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METALfab 2004: Memories of another great convention!

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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

May/June 2004 $6.00 US

Job Profiles

Client Satisfaction Client Satisfaction Whether modifying a stock piece or building parts from scratch, the fabricator did whatever necessary to meet the client’s design concept.

page 60

Tips & Tactics

Discover the perks of solid modeling, pg. 11

Shop Talk

A passion for challenge, pg. 38

Biz Side

Don’t lose sleep over employee retention, pg. 70




May/June 2004 Vol. 45, No. 3

Enjoy a first-class tour of the Postville Blacksmith Shop. See page 38.

Tips & Tactics

Biz Side

Member Talk

Discovertheperksofdesigntechnology 11 Take advantage of 3D CAD solid modeling. Get a retainer 13 Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to pay for your services. Special Feature 14 METALfab 2004 Enjoy a photo recap of NOMMA’s 46th convention and trade show. Exhibitor listing 30 Shop Talk Postville Blacksmith: A passion for challenge 38 Learn the art of creating tooling to meet special needs.

Accenting Arizona’s building boom with metal stairs 54 A NOMMA firm finds their niche in Phoenix, AZ making custom stairs.

Don’tlosesleepoveremployeeretention 70 Hire the right people and keep them happy.

NEF explores opportunities with new building arts school 58 A partnership with a Charleston school offers exciting possibilities.

Pay your bills online 74 Find the simplest and most time-saving option for you.

Job Profiles

NOMMA members

By Rachel Squires Bailey

By Barton Goldsmith

By William J. Lynott

By Todd Daniel

Satisfactionispleasingclientswho know what they want 60 This fabricator gets a kick out of challenging jobs. By Francis Flaherty

Charging for shop drawings 44 Eight NOMMA members share ideas about how to charge for drawings. NOMMA member roundtable

Forging stainless steel 50 Bandarra answers common questions about working with stainless steel.

New NOMMA Members


What’s Hot!

A home run project

By John L. Campbell

Nationwide Suppliers 80


Despite time constraints and design challenges, these baseball stadium gates were a win. By Christine Glidden

Biz Briefs 82 Coming Events 88 Chapter Contacts 89 Literature 90 Products 91 New Product Literature People 95 Classifieds 97


By George Bandarra

President’s Letter 6 Making a great association even better.

Editor’s Letter 8 Fast and steady wins the race!

Reader’s Letters Article on selling to architects rings true.


Fab Feedback 98 You do what with a mag drill?

Cover photo: This rail was designed by the owners. It features a brass cap, brass rosettes, and gold leafed design panels. The torches were forged and hammered out of 3/16” plate. The torch handles were made from 2” pipe. The 20” by 30” copper shield was purchased from a NOMMA supplier member and represents two components soldered together. Fabricator: Flaherty IronWorks Inc., Alexandria, VA. Photo: Jay Mallin.


President’s Letter

Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA Officers President Curt Witter Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX President-Elect Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks Tulsa, OK

DeAngelis Iron Work Inc. South Easton, MA Immediate Past President Chris Maitner Christopher Metal Fab. Inc. Grand Rapids, MI

Vice Pres./Treasurer Chris Connelly

Fabricator Directors Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC Peoria, IL Fred Michael Colonial Iron Works Inc. Petersburg, VA Rob Mueller Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL Rod Stodtmeister Stodtmeister Iron

Sparks, NV Sally Powell Powell’s Custom Metal Fab Inc. Jacksonville, FL Don Walsh Pro-Fusion Ornamental Iron Inc. San Carolos, CA

Supplier Directors David T. Donnell Eagle Bending Machines Inc. Stapleton, AL Bob Borsh House of Forgings Houston, TX Gene Garrett

Regency Railings Inc. Dallas, TX

Technical Consultant Tim Moss Managing Editor Rachel Squires Bailey

2004 Advisory Council Jay Holeman Mountain Iron Fabrications Tom McDonough Eagle Metal Fabricators Inc. Rob Rolves

Foreman Fabricators Inc. Lee Rodrigue Virginia Architectural Metals

Contributing Writers John L. Campbell


The following is adapted from Curt’s acceptance speech, which was given on March 6, 2004 in Sacramento, CA. How did I get here, and why I am up here? My first convention was in Phoenix in 1984. I was lost walking around the trade show floor. My bag was filling with catalogs and I was wondering why we needed to do all of this just to build a rail. I soon realized that NOMMA was not just about the products on the trade show floor, it was the people that made the convention more valuable. I attended conventions off and on for several years, and in 1998 I was asked to serve on the NOMMA Board. A few days after agreeing to serve I was asked what qualified me to be on the Board. I listed several reasons, but the most important one was and still is that NOMMA’s mission is good and worthwhile, and one that I want to be a part of and contribute to.

Continuing our bold course

NOMMA Staff Executive Director Barbara H. Cook Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington Communications Mgr. & Editor J. Todd Daniel Administrative Assistant Liz Ware

Making a great association even better

William J. Lynott

The leadership that has preceded me has accomplished extraordinary things, including the creation of the Technical Affairs Division and the launching of the NOMMA Education Foundation. During this coming year I do not plan to create anything new. I do, however, want to see ALL that our organization stands for become better. Like any organization we need to define what we need to do and decide how to do it. This is where YOU and OUR strategic plan come in. You may be asked during the coming months to respond to surveys and polls, and I encourage you to respond promptly to these inquiries. The Strategic Plan has worked well for us, but it is time for an update with new short and long range goals. Marketing will be another focus in which

we will significantly increase membership and awareness of NOMMA. Our governing process is also going to be challenged. Your Board of Directors change faces every year bringing in fresh ideas and input. This makes having continuity from year to year difficult. To help manage this diverse and dynamic group I plan to employ the Leadership Partnership. This partnership will: • Add clarity and understanding of roles, where neither group behaves as superior or inferior. • It will enforce our commitment of mission and values. • We will have good communication and information. Curt Witter is • We will have long president of the National range goals and a defined set of results Ornamental and Miscellaneous • We will have a coMetals Associaoperative evaluation tion. of progress for the Board, staff, and volunteers. I have been interacting with Barbara Cook, Doug Bracken, and Chris Connelly on NOMMA issues during the past few months. I can say that these individuals are among the hardest working and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to work along side. I know that the coming year will be a productive year because our Board is dedicated to this association and will work tirelessly and diligently to make NOMMA the best it can be. Thank you for your confidence in me to be your president and allowing me to have the honor of ushering us into the future.

Fabricator n July-August 2004

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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 or rachel@


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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. Circulation: 8,000.



How to reach us

Editor’s Letter

Fast and steady wins the race! You know the story about the tortoise and the hare? I sure hope they don’t teach that to school kids anymore. Of all the old cliches, “slow and steady wins the race,” really needs to be put to rest. Everybody earning a living today knows that twenty-first century American culture values consistent speed. We’ve got speed dial, instant messaging, QuickBooks, and fast food. And those services just cover the basic necessities. Consumers expect fast service because producers give it to them. And to join the game you have to play at the same pitch. Ornamental fabrication is no exception. Your customers want high-quality, custom forge work, and they want it installed last week. It’s like an oxymoron: fast custom work. But it’s reality. How can fabricators overcome this paradox? By learning the tricks (and jigs) of the trade. To meet the demands of the market, wise fabricators learn how to do a good job fast. Take advantage of technology

Dimitri Galitzine makes a strong argument for why ornamental fabricators need to jump on the CAD wagon. His column on solid modeling design technology (page 11) lists several ways fabricators stand to benefit from this technology that various other industries already use. Make jigs and save them

Another way to offer your customers gorgeous work fast is to make your work look as though it took longer to create. Understanding the potential of your shop equipment and taking time out to create special jigs and tools can increase production and your profits. John Campbell’s article featuring Bob Bergman (page 38) reveals several ideas Bergman has come up with over the last 35 years to save time but main-

tain quality.

Get money up front

Allen Guidry and several other NOMMA members (Get a retainer! on page 13 and Charging for shop drawings on page 44) agree that asking—and getting—money up front saves time and energy in the end. In the case of knowing what your time and creative designs are worth, having confidence in yourself and your business pays off. The old saying “money talks” still stands. So why not practice it with your customers too? Get online

Rachel Squires Bailey is managing editor of Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator

Another way to save time in your profession and in your personal life is to take advantage of the Internet. There’s loads of resources out there, from small business advice, to technical guidelines on working with metal. And for those NOMMA members who don’t yet participate in our e-mail discussion list, consider joining today! You wouldn’t believe how much you can learn from this member’s only resource by just logging on for ten minutes a day. And speaking of online, William Lynott’s article on page 74 encourages readers to give online bill paying a try. Why not? In today’s world, time saving tricks get you across the finish line first. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that losing may be nothing but winning sure beats everything!

Fabricator n May-June 2004


Reader’s Letters Marketing to architects Since I do marketing for my firm, I found the article on architects [Architects: Ready to start selling to them?, Jan/Feb 2004] very informative. We have a few architects who we deal with very closely from the beginning stages of their projects. However, my subsequent attempts at “marketing to architects” by way of letters (as mentioned in the article) have not been particularly successful. From reading the article, now I know why! Also, I noticed in the same issue there was an article about the National Association of Manufacturers and their “Coalition for the Future of Manufacturing.” It’s great to see Fabricator informing members about this important issue. Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises Norridge, IL Proper hammer holding I would like to bring to the readers’ attention the photo appearing on page 53 of the last issue [A Charleston school preserves the building arts, Mar/ Apr 2004]. Holding the hammer in the position photographed is very dangerous and is capable of doing irreparable damage to the A5 nerve, which extends from your hand to your neck. Not only is the thumb absorbing all the recoil of the hammer blow, but it is transferring the force through the wrist up the elbow into the shoulder and the neck. Repetitive hammering in this manner would create cumulative damage. Ed Mack Fine Architectural Metalsmiths Chester, NY

In Memoriam

James and Wanda Wood, longtime employees of Lawler Foundry Corp. and friends of the industry, perished in a tragic house fire on March 8, 2004. The tragedy also took the life of their 13-year-old daughter, Jamie. James “Jimbo” was a second generation Jim and Wanda Wood. Lawler employee, and joined the firm in 1983 at age 16. During his 21 years of employment, he moved up through the ranks and became Lawler’s warehouse manager. Wanda joined Lawler in 1989 as sales office manager and was with the company for 14 years. Shortly after joining the company, a romance began during a Lawler-sponsored fishing trip and the two were married. The birth of their daughter Jamie followed a little over a year later on September 14, 1990. In memory of The Lawler Family’s untimely loss of their friends, the company would welcome your donations to the NOMMA Education Foundation in the names of James, Wanda, and Jamie. Send memorial gifts to: NEF, 532 Forest Pkwy., Suite A, Forest Park, GA 30297.

Correction In Temperature affects outdoor handrails [Mar/Apr 2004, p. 11], there is a typo in the chart. Carbon steel expands/contracts at .000006 inches per degree Fahrenheit, not .0000192 inches as shown. A thanks goes to our astute readers for catching this.


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) 366-1852. Please include your name, company, address, telephone number, and e-mail. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, grammar, and length.

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Tips& Tactics n

Fabrication issues

About our expert: Dimitri Galitzine, director of Design Development Associates LLC, a NOMMA member based in New York’s Hudson Valley, began using the earlier forms of solid modeling in the late eighties as a way to design and present designs of complex and unique ornamental lighting fixtures. Web:

Discover the perks of solid modeling design technology Are you ready to take advantage of 3D CAD? It may be more suited for ornamental fabrication than you think. By Dimitri Galitzine Design Development Associates LLC Although fabricators are not usually considered primary users of solid modeling design technologies, it may be time to change that. Blending some of the ancient techniques used in conventional fabrication methods with the newest technologies available in design and communication can save time and money for large and small fabrication shops. Solid modeling is the most effective way to produce, edit, and distribute design and fabrication intelligence. It combines all the design and communication functions necessary to turn a great idea into a successfully fabricated project, with no surprises. Benefits of solid modeling

Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems allow designers to “model” or “sculpt” any component part or an assembly of any number of components, in virtual space. Designers can model at actual size and with absolute accuracy. They can actually see the effect of their decisions on the object they are designing as well as the interaction of any component with other components in the assembly. It’s more natural

When learning traditional drafting, many students must suppress their brain’s innate ability to perceive and understand three-dimensional (3D) solid objects. Instead they learn to symbolically represent the object by means of 2D orthogonal views. Solid May-June 2004 n Fabricator

modeling CAD brings back the long suppressed capabilities. It allows designers to be more flexible and better enables them to visualize ideal design solution. It’s easier to get client approval

Getting client client approval can also be accomplished better, faster, and more effectively by creating a photorealistic rendering of the object rather than using orthogonal views. These traditional prints contain dimensional information, but do not convey the “feeling” or fit of the object in its environment. Creating a photo-realistic rendering does not require an artist since the model already contains all the information about the object. Designers can just choose colors and surface textures, and press a key to create a photo-type view. This view (.jpg, .bmp, .tif, etc.) can then be pasted into a photo of the target environment and displayed as a very realistic picture of the intended final result. The process is so realistic and so effective that it can save the time and expense associated with making samples. It’s easier to make changes

Changes requested by the client can be implemented easily because solid models retain all the information used to create them. Plus, they permit virtually instantaneous editing and remodeling.Detailing and print generation is done by automatically pulling views from the solid model. The amount of information that can be presented on the details is limited only by the requirements of the design.

Cross-hatched sections and detail views are just a matter of a couple of mouse clicks. Labeling, ballooning, and automatic parts lists are created in seconds. Solid models also produce all the information required for further processing such as machining or cutting with CNC machinery (plasma, laser, or waterjet). It offers a lot of options

This technology is available in a number of different packages depending on the application. Models produced by different software packages can be read by other systems. The ability to read 2D data from older drawings is particularly helpful in creating updated 3D models. And while some systems are used more for presentation, others are more suitable for designing machinery or electro-mechanical systems. Find out if it’s right for you

The technology is progressing quickly and will no doubt be capable of more and more amazing applications as time goes on. Fabricators unsure of whether this technology could benefit them should consider hiring a consulting designer. Have the consultant produce all the required data and drawings for a real project using a solid modeling program. Fabricators should then compare the solid modeling method with traditional design methods and judge which is more cost effective.


Tips& Tactics n

Fabrication issues

About our expert: Allen Guidry Ornamental Project Manager of Florida Aluminum & Steel Fab. Inc., Fort Myers, FL, a long-time NOMMA member.

Get a retainer!

Web: See related article on page 44.

This fabricator figured out how to charge for shop drawings and protect his company’s copyrights. By Allen Guidry Florida Aluminum & Steel Fab. Inc. I learned a long time ago, after years of designing work for other fabricators, a very important word: “Retainer!” I first appreciated the word at a past NOMMA METALfab convention during a seminar about patenting and copyrighting custom drawings. The presenter was a patent expert, and everything he said basically could not help me protect my company. For example, he said even if someone stamps his work “copyright,” “patent pending,” or “registered trademark,” all customers would have to do is change the design 10 percent, and they would be in the clear (changing the color is near 10 percent). A member in the seminar said, “We get the customer to give us a retainer, up front. This is their guarantee that they are securing our company to do their work! Also, if lawyers can get away with it, why can’t we!” This opened my eyes to a new way of conducting business. And, when I got back home I started using it immediately. We were fortunate that our company had name recognition in the Acadiana area and a 50-year reputation of providing quality ornamental metal products. I was a little nervous and hesitant the first time I asked for a retainer. However, I quickly got over it, and it soon became natural. You would be surprised how, by simply asking your customers for a retainer, they are not only happy to give you May-June 2004 n Fabricator

the money, they think that you are a professional. (And aren’t we?) Over a 10-year period I used this sales tool hundreds of times, most often on automated gate entry systems. It worked well, especially when a customer or contractor called and said they were pouring concrete for a foundation of columns for a gate. One in particular wanted to know if anything was required to prepare the footings, which they were pouring in the morning! So I explained to them that there is preparation required, starting with designing the column construction, which entails steel pipe within and possibly recessed liners. They immediately wanted me to give them this information. So I explained to them that I could help them prepare their columns; however, they would have to retain our services. It did not take very long for them to realize they needed professional assistance, and that we were the company for them. I also explained that if they would have come in sooner we could have designed their gates and come up with a firm price, of which we could have collected a 50 percent deposit. Since it’s hard to get a 50 percent deposit on a gate before knowing how much it would cost, I gathered enough information over the phone to create CAD drawings of the column construction and to design pipe columns. On good faith I made the columns and delivered them and the plans to the site to review with the contractor. After which, the customer handed me a check to retain our services! Then at a later time the owners came into our showroom where I gathered information on their ideas

and design choices. I then prepared a CAD presentation drawing and a proposal of the costs for the gate. The proposal reflected the total cost of the gate including a 50 percent deposit (less the partial retainer we already received). We collected the balance of the 50 percent deposit at that time and the remainder on completion of the job. It was a very sweet deal, and this scenario happened often! We also used this sales technique on hand sketches or CAD drawings created in our showroom when a customer would come in for a price. If the customer gave me a retainer, I would release the drawings. I would also explain that no sketches or CAD drawings could leave our showroom until a job was secured. More often than not the customer would give me a check and leave with his or her gate design. This sales technique also acted as a way to qualify the customer. As always there are exceptions to the rule. I do recall one customer who sincerely wanted our company to do the work, however felt our retainer was out of line. So we negotiated the amount, basically cutting it in half. Even though I cut this retainer in half I felt great that my customer was walking out of my establishment with his CAD drawings, and he was happy. I did not have any stamps of copyright, patent pending, or registered trademarks on his drawings. However, I felt secure knowing I had a nice deposit! Cash retainer in my opinion is the best way to take care of our customers, and our companies! I know that this might not work for everyone, but it worked for me. 13


A Momentous Week NOMMA held its 46th annual convention and trade show in beautiful Sacramento, CA, March 3-6. A powerful education program cou-

pled with the trade show, shop tours, Top Job contest, and social events made this year’s convention one of the best ever. From Wednesday morning until Saturday night, the action was nonstop and attendees were treated to an impressive line-up of activities. Even before the convention began, many attendees arrived early to participate in three, two-day seminars, hosted by the NOMMA Education Foundation. The three courses covered business planning, estimating, and power hammer tooling. On Wednesday morning, the formal kickoff began with the annual business membership meeting, which featured updates from NOMMA leaders, committee reports, and door prize drawings. Education sessions began on Wednesday after lunch and ran until Friday afternoon. This year’s education was particularly diverse and covered a wide variety of topics ranging from field measuring to sales, and from

insurance to building codes. Michael Stone was back to lead a day of classes that covered markup, pricing, sales, and finding employees. One of the big hits this year was Steve Abercrombie, who lead sessions on how to give your business a financial checkup and how to use “breakeven” as a gauge to monitor company performance. Interspersed with the education sessions was a sponsor’s reception on Wednesday night, the three-day trade show which began on Thursday, and optional tours to Napa Valley and San Francisco. On Friday evening, attendees had a particularly memorable time during the “Relive the Summer of ‘67” hippie party. The event featured dancing, contests, “love” food, and an auction. Throughout the evening, participants walked around in their favorite hippie garb and said “peace” to one another. The action continued on Saturday morning with the two-hour Top Job Jamboree, where entrants in the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest were

During the shop tours, attendees received an unforgettable welcome.

given an opportunity to discuss their work. In the afternoon, following the close of the METALfab trade show, attendees boarded buses and toured three local shops. Evening events included a president’s reception and the annual awards banquet. During the banquet, NOMMA board members were installed and awards were presented to outstanding volunteers. The convention then came to a close with the dimming of the lights and the presentation of the Ernest Wiemann Top Job awards. On the following pages, we have attempted to capture a few memories— enjoy!

left: The “hands on” gold leafing class. right: Michael Stone was back to lead several rolledsleeves business classes.

Start planning now for METALfab 2005, which takes place in New Orleans, LA, Mar. 2-5, 2005 14

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Tim wore a Mardi Gras hat to promote METALfab 2005, which takes place in New Orleans.

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top: Steve Abercrombie’s classes on business finance attracted standingroom-only audiences. left: Enjoying the Wednesday night Sponsor’s Reception. right: Learning about new products at the trade show.


Friday Theme Dinner METALfab attendees relive the summer of 1967

2 1


Can you name the hippies? 4 6

5 Normal looking hippies.


1 - Curt Witter 2 - Darla Cooke 3 - Linda “Barbie� Rogers 4 - Chris Maitner 5 - Tony Leto 6 - Allen Guidry 7 - Lynn Parquette & Gene Garrett

left: A group of hippies straight from San Francisco (or maybe Woodstock). right: Hippies participate in a floor dance.


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Can you name the attendee?

During the Saturday trade show, attendees were treated to a caricature artist. How many folks can you identify?

first row, lto r: April, Barbara, Bob R., Cathee, Christopher, Dana. 2nd row: Frank M., Heidi, Linda, Mike K., Paul, Rick J., 3rd. row: Rob R., Sandy, Sarah, Tim M., Traci.

Artist: Rhoda Grossman, Mill Valley, CA


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Networking & Socializing The annual convention provides a time to meet and network with fellow fabricators. It is also a time to relax and socialize with family and friends. left: Enjoying “family time” during the theme dinner.

right: Making new friends during the shop tours.

left: Taking time out to relax during the busy convention week.

Editor’s Note: The digital age has definitely hit NOMMA. Following the convention, we were thrilled to receive many photos via e-mail and CD. A special thanks goes to the following for contributing photos for this spread and the NOMMA archives: Heidi Bischmann, Steve Lyman, Paul Montelbano, Tim Moss, Lynn Parquette, David White Jr., and Curt Witter.


First-time attendees were made to feel at home during convention week.

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Education Classes ran from Wednesday to Friday and provided a balance of business issues and techniques.

Phill Evans shared his development of a technique called “copper over steel.”

Breck Nelson discussed disaster preparedness.

Steve Abercrombie was a favorite speaker among attendees. He gave presentations on determining and monitoring your firm’s financial health.

Lloyd Hughes provides instruction on gold leafing. right: Instructors typically stay after class to answer additional questions. Shown are presenter Chris Maitner and George Bandarra. left: Dimitri Galitzine led a session on 3-D computer modeling.


Fabricator n July-August 2004

Saturday shop tours On Saturday, attendees were treated to a tour of three local shops: Phill Evans Sculptural Design, Fence World - Iron World, and Holland Iron Works

The buses are loaded and the journey begins.

Phill leads a tour of his shop.

At Phill Evans Sculptural Design, attendees checked out the wind-driven sculptures outside the studio.

Checking out a beautiful door.

A mini welding demo.

Paul tests a floating hammock.

Checking out jobs in progress. 24

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2004 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Awards Top Job awards were presented at the METAlfab Awards Banquet on March 6. To view the winners on-line, visit www.nomma. org and click on “Top Job Gallery.”


A. Gates, Driveway Gold - Excalibur Metalsmiths, Gaffney, SC Silver - Christopher Metal Fab. Inc., Grand Rapids, MI Bronze - Colonial Iron Works Inc., Petersburg, VA B. Gates, Driveway - Forged Gold - Wrought Iron Art Ltd., Oakville, ON, Canada Silver - The Leader Metal Works Corp., Miami, FL Bronze - The Iron Hammer, Murray, KY C. Interior Railings - Ferrous Gold - Germantown Iron & Steel Corp., Richfield, WI Silver - Metal Specialties, Monterey, CA Bronze - Pro-Fusion Ornamental Iron Inc., San Carlos, CA D. Interior Railings - Nonferrous Gold - The Leader Metal Works Corp., Miami, FL Silver - Florida Aluminum & Steel, Ft. Myers, FL Bronze - Grainger Metal Works, Nichols, SC E. Interior Railings - Forged Gold - Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, Chester, NY Silver - New Castle Iron Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL Bronze - The Iron Hammer, Murray, KY F. Exterior Railings & Fences Gold - Cape Cod Fabrications, North Falmouth, MA Silver - C.A.N. Art Handworks, Detroit, MI Bronze - Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio, Kansas City, KS G. Exterior Railings & Fences - Forged Gold (tie) - Darling’s Blacksmithing, Tollhouse, CA Gold (tie) - Wrought Iron Art Ltd., Oakville, ON, Canada Silver - Phill Evans Sculptural Design, Carmichael, CA Bronze - Northwinds Forge Ltd., Colorado Springs, CO H. Furniture and Accessory Fabrication Gold - Custom Metals Inc., Madison, WI Silver - Custom Lights & Iron, National City, CA Bronze - Colonial Iron Works Inc., Petersburg, VA I. Furniture and Accessory Fabrication - Forged Gold - Hugh C. Culley Art Design, Salt Lake City, UT Silver - Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, Chester, NY Bronze - Greg Eng Metalsmith, Vista, CA J. Gates/Doors Gold - Wiemann Ironworks, Tulsa, OK Silver - Art’s Work Unlimited, Miami, FL Bronze - B. Rourke & Co. Ltd., Burnley, Lancashire, England K. Gates/Doors - Forged Gold - Art’s Work Unlimited, Miami, FL Silver - Upsurge Design, Huntington Beach, CA Bronze (tie) - European Iron Works, Santa Barbara, CA Bronze (tie) - The Leader Metal Works Corp., Miami, FL L. Stairs Complete Gold - Custom Metals Inc., Madison, WI Silver - Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, Chester, NY Bronze - The Leader Metal Works Corp., Miami, FL N. Unusual Ornamental Fabrication Gold - Wrought Iron Art Ltd., Oakville, ON, Canada Silver - Princeton Welding Inc., Half Moon Bay, CA Bronze - Construction Services Inc., Decatur, AL O. Restoration Gold - Custom Metals Inc., Madison, WI Silver - Wiemann Ironworks, Tulsa, OK Bronze - Allen Architectural Metals Inc., Talladega, AL P. Art/Sculpture Gold - Jerry Grice Welding Inc., Tallahassee, FL Silver - JAM Enterprises, Gig Harbor, WA Bronze (tie) - Quantum Design, Somerville, MA Bronze (tie) - Art’s Work Unlimited, Miami, FL

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Four special awards were given during convention week. Gib Plimpton

Clifford H. Brown Award

Presented to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the area of industry education.

Myers & Company Architectural Metals Gib’s work and vision with strategic planning helped to lay the foundation for the eventual creation of the NOMMA Education Foundation. He is a past director and served on many committees. He is a past chair of the Top Job Committee and is the past treasurer of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Michael Boyler

Julius Blum Award

Given to individuals who make major contributions toward the betterment of the industry.

Ed Powell

Frank A. Kozik Award

Awarded to individuals who consistently show an outstanding spirit of volunteerism.


Powells of Banner Elk Ed exemplifies the spirit of the award’s namesake, Frank Kozik, who continued to volunteer even after completing his term on the board. A past president and long-time board member, he has chaired or served on many committees, and is a past president of the Florida Chapter. Currently, he is vice chair of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Mike is a past NOMMA president and co-founder and chair of the NOMMA Education Foundation. He is known throughout the industry for his vision and passion toward education. As the long-time chair of the NOMMA Education Committee, he helped with the creation of continuing education seminars and other education programs.

Custom Metals Inc.

Mitch Heitler Award

Awarded to a gold Top Job award winner that deserves additional merit.

The company received NOMMA’s highest award for craftsmanship for a multileval stairway in a private residence. Designed to reflect the owner’s love of nature, the railing features images of animals and scenery. What impressed the awards committee was the variety of metal alloys and processes used in the project. In effect, the job serves as a tribute to the many types of work our industry does.

Fabricator n July-August 2004

Exhibitor Listing March 4–6, 2004 • Sacramento, CA

A thanks to the following firms for participating in NOMMA’s 46th annual trade show. For a detailed listing, visit: Advanced Measuring Systems 972-552-3337 Quick Loc stop gauging with teeth in both standard & metric, etc. Airgas 916-870-4368 Welding supplies, safety equipment, industrial gases.   Artezzi 800-718-6661 Distributor of forged ornamental wrought iron.   Atlas Metal Sales 800-6620143 Silicon bronze.   Auciello Iron Works Inc. 978-568-8382 E-Z sleeves.   Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 800-526-6293 Traditional steel railings to glass rails.   J.G. Braun Co. 847-663-9300 Handrail components; glass rail components; extrusions, pipe and tube.   Bunzl Extrusion 253-284-8000 Privacy panels for ornamental fence systems.   Byan Systems Inc. 307-334-2865 Hyd gate operators & access control products.   CML USA Inc. Ercolina 563-391-7700 Tube benders, notchers, bar twist, scroll.   C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. 800-421-6144 Architectural hardware, door closers, all glass entryways. 30

The show offered a preview of the industry’s newest products.

Attendees reviewed product literature and spec sheets.

The Cable Connection 775-885-1443 Cable railing products.   California Tool & Die 626-969-1282 Metal stampings, metal fabrication.   Caltool Industrial Supply 800-767-4189 Magnetic drills, pipe benders, cold saws, pipe notchers, ironworkers.   Century Group Inc. 337-526-5266 Concrete stair tread.   Chamberlain – Elite 949-580-1700 Gate operators, access control.   Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 800-446-4402 Ironworkers, portable fabricating machines & tooling.   Click2Enter Inc. 877-939-3800 Emergency access control systems.  

Machinery demonstrations took place throughout the show.

Colorado WaterJet Company 970-532-5404 Custom panels and components; abrasive waterjet cutting services. Crescent City Iron Supply 708-551-4333 Ornamental iron components.   Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. 604-273-6435 Ornamental balusters.   D.J.A. Imports Ltd. 718-324-6871 Stainless components, gate & door hardware, cantilever gate system.   DKS, DoorKing Inc. 310-645-0023 Access control products. Decorative Iron 888-380-9278 On-line product catalog offering many decorative & ornamental pieces.   Doringer Cold Saws 310-366-7766 Cold saws & saw blades.   Fabricator n July-August 2004

Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 251-937-0947 Profile bending machines, scrolling & twisting machines, pipe benders. Encon Electronics 800-782-5598 Automatic gate operators, accessories and access control.   EURO-FER SRL 011-39-044-544-0033 Ornamental wrought iron components for gates, stairs, and windows.   FABCAD.USA 804-861-0292 Ornamental design software.

FabTrol Systems Inc. 541-485-4719 FabTrol.   Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging 800-888-2418 Cablerail architectural cable assemblies & aluminum railing systems.   Flynn & Enslow Inc. 415-863-5340 Woven & welded wire meshes; perforated & expanded metals.   GTO Inc. – GTO/PRO Professional Access Systems 800-543-4283

Automatic gate operators and access control systems. Gates and Controls 206-767-6224 Gate operators and access control equipment.   Graham Manufacturing 888-879-1026 Power hammers, dies, art items, glass, components, some tools.   Hebo GmbH 011-49-645-391-3321 Wrought iron machine systems. House of Forgings 281-443-4848

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Fabricator n July-August 2004

Forged steel components. Industrial Coverage Corp. 631-736-7500 Insurance programs designed for NOMMA members.   Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. 603-863-4855 Hinges.   Iron Craft 559-688-4766 Simonian bender.   Jansen Ornamental Supply 800-423-4494   Justin R.P.G. Corporation 800-563-3479 Ornamental products, fences, storm doors, oem parts.   King Architectural Metals 800-542-2379 Forgings, gate operators, operators.   Joachim Krieger Wrought Iron Systems 011-49-64-258-1890 Wrought iron machines. Lavi Industries 800-624-6225


Tubing & fittings. Lawler Foundry Corp. 205-595-0596 Ornamental metal components, accessories, & furniture.   Liaoyang Shenzhou Hardware Co. Ltd. 011-248-625-2829 Hardware.   MB Software Solutions 717-350-2759 Estimating software for a metal fabricating job shop.   Marks USA 631-225-5400 Locks.   Master Halco 562-694-5066 Fence systems. Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 636-463-2464 Ultimate tubing notcher, hyd tubing bender & plasma parts.   Frank Morrow Company 800-956-7688 Decorative metal stampings, metal

trims, metal castings. New Metals Inc. 888-639-6382 Ornamental iron components, forgings, expanded metal and grating.   NOMMA/NEF 404-363-4009 NOMMA is the industry’s trade association. NEF is an education foundation.   Ohio Gratings Inc. 800-321-9800 Aluminum, heavy duty, light duty and fiberglass bar grating.   Omega Coating Corp. 316-322-8200 Paint.   PDM Steel 209-943-0555 In-line galvanized tubing & shapes. Production Machinery Inc. 410-574-2110 Roll bending & cold sawing machines.   R & B Wagner Inc. 800-786-2111 Handrail components, glass rail com-

Fabricator n July-August 2004

ponents; extrusions,pipe and tube. Ransburg Distributed Products – ITW Industrial Finishing 630-237-5106 Electrostatic painting systems & spray guns, air & airless spray guns.   Regency Railings Inc. 214-742-9408 Forged railing components. Rik-Fer USA 630-350-0900 Wrought iron and stainless steel elements, gates, railings, and furniture. Rockite, Div. of Hartline


Products Co. Inc. 216-291-2303 ROCKITE expanding, fast-setting anchoring & patching cement. Rogers Mfg. Inc. 940-325-7806 Ironworking machinery.   Scotchman Industries Inc. 605-859-2542 Ironworkers, cold saws, band saws, belt grinders, notchers, etc.   Sea USA Inc. 305-594-1151 Gate operators & access control. Sharpe Products

262-754-0369 Railing components, special bending. Software Design Associates 406-252-5945 Fence estimating software.   Sparky Abrasives 800-328-4560 Abrasives.   Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. 866-290-1263 Striker forging hammers.   Sumter Coatings 803-481-3400 Specialty paints formulated specifically for ornamental and misc. metals.   Tennessee Fabricating Co. 901-725-1548 Cast, forged metal, hardware.   Texas Metal Industries Inc. 972-288-2333 Castings, forgings, hardware.   Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. 909-390-8885 Fence material: cast iron, aluminum.   Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works 800-522-4766 Quality forged elements.   Tubo Decorado SA de CV 011-52-818-313-9834 Aluminum & steel decorative tubing.   Upstate California EDC 530-528-1397 Business relocation services.   Valley Bronze of Oregon 541-432-7551 Metal casting and fabrication.   W.G.F. Ironwork Products Center (USA) Inc. 510-483-5900 Spears, scrolls, castings, hardware.   West Tennessee Orn. Door Co. 866-790-3667 Security doors, fencing, gates, & ornamental iron products.   Wrought Iron Concepts Inc. 877-370-8000 Ornamental wrought iron components.   XCEL Distribution Inc. 909-392-0808 Component steel fence system. Fabricator n July-August 2004

July-August 2004 n Fabricator


Shop Talk

iginal blackfront of the or in ds an st . an Bob Bergm built in 1846 Postville, WI, in op sh ith sm


n A solid reputation for tackling difficult jobs and adapting tools to provide creative solutions has helped to place a resourceful blacksmithing shop on the map. ner of the state, Green County, 9 miles east John L. Campbell of Blanchardville and 10 miles west of New Glarus. Is it hard to find? You won’t find it on Traveling to visit Bob Bergman at his Postville a Wisconsin highway map . Blacksmith Shop reminded me of the movie, Nevertheless, buyers manage to find Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner dreams Postville Blacksmith Shop. Bergman is the of building a baseball field on a remote Iowa handyman your wife wishes she had married. cornfield. His gut feeling told him, Build it and they will come! He’s the guy you’d like to have on board if Well, Bob Bergman must have had your aircraft had to crash land on the beach the same premonition when he paid $600 of an uninhabited island. He’d make the tools or weapons you’d need to survive. That’s why for an old, cluttered blacksmith shop in Postville attracts projects others have turned Postville, one of Wisconsin’s earliest frontier down. settlements. The original shop was built in 1846, and it lies in the southwestern cor In pioneer settlements like Postville, 38


A passion for challenge

For your information

Company: Postville Blacksmith, Blanchardville, WI Summary: Bob Bergman, a long-time NOMMA member, purchased the 158-yearold business 35 years ago for $600. Contact: Postville Blacksmith Shop, N8126 Postville Rd., Blanchardville, WI 53516. Ph: (608) 527-2494. Web: www. postvilleblacksmith. com.

Fabricator n July-August 2004

one of the first services needed was a blacksmith. Land clearing tools had to be made and repaired along with metal and wooden farm equipment. Permanent communities added a general store, a church, and school, in that order. Other than the concrete floor, Bergman says his blacksmith shop is just as it was when he bought it 35 years ago. The interior looks like a museum with the original forge built two years before Wisconsin became a state in 1848. Framed and hanging on the wall is a hand written bill-of-sale for about $600, listing everything Bergman bought. The previous owner was 86 years old, ready to retire, and glad to find a young buyer like Bob, who was an ambitious 22-year-old. A career begins

Bob admits he didn’t know much about blacksmithing; but Bob’s a fast learner. Anyone who earns a college degree knows where and how to find answers. He worked summers as a carpenter; and one of Bob’s credos

July-August 2004 n Fabricator

says, If you’ve mastered one trade, you have mastered them all. Born and raised in upstate New York, Bob earned a degree in geology at the University of Wisconsin, an hour’s drive north and east of Postville. His father was in advertising, and Bob’s first job was in a related business. “After six weeks, I knew I didn’t want to sell toothpaste for the rest of my life,” Bob said. A freelance gig in photography, another one of Bob’s passions, made him realize that work you liked to do, and could get paid for, was fun. That’s when he decided to follow his interests. “I bought a book on blacksmithing, and the previous owner stayed around long enough to show me how to do a few things,” said Bergman, explaining how he got started. For the next 25 years he worked the shop on his own, improvising and searching for a niche in the business. He repaired farm implements and equipment like the previous owner; and farmers

figures 1A & 1B: Postville Blacksmith regularly makes special jigs and fixtures to reduce production time. This steel fixture creates a simulated wood grain. The graining is hammered into the bar on one side as shown in the photo below.


figure 2: For a current project, a specified handrail shape wasn’t available, so a special die was made using 4140 steel. The die was then mounted in a punch press and 2” steel tubing was fed through the die.

as far away as Illinois still bring him work. Eventually, he tackled more and more ornamental work. One trait in Bob’s favor is his willingness to take a risk. He’s not afraid to experiment, spend time, and even fabricate a sample. The brewery in New Glarus wanted a handrail with a vine of simulated hops. He made a sample for them based on their concept. “My first sample was too contemporary for them,” said Bob showing the initial sample and the final product. He learned something about making leaves, using a two-piece die to stamp 1/8-inch thick steel blanks with a 3/16 inch wide stem. “Most leaves are made with thin gauge steel. I went with 1 /8 inch plate, something we could coin and stamp with veins, then shape them so they didn’t all look alike. They wanted a round stem on the leaves. You can upset a width like 3/8 x 1/8 inches and make the stem round, as long as the width doesn’t exceed the thickness by left: The machine shop is equipped with lathes, milling machines, and heat treating facilities.

right: Next to the machine shop is the forging and fabricating area.


Fabricator n July-August 2004

figure 3: To form a groove in the trough of each twist, a die was made that would hammer a straight line down the center of the bar to be twisted.

more than a factor of three (x3) wider than three times the thickness or the piece will want to fold in half when forged.” Bergman made a die for coining the appearance of veins and the leaf edges so the leaves looked serrated, but lacked the sharp points of a serrated leaf. Visitors would be using the handrail, so sharp, pointy edges wouldn’t be tolerated. Today, the original blacksmith shop sits across the road from Bergman’s newer, larger buildings. Bob’s wife, Nana Showalter, is an artist who creates with metal. She uses the original shop to produce and show her work. Postville Blacksmith Shop is across the road, and it consists of two large metal buildings with offices in one unit. There’s a machine shop with a heat-treating furnace and quench tank. An adjoining building houses the forging and fabricating department. “I’ve had as many as nine employees,” Bob said, adding that he’s happier with fewer people, although he admits turning away some work because of their backlog. “Now, we’re down to four, none of whom require much supervision.” An entrepreneur like Bergman enjoys his free time for creative thinking rather than supervising other people. Bob’s been a NOMMA member for almost 15 years, and he emphasizes how NOMMA has been a tremendous help to him and his company. Often, he attracts projects no one else wants. By networking with NOMMA members he does subcontracting on dies and components for companies who lack the machining facilities he has in-house. With all his years of experience Bergman has become a qualified

figure 4: Bob designed a forming die and tool to obtain a wrought iron appearance in mild steel. The tooling is placed in a KA-75 hammer to radius the edges of the bar and obtain a hammered finish.

For Positioning Only

figure 5: Bob demonstrates the use of a spring die under the KA-75 hammer to form scallops on a thin steel strip. July-August 2004 n Fabricator


machine tool designer. He’s got the knack for visualizing how shapes can be formed more efficiently with machines. “I take the time to make special jigs and fixtures to reduce production time. Whereas, some fabricators won’t take the time to step back, lose a day or two making the necessary tools for the job.” Bergman hauled out some of his old dies and fixtures to illustrate how his company made specific parts for various jobs [figures 1A & 1B]. One of the current projects Postville is fabricating requires about


figure 6: Forging dies can be made by squeezing a mild steel core of the desired shape between two pieces of steel, heated to forging temperature.

45 feet of handrail on a glass upper deck to be installed in the library of a private home in Toledo, OH. “We’re talking about a home

that’s worth maybe $8 million,” said Bergman, trying to put the library handrail project into perspective. “The elliptical shape of the handrail they specified wasn’t available.” To form the handrail Bergman used 2 inch steel tubing. The elliptical shape was achieved by making a die using a 12 inch long piece of 4140 steel. The concave shape in the die was hogged out with an end mill, then polished. The length was long enough so it could be cut in half, producing matching upper and lower die-halves. With the dies mounted in a punch press, the tubing was fed through the die and squeezed into the desired shape [figure 2]. Bergman and his staff maintain flexibility in the fabricating shop by moving equipment around as required for each job. “We’ve turned some equipment over on its side,” said Bergman, explaining how they adapt tools to suit their needs. Bergman makes and sells a small air-driven hammer called a KA-75, a tool he uses for many of his forging jobs. “At one time, if you wanted a length of flat stock, say 3 inches by a 1/2, you had to take a wrought iron bloom, heat it, and hammer it down, re-heat, hammer it again, and keep reducing its thickness. The end product, which might take a whole day to produce, had a hammered texture. Today, you can buy a piece of mild steel that same shape. But, now, to give an antique look the customer wants that old hammered look of wrought iron. In addition, they want a radius break on the edges.” To accomplish this task, Bergman showed the tools that were custom made for the KA-75 hammer. The saddle in the lower die gives the edge a radius and the upper hammer holds a head that gives the steel the wrought iron appearance. The work was cold formed, running the piece through the hammer on one side and flipping it over to finish the other side [figure 4]. For twisting bar up to 5/8-inch diameter, Bergman uses a pipe-threading machine. It looks like a lathe, and the head speed can be geared down to a crawl. Bergman showed a sample bar that required more than just a twist. Fabricator n July-August 2004

figure 7: For a job that required a crosshatched pattern, Bergman made a punch and by aligning the work, he coined the pattern into the steel plate.

The customer wanted a groove at the bottom of the twist, giving it the appearance of a rope [figure 3]. Bergman made a die that could be keyed into his KA-75 hammer. The die forged a groove the width and depth desired for the length of bar to be twisted. Turned in the pipe threader, the groove ends up at the base of each spiral. For repetitive forging of small steel shapes, Bergman favors spring dies, dies that spring open after being struck by a hammer or squeezed in a press. With a narrow stripe of steel in a spring die Bergman demonstrated how quickly he could perform four or five operations, feeding the steel with one hand, holding the spring die in the other, and controlling the hammer with his foot [figure 5]. Bergman makes steel dies by a process of squeezing two hot pieces of 4140 steel like modeling clay around a steel core, embedding the core in the two die halves. The resulting die halves are then hardened and used to forge duplicate steel parts [figure 6]. To illustrate the value of making a tool to accomplish a specific task, Bergman resurrected a crosshatched pattern on a steel plate from a previous project. They made a hardened steel punch that would produce the coined indentation the customer wanted, then fed the steel plate under the press to get each impression in alignment. The technique produced a uniform pattern, difficult to imagine being formed any other way at a comparatively low cost [figure 7]. The creative mind of Bob Bergman, and his knowledge of forming techniques and adaptation of existing equipment to accomplish a July-August 2004 n Fabricator


Shop Talk - Roundtable

How do you charge for $hop drawings? This question suggested by Tim Moss, NOMMA’s technical consultant led to the following roundtable discussion.

or receive compensation for their shop drawings in various ways. See if these comments help you decide which method is best for you.


Lee Rodrigue Virginia Architectural Metals

services (like field measuring, material purchased minus a re-stocking fee, etc). All of this is spelled out in the proposal. Verbal authorizations are not acceptable, and the proposal acts as a contract. Even with large customers whose purchasing department says they don’t do contracts, only purchase order’s, I insist on attaching the signed proposal and having it specifically mentioned on the purchase order as an attachment.


“It depends on whether I am working with a repeat customer or a potential ‘shopper.’”

Tom Zuzik Jr. Artistic Railings Inc.

For customers who are “shopping around,” we generally don’t provide anything more than a hand sketch, or a reference to an existing website, or let them flip though our portfolio for ideas. Also, if I’m sketching items in a sales meeting, the sketches stay with me until after the deposit is in hand. If a customer wants to think about it overnight, he’ll have to use the imagery in his head, or I’ll make an appointment to show them to his wife at her home. He doesn’t get my sketches until he decides that I’m his fabricator/detailer. In Las Vegas, I have provided potential customers with fairly detailed drawings, only to have a competitor fax it to me the next day and ask me if I could build it for him. Naturally, the price to him was $500 more than my price to the customer. To combat this, I now use a third method. If new or unknown customers want a drawing, I don’t start working on it until after I have received a signed proposal and deposit. If they cancel the job after receipt of the deposit, I itemize their refund based on an hourly rate for detailing and other

“Don’t start a bad habit— charge for shop drawings.”


Those of us that have established a charging process with our clients probably all swear that it is easy to charge for drawings. And yes I find it very easy to ask and get money down for drawings. Those of you that don’t charge your clients for drawings now will have a problem getting money from that client in the future. It’s like a bad habit, so the best way is not to start it. We use a simple rule of thumb: ask for money down to do design sketches and more to do formal drawings. If they are looking at a job that costs $10,000, you can weed out a tire kicker real quick by asking for $500 to do sketches. Of course you would apply this to the sale if they buy. This is not a lot of money to ask for if the client is serious. Architects and designers will pay you to use your samples and library if you show them you have what they require. If you have good design knowledge, an architect will pay you for drawings. We do it all they time. Architects send us concept sketches, and we provide functional drawings of railings and

For your information


n Fabrication shops may charge

NOMMA member roundtable participants: Lee Rodrigue Virginia Architectural Metals, Fredericksburg, VA E-mail: Tom Zuzik Jr. Artistic Railings, Garfield, NJ E-mail: Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works Nichols, SC E-mail: cgmetalw@sccoast. net Belk Null Berger Iron Works Inc. Houston, TX E-mail: Billy Pettigrew Pettigrew’s Custom Iron & Metals Inc., Dallas, TX E-mail: BillyP@ Dave Filippi FABCAD.USA Petersburg, VA E-mail: Rob Mueller Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove, IL E-mail: rob@ Tom McDonough Eagle Metal Fabricators Inc. Ft. Lauderdale, FL E-mail: tom@

Fabricator n May-June 2004

gates. They charge the client for our time, and add it on. You just have to ask and stand behind it.

Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works


“Prepare sample designs for potential clients. Charge for more elaborate design work.”

We have struggled with this issue for a long time. We have decided to prepare sample designs. Each sample is different, and we let the client choose from these examples. If they do not see anything that meets their needs, we will let them know that we also offer a “Design Service.” This is where we let them know that our “Design Team” (which consist of myself, our FABCAD program, our FABCAD service department—a.k.a. Dave Filippi— and my library of design books) can prepare design ideas for X amount of dollars per hour. We will also guesstimate how much draw time we are likely to use so that the client has an idea of the expense. Each drawing has a time stamp so that the client is always aware that our clock is ticking. We let them decide just how much draw time they are really willing to pay for. We also specify that if we are awarded the project we apply the design fee to the project. This fee is built into the bid so that if we are awarded the project we do not lose our design time charges. If we are not awarded the project we still have been paid for our draw time.

Belk Null Berger Iron Works Inc.


“I can’t caution you enough about getting into the business of ‘selling drawings.’”

I think the question here is “Do you want to sell drawings or sell fabricated products?” We work primarily in the commercial end of the business, but also do a pretty fair amount of high-end residential work. We use the drawings to show the client, or May-June 2004 n Fabricator


“Using AutoCAD it doesn’t take much time to manipulate an exist-

ing drawing for a new client’s specs. But give the potential client what it looks like, not how it is built.”

his architect, what we are planning to furnish and how it integrates into his building or house. We don’t do this until we have a contract (or at least an agreed upon price and a letter of intent). We have had clients want us to start drawing a project while we are negotiating the job. We are told that if the job doesn’t work out, they will pay us for our drawings. The problem with getting paid for drawings is that none of us are part of a drafting service. Spending time drawing things that never hit our shop is a surefire way to bankruptcy, as the shop will have nothing to build. Most of you who do primarily residential work have either showrooms or an extensive collection of photos and sketches, or both. I would think that showing the client (not giving) them these would show the type of work that you are capable of doing. That and a budget figure should get you a contract to start work. During the


design stage, you show the owner the exact product that he bought and then negotiate the changes that they want to make. I can’t caution you enough to be careful about “selling drawings.”

Billy Pettigrew Pettigrew’s Custom Iron & Metals Inc.


“Charge by the hour for shop drawings for clients; do conceptual drawings for potential clients.”

You you have to be able to read your client or potential client. We have all been the victims of providing the client with enough information that they get a cheaper price from someone else. Face it, they can always find someone to do it cheaper. Dave Filippi and FABCAD have helped me in the past by providing draw-

ings when I’ve submitted a proposal. For potential clients I’ll show them “conceptual drawings” that have been created in AutoCAD. It doesn’t take much time to manipulate an existing drawing for a new client’s specs. With the “conceptual drawing” I give the potential client what it looks like, not how it is built. I justify my materials in the proposal but do not get specific or even consider detailed or shop drawings until I have a deposit. But then again, that depends on the person I am quoting for. Some need that added insurance. People can also stipulate on a contract: “Shop drawings extra.” We have done that too. Now we just add in drawing time into the cost of the project. It helps that I do the drawings and the pricing for our firm.

Dave Filippi FABCAD.USA “Methods vary when working with homeowners, architects, and con-

Fabricator n May-June 2004

“For residential work dealing directly with the homeowner we

used to incorporate the drawing work into the total cost of the job. We would put a very large copyright notice on our drawings that our patent and trademark attorney drafted for us.” tractors.”


For residential work dealing directly with the homeowner we used to incorporate the drawing work into the total cost of the job. We would put a very large copyright notice on our drawings that our patent and trademark attorney drafted for us. We found it difficult to get a homeowner to pay just for drawing a job, and we preferred incorporating furnishing scaled drawings as part of how we conducted business. It gave us a very good competitive advantage. For architects we would charge by the

job to create an ornamental drawing for them since they usually didn’t want to take the time to do it. We would try to draw the job to the way we fabricated things so that we would have a competitive advantage when the job went out for bid. For contractors, if anyone can get them to pay for a drawing … my hat is off to you.

Rob Mueller Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc.

“We keep all sketches until we have received a deposit and a signed estimate of the job.”


In regards to drawings and sketches, we do a very rough sketch for the client while helping them pick out the design they want to use. We will also include in our estimate, if they want, a drawing of the rail or whatever the piece may be. Sometimes we separate the drawing cost out from the cost of the item, it all depends how the client wants it done. During the sales process we will do a rough sketch for the client, but we do not allow them to take it with them until we have received a deposit and a signed estimate of the job. This way they cannot shop our design around, and it gives us a little bit of an advantage when it comes to getting the job. In billing for drawing, I figure out how long it is going to take me to do the drawing whether it is done in CAD or hand drawn. And then I quote them for that separately.

Tom McDonough Eagle Metal Fabricators Inc. “Be up front—tell them if a drawing will cost money.”

You have to be up front with potential clients. Time is money. You can tell them that to create a drawing it will be this much money. If they want to proceed with the job then you can apply it to the cost of the job. If they don’t want the job, they must pay for the drawings. You can view it like an architect. If an architect designs a building, regardless if the building is ever built, he must be paid. If you are trying to land a client and you create hand sketches with them, this should be considered a cost of doing business.



Fabricator n May-June 2004

Shop Talk

Breaking down the properties and process of forging stainless n NOMMA member George Bandarra

of The Iron Hammer, Murray, KY, describes the properties of stainless steel and the processes of forging it.

George Bandarra The Iron Hammer


Have you ever taken on a project and then figured out how to do it later? That is how I got started forging stainless steel. A customer asked me to forge a set of stainless steel deer antlers, and I said I would. I figured I’d just go look up some information on forging stainless, and I’d be home free. Guess what? There’s not much information on forging stainless using the process we ornamental fabricators typically use. Most of the data on stainless pertains to upset and drop forging in commercial applications. So that began the process of trial and error (mostly error at first). I’ve been working with stainless for about 35 years and will share some of what I’ve learned about forging this unique material. It can be difficult at times, but some really beautiful results can be obtained. Now, a little information about the material This frame was fabricated from 304 stainless steel, 11/2 inch square tubing. The tubing was tapered and formed from fi inch stainless steel square bar. The stainless steel bar was hammered on all four sides and fishtail ends were forged on the ends of the scrollwork. The top of the gate was forged from 1/2 inch by 11/2-inch stainless steel bar stock rolled, scrolled, and shaped. Other interior elements were made from 14-inch by 2-inch stainless steel bar forged into 3/8-inch by 11/4-inch shapes with long tapered ends. The lily leaves and the swallows were forged, textured, buffed, and polished from 12-gauge stainless steel sheet. The entire gate was then buffed and polished leaving dark areas where the stainless was hammered or textured. Entire gate is 16 feet by 11 feet.

For your information


Forging temperatures: Forge stainless steel between heat ranges of 1700°F and 2300°F, maximum. Bandarra prefers to forge at around 1800°F. Forging process: The process of forging stainless steel involves heating, annealing, and re-heating. But Bandarra recommends doing the process no more than three times


Stainless is divided into three categories: Austenite is the 300 series; martensitic consists of the 400 series, and ferrite is the 500 series. There are about 30 different grades of stainless that are commonly used and many more that are specialty grades. Our discussion will deal primarily with the austenite 300 grades, which contain 18 to 20 percent chromium and 8 to 11 percent nickel, along with other elements. Challenges

Forging stainless steel presents its own unique chalper workpiece. Forging tip: Stainless reacts a lot like copper in most forging processes, except it’s tougher. Stainless steel reacts similarly to mild steel when twisting.

Fabricator n May-June 2004

This stag’s head is fabricated from stainless steel and brass. The horns are hand-forged 304 stainless steel. The various textures were accomplished with a heli-arc process.

lenges. Stainless steel dissipates heat rapidly allowing a shorter time to forge it. Also, expansion and contraction can be a challenge when heating or welding components together. Stainless also work hardens and impact hardens, making it difficult to form. It takes two to three times more energy to forge stainless, which means that usually you will have to use 100 percent to 150 percent more hammer blows to accomplish the same results as working with mild steel.

or 316L stainless to forge because they have the best forgeability. So let’s forge a typical scroll that is going to have a fishtail end and a hammered texture on the scroll, except the fishtail. First hammer the texture on the bar except for a couple of inches on the end where the fishtail will be. After hammering is done, the bar has mildly impact hardened. Go ahead and heat your end to forging temperature and hammer on the fishtail. When the scroll is started, re-heat 6 inches to 8 inches of the scroll end to 1700° to 2000°F, and then quench. Now you’ve annealed the portion that will be scrolled. Reheat the same portion that is going to be scrolled to the same heat range, and now finish your scroll. This process of heating, annealing, and re-heating may have to be done more than once depending on the mass of the material that you are working with. However, keep in mind that unlike copper, there is a limit to how many times you can successfully anneal stainless (usually about three times). It is, therefore, recommended that you figure out exactly what you want to do before you start the process. Stainless is too expensive to waste. As for other processes in working stainless, for example twisting, stainless will work much like mild steel as long as it has been heated to the proper heat range as mentioned before. However, it does NOT need to be annealed in order to be twisted, UNLESS it was hammered or work hardened before. How do you know if you are doing right?

Believe me, you’ll know. Your material will get stiff and difficult to do anything with, and areas that you are forging will begin to split or fracture. Keep in mind, though, that once you get used to the process involved, you will probably have very few problems working with stainless. It’s like anything else; time, practice, and experience will bring satisfying results.

Forging temperatures

Does forging affect the properties of stainless?

The 300 series stainless should be forged at a heat range between 1700°F and 2300°F maximum. I prefer to forge at around 1800°F. Stainless is annealed by heating to the 1800° F to 2000°F temperature range and then quenching to below 900°F. This helps to keep the original properties of the stainless in tact. Various colors can also be obtained by applying heat. Stainless produces a light yellowish, straw color at 700°F, a bright blue hue at 1000°F, and a purple to black luster at temperatures above 1000°F. Of course, varying finishes can be produced by sanding and polishing all the way to a mirror finish. Also, smiths can obtain many textures by hammering with varying dies and by heli-arc welding.

The book Forging Materials and Practices by A.M. Sabroff explains, “If [stainless] has been annealed [which you have done in order to forge it], the corrosion resistance will not be affected unless exposed to severe chemical exposure.” I have forged work that is over 20 years old and have seen no sign of corrosion or rust. If you see surface rust, it may be from the following things that should never be done: Grinding with a disc that was used previously on ferrous material; exposure to dust or sanding material from ferrous material; allowing stainless to come in contact or rub against ferrous stock or material; hammering with pitted hammers or dies and not cleaning the stainless afterwards; quenching in water that was previously used to quench ferrous material; or wire brushing with steel brush. To make a long story short, don’t allow stainless to physically come in contact with ferrous materials. If it does become contaminated, it can be cleaned by buffing, wire brushing with a stainless wire brush, sandblasting (if it doesn’t mess up your finish), or cleaning with a nitric acid solution.

Forging process with stainless steel

Successfully forging stainless requires a sequence of processes. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the stainless reacts a lot like copper except that it’s a lot tougher. In other words, it work hardens like copper, anneals like copper, and changes colors like copper, etc. The only difference is that it will work you to death! So let’s go through a typical forging process. Keep in mind that the 300 series stainless can be annealed, but it does not work harden or impact harden. I usually use 304, 309, 52

Now for my disclaimer

What I have explained in this article is what I have learned over the last 35 years of working with stainless steel. Much of Fabricator n May-June 2004

this can be documented in reference books, but a lot of it cannot. This is due to the fact that nothing much has been written (to my knowledge) about forging stainless using the processes and applications we use. Most of what has been written pertains to commercial forging using drop forge, upset forging, and stamping, etc. So much of what I’ve attempted to explain here has been processes that have successfully worked for me over the years. Some of this information may defy what has been the norm, but it has worked for me.

Forging a stainless steel scroll with a fishtail end First: Hammer the texture on the bar except for two inches on the end for the fishtail. Second: After hammering is done, the bar has mildly impact hardened. Heat the end to forging temperature and hammer on the fishtail. Third: When the scroll is started, re-heat 6 inches to 8 inches of the scroll end to 1700° to 2000°F and then

quench. Now the portion that will be scrolled is annealed. Fourth: Re-heat the same portion that is going to be scrolled to the same heat range and then finish the scroll. The process of heating, annealing, and re-heating may have to be done more than once depending on the mass of the workpiece. But no more than three times is recommended.

Why is stainless corrosion resistant?

Several hypotheses have been put forth as to why stainless steel is corrosion resistant. But, the bottom line is that no one knows for sure yet why stainless is corrosion resistant. And just when we thought we knew it all! For example, the book Welding and Metallurgy, 2nd edition states: “the useful ability of stainless to resist corrosion and oxidation can be credited to the single element chromium”; however, the “exact nature of this surface protection has yet to be learned.” Hope you enjoyed the article. As for forging stainless: try it—you’ll like it! Bandarra’s sources:

Forging Materials and Practices by A.M. Sabroff, F.W. Boulger, and H.J. Henning. Published by Reinhold Book Corp., 1968. ASIN: 0442355939 This book is currently out of print but is available at California State Polytechnic University’s library in Pomona, CA. Welding and Metallurgy, 2nd edition by Sindo Kou. Published by John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1987. ISBN: B0002062M8. Available from the publisher. List: $132 for hard cover; $125.00 in digital format. Web:

May-June 2004 n Fabricator


Member Talk Q&A

Accenting Arizona’s building boom with custom stairs

Accent Stairs Inc. carved a niche out of Arizona’s building boom by specializing in stair fabrication for new residential construction. They often combine metal with glass or wood, as shown here.

Accent Stairs Inc. of Phoenix, AZ, produces stairs of hardwood, glass, and metal for newly constructed, high-end homes. Interview by Rachel Squires Bailey Managing Editor

Fabricator: How long has Accent Stairs been in business? Cathy Herron: We’ve been in business since 1991; we incorporated in 1996. Murray Herron and myself, Cathy Herron, are business partners. Murray does the measuring, bidding, and ordering of products. (We practice just in time inventory.) I sell staircase parts to contractors and lumber stores, as well as take care of financial obligations. Fabricator: How did you get started in the 54

ornamental metals industry? Herron: We moved to Phoenix from Canada in 1979. Murray had been trained in woodworking by Danish artisans back in Canada during his late teens and early 20’s. He continued his craft in Phoenix and worked on high-end homes for a company called Woodesign for 10 years. He specialized in and always liked working on staircases. I’ve had many jobs for various firms throughout the years and then began pursuing an interest in aviation. But rather than moving to a new city so that I could get on with an airline, we decided to strike out on our own. We thought my background in business and his skill in woodworking would be a good combination for self-employment. And we are both very goal driven. So with a mortgage and two young sons to support, Murray and I both quit our full-

For your information


n Family owned and operated,

Company: Accent Stairs Inc., Phoenix, AZ., established 1991.

Niche market: Fabricating single and multi-media staircases (wood, metal, and glass). Murray enjoys building staircases best because of their threedimensional nature. Background: Eight years ago the company began fabricating metal stairs in addition to working primarily with wood. They hired craftspeople already experienced with metal to help with their transition.

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time jobs to open the business in 1991. Our timing couldn’t have been better. Although starting the business consumed all of our money for a while, it was well worth it. Phoenix’s building boom began around the early 1990’s. In the ten years from 1990 to 2000 the population of Arizona grew 40 percent, compared to the United States which grew in population by 13 percent. We marketed for a year or two. But once we got out there and showed our quality, it’s been word of mouth ever since. Fabricator: What is your shop’s specialty? Herron: In the beginning we only built wood staircases. It was not until the year 1996 that we started involvement and tooling up for metal. We hired experienced metal fabricators to help us with our new transition. Our unique niche combines hardwood, glass, and metal. We design, build, and install custom interior staircases. Our large portfolio includes single and double helix staircases as well as curved glass and curved metal and hand-forged work. Our customers come to us with conceptions of staircase design, which can challenge us. Our goal is always to exceed their expectations. Our market is pretty hot. We do new construction only, and presently the biggest house under construction in the area is 44,000 square feet. Our target is high-end, multi-million dollar homes where we can design and manufacture one-off unique staircase(s). We continue with our forte of large scale carriage stairs with an

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

This stair illustrates a combination of plasma cutting and hand-forged scrolls.

extensive array of metal balustrades ranging from domestic parts to imports from around the world. Fabricator: What is the size of your shop? Herron: In 1991 we started the business in our garage. By 1992 we were in a 1,200 square foot rental space. Then we moved into a 2,400 square foot rental space until we outgrew that. We were literally packed into that little shop, and every


Accent Stairs fabricated this architectdesigned balustrade, generated from a late 1800’s French design.

This stair has steel reinforced internal stringers. The railing is cold rolled steel precision drilled and TIG-welded.

time a machine had to be used, we had to move another one to make room. In September 2001 (just before 9/11) we took possession of a 10,000 square foot building. Fabricator: How many people work in the shop and office? Herron: The key to Accent Stair’s success is our people. There are three people working in our office including one full-time AutoCAD employee, Robert O’Brien (Obe). Accent Stairs was introduced to Robert O’Brien (Obe) and the world of AutoCAD and engineering three years ago. Obe showed us the benefits of this expensive process on a potential oncein-a-lifetime project, with great results. We got the job and changed the way we would do business forever! Obe has 30 years experience in the metal world. He engineers and produces CAD drawings on everything for the shop floor. Those once-in-a-life time jobs come in the door more often now. Five people presently work in the shop, and we intend on hiring two to four more employees as we expand. Mike Henderson started with us as a top craftsman and worked his way up to foreman. Mike has been with us for six years. He is a self taught master craftsman with equal ability in wood and steel. With his introduction Murray was able to finally leave the floor in good hands and concentrate on the office. Jon Peters is Accent Stairs’ lead man in the metal division. He is an extremely 56

Fabricator n May-June 2004

talented metalsmith. By perfecting welding techniques through advanced schooling and machinery knowledge, he helps us to master new challenges.

“The key to Accent Stairs is our people!”

Fabricator: What are your future business goals? Herron: Similar to our history, we want to grow at a moderate, acceptable rate while keeping the business in control. We have never envisioned growing at too fast of a rate for fear of losing present clients. Our goal has never wavered: we build the highest quality product possible and keep abreast of future technology and material. We are currently striving to improve and perfect our ability to plasma cut decorative stair panels; curving is a great challenge. Our next challenge is stepping up to laser cutting and water jet cutting. We are all the time striving to understand and improve our abilities. The scope of requests from our clients never cease to amaze us.

Jon Peters: Lead man

Mike Henderson: Foreman

Fabricator: How long have you been a NOMMA member? Herron: We’ve been NOMMA members for one year. Nomma is our central point of the decorative iron world, putting any and all suppliers of components, machinery, and ideas at our finger tips. METALfab is a yearly must see event to visit with old friends and make new acquaintances. We’ve been three times and look forward to many more. We’ve also been members of the National Federation of

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

Robert O’Brien: CAD Expert

Murray and Cathy Herron: Owners

Independent Businesses (NFIB) since 1999. It’s an organization that helps protect the rights of small businesses.


Member Talk

NEF explores opportunities with new building arts school A long-term relationship with the School of the Building Arts (SoBA) would be a win-win. NOMMA members would have a larger pool of trained workers, and SoBA would have an outlet for internships and student placements.

The scenario is all too common. Your lead metalsmith has just retired and the rest of your team “is getting up there” in years. Finding a qualified replacement is incredibly difficult, especially someone who is trained in Old World skills. To address the everincreasing need for skilled workers, the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) is taking a proactive stance by exploring partnering opportuNEF chair Mike nities with various Boyler schools. A particular bright spot in this effort is the newfound relationship with the School of the Building Arts (SoBA) in Charleston, SC. The vision of SoBA is grand. The school founders hope to create a learning institution that will provide skilled craftsmen for the traditional building trades. Officially chartered in 1998, the school currently holds workshops, classes, and plans to launch its college in 2005. Once in full operation, SoBA will operate out of Charleston’s Old City Jail and will offer bachelor and associate degrees. Much to the delight of NEF, the school plans to include ornamental metalwork in its initial course offerings. Already, NEF trustees and staff have visited the facility and trustee chair Mike Boyler made an additional visit to the school in March. One of the exciting aspects of working with SoBA is the creation of the NEF Advisory 58

Council, a group of two NEF trustthe school could provide exciting ees and one NOMMA member who possibilities for NEF, SoBA, and the are providing input into curriculum industry at large. Eventually, NEF and development. In addition to Mike, SoBA could work together in the areas serving on the Council is trustee Lloyd of internship programs and placement Hughes and long-time NOMMA services. Trustee Lloyd Hughes even member Jack Klahm. envisions a day when NEF could host “They are already pretty advanced workshops. “Hopefully, by establishin their program development,” said ing a good working relationship, NEF Mike Boyler, “so what we’re talking could host workshops that would be about here is helping them to fine tune beneficial not only to their students, their curriculum.” but to our members as well,” Lloyd On March 25-27, SoBA hosted a says. “Masters of the Building Arts” festival The need for a facility that can provide in Charleston to raise awareness for workshops has become especially the building arts and school. Mike apparent since 9/11. Now, due to traveled from Iowa to participate in increased security and safety concerns, the event, along with his shop blackit is more difficult for NEF to hold smith. The festive program featured live technique demos at hotel venues, demonstrations, children’s events, especially when forges are involved. and tours of the old city jail. DurIn the long-term, SoBA has the potening the festival, time was set aside for tial to provide much needed talent to members of industry to participate in our industry. While the first class in roundtable discussions, which were diSeptember 2005 will likely start with vided by trade. This allowed attendees only a few students, the hope is that to provide input into the two and four enrollment will continually expand. year college programs that are slated “I’m pretty excited about the posto begin in the fall of 2005. sibilities,” Mike said. “Their position “There were two days of on training and the roundtable discussions direction in which they regarding the curricuare headed is parallel to lum for the four-year NEF’s philosophy. I can SoBA School of the Buildschool,” said Mike. see cutting years off our ing Arts Inc. “We all sat in on these own program developOld City Jail, 20 Franklin St. roundtable discussions ment and being able to Charleston, SC 29401 for each trade. We went achieve what we had in Ph: (877) 283-5245 Web: over curriculum items mind to begin with.” NOMMA Education Founand one of the things If your company is interdation we discussed was how ested in getting involved 532 Forest Pkwy., Suite A the studies would break in this effort, feel free to Forest Park, GA 30297 Ph: (404) 363-4009 into two and four year contact the NEF Board Web: programs.” of Trustees. Establishing a longterm relationship with

For your information


By Todd Daniel Editor

Fabricator n July-August 2004

Job Profile

Cover story

Satisfaction is pleasing clients who know what they want

This shop thrives on fabricating high-end, hot, hand-forged custom work, satisfying its customers, and challenging the skill level of the metalsmiths who put it all together.


This stair railing is a good example of the type of job we really like to do—all hot, hand-forged ornamental work for a high-end custom home. It is challenging work, and our employees take an interest in tackling a job like this.


The homeowner contacted us about doing an interior stair rail for her new home in McLean, VA. The builder was familiar with our work and suggested she call us. The client owns an art gallery in Washington, DC and had specific ideas on what she wanted. This always helps, since we can often spend a lot of time with the client just figuring out what they really want. Materials and fabrication

The customer came by the shop with several photos of railings, and we were able to come up with a design that incorporated her ideas at a price that was agreeable. She wanted a heavy ornamental look, and we showed her 60

Designed by the owner, this rail features a brass cap and brass rosettes. The hand forged torch design panels are gold leafed and the coat of arms is double faced.

different material sizes at our shop. Initially, she was interested in having a wood top, but after seeing the 21/4-inch red brass top rail she decided to go with that. We used 3/4-inch square bar for our scrolls and 1/2-inch by 1-inch flat bar for horizontals. Large forged leaves were included. These were forged out of 3/8-inch plate and hammered with our 200 pound, 80-year-old Bradley power hammer. Dempsey Foundry supplied the custom cast 4-inch diameter brass rosettes. These were screwed and taped together to attach to each side of the scrolls. Some were squared off and cut on an angle and added to the top and bottom borders. The ovals at the top, bottom, and in-between the scrolls were 1 /2-inch by 1-inch flat bar. Pieces of 3/4-inch round bar were forged and drawn out and added to the sides of the ovals for accent. The client was interested in having a “centerpiece” in the balcony section of the rail. She wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted. We

For your information


By Francis Flaherty Flaherty Iron Works Inc.

Member: Flaherty Iron Works Inc., Alexandria, VA Rail features: For a centerpiece the fabricator came up with a 20-inch by 30-inch copper shield pattern found in the W. F. Norman catalog. They Flaherty purchased two of them and soldered them together to show well from both sides. Biggest challenge: Creating and incorporating a torch design, like the client wanted, took the talent of Flaherty’s top blacksmith. He forged and hammered 3/16-inch plate into miniature torch sculptures, and made the handle out of 2-inch pipe.

Fabricator n July-August 2004

“One thing that helped us in the fabrication of this project was that

we were able to get into the home to frame up the rail before the stairway was complete.” came up with the 20-inch by 30-inch copper shield pattern found in the W. F. Norman catalog. We needed to purchase two of these and solder them together, so it would show well from both sides. Trimming and hammering helped to fit these together flawlessly. We chose the copper because at the time it was the only thing they had available in stock, and we were pleased with the outcome and the look of the contrasting metals. The photos brought to the shop by the client showed panels with a torch design. She really wanted to have something like these in her rail, which was quite challenging. Our top blacksmith was able to copy them for the client by using 3/16-inch plate, which he forged and hammered out to make the miniature sculptures. He made the handle of the torch by forging a 2-inch pipe. It took a lot of time to achieve the look she was after.

July-August 2004 n Fabricator

chinery Inc. that we use. The smaller one we carry on the truck to do things like this. These rollers have been invaluable in working with curved rails on the job, especially when the job has different radii and drop. I don’t know how we got along without them trying to do it manually for so long. After the frame was formed we brought it to the shop to fit in the scrolls and panels

One thing that helped us in the fabrication of this project was that we were able to get into the home to frame up the rail before the stairway was complete. We needed three ironworkers to accomplish this task. Because Flaherty Iron Works Inc., a longtime the curve of the stairway had difMore on the company... ferent radii and the stringer had different degrees of drop, we took NOMMA member, was started in 1976 by a bender to the job and framed Francis X. Flaherty. Flaherty, whose ancesout the rail on site. We bent the tors owned an iron works shop in northbottom bar and top bar to fit the west Washington, D.C. during the Civil contour of the stair. Then we War, grew up in Washington, D.C. and screwed the bottom bar in several suburban Maryland. He has had an interest places to the coping. After this we in ironwork since his teen years. He was put vertical bars at the top tread a firefighter for the District of Columbia and bottom tread of the stairs, fire department for 23 years during which keeping everything plumb with he worked part time in ironwork. After he bracing. The top bar was attached retired he was able to devote full time to to the verticals keeping in mind the metal working business. Flaherty’s top we had to have a 3-foot height off priorities are attention to detail and quality the nosing. craftsmanship. For bending we have two Promoco rollers from Production Ma-


and the brass top. NOMMA has helped us educate our craftsmen by making videos available. The video on curved rail fabrication was very beneficial in understanding the process of forming a rail on the job. Once back at the shop we tack welded the frame in a vertical position to our worktable and then clamped 3-foot by 8-foot lengths of sheet metal to the frame on one side. Then with chalk we drew our patterns out on the sheet metal to get the exact size and location of all the elements of the rail. Finally, we made our jigs for the scrolls. We were also able to use these jigs for the exterior balconies we made for the same home. MIG and TIG welding methods were used in fabricating this rail, with no visible welds. Inside at the job site we applied TIG welding only. This method cuts down on the sparks and the possibility of damage to hardwood and marble floors. We always have the general contractor put down plywood in the areas of the home where we are working to also help prevent any


harm. The brass top sections were also joined together by TIG welding, using brass silicone rods. With these rods we got a good match in color after it was polished. (This is the way we do 95 percent of our brass railings unless it is in a commercial building where we usually use machine joints.) The brass molded top bar was secured to the steel frame by tapping and using 7/8inch #12 flat-headed stainless screws approximately every 2 feet. Finish

Creating the torches was quite a challenge and involved forging and hammering the design out of 3/16 inch plate. The handles were made from 2-inch pipe.

One drawback to the weld joint is that it takes an ironworker two to three hours to prepare the joint for overall polishing to get the #4 satin finish. After this preparation we used an auto body compound polish to do our final buffing out and then applied butcher’s wax to preserve the finish. We have tried clear coats and clear powder coats, but they don’t hold up for long. Because clients have often complained about brass dulling we now tell them up front that they will need to periodically apply polish to maintain the

Fabricator n July-August 2004

The 20” x 30” copper shield was purchased from a supplier. It is actually made of two pieces, which were soldered together. With a little trimming and hammering, the two sections fit flawlessly.

finish. We applied a bronze tone finish on this rail, and then an artist came in after installation and added gold leafing on the leaves, rosettes, points on the ovals, panel patterns, and accents on the shield. During fabrication the client made several visits to the shop to check on the progress of the rail and give her approval. Each time she was happy with the way the rail looked. Therefore she took us by surprise when after installation was finished she called to say the scrolls were going in the “wrong

direction!” She wanted them to go up hill instead of down hill. We offered to change it—we want completely satisfied customers—but her husband said he’d “shoot her” if she made us take the rail out! That was a relief. Ultimately the client was happy with the job and we were too. We ended up doing quite a bit more work at this home, including another interior stair rail, six exterior balcony rails, and an exterior stair railing. As I said in the beginning, we really like doing this type of job because it boosts morale,

and our entire staff takes pride in such an accomplishment. Seeing the fruits of our skill, labor, time, and effort rewards all of us.

New Orleans is the site for METALfab 2005. Make plans now! March 2-5

NE NOMMA Education Foundation F

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

The NOMMA Education Foundation is committed to providing quality education resources for the industry.

Books • Videos • Sales Aids • CDs

We are proud of our collection of 16 history and design books, which provide thousands of ornamental design ideas. Check out our NEF Education Videos, which are ideal for training employees.

Obtain our catalog for a listing of nearly 50 books, videos, CD’s, and sales aids.

To see a complete listing and to download a free catalog, visit: www. or to request a catalog by phone, call (404) 363-4009. 64

Fabricator n July-August 2004

Job Profile

Ah om erun project

Design and fabrication challenges put these seasoned players to the test. But patience and persistence made them proud members of a winning home team.


Public art in New Mexico is a dynamic, well

accepted (expected!), compliment to the area’s already beautiful landscape of mountains, mesas, desert vistas, and cerulean blue skies. Here, a diverse mix of people with strong spiritual connections to nature and ancient cultural traditions combine to make New Mexico a unique, creative, and powerful place. As New Jersey transplants, we knew immediately that this place was our place. We opened High Desert Forge 13 years ago making toilet paper holders in an adobe hut and have been recipients of New Mexico’s enchantment ever since. After years of development, we have established ourselves as fabricators of high-end custom railings, gates, and furnishings in all metals. In 2001, we even won a bronze Top Job Award in the “forged gates” category. So when a “request for proposals”


was issued in late 2002 by the City of Albuquerque for the city’s upcoming baseball stadium entry gates, we at High Desert Forge knew we wanted to play. We were ecstatic when our page-long proposal describing the general design, use of materials, and color palate was actually selected by the Arts Board and its executive directors, Gordon Church and Jane Sprague. After the initial excitement, however, we realized that NOW we “just” needed to figure out what “it” was, and then we realized that we had to fabricate the whole thing! The City Art Board offered a relatively small funding allocation. But, since the stadium itself would be built with bond-funded city monies, the estimate the general contractor had set aside for gate fabrication was diverted to our effort. With the addition of those monies, we felt we could give Albuquerque baseball fans the gates their stadium deserved. This arrangement certainly had a financial benefit, but it also


By Christine Glidden High Desert Forge Inc.

For your information

Member: High Desert Forge, Albuquerque, NM Design challenge: Pleasing dual authorities (an arts board and a general contractor) is often difficult. Design solution: Bringing in an outside perspective, in this case a landscape architect, can sometimes help. Fabrication challenge: Aluminum’s tendency to warp added an extra layer of complexity to the precision of this job. Fabrication solution: Eventually the fabricator fell to the will of the nonferrous metal and substituted steel where absolutely necessary.

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put us under contract with the general contractor (GC), Bradbury Stamm Construction, in addition to the city. Two architectural firms were employed by the city to design the stadium, HOK Sports Venue Architects from Kansas City and SMPC of Albuquerque. High Desert Forge was charged with design, fabrication, and installation of the publicly funded art project. Many designs were chalk drawn on our shop’s floor, and many erasures were made by shoe. Our primary concerns were that the gates fit within the context of the stadium’s architectural style, that they be weather and human-touch resistant, and that they be beautiful, both for passerbys from afar and for fans entering within hotdog and mustard-dripping distance. Both sides of the gate needed to be “good” and look appealing when open and closed. We also strived to make the gate’s design uniquely ours with materials, texture, techniques, and color. It was no easy challenge. Other issues such as safety, security, and budget also surfaced. Architectural plans indicated that two sets of gate openings were called for, six doors at the third base entry and eight doors at the first base entry, plus infill panels. All doors would be 7 feet 8 inches in height and 4 feet in width. The 3-D architectural renderings showed a casual, graceful stadium that would fit well within its southwestern setting against the backdrop of the mile high Sandia Mountains. There were art deco features here and there. The color palette tended toward earth tone with highlights of reds and coppers. Eventually we submitted our final designs for the gates which featured a radiused aluminum accordion “fan” shape the full height of each door and 30-inch bronze medallions with baseball players made of stacked bronze plates to add perspective. Bronze, aluminum, and stainless steel mesh materials were chosen for durability, thereby limiting the need for maintenance. Our in-house artist, Joe Lyle, colorized our drawings. The Arts Board and the Mayor’s Office approved the drawings, and we were set July-August 2004 n Fabricator

to proceed to meet the completion deadline seven months away. This was an exciting milestone. Problems arise with the design

However, at a pre-construction meeting with the general contractor (GC) soon thereafter, one of the architects reviewed our renderings and found our design weak. Since part of the funding was coming through the GC contract, we could not ignore his opinion. The architect pointed out what he thought was wrong and sent us back to the drawing board. We were simply devastated. After all of this time and effort, we were nowhere. It was a painful lesson in not realizing that things are not always what they seem and that pleasing dual authorities is often difficult. We were probably too attached to our own proposal in an architectural world where art

and design are often considered important commodities. We were also confused. After several re-draws, making various samples, and several failed approvals, our creative spirit fell flat. The Arts Board could see that we were struggling and that time was a-wasting. A local landscape architect known by the Arts Board was supplied to us. Rick Borkovetz, RSLA, patiently reviewed with us our ideas, methods, and materials. He CAD-drew several designs, the Arts Board chose their favorite, and the architect approved. Two months after we thought we were ready to begin fabrication, we finally really were. Fabrication

Materials were ordered and a jig was built to fabricate the 6063 aluminum 2-inch square doorframes.


“By this time, the deadline began to feel like tomorrow, especially in view of the fact that a $6,000 per day fine would be levied against any subcontractor who delayed opening day.” Initially, we used 4043 filler wire, but cracking occurred. Our fabricator, Naoma Jorgensen, was directed to use a 5356 high tensile aluminum filler rod instead, and our cracking problem was solved. She then ground and smoothed each corner to a #4 stain finish. Rick’s CAD drawings were blown up to full size so the lines, arcs, and diamonds of the door design could be cut, rolled, and pre-finished with a directional finish. The design was composed of lines, arcs, and diamonds made from variously sized aluminum tube. The stainless steel mesh and copper shapes were cut. Both the mesh and copper shapes were measured so that precision fit “frames” could be fabricated to sandwich each shape. This was done to keep them flat and allow a clean fit into the lines, arcs, and diamonds. However, distortion occurred


using aluminum for the sandwich frames, and we were forced to use steel. Fabricating these precision pairs of frames, which now seem so insignificant to the casual observer, was one of the most challenging processes of the project. These were the definition of precision. The steel sandwich frames are the only part of the doors that are powder coated. The screws used to secure the sandwich frames are security screws removable only with a special tool, thereby preventing theft. Additionally, in that High Desert Forge has the ability to remove these frames, it allows damaged or vandalized copper or mesh to be easily removed, repaired, and replaced without removing the entire door. Other possible damage to the frames and lines and arcs is relatively easy to repair on site with chemicals, grinders, and polishers. Next, the arcs, lines, and

diamond pieces were individually mitered for a precision fit. Then, they were welded into the 7-foot 8-inch by 4-foot frames. This process felt like doing a huge puzzle. We fit, jimmied, and seduced each piece to find the opening it best fit. Painstaking effort went to smoothing all welds for a seamless look. Medium Scotch-brite was used to emulate a #4 satin finish (180 grit). Except for the “sandwich” frames, all welds and surfaces were mechanically finished. By this time, the deadline began to feel like tomorrow, especially in view of the fact that a $6,000 per day fine would be levied against any subcontractor who delayed opening day. Around this time, the Albuquerque Journal began to take some interest in our project and published a two-page article in the business section. Installation

Inserting the sandwichframed mesh and copper shapes was a lesson in the art of working the metal. Our initial plan was to simply fit the shapes—starting at the bottom of a

Fabricator n July-August 2004

door and moving toward the top—into the proper openings and begin welding. Unfortunately, the aluminum lines, arcs, and diamonds had a different idea and a mind of their own. Eventually, we humbly admitted that the insertion of the shapes needed to be done haphazardly—one here, one there—and gently to accommodate the aluminum’s tendency to warp as it accepted the shapes. Soon, Rick Tavelli of Bradbury Stamm called to let us know that the concrete subcontractors were ready to pour around our posts. So, our first phase of installation was underway while the doors themselves were still in the final stages of assembly. Heavy-duty hinges were ready to attach to machined indentations. The concrete pour was not perfect, but Rick had the skill to make everything possible, and we adjusted with him. All of the work we could do in the shop was done in the shop. That, and our precision field measurements, assured easy installation. No problems, no surprises. The first pitch was days away; we made the deadline, and we were exhausted. All High Desert Forge employees were invited to attend the first game. It was an incredibly exciting night for us professionally, and as fans in a city where baseball had been missing a stadium for some years, it felt like coming home. The Albuquerque Isotopes played their first game to a sold-out audience, which included the mayor and governor. The gates were well received. In September 2003, Architectural Record, the premier publication for architects,

July-August 2004 n Fabricator

The gates were crafted with different sizes of aluminum tube, stainless steel mesh, and 28-ounce copper sheet, which was all mechanically finished.

published a description and the image (captured by Anthony Richardson) of the gates you see in this article. It has been our privilege to make a contribution to the landscape of Albuquerque. We hope our neighbors are


Biz Side

Don’t lose sleep over employee n Do

you have nightmares about competitors stealing your employees? Good hiring practices, understanding employee behavior, and sensible retention strategies can help you keep your employees and sleep better at night.

A successful business today must maintain

a competitive advantage in at least one of three areas—technology, capital, or people. Since few entrepreneurial businesses can rely on technological or financial superiority, their best chance of building a sustainable competitive advantage is with respect to people. By adopting an objective system for selecting the right people and understanding what motivates them to stay, entrepreneurial businesses can find and retain awesome performers. They can build a greater lifetime value for their members and become more profitable organizations.

The right personality for the job

People are almost always hired based on appearance and skills. They quit or are fired usually because of personality. In entrepreneurial businesses in particular, the majority of positions require people who are strong in soft skills rather than in hard skill sets. This makes it essential to understand the behavioral requirements of each position to match it with the personalities of the applicants or incumbents. In many positions, such as support staff and bookkeepers, it is essential that the 70

job be done by the book. The best personality for such a position is one that is accommodating, accepting, and agreeable. The employee must be comfortable performing repetitive tasks at a rather steady, methodical pace. They must be fairly calm and patient. They must also be detail-oriented and produce high quality work. These people are implementers rather than innovators. In addition, a person who deals with the public must be warm and friendly to make each and every person feel special, but they must not take that friendliness too far. Bookkeepers, on the other hand, need not be highly sociable, warm, friendly or persuasive. They may be rather introspective, shy, quiet and analytical. Sales managers need to be a bit more results-oriented than bookkeepers. Dealing with pressure and performing under stress tend to be their strong points. Instead of being particularly accommodating, they should be a little more self-confident, perhaps a bit aggressive about making things happen. They do need the same level of warmth as a salesperson, but instead of being calm, patient, methodical and relaxed, they must be more intense and driving. They also need the ability to think independently and on their feet because they don’t have a set of rules to follow. General managers need

For your information


By Barton Goldsmith Goldsmith Consulting

About the author: Dr. Goldsmith is a popular speaker, consultant, radio host, and author. His syndicated columns appear in over 150 publications, including the Los Angeles Business Journal. Dr. Goldsmith works regularly with The Young President’s Organization (YPO) and The Executive Committee (TEC). Web: www. co nt act Phone: (866) 522-7866

Fabricator n May-June 2004

“Job descriptions would be far more accurate if they included behavioral requirements. These can be determined by measuring the job with behavioral tests.” a personality similar to a sales manager, but they need to be more dominant and less sociable, which makes them even more results-oriented. These people are leadership personalities who want to be empowered. Understanding the personality requirements of various positions helps select the right candidates. Appreciating and respecting personality differences also makes it easier to work with people. Promoting with competence

What happens if a successful salesperson is promoted to the position of sales manager? Their success or failure may be determined by a combination of skill sets, experience, and the number of people in their network. But, much more importantly, they will succeed or fail based on their behavioral attributes because a successful salesperson’s personality is

July-August 2004 n Fabricator

quite different from a sales manager’s. Leaders of organizations tend to assume everyone wants to be empowered and get to the top. They fail to understand how people can stand to accept the role of bookkeeper for the rest of their lives. The truth is bookkeepers enjoy that type of work when they have the right personality to be a bookkeeper. They want empowerment, but only in their area of expertise. Asking them to take on responsibilities they may not be comfortable with is often a disservice to them and the organization. These people appreciate security and stability. They flourish in a family atmosphere. They enjoy working for an organization where they understand the rules. Their motivators are opposite to those of a sales manager or a general manager. Therefore, hiring a bookkeeper means filling the position for the long haul.

Behavioral job descriptions

Job descriptions would be far more accurate if they included behavioral requirements. These can be determined by measuring the job with behavioral tests, such as those produced by the Goldsmith Innovation/Implementation Index (G3I). The G3I asks questions about their reaction to typical work scenarios, and determines the personalities that will be successful in the position. Increasing the size of the funnel

Another challenge executives face is that there are often more positions than qualified applicants. Knowing that behavioral characteristics, not hard skills or industry experience, determine job success, it becomes possible to increase the size of the funnel. If a business requires a college degree, industry experience, or computer literacy, they may lose qualified candidates. By hiring for personality, more people can be filtered into the organization. While it is easy to train people, it is nearly impossible to change their



is the most difficult to appraise in the traditional sense, and appraisal has always been subjective. Further, personality is stable and difficult to change yet its impact on performance is very high. This means the one factor that has the greatest impact on the majority of jobs is also the most difficult to measure unless it is done objectively. Interviews must be designed to determine personality characteristics.

Effective Interviewing

Hiring decisions must become more objective. This means not just a behavioral job description, but also an objective interviewing process. Most interviewers decide subconsciously in the first few seconds if they like the candidate or not. And, the main reason they dislike people is because they’re different from them. The key is to turn that “stupid switch” off and be responsive to the candidate rather than reactive. Interviewers look at three things in a candidate: appearance, skills and personality. Appearance is easy to appraise, highly subjective, and easily changeable. But its impact on job success is usually very low. Skill sets can be assessed objectively by giving tests or by contacting former

Retaining good people

Occasional perks can go a long way toward maintaining employee morale.

employers. Skills are more easily upgraded, and their impact on performance is anywhere from low to high depending on the position. Personality

Once good people are on board, the next challenge is keeping them, and matching employees’ behavioral profiles to positions is the first step. According to Patrick Cunningham, President of Infinite Axis, “If you fill a customer contact position with a person who is introverted and likes to work alone, chances are they will not last. Hiring based on personality profiles has improved our morale and job satisfaction.” Knowing about behavioral differences makes it clear that the Golden Rule, “do onto others as you would have them do onto you,” is not effective. People must be treated differently depending on their personalities, the way they want to be treated, not the way the CEO or the supervisor wants to be treated. Only behavioral assessment makes it possible to know who wants to be treated in what manner. Once an individual’s inherent motivational needs are understood, it becomes easy to provide them with what they need to feel good about them. Motivating individuals

Employees typically won’t leave for more money when they feel safe, productive, and comfortable. It’s not enough to bring people into an organization, train them, get them working at full speed, and then leave them alone. Instead, leaders must take the responsibility to build up and motivate new team members. Make them feel cared about and respected. Handshakes and ‘thank-you for working here and doing a great job’ are as motivating as an employee-of-the-month award, a small bonus, or a promotion. The biggest mistake is not recognizing and publicly acknowledging a good 72

Fabricator n July-August 2004

employee’s performance. The second biggest mistake is not acknowledging that performance in private. The third biggest mistake is not acknowledging it at all. Emotional involvement

The emotional aspect of retention is often overlooked in financial institutions. Employees must give their heart, not just their time. Here are ways of inspiring them to do so: • Reward employees with simple things like movie tickets or pizza days. • The CEO should go to lunch with as many employees as possible at least once a year. • Inspire team spirit. There is no better feeling than being on a great team. • Treat every employee as a resource. Solicit ideas from them on ways to make your company a better place to work. • Make the organization family-oriented (e.g., daycare on the premises, shift sharing, flextime, telecommuting and insurance for unmarried and same-sex couples). • Give employees the free time necessary to create a pleasant life. • Share the vision. Allow for some level of ownership, even if it’s phantom stock. • Invest in an “audiotapeof-the-month” program. The subject matter can be anything from family financial planning to team building. Many great resources are available to organizations that wish to improve retention. But individual assessment is imperative. Companies must first see where they are and fix any problems before they can move ahead. Building a great team

Finding and keeping good people is not about hard skills and money, it’s about personality and emotional satisfaction. By replacing their subjective selection and promotion process with an objective one and giving employees recognition and respect, companies can build a great team that will boost the bottom line and move the organization forward July-August 2004 n Fabricator

Who Cares... about Consistent Quality Parts that Always Fit? about Fair Low Pricing? about Listening to Our Customers?

We Do.

since 1944.

Preserving the Integrity of our Industry.

1-800-258-4766 2025 York Ave. Memphis, TN 38104 (901) 725-1548 fax: (901) 725-5954 e-mail:


Biz Side

Pay your bills online

By paying on-line, you can avoid getting zapped with late charges, postage, paper check costs, and processing time. And you’re accounting department is sure to get a real charge out of the simplicity and timesavings benefits.

What you’ll learn!

By William J. Lynott Every year paper checks by the billions are

sorted, processed, and shipped through a complex network, processed again, and scanned electronically or returned to the writer by mail. That’s why your bank would like you to handle your accounts payable electronically—and they’re making it easy and profitable for you to do so. Until recently, the idea has been slow to catch on. Change doesn’t come easily to many of us, especially when it comes to how we handle our money. Fears on the part of many business owners and consumers about the security of paperless transactions added formidable hurdles on the road to a checkless society. Lately, however, the sluggish stream of Americans viewing and paying bills online is becoming a raging torrent. At the current cost of 37 cents postage for each check mailed, plus the cost of buying checks, the savings in money and time is proving to be an irresistible lure to computer savvy business owners and consumers. According to Jupiter Research, nearly 30 million


Americans were signed up to view their bills online in 2003, with half of those paying at least some of their bills online. By the end of 2005, Jupiter estimates that nearly 41 million Americans will be viewing bills online with two-thirds of them paying online. Service providers now offer a wide variety of easy-to-use systems to pick from, and experts say that security is a minor concern. “Online bill payment is at least as secure as conventional payment [paper checks],” says Elizabeth Robertson, senior analyst at the research firm, TowerGroup. Is it time for you to jump on the bandwagon? Could you and your business benefit from paying your bills electronically? There’s no shortage of people who say that it’s the only way to go. “I love not having to write and mail checks each month,” says Allison Winn Scotch, New York, NY. “Now I just log on to my bank’s website (Citibank) when I have a moment. No more worrying about having stamps and getting to a mailbox.” “Paying bills online is a real timesaver for me,” says small business owner Laura White. “I save from two to three hours a month since I started paying my bills online.”

For your information


n There are several options for paying your bills online, including visits to creditor websites, using your bank’s service, or signing up with an electronic bill paying company. It’s important to determine what works best for you.

Challenge: The old way of paying bills may feel the most comfortable, but it’s not necessarily the most efficient method. Myth: Paying bills online is riskier than paying by mail. Fact: Electronic bill paying is at least as safe, or safer, than sending a check through the mail. Myth: It’s expensive. Fact: Some banks offer the service for free, while various third-party firms require a small charge. Myth: It’s complicated. Fact: Software packages like QuickBooks greatly simplify the process. About the author: William J. Lynott is a freelance business writer for the manufacturing and construction industry.

Fabricator n July-August 2004

“I love not having to write and mail checks each month. Now I just

log on to my bank’s website when I have a moment. No more worrying about having stamps and getting to a mailbox.” Electronic bill paying is easy Improvements in technol-

ogy and user-friendly websites make online bill paying almost as easy as logging on to check your e-mail. If you’d like to cut down on the amount of paper you’re handling, there are systems that allow you to eliminate receiving paper bills in the mail in favor of viewable online bills. If you’re really lazy, you may sign up for a system to pay recurring bills such as utility and mortgage payments that requires no action at all on your part. If you insist on the comfort of receiving traditional bills by mail and deciding when to pay each, there are online systems to accommodate you. There’s even a way for people who don’t own a computer to pay some utility bills electronically. Each of these systems provides security, confidentiality, and easy record-keep-


How do electronic systems work?

There are three basic types of electronic bill-paying systems from which to choose: • Individual creditors that allow you to pay only their own bills by logging on to their individual websites. • Banks and other financial institutions as well as third-party services (aggregators) that allow you to pay your bills from one website. Users of financial management programs such as QuickBooks® are able to sign up for online bill paying from within the program. • Signing up with individual creditors to deduct payments automatically from your checking account with no action on your part necessary. Technically, this isn’t online bill paying since you don’t have to own a computer to take advantage of it.

These automatic payments, used by many utilities and some credit card companies, are arguably the easiest and most convenient form of electronic bill paying. “I signed up with my gas/ electric, telephone, and water companies for their automatic bill paying service,” says Al Woods, Philadelphia, PA, who doesn’t own a computer. “I get my monthly bills in the mail as before, but I don’t have to do anything except notate the deduction in my check register. I’ve been using the service for three years and never had a problem. I save time and postage expense with three fewer checks to write and mail each month.” Woods reports that each bill is notated with the exact date on which the payment deduction will be made, which allows plenty of time to contact customer service if there is a problem. Telephone giant Verizon is among the many utilities that allow customers to pay their monthly bills through automatic deductions from their bank or credit union accounts.

NE NOMMA Education Foundation F

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

The NOMMA Education Foundation is committed to providing quality education resources for the industry.

Books • Videos • Sales Aids • CDs

We are pleased to introduce our latest NEF Educational Video, titled Curved Stair Fabrication. This tape is great for training employees. Other videos in the series include: Straight Steel Stair Construction, Garden Gates, Curved Stair Rail Fabrication, Almost the Last Word in Finishes, and Straight Stair Railing.

Obtain our catalog for a listing of nearly 50 books, videos, CD’s, and sales aids.

To see a complete listing and to download a free catalog, visit: www. or to request a catalog by phone, call (404) 363-4009.

July-August 2004 n Fabricator


According to the company, the number of Verizon bills paid online doubled in 2003, to 6.6 million, up from 3.3 million in 2002. To find out if your local utilities offer bill paying through automatic deductions, call the customer service number on your bill and ask them for details.

each creditor’s site is considered a nuisance by some, the convenience of having a payment credited immediately, or at least within one day, is an important advantage to others. “With online bill paying, I can pay the bill on the day it’s due,” says Lisa Iannucci of Poughkeepsie, NY, “so I don’t have to worry about sending the payment and hoping it gets there on time.”

Paying at creditors websites

This is the preference of those who like the feeling of control that allows them to visit the website of each creditor when they are ready to pay a bill. Enter the password assigned when you sign up and you will see a screen showing your current balance. From there, the system leads you comfortably through the process of paying your bill. A few clicks of your mouse and the system zaps a payment which is electronically deducted

One-Stop Shopping

With an electronic bill paying service, your payments will be delivered safely into the hands of creditors. And the effort will feel like a feather to your bookkeeper.

from your checking account. To keep your records in balance, you enter the transaction in your check register just as if you had written a check. While the need to log on to

5186-F Longs Peak Road, Berthoud, CO 80513


Of course, logging on to the individual site of each creditor to pay bills can be time-consuming. With some small businesses writing 20 checks or more each month, the convenience of paying everything from utilities, to credit card bills, to suppliers from one site is a major attraction. Banks and other financial institutions, brokerage houses, and third-party service providers are competing to sign you up for what many consumers consider the most convenient form of online bill paying. “I like pretty much everything about it,” says Lynn Ginsburg, Boulder, CO. “I use my own bank so I can do everything from one place — transfer between accounts (which I often do before paying bills), keep track of my balances to know how much I have in the account before I pay, etc.  It’s very easy to pay bills, set them up for recurring or single use, and check the history of whom you’ve paid.”  While some service providers limit payees to larger creditors such as credit card issuers, department stores, and utilities, others enable you to pay virtually anyone with a U.S mailing address. Wachovia Bank is typical of these. When you first log on to the Wachovia bill-paying website, you will be asked to create a list of payees, including names and mailing addresses. Once you create your list, you may add or delete names at any time. To pay a bill, simply click on the proper payee and enter the amount to be paid. A verification screen then pops up allowing you to review the transaction you have authorized. Once you’re satisfied that all is correct, a click of your mouse sends your payment on its way. Keep in mind, though, that your payment may not be dispatched Fabricator n July-August 2004

instantaneously through cyberspace. Unlike individual creditors with online bill-paying websites, many single-site providers—Wachovia is an example—actually create and mail a paper check to any payees not set up to accept electronic payments. In those cases, you must allow up to a week for the postal service to deliver your payment. Online bill-paying companies

A number of third-party companies (aggregators) are also competing for your business. Unlike many banks that offer the service free for their own customers, aggregators charge a monthly fee for their electronic bill-paying service. Companies like Yahoo Finance,, and charge between $5 and $15 per month for their service depending on the features chosen. We asked Judy DeRango Wicks, Vice President of CheckFree. com, why would someone who could probably find a free service be willing to pay for an online bill-paying service? “We agree that rather than pay a fee, the first place you should look when you want to get started paying bills online is your own bank’s website,” she told us. “In many cases today, the bank’s service is free to everyone, or free to those who meet certain parameters set by the bank. “For those who can’t get this service from their financial services provider, CheckFree offers two services, one of which is free——which offers all of the e-bills we have in distribution, nearly 300 e-billers. The CheckFree ‘pay anyone’ service is also available for a fee to consumers whose banks don’t offer electronic billing and payment.”

Don’t risk getting ugly collection calls from vendors because your payment got lost in the mail.

I just feel safer with my collection of cancelled checks to prove I paid my bill,” says Will James, San Francisco, CA. “I have trouble getting used to the idea of someone else paying my bills.” Still, if the current trend is a reliable indicator, taking pen in hand to pay your bills seems destined to become as archaic as carbon paper and typewriters. In case you’re still unconvinced, consider dipping a cautious toe in the online bill paying waters. Sign up with just one creditor, pay one bill, and sit back to see what happens.

Not everyone is on board

Of course, even ardent fans of online bill paying have some complaints. “When I schedule a payment, the actual payment date is often a whole week from the time I authorize it,” says Lisa Beamer, Pittsburgh, PA. “That seems excessive to me for something that is being done electronically.” And there are others who remain unconvinced about the security of online payments. “I guess July-August 2004 n Fabricator


NE NOMMA Education Foundation F

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

The NEF Page provides the latest news and activities of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Power hammer tooling with a mental twist What you’ll learn!

n Rather than focusing on the final product, this NEF class emphasizes problem-solving and the need to break down projects into manageable components.

By Todd Daniel Editor While the Power Hammer Tooling

class was touted as a hands-on class for making tools, participants learned far more. During the continuing education session, which was held prior to this year’s convention, students learned what instructor Bob Bergman calls “unconscious knowledge.” “I try to make a habit of putting into words things that I do unconsciously,” Bob says, “Such as how to turn the metal, how to listen for certain sounds, and how to feel for certain things that tell you whether you are working correctly or incorrectly.” Presented by the NOMMA Education Foundation, the class was one of three “early bird” continuing education

By the end of the second day, participants had crafted an assortment of tools that they could bring back and use in their own shops.

sessions held March 1-2. Ten participants came from around the country to spend two days forging iron on the power hammer. The first day was devoted to introducing new tools and discussing techniques, and on the second day students had the opportunity to make certain tools. Using your head

Rather than focusing on the end product, throughout the class Bob concentrated on the thought processes and problem-solving skills needed to tackle a project. “On both days I asked people to come up with practical projects or problems they had,” he said, “and then I explained my thought process.” According to Bob, when you break down a complicated job into specific

steps, it suddenly becomes achievable. Sometimes, it’s necessary to work backwards from the desired product to the original iron bars. “I try to help students develop a confidence. They just need to try it, and in the first attempt they will find where the problems are and in the second or third attempt they will be able to modify their tooling. It’s a matter of trial and error.” During the class, Bob presented a style called “flat die forging,” which allows users to move work they’ve been doing at an anvil onto the power hammer, with the help of flat dies and other hand held tooling. An added bonus of the class is that participants not only learned the mental processes and techniques of power hammer forging, but they also made tools that they

left: NOMMA president Chris Maitner came to check out the action. right: Instructor Bob Bergman (wearing hat) looks over the collection of tools made by students.


Fabricator n July-August 2004

ideas, and we actually practiced everything on site.”

could take home with them. Items made during the session included a flattener, cutter, taper tool, scroll tool, and spreading tool. To make the specific projects more meaningful and fun, Bob had students create objects in groups, rather than working as individuals. The group approach allowed participants to share ideas, and provided an opportunity for the more seasoned veterans to contribute as well.

Hands on makes a difference

Dwayne Morse of STL Mfg. in Tucson, AZ came to the class for a different reason. He plans to build his own power hammer and wanted to learn everything he could. “I’ve been to many classes to see it done, and it was great actually getting to work on a hammer,” he said. While blackEmphasis during the class was placed on “flat die” smithing is currently more of a forging. Tools crafted during the session included flatThe art of problem-solving side interest, Dwayne hopes that tening and cutting tools. “Many of the people who were one day the forging will become level as a stronger male blacksmith. there did not have a lot of experia growing part of his business. “I “Bob offered us an exciting hands on ence on the hammer,” Bob said, “but got real excited when they offered the opportunity to practice blacksmithbecause they are craftspersons, and class,” he says. “Just having the ability ing skills,” she said. “For two days we because they have built things and to get your hands on it is really the were literally thrown in the fire. He only way to learn.” may have hit a wall, they can take that first showed us his expert skills and A special thanks goes to Steve Lyman past experience and apply it to the new then challenged us to test it out on and the employees at Fence World experience. It’s all the same—it’s all a the equipment first hand, with his – Iron World, who served as very acmental attitude.” eyes and hands behind us.” Christine, commodating and enthusiastic hosts Christine Soderman of Elm Grove along with another craftsperson, came for the event. Forge was one of Bob’s enthusiastic all the way from the East Coast to students. A blacksmith, she looks at participate in the class. “We walked in the power hammer as an “equalizer” there with two pages of questions and that allows her to craft at the same

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532 Forest Pkwy., Ste. A Forest Park, GA 30297 Phone: 404-363-4009 Card Number: ______________________________________________________Exp. Date: ____/_____ Fax: 404-366-1852 Signature:______________________________________________________________________________

July-August 2004 n Fabricator


NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members As of March 26, 2004; Bold denotes new members Action Ornamental Iron 901-795-2200 Advanced Measuring Systems 888-289-9432 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. 800-204-3858 American Punch Co. 800-243-1492 American Stair Corp. 800-872-7824 Apollo Gate Operators 210-545-2900 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. 800-784-7444 Armstrong-Blum Mfg. Co. 800-472-9464 Arteferro Miami LLC 305-836-9232 Artezzi 800-718-6661 Atlas Metal Sales 800-662-0143 Aztec Castings Inc. 800-631-0018 Walid Al Baker Trading Est. 011-974-460-3303 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 800-526-6293 J. G. Braun Co. 800-323-4072 Builders Fence Co. Inc. 800-767-0367 Byan Systems Inc. 800-223-2926 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. 800-421-6144 The Cable Connection 775-885-1443 California Tool & Die 626-969-1821 Carell Corp. 251-937-0947 Chamberlain Industries 800-282-6225 George Ciocher 201-861-3150 Classic Iron Supply 800-367-2639 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 800-446-4402 CML USA Inc. 563-391-7700 Colorado Waterjet Co. 970-532-5404 Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. 800-535-9842 Custom Ornamental Iron Works Ltd. 604-273-6435 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. 800-716-0888 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. 800-933-5993 DAC Industries Inc. 800-888-9768 Decorative Iron 888-380-9278 DécorCable Innovations 312-474-1100 DKS, DoorKing Systems 800-826-7493 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 251-937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply Inc. 800-343-8154 Eastern Ornamental Supply Inc. 800-590-7111 EDF Equipment Sales Inc. 407-351-7017 Elegant Aluminum Products Inc. 810-293-1020 Encon Electronics 800-782-5598 EURO-FER SRL 011-39-044 544-0033 Euro Forgings Inc. 800-465-7143 FAAC International Inc. 800-221-8278 FABCAD.USA 800-255-9032 FabTrol Systems Inc. 541-485-4719 Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging Inc. 510-893-9473 The G-S Co. 410-284-9549 Gates and Controls 206-767-6224 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. 800-663-6356 Georgia Classic Design 770-506-4473 Glaser USA 847-782-5880 GTO Inc. 800-543-4283 Hartford Stdrd. Stampings & Plating 270-298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC 860-257-0680 House of Forgings 281-443-4848


Indiana Gratings Inc. 800-634-1988 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. 817-284-3326 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. 603-863-4855 The Iron Shop 800-523-7427 Italfer Architectural Iron Inc. 905-455-6100 ITW Industrial Finishing 630-237-5159 Jamieson Mfg. Co. 214-339-8384 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. 800-423-4494 Justin R.P.G Corp. 310-532-3441 King Architectural Metals 800-542-2379 Lavi Industries 800-624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. 800-624-9512 Lecky Metal Ornaments LLC 760-598-4118 Liberty Brass Turning Co. 800-345-5939 Mac Metals Inc. 800-631-9510 Marks U.S.A. 631-225-5400 Master-Halco 888-643-3623 Matthews International Corp. 412-571-5548 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 800-467-2464 Frank Morrow Co. 800-556-7688 Multi Sales 562-803-3552 New Metals Inc. 888-639-6382 Ohio Gratings Inc. 800-321-9800 Omega Coating Corp. 888-386-6342 Orange Steel & Orn. Supply 305-805-6000 Overseas Supply Inc. 800-724-1018 Polished Metals Ltd. 908-688-1188 Production Machinery Inc. 410-574-2110 R & B Wagner Inc. 800-786-2111 Regency Railings Inc. 214-742-9408 Rik-Fer 877-838-0900 Robinson Iron Corp. 256-329-8486 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Prod. Co. 216-291-2303 Rogers Mfg. Inc. 940-325-7806 Sahinler Form Metal San. Ve Tic. 011-90-224-470-0158 Scotchman Industries 605-859-2542 SEA USA Inc. 305-594-1151 SECO South 888-535-7326 Sharpe Products 800-879-4418 Signon USA 866-744-6661 Sparky Abrasives Co. 800-328-4560 Stairways Inc. 800-231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. 602-243-5245 Stephens Pipe and Steel LLC 800-451-2612 Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. 800-461-0060 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. 916-374-8296 Sumter Coatings Inc. 888-471-3400 Tennessee Fabricating Co. 800-258-4766 Texas Metal Industries 800-222-6033 Texas Stairs & Rails Inc. 281-987-2115 Transpacific Industrial Supply Co. 909-390-8885 Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron 800-522-4766 Triple-S Chemical Chemical Prod. 800-862-5958 Tri-State Shearing & Bending 718-485-2200 Tubo Decorado SA de CV 800-345-5939 Tubular Spec. Mfg. Inc. (TSM) 800-421-2961

Fabricator n May-June 2004

Universal Entry Systems Inc. 800-837-4283 Universal Mfg. Co. Inc. 800-821-1414 Valley Bronze of Oregon 541-432-7551 West Tennessee Ornamental Door 901-346-0662 Wrought Iron Concepts 877-370-8000 Wrought Iron Handicrafts Inc. 800-456-7738 XCEL Distribution Inc. 909-392-0808 Yavuz Ferforje A.S. 011-90-258-269-1664 *Join NOMMA 404-363-4009

New NOMMA Members As of March 26, 2004; Asterisk denotes returning members American Welding & Architecture LLC Miami, FL Jack Stevens Fabricator Arriba Welding Technologies Inc. Arriba, CO Paul Reida Fabricator Artiferro Miami* Miami, FL Louis Peressin Nationwide Supplier Artistic Iron Corona, CA John Robbins Fabricator Auburn Iron Works Auburn CA Randy Kolkmann Fabricator California Tool & Die Azusa, CA Dana Matejka Nationwide Supplier Catoosa Crossroads Academy Fort Oglethorpe, GA Jack Towns Local Supplier Edward’s Ornamental Iron Shop Escondido, CA Eligio Figueroa May-June 2004 n Fabricator

Fabricator Eric’s Creative Wrought Iron* Los Angeles, CA Eric Leimberg Fabricator

Jerry Elennis Fabricator Metalcrafters Unlimited Mount Orab, OH Lee McRoberts Fabricator

John H. Graham Shavertown, PA John H. Graham Fabricator

Moose Metal Concord, CA Rick Sovilo Local Supplier

Hammersmith Studios Malden, MA Carl Close Fabricator

Richard Metalworks Inc. Riviera Beach, FL Lee Richard Fabricator

Hutch Design Anderson, SC Chad Hutchins Fabricator

Sterling Dula Architectural Products Erie, PA Roy Hayes Fabricator

Hayn Enterprises LLC Rocky Hill, CT Carl Hayn Nationwide Supplier

Villa Iron Works Inc.* Sacramento, CA Robert A. Walker Fabricator

Joslyn Fine Metalwork Inc. Smyrna, NY Steve Joslyn Fabricator

The Welding Machine Sidney, BC, Canada John Foley Fabricator

Kubes Steel Inc. Stoney Creek, ON, Canada John Rogers Fabricator LNS Welding Willits, CA

Wing Construction Gypsum, CO J.R. Wing Fabricator


What’s Hot? n Biz Briefs Click2Enter expands to European markets Click2Enter Inc. of Sonoma, CA, manufacturer of emergency access controls for gates is expanding to European markets. According to Pete Sustos, President and CEO of Click2Enter Inc., the firm will be “actively seeking partnering and/ or licensing opportunities with companies which have the established global presence to enhance their product roll-out in Europe.” The company has recently been granted European Patent rights for their technology in all cooperating Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) countries. “These European patents further strengthen our intellectual property portfolio,” says Sustos. Contact: Pete Sustos, Click2Enter, Ph: (877) 939-3800; Web: www. More branches for Airgas With its recent acquisition of BOC Inc., Airgas Inc., a U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, specialty gases, and other welding products, can now better service more areas across the U.S. The news of this acquisition builds on the company’s 2002 acquisition of Air Product’s packaged gas business and the completion of more than 300 additional acquisitions. “We are now stronger in areas where we weren’t previously,” says a spokesperson for Airgas Jim Ely, “Especially areas like Eastern PA, South Chicago, and Nashville.” Contact: Jim Ely, Airgas Inc., Ph: (610) 902-6010; Web: www.airgas. com.


Inside Biz Briefs 82 Coming Events 88 Chapter Updates Literature 90


Products People 95


Experience makes curved stair fabrication easier A review by Rachel Squires Bailey

The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) has released the next installment of its video education series, Curved Stair Fabrication. The video features Chris Maitner and his shop’s lead man, Duane Stendel, fabricating a curved stair at Maitner’s shop, Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc., in Grand Rapids, MI. They fabricate a five-riser stair, 2 feet 6 inches wide. It is part of a complete stair that Christopher Metal Fabricating previously fabricated and installed for a theater in a fine arts building at a local college. Although, Maitner carefully explains the basic steps involved in curved stair fabrication, from measuring to welding and rolling, the skills presented in this video appear pretty challenging. “The three dimensional nature of curved stair fabrication makes it difficult,” says Maitner. “It’s not a two dimensional flat bench.” And unlike straight steel stair construction, the subject of another NEF video featuring Maitner, the curved stair makes for unequal tread lengths on either side of the stair. Maitner warns viewers about this complexity several times throughout the video. He explains that due to the pie shape of the curve, at times, the inside tread length can be 8 inches, while the outside tread length is 15 inches; all the time the riser height remains constant. But again, just like in the straight steel stair construction video, Maitner does a great job of explaining and illustrating production drawings and rail detail. Another aspect of curved stair fabrication that makes it complex is matching up the stair’s curve to parameters demanded by previously

In NEF’s latest video Curved Stair Fabrication, Chris Maitner and Duane Stendel of Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc. build a five-riser curved stair, 2 feet 6 inches wide.

existing structures. In the case of the theater’s stair, a brick mason had already begun laying up the wall to which the stair would conform. And yet again, the support of the partially built brick wall was helpful. Maitner explains that his shop did not have to put in supports for the stair. In most cases today, only steel studs and drywall are in place. That means the stair fabricator has to install hangers and studs to support the stair, after which a mason comes in to brick up the stair’s foundation. Ironically, while fabricating curved stairs is more difficult than fabricating straight stairs, Maitner admits that shooting and producing this video was much easier than his previous endeavor. “We just knew how to organize the fabrication to better meet the video production schedule,” says Maitner. “Working on this video took a lot less time.” In the video, Maitner also uses a tool that apparently saves a lot of time Fabricator n May-June 2004

in curved stair fabrication. Rather than using a brake press and making the curve out of several tiny bends in the workpiece or rolling via hand tools or other benders, Maitner and Stendel use a plate roller to form the curves of the curved stair. (They complete Maitner sits on the completed stair installed at a college near his shop. two passes for each component so latest installment of the as to not overshoot To order NEF NEF video education series. the curve on the first pass.) It serves as a great review Maitner says a plate roller videos: Contact the NOMMA for experienced fabricators can also be used to roll office or log on to our or a detailed introducentire panels rather than website. tory learning tool for those rolling the panel’s individPh: (404) 363-4009 newer to the industry. ual components. However, Fax: (404) 366-1852 Web: Maitner admits that a plate E-mail: roller is expensive and not all fabrication shops have one. So be sure to check out this

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

Biz Briefs New SMACNAmanualavailable on CD The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor’s Association (SMACNA) has just released an updated CAD version of its Architectural Sheet Metal Manual for use in CAD programs. This CD contains all 169 figures in DXF format that are used to illustrate the “best practices” in architectural sheet metal work. A 496-page Architectural Sheet Metal Manual is also included in PDF format. SMACNA encourages architects and engineers to uses this resource to ensure their specifications are consistent with SMACNA design details. Cost: $761, or $533 for architects and engineers. Contact: SMACNA, Ph: (703) 803-2989; Web: www.


What’s Hot ? n

ASA against alternative form of bid shopping

Biz Briefs

In response to the excessive number of electronic reverse auction legislative actions sprouting across the U.S., the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) is working with Congress to pass H.R. 1348. The bill would eliminate bid shopping, including electronic reverse auctions, from the federal construction arena. ASA believes that electronic reverse auctions are another form of bid shopping and therefore should be abolished from state and federal procurement. According to ASA, bid shopping is the practice of divulging a contractor’s or subcontractor’s bid to another prospective contractor or subcontractors before the award of a contract in order to secure a lower bid or proposal. At least seven states have adopted some type of “anti-bid shopping” legislation.

ASTM elects new board member

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has elected a new International Board Member for a 2004–2006 term, Paul K. Whitcraft. Previously Whitcraft served as a director of engineering and quality assurance at Rolled Alloys Inc., in Temperance, MI. Since 1975, Whitcraft has served on several ASTM committees focusing on ferrous and nonferrous metals, including A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys. In addition to ASTM, Whitcraft is a member of several other standards making organizations.


Reverse electronic auctions are a new trend for buying goods and services, including construction services, in real time over the Internet. They pose a risk to the construction industry because the time needed to carry out competitive negotiations is reduced and bidding typically starts at or near market price. Since January, legislation regarding electronic reverse auctions has been proposed in five states. “Success in passing federal legislation would set an extremely important precedent,” said ASA Director of Government Relations Luke McFadden. The bill currently has 25 sponsors. To support H.R. 1348, those interested can participate in the Construction Industry Legislative Institute in the Washington D.C., June 2–3. ASA’s Construction Quality Assur-

Fabricator n May-June 2004

ance Act represents legislation that would eliminate bid shopping on federal construction jobs over $1 million. The legislation could prohibit owners (the government), contractors, or subcontractors from partici-

pating in bid-shopping and eliminate electronic reverse auctions. Contact: Luke McFadden, ASA, Ph: (703) 684-3450, ext. 1321; E-mail:; Web:

Biz Briefs ASA offers risk transfer help According to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), one of the most disruptive trends in the construction industry is the growth of inappropriate transfer of risk from owner to general contractor. To help subcontractors combat this issue, ASA has developed resources to help subcontractors identify ways to more efficiently and less expensively manage risk and fight inappropriate risk transfer. The program is called Subcontractors’ Transfer of Risk Action Plan (STRAP). ASA invites subcontractors to consult the STRAP resources available on their web site when developing risk management strategies. To find out more about ASA’s STRAP program, visit: www.

“It’s probably ‘Welder’s Neck.’ You get it from flipping your hood down too often.”

May-June 2004 n Fabricator


What’s Hot ? n Resources Online NOMMA members share ideas on line The National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) offers a ListServ, an e-mail discussion list, to all of its members. It offers a place where fabricators and their suppliers can share ideas and seek answers to their questions. If you are a current NOMMA member and haven’t tapped into this invaluable resource, send an e-mail to Todd Daniel, list moderator, at Get on line today. To find out more about what NOMMA can offer you, see our membership application on page 96. Or visit:


Free CAD drawings available online Ronstan International Inc., a manufacturer of stainless steel cable and rod tensioning systems, now offers a comprehensive library of CAD drawings and specifications online. “I believe the key benefit to ornamental and miscellaneous metal fabricators would be the ability for them to accurately choose the proper stainless tendon configurations for railing infill systems requiring cabling,” says Peter J. Katcha, Ronstan’s architectural and industrial manager.

According to Katcha, Ronstan developed these resources to provide design professionals a simple and efficient means for transferring product information directly into their design drawings. Capable of working with all software packages, Ronstan’s CAD library allows for file transfer across all operating system platforms. Visitors must register on the web site to access drawings and specifications. Contact: Ronstan International Inc. Web:

Free metal design guides, a web site for architectural metal designers, now offers several new design guides. In addition to their previously released copper alloy design guide, sample guides for stainless steel, hot rolled

steel, cold finished steel, aluminum, and abrasive finishes are also available. According to the web site, MetalReference. com sells metal samples, not metal. However, the web site’s operator and manager, Larry Wood,

says all the information contained in their guides is available for free. “The only thing that people pay for is the samples,” says Wood. Contact:, Web: www.

Fabricator n May-June 2004

Web sites worth visiting

Search engine for contractrual information

The Foundation of the American Subcontractors Association’s (FASA) Knowledge Network offers a web-based searchable database that gives users access to documents on business-critical topics such as retainage, contract negotiation, and insurance. To access the Contractor’s Knowledge Bank, log on to and click on the Contractors’ Knowledge Bank button. Newsletters and forums for small business

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great online resource for any small business in our industry. It has several different online newsletters specific to issues affecting small business owners. Viewers can optimize the SBA web site to display information according to each viewer’s specific needs. For example, those businesses needing information on disaster recovery can select that option. The screen will instantly update and present information links relevant to that issue. The site also offers regional and specialty issue newsletters

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

What’s Hot Online

and a variety of forums. Go to and scroll down to the subscriptions icon on the left-hand side of the screen. Technical resource

For more hands-on related issues bookmark Finishing. com. The site states that it is the “home page of the finishing industry” and has been operating since 1989. It has a forum, similar to NOMMA’s. And, according to Lee Rodrigue of Virginia Architectural Metalsmiths, the site recently held a discussion on welding mild and stainless steel in a saltwater environment (www.finishing. com/237/26.html). The site also offers over 28,000 archived “Q&A’s,” directories of different metal finishing products and services, job postings, and other classified advertisements.


What’s Hot ? n Coming Events May 23–26, 2004

NFPA World Safety Expo

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) holds its World Safety Conference and Exposition in Salt Lake City, UT at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The Expo provides an opportunity to learn from code experts and industry leaders. Contact: NFPA, Ph: (617) 7703000; Web: June 5–9, 2004

Junkyard Wars: Blacksmith Style

Brian Gilbert, editor of ABANA’s Hammer’s Blow leads this two-day workshop at Brookfield Craft Center. Students make useful tools for the blacksmith’s shop and metalsmith’s studio. . . . continued on page 89.


Uri Hofi leads two comprehensive blacksmithing courses in June The Center for Metal Arts is holding a Comprehensive Foundation Course for Blacksmithing on June 7–11 and 14–18, 2004. Master blacksmith Uri Hofi leads the classes. The course covers a wide variety of topics related to blacksmithing and forging. Of particular interest is the emphasis Uri places seated l to r: Uri Hofi leads and Ed Mack hosts a blacksmithing on ergonomic hammercourse at The Center for Metal Arts. ing, as he demonstrates gas and coal forges, and a classroom his hammering style. area. Rather than focusing on a particular Those interested in the course are project, the course mainly teaches encouraged to sign up early, since techniques, and attendees are then space is limited. free to use the techniques in any way Contact: The Center for Metal Arts in they like. Florida, NY, Ph: (888) 862-9577. The classes take place in Florida, NY in a fully equipped facility that includes anvils, power hammer stations,

Fabricator n May-June 2004

NOMMA chapter meeting updates

Coming Events

Check the NOMMA web site for details on past and upcoming chapter meetings. Web:

Florida Chapter President: Rick Holloway, Sunmaster of Naples Inc. Naples, FL Ph: (239) 261-3581 Their next meeting: Saturday, June 5, 2004 The Valentines, Fort Myers, FL Ph: (239) 332-0855 The meeting includes fabrication demonstrations and a shop tour. Northeast Chapter President: Tom Zuzik, Jr. Artistic Railings Inc., Garfield, NJ Ph: (973) 772-8540 Their next meeting: Saturday, June 12, 2004 Artistic Railings Inc., Garfield, NJ The meeting includes demon-strations on embossing aluminum and bronze, designing for casting patterns, basics of aluminum forging, and a shop tour.

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

Brookfield is celebrating its 50th anniversary with special events and activities throughout 2004. Contact: Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, CT, Ph: (203) 775-4526, Web: www.

Southern California Chapter President: Hans Duus Hans Duus Blacksmith Inc. Buellton, CA, Ph: (805) 688-9731 Their next meeting: Friday, June 4, 2004* Custom Lights & Iron, National City, CA, Ph: (800) 495-7530 *Their yearly Education Extravaganza also takes place at Custom Lights & Iron on Saturday, June 5, 2004. It’s open to the public and includes demonstrations on Krieger fabrication systems, power hammers, and forging, casting, and foundry techniques.

June 25–29, 2004

Build Inline Treadle Hammer

Clay Spencer leads a five-day workshop at the New England School of Metalwork called Inline Treadle Hammer, Build It, Use It. Registration for this class closes June 10 to allow time to purchase necessary materials. Finished hammer weighs 500 pounds. Contact: New England School of Metalwork, Way Auburn, ME, Ph: (888) 753-7502; Web: www.newengland

Upper Midwest Chapter President: Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC, Peoria, IL, Ph: (309) 697-9870 Their last meeting: Saturday, May 8, 2004 Ephraim Forge Inc., Frankfort, IL


What’s Hot ? n

An inspiring new edition of Randy McDaniel’s A Blacksmithing Primer


By Rachel Squires Bailey Managing Editor

New book from NEF Newly available from the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) is Historic Ornaments & Designs. The CD-ROM and book, by Dover Publications, features 623 illustrations spanning many design traditions. From primitive tribal and Egyptian to Chinese and French Renaissance, motifs are derived from Pompeian mosaics, metalwork, terra cotta vases, jewelry, and much more. The 64-page book is 81/4 x 11 inches, and the CD-ROM is contained in a sleeve on the inside back page. The CD contains 657 high-quality, permission-free images saved in a variety of formats. Cost: $16.95 nonmembers, $14.95 members. Contact: NEF, Ph: (404) 363-4009, Web: www.

Randy McDaniel’s book A Blacksmithing Primer, 2nd edition, is just that. The careful illustrations and clear text could guide even myself through a basic forging workshop. From the basic wall hook to the legendary basket handle, McDaniel’s book explains all the basics for setting up shop and filling it with tools, scrolls, shapes, and jigs. Indeed after reading through McDaniel’s book I feel inspired and ready to try my hand again at forging a wall hook. Unfortunately for me everything that Hammer’s Blow editor Brian Gilbert tried to teach me at the Chattanooga Railroad Museum Forge was right. In fact McDaniel’s book spends nine pages carefully describing all the blows and tapers, tapping and striking, that go into forming the perfectly delicate, tiny scroll and smooth, even curve which make up the basic wall hook. No wonder it’s the first lesson in McDaniel’s book. His careful and deliberate words walk readers through every step, so that one imagines he is right there demonstrating every nuance. McDaniel maintains the same careful tone to depict the more than 20

projects his book offers. In addition to these challenging yet fundamental lessons, A Blacksmithing Primer introduces readers to all the tools, equipment, and materials essential to the trade. He teaches readers how to build their own forge, how to maintain it, and how to build their own anvil and other shop tools. The text covers safety and basic hammering technique, and lists helpful resources such as blacksmithing schools and organizations. Anyone looking for “a course in basic and intermediate blacksmithing” will benefit from some time spent with A Blacksmithing Primer. However, as any smith knows, advancing from beginner to intermediate takes more than just reading. Thus freshly inspired, I just can’t stare at that sad hook any longer. A Blacksmithing Primer has primed me for going back to the Railroad Forge to start from the beginning again.

About n the author:

Randy McDaniel began learning his trade from an 81-year-old blacksmith in 1972. McDaniel has taught basic and advanced workshops at the University of the Arts, Penland School of Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Appalachian Center for Arts, Peters Valley Craft Center, and for many regional blacksmithing groups.

About the book:

Cost: $25.00 Publisher: Chester Book Co. Ph: (800) 846-7027 Web:



Fabricator n May-June 2004

What’s Hot ? n Literature Call for papers: Meilach has a new book in the works Dona Z. Meilach author and compiler of several books on metalwork and metal design, is requesting photos for a new book, Contemporary Ironwork, Inside and Out. “The pieces can be almost anything from practical to super funky, from table accessories to architectural elements,” says Meilach. “Think about furniture, light fixtures, railings, gates, grilles, fireplace screens, wind vanes, door pulls, sculpture, etc.” Work must be current (within the past three to five years), and sculptural. The book’s emphasis is on modern expressions but designs influenced by earlier work are appropriate. Along with photographs of finished pieces, metalsmiths are encouraged to send a series of photos illustrating the sculpture’s progress. These photos may include the artist at work and sketches of the sculpture. Artists may also want to include their thought processes as to how the idea evolved and any problems and their solutions that arose while creating the piece. Photographs can be 35mm slides (preferred), transparencies, prints, or high resolution digital images. Deadline November 1, 2004. Contact: Get more information and a photo release form from Dona Z. Meilach, 2018 Saliente Way, Carlsbad, CA 92009. Ph: (760) 436-4395. E-mail: Other works by Dona Meilach include Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork, The Contemporary Blacksmith, and Architectural Ironwork, among others.

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

Product Spotlight

New Products

Finishing gels Birchwood Casey introduces its new blackening and browning Gels designed for finishing decorative metalwork. Gels are designed for use by individual metalworkers and factoryscale antiquing lines. Three Gel products are available to produce different types of finishes: Presto Black® Gel for black on metal railings, custom furniture, architectural elements and hand-forged parts; Antique Black® Gel for black on copper, brass and bronze parts; and Antique Brown® Gel for brown tones on copper, brass, and bronze. All Gel products operate at room temperature and are available in one gallon and five gallon containers. According to the manufacturer, the brush-on Gels represent a more efficient finishing option to anyone using immersion or swab-on finishing processes. The Gels apparently eliminate most problems associated with applying liquid blackeners to large

surfaces because the Gel adheres to the metal surface and tones uniformly without running off, even on vertical surfaces. Birchwood Casey claims in most cases re-application of the Gel is not necessary. Plus, excess Gel rinses off and leaves behind an invisible protective finish. Contact: Birchwood Casey, Ph: (952) 937-7931; Web:



Howard Leight Howard Leight introduces the new Matrix™ line of

single use standard cylinder earplugs. Combining new proprietary thermoplastic elastomer material (TPE) and a patented, dual density foam construction, Matrix offers users a range of

benefits, including improved fit and comfort, easier insertion without rolling, and the ability to screen harmful noises out while allowing human voice frequencies in. Unlike conventional PVC plugs, the center of the Matrix plug is tightly compacted and much denser than the outer portions of the plug. This results in a semi-rigid core that provides lateral resistance when pushed into the ear, making it easier to insert. Rolling and waiting for expansion required by traditional cylinder plugs is not necessary. The rest of the plug consists of a softer, less dense foam with a smooth outer skin, and a smaller diameter than traditional

What’s Hot ? n cylinder plugs. The Matrix line is designed for long-term wear. Contact: Howard Leight Industries, Ph: (800) 327-1110; Web: Welding helmet

Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. introduces its new Big Window Elite™ S eries of auto-darkening helmets for all welding applications. Exclusive features include four independent arc sensors and a 30 percent larger lens window than Miller’s standard helmets. The independent sensors improve out-of-position welding, while the larger window provides maximum viewing capability. The Big Window Elite features Miller’s new replaceable battery/solar assist Performance Series™ lens technology, which offers low amperage TIG response and DC TIG inverter arc response down to 5 amps or less. It also protects operators working in high duty cycle applications incorporating a form-fitting, foam rubber comfort cushion that attaches to the back of the head gear. The Big Window Elite helmet is available in black, two flame patterns and a patriotic Stars and Stripes design. A protective helmet bag is included. Contact: Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Ph: (800) 426-4553, Web: Vacuum cups

Vi-CAS Mfg. Vi-Cas Manufacturing offers replacement vacuum cups to fit almost any type of vacuum equipment, including lifters, manipulators, pick-and-place 92

Fabricator n May-June 2004

What’s Hot ? n systems (for sheet stock, and scrap), vacuum hold-down, packaging, label applicators, and more. Several styles and sizes are available, in materials to

while providing the same finish and cut throughout the life of the product. The products are available in three sizes: 4.5 inch discs and 6 inch and 8 inch brushes. Contact: 3M Abrasive Systems Division, Ph: (866) 279-1235; Web:

ternal depth stop, and gauging. The notcher also features an oversized hydraulic reservoir for continuous production use. A complete catalog


Heck Industries A new hydraulic angle notcher has been added to the fabricating line of Heck Industries. The new model 206/V features variable angle cuts from 30-140 degrees, ⁄ inch capacity, automatic blade adjustment, LED readout, hydraulic hold downs, in-

is available. Contact: Heck Industries, Ph: (810) 632-5400; Web:

suit a variety of application. An online catalog allows users to select available cups to match their needs. Vi-Cas can quote custom designs from customersupplied drawings, or reverse engineer from customer-supplied cups. Free samples are available. Vi-Cas offers accessories including level compensators, swivel joints, vacuum valves and fittings and adapters to suit any application. Contact: Rob Wagner, Vi-Cas Manufacturing, Ph: (513) 791-7741; Web: Discs and brushes

3M Abrasive Systems Division 3M Abrasive Systems Division has introduced new Scotch-Brite™ Radial Bristle Discs and Brushes. The discs and brushes are tough plastic, ro-

tary tools embedded with sharp 3M™ Cubitron™ Abrasive Grain. The discs and brushes can be used to clean metal prior to welding, remove discoloration and sealant, and deburr without damaging any underlying surface. According to 3M, the light-weight bristle brush lasts longer than most abrasives May-June 2004 n Fabricator



Wireless gate operator

Siren Operated Sensors Siren Operated Sensors (SOS) introduces a new wireless long distance gate operator with audio feedback verification called Radio Bird. The wireless innovation makes any wired gate operator talk back to its owner, within a mile of the gate operator. Two distinct sounds indicate wether an owner’s gate is opening or closing. Eagle Lift of Twin Falls, ID and Eagle Gate of Salt Lake City, UT are both current distributors of Radio Bird. Contact: Wayne Skeem, SOS,

Products / Literature Railing system catalog

(208) 734-8296; Web:

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL), introduces a new line of architectural railing products. The company has released and distributed a new 128-page catalog, the HR05 Architectural Railing System Catalog, which features CRL’s complete line of hand rails, cap railings, guard rails, and windscreen systems. The catalog also contains technical and specification data to assist in choosing the right rail system for various applications. The HR05 catalog can be accessed on the company’s web site. Contact: C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Ph: (800) 421-6144; Web: www. Abrasives catalog

Rex-Cut Products Inc. Rex-Cut® Inc.’s new line of specialty abrasive products that cut, grind, blend, and finish stainless steel, aluminum, tool and mild steels, and exotic alloys appears in their latest catalog. The Rex-Cut® Specialty Abrasive Products Catalog is free and also features five other product lines from Rex-Cut. A new chart can help fabricators select the best type of product for each cutting, grinding, blending, or finishing application. The 26-page catalog also offers solutions for a variety of finishing problems, like deburring and edge-breaking. Contact: Rex-Cut Products Inc., Ph: (800) 225-8182; Web:


Fabricator n May-June 2004

What’s Hot ? n

People Spotlight

Encon celebrates 20 years

People J. Walter Inc.

Stephen A. Davis has recently accepted the position of chairman of J. Walter Inc., Hartford, CT., a supplier of cutting and finishing products for the ornamental metals industry. Previously Davis held the position of chief operating officer of American Saw & Mfg. Co., and he has served on the Walter Group’s Advisory Board since March of 2003.

May-June 2004 n Fabricator

The staff at Encon Electronics celebrates the firm’s 20th anniversary.

Encon Electronics, a nationwide NOMMA supplier member, is celebrating 20 years as a wholesale distributor in the access control industry. Since 1984, Encon Electronics has developed an extensive product line and a strong customer base. “We now offer thousands of products from

over 50 manufacturers and support a nationwide dealer network,” says president and CEO Betty Mullin. “Throughout our 20-year history, our dedicated staff has amassed over 150 years of combined knowledge and industry experience.” According to Mullin, Encon’s large inven-


tory, the practice of same-day shipping, and qualified technical sales staff helps the firm give high-quality service. Encon currently employs 24 people, including seven technical sales people. And despite an industry-wide challenge of unstable purchasing costs, plans to expand nationally.

Get the information you need! Join NOMMA today. eb Area

s Only W

urces: wing reso to the follo NSI 117.1) ss e cc a have , and A Members a (ADAAG comparisons) pport Are e d co g in • ADA Su d port (inclu p u support) S ty e fe d o sa •C embers) operator te a (g itted by m 5 m 2 b su s • UL 3 te ” articles) ri ricks (favo collection of “how to • Tips & T (A abricator • Best of F


NOMMA ListServ Get answers from your peers on our friendly e-mail discussion list. Once you subscribe, you’ll become a part of a community of members who are glad to share information and assist fellow members.

Technica l Support

For quest ions related to building codes and standards, our Technical Consultant Tim M oss is ava ilable to h members elp .

Mission statement: NOMMA serves its members and advances the industry through education and the promotion of a positive business environment.

As a NOMMA member, you receive valuable tools to help your business:

• Fabricator’s Journal - A publication of the NOMMA Education Foundation, this booklet features “how to” articles on topics ranging from finishes to core drilling. • TechNotes - Get the latest updates on codes, standards, and regulations that impact YOUR business. • Member’s Only Area - Access the “Member’s Only” area on the NOMMA website for free downloads and technical support for UL 325, ADA, and codes. • The Business Owner - Obtain the latest advice on small business issues, including legal concerns, taxes, estate planning, and more.

Additional membership benefits: • Starter Kit - Soon after you join, you’ll receive a kit containing a Membership Directory, Supplier Direc-

tory, educational publications, and sales aids. • Discount Rates - You’ll enjoy discounts on all NOMMA publications and association sponsored events, including educational seminars and our annual convention. • Affiliation - You receive a membership certificate, decal, and camera-ready logos to use on your stationery and business forms. • Subscriptions - Membership includes a subscription to Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator. • Top Job Competition - Enter your best work in our annual awards contest, which is open to member’s only. • Technical Affairs Division - Your dues support the work of our technical team, which insures that fabricator interests are represented at code hearings and other meetings around the country. Membership Category - Check One: q $320 - Fabricator q $490 - Nationwide Supplier (Firms selling to fabricators beyond

500 miles)

q $375 - Regional Supplier (Firms selling to fabricators within 500 miles)

q $295 - Local Supplier (Firms selling to fabricators within 150 miles) q $240 - Affiliate (Teachers and educational organizations)

Please note:

• The membership year runs from July 1 to June 30. • Membership dues payments are not deductible as charitable contributions, but may be deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense. • By signing this application, you agree to abide by NOMMA’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics upon acceptance. • Make checks payable to: NOMMA (U.S. dollars, check drawn on U.S. bank).

Company Name __________________________________________ Your Name ________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State _________ Zip _________________ Country _______________________________ Phone ____________________________ Fax __________________________ Sponsor (if any) ____________________________ E-mail __________________________________________________ Web ______________________________________________ Company Specialty/Description ________________________________________________________________________________ Signature ___________________________________________ Payment Method: q Check q VISA q MC q AMEX q Discover Credit card no.____________________________________________________________________________ Exp. ______/_______ Exact name on card ______________________________________ Signature ______________________________________

Return To: NOMMA, 532 Forest Pkwy., Suite A, Forest Park, GA 30297. (404) 363-4009. Fax: (404) 366-1852. 96

Updated: 5/04

Fabricator n July-August 2004

Classifieds Help Wanted Lead fabricator needed for ornamental iron shop in Minnesota. Excellent working environment in a brand new shop with large windows; 26 years in business. Must be able to fabricate curved rails, spiral stairs, and curved stairs in aluminum, stainless steel, and wrought iron. Excellent pay and benefits. Call Zoehua at (952) 895-7449. Business for Sale In the beautiful seaside village of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (a UNESCO-designated world heritage site), a 2,500 square foot blacksmithing and

Advertiser’s index

metalworking shop and retail store. Established 1994. Fully equipped with excellent equipment. Owner retiring. Are you looking for a simpler lifestyle, without a commute? The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia offers it all. Ph: (902) 634-7125. 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

To place a classified ad, contact Rachel Squires Bailey at (423) 413-6436, or Please note, classified ads promote a one-time sale or offer, or a job listing.

Use this index as a handy guide to request information from advertisers. Firms in bold are first-time advertisers.

Pg# COMPANY WEBPAGE 53 Acme Metal Spinning 45 All-O-Matic Inc. 3 American Punch 86 Antech Corporation 33 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. 37 Architectural Products by Outwater 95 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc.of North America Inc. 64 ARTMETAL 89 Atlas Metal Sales 50 Birchwood Casey 56 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 36 J.G. Braun Co., Division of Wagner Companies 32 Byan Systems Inc. 46 The Cable Connection 57 CAME 51 Carell Corporation 72 Center for Metal Arts 18 Chester Books 83 Classic Iron Supply 63 The Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 68 CML USA Inc. 76 Colorado Waterjet Co. 50 COMEQ Inc. 91 Crescent City Iron Supply (800) 535-9842 27 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. 31 D.J.A Imports Ltd. 93 DAC Industries Inc. 43 DKS, DoorKing Systems 51 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. www.eaglebendingmachines. com 77 Eastern Metal Supply Inc. 76 Eberl Iron Works Inc. 10 Elite Access Systems Inc. div. of Chamberlain www.eliteaccess. com 71 Encon Electronics 46 25 FABCAD.USA 17 Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging 61 Glaser USA 34 Graham Manufacturing / Anyang Power Hammers www.anyangusa. com 94 The G-S Co. 9 Hawke Industries (909) 928-9453 67 Hebo GmbH 19 House of Forgings 90 International Gate Devices 67 Iron Craft (559) 688-4766 100 The Iron Shop 93 Ironwood LLC/Brian Russell Designs May-June 2004 n Fabricator

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) 741-3014. Fax: (214) 741-3019.

15 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. 89 Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO 86 K Dahl Glass Studios 61 Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc. 69 King Architectural Metals 84 Laser Precision Cutting 23 Lawler Foundry Corp. 2 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. 92 Liberty Ornamental Products (800) 636-5470 88 Lindblade Metal Works 20 Marks U.S.A. 41 Master-Halco 87 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 85 Pat Mooney Inc. 39 Multi Sales Inc. 21 New Metals Inc. 71 Oak Hill Iron Works 75 Ol’ Joint Jigger Inc. 4 Operator Specialty Co. Inc. (OSCO) 87 Peters Valley Craft Education Center 47 Production Machinery Inc. 40 R & B Wagner Inc., Division of Wagner Companies www. 62 R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine Co. 12 Regency Railings 7 Rik-Fer USA (630) 350-0900 84 Rogers Mfg. Inc. 22 Scotchman Industries 35 Sharpe Products 92 Simsolve (909) 737-2480 99 Sparky Abrasives Co. (800) 328-4560 49 Spiral Stairs of America LLC 59 Stairways Inc. 94 Steptoe & Wife 55 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. 85 Striker Tool II 24 Sumter Coatings Inc. 42 Sur-Fin Chemical Corp. 73 Tennessee Fabricating Co. 28 Texas Metal Industries 72 Texas Stairs & Rails Inc. 88 Tornado Supply 68 Traditional Building 65 Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works 18 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 62 Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283 29 Wrought Iron Concepts Inc.



What’s your favorite shop tool? r


Mag Drill

NOMMA member: Carl Grainger, Grainger Metal Works, Nichols, SC Favorite tool: Mag Drill Why: It’s versatile. Grainger uses his mag drill to drill, to make tenons on the ends of pickets, and to polish pipe.

Fab Feedback

GraingerMetalWorksbuilt this multi-stationed stand to help maximize the use of their mag drill.

reboot your personal computer, let me repeat myself: We use our mag drill to polish pipe. We can brush finish pipe using the mag drill, two pipe stand roller supports, a 4-inch sander, and a plumber’s adjustable pipe plug. Setting up the mag drill for polishing

You do what with a Mag Drill? By Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works

Most of us in Fabricator Land use the mag drill like a structural iron shop would, drilling holes in beams and plates. But the tool can also be used differently. We built a multistationed stand for our mag drill. This stand allows us to do three functions. Secondary drill station

The obvious is a secondary drill station. We have a Jacobs chuck installed on the drill as an option so that we can use either slugger bits or regular drill bits. Tenon maker

The second part of this stand is used for making tenons on the ends of pickets. Using the appropriate slugger bit we machine tenons on bar ends. There is a vertical clamping station below the table. It allows the pickets to be clamped and aligned under the cutter so that the cutter removes or machines the outer part of the stock and leaves the center, creating a tenon. Think of the slugger bit as a hollow end mill. Different size slugger bits will work with different size bar stock. Each bit leaves a different size diameter tenon. This allows us to make tenons cold, whereas in blacksmithing the tenons are forged hot. Pipe polisher

Now for the biggest surprise of all: we also use our mag drill to polish pipe. For those of you who just had to

First, go to the local home builder’s center, and buy a couple of adjustable rubber stopper plugs that fit the pipe you want to brush finish. We pay less than $2.00 for each of these. You also need four small casters about 2 inches in diameter that are fixed (no swivels). And if you do not already have a belt sander, I recommend a 4-inch wide model over a 3-inch wide. If you do not have one, guess what . . . you get to buy a new tool for this project! Use the rollers to make two adjustable V-roller stands. With the multi-stationed drill stand position the mag drill in a horizontal position, and turn on the mag. Fit the pipe plug into the pipe. Set the pipe stands to support the pipe at the proper height for the stem on the pipe plug to meet the Jacobs chuck on the drill. Tighten the stem in the chuck. Stand behind the drill, and sight in the pipe to make sure it is in line with the drill. Turn on the drill, and then quickly turn it off. Make sure the pipe’s alignment with the drill is ok. Make any adjustments, and check again. Polishing with a mag drill

Turn on the drill (ours is set on high speed). Stand on the side of the pipe so that it is turning away from you. Take your belt sander (play with different grit papers to get the look you want), and turn it on. Start near the drill, and slowly place the sander on the pipe. Travel the length of the pipe in a steady motion. The idea is to keep the sander on the pipe for the entire length of the pipe. This way you will not have stop and start marks. If you do stop, use overlapping starts to hide your stop marks. With the pipe spinning take a red ScotchBrite pad and starting near the drill walk it down the pipe to soften the look of the finish.


Share your metal tidbits. Do you have a favorite tool you’d like to tell other fabricators about? Or do you have a question you’d like to ask our readers? Simply telephone the Editor at (404) 363-4009; Fax (404) 366-1852, or e-mail the Editor at


Fabricator n May-June 2004

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May 2004 Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator