The one that is most popular is the wire cloth, but it really depends on the application.” Brenneman said the infill panels are used in mostly public and professional buildings rather than personal residences. Because of the institutional nature of the panels, even decorative ones, those seeking a very elaborate look often choose a different ornamental pattern than can be produced with the perforated, expanded, or wire mesh panels. The perforated metal does, however, offer fabricators a wide array of options, much more so than the other two types of metal. McNichols, for example, offers 19 different designs of punch-outs, all of which have variations in size and pattern available. “Virtually any design is possible with the perforated,” Brenneman said. “With the proper machine, you can create almost any cookie-cutter image and punch it out of a sheet of metal.” Whereas he reiterates that expanded metals are not truly applicable in industrial situations because of the likelihood of sharp edges, perforated metal only shows a burr on the side opposite of the cut, so it can be used in far more applications that might call for a specialty aesthetic look. Further, using perforated metals of differing types in combination— such as a galvanized steel sheet with a brass sheet—give the fabricator a world of possibilities for a simple, unique look or a different look from each side of a stair rail. One thing is clear: the scope of the project being considered and the intended users play a definite role in deciding how open or closed a project can be, and time/cost considerations will also limit whether a perforated, expanded, or mesh solution will be best for the job. Mark Hoerrner is a freelance writer based in Kennesaw, GA. Fill in 165 on Reader Service Card March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


Member Talk

Tucson fabricator finds a special niche „ Rapid population growth as well as federal and state accessibility requirements have kept this fabrication firm busy. By John L. Campbell

“We’ve had a lot of dumb luck.” That’s how Alex Galvez sums up the success of Desert Ornamental Artistry, a NOMMA member in Tucson, AZ. In 1985 he started the business in his mother’s backyard. Typical of the tight-knit families in Hispanic culture, Lourdes and Alex Galvez are shown with the “Minority Manufacturing Firm of the her house was just next door. Oblivious to Year” award that they received in 1997. Desert Ornamental Artistry exemplifies a cohesive partnership based on strong family values. the hours he spent to assure on-time customer deliveries, Alex compares the growth Desert Ornamental Artistry sells and leases tempoof their company to throwing a stone over a snow rary ramps and stairways to the manufacturers of conbank. With each roll of the stone, the business grew struction site trailers and modular shelters. One of larger. their major accounts is a division of General Electric, For the past decade Desert Ornamental Artistry has the Capital Modular Space division that makes and been riding the wake of the Americans with Disabilisupplies modular buildings and temporary shelters. ties Act (ADA), part of which requires ramps for wheelchairs. Until just a few years ago they were one of Unexpected opportunities two companies in the entire state of Arizona qualified to supply temporary ramps and entry level decks that The rapid influx of people to the southwest has premeet the specifications of ADA federal and state sented opportunities Alex and Lourdes never imagined requirements for temporary modular buildings and for the growth of their business. Among other things, trailers. it led to increased school enrollment. Caught without “For years our only competitor in the entire state adequate class space, many school districts have been was a company making concrete entry ramps and compelled to install temporary trailers for classrooms. decks. These are heavy and difficult to move,” said To comply with ADA standards each classroom has to Alex. “Using a fabrication of square steel tubing gives be equipped with wheel-chair ramps, stairways, rail us the advantage of lighter weight and easier installasupports, and deck entries. Population growth also led tion. I can send two men with a truck and trailer to to more construction and more construction sites. The install our ramps.” same requirements apply for trailers at construction

For your information

Member Desert Ornamental Artistry of Tucson, AZ, joined NOMMA in1985. Background Desert Ornamental Artistry is a family owned


business that employs eight people. Shop specialty Fabricates and supplies temporary ramps and stairways to manufacturers of construction site trailers and modular shelters. What you’ll learn The Galvez family has made a market for themselves by strictly and reli-

ably complying with ADA federal and state requirements for temporary modular buildings and trailers. They fabricate and supply temporary ramps and stairways for these buildings. Arizona’s population growth keeps them in business increasing the demand for modular classrooms and other new construction.

Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Chris Galvez, one of Alex’s brothers, prepares to weld a deck module using a fixture designed to hold 1-inch square tubing in place.

sites and temporary offices for banks and car rental firms. The mushrooming growth of golfing communities like the retirement center called Saddlebrooke, north of Tucson, have provided additional contract business with its need for golf course fencing and gates on their fairways. “We’ve gotten into fabricating aluminum,” says Alex. “The cost of the ramps and decks in aluminum is four times our current cost in steel, although there are schools in the Las Vegas area that specify aluminum. Evidently, they’ve got the tax money to pay for them.”

He runs the shop on the axiom that the day is not done until the job is finished. One of eight children in his family, Alex had his initial career goal aimed at becoming a Catholic priest. He spent some time in the seminary studying for the priesthood before having a change of heart. When he left the seminary, he enrolled at Prima Community College, where he took courses in machine tool and welding.

He speaks highly of Prima County’s vocational college programs. Before finishing college, he married Lourdes and they moved into a house next door to his parents. While working in an apprenticeship program, Alex began contracting welding projects, a craft he still enjoys. However, the projects got bigger—too big for mom’s backyard. Urged by one of his customers to find more suitable quarters, he and Lourdes applied for a business license and moved to a rented facility. Cramped for storage space, they moved in 1999 to a building they had constructed on 1.25 acres with an office and shop of 6,700 square feet. “Our open house was called A Junk Yard Tour,” said Alex pointing to the array of steel fabrications, modules of decks and ramps outside in an uncovered area adjacent to their shop. But carrying a large inventory of welded sections that can be assembled on site gives their customers the benefit of quick delivery. Having the business in Tucson offers more advantages to the Galvez

Well deserved recognition

In 1997 Desert Ornamental was named Tucson’s Minority Manufacturer of the Year. At the peak of their productivity they were fabricating 40,000 pounds of steel a month and employed 13 people. Since then, other fabricators have entered the business of supplying entry ramps, cutting into Desert’s volume. They now operate with eight employees, several of them members of the Galvez family. The Galvez family, typical of Mexican-American families, is a cohesive working unit. Alex handles marketing, sales and installations, and Lourdes, his wife, who answers to the nickname Lou, is the office manager. Alex’s son, James, and his brother, Chris, work for the company. Their daughter, Geovanna, occasionally answers the telephone. Desert Ornamental Iron also employs Gabriel Puente as the company’s general manager. Both Alex and Lourdes agree that Gabriel added another dimension to their company. Fill in 77 on Reader Service Card March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


LEFT: While the commercial work is the mainstay of Alex’s business, he still has a special interest in artistic work. RIGHT: Selling or leasing to the builders of modular structures, the firm maintains an inventory of steel fabricated ramps and stairways, which are ready for prompt delivery.

family business. Particularly advantageous is the dry climate. Paint may degrade from ultraviolet rays of the sun. But time-of-wetness is not a problem that causes corrosion, and the state of Arizona requires a twoyear guarantee on all paint jobs. Another advantage is that the environmental regulations in Arizona allow Desert Ornamental to operate their own in-house paint department. “Our installation crew carries a small compressor and paint gun, so they can touch up scratches and nicks in the field,” Alex explained. The large property allows room for Alex’s other hobby. Tucked back in one corner of the lot is an assortment of antique cars he’d like to work on, when business allows the time. Alex says he’d like to do more artistic work like some of the gates and doors they’ve done in the past. “One unique job we did had the front end of a Volkswagen welded into a door. Then, there was the door we made that had a drawbridge,” Alex said, to which Lourdes added, “But, the real money is in fabricating ramps, stairs, and decks that comply with ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.” It’s a benefit to have someone other than the artist in the business to monitor the profitable products. Mr. Campbell is a senior writer for Fabricator. Fill in 31 on Reader Service Card


Fabricator „ March–April 2003


Member Talk

A special love for Victorian era fencing

We recently had the opportunity to interview

Eric Lee of Lee Custom Iron. Eric, a fabricator based in Kalamazoo, MI, specializes in turnof-the-century fencing. Recently, Eric began offering pre-made Victorian fence posts to other fabricators, and we asked him to share his story.

Fabricator What does Lee Custom Iron spe-

cialize in? Lee Steel fabrication and installation of Victorian style fencing. Fabricator What is the market like in Kalamazoo? Lee It’s been darn good with all the historic renovation. But my work has started migrating toward money instead of local projects. People are searching me out to do “finer” work out of town. I like to do and learn this tricky stuff.

Fabricator How big is the shop? Lee It’s 5,000 square feet and on the main

floor of a 38,000 square foot, four-story building. Fabricator How long has Lee Custom Iron

been in business? Lee Since 1995.



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his na


March–April 2003 „ Fabricator

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this in

Member Eric Lee of Lee Custom Iron in Kalamazoo, MI, joined NOMMA in July 2001.

Kalamazoo? Lee The longer I’m in business the bigger my radius gets. Out of town jobs require more experience anyway, so it works out.

Background Lee Custom Iron has been designing, manufacturing, and installing custom fencing and railings since 1995. They serve residential, commercial, and light industrial markets within a two-hour radius of their shop.

Fabricator Do you ever do any long distance

Shop Specialty Victorian style fencing.

Fabricator Do you do most of your work in

Fabricator How many fabricators work at Lee

Custom Iron? Lee Two: me and my right hand man Steve “Zip” DeMoss. We’ve been together for five years. And together we are, in my opinion, the densest pool of fabricating talent for miles.

For your information

„ Eric Lee is a fabricator who recently started supplying to other fabricators. In addition to custommade high-end fencing and rail, Lee makes Gothic Corner Posts, which he now sells in components or assembled to meet his customers’ fence design and spacing specs.

work? If so, how far and how often? Lee Not too much, anything over two hours away is too far to bother with for me right now. Luckily that’s about how far my “word of mouth” has gone. Fabricator How did you get started in the

ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry? Lee I worked for one of the greatest antique dealers in the Great Lakes area, Robert Medema and his emporium here in Kazoo. Tons of old copper, fence, and lumber fence has filtered its way south over the years and in my 10 years at Bob’s, I saw plenty and learned a lot about how the old stuff was made. But with the antiques’ finite supply, demand sparked my interest, and I started building it myself. I try hard to duplicate old techniques whenever possible. . b jo n


What you’ll learn Eric Lee is a fabricator who recently started supplying to other fabricators. In addition to custommade high-end fencing and rail, Lee makes Gothic Corner Posts, which he now sells in components or assembled to meet his customers’ fence design and spacing specs. CO NTAC T

Eric Lee Lee Custom Iron 508 East Frank St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Phone/fax (269) 3832070. Web




Fabricator When did you first start making Corner Gothic Posts? And when did you start mass producing them? Lee I’ve been having them cast one at time for five years at least. Mass production started about two weeks after my ad came out in Fabricator. I’m ready now.

Eric Lee and coworker Steve “Zip” DeMoss. Renovations in the Great Lakes area keep the two-man team busy.

Fabricator If it’s not giving away a

sacred secret, can you tell me how Gothic Corner Posts are made? Or, if it is too sacred, maybe tell about one particularly interesting step involved in fabricating Gothic Corner Posts? Lee It’s not secret; very basic stuff. I have specialty shop buddies in town who make some parts; I make some. I guess the unusual step is the step that’s not here. The shippin’ overseas step. I send people a really cool ‘Fabrication Guide’ with pictures along with the catalog.

Eric puts the final touches on a walkway gate. Because of the limited supply of orginal fence components in the antiques market, Eric began building his own parts. R


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Fabricator What materials are they made of? Lee The cap and finial are cast aluminum and the rest of the post is steel. The finial is tapped and is the “nut” that holds the aluminum cap to the steel weldment body. This eliminates the dissimilar metals problem and mimics old design.

unique in some way? Lee Hopefully they’re as close as possible to the thousands of these posts sold in the 1890’s. No, I guess the custom part comes in the proportions of the post. The posts need to be fabricated to fit the fence design and spacing. Fabricator Are there any variables buyers can choose from, like type of metal? Lee Basically they can buy them assembled to their specs or in component form. Fabricator What made you decide to start mass producing them and selling them to other fabricators? Lee Just to recoup some cost a little quicker.

Fabricator Despite the fact that you’re

making a lot of them, do you consider them custom? Is each one still

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Fabricator What changes did you have to make in your shop to accommodate this transition into manufacturing and supplying Gothic Corner Posts? Lee None. This is a product that I have been manufacturing here and there for years. I just cleared out a corner in the shop for the inventory and had a new hat printed up that says “Gothic Post Project.” Fabricator What has been the effect on your fabricating business? Lee Little, but increased quality if anything. Castings made “loose mold,” using an original, tend to be less detailed and dirty. To increase my quality and reduce clean up time on the rough castings, I had production match plates made. Castings from these plates are clean and detailed, shotblasted, ready for finish.

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Speaking of fence posts—

“Hopefully they’re as close as possible to the thousands of these posts sold in the 1890’s.”

Fabricator Have you done much advertising for the posts? Lee Just through you guys. I have really taken the ad thing a little casually. I am use to a long line of customers for my work, so actively selling or looking for customers is not a strong suit for me. Fabricator Have you noticed any

increase in sales due to advertising? Lee I have received a number of requests for catalogs through Fabricator magazine. Time will tell if this is the way or not. If I never sell a single post to another fabricator I will have an exclusive supply of what I think is one of the most authentic Victorian corner posts available. I know it’s awfully Irish of me but whichever way is a “win” in my eyes. Eye for me (only have one left). And I’m darn happy about that too. Fabricator Do most fabricators order

them in components or assembled? Lee I priced a finished post to accommodate the non-fab shop, but I really expect it to sell mostly in component form. This type of fence construction, at this level of quality, is all custom fabricated. Shops building these posts from components will make good money. Fabricator Do you have any advice for

other fabricators who think their shop may have a special item they could supply to other fabricators? Lee Not just yet, maybe on my second product/tool release. I do actually have a tool in mind that, I believe, would de-revolutionize the Victorian fencing industry. Later. Fabricator What are your business goals in relation to these posts? Lee No expectations of anything. I’ve already accomplished my goal, to supply my customers with the finest, most correct, post for their install. Fill in 89 on Reader Service Card March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


Cover Feature

Job Profile

CAD Plus A Great Client Results In SUCCESS! „ Proficiency

in CAD, the use of advanced plate cutting technology, and an accommodating customer made this job a happy experience.

By Dave Gutbrod Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. During the project featured in this article, we were able to develop a relationship with the customer that most fabricators only dream about. With just a small magazine picture of a railing as source material, we were given virtually complete creative freedom by our customer. He told us all he wanted was for first time visitors at his home to see the railing and say, “Wow!” After spending a short time reviewing styles that appealed to him, our firm created a prototype drawing, which was approved on the spot. Perhaps the hardest aspect of any artistic creation is to know when you’re done. Therefore, we fabricated a prototype of the railing to establish an acceptable level of finish, which was also approved on the first try.

A full-size railing section for this job was created in AutoCAD and approved by the owner. The same AutoCAD file was sent to an outside firm, which used the data to cut scrolls and circles from 3/4 inch plate.

For your information

produces everything from indsutrial catwalks and caged latters to highly decorative railings, gates, and fences.

Company Germantown Iron & Steel Corp., Richfield, WI. Web

Unique features The company has in-house design, drafting, and field measuring departments and does their own installations. Thus, they provide “one-stop” service for customers.

About the firm A NOMMA member since 1999, the company’s ornamental iron division


Structural operations On the structural side, the firm provides design/build subcontracting, CAD and drafting services, and erection services.

Greatest challenge Matching the rail to the wood top rail and base volute.

About this job The design was inspired by a small picture in a magazine that was furnished by the owner. The rail features a power coat finish and approximate labor time was 188 hours.

“Another customer noticed the professional photographs we had taken and put on display in our office and declared, ‘I have to have a railing like that.’”



Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Getting customers to so quickly give design, quality, and finish approvals hasn’t always been so easy. But we gained the confidence to design and build ornate and challenging railings as a result of becoming proficient in AutoCad (CAD). Meanwhile, inspiration came from sources like Fabricator magazine and NOMMA. Seeing all of the fantastic iron work at the NOMMA conventions as well as networking with other fabricators has helped motivate us to accept harder projects.

No doubt, one of the most significant tools giving us the

confidence to take on more challenging work is our increasing proficiency with CAD. ship with these trades is paramount to the success of the job. We agreed to fit our railing to a pre-made base valute and stringer base valute or “wedding cake,” as the millworker called it. This posed the most difficult challenge in the fabrication process. After a couple of futile attempts at bending the horizontal bars to match the tight radius,

we created a full size CAD template and simply burned them out of plate. Once the stair was installed, we took accurate dimensions and plenty of pictures to help in preparing the shop drawings. To establish the radius of the stair, we pulled a string line on the stringer centerline from both ends of the arc. We documented the length

Growing with CAD

No doubt, one of the most significant tools giving us the confidence to take on more challenging work is our increasing proficiency with CAD. All dimensions are calculated in CAD, saving draftsmen time and reducing or nearly eliminating errors. Drawings look professional and are easy to read and can be plotted to full size for customer evaluation or for use as templates in the shop. Cutting patterns from steel sheet plate can also be done directly from a CAD drawing file. Our first experience using CAD drawings to cut a steel sheet pattern was when a customer requested an elaborate inside railing for her new office building. Our firm drew the art nouveau panels in CAD and simply emailed the drawing file to Ornamental Steel Designs in Clarksville, TN. A short time later, we received the panels and fabricated the railings. The final results were wonderful, and the owner was ecstatic. At her ensuing open house our railings received a lot of attention, with many guests asking if the railings were reconditioned from an old building. A businessman in attendance was so impressed he even decided that to have similar railings built for his new home. The railing built for this customer is the one featured in this article. Fabricating the rail from CAD

After building a prototype and receiving approvals for the look, quality, and finish, we met with the builder and the millworker, who were going to be furnishing and installing the wood stair stringers and the wood top rail. Establishing a good working relationFill in 90 on Reader Service Card March–April 2003 „ Fabricator


After the scroll patterns were drawn, a file was e-mailed to

ArcRon Ltd. of Menomonee Falls, WI to have the scrolls and circles cut from steel plate. of this line and measured from the center point of the line perpendicular back to the centerline of the stringer. Inputting these two dimensions in CAD is all that was needed to find all of the arc’s properties. This information was given to the blacksmith and the bar stock rails were rolled accordingly. Drawing the railing scrolls in CAD

was at first a challenge, but after some experimenting, we found a good system. Using an arc from one quarter of a circle at a time, each adjacent arc radius was increased by three inches sequentially. After the scroll patterns were drawn, a file was e-mailed to ArcRon Ltd. of Menomonee Falls, WI to have the scrolls and circles cut from steel plate.

Lighting Rings... To Hemispheres. The purchased basket balusters, along with the skeletal frame and temporary bracing, were heliarc welded together on site. The rail was then brought back to the shop to add the infills.

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The main basket posts and all the vertical members were cut at the proper pitch and brought along with the curved rails to the jobsite for assembly. The bar stock rails were easily twisted to create the helix of the stair stringers. The entire skeletal frame was welded together with TIG to minimize sparks within the customer’s home. Once we were satisfied with the basic composition, plenty of temporary bracing was added so as not to interfere with the decorative panels that would be added back at the shop. Our craftsman who worked along side of our installers for the fit up compared the importance of the bracing to that of a roll cage on a race car and assembled it similar to that of a roll cage. None of the straight sections required any field assembly and were fabricated directly from the drawings in the shop. At the shop, the cut panels were fit into the helixed openings by cold bending with a simple jig on the bench, bumping gently

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Fabricator „ March–April 2003

Another customer noticed the professional photographs we

had taken and put on display in our office and declared, “I have to have a railing like that.” to fit. Purchased acanthus leaves were then modified and welded and blended into the panels. The railings left our shop to be blasted and powder coated black. The installation required four men to carry the curved railing and carefully set it into position. Again, TIG welding was the chosen method due to the minimal sparking and the ease of shielding the finished components in the house. Only three joints were required to be field welded. It was previously agreed that the general contractor’s painter would touch up the field welds and abrasions left from the splices. The entire project was a wonderful success. I will never forget the owner’s reaction after coming in the front door and seeing the railing for the first time: “Wow!” To add to the success of this project, another customer noticed the professional photographs we had taken and put on display in our office and declared, “I have to have a railing like that.” As a result, we are now working on a monumental stairway with ornamental railings in the entry of a new professional golf course club house that the customer is building. I guess this ornamental iron stuff is contagious.

railings, and in 1970 changed our name to Germantown Iron & Steel Corporation. My brother Ken and I began working in dad’s shop when we were in grade school and learned the business from the ground up. In 1992, dad turned the reins over to us. Although he is now semi-retired, he still plays an active role in the business.

Currently, with 43 employees, Germantown Iron & Steel primarily works for general contractors in the commercial market and from time to time receives residential projects as well. The ornamental part of the business— although small—is an important part of the organization. The drafters, the craftsmen, and the installers all feel an extra sense of pride and enthusiasm when involved in work that truly is art. Ornamental iron work also adds a nice variety from the routine of many other projects.


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Company background

As mentioned, getting and working with customers hasn’t always been so easy. Rather, in 1968, when our company first came on the scene, the steel fabrication industry was highly competitive. It was then that my father, Boyd Gutbrod, decided to venture out on his own, fabricating railings. There were approximately 20 to 25 fabricators in the Milwaukee area alone, which is where my dad started up the AAA Railing Company. Although competitive, demand for steel building components was high, and large and small companies alike were enjoying growth and success. As the AAA Railing Company grew, we began fabricating structural steel as well as stairs and


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Job Profile

Two sets of driveway gates were crafted for two entrances to a Florida farm. The gates were inspired by a set of cemetery gates at a cathedral in South Tyrol, Austria, circa 1820. Finish features a black crinkle powder coat with pewter liquid leaf highlighting. Approx. labor time: 366 hrs.

For your information

a 1,300 mile distance, the fabriction and installation of two driveway gates for a Florida farm becomes a successful venture.

dow ornaments, a couple of light fixtures, and fencing and entry gate for the courtyard. After that project was completed the homeowner purchased two farms next to each other in Wellington, FL where these gates are located.

By Chris Maitner Christopher Metal Fabricating

Initial challenges

„ Despite

The design involved collaboration among the designer, ourselves, and a book Our client on this project was the intecalled Decorative Ironwork by Margarete rior designer. We first got involved with her Baur-Heinhold. The gates mimic a pair of and the homeowner of this project some cemetery gates in South Tyrol, Austria in five years ago when we did the Biedermeier style circa Design ideas work for them in the west 1820. Since the design conobtained from... Michigan area. About four tains so many individual Decorative Ironwork: years ago the homeowner forged elements, the price was Wrought Iron Latticedecided to move back to getting considerable. So we work, Gates, and RailChicago from west Michigan redesigned it and were able to ings; Author Baurwhere she purchased a turnfind purchased components Heinhold, Margarete; of-the-century townhouse on such as stamped leaves, castHardback; Book; 368 the Gold Coast in downtown ings, cast rosettes, collars, and Photos; 176 pages Chicago, which she proceeded spears, making the project Published: December to restore to its former grace. much more economical. 1996; Schiffer PubIn that project we provided Of course one of the big lishing Ltd; ISBN: interior rails on two stairways, challenges was the site loca0764301535 exterior porch rails, a few wintion some 1,300 miles away 60

Distance no barrier for this aluminum gate job

Member Christopher Metal Fabricating was incorporated in 1988 and joined NOMMA in 1990. Shop specialty Ornamental and miscellaneous work for residential and commercial markets, 50/50. Location of project Wellington, FL Project description Two aluminum double leaf drive gates, one at each end of two entrances to a farm. The design mimics a pair of cemetery gates at a cathedral in South Tyrol, Austria, in the Bridemeier style circa 1820. Project’s biggest challenges Sight location was over 1,300 miles from the shop, and each gate is comprised of 580 individual component pieces. Shop’s typical market area Christopher Metal Fabricating accepts work within a 50 mile radius of Grand Rapids, MI but has also completed work as far away as Wellington, FL, Cincinnati, OH, Aspen, CO, and all around Michigan. Business philosophy We believe in providing our clients with the top possible quality at a fair price.

Fabricator „ March–April 2003

from our shop. In fact, when we were first approached on this project by the designer I told her that it was quite a distance, but we could do it. I also told her we had a couple of friends down in Florida, both extremely talented NOMMA members, who could do this work for her. But she insisted that the homeowner and she absolutely loved the work we did previously and wanted us to do the new project if possible. Fortunately the designer’s home and owner’s main home were in Chicago, which shortened our drives to meetings among the three of us to about 2½ hours. We held two meetings to nail down a fairly definitive design before I flew down to Fort Lauderdale and rented a car to travel north to Wellington to visit the site. Once there, I got every possible field dimension I could imagine. I took several rolls of film to help me remember what it was I was looking at. At that time I also had an initial conversation with the contractor in charge of the overall project, which included total renovation of the ranch. Since two adjacent farms created one large farm there were two entry drives. Therefore we needed to make two sets of gates. After applying field dimensions and making a fairly significant design presentation drawing, another meeting in Chicago took place. Approval was given and final pricing was then established. Then I took a second trip down to Florida, again a flight to Fort Lauderdale with rental car to Wellington. I had several meetings with various contractors: electrician, the general contractor, building code official, to make sure everything was going to work okay. We don’t normally do gate operators, so I contacted a friend, Art Ballard of Art’s Work. He put us in touch with a gentleman in the Miami area who does gate operators on the systems he installs. John from Miami Gate Operators turned out to be more than just an installer for us but a lifesaver at times, especially with finishing the project. He met our man at the site, helped him install the gates, and installed the operating systems for them. There were some problems with the electrical. So it took several extra trips for him coming from South

The gate frames are 2” tube, 2” x 1” channel, and 3/4” square tube pickets. Accents were applied to the front and back sides of the gates and include cast spears, stamped sheet aluminum leaves, spires, collars, balls, rosettes, and laser cut vines. The “scallop” effect in the center join bar was accomplished with a grinder.

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Miami, which is not a small run in itself, but he did a marvelous job. Fabricating the gates

The gate frames are made of 2 inch tubes, 2 by 1 inch channels, and ¾ inch square pickets. Accent pieces were applied to both front and backside of the gates and include cast spears, spires, collars, rosettes, balls, stamped leaves, and laser-cut vines. The large center rosette was made up of flattened stamped leaves and a central cast rosette, again on the front and back of the gate. The wheel detail at the bottom was created by rolling flat bar stock into circles, separating them by four cast collars, filing the inside with cold bent bar curls, and then covering front and back with rosettes. The lower Greek key pattern of ¾ inch square tubes is comprised of individual pieces welded together to create the shape. Cast balls were utilized for separators on the lower portion of the design. The side fence sections fill out the pre-existing brick walls and are made of all the same materials

All total, more than 580 pieces went into each gate. This large center piece is made of a cast rosette that is adorned with flattened stamped leaves. The element was placed on both the front and back of the gate.

included in the simplified design. Each picket has stamped aluminum leaves which we inserted in the punched holes of the channel. So when we welded the pickets, we also

welded the leaves. While powder coating, we spread the tops of the leaves so we could coat the inside of them. After coating we pinched the leaf tops against the pickets and glued them with a small dot of “Goop.” Time to order parts

Once everything was finalized drawing-wise for the shop, we could count up our individual component parts and order them. It took some three and a half to four weeks to get all the parts in before we started the actual fabrication. The material list is as follows: 52 cast spears along the top, four cast spires, 16 cast collar spacers for the wheels along the bottom, and 32 cast rosettes. The six 2 by 2 tubes, 10 2-inch channels, 105 ¾inch square tube pickets and Greek key components, plus the two steel hinge posts sunk into the ground, were all provided by a local source. The four gate hinges, 248 stamped leaves, and 24 aluminum balls were procured from national suppliers. The eight bands for the wheels were rolled in a bending machine, and the 32 curls in the wheels were formed cold on a bender in a scroll bending jig. The center joint cover bar is ¼ inch by 3 inch aluminum bar stock with the surface scalloped with a hand grinder. The 44 vine sections were plasma cut locally, 96 ¼ inch by 1 inch bars with Fill in 175 on Reader Service Card


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When our fabricator took the gates down to Florida, after he

had them installed, he added a pewter liquid leaf highlighting by means of a rag and dry brush right at the site. curls to make the ellipses. That totals some 662 individual pieces to build one gate and fence entry! The finishing touch

A black crinkle powder coat finish was applied back at our shop in Grand Rapids. When our fabricator took the gates down to Florida, after he had them installed, he added a pewter liquid leaf highlighting by means of a rag and dry brush right at the site. Something else that was unique for us is that since the job was going to south Florida, where the chance of longterm frost is unlikely, we didn’t have to worry about countless weep holes. All in all it was a very successful project that took some 388 man hours to fabricate, paint, and install. I got a couple nights on the beach at Lauderdale by the Sea in my trips preparing for this project. Mike, the fabricator

who built the gates, brought them down to install, took along his wife and son and they got a few days on the beach as well. At least his wife and son did while he worked on the gates. Then they went down farther south and met Art, took a drive through the Everglades, and worked their way back home, making a few other stops along the way. Company background

Christopher Metal Fabricating was incorporated in 1988. After having been in the miscellaneous steel business for 20 years prior I started my own shop. I started promoting residential works, as that was the most enjoyable and much more creative side of the business. When we started about 2 percent of our work was residential. The rest was commercial miscellaneous. At present we are about at

50/50. We believe in providing our clients with the top possible quality at a fair price. The vast majority of our work is within a 50 mile radius of Grand Rapids, MI, but we have done work as far away (as you can see) as Wellington, FL, Cincinnati, OH, Aspen, CO, completely up and down the entire West Coast of the state of Michigan, around the lake into Indiana and Chicago, the central part of the state in Lansing and Midland all the way to the east side in the Detroit area and suburbs. Soon after I started the business in 1988 I was sent a copy of Fabricator magazine. That got my interest. I knew nothing about NOMMA at the time. I believe I joined in 1990, went to my first convention in 1994 and haven’t missed one since. And the only reason we were able to build these gates was a direct result of our involvement in NOMMA. Education, networking, and exposure to different vendors through METALfab enabled us to find all the suitable component parts needed for this project.

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Job Profile

A multi-layered grand driveway gate The addition of custom machine grooved lattice work along the bottom of the gate provides an elegant touch. The driveway gates, which were designed by the fabricator and architect, are made of 5/8" square bar, 1" diameter ball bearings, 1" x 3/16" flat bar, 2" x 1" flat bar, bronze rosettes, 1¼" bronze balls, and 1" x ½" flat bar.

For your information

Member Wilson Railing & Metal Fab. Inc. of Park City, IL, has been in business over 56 years and joined NOMMA in1993.

By Steve Wilson Wilson Railing & Metal Fab. Inc. We’ve been in business for over 56 years custom fabricating industrial and residential products. We use standard wrought iron materials, along with stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized bronze, and silver nickel materials. Our business is primarily through word of mouth, so I make sure our product meets high standards. The clientele in our area know that our prices are usually higher than the competition. But our customers also know that they will get a far superior product for the price that we quote. We also stand behind everything we fabricate. March–April 2003


This unique set of gates was designed by the architect and our fabricator. Then it was the responsibility of the fabricator to engineer the fabrication process so that the desired look was achieved. In sticking to our motto, “There is nothing we can’t fabricate,” we took on this job. The two-dimensional blue print accompanying this article illustrates a rough design of the gate. We usually give a rough design like this to our customer to give them a good idea of what their product will look like even though it does not exactly reflect the end result. It is our job to make sure the end result provides our customer with an overwhelming product that knocks every passerby off their feet. All the scrolls at the top of these gates

Shop specialty They fabricate miscellaneous metal products for industrial and high-end residential markets. Project Unique set of gates for a residence near Park City, IL Materials Steel in a variety of stock sized bars, flats, and plates. Biggest challenge Assembling the lattice work, which appears at the bottom of the gate. Outsourced work Lake City Tool Works North machined notches in the bars that make up the lattice work. Steel supplier Liebovich Bros. of Rockford, IL.


After achieving a few feet, the lattice wanted to bow up or not stay in place. So my men started to tack the bars together, which still made the lattice bow. were individually hand-forged using 5/8 inch by 1 inch solid bar. The very top spear was cut from 3/4 inch flat plate, which was welded down the center of the vertical ¾ inch by 2 inch bar. This was blended to achieve a one-piece hammered part. Most of the center scrolls are 5/8 inch square solid bar hand-forged. They were welded and blended into the vertical 5/8 inch square solid bars, also to achieve a one-piece part. The rest of the scrolls are made of 5/8 inch by 1 inch solid bar. All scrolls have hand-hammered bolt ends. In the very center of the gates, there is a center vertical 5/8 inch solid bar with a double twist. This was made to be removable so that the center bronze sphere could be polished and installed after the gates were painted. At the top of the twisted bar we cut two ovals from a 5/8 inch solid plate and welded these into place. We then placed a bronze rosette on each side of the plates by drilling and tapping. All the bronze was lightly darkened or softened with patina and then clear-coated with lacquer for protection. The entire framework is made from

The driveway gates, which were designed by the fabricator and architect, are made of 5 /8" square bar, 1" diameter ball bearings, 1" x 3/16" flat bar, 2" x 1" flat bar, bronze rosettes, 1¼" bronze balls, and 1" x ½" flat bar. All scrolls were hand forged. A crane was required for final installation.

¾ inch by 2 inch solid bar. To be honest the very bottom horizontal bar is a ¾ inch by 2 inch channel. I thought this might help the weight out, but it didn’t. I never exactly weighed these gates, but according to calculations, each swinger is about 700 pounds. So, for the hinges we used Guardian hinge #2000 from Antech Corp. Towards the bottom of the gates there are 16-inch tall vertical bars, which to me have a head and arm resembling little men. These are made


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from ½ inch square solid bar for the torso, ½ inch by ¼ inch rectangle bar for the arms, and 1 inch round ball bearings for the head. Lattice provides special touch

I wanted the lower part of the gate to be as attractive as the upper part. So, at the very bottom of the gates there is a lattice-type design. To achieve this design we used 3/8 inch by 2 inch bar. We then gave the material to Lake County Tool Works North, which is our main machinist. They machine cut a 1¾ inch by 3/8 inch groove every 2 inches. Since the grooves were machined with such tight tolerances, we had to slightly hammer each bar into the other bar. After achieving a few feet, the lattice wanted to bow up or not stay in place. So my men started to tack the bars together, which still made the lattice bow. Since our shop did not have “platen” tables or clamps long enough to clamp the materials down, they took some old C-clamps rendered from previous jobs and cut them in half. We welded them directly to our steel table, which helped straighten everything out. Once we straightened all the warping, the lattice work turned into a dimensional piece of art perfect for the elegance of the gates.

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March–April 2003

The fabricator typically provides the client with a drawing prior to production. This illustration shows the key components of the gate, including the latticework, short pickets, and long pickets. Once work began, it took about 220 labor hours to complete the project.

In order to paint the 700 pound gates and achieve full coverage, we used our fork truck with the help of our shop crane in flipping. This turned out to be a task for our crane

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because it’s in a separate facility from our paint facility. The gates were both hand-painted—so we could get into all the cracks—and spray-painted by epoxy primer with an acrylic gloss

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black topcoat. The embedment posts were 6-inch square tubing posts with a 3/8 inch wall thickness buried approximately 9 feet into the earth. The posts each had three outriggers using 1 inch by 2 inch bar to support the outriggers using a crane. Overall the job went rather well, taking approximately 220 hours. Wilson railing has been the premier fabricator of custom ornamental iron in the North Shore area of Illinois for over 56 years. We create beautiful custom fabricated showcase railings, driveway gates, and standard porch railings. Our customers help visualize and create the concept for their unique staircase railings or gates, and we make them a reality. Fortunately, the community that we serve lives by the philosophy that money is not an issue when creating a masterpiece. We love to tackle new and unique projects which become eye-catching finishing additions to already magnificent homes. We do not say “no” to any project, and we look forward to creating these works of art.

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Biz Side

Discharging An Employee: Do It CAREFULLY Terminating a worker is difficult enough as it is, but these days numerous liability concerns can make the process even more daunting.

None of us likes to do it, but eventually,

every business owner must face up to the unpleasant task of terminating an employee. “Firing people is one of the toughest, most unpleasant things you do as an employer,” says James Walsh in his book, Rightful Termination. “Your stomach tightens and your throat gets dry as you prepare to call someone in for the meeting that begins, ‘There’s no easy way for me to do this. . . . ’”

Now, with the rapidly escalating risk of legal complications, how you go about handling that dreaded job is more difficult and more important than ever. You may have heard about the legal concept of “wrongful termination,” a serious problem for employers that has grown worse in recent years. When you find yourself faced with the need to discharge an employee, it’s important that you keep yourself aware of the legal pitfalls surrounding that task. Lawsuits abound



Every year, thousands of employers, large and small, are hauled into court by former employees claiming that they were fired illegally. Many of those employees are winning substantial judgments against the companies that discharged them. An English Common Law doctrine known as employment-atwill used to be widely recognized in this country. What it meant was simply that an employer had the right to fire an employee for any reason—or for no reason at all. We’ve all heard stories about people being fired because, “I just don’t like you.” Not any more. Lawsuits are popping up everywhere, and many employers are facing costly legal penalties for firing employees without “sufficient cause.” “Employees have rights they didn’t have a century ago,” says Walsh. Attorney James P. McElligott, Jr., McGuire Woods, LLP, Richmond, VA, offers this story from early in his career: “I received a call from an irate client who wanted to know

Further Reading

By William J. Lynott

Looking for more information on handling dismissals? The author suggests the following publication: Rightful Termination: Defensive Strategies for Hiring and Firing in the Lawsuit-Happy 90’s by James Walsh (Merritt Publishing, Los Angeles, CA., 1997), $29.95. Description Among other important issues, this book covers job-applicant testing, at-will employment, civil rights claims, wrongful termination, claims and termination methods. Walsh makes extensive use of case studies as well as advice from human resource experts. The appendix includes a number of sample forms, letters, and guidelines designed to help avoid problems in hiring and firing. Whether you have one employee or a dozen, this book will be a worthwhile addition to your business library.


March–April 2003

if it was illegal to fire an employee for sleeping on the job. ‘I’ve received a charge from the EEOC accusing me of sex discrimination for firing a woman for sleeping on the job,’ he told me. “I asked if any other employees had been permitted to sleep on the job. ‘Of course not,’ he replied. ‘What a silly question.’ I suggested the employer check with his supervisors just to be sure. “Half an hour later, the employer called back sheepishly. ‘The week before I fired the woman for sleeping on the job, we had a big project and one of our best workers, a man, worked until 1 a.m. on the project then showed up for work at his regular time. By afternoon, he was nodding off at his desk. His supervisor told him to punch out, but didn’t discipline him.’” “Fortunately, we were able to settle the matter by giving the employee who filed the charge two week’s separation pay in exchange for a complete release,” says McElligott. While you aren’t likely to face this specific problem, the story illustrates the unlikely complications that lie in wait any time you must terminate an employee. What you need to be especially concerned about is the risk of lawsuits based on some form of discrimination. “Every employee has a race, a gender, a religion,” says attorney Beth Schroeder, Silver & Freedman, Los Angeles, “So, every employee, even new and probationary ones, fall into at least one so-called ‘protected’ class.” “It costs nothing for an employee to file a charge with the EEOC or state fair employment practices agency,” cautions McElligott. “State and federal agencies can investigate employers for retaliation charges based on OSHA, wage and hour, environmental, FMLA, or other violations. In addition to the expense of legal fees, employers often must spend hours trying to reconstruct and justify their actions. Moral: do it right the first time.” Helpful guidelines

Here are a few suggestions that will help you to avoid the nightmare of a wrongful termination lawsuit:

a solid foundation 1Lay

Our experts agree that avoiding termination problems begins with the hiring process. “Establish clear performance expectations,” says McElligott. “At the very beginning of employment, communicate performance expectations to employees. It helps to put your expectations in writing, so there’s no misunderstanding later.” “How to Hire the Right Employee” in the January/February issue of Fabricator provides a number of suggestions to help you lay a solid groundwork with newly hired employees.

lines communication open 2ofKeep

Experience shows that many wrongful termination lawsuits can be traced to a misunderstanding on the part of the employee. Often, that misunderstanding involves the reason for the termination. “Many employers are under the impression that the less communicated to an employee about the termi-

nation, the better. My 18 years of experience in both counseling employers and defending lawsuits suggests otherwise,” says attorney Schroeder. “The more an employee understands about where he or she stands in the company, and the reason for the employer’s actions,” she says, “the less angry, frustrated, and suspicious the employee is likely to become. It is that anger, frustration, and suspicion that drives terminated employees to attorneys. “Employees who are terminated with little or no information about the reason for the termination assume that they have been kept in the dark for a reason—that there must be an unlawful or ulterior motive.”

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March–April 2003



it 3inPutwriting

Our experts agree that careful documentation in writing is an essential part of every employee termination. Incidents or behavior that led up to the termination should always be recorded at the time of the incident, or as soon thereafter as possible. The documents should be respectful to the employee, but detailed, listing events or issues in a logical or chronological order. “At the very least, you should put the reason for the termination in writing, in detail,” says Schroeder. The employee is likely to be emotional and upset and may not hear what you said in the termination interview. If the terminated employee goes to a lawyer, the lawyer will hear the story in the employee’s words, evaluating whether to take the case on the basis of the employee’s description. In that case, the attorney may not hear your side of the story until after a lawsuit has been filed.” “If you are basing the termination on a specific event (theft, assault on a fellow employee, insubordination, etc),” says McElligott, “you should make a careful investigation of the facts, take notes on your interview of witnesses, and be sure to give the disciplined employee an opportunity to submit a written statement in his own words.”

Schroeder adds, “Writing a termination report with details on past warnings and efforts to resolve the problem, and furnishing a copy to the employee, are important ways to reduce your chances of being sued for wrongful termination.”

Be 4consistent

One of the most dangerous legal pitfalls for an employer is a charge of inconsistent disciplining or enforcing of rules. One of the most common is the charge that one set of work rules was used for men and a different set for women. “It’s important for you to know at least the basics of employment and labor law,” says McElligott. “No discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, or other protected status is allowed under the law. Know about your duty to accommodate employees with disabilities. Know the rules on protected status under USERRA, workers compensation, FMLA, and other applicable laws. If you have any doubt about the circumstances, get good legal counsel before you terminate an employee.”

regular employee evaluations 5Conduct

Under the law, your employees are entitled to be kept informed of how well they are meeting your expecta-




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tions. Your failure to meet this requirement may not have any consequence unless and until a terminated employee files a lawsuit that claims you made no attempt to inform the employee of your dissatisfaction. Your employee evaluations do not have to be elaborate or follow any specific format, but it is always best if you put them in writing, even if it is only a short paragraph or two. Attorney McElligott advises, “Your employees are entitled to know whether or not their performance meets your expectations. In this regard, it helps to make a written record, for future reference if that should prove necessary. “Always be consistent in evaluating and disciplining your employees, and be sure to review previous evaluations and discipline if any has taken place.”

promptly with performance problems 6Deal

Because the task is so unpleasant, many employers find reasons to delay firing a problem employee: Perhaps the employee will improve. Perhaps I’m being too hasty. Perhaps living with the problem is the lesser of two evils. If you’ve done a good job of following the above guidelines, if you’re confident that a termination is justified, delaying the action is probably not in your best interest. “Not firing a problem worker is often the worst thing you can do,” says author Walsh. “It keeps the problem worker around to create more trouble, making a bad situation worse. That’s not fair to you or to your other employees.” McElligott goes further. “Don’t procrastinate or wait for the next evaluation,” he says. “Do it now!” William J. Lynott is a former consultant and executive who now writes on human interest, business, and financial topics.

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March–April 2003

Sales & Marketing

Biz Side

Improve time management by nurturing relationships For your information

ships with the people who could make things happen for me was hurting my performance. Eventually, I came around to understand that. I swallowed my pride, bought each one a sixpack of premium beer, apologized, and started focusing on building positive relationships with everyone inside the company. That was a turning point for me. From that point on, I could accomplish far more because I had gained the willing assistance of By Dave Kahle a number of people. In so doing, I stumbled onto a powerful time management principle: Early into one of my sales positions, my Creating relationships that result in people boss informed me that the operations mangladly working to assist you can be one of ager was upset with me. I was too focused your most powerful time management and task-oriented in my dealing with the strategies. company’s internal personnel who made What seems like an obvious conclusion to things happen in the business. I’d come a lot of people took me a into the office, drop projects very painful experience to and requests on everyone’s More on time management see. I, like so many field desk, and head out again. salespeople, was accustomed My task-oriented behavior This article is excerpted to working pretty much by was upsetting people. As a from the book 10 Secrets of myself. When I was in my result, they were balking at Time Management, by Dave home office planning for cooperating with me. My Kahle. Publisher: Career next week, I was doing that projects were being left on the Press Inc., Franklin Lakes, NJ. The book is available by myself. Most of what I bottom of the pile, and other from on-line bookstores. For did, I did by myself. So, natsalespeople were getting more more information, and to urally, when faced with any cooperation. join Mr. Kahle’s e-mail task, I did it I had better change my newsletter, visit myself. It’s attitude, he told me, or I’d part of our find it very difficult to sucmindset to ceed in this organization. think of My lack of good relation-

Learn to “download” less important tasks to others, so that you can focus on what is most critical—your one-on-one relationships with customers.

The Author Dave Kahle, a business consultant and trainer, offers the following tips for getting more help from others so that you can focus on key tasks: Make a list of all the tasks that you could conceivably download to other people. Make a list of all the people around you who could conceivably help you. Brush up your relationships with them. Identify the combination of tasks and people that you think holds the greatest potential for improving your effectiveness and efficiency. Implement the download process: Ask for their help, explain the situation, and after they say yes, show them the specifics. CO NTAC T

Dave Kahle The DaCo Corp. 15 Ionia SW, Ste. 220 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 800.331.1287 616.451.9377 Fax: 616.451.9412 web

Learning to “download” some of your work to others is a great time management tool. March–April 2003



After the end of the workday, I’d then stay

and work till midnight or so, doing her job of ordering sufficient materials. ourselves as lone rangers—masked good guys out there in the field doing battle by ourselves. So, we don’t think about enlisting the aid of other people. That mindset can be a major obstacle to our effective use of time. Here’s a poignant example from my experience. At one point in my career, I was the general manager of a rapidly growing custom-packaging company. The materials manager was a key position in my organization. This person made sure that all the hundreds of items we needed for our custom kits were in stock when we needed them. But she had attendance problems, and after months of trying to help her establish good work habits, I had to fire her. This brought on a crisis. The position was critical, and I couldn’t go

even a day or two without someone performing the task. In my rapidly growing organization, there was no back up for her. So I took over and did her work. After the end of the workday, I’d then stay and work till midnight or so, doing her job of ordering sufficient materials. This went on for a month or so, until I was able to hire and train a replacement. Later, I met with the president of the company, to whom I reported. As I told him the story, he said to me, “Dave, why didn’t you call here and ask for help? We have several people in the home office who could have stepped in temporarily and done her job.” I was stunned. “I never thought of it,” I answered. It just never occurred to me to ask for help. The problem

• #12DS-N


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was me! My lone ranger salesperson mentality cost me hundreds of hours over those several weeks. But I’m not unique. Most salespeople have burdened themselves with a similar lone ranger mentality. That mentality is a major obstacle to over come. There is yet another obstacle to implementing this powerful time management principle. Salespeople generally do not have authority. No one reports to them. If you are going to enlist the aid of people around you, you cannot, therefore, just delegate and rely on your management authority. If you are going to get people to help you, you must influence them to do so willingly. You must sell them on helping you. Which you can do, because, after all, you are a salesperson! For what tasks can you get help?

Almost everything you do, with the exception of meeting face-to-face with your customers, can probably be delegated to someone who can do it better or more efficiently than you can. Here are some of the things that I have passed off to other people in my career. I offer them to you to stimulate your creative thinking about what you may be able to download to someone else. • Finding qualified prospects. Why should I spend my valuable time searching through lists or driving all around? I can give my criteria to someone else, and have them do this work for me. • Calling for appointments. You know how frustrating this can be. Leave a voice mail message. Sometimes the person calls back. You’re not there, or you are in the middle of a sales call and have your cell phone turned off. You return the call, get voice mail and the cycle repeats. Instead, someone who is at a desk all day can call, leave a voice mail message, and be there when the prospect or customer calls back. Give them a selection of times when you are available and have that person schedule your appointments. • Compiling useful reports. My company provided weekly sales reports, showing every item ordered, shipped, and invoiced to every customer. That was nice, but I wanted to Fabricator

March–April 2003

see patterns over time. In other words, I wanted to know what they bought this week, last week, the week before that, etc. So, I had my kids cut up the computer reports, sort them by customer, staple them to scrap paper, and file alphabetically in my account folders. It was a great bonding experience with the kids, whom I thought had learned the alphabet in school. Before I made a sales call, I’d review that compiled information and know what kinds of purchasing patterns my customers were following. · Dropping off samples. Why should I drive out of the way and take valuable selling time to drop off a sample to a receptionist or receiving department? Surely there’s a better way. Taxi? Limo service? Unemployed teenager? · Taking orders. Why should I spend valuable sales time writing down orders, and then calling the office to relay them on? The customer can do that. I’m there to talk about their needs and my solutions, not to be a clerk. This litany of possibilities is designed to stimulate your creative juices. Once you get into the mindset, you can make all kinds of things happen.

someone else. There is a single exception—no one else can create and maintain the relationships with your good customers except you. You are a unique human being, and your relationships are unique to you. But probably everything else—all the tasks that fill much of your day— could really be done better or cheaper by someone else. Someone else can check up on a back order more efficiently than you. Someone else can develop a price quote or fill out a RFQ more efficiently than you. Someone else can make a dozen phone calls to

prospects more effectively than you. If that is true for you, than some questions necessarily follow: Could you be more effective if you had someone else do many of those tasks? If you could free yourself from the tasks that could be done more efficiently by someone else, couldn’t you then redirect your time in ways that would make you more effective? The answer, of course, is “Yes, you could be far more effective if you could so structure your tasks to allow you to spend more time on the high value-producing tasks and less time

Who can you enlist to help?

The world is full of people who can help an overworked and overwhelmed salesperson. Some of them include: · Customer service representatives. · Operations managers. · Your boss. · Your spouse. · Your kids and family. · Manufacturers and distributors. · Your customers.

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The “how to” part

Here are some guidelines to help you implement this “Management Secret.” • Continually seek things to “download.” Every few months make

a detailed list of all the things you do in a typical week. Then look at the list and ask yourself this question: “Is there anything on this list that could be done by someone else?” Chances are almost everything on this list could be done cheaper or better by March-April 2003 n Fabricator

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Download well — I’m not talking about

computers here. When I say “download” I mean to move a task from your list to someone else’s.

on the low value producing tasks.” This is as much an issue of mental habits as it is anything else. Because of our “Lone ranger” mentality, we rarely even think about the question, “Can I find someone else to do this?” We just jump right into the task. • Sell everyone. Maybe “sell” is too strong a word. What I really mean is

create relationships with all the people around you, such that, when you ask, they are inclined to help. You know how to do this, because you create relationships with your customers. Think of all the people around you as customers, too. Be polite, take a personal interest in what they are doing and what they are

interested in. Offer to help them when you can. Be sensitive to the stresses and demands they face in trying to do their jobs. Don’t make unreasonable demands. Most people are not waiting for you to dump work on them. Remember, the people surrounding you, whether it’s your boss or your spouse, are on your side. They want you to succeed. A little humility and sensitivity on your part will go a long way. You might be the mighty breadwinner and the superstar, but “please” and “thank you” are still important words. • Download well. I’m not talking about computers here. When I say “download” I mean to move a task from your list to someone else’s. I don’t use the word “delegate” because that implies that the people to whom you are assigning the task have an official reporting relationship with you. That’s not the case. If someone takes on one of your tasks, it’s generally because they agree to, not because you are their boss. Start with “I need your help.” It’s amazing what those words can do.

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March–April 2003

They let the person know that they are important because you are asking them personally. It positions you as humble—you can’t do this thing without them. If you have done your homework and have created good relationships with this person, then he/she would have to be either overworked already, or a miserable jerk to not give your request consideration. Next, explain your situation—why you need their help. Don’t just say, “Could you look up the prices for these 76 line items?” Instead, say, “I have this quote due tomorrow at Smith Brothers. It came up overnight. If we can get this business, it’ll open the door to that account, and I’m sure we can leverage that business into more. I’m already committed to be at Jones Manufacturing this afternoon, so I don’t have time to do it. Could you look up the prices for these 76 items?” You’ve asked for their help, you’ve explained why. Now, wait for a response and then lay out the specifics. So, you’ve just asked Bill, one of the CSRs to help. Bill says, “I’m right in the middle of this project, but I should be done in an hour. I can do it then for you.” You reply, “Thanks, Bill, I really appreciate it. Here’s a list of the items. They are numbered from 1–76. If you could just create a spreadsheet and list the prices in the order in which I have

them, and then email that to me so I can work on it tonight that would be great. Thanks again.” Notice that you now have laid out the specifics, giving Bill an exact understanding of what the task is, and a deadline for completion. Let’s review the process:

a. Ask for their help. b. Explain your situation. c. After their response, give them the specifics—exactly what and when. Use this process with people with whom you have created positive relationships—you know them, are interested in them, sensitive to them, concerned about them—and you’ll be able to download major parts of your job, freeing up time for face-to-face selling. And that’s where you make your money and provide value to your company. Nurturing relationships with the people around you, and then downloading tasks effectively will help you take your time management skills to a new level, rendering you both effective and efficient. Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who helps clients increase their sales and improve their sales productivity. He has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful in the Information Age economy. He’s the author of over 500 articles, a monthly e-zine, and three books.

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Nationwide Supplier Members As of December 20, 2002

A Cut Above Distributing Advanced Measuring Systems Allen Architectural Metals Inc. Allied Pacific Resources Alloy Casting Co. Inc. Alvin Products Inc. American Punch Co. American Stair Corp. American Woven Wire Corp. Antech Corp. AP Automation Apollo Gate Operators Arcadia Steel Architectural Iron Designs Inc. Armstrong-Blum Mfg. Co. Arrow Iron Arteferro Miami LLC Artezzi Automatic Gate Supply Co. Aztec Castings Inc. Julius Blum & Co. Inc. J. G. Braun Co. Builders Fence Co. Inc. Byan Systems Inc. C.O. Iron Ltd. The Cable Connection Carell Corp. CI Banker Wire & Iron Works Inc. Classic Iron Supply The Cleveland Steel Tool Co. CML USA Inc. Colorado Waterjet Co. COMEQ Inc. Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. Cross River Metals D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. D.J.A. Imports Ltd. DAC Industries Inc. DECO Orn. Iron Supply Inc. Décor Cable Innovations DKS (DoorKing Inc.) Doval Industries Duff-Norton Eagle Bending Machines Inc. Eastern Metal Supply Eastern Ornamental Supply Inc. EDF Equipment Sales Inc. Elegant Aluminum Products Inc. Elite Access Systems Inc.


800-444-2999 818-988-1831 800-204-3858 330-866-1776 800-527-1318 978-975-4580 800-243-1492 800-872-7824 909-340-2333 520-320-1810 770-205-2213 210-545-2900 877-501-3200 201-222-7444 847-803-4000 201-955-9151 305-836-9232 800-718-6661 800-423-3090 800-631-0018 800-526-6293 800-323-4072 800-767-0367 800-223-2926 604-273-6435 775-885-1443 334-937-0947 262-679-9609 800-367-2639 800-446-4402 407-857-1122 970-532-5404 410-933-8500 800-535-9842 210-824-1750 714-430-1100 800-933-5993 800-888-9768 630-350-0900 312-474-1100 800-826-7493 800-237-0335 704-588-0510 251-937-0947 800-343-8154 800-590-7111 407-351-7017 810-293-1020 949-582-1700

Encon Electronics EURO-FER SRL Euro Forgings Inc. FAAC International Inc. FABCAD.USA FabTrol Systems Inc. Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging Inc. FSB USA LLC The G-S Co. Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. Glaser USA GTO Inc. Hartford Stdrd. Stampings & Plating House of Forgings Indiana Gratings Inc. INDITAL U.S.A. Industrial Coverage Corp. Intercorp Inc. Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. The Iron Shop Italfer Architectural Iron Inc. ITW Ransburg Electostatic Systems Jamieson Mfg. Co. Jancy Engineering Co. Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Justin R.P.G Corp. King Architectural Metals Joachim Krieger Kuwait & the World Co. Lavi Industries Lawler Foundry Corp. Lecky Metal Ornaments Pte Ltd. Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. Liberty Brass Turning Co. Mac Metals Inc. Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc. Marks U.S.A. Master-Halco Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Frank Morrow Co. Multi Lock Inc. Multi Sales New Metals Inc. Ohio Gratings Inc. Old Iron Doors LLC Omega Coating Corp. Overseas Supply Inc. Pass West Polished Metals Ltd. Inc.

800-782-5598 011-39-044 5440033 800-465-7143 800-221-8278 800-255-9032 541-485-4719 510-893-9473 407-351-7017 410-284-9549 800-663-6356 847-782-5880 800-543-4283 270-298-3227 281-443-4848 800-634-1988 800-772-4706 800-242-9872 414-383-2021 603-863-4855 800-523-7427 905-455-6100 800-909-6886 214-339-8384 563-391-1300 800-423-4494 310-532-3441 800-542-2379 011-49-64-258-1890 011-965-484-9577 800-624-6225 800-624-9512 011-65-749-9651 800-221-5579 800-345-5939 800-631-9510 214-951-0574 631-225-5400 888-643-3623 800-467-2464 800-556-7688 954-563-2148 562-803-3552 888-639-6382 800-321-9800 205-970-0500 888-386-6342 713-290-9885 303-288-1700 800-526-7051


March–April 2003

Nationwide Supplier Members cont. . .

Production Machinery Inc. R & B Wagner Inc. Regency Railings Inc. Rik-Fer Robertson Grating Products Inc. Robinson Iron Corp. Rockite, Div. of Hartline Prod. Co. Rogers Mfg. Inc. Sahinler Form Metal San. Ve Tic. SECO South Sharpe Products Signon USA Sparky Abrasives Co. Stainless Steel Stock Exchange Inc. Stairways Inc. Steel Masters Inc. Steel Supply Inc. Stephens Pipe and Steel LLC Steptoe & Wife

410-574-2110 800-786-2111 972-407-9408 011-39-043-4630031 877-638-6365 256-329-8486 216-291-2303 940-325-7806 011-90-224-4700158 888-535-7326 800-879-4418 866-744-6661 800-328-4560 908-206-9008 800-231-0793 602-243-5245 713-991-7600 800-451-2612 800-461-0060

Striker Tool (USA) Inc. Sumter Coatings Inc. Sur-Fin Chemical Corp. Tennessee Fabricating Co. Texas Metal Industries Texas Stairs & Rails Inc. Torch-Made Triebenbacher Triple-S Chemical Chemical Prod. Triple-S Steel Supply Tri-State Shearing & Bending Tubular Spec. Mfg. Inc. (TSM) Universal Entry Systems Inc. Universal Mfg. Co. Inc. West Tennessee Ornamental Door Wrought Iron Concepts Wrought Iron Handicrafts Inc. Yavuz Ferforje Ve Demir Tic San *Join NOMMA


866-290-1263 888-471-3400 800-282-3533 800-258-4766 800-222-6033 800-633-6874 800-590-7804 800-522-4766 800-862-5958 800-231-1034 718-485-2200 800-421-2961 800-837-4283 800-821-1414 901-346-0662 877-370-8000 800-456-7738 011-90-258-269-1664 404-363-4009

The Ornamental Iron Specialists Multi-Ornamental Iron Machinery

C.D.A. Alloy 655


• Model

Automatic & CNC Models • Easy To Use Without Training Quick Change Of Tooling • Special & Customized Tools Model



1/2” cubes to 20 lb. ingots

• SQUARE TUBING 1” x 1” x .120 wall (alloy 220)

Fabrication Properties Rating Capacity for being cold worked . . . . . . . . . .Excellent Capacity for being hot formed . . . . . . . . . . .Excellent Hot forging rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Suitability for being joined by: Brazing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Excellent Oxyacetylene welding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Good Gas shielded arc welding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Excellent Resistance welding (spot, seam or butt) . . .Excellent

PRODUCTION: • Twisting Bars • Baskets • Scrolls • Hooks • Eyes

• Links • Bow Tops • Folds • Bends in Fixed • Circles & Variable • Balustrade Radius in Solid Rails Bars & Tubes

Solid Round Bar.....................................3/8” up to 3/4” Square Bar ..................3/8” x 3/8” up to 3/4” x 3/4” Flat Bar...............................................Up to 1-1/2” x 3/8” Tube ................................................Up to 1-5/8” x 0.120” Flat Tube ...........................................Up to 1-1/2” x 3/8” Motor .............................................................................1.85 Kw. Voltage .................................................220/440V–3 Phase Weight ...........................................................................858 Lbs.

PRODUCTION: • Twisting Bars • Scrolls • Folds • Rings

• Links • Hooks & Bends in Fixed & Variable Radius

Solid Round Bar.....................................1/4” up to 1/2” Square Bar ..................1/4” x 1/4” up to 1/2” x 1/2” Flat Bar....................................................Up to 5/8” x 1/4” Square Tube.........................................Up to 5/8” x 5/8” Flat Tube.................................................................Up to 5/8” Motor .............................................................................0.37 Kw. Voltage .............................................220V / Single Phase Weight ..............................................................................88 Lbs.

ATLAS METAL SALES 1401 UMATILLA St. • Denver, CO 80204 (800) 662-0143 • (303) 623-0143 Fax (303) 623-3034 E-mail: Website: CALL FOR QUOTATION OR FREE BROCHURE

March–April 2003

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FSB USA, LLC 407-351-7017 FAX 407-351-6369 e-mail: 7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd. • Suite 50 PMB-343 Orlando, FL 32819

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What’s Hot?  Biz Briefs Eye safety in the workplace In 2001, close to 100,000 people were treated in U.S. Hospital emergency rooms for eye injuries related to the workplace, yet this figure actually represents a small portion of the total number of injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, each day, as many as 2,000 workers incur eye injuries related to their jobs. According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), 90 percent of these injuries are preventable. PBA is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. To prevent eye injuries, PBA recommends that managers assess work areas for accidents that can be caused by impact, heat, chemicals, dust, glare, and optical radiation. According to PBA, a good, sound safety program should mandate that 100 percent of employees, managers, and visitors follow eye safety rules. All safety glasses and goggles should be ANSI Z87.1 certified for industrial eye protection, with the Z87 mark on the frames or lenses. In certain situations, a face shield and goggles should be absolutely mandatory to protect workers from chemical splashes, or welding light and electrical arc. PBA offers several free fact sheets for safety managers and consumers: 2001 WorkplaceRelated Eye Injuries, 10 Ways to Prevent Occupational Eye Injuries, and Workplace Safety Quiz. For information on workplace safety, call 1-800-331-2020 or visit


Inside Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78 Coming Events . . . . . . . . .82 NOMMA News . . . . . . . . .84 NOMMA Chapters . . . . .85

People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

The I-Codes 2003 editions are now available Released in February, the 2003 Inter-

The I-Code family:

national Codes (I-Codes™), published by the International Code Council (ICC), provide the latest requirements for the construction or remodeling of residential and commercial buildings. This complete set of 14 building and fire safety codes contains many new and revised provisions to ensure a comprehensive and compatible building safety program.

The International Existing Building Code includes provisions for improv-

ing and upgrading existing buildings to conserve resources and history. It's a new code this year. International Urban-Wildland Interface Code addresses fire spread,

accessibility, defensible space, and water supply for buildings constructed near wildland areas. It is also new to

International Code adoptions

One or more International Codes currently enforced statewide.

One or more International Codes enforced within state at local level.

Adopted statewide with future enforcement date.

Map courtesy of


March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  the ICC code family this year. The international Building Code

addresses design and installation of building systems and requirements. The International Fire Code references national standards to comprehensively address fire safety in new and existing buildings. The International Residential Code

envelope requirements for thermal performance and air leakage. The International Zoning Code contains uniform requirements for use districts and five zoning classifications, consistent zoning requirements that can be tailored to specific jurisdictional needs, and coordinated requirements and definitions related to the IBC.

The ICC Electrical Code contains administrative text necessary to administer and enforce the National Electrical Code and complies with electrical provisions contained in the other International Codes. To order I-Codes, call (800) 2144321, ext. 371. Or to order online, visit:

brings uniformity to construction of one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories high. The ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities presents regu-

lations based on outcome rather than prescription. It encourages new design methods by allowing a broader parameter to meet the intent of the I-Codes. The International Plumbing Code

addresses minimum provisions for fixtures, piping, fittings, and devices, and the design and installation for water supply, sanitary drainage, and storm drainage. International Private Sewage Disposal Code details septic tank and

effluent absorption, and other disposal systems. It contains provisions for evaluating site and soil conditions, outlines use of methods and materials, and includes tables for pressure distribution systems.

The Model 400 heavy duty hydraulic swing gate operator combined with a TEC IV telephone entry system are perfect for demanding applications, such as apartments and subdivisions.

The International Mechanical Code

comprehensively regulates mechanical systems and equipment including HVAC, exhaust systems, chimneys and vents, ducts, appliances, boilers, water heaters, refrigerators, hydronic piping, and solar systems. The International Fuel Gas Code

contains complete requirements for fuel-gas piping systems, equipment, and accessories. It includes combustion air requirements, sizing tables for venting Category I appliances, and provisions that are coordinated with the National Fuel Gas Code (ANSI Z223.1). The International Energy Conservation Code covers energy effi-

ciency provisions for residential and commercial buildings, prescriptiveand performance-based approaches to energy-efficient design, and building

Model 400 operator . Can handle gates up to 23 feet and 2,000 pounds . Operator is mounted on the inside of the property but gate can open to the inside or outside

TEC IV System . Scroll-down LCD display displays 4 names . 14 characters & 14 digit phone number per name . 2 entrances expandable to 4 entrances

FAAC is the world’s largest specialized manufacturer of operators for swing, slide and barrier gate systems (800) 221-8278

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What’s Hot?  Biz Briefs New Publication from ASCE The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announces the release of Degrees of Belief: Subjective Probability and Engineering Judgement. The document focuses on three core elements: uncertainties in knowledge; inductive reasoning, and individual expertise. Author, Steven G. Vick, a geotechnical engineer and internationally recognized consultant, emphasizes the cognitive process used in conceptualizing uncertainty, with techniques and tools for subjective probability assessment. Degrees of Disbelief is available through ASCE Publications, Phone (800) 548-2723, Web

How do you compare to other members of the metals manufacturing industry? In spite of the general slow down in

business conditions affecting manufacturers, metalforming companies improved their internal operations during 2001 and 2002, according to the Precision Metalforming Association’s (PMA) Benchmarking Survey. When comparing 2002 to 2001 measures of performance, the gap is closing between an average performer and a top performer in the 90th percentile. Performance measures are segregated into three categories: management, quality, and productivity. Some of the areas measured include: Raw material and total inventory turnover

Companies in the 90th percentile


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in this category report raw material turnover rates that are two to three times the industry average, indicating considerable room for improvement for companies with performance close to the industry average. Total inventory turnover rates on average have steadily increased during the past four years. These measures indicate that work-in-process and finished goods have been managed more effectively. Success rate on new quotes

Success rates on new quotes have trended downward, both for the industry average and the 90th percentile, supporting business owners’ claims that new work continues to be difficult to obtain. Companies in the

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March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  90th percentile are approximately twice as successful in winning new work than the industry average. Employee turnover

On average, during the past four years, the industry has experienced turnover in the 21–23percent range. Average companies have more than five times greater employee turnover than companies in the 90th percentile. Customer rejections

Customer rejections for the industry, tracked on a per part basis, have trended downward every year since 1999, indicating an improvement in this quality measurement of approximately 36 percent. However, companies in the 90th percentile have rejection rates that are approximately 140 times better than the industry average.

Supplier on-time delivery rates

The on-time delivery rate for suppliers of raw materials, the most critical component, was comparatively low, at 85 percent, when compared to the delivery rate of other purchases and services (less critical components), which was at 96 percent. See the full report . . .

To purchase the entire report or to inquire about the survey and its supplements, call the PMA at (800) 540-1757. PMA Benchmarking data is comprised of information reported by companies representing more than 140 facilities in the United States and Canada. Partnering with Plante & Moran, PLLC for analysis and reporting assistance, the survey now includes four years of metalforming industry trending information.

Biz Briefs Lawrence Metal’s exciting new contract The Transportation Security Administration awarded Lawrence Metal Products a contract to supply post and retractable tape barriers for passenger search areas at airports nationwide. The multimillion dollar contact requires Lawrence to supply nearly 50,000 TensaBarrier units as well as some of their other crowd control items. Lawrence Metal Products is a manufacturer of crowd control systems founded in 1881. The firm introduced the TensaBerrier systems in 1979. Lawrence was awarded the contract last year do to its ability to supply the required number of units by the December 31, 2002 deadline.

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What’s Hot? 

Happy Birthday NOMMA!

Coming Events April 8–10, 2003 2003 AWS Welding Show

NOMMA turned 45 on January 25, 2003

The American Welding Society (AWS) celebrates 50 years at its 2003 Welding Show in Detroit, MI, at Cobo Hall. For info, call (800) 443-9353, or visit:

In January, the NOMMA staff celebrated the association’s 45th birthday. L TO R BOTTOM ROW: Events Coordinator & Circulation Assistant Liz Ware; Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington; Executive Director Barbara Cook. L TO R TOP ROW: April Moss; Fabricator’s Managing Editor Rachel Squires; Technical Consultant Tim Moss; Operations & Membership Manager Cyndi Smith. Not shown is Communications Manager and Fabricator Editor Todd Daniel—taking the picture of course.

May 18–20, 2003 Waterjet Cutting Courses Richard Ward, CEO of RICHEL Inc., a waterjet consulting and engineering group, leads a hands-on training course in waterjet cutting, technology, and operation. Compare waterjet with laser, plasma, and oxy-fuel. Class is held at RICHEL in Kent, OH. For info, call (330) 677-9100, or visit:


We will custom fabricate infill panels to meet your specific requirements. Available in diamond, rectangular and square mesh with or without standoffs. Standard frame is 1" x 1/2" channel with hemmed edges. The panels are available in steel, aluminum and stainless steel in 10, 8 and 6 gauge. All types of finishes available. Division 5,8 and 10. Call us today and let us take care of your infill panel needs.

MULTI SALES, INC. Diamond Mesh

Rectangular Mesh

Call toll free


Square Mesh

Phone: 1-517-542-2903 Fax: 1-517-542-2501 Diamond Mesh w/Standoff

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‹ ‹ ‹ ‹ ‹ ‹ ‹ ‹

Gate Operators Radio Controls Vehicle Detectors Telephone Entry Systems Accessories Repair Parts Card Access Systems Magnetic Locks

Sales & Marketing Support Free Catalogs & Line Cards Downey, California 800-421-3575 San Diego, California Vancouver, Washington 800-736-4617 800-421-3574

950 Anderson @ Fab Road Litchfield, MI 49252-0388

Wholesale Distributors to the Door & Gate Industry Now with 3 locations to serve you! Fill in 37 on Reader Service Card Fabricator

March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  Event Spotlight

Coming Events

Learn the art of electrostatic paint

May 20–22, 2003

as the Aerobell, DynaFlow, Radio ITW Ransburg, inventor of the elecControl, Turbodisk, and the trostatic paint process and manufac2K/220/880 Two Component Meterturer of electrostatic paint application ing systems. Other classes cover funequipment, offers a fill line of training damentals and art of electrostatics and courses designed for all types of paint electrostatic handgun usage. and application personnel. Classes are All classes discuss safety and open to suppliers, vendors, customers, grounding as applicable to the equipand end users. ment being used. All classes are taught by Coming soon is the art experienced, field-trained Classes at ITW of electrostatic handgun, a professionals who know Art of electrostatic two-day class providing electrostatics and other handgun the necessary skills to fields. Classes are held at June 17–18, 2003 paint with electrostatic the ITW Ransburg TrainTurbodisk system application equipment. It’s ing and Conference Center operation held June 17 and 18, 2003. in Toledo, OH. April 16–17, 2003 For detailed class Classes through the year Fundamentals of schedules and info, call include sessions on operatelectrostatics (419) 470-2066, or visit: ing, trouble shooting, and May 7–8, 2003 repairing equipment, such

EASTEC Advanced Productivity Exposition

Buyers and sellers of machine tool and metalworking technologies meet at the Eastern States Exposition Grounds in West Springfield, MA. For info, call (800) 733-4763, or visit: May 12–15, 2003 RAPID Prototype & Mfg. Conference and Exposition

Buyers and sellers of design, prototyping, tooling, and direct manufacturing technologies meet at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in Chicago, IL for RAPID 2003. For info, call (800) 733-4763, or visit:

Blacksmithing & Metalworkers TOOLS - EQUIPMENT - SUPPLIES

100 Daniel Ridge Road Candler, NC 28715 (828) 667-8868 or 665-1988 fax: (828) 665-8303 e-mail: We carry the world’s finest blacksmith’s tools at affordable prices. BIG BLU AIR HAMMER Off Center Tools



March–April 2003

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What’s Hot?  NOMMA News Postville Blacksmith Shop gets published

Congratulations to Bob Bergman and Terry Struthers of Postville Blacksmith Shop, Blanchardville, WI. The December 15, 2002 issue of the Wisconsin State Journal features Struthers and Bergman in an article titled, “Decorative iron: Metal has grown in popularity for personalizing homes.” Postville gets a full-page spread in the homes section. The newspaper explains industry logistics such as terminology, job costs, and rates to its lay readers. Bergman is quoted saying, “Ironwork can add distinction to homes.” In all, the article provides good advertorial for our industry.

New Members as of 2-1-03 Art Metal & Construction LLC Ridgewood, NJ Francois Bontoux Fabricator

Black Creek Iron Works Richmond Hill, GA Benny Wilkinson Fabricator

Automatic Custom Gates Redwood City, CA Milenko Perisic Fabricator

Branecky Metal Bastrop, TX Anthony Branecky Fabricator

Bachiller Iron Works* Miami, FL Gypsy Bachiller Fabricator Bettinger Welding* Tallahassee, FL Mike Bettinger Fabricator

Campbell’s Ornamental Ironworks Inc. Chattanooga, TN Melvin Campbell Fabricator Coast Welding Co.* San Pedro, CA Joe Martinez Fabricator

* Denotes returning member. Fred’s Welding & Steel Inc. Aberdeen, MD Fred Framarini Fabricator Gene’s Welding Service Inc. Ft. Lauderdale, FL Gene Wahl Fabricator Glasford Welding Glasford, IL John Dziak Fabricator The Iron Shop Lucedale, MS Robert Watson Fabricator L & L Ornamental Salem, OR

2414 2414 W. W. Skelly Skelly Dr. Dr. Tulsa, Tulsa, OK OK 74107 74107

gS n i t s Twi m o Cust


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March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  Premier Fabricating Baxley, GA Joe Sannutti Fabricator

Larry D. Brown Fabricator LGC Non-F Ferrous Castings Franklin, NH Lincoln G. Charles Nationwide

Thompson Construction Ottawa, KS Bill Thompson Fabricator

Melaun Industries Inc. Indianapolis, IN Mark Rathz Fabricator

Upsurge Design* Huntington Beach, CA Peter Papadatos Fabricator West Tennessee Ornamental Door Memphis, TN James Hoffa Nationwide Supplier

Metal Creations Summerville, SC Kerry P. Moylan Fabricator Old Iron Doors LLC Birmingham, AL John Wright Nationwide Supplier

March–April 2003

Robert Williams Design LLC Saint Augustine, FL

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Bob Aspinwall Fabricator S.C. Metalworks Inc. Houston, TX Shawn Cogburn Fabricator Specialty Builders Gainesville, GA William C. Mongole Fabricator Stephanie Wiehs Wrought Iron* Souderton, PA Stephanie Weihs Fabricator Veltri Orn. Iron Works & Machine* Weirton, WV Albert Veltri Fabricator

Chapter Contacts Florida Bob Ponsler (904) 786-0144 Wonderland Products Inc. New York Paul Montelbano (631) 543-3600 Duke of Iron Inc. Northeast Keith Majka (973) 247-7606 Majka Railing Co. Inc. Southern California Joe Campbell (800) 495-7530 Custom Lights & Iron Hans Duus (805) 688-9731 Hans Duus Blacksmith Upper Midwest Breck Nelson (309) 697-9870 Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC

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What’s Hot?  People Wagner Companies

The Wagner Companies introduces Meredith Thorne as one of their new customer service representatives. In her new position, Thorne is responsible for generating sales orders for the Wagner Companies. Additionally, she will assist in the resolution of customer questions to help identify the products that will meet their needs. Before accepting her position at Wagner, Thorne served as a Loan Originator.

DECORATIVE IMPORTS 401 S. County Line Rd Franklin Park, IL 60131 Phone: 630.350.0900 Fax: 630.350.0902 NATIONAL WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS Serving the Ornamental Iron Industry Steel Forgings Furniture Gate Hardware Custom Items Post caps, finials Hammered Bar & Tubing Many items can be customized to your specifications.

Call today for Free catalog!

People Profile

Ed Powell talks about Powell’s of Banner Elk Ed Powell is the owner of Powell’s of

Banner Elk and previous owner of Powell’s Custom Metal Fab. in Jacksonville, FL, which his wife Sally Powell now runs full time. He left Jacksonville for what he calls semiretirement in Banner Elk, NC. Ed is also a past president of NOMMA. Fabricator When did you officially open Powell’s of Banner Elk? Powell In May of 2001. Fabricator How did you build your client base? Powell Building a client base is an ongoing process. We started out not even advertising. We just went by word of mouth that we were here. And we started getting some homeowners work and local business work almost immediately. That came in while we were still building tables and racks and setting machinery in place. Not that we have a lot of machinery. Then we put an ad in the telephone book and joined the local Home Builders Association. We went to their meetings and got some leads. The man that I employed has a pretty good knowledge of contractors in the area, and some of them came to see us. We joined Banner Elk-Avery Chamber of Commerce and the Banner Elk Business Association. Then we joined the Building Report. A young lady contacted us at a home show in Boone, 15 miles away, and told us about a business permit service she started. She picks up all of the building reports and their home types and mails them to her clients for X amount of dollars a month. We use it and usually get about eight or 10 good leads a month. When I say good leads I’m talking about people we want to send information to. We’re looking for 4,000 square foot houses and bigger. We send them a letter of introduction

along with NOMMA’s “Consider Ed Powell is a past Ornamental president of NOMMA. Metal Work.” And then we sit here and wait for someone to call. We’re starting to get quite a few leads from that. But these houses take one to two years to build because of the labor force here and the difficulty of building a house in mountains. So although we have gotten a couple small jobs already, that’s really a long-range plan. Fabricator How many people work for you now? Powell Just one: Dirk Brown. He’d been working with metal for many years and has a degree in art marketing and production from Appalachian State University. He does well with design. He can do it all. Fabricator What is your specialty? Powell Most of what we’ve been

doing is railing systems in steel and aluminum, and a fair amount of gates. People around here like to put gates in the entrance ways to their property. We’ve even been doing some small scale welding repair. There’s a little Chinese restaurant up the street, and the owner has small repairs for us to do every week, like welding some of his stainless steel pots, and he pays us with lunch. We’re the only real welding shop in town. But we don’t want to get into heavy equipment repair. Fabricator What is the biggest difference in your work day? Powell Less frustration and aggravation. Powell’s Custom Metal in Jacksonville employs 35 people, and they grind out $35 million a year. They’ve got contractor threats and a hoard of employees and other people

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March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  to deal with. You get rid of all that when you have a little shop with just one employee and just enough work to keep you both busy. It’s semiretirement. I’m still working everyday, but if you called at 8:30 you wouldn’t have found anybody here. In Jacksonville they come in at 6 a.m. Banner Elk opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 4:30 or 5 p.m. We do that five days a week, not six. We actually take an hour lunch. The jobs are smaller, and they pay on time. Fabricator Could you have quit Powell’s Custom Metal and started Banner Elk years ago? Powell Not really. I’m not a fabricator per se like Jack Klahm and Jerry Grice. I started out in a shop, but most of my life (30 years) was always in sales and management. Guys in small towns that are doing fairly well have the ability to design and fabricate the entire

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project, like Bob Bergman. If I didn’t have somebody to do a lot of the shop work it would be difficult. I might get it done eventually, but it’d be difficult. Fabricator What have you learned

so far? Powell I don’t know that I learned anything with this transition, but it was a theory I’ve had for many years. To just retire is a death note. More people die by just putting their foot up on the porch. Their bodies shut down. I want to keep active, but on a different scale. How many times a week can you play golf? When I came up here I was going to play golf twice a week. That hasn’t worked out either. I think as we go along it will. If we put another person on, Dirk can move into more of what I’m doing, and that other person will do more of the work in the back, and I’ll go play golf— maybe.

People Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Inc.

Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Inc. announces that Robert A. Foust III has become a partner and will hold the position of VP of operations. Foust comes to Bob’s as a third-generation family member to be made partner. He has a diverse background in operations and production from his experience working for companies such as General Instruments, Motorola, ( and QRS Corp.

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What’s Hot?  Literature Evolution of the side arm

The Sword Through the Centuries

Products Efficient glass wedge from J.G. Braun

By Alfred Hutton

This 8 1/2 by 51/4 inch book takes readers back to the mid-15th century and progresses through the next five hundred years, focusing on European side arms. Dover Publications reprints Alfred Hutton’s 1901 text and 48 illustrations on hand-held fighting weapons, including the two-hand sword, the rapier and its auxiliaries, the dagger, the broadsword, dueling sword, and the saber. To order, contact: Dover Publications, 31 East 2nd St., Mineola, NY 11501, Phone (516) 294-7000, Web ISBN: 0486425207

installation of ½ inch tempered glass in shoe moulding and takes the place of current installation processes that wet setting options, such as quick setting expansion cement. Contact: J.G. Braun Phone (800) 323-4072, Web Plastic 2 inch post cap

A+ Ornamental Accessories Inc. To help fight rust, A+ Ornamental Accessories Inc. introduces a new

J.G. Braun Co. announces its new product, the GlassWedge™ Dry Mount System for Glass Railing. It allows for easy, fast, and cost effective installation of glass railing, reducing installation time of tempered glass railing panels by 75 percent. The GlassWedge™ System permits the dry

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March–April 2003

What’s Hot?  product. Modeled after a standard 2 inch post cap, A+ Ornamental now produces a polypropylene version (in black or white) with tapered inner walls for an installation that requires no silicon, glue, or welding, caulk, or touch up paint. Just pop it on. Contact: A+ Ornamental Accessories Inc. Phone (866) 363-7878, Web

inch, 3M™ introduces Radial Bristle Brushes in 6 inch sizes to accommodate a wider range of applications. The brushes are made of abrasivefilled bristles, which apply a continuous, fresh supply of sharp mineral to the workpiece. This provides a more uniform finish, with gentle pressure to the base material and surrounding details. Contact: 3M Industrial Business, Phone (651) 733-1110, Web Scraping and cleaning tool

Radial bristle brushes

3M Industrial Business In addition to their 2 inch and 3

Outsource Alliance Inc. The Scrape-N-Burr is a high quality two-working-edge tool with a steel replaceable blade. It has been specifically designed to perform cleaning operations for metal fabrication. Contact: Outsource Alliance, Phone (888) 695-5071, Web

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Literature A great tool for tools Choosing & Using Hand Tools By Andy Rae

This 81/2 by 10 inch book offer a wealth of information about the selection, care, and use of nearly every kind of hand tool: vices and workbenches, marking and measuring tools, and hammers, screwdrivers, drills, files, chisels, planes, and saws. Instructions on how to use each are included. Thumbs up from Chuck Hamsa, Reviewers Consortium! To order, contact: Lark Books, Div. of Sterling, 387 Park Ave., S, New York, NY 10016, Phone (212) 537-7160, E-mail, Web ISBN: 157990-2944


What’s Hot?  Literature

Versatile utility clamp

Enviro-safe cleaner

Valtra Strong Hand

Slide Products

A Mediterranean metal treat

The new series of utility clamps by Strong Hand offer an alternative to traditional J and L style sliding arm clamps. They can be set up in many ways to suit any clamping situation. Pressing the spring at the end of the clamp, releases the clamping arm which can slide off and be reversed for spreading applications. Or, slide on the optional second axis arm for perpendicular clamping force, holding workpiece from top, bottom, and sides. Contact: Ray Strickland, Valtra Strong Hand, Phone (800) 989-5244, Web

NEXGEN is a powerful metal and mold cleaner that helps molders meet health, safety, and environmental standards. It is a direct alternative to Trichloroethylene and Methylene Chloride. NEXGEN leaves no oily residue and is biodegradable. It’s formulated purely from citrus and vegetable cleaning products. Use NEXGEN for oil spill clean-up, general cleaning and wiping, paint, wax, tar, and adhesive removal silicone and lithium grease and degreasing. Contact: Slide Products Inc., Phone (800) 323-6433, Web

Il Letto E Dintorni By Guiseppe Ciscato

This is a detailed and passionate survey dedicated to the theme of wrought iron beds and bedroom furnishings. Not content to offer a panoramic overview of handcrafted Italian wrought iron beds, Ciscato has compiled hundreds of photos of functional and beautiful bedroom accessories, from the simple and elegant to the highly ornate To order, contact:, 430 East 9th St., #15, New York, NY 10009, Phone (212) 253-9599, Fax( 212) 2539599, E-mail info@sterlingweb. com, Web ISBN: 8881254492

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March–April 2003

Join NOMMA Today ... Membership Category - Check One $305 - Fabricator $465 - Nationwide Supplier (Firms selling to fabricators beyond 500 miles of their headquarters) $355 - Regional Supplier (Firms selling to fabricators within 500 miles of their headquarters)

Company Name __________________________________________ Your Name ________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State _________ Zip _________________ Country ______________________________ Phone ____________________________ Fax __________________________ Sponsor (if any) ____________________________ Checks should be E-mail _______________________________________ Web _______________________________________ made payable to NOMMA (U.S. dollars, check drawn Company Description/ on U.S. bank) Specialty ________________________________________________________________________________

Signature ___________________________________________ Payment Method:






By signing this application, you agree to abide by NOMMA’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics upon acceptance.

If paying by credit card: Acct. No. _______________________________________________________ Exp. ______/______ Exact name on card ______________________________________ Signature ______________________________________

MEMBERSHIP YEAR RUNS FROM JULY 1 TO JUNE 30. Return To: NOMMA, 532 Forest Pkwy., Suite A, Forest Park, GA 30297. (404) 363-4009. Fax: (404) 366-1852. Membership dues payments are not deductible as charitable contributions, but may be deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

These are just some of your benefits as a NOMMA member. • Starter Kit. As a new member, you receive a Membership Directory, Supplier Directory, educational publications, and sales aides. • Discount Rates. You receive discounts on all NOMMA publications and association sponsored events, including educational seminars and METALfab (NOMMA’s annual convention and trade show). • Affiliation. As a member of the industry’s trade association, you show customers that you support the industry and subscribe to NOMMA’s code of ethics. You also receive a membership certificate, decal, and camera-ready logos to use on your stationery and business forms. • Chapters. If there is a local chapter in your area, you may participate in educational programs, social events, and other chapter activities. • Subscriptions. You receive a subscription to our industry trade magazine, Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator, and membership newsletter, The Scroll. The newsletter contains valuable industry information that you won’t find in the magazine, including an economic report, code updates, and news on government agencies that affect our industry (OSHA, EPA, IRS, etc.). Better yet, we also include a copy of The Business Owner, a newsletter that covers small business issues such as taxes, business succession, etc.. • Industry Awards Competition. Enter your best work in the Top Job Awards Competition for an opportunity to compete with the best in the industry. Press releases are sent to local newspapers, and the publicity is GREAT! Updated: 5/02

March–April 2003




PUBLICATIONS NOMMA Mem- Nonmember ber Price Price

Description Curved Stair Rail Fabrication (EDU3 - 70 min.) Follow the complete process, from design to fabrication, with emphasis on detailing/layout. Almost the Last Word in Finishes (EDU2 - 72 min.) A complete primer on finishes covering everything from patinas to gold leafing. Straight Stair Railings (EDU1 - 60 min.) Complete rail fabrication process, including measuring, installation, design and layout. Special Finishes (98A - 113 min.) Covers faux finishes, surface prep., books to read, rust, aged copper, and antiquing. Basics of Forging (97A - 120 min.) Learn the fundamentals of hot metal forging. Methods, techniques, and short cuts are covered. Aluminum & Brass Forming (97B -120 min.) Covers temperature ranges, alloy selection, forming methods, and power hammer usage. Spiral Stairs (96A - 100 min.) Demonstration of spiral stair systems built both horizontally and vertically, materials planning, and layout tips. Forging Aluminum, Bronze, and Brass (96B 120 min.) Forging aluminum, brass, and bronze using a gas forge and torch. Practical Jig Making (94A - 90 min.) Jigs, custom tooling; also touches on forging, stair layout, and structural. Forming Brass/Bronze Cap Rail (94C - 90 min.) Covers both hot and cold bending techniques. Designing for the 4-Inch Picket Spacing Rules (94D - 120 min.) Creative design solutions that comply with the 4-inch spacing codes. Installations (93C - 70 min.) Tips & tricks for organizing your truck and managing your crews. Also covers structural installations. Metal Finishing (92F - 105 min.) Paint finishes and what rules affect each. Stair Layout and Planning (92G - 105 min.) Spiral, circular, and railing stringers- see a unique jig for laying out spiral stairs. Pipe Rail Fabrication (92H - 105 min.) Shortcuts, cleaning joints, and much more.













$45 $45

$55 $55















Total Videos


Description Ideas in Ornamental Metal (29A) An “idea book” for showing customers. The 23-page book features over 200 color photos. Ornamental Ironwork (29B) A 21-page brochure featuring sketches of practical ornamental metal applications.

NOMMA Mem- Nonmember ber Price Price


$12 $120 for 25

$80 for 25


$8 $110 for 25

$75 for 25

Glossary of Architectural Metal Terms for Stairs and Railing (29D) Contains over 200 definitions. Ideal for educating architects and employee.



A Guide to the Development of the Ironworker’s Skills (29F) A 9-page guide on fabricating, tools, terms, and stair layout.



Driveway Gate Brochure (29H) Four-page full-color, glossy brochure that highlights 15 driveway gate designs. Ideal sales tool.


Guideline 1: Joint Finishes (29I) Voluntary guide for weld joint finishes. Includes tubing, piping, and solid bar. Contains 16 photos.


Interior Railing Brochure (29J) This fullcolor brochure shows a wide spectrum of railing designs available to home owners.


Walkway Brochure (29K) A full-color presentation of 14 gate designs, ranging from straight pickets to elaborate forged jobs.


$3 $60 for 25

$40 for 25

$5 $45 for 25 $40 for 25

$65 for 25


$60 for 25

$3 $40 for 25

$60 for 25

Code Comparison Guide (29L) Chart and reference section for the three model codes, plus ADA, and overview of code process.



Corrosion Protection Of Ferrous Metals (29M) Fight rust! This booklet covers paint systems, surface preparation, maintenance, and reference sources.



Total Publications Mail, phone, or fax order to:

NOMMA Education Foundation 532-A Forest Pkwy., Forest Park, GA 30297 (404) 363-4009. Fax: (404) 366-1852.

Grand Total

Checks should be made payable to: NOMMA Education Foundation Prices include shipping. • Allow 4-6 weeks delivery. • Additional charge for express. Company _______________________________________ Name_________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________________________________ (No P.O. Box please)

City______________________________________ State _______ Zip/Postal Code __________________________ Country _________________________________________ Phone _______________________________________ Payment:





Check (check must be drawn on U.S. bank and payable in U.S. dollars)

Card No. __________________________________________________________________________________ Exp. _________/________ Signature ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cardholder’s Name _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Updated: 11/02

For images and more detailed descriptions visit:

NOMMA Education Foundation Videos & Publications


Classifieds Help Wanted Automated Access is seeking: Experienced automatic gate service technician. Must have valid drivers license. Fax resumes to (559) 4983510. For more information call (559) 454-8060, or e-mail: Steel Detailer Steel fabricator specializing in miscellaneous and light structural is looking for steel detailers and checkers with experience in manual or Auto CAD detailing. Career opportunity—primarily industrialtype work. Located near Memphis, TN. Full benefit package with relocation allowance. Send resume

in confidence to Gallaway Ind., P.O. Box 6, Gallaway, TN 38036. Tel (901) 867-3859. Help Wanted Experienced aluminum fabricator/ welder wanted. Must have experience with aluminum, MIG, and TIG. Stairs, railings, and gates a plus. Good benefits and pay. New 12,000 squarefoot, air-conditioned shop located in Fort Myers, FL. Call Mark (239) 6949887; resumes may be faxed to (239) 694-9888. Recruiter Employment nationwide in structural/miscellaneous steel fabrication. ProCounsel is in communication

with over 3,000 structural/miscellaneous and ornamental steel fabricators. We can market your skills (estimator, project manager, detailer, shop manager) to the city or state of your choice without identifying you. Employer pays fee. The right location, the right job, at the right money. ProCounsel: Buzz Taylor. Call toll free (800) 545-5900, or (214) 7413014. Fax: (214) 741-3019. Mailbox@ Help Wanted Automatic gate service tech/gate installer needed. Welding, electric, and automatic gate industry experience preferred. Salary DOE. (800) 234-3952. Fax: (800) 830-3952.

To place a classified ad, call the editorial dept. at (404) 363-4009, ext. 15. Or fax text to (404) 366-1852, attn: classifieds. Or e-mail:

Advertiser’s Index Pg# Company Name 54 58 49 87 75 19 14 40 77 35 28 62 85 89 23 32 72 66 22 46 43 25 86 59 81 33 51 10 38 12


Acme Metal Spinning 84 Acme Metal Spinning 84 All-O-Matic Inc. 165 Amazing Gates of America 173 American Spiral Corp. 61 Architectural Iron Designs 103 Arch. Prod. by Outwater 105 ABANA 142 Atlas Metal Sales 25 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 20 Byan Systems Inc. 94 John C. Campbell 175 Carell Corporation 137 Classic Iron Supply 26 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 132 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 132 Colorado Waterjet Co. 107 COMEQ Inc. 10 Crescent City Iron Supply 41 CS Unitec Inc. 170 D & D Technologies 48 D.J.A Imports Ltd. 118 DECO Orn. Iron Supply 147 DécorCable Innovations 171 Decorative Iron 1 DKS, DoorKing Systems 19 Duff-Norton 77 Eagle Bending Machines 120 Eastern Metal Supply Inc. 176 Elite Access Systems Inc. 4

March–April 2003


18 79 27 77 18 9 73 30 69 54 7 74 96 75 74 72 82 64 83 67 17 87 2 73 80 88 83 44 57 34 45 82

Encon Electronics 57 FAAC International 49 FABCAD.USA 87 FSB USA Inc. 44 Glaser USA 123 Graham Manufacturing 177 The G-S Co. 82 GTO Inc. 56 Hawke Industries 16 Hebo GmbH 150 House of Forgings 130 International Gate Devices 24 The Iron Shop 11 Ironwood LLC 70 Jansen Ornamental Supply 75 Jax Chemical Co. 23 Jesco Industries Inc. 93 K Dahl Glass Studios 159 Kayne & Son 81 King Architectural Metals 136 Lawler Foundry Corp. 47 Lee Custom Iron 167 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. 21 Liberty Ornamental 22 Lindblade Metal Works 63 Mac Metals Inc. 71 Majka Railing 53 Marks U.S.A. 34 Master-Halco 90 Mittler Bros. 35 Pat Mooney Inc. 140 Multi Sales 37

Bold denotes new advertisers 28 29 90 31 20 21 84 4 64 63 3 74 95 39 47 70 61 85 24 48 41 55 26 52 84 90 37 46 80 40 62

New England School New Metals Inc. Ol' Joint Jigger Production Machinery Inc. R & B Wagner Inc. R & B Wagner Inc. R & D Hydraulics Mfg. Regency Railings Walter Scadden Sharpe Products Signon USA Simsolve Sparky Abrasives Co. Spiral Stairs of America Stairways Inc. Steptoe & Wife Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. Sumter Coatings Inc. Sur-Fin Chemical Corp. Tennessee Fabricating Co. Tennessee Fabricating Co. Texas Metal Industries Torch Made Tornado Supply Traditional Building Triebenbacher Triple-S Chemical Tri-State Shearing Universal Entry Systems Wholesale Gate Co.

178 104 91 7 6 6 121 92 163 101 151 157 32 36 5 96 30 30 80 72 89 89 2 31 85 127 3 156 74 12 158


Fabricator Poll

How do you implement new ideas? Everybody loves METALfab. But how do you go about implementing all of those great new ideas into your own unique shop? Deb and Gary Waldherr Gary’s Garden Gate Olympia, WA

Gina Pietrocola D.J.A. Imports Ltd. Bronx, NY

Ray Snowden Allan Hancock Community College Santa Maria, CA

We started a small scale-metal business, consisting of a line of garden art, and eventually moved into smaller railings and fence jobs. After four years our business grew to a point where it was difficult to go any farther due to our limited knowledge, outlets, and ideas. Then, about three years ago, a friend of a client (Jan from Jansen Ornamental) asked if we heard of NOMMA. She told us how NOMMA would direct us to suppliers and give us an outlet to share ideas. So we made arrangements to attend the next METALfab convention and were overwhelmed with the classes, suppliers at the show, shop tours, interaction, and ideas that everyone had to offer. We left the first show with numerous business cards, literature, jig designs, and tons of ideas. Gary came back and reorganized the shop based on the ideas learned on the shop tours. Our shop has grown and prospered. People like Earl Burkett from New Market Iron Works, AL, and Lance Stafford at Jansen Ornamental continually help with equipment purchases, resources, and ideas. We’ve moved our backyard business into a full-scale ornamental fabrication shop, which is now in a new commercial location, complete with five employees. We now build just about everything and work on jobs we never could imagine. Thank you NOMMA.

In the past Joe (Gina’s husband) has picked up what the different machines do, and then we decide whether to buy them, whether to keep them here in-house, or distribute them. We distribute Eagle machines. As far as technique, we don’t attend the classes because we’re exhibiting and busy entertaining ourselves! But Joe is interested in the stainless steel finishes class this year and hopes to get some useful information from that, which he can share with customers.

I learn a lot of very valuable things at the METALfab show. When I go, I make notes, take lots of pictures, and talk to lots of craftspeople and vendors to get ideas on projects, supplies, and tools or materials that I can use in my program. Some companies give us supplies and materials. A.M.S. (Advanced Measuring Systems) donated one of their systems to our program. Rail Wizard donated a software package to us, and many other companies donate samples of their stock so that our students can learn how to include them in projects. Other companies have spent a lot of time showing me how their goods can be used. For example, I saw Gilder’s Paste being used at one of the shows. Although the company didn’t donate anything to us, I was able to buy some paste when I returned home. And I have students experimenting with it all the time. Sometimes we get what we expect when we use it; sometimes we get more. Sometimes it does not turn out well at all, but that is how we learn. I also purchase many books and videos that we use in our program as training tools. At convention I share pictures of projects and activities that I witness every year, and I always return home rejuvenated and excited about what we can do next.

METALfab 2003 was held in Covington, KY. See pages 16–35 for a listing of exhibitors. Look for a complete recap of the week in the next issue of Fabricator (May-June 2003)

METALfab 2004 will be in Sacramento, CA March 2–6, 2004 For info, call (404) 363-4009, ext. 20.


Send Us Your Ideas? Do you have a question you’ve been anxious to ask fabricators? Telephone the Editor at (404) 363-4009, ext. 15; Fax (404) 363-1852, or e-mail your question to 94


March–April 2003

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