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Get ready for METALfab 2005 • March 2-5, 2005 • New Orleans, LA Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

September/October 2004 $6.00 US

Tropical fish railing page 53

Job Profiles


Tips & Tactics

10 ways to settle arguments at work, pg. 11

page 57

page Biz Side English wheel: New life Selling your business? for an old tool, pg. 34 Unlock the secrets, pg. 70 Shop Talk



September/October 2004 Vol. 45, No. 5

A new life for an old tool. See pg. 34.

Tips & Tactics

Biz Side

Member Talk

10 ways to work out arguments at work 11 Discover ways to handle disagreements in a civil manner. A member shares his favorite anchoring device 13 The Simpson anchor literally “locks” into the surrounding material. Special Feature METALfab 2005: Get Ready For New Orleans

A Zahner Co.: A monumental member of our industry 42 A fourth generation firm achieves internationally acclaimed status.

Six lessons I learned from my sales manager 65 A mentor provides valuable career advice on how to motivate others.

South Carolina firm reflects area’s local heritage.......................... 49 An old blacksmith shop serves as a reminder of the company’s roots.

Selling your business? Unlock the secrets of a successful sale 70 A few tips for making the most important sale of your life a success.

By Rachel Squires Bailey

By Peter Hildebrandt


Shop Talk How to build a welding table 16 Expand your welding skills by following this easy project. Suppliers talk about the access industry’s current boom 26 The current trend toward more security is good news for the industry.

Compiled by Rachel Squires Bailey

The English wheel: New life for an old tool 34 The simple machine can become a great asset for ornamental metalsmiths.

Job Profiles Tropical fish add the perfect touch.............................. 53 A client’s living room comes alive thanks to this aquatic creation.

By Susan Dunsmoor

The Regent ‘flying saucer’...................................... 57 With the help of cranes, a fork truck, and lifts, this saucer flies into place.

By Rick Holloway

Creating a cemetery gate for posterity.............................. 61 A surrounding farm provide inspiration for this gate.

By Walter Scadden

President’s Letter Understanding who we are.

A moooving project. See pg. 61.

6 Editor’s Letter A tribute to NOMMA’s great visionaries.

By Thomas Sleeper

By Dave Kahle

By William J. Lynott

What’s Hot! New Members 77 A welcome to our newest members. Biz Briefs Our members “in the news.”


Literature 82 A new business book for fabricators. Coming Events 83 A listing of upcoming conferences. NOMMA News 85 Foundation launches new e-newsletter. People A noted artist is honored.


Products 88 No more wasted trips to the mailbox.

8 Reader’s Letters 9 Favorite Shop Tool 94 ADA pipe size confusion is A new ironworking machine finally cleared. is like an extra employee.

Cover photo: This all aluminum freestanding structure is 24 ft. in diameter and stands 12 ft. in height. The structure serves as the 4th floor pool deck bar shelter at a beachfront condominium complex. The frame weighs 5,600 lbs. and was finished with a high performance waterborne satin industrial enamel. Approx. labor time: 405 hrs. Fabricator: Sunmaster, Naples, FL.


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

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

Vice Pres./Treasurer

Fabricator Directors Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC Peoria, IL

Rod Stodtmeister Stodtmeister Iron Sparks, NV Sally Powell Powell’s Custom Metal Fab Inc. Jacksonville, FL

Fred Michael Colonial Iron Works Inc. Petersburg, VA

Don Walsh Pro-Fusion Ornamental Iron Inc. San Carlos, CA

Rob Mueller Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL

Supplier Directors David T. Donnell Eagle Bending Machines Inc. Stapleton, AL

Gene Garrett Regency Railings Inc. Dallas, TX

Bob Borsh House of Forgings Houston, TX

NOMMA Staff Executive Director Barbara H. Cook

sistant Liz Ware

Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington

Technical Consultant Tim Moss Managing Editor Rachel Squires Bailey

Communications Mgr. & Editor J. Todd Daniel Administrative As-

2004 Advisory Council Jay Holeman Mountain Iron Fabrications

Lee Rodrigue Virginia Architectural Metals

Tom McDonough Master Metal Services Inc.

Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises

Rob Rolves Foreman Fabricators Inc.


Contributing Writers

Understanding who we are Who are we? We are NOMMA, the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association. You may have been asked as a business: Who are you? What do you do? What do you stand for, and where do you want to be in X years? In our businesses we should all know what we do and who we are, but when it comes to what we stand for and what we want to be, we may answer that question differently. One may say we stand for making money, while another may say we stand for providing the best ironwork in the state. You get the idea. With an organization such as NOMMA we do not have the luxury of providing a primarily tangible product. Rather, we provide a service, and we are a network of businessmen and women with a common interest.

reference to our foundation, such as, “What do they do?” or “Why do we have one?” First, to set the record straight, there is no “US” and “THEM” —only “US.” The foundation is our association’s education foundation. Why do we have one? The reason is plain and simple: To provide a method for increasing funding and to give additional focus on developing better educational/training programs. These issues can be made more descriptive and more complicated but when the day is done it is OUR foundation and it was formed to provide a method Curt Witter is to add FOCUS and president of FUNDING.

A closer look at ourselves

Fortunately I have also heard much positive talk about the NOMMA Education Foundation. The reaffirming part is that most, if not all, comments can relate back to the desire for better focus and funding. In honor of those who came before us and in the hope of making things better for ourselves and others, please give generously of your time and money to help your industry and your association. We have an exciting future ahead, and I know that our foundation and its energetic Board of Trustees will help pave the way.

During the most recent NOMMA strategic planning session we asked ourselves that same question: Who are we? This was done by not only asking your Board of Directors, but also a cross section of members. Some of the high ranking answers kept repeating themselves and included attributes such as integrity, trust, dependability, respect, etc... One of the more predominate re-occurring themes was that of education and training. This fact says a lot for the foresight of our previous leaders who placed a strong emphasis on this area and helped to lay the groundwork for the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Positive support

the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association.

We are one

Over the past few years I have heard some skeptical comments in

John L. Campbell William J. Lynott

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Ornamental & Miscellaneous Met­al Fab­ri­ca­tor (ISSN 0191-5940), is the of­fi­cial pub­li­ca­tion of the Na­tional Or­na­men­tal & Mis­cel­la­ne­ous Metals As­so­cia­tion (NOMMA). O&MM Fabricator 532 Forest Pkwy., Ste. A Forest Park, GA 30297


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How to reach us

Editor’s Letter

A tribute to NOMMA’s great visionaries I wish I could always report good news in this column, but in the past few months the NOMMA family has seen challenging times. Since June we have lost three of our long-time members, and right now several more of our cherished members are battling cancer. On June 17, Howard Troxler died after a lengthy illness. A charter member of NOMMA, he served as president in 1966. On June 23, we learned of the passing of Walter Schill, whose firm has been a loyal NOMMA member for nearly 30 years. The loss of another legendary member occurred on August 12 with the passing of two-term president Leon York. A great leader of the association, Leon was president from 1973 to 1974 and received the Julius Blum Award in 1971.

A joyful memory

During this difficult summer, I wanted to share a story about one of the grandest moments in NOMMA’s history. It was February 12, 1974 and attendees had gathered for the opening session of NOMMA’s annual convention in Louisville, KY. Suddenly, the doors burst open and NOMMA president Leon York triumphantly entered the room on a horse, wearing

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 Bailey at (423) 413-6436 or rachel@


Reprints of articles are available. For a quote, contact Rachel Squires at (423) 4136436 or 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.


an outfit made of ornamental metal. NOMMA members were thrilled and gave a long standing ovation, and Louisville TV stations and newspapers were on hand to report the event. Primarily made of aluminum scrolls, the elaborate outfit took over 150 hours to fabricate. Along with the scrollwork, Leon wore a bright red shirt and trousers. But this was no ordinary costume, and, in fact, he gave parts of it away as awards. Todd Daniel is editor of The vest went to NOMMA’s member- Ornamental & Miscellaneous ship chair, and the Metal Fabricator. ornamental “mailbags” on the horse went to NOMMA’s two supplier directors. The trade show chairman received Leon’s belt buckle, and his boots went to the editor of Fabricator and the Top Job chair. The largest piece of the costume, a NOMMA logo breastplate, was presented to the NOMMA office. As Leon himself said, the costume was “something that’s never been done before and probably will never be done again.” Such a display was typical of the strong spirit that prevailed during NOMMA’s formative years. We owe a great debt to NOMMA’s early leaders, for they not only laid the foundation for a strong association, but they have also inspired us.

Leon York’s triumphant entry on horseback into the opening session of the 1974 convention is one of NOMMA’s most memorable events. Fabricator n September/October 2004


Reader’s Letters ADA confusion cleared at last We are a manufacturer of handrails and rail products for commercial swimming pool equipment. A while back, Tim Moss had published a wonderful article about the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA in Plain English) and offered clarification to the decade plus long confusion regarding handrail size. I have received word from others in our industry that the Access Board has recently published a “Final Rule” which states that handrail size is to be between 11/4” and 2” OD, which is to go into effect September 21, 2004. I know that this is a step in the right direction but am not sure if this is the end all to the confusion that has plagued our industry for so long. Any additional info or thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Matt Cathone Paragon Aquatics, LaGrangeville, NY NOMMA Technical Consultant Tim

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Moss responds: This has been a source of great confusion to the industry because some people were using a pipe size designation of 11/4 to 11/2 inch pipe, which was an inside diameter, while others were using tube size, which was the outside diameter. The new change provides more clarity to the industry by using a specific dimension. Fabricator magazine is a hit I wanted to thank you for sending copies of Fabricator to the recent ABANA conference — they went like hotcakes. The conference, which was held in Richmond, KY, was a great success. With approximately 1,200 attendees, there was plenty for everyone to do and see. Our next conference W RI TE !

takes place in Seattle, WA in 2006. Hopefully see you there! LeeAnn Mitchell Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America Inc. Farmington, GA Looking for stair details We are looking for details for a concealed stringer stair where the metal pan and pan support would sit on top of the steel stringer. Any ideas??? Thank you. Butch McKinney RTA Architects Colorado Springs, CO Editor: Can anyone help? Please send suggestions to

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.


Tips & Tactics n

Ask our expert

About the author:

10 ways to work out arguments at work Arguing doesn’t have to be a dirty game. Author Barton Goldsmith offers some easy-to-remember tips on how to resolve workplace disagreements in a civil manner. By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. Everyone argues. Some do it overtly by yelling, while others do it covertly by avoiding contact and conversation. Whatever the method, the result is the same—hurt feelings and a loss of productivity. Here are my tips to help you argue constructively, and if done correctly, it can be a pathway to growth, problem solving, and higher profits.

from the past to use as a hammer against whatever problem your teammate has presented. Deal with their issues first, and if you really have unresolved feelings from past problems talk about them at another time.


Don’t avoid your anger. If you stuff your feelings long enough you will explode and say or do things that you will regret. Anger does not diminish respect, you can be angry with those you respect, if you do it with respect.









Understand that anger itself is not destructive. There is a vast difference between anger and rage. When someone is angry, they need to state their feelings, they don’t need to break things, quit, or end business (or personal) relationships—that is ragefull behavior. Talk about your feelings before you get angry. When you or your teammates can approach a situation as it happens and deal with it in a safe way, it may not get to the point of becoming an argument. Sometimes things just need to be verbalized and most arguments can be avoided if your associates understand how you feel. Don’t raise your voice. It’s amazing how issues of hurt feelings or differences can be resolved with a whisper. I counsel people who are “yellers” to only communicate with a whisper, and it greatly reduces the anger factor in their communications. Don’t threaten team members, and don’t take every argument as a threat to your job. This type of emotional blackmail puts the other person in a panic (fight or flight mode). While you’re telling them you want them to leave, they may be making plans to find another job. In addition, they may be so devastated by the thought of losing their position that they can go into a deep depression and be unable to do their work.


Don’t stockpile. This is where you bring up issues

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Barton Goldsmith, PhD is a keynote speaker, business consultant, and nationally syndicated author. His columns appear in over 150 publications. Contact: Barton Goldsmith Ph: (818) 879-9996 Web: www.Barton

Create a process for resolving problems without anger. Start by having each person take five minutes to state his or her feelings, then take a twenty minute break to think, then come back to the table for another ten minutes to discuss how to best deal with the problem. Also, know that it’s okay if the problem isn’t solved right away. Abuse is NEVER allowed. This includes verbal abuse, any type of violence including slamming doors or file cabinets. If your arguments escalate to this level, you need to leave the office. If one person ever hits another, a police report needs to be made and an appointment with a therapist should be mandatory. Don’t engage. Remember that negative attention is still attention. If a person tries to goad you into an argument, simply don’t go there. Some people actually like to argue because it gives them a temporary feeling of power and gratification. Avoid being sucked into their need for attention. Listen to your body. When you are angry your body releases chemicals that may cause you to react in ways that can be destructive to you, your teammates, and your business. Learn to understand your feelings and how the process of anger effects you physically and emotionally. My research has shown that teammates who argue more than twenty percent of the time need to be re-assigned. 11

Tips & Tactics n

Fabrication tip NOMMA fabricator Jay Holeman of Mountain Iron Fabrications, Pilot Mountain, NC, recommends Simpson anchors.

NOMMA fabricator reveals his favorite concrete anchor

Contact: Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems. Ph: (800) 999-5099 Web:

“Simpson anchors are great because fabricators don’t have to use a lag shield for installation,” Jay Holeman, Mountain Iron Fabrications, recently told O&MM Fabricator. So we contacted Simpson-Strong Tie Anchor Systems to find out more about their product. By Jason Liebreich Marketing Manager Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems

Holeman secured his air hammer to his shop floor with a Simpson Anchor, using only a drill and an impact wrench.

There are several reasons why the Titen HD high strength screw anchor, for use in concrete and masonry, makes a great tool for ornamental fabricators. Its threads interlock with base material

Most significantly, unlike other mechanical anchors (specifically the wedge-anchor), which relies on expansion against the wall of the hole for holding power, the Titen HD’s threads provide a positive interlock with the base material. The user simply drills a hole in the concrete or masonry and then drives in the Titen HD. The threads on the shank of the anchor cut into the sides of the hole.

The HD Titen’s special thread design interlocks with the base material and makes for quick and easy installation.

Higher load capacity and resistance to vibration

In addition to higher load capacity than typical expansion anchors, the Titen HD is also more resistant to vibration. This is key when installing fixtures or machinery that generate vibration, which can work other anchor types loose. Easy installation

Another reason users like the Titen HD is its quick and easy installation. Expansion anchors, like the wedge-anchor, require a secondary setting operation to expand them once they are inserted in the hole. Not only does this take time, but sometimes users don’t do it at all. Once the Titen HD is driven into the hole, it is installed. There is no need to set the anchor further or worry about verifying correct setting (key for applications that require inspection). The Titen HD is also physically easier to install than other screw anchors—its thread design allows the anchor to cut threads in the concrete with much less installation torque. This is a big considSeptember/October 2004 n Fabricator

eration if the anchor is being installed by hand, and it also makes a difference when installing with an impact wrench (the recommended power tool for installation). Plus, because the Titen HD does not create expansion forces in the concrete, the anchors can be placed closer together and closer to the edge of concrete (key for railings). One draw back—not for outdoor use

One draw back with the Titen HD is that the anchor’s electroplated zinc finish is not yet designed to hold up to corrosive environments. In order to achieve the hardness necessary to allow the threads to cut the concrete, the anchor is heated during production. As with all heat treated anchors or bolts, this causes the anchor to be vulnerable to “hydrogen assisted stress corrosion cracking.” The good news is that we are currently working on a version of the Titen HD that will be suitable for use in outdoor and corrosive environments. 13


March 2-5, 2005 New Orleans, LA

You are invited to attend NOMMA’s 47th annual convention and trade show! Get ready for the biggest industry

event of the year! The following is a quick checklist to assist with your planning:

q General Information

A Convention Guide has been bundled with this magazine, and will be included with the next edition of Fabricator as well. If your Guide has become separated, call the NOMMA office at (404) 363-4009 and we will be glad to mail, fax, or e-mail you information. You can also obtain the latest convention news from our website at: q The Fun Begins

The convention runs from March 2-5 and the trade show takes place March 2-4. Please note that the trade

show days are different from past years and now runs Wednesday through Friday (not Saturday). q Hotel

The beautiful Hotel Monteleone, located in the French Quarter, is the host hotel. To make reservations, call (800) 217-2033. When calling, be sure to request the METALfab/NOMMA group rate. Group rate deadline: January 28, 2005 (after this date space and rate are on an availability basis). q Travel

For travel arrangements, call Jane Hughes at Avant Travel at (859) 2713839 or (800) 627-7260. E-mail: jane@

Avis Rent A Car is offering a special price for METALfab attendees. To reserve a vehicle, call (800) 331-1600 or visit When making reservations, be sure to mention promotion code: J947587. q Top Job Competition

Deadline is December 20, 2004, however entries will be accepted until January 3, 2005 by paying a late fee.

q Car Rental

A special thanks to our METALfab 2005 sponsors New Orleans, Louisiana

Lawler Foundry Corp. The Wagner Companies Julius Blum & Co. Inc. Carell Corp. Colorado Waterjet Co. Decorative Iron D.J.A. Imports Ltd. Eagle Bending Machines Inc. Innovative Hinge Products Inc. King Supply Co. Inc. Lavi Industries Regency Railings Tennessee Fabricating Co.

March 2–5, 2005 Atlas Metal Sales Lindblade Metalworks Inc. Ohio Gratings Inc. Rik-Fer USA Yavus Ferforje A.S.

September/October 2004 n Fabricator



Shop Talk

How to build a welding table An excerpt from Welding Basics n Welding Basics: An Introduction to Practical & Ornamental Weld-

ing provides a concise foundation of MIG, TIG, oxyacetylene, and stick processes. Plus its full-color illustrations and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions of 23 beginner-to-intermediate-level welding projects make it a great learning workbook.

For your information


Book: Welding Basics: An Introduction to Practical & Ornamental Welding Publisher: Creative Publishing International Web: Cost: $18.95. Photo credits: All pictures are reprinted with permission from Welding Basics, Creative Publishing International.

Overall dimensions are 36 X 24 X 36”. See diagram legend on page 18.

This article represents an excerpt from the book, Welding Basics: An Introduction to Practical & Ornamental Welding, published in 2004 by Creative Publishing International. All photos are reprinted with permission from Welding Basics, Creative Publishing International (

n n n n n

Welding Table

Use it for arc welding, cutting, or oxyfuel welding— 16

this welding table is a versatile addition to your shop. It is sized to allow you to work while sitting on a stool or while standing. You may want to check the scrap bin at the local steel yard to see what size plate steel can be gotten for a reasonable price. Some yards sell plate in 4 foot by 2 foot pre-cut sections that you can cut to size. Or you can have the piece custom cut. You can use material thinner than 3/16 inch—or thicker. Thicker material is better as the table top will have less


/8 X 11/2 X 11/2” angle iron (12 feet) 1 /8 X 11/4 X 11/4” square tube (19 feet) 1 /4 X 11/2” flat bar (14 feet) 3 /16” sheet metal (2 X 2 feet) 4 leg levelers 1

Fabricator n September/October 2004

How to build a welding table

Diagram Legend Part Name Dimensions A Table top supports (front & back)


B Table top supports (sides)



/8 x 11/2 x 11/2” angle iron x 24”


/8 x 11/2 x 11/2” angle iron x 24”



/8 x 11/2 x 11/2” angle iron x 12”


/8 x 11/4 x 11/4”square tube x 36”


/8 x 11/4 x 11/4”square tube x 341/2”


/8 x 11/4 x 11/4”square tube x 36”*


/8 x 11/4 x 11/4”square tube x 211/2”*


/4 x 11/2” flat bar x 237/8”*


/16” sheet metal 24 x 24”


Cutting table supports (front & back)

D Right side legs E Left side legs



F Stretcher (rear) G Stretcher (sides) H

Weld the table top supports




Cutting table top

I Table top



*Approximate dimensions, cut to fit. This diagram legend corresponds to the diagram on page 16.

distortion from the welding heat and the heat generated when you grind spatter off from the table top. You may be able to purchase a small piece of cutting grate; we’ve constructed our own. Use the sheet metal for the


table top on top of sawhorses or a workbench as a work surface to build the rest of the table. You can enclose the area under the cutting table with sheet metal and a door to contain cutting slag and sparks.

Cutting notches at the end of the side supports is easier than cutting 45 degree miters and provides more welding surface area. 1. Cut the table top supports (A & B) and cutting table supports (C) to size. Cut 11/2 inch notches at the end of the three side supports (B) to create a 90 degree angle joint. 2. Place the table top front support (A) and table top support (B) together to form a right angle. Check for square and tack weld. 3. Repeat step 2 using the table top back support and another side support. 4. Assemble these two right angles to make a square. Check all corners for square, and check the assembly for square by measuring both diagonals—they should be equal. If not, adjust the supports so the assembly is square. 5. Complete each outside corner weld, re-checking for square as you go. Flip the assembly over and complete the remaining welds of the joints.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Weld the cutting table section to the table top assembly. The angle iron flange for the table will face up to support the table top. The angle iron flange for the cutting table will face down to form a well to support the cutting table strips.

Complete the table top supports

The cutting table supports are positioned with the flange at the bottom to hold the 1/4 inch strips. The table top supports are positioned with the flange at the top to support the table top (see photo, above). 1. Place the remaining side support (B) and the front and back cutting table supports (C) at right angles to form three sides of a rectangle. Check the corners for square and tack weld Place the back stretcher between the right and left side leg assemblies. Make sure the stretcher is square to the legs, then weld in place.


Fabricator n September/October 2004

2. Measure the completed table top. It may be slightly more or less 24 inches deep and 36 inches deep. Adjust the stretcher lengths (F & G) to those measurements, minus the 11/4 inches for each leg thickness. Cut the stretchers to size. 3. Mark both sets of side legs 5 inches up from the bottom. Starting with the right side legs (D), place a side stretcher (G) between the legs with the bottom of the stretcher aligned with the 5 inch mark. 4. Align the stretcher at a 90 degree angle to the side legs and clamp the assembly to your end of the stretcher. 5. Repeat this process for the left side legs. Finish the leg assembly

Tack weld grating strips to the angle iron every 11/2� to form the cutting table top.

the pieces together. 2. Assemble the pieces so that table top supports have the flange at the top, the cutting table supports have the flange at the bottom, and the cuttings table supports are abutting the table


top supports. Tack weld where the table top sides butt together (see page 20, top photo). Turn the assembly over and weld the remaining joints. Prepare the leg assembly

1. Cut the legs (D & E) to size.

1. Place the leg assemblies on their sides with the rear side down, and clamp to your work surface. 2. Position the rear stretcher (F) between the right and left leg assemblies, aligning the bottom of the stretcher with the 5 inch mark. 3. Align the stretcher at a 90 degree angle to the assemblies and clamp in

Fabricator n September/October 2004

place. Tack weld the inside angles (see bottom photo on page 20). Assemble the table

The right legs fit inside the corner made by the angle iron, while the left legs are set back 1/8 inch from the edges of the angle iron. 1. Turn the table top and cutting table assembly upside down, then set the leg assembly into it. 2. Clamp the pieces in place. Check for square on both sides, front, and back. 3. Tack weld all corners. Check for square again, then weld all pieces into place. Install the cutting table top

Tack welding the cutting table grating allows you to remove and replace the 1/4 inch strips as they become worn from the cutting torch. 1. Cut the cutting table top grating (H) to size. 2. Place a strip of grating into the well formed by the cutting table top supports, 11/2 inches from table top edge. 3. Tack weld the top edge of the grating to the angle iron. 4. Place another grating strip 11/2 inches from first strip and tack weld in place. Continue building the cutting table top in this manner until complete (see photo on page 22). 5. Grind down the welds on the top of the table support assembly. Finish the table

1. Place the table top (I) onto the assembly and tack weld twice on each side. 2. Weld the table top to the supports using 1 inch or 2 inch weld beads at both sides of each corner and twice along each side. 3. Paint the table, but do not paint the table top or cutting grate. 4. Paint the table, but do not paint the table top or cutting grate. 5. Install the leg levelers as needed. Excerpted from Welding Basics, by Creative Publishing, page 78–81.


Fabricator n September/October 2004


Shop Talk

Suppliers talk about the access control industry’s current boom n The current trend for increased security means more business for the

access control industry. Fabricator asked several suppliers about the causes and effects of this recent boom to their industry. Responses compiled by Rachel Squires Bailey Managing Editor

Sedivy: We see the trend leaning towards more smart cards and biometerics, absolutely a result from more awareness regarding security. Skeem: Wireless visual identities of gate entries, etc. Wireless controls with audio confirmations of what is actually happening long-range. Thompson: There may not be many new markets emerging, but the old markets are a lot broader. The post September 11, 2001 market is driving the development of products at a much faster pace. Biometric technology, i.e. fingerprint, face, hand geometry, and iris scans are among the products which will become a part of our everyday lives in the near future. Cantor: Yes, there is an increased awareness in high security applications, particularly in golf club communities where architects typically want aesthetically appealing, seamless security systems with all mechanisms hidden. Fabricator: Who is it that wants more security? Are they commercial and residential clients, or mostly commercial?  Sedivy: We only market commercial 26

type systems, so my answer is more on the commercial side. However, residential security seems to be rising also from what I read in the trade magazines. Skeem: Security becomes an increasing issue as our country becomes economically divided by those who have and those who have not. The wealthiest 20 percent of households now account for 50 percent of total U.S. income. Not good for America in my opinion, but probably good for the gate access business. Thompson: The demand for security has increased in both the commercial and the residential markets. However, years ago, access control in the residential and commercial markets was more of a luxury and convenience. But today, for both of these markets, it is no longer discretionary, but a necessity. Cantor: We do gate systems for homes in the $10 to $50 million range—increases there. But I haven’t noticed an increase in demand for security among various corporate headquarters yet. Fabricator: What other factors are responsible for an increase in the access control industry? Prices?  Developing technology? Why?  Sedivy: Price is the big one. Access control systems are very affordable now. For example, proximity card

For your information


Fabricator: What new markets are emerging? And do you think their rise is a result of the heightened security awareness in our country? 

Respondents: Richard Sedivy, Director of Marketing and Regulatory Affairs for DoorKing Systems, Inglewood, CA. DoorKing markets to the commercial industry. Wayne Skeem, owner of SirenOperated Sensor (SOS) and Radiobird, Twin Falls, ID. SOS and Radio Bird supply to commercial and residential markets. Susan Thompson, Marketing Coordinator for Multi Sales Inc., Downey, CA, a wholesale distributor for commercial and residential gates. Bill Cantor, president and owner of Van Noorden Gate Systems, Franklin, MA. Van Noorden services the highend residential market.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

“We have seen the access control industry become more user-friendly and affordable. Plus, end users are more knowledgeable about our industry.” systems have come down in price over the last few years. Technology is also a key factor. We are now seeing very affordable biometeric type systems. Skeem: Vanity. Thompson: We have seen the access control industry become more userfriendly and affordable. Plus, end users are more knowledgeable about our industry. Technology costs less today, so systems tend to include more options. Wireless technology will reduce the cost of connectivity for many access control products. The Internet will also play an important role in the connectivity of products. Cantor: I think in today’s society there’s more of a dividing line between the have’s and have not’s, the have’s want more exclusivity, thus


gated communities. Ironically, I find that anyone in a lawn service uniform can get into these communities, but if I drive up in my Acura, I’m going to get questioned. Fabricator: What’s the market for updating existing systems? Sedivy: That depends on what the customer wants to upgrade and compatibility. For example, software upgrades are generally easy. But, upgrading the hardware may require, in some instances, a complete replacement of the existing system. Skeem: Probably not too great. Thompson: Many of the older (mostly commercial) systems in operation today are in need of updating to the new UL standards as well as integrat-

ing some of today’s new technology. New systems are safer and offer more security options at an affordable price. The market for updating systems should always be good because new technology is always being developed. Cantor: There is some updating going on, but it’s not big yet. Fabricator: What are some of the features customers prefer today? Sedivy: Integration, ease of use, and flexibility. Skeem: Homwowners want front gates that reflect their idea of image: Some request an unadorned design. Others wish to display everything from flowers to horses and initials on their entry gate. Compared to 10 or 20 years ago, they are less “function only” and more “fancy pony.” Thompson: Telephone entry systems with closed circuit television (CCTV) capability are more affordable these

Fabricator n September/October 2004

days, more in demand, and more user-friendly. Also in demand are receivers, telephone entry systems, proximity card readers, and keypads that will interface with a computer to give you real-time information as to who is granted access and when. Years ago, vehicle loop detectors, gate edges, infrareds (Photo Cells), were items that you had to convince people to buy. Today, end users want these safety features. Cantor: Designers want the gate to look natural.

Fabricator: What types of systems are most popular today, why, and for what types of applications? Sedivy: The most popular are still slide and swing gates, although vertical pivot, vertical lift, and overhead gates are gaining ground. Key factors for a gate operator today are ease of installation, features, reliability, and compliance with safety standards. For commercial applications, we see a lot of card access control, while on the residential side it’s more radio frequency access control.

Skeem: Probably the swing gates are most popular—economical use of low voltage and the mechanical screw jack. Our introduction of Warner Electric’s screw jack along with the late Lester Tabb’s original Mighty Mule, constituted early efforts in this regard. Now there are many companies incorporating the screw jack method. Thompson: The actuator type of swing gate operator for residential gates has become very popular today. With slow start and slow stop features, these operators work very well on 14-feet to 15 feet (max length) swing gates. Residential telephone entry systems are also popular and offer CCTV integrated within the system. For the commercial market, slide and swing gate operators remain popular. Telephone entry and CCTV are some of the most requested upgrades. Cantor: Hydraulic swing gates are popular because they can move very heavy loads quickly. Fabricator: How long has your company been in the gate operator/access control business? Sedivy: DoorKing was founded in 1948 as a manufacturer of garage door openers in the greater Los Angeles area. The owner of the company, MK Richmond, started to produce gate operators in the late 1950’s when he realized that he would not be able to compete in the garage door opener market with the larger manufacturers. The company became an installation company then, installing their own gate operators. Other installers in the area liked what they saw, and asked to have some made for their use also, thus the DoorKing gate operator manufacturing company was born. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the company began to design and produce telephone entry systems. Other access control products resulted from this, and the rest, as they say, is history. Skeem: We have been in business since 1955 when we introduced the Horngate. It was designed for solar powered electric fence and/or road


Fabricator n September/October 2004

barrier use. We still offer it, though improved. In 1991 we received a patent for our Lift and Rotate gate operator. It was designed to accommodate inclined driveways, snowy conditions, and positive locking, when desired. We still offer it, also improved. Thompson: Multi Sales Inc. was started in 1959 as Harrison Doormaster, and it wasn’t too long before we sold our first gate operator. In 1985 we closed our installation and service side of the business and became strictly a wholesale distributor. Cantor: Van Noorden was started in 1868 by my great grandfather Ezekiel Van Noorden, a blacksmith and a coppersmith. I’m fourth generation. Somewhere along the line the company got into making jail cells, iron bar gates that slide or hinge. Then we got into making architectural metal doors, sliding fire doors. And from there we’ve gotten into making custom iron gates. Fabricator: What is your company’s


specialty—what unique products/ services do you offer? Sedivy: When the company started to produce its own line of telephone entry systems, this was unique in the industry—to have one manufacturer producing both the gate operator product and the access control products. To this day, this is still DoorKing’s strongest point, allowing us to offer unparalleled customer service. Other companies are now using the same strategies, usually by acquisition. Skeem: The Siren-Operated Sensor (SOS) is our specialty. Introduced over a decade ago, the SOS has become North America’s most widely used means of uniform emergency gate access. It allows all 911 responders to use their siren’s “YELP” to open gates swiftly (2.5 seconds). They need not get out of their vehicles or find keys; they don’t have to remember codes. We are now introducing a Long Range Wireless Gate Operator that “talks back” to let owners know

whether the gate is opening or closing, day or night, and from distances up to a mile or more. Thompson: As a stocking distributor to the access control industry, our specialty is that we have built a business based on customer service and integrity. We average a 97 percent fulfillment rate, which means we stock the products our customers want with few backorders. Cantor: Van Noorden has two hydraulic systems, the power pivot and the power hinge. The power pivot is a totally concealed operator. It mounts 3 to 4 feet below the pavement and turns from there. It has no exposed mechanical equipment but clean lines that most designers want. The power hinge is not totally concealed, but it is still very discreet. It’s about the size of a half gallon of milk—hinge and motor—all black, and mounted low on the side of the column. We also offer a variation on the pivot hinge where the entire col-

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Shop Talk

The English wheel allows fabricators to make a graceful compound curve in a panel. Although in recent years it has typically been limited to use in high-end auto and aircraft restoration, Walter Scadden urges ornamental fabricators to take advantage of this helpful


The English wheel: New life for an old tool For decades the English wheel, also known as the high crown roller or the wheeling machine, was reserved for the traditionally trained skilled craftsmen. Its origin begins with the funeral coach builders in Europe during the early 1900’s and for years had been limited to high end auto and aircraft restorations. With all the metalworking programs on cable TV, the wheel has been reborn and is quickly becoming the “in” tool of architectural metalworkers and sculptors. The great advantage of the tool is that it allows a graceful compound curve to be formed in a panel. The single curve is fairly easily formed in a panel. However, when a compound curve is needed (one curve in two directions) complexities quickly occur. If we try to bend a compound curve over a mandrel or pipe we find that while bending in one direction we take the curve out in the other direction. The English wheel solves this problem with its two wheels, one flat-faced and the other radiused, moving the metal in two directions at the same time. At first glance the wheel is deceptively simple looking, resembling a large “C” clamp with a flat­faced stationary wheel and a lower radiused-faced wheel mounted on a threaded shaft. The operation of the wheel is fairly 34

straightforward. The wheel is operated from the side and a right h ­ anded person will stand on the left side of the wheel as viewed from the front. This allows a forward movement of the right hand to apply more pressure between the wheels on the panel. The sheet panel is placed between the wheels and tension applied by tightening the lower wheel (a panel thickness of .035 for steel and .050 for aluminum is about the maximum advisable for most wheels). The question of how much pressure should be applied does not have a simple answer. The pressure has to be enough to secure the metal but not so much that movement of the panel front to back is impaired. On most wheels when the proper pressure is applied—as the panel is pulled out—a slight ring is heard as the wheels spring together. The metal is formed by rolling the panel back and forth in a series of passes called tracking patterns. These patterns, as shown on page 38, produce certain shapes. The tracking patterns can be laid out on the panel with a No. 2 pencil or marker and when done can be removed with a little brake cleaner. When first learning the wheel using a few scraps just to see what happens is the thing to do. Then as soon as you are comfortable pick a small project or shape. This will speed up the learning curve. Having the ability to see which way the

For your information


By Walter Scadden

What you’ll Learn: Construct your own English wheel and discover how it can help in your day-to-day fabricating. About the author: Walter Scadden is a renown blacksmith who specializes in traditional forge work for both architectural and marine projects. He has taught classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is widely known for the many demonstrations and classes he has given

All photos by Vic Fettig

Fabricator n September/October 2004

left: Sheet metal is placed between the two wheels and then tension is applied by raising the lower wheel.

right: It is possible to craft your own unit using tubing and wheels. The lower wheel shown in this unit was cut from an old truck axle. Both wheels should be placed on bearings.

metal is moving is very important. Most English wheels have several lower wheels (anvils) with different radiuses. The choice of radius wheel and tracking pattern determines which direction the metal is moving side to side or front to back. Early tries on the wheel are generally pretty frustrating: Yes, the metal is moving but not in the direction you might want. You might compare it to when you tried to back up a small trailer the first time. The thing will seem to have a mind of its own, and everything will feel backwards. As we make each pass the panel is moved slightly to connect the ends of the tracking patterns. You can see this clearly in the pattern drawing. Just remember if you really want to be good at the wheel you’ll need to “practice, practice, practice.” One of the most practical uses for the wheel is using it combined with a forming hammer and a shot bag (a leather or heavy canvas bag 10 to 12 inches in diameter filled with lead shot or sand). Using the hammer with the bag as a backer, a shape can quickly be formed in the panel. Of 36

Fabricator n September/October 2004

course this leaves a lot of bumps or dimples in the metal. The English wheel does a great job fairing out these dings, making a smooth curved surface. The hammer and bag are used to rough out the shape and the wheel is used to finish it up. Over the last 10 or 12 years, I’ve used some wheels that had all the bells and whistles and others that were quite basic. As with any tool that has a long history, there are many “old wives’ tales” and probably as much misinformation as there is good information. One thing you’re likely to hear is that a good wheel must have a cast iron frame. I’ve run cast iron frame wheels and steel frame wheels and honestly can’t tell any difference. What is important here is that the frame doesn’t flex, as with any wheel that flexes too much it’s hard to get the results you want. Another tale is that the tool must be made in England (I think this one was started by the English Chamber of Commerce). What makes a good wheel is a good strong frame, a top wheel with a flat, smooth face, and several lower wheels with different radius faces. The photos shown in this article are of a wheel made in our shop some five years ago. It is a nice wheel and has withstood heavy student use. If you are reading the Fabricator we will assume that you are involved in metalwork of some kind. That being the case building a wheel should not be much of a problem.

Tracking patterns and the shapes they produce

Building the wheel




















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Fabricator n September/October 2004

As each pass is made, the metal is moved slightly to connect the ends of the tracking patterns (see diagram on previous page). Getting the movement correct does require some practice.


To start, the frame can be made from either two-by-four or three-bythree inch tubing with a wall thickness of 3/16 or 1/4 inches. The depth of the wheel’s throat or the distance from the wheels to the back of the frame governs the size of the panel we can roll, but the greater the depth of the throat the more chance of flex in the frame. The minimum depth is about 20 inches, but bear in mind that the panel can be worked from opposing edges so the 20-inch throat can work a 40-inch panel. Some wheels have a 40- or 48-inch throat. At that size the frames start to get pretty large. The wheels themselves are available from many sources. For the top wheel I like to use a good grade industrial caster 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 2 to 21/2 inches wide. These are available from machinery supply houses. I make my lower wheels from old large truck axles (here in the northeast broken dump truck axles are plentiful during snow-plowing season). These axles are generally a little over 2 inches in diameter. I have them turned on a lathe to get the proper radius. Both the upper and lower wheels should ride in bearings. The upper wheel, if it’s an industrial caster, comes with a bearing setup for a 3/4- or 7 /8-inch shaft. For the lower wheel a 1/2inch shaft will work fine (we’ve used a grade #8, 1/2-inch bolt for years). A ball-bearing setup rather than needle bearings works best. The lower wheel is mounted in a yoke or fork that allows a threaded shaft to raise or lower it. It should be easy to change the lower wheel. For the threaded shaft a one-inch, right-hand, finethread bolt with some sort of adjustment or turning wheel on the bottom will do fine. On the older wheels these are called kick wheels because they were foot operated. On our wheels I like to mount the adjustment wheel a little higher and adjust it by hand. Keep a homemade wheel as simple as you can. Remember that frustration is the enemy of anyone trying to learn a new skill, so if you find yourself getting nuts while trying to learn the wheel, stop, do something else for awhile, and try again later. Your patience will be rewarded. Once you get the hang of this machine you will Fabricator n September/October 2004


A Zahner Co.: A monumental member of our industry

The Pritzker Pavilion is part of Chicago’s Millennium Park. The building’s stainless steel surface is applied to large dual curved aluminum panels.

n Now in its fourth generation, the A Zahner Co. has achieved internationally ac-

claimed status for its unique structures involving sheet metal applications and for its technical contributions to the metal forming and fabricating industries. Interview by Rachel Squires Bailey Managing Editor The A Zahner Co. was started in Kansas City, MO in 1897 by Andrew Zahner. Producing custom architectural and ornamental metalwork for the commercial industry, the company formed a strong regional foundation. Today the company is recognized

For your information


NOMMA Member: A Zahner Co., Kansas City, MO. Background: The A Zahner Co. dates back to 1897. It was started by Andrew Zahner 42

world-wide for its unique, metal form designs and for the company’s contributions to new sheet metal forming methods and to the development of digital definition technology within the metal fabrication industry. Fabricator: According to A Zahner’s web site, the company’s roots are in fabricating sheet metal cornices

(from Andrew Zahner’s previously owned company Eagle Cornice Works). What led to the company’s growth to which it now focuses mainly on large-scale custom commercial projects involving various sheet metal applications? Bill Zahner: At the turn of the last century, metal was new as a building

who previously owned Eagle Metal Cornice Works.

Association (SMACNA) and was SMACNA president in 1998.

Interviewee: William (Bill) Zahner, is the great grandson of Andrew Zahner and the current president and CEO of A Zahner Co. Bill Zahner has previously served on the board of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National

Books: Bill Zahner is the author of Architectural Metal Surfaces, which is due out in November 2004, and Architectural Metals, 1995. Both books are published by Wiley,

Fabricator n September/October 2004

By utilizing light interference technology, the A Zahner Co. created the blue stainless steel surface for this building which houses the Museum of Science and Industry building in Tampa, FL.

A Zahner Co. used one million pounds of copper on the newly reconstructed de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco.

material. Galvanized steel was newly available and so was aluminum, due to new processes. The U.S. was expanding west, and my great grandfather and his seven brothers moved west with their father to Shawnee, KS. The A. Zahner Company was started by my great grandfather, Andrew Zahner, in Kansas City in 1897, while my great uncle, Andrew’s brother, started the Zahner Manufacturing Company. Zahner Manufacturing Co. became one of the largest kitchen sheet metal fabricators in the country in the late 1940s and 1950s. However, it eventually died out. The A Zahner Co., which focused on producing custom architectural and ornamental metal work for the commercial industry was passed on to my grandfather. Unfortunately he struggled with the capital after my great grandfather died, due in part to having to sell much of the assets to cover inheritance and his siblings. My father took over A Zahner Co. after World WarII and moved the company into the metal siding and decking business that came of age in the 1950’s and 1960’s. We were a very successful, regional company, mainly working in Kansas City and its surrounding counties. In 1981 we expanded by adding on a new modern fabrication facility. We were working out of an old structure of approximately 30,000 square feet. The new structure added approximately 70,000 square feet. I took over in the late 1980s and expanded us from a regional company to a national company. I changed the emphasis slightly by adding engineering capabilities to the company in 1988. At the time I took over, our volume was approximately $5 million. Our current volume is over $37 million. We now have two plants—Kansas City and Dallas. We added the Dallas plant in 2003. We have worked all over the world, but our emphasis is domestic. We install our work as well as fabricate and engineer our work. We hold two patents and have eight more pending. Fabricator: How many family members work at A Zahner now?


Fabricator n September/October 2004

A Zahner Co. fabricated this unique structure for Bard College’s Fisher Performing Arts Center.

Zahner: My brother and I are the only stockholders. I serve as CEO and president. My bother, Robert Zahner, is executive vice president, my other brother, Tom Zahner, is special projects manager, and my sister, Jo Ann Mendenhall, is shipping and receiving manager. Fabricator: When did you begin working at A Zahner, and what is your background in the industry? Zahner: I worked at Zahner painting ladders and scaffolding when I was 7-years-old. My formal work started out of college in 1979 after I got my Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering from the University of Kansas. I also served on the SMACNA Board from 1992 to 1998 and was president of SMACNA in 1998. Fabricator: How has involvement in organizations like NOMMA and SMACNA helped the development of A Zahner? Zahner: The experiences one receives from interacting with others dealing with both business and materials are beyond description. So often people expect things to be handed to them. Interacting with others in similar fields opens amazing paths that one could never acquire alone. The only recommendation I have is if you do join, then you should participate. SMACNA was one organization introduced from my father. I did not necessarily see the benefit. I thought it was an organization dealing with a market differing from mine. So I joined the National Board and eventually became September/October 2004 n Fabricator


President. I figured this was a way of really getting to know what the organization is about. As for NOMMA, I devour the publication (Fabricator). The information is some of the best available in the United States. I wish I had more time to involve myself in the organization to learn more. Fabricator: What influenced you to write the book Architectural Metals: A Guide to Selection, Specification and Performance? Can you share some of your experiences in

researching and writing the book? Zahner: Actually, I have just finished writing a second book, Architectural Metal Surfaces, which is due out this fall by Wiley. It demonstrates techniques for achieving a variety of surface effects through the application of texture, color treatments, and lighting effects. It is madness. My wife made me swear to never write another one. The first book, published in 1995, was generated from research over a large span of time. As a young engineer out of college who was going into

a business Architectural Metal Surface, November where most 2004, ISBN: 0-471knowledge 26335-4 is sparse and disconnected, Architectural Metals: A Guide to Selection, I felt that I Specification, and wanted to Performance, 1995, learn all that ISBN: 0-471-04506-3 I could about Publisher: Wiley the materials Web: I was working with. As the preface of Architectural Metals states, early on when working at my father’s shop, I had to learn the “language” of the various metals. The workman knew from experience about the different materials from a workable nature—soft versus hard, sharp versus dull—all the different methods of describing thicknesses. I wanted to know everything about this new “planet,” so I researched the information and wrote a book about it. Fabricator: What are some of the new materials and fabrication processes A. Zahner Company is currently developing? Zahner: We are in a joint venture with General Electric, Catapillar, Native American Technologies, and Columbia University to develop a new sheet metal forming method, which utilizes lasers. We are developing new systems, which we are patenting, such as Inverted Seam™ Roofing and several large shaping methods. We are also developing custom finishing for copper alloys and zinc alloys. For instance, on the new de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco, we have developed a technique whereby we photograph light coming through trees and imprint the image onto the façade. The imprinting is accomplished by pushing an inward and outward bump onto the copper surface. The degree of push is dependent on the particular shade of the image. Fabricator: What about “digital definition technology?” Can you describe how it works and when A Zahner first begin using this technology?


Fabricator n September/October 2004

Zahner: Digital definition utilizes solid modeling technology, and we have successfully integrated the connection from our engineering process to the manufacturing process. We use high-level software, some proprietary, to create the solid model using parametric relationships of the various parts that make up the surface. This is then transferred electronically to the plant floor where we integrate it into the fabrication process. We began using this process in late 1996. Fabricator: Can you give an estimate of the number and size of projects that A Zahner works on at a given time? Zahner: We work on approximately 10 to 15 projects at any given time. Their sizes range from small custom work such as the facades of the Apple Computer Stores to much larger projects such as the de Young Museum or DFW Airport roof. These are in the $15 to $20 million dollar range. Fabricator: What is the current size of A Zahner’s shop/show room in terms of square footage? Zahner: We employ from 150 to 300 employees in a given year. We have approximately 100,000 square feet in Kansas City and 20,000 square feet in Dallas.

In collaboration with Karas & Karas Glass Company of Boston, A. Zahner Co. is stainless steel.

providing the stunning metal and glass exterior sections of MIT’s new artificial intelligence laboratory, the Ray and Maria Stata Center.

Fabricator: How many people work in the shop and the office? Zahner: In the shops we work approximately 80 people, in engineering approximately 15 to 20 persons, in the field we have approximately 60 to 80 persons, and we have a staff of approximately 20 persons. Fabricator: Please describe some noteworthy projects A Zahner is currently working on. Zahner: Right now we are working on a structure for the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. To emulate the dolomite cliffs on which the museum stands, we are creating a custom oxidized surface on zinc and September/October 2004 n Fabricator


Member Talk

South Carolina firm reflects area’s local heritage

left: The company received a bronze Top Job award for this hotel rail project. top: Gainger does his forging in an historic barn that is now engulfed by his main, 5,000-square-foot facility.

By Peter Hildebrandt On a sandy, back road of South Carolina’s Horry County, amid tall rows of corn and thriving tobacco plants, Carl Grainger has hammered out a thriving niche for himself. Each morning Carl arrives at Grainger Metal Works he’s instantly surrounded by a chunk of the past. A 20-foot by 20-foot tobacco barn remains at the core of Grainger’s shop. In 1929 his grandfather and people from the community built the log barn in two days. Grainger’s great-grandfather’s anvil holds a place of honor in the tobacco barn that is now called “The Blacksmith Shop.” Carl’s great-grandfather was not a blacksmith, but he used the anvil to repair tools. Grainger didn’t start out as a blacksmith either. He first worked as a welder on an assembly line building September/October 2004 n Fabricator

hydraulic cranes for five years. After that, Grainger worked at a structural fabrication shop, a steel stair company, and then he and a partner had a shop in Conway, SC, where they did mostly repair and structural metalwork. Though the business was successful, Grainger wasn’t satisfied. “I like being able to see the work I’ve done. I prefer not having to say, ‘Behind that sheetrock is the structural steel that we installed. You can’t see it, but it sure is a nice building, isn’t it?’” Grainger needed to be able to bring some of his creativity into metalworking. He started taking blacksmithing classes. His first class was at Peter’s Valley Craft Center in New Jersey. Instructor John F. Graney taught Grainger how to make leaves and daylilies and other flowers. Then he attended classes at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

For your information


Although Carl Grainger started out in welding repair and structural steel fabrication, his creativity drove him to learn ornamental fabrication skills.


NOMMA member: Carl Grainger, Grainger Metal Works, Nichols, SC. Grainger’s background: Grainger began in welding repair and structural steel fabrication. He learned ornamental fabrication skills because he wanted to be able to see his work (not have it covered up by trades work). Noteworthy project: Grainger won a 2004 Top Job bronze award for a serpentine stainless steel tube railing fabricated for the Myrtle Beach Radisson Hotel lobby. Memorable Quote: “Networking at NOMMA conventions has made ‘tag-teaming’ with other shops possible. NOMMA is an important part of my company.”


In his third class, an architectural class with Walt Scadden as the instructor, he decided to make a garden gate. “On Monday, Walt had us design what we wanted to make as our class project. I sketched my gate design on a small steno pad. Walt looked at my drawing and said he didn’t think I could do it in a week. I told him if he would just guide me, I could do it. After many long days and late nights, on that last Friday afternoon, showand-tell was held in the community room for all the different classes to show what they’d worked on for the week. When I carried my project in, it was still warm!” The gate is displayed in the shop. Many have tried to purchase it, but the gate remains “notfor-sale.” After coming back from that third class, Grainger told his partner that within a year he would be on his own doing ornamental blacksmithing. Sure enough, a year later—almost to the day—he moved out to the family farm and started Grainger Metal Works. What once was a log tobacco

The company crafted this gate out of aluminum. The forged scrolls are made of 3/4” sq. forged stock. The frame is 1/2 x 11/2 heavy hammered stock, and the finish is bronze powder coat. Approx. labor time: 117 hrs.

barn with the lingering smell of years of cured tobacco is now a blacksmith shop where a coal forge is creating its own unique aroma. Presently the shop consists of


Tel. 480-357-2836 Fax -354-4524


almost 5,000 square feet, completely engulfing the intact 1920’s tobacco barn. As with most small businesses, Grainger has to wear many different hats. He is the design department, the lead blacksmith, and the shop foreman. He has four staff members: a blacksmith apprentice-installer, two shop fabricators, and Marti, his wife. Marti has worked as the company’s office manager for two years. Grainger has stayed busy enough that he’s never had to lay anyone off. The challenge for him now is finding the right balance between enough work and too much work. When too much work is the case, NOMMA membership has helped keep his workload manageable. “I can subcontract one aspect of a job to another NOMMA member and know they will supply me with quality workmanship. Networking at NOMMA conventions has made ‘tag-teaming’ with other shops possible. NOMMA is an important part of my company.” Though Grainger Metal Works creates walk gates, driveway gates, features (such as over a fireplace or room divider), and furniture, they are primarily a railing shop. Private residences and oceanfront hotels throughout the Myrtle Beach area feature Grainger’s work. One of these includes his awarding-winning stainless steel railing in the Myrtle Beach Radisson Hotel lobby. This project just received the bronze award in NOMMA’s Top Job for Interior Nonferrous Rail for 2004, and proved to be one of the most challenging projects for Grainger Metal Works. The job featured a serpentine stainless steel tube rail with 11/2 inch by 3 inch by 11 gauge rectangular tube rolled the hard way. The challenge came with a large curved staircase. Special tooling was created for a CP 60 rolling machine that produced a controlled helix for the inside and outside radius of the staircase. Carl Grainger’s creativity transfers wonderfully from the drawing table to the metal. One client wanted a railing to look like a saltwater aquarium, so Grainger downloaded pictures of various saltwater tropical fish from the Internet and made eight different fish Fabricator n September/October 2004

templates. The templates were used to plasma cut fish blanks from 11 gauge steel sheet. Then a P-9 Pullmax was used to dish and texture the blanks, turning them into realistic twodimensional fish. Painted to look lifelike, they were attached to a horizontal ocean blue wavy bar railing. Grainger then added some sea grass forged and formed from copper, several forged iron seahorses, four custom light fixtures, and the result was another satisfied customer. Grainger does a lot of forged scrolls in his shop. Full-scale designs are drawn onto a steel table with soapstone. His apprentice then takes a piece of soft solder, shapes it to the design, and then tolls it out to measure it so he knows how long the metal will need to be cut prior to forging. Various scroll forms are used, and sometimes new scroll forms are made for special projects. Leaves and flowers are used to embellish many of the projects for Grainger’s work. While we stand and watch in the blacksmith shop, Carl hammers out a leaf by hand, giving the leaf just the right amount of curvature to bring it to life and add-

Carl crafted this garden gate during a class led by Walt Scadden. Although many clients have offered to buy the gate, it remains “not for sale.” September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Samples of items that Grainger has made in the past, some of which appear to be leftovers from prior jobs, are displayed on the wall of the forging area.

1-888-MH-FENCE Corporate Office: Master-Halco, Inc. 4000 W. Metropolitan Dr., Suite 400 Orange, CA 92868 e-mail:


ing enough veins to insure its leafy texture. Large leaves are forged from aluminum sheet using the power hammers. Some projects require a lot of leaf work or textured material and some projects will be simplistic with clean lines and no forging. By combining blacksmithing techniques and basic fabrication practices, Grainger Metal Works has been set apart from the competition. Grainger also enjoys mixing media such as iron, wood, and glass. His use of nature reflects the Carolina coastal environment; his wading heron and waterfowl in flight above an iron cattail marsh make incredibly distinctive gates. A lot of Grainger’s designs are also influenced by the Charleston, SC heritage. Charleston is well known for its ironwork, and its surrounding areas also reflect Charleston-styled


Samples of metalwork are displayed on the walls of the forging area.

ironwork—as clients often refer to this design style. Creating designs has become much easier with the acquisition of Auto CAD, which Grainger uses to design most of his work. “The CAD drawings allow us to give a more professional presentation to the client.” Many hours of shop time are saved

by first building the project in CAD. Drawings are then produced for the shop. “CAD has been one of the best tools purchased for our company.” Besides all the basic fabricating tools and equipment, the shop has two gas forges, a coal forge, two power hammers—a Little Giant 50# and a Big Blu Air Hammer—and a Pullmax P-9, which is used for dishing, planishing, and creating texture. Grainger has recently added a batch oven powder coat system so that he can offer the best possible finished product for his clients. He also feels that his service gives him an advantage over the competition. Though Grainger gets customers either through the Yellow Pages or his website, many come to him through referrals. He likes everything he creates to be pleasing to the eye and will turn jobs down if he does not agree with the concept of the design. “One of the things that makes us unique is that we offer a complete in-house package for our customers: CAD drawings and design service, custom forgings, manufacture, powder coating, faux finishing, and installation service.” When Grainger first went into business for himself, he wasn’t sure he could afford the cost of NOMMA membership, but now he says the dues are worth every penny. NOMMA keeps the membership abreast of the latest developments and information about the trade. Education in his trade has been important to Grainger, and NOMMA plays an important role in education. “I have found NOMMA to be a very sharing and open organization. When I have asked for information I have never had anyone say, ‘I’m not telling you, call somebody else.’ I now have access to many other reputable blacksmiths and fabricators.” Carl Grainger has been able to give back to NOMMA in a unique way. At the recent NOMMA convention in Sacramento, he used auctioneering skills he remembered from his grandfather’s tobacco auctioneer days to help raise money for the NOMMA Education Foundation. “The auction was a lot of fun, and it was one small way for me to help this organization that’s been so beneficial for me.” Fabricator n September/October 2004

Job Profile

Tropical fish add the perfect touch

New Castle Iron won three-fold by designing and fabricating a railing for a two-story home along South Florida’s Intra Coastal Waterway. The rail’s sea life pleased the client and the job’s fabricators, and won New Castle Iron a silver 2004 Top Job award.

This solid aluminum rail features a variety of sea creatures made of aluminum plate. All of the marine life is two sided, and hammered and textured.

By Susan Dunsmoor New Castle Iron Inc.

For your information

There comes a time working in a blacksmith shop when a job comes through the door that although small, proposes to be a challenge but fun as well. Such a project came to our shop, New Castle Iron Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, about a year ago. Our client was remodeling his home in an area called Lighthouse Point, just 10 miles north of the shop. He had a prime location right on the Intra Coastal Waterway, the highway of water that runs parallel to the beach just inland by a quarter of a mile. The two-story home had a great view, plus a dock with a sport fishing boat that could be out on the ocean in no time. So this guy loved the water and knew all about fish. His request was for a 13-foot railing to be installed on the inside of the home, on a second floor balcony that not only overlooked the waterway to the east, but also looked down into his large living room to the west, through French doors. The house was being September/October 2004 n Fabricator

renovated in the “Key West” style, which basically means a metal roof, pastel colors, and a very airy beach feeling. One of his goals with this railing (other than safety) was to leave the French doors open, let the ocean air through, and have something unique to look at. As for the look of the rail, he pictured seeing something he loved, tropical fish. He imagined an underwater scene of fish and vegetation that would complete the feel of the house. In the living room he had installed a large saltwater tank that contained live corals and an assortment of fish, shrimp, and anemone that were amazing to look at. This was a good reference for us but intimidating because the live specimen was right there to compare! And so there was the challenge: How to get a good representation of a coral reef setting into a 3-foot by 13-foot space. The client had a list of the fish he wanted to see on the railing, but he left the design and engineering up to us. So the two artists of the shop, Sharon Blondet and myself, set to sketching out a



NOMMA member: New Castle Iron Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Project: A 13-foot railing filled with tropical sea life. Award: 2004 silver Top Job, interior railings—forged category. Fabricators: New Castle’s lead blacksmith, Bo Davis, hammered out the rail’s bottom scrolls and its heavy vine-like posts, while Sharon Blondet and Susan Dunsmoor designed, fabricated, and attached various sea life requested by the client. Challenge: Positioning the features in a way that they complimented each other.


Once the frame was in place, the two artists began arranging the elements. One of the challenges of this job was aligning all the features in such a way that they complimented one another.

lightweight as possible. The other reason was because I had already gained some fish forming skills, having just made two marlins out of aluminum not long before this. Our first concern was making the frame of the rail look natural (no straight lines) and yet still be strong and safe. Our lead blacksmith, Bo Davis, hammered out the bottom scrolls and the heavy vine-like posts, and helped us figure out the top rail. We wanted it to look like the light waves you see on the water. Bo welded up the frame for us then left us to our fish. The fun begins

rough idea of how it would all come together. We worked out the details of the rail’s structure and its attachment points. Then, using the list of tropical fish requested, we filled the drawing with sea life and grasses, leaving a lot

of room for improvisation. The drawing was approved, and so the fabrication began. We decided to make the railing out of aluminum for two reasons. One reason was to have the rail be as


This was absolutely the best part of the whole job. We had sorted out our different fish and drawn them on paper. Then we both chose the creatures we would work on. There is quite a variety of species, so we each had our work to do. Sharon chose the turtle, sea fan, and the school of grunts. I took on the queen angelfish, barracuda, stingray, and hogfish. On the original list the client had requested a grouper. I struggled with this very wide fish, trying to figure out how to make it work on such a flat plane. Then the client, during one of his many visits to watch the progress, suggested something thinner such as the hogfish. I didn’t really know this fish, but it fit perfectly, and I knew it well by the end of the project. We did a lot of research on all the species we were making. From the

The client provided a list of sea life he wanted included. Most of the creatures were formed from aluminum plate. Fabricator n September/October 2004

library and friends we found books to draw from. They had to be perfect because the owner of this railing would know if they looked wrong. The majority of the fish are made from .090 aluminum plate. We drew out our shapes on the plate, cut them on the band saw, and then annealed the plate. For creases and veins we used our Pullmax machine. Most of the work is hand hammered and formed. Each side of the fish had to be formed then welded together to create the full shape. I found that aluminum rivets made great eyes, after using a center punch to indent the center. The smaller fish were cut out of quarter inch plate and then shaped with grinding wheels. A little experimentation

Once we got the ball rolling, we tried different techniques for different effects. Sharon used expanded metal for the fan. I used the treadle hammer and a half-moon shaped chisel for scales. We textured varying thicknesses of round bar for vines to con-

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

The railing was installed in the client’s living room on the second floor. By day it provides a nice silhouette and in the evening the lights bring out the iridescent effect in the finish.

nect the whole picture and gradually started to piece everything together. Near the end of the fabrication, we started making small additions to the scene. I felt an anemone (like the one in the tank) was necessary, so I made it with a small clownfish nestled inside. Sharon wanted to see a sea urchin, so she welded small bits of welding rod to a ball and fit it in. We added the starfish, another anemone, and even a seahorse. There were plenty of creatures we were willing to fabricate, but there was not enough

space to fit them all. When we finally felt we couldn’t put any more onto the railing for fear of crowding, we added our attachment brackets and prepped it for paint. We sprayed the entire rail with a black acrylic semi-gloss paint. Sharon wanted to experiment with an acrylic paint she found at our local art store that left an iridescent effect in the color. This worked really well and allowed us to play with the different shades. What we achieved was an underwater feel of shimmering light and color.


Once the main elements were placed, extra details were added throughout the scene, such as this small sea anemone, which seems to have captured a clownfish.

After we put on the finishing touches it was time to install. The client was so excited to finally have the railing in his home. It took two of us hauling ropes from the French doors and two of us on ladders in the living room to get the rail into the right spot without ruining the paint on the wall. All those fish and plants have sharp edges that even grabbed at us a few times! We managed to get it bolted into place with no problem. The final act was to hook the seahorse onto the purple fan, where he blows in the breeze like he’s swimming. The project is a success

The silhouette of the railing during the day makes the whole space come alive, and at night, the lights of the living area accent the colors and iridescence of this tropical garden. The customer and his family were very happy with the end result. His children really loved it, and they knew the names of all the fish. They were pleased to have something unique in their home, and we were equally pleased to have had the opportunity of creating something like this. So a small, interesting challenge gave us a chance to try new techniques and have some fun. We entered the piece into the NOMMA Top Job competition, and were thrilled to get a silver award in the Interior Railings - Forged category. After all this, I now own a nice collection of books on fish, and I am A stingray swims through vegetation. able to hammer out a bar56

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Cover story

Job Profile

right: This all aluminum structure is 24 feet in diameter and 12 feet high. It serves as a 4th floor pool deck bar shelter at an exclusive beachfront condominium.

The Regent ‘flying saucer’ fabricator’s excellent reputation won them this difficult deck shelter project. All components of the 24-foot saucer were fabricated in aluminum. By Rick Holloway Sunmaster of Naples Inc. Sunmaster of Naples Inc. has been operating in Naples, FL since 1969, providing quality canvas awnings, storm protection, and architectural aluminum. Our list of satisfied customers is the cornerstone of our success. Architects, builders, and homeowners have specified Sunmaster for years because they know they can rely on us to satisfy their needs. Case in point is a recent project we like to call the Flying Saucer. The architect (Smith/ Barnes Architecture from Tampa, FL) on this particular project has incorporated aluminum and canvas structures into every beachfront building he has designed over the past 15 years. He confidently integrated this aluminum structure, which serves as a pool deck bar and shelter on the fourth floor of a 25-story, 37-unit beachfront condominium, as well, knowing that Sunmaster would be the one able to accomplish the difficult task.

Materials, fabrication, and finish

The saucer is a 24-foot diameter circular, all aluminum structure standing 12 feet September/October 2004 n Fabricator

high. It’s free standing, an architectural element designed to draw attention and to provide sun shelter and partial rain protection during social gatherings. The saucer’s diameter cores, 24 foot-outside and eightfoot inside, are made from 12-inch Sched. 40 pipe, 6061-T6 alloy. It’s remarkable that the inner core for such a large diameter pipe was bent to such a tight radius. But we located a firm (Kottler Metal) out of Toledo, OH to bend these tight radiuses using a Roto-Form internal bender. These two radiuses consist of four pieces each, which we then welded together to complete each circle. The saucer’s four vertical supports are 8-inch Sched. 40 aluminum pipe, again 6061-T6 alloy. The awning rafters are 11/2 inch schedule 80 aluminum pipe (same alloy) numbering 32 rafters, which match the 32 vertical pickets on the 4-foot radius inner core. Likewise, the underneath canvas panels are supported by the same size framework and add to the floating ambience of the saucer. The framework of the structure was completed at our shop, where we first constructed it upside down using a laser transit to lay it out. Once the base was built, the inner/

For your information


n The

NOMMA Member: Sunmaster of Naples Inc., Naples, FL. Architect: Smith/Barnes Architecture, Tampa, FL. Primary materials: Various sizes of Sched. 40 and Sched. 80 aluminum pipe, 6061 T-6 alloy make up the saucer and its supports. The canvas fabric cover was hand patterned to fit the framework then fabricated using heat-sealed seams. Finish: Pittsburgh PittTech One Pack Interior/ Exterior High Performance Waterborne Satin DTM Industrial Enamels 90-474 Series was applied using an airless, hand spray method. Installation: A “Lull” All Terrain Forklift and six Genie lifts were used to maneuver the structure into position.


outer rings and columns were braced and then moved to the outside so we could add the upper awning framework. Since the construction of this framework uses different sizes of pipe, every piece was coped as dictated by the pipe diameter at that specific joint. On many of the joints we had to preheat the heavier pipe to a temperature of 700 degrees to begin welding. The final touches on the structure consist of light fixtures which were mounted on their own 8-inch diameter mount protruding from the lower ring with all wiring concealed internally. The aluminum structures utilized throughout the entire project were finished in Pittsburgh Pitt-Tech One Pack Interior/Exterior High

One of the last touches was to add a lighting system to the lower, 8-inch tube.

Covering the unit is a fabric cover that was hand patterned to fit the framework.

Performance Waterborne Satin DTM Industrial Enamels 90-474 Series. This 100 percent acrylic resin was applied using an airless hand-spray method. The fabric cover was hand patterned to fit the framework then fabricated using heat-sealed seams. There were two basic pieces to the top cover with the vertical inner core sewn to the center of the top cover at 90 degrees. This piece was attached to the framework using a single-lug hem with stainless steel grommets laced around the perimeter and inner core. The eight underneath floating panels (of the same fabric) were double wrapped and tek screwed on the backside for concealment.

The giant unit is transported across the shop lot. All total, the frame weighed 5,600 lbs. 58

Fabricator n September/October 2004


The unit was transported, via permit, using a two-car police escort at 4 a.m. because its wide width extended into three traffic lanes. As the bare white frame was moving down the street with the darkened sky behind it, the trailer and police lights flashing, it appeared to be a “Flying Saucer” going through the streets of Naples. Upon arriving at our job site, the awning was picked up by a “Lull” All Terrain Forklift, transported to the rear of the condominium, and lifted up to deck by a 75-ton crane. While this sounds fairly simple, it had rained the night before so the crane couldn’t get close enough to the building for a direct set (the crane’s rear outriggers were off the ground—boomed out to the max). So we had to set it short of its destination on the deck. We then used a Lull and six Genie lifts to maneuver the structure into position. Half of the structure had to fit under an overhang from an upper floor with very close tolerances. The structure weighed 5,750 pounds, so our lifting ability with the Genies was maxed out. Six Genies were holding half the

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

right: In its final resting place, half of the structure is covered by the floor above. The frame was lifted to the deck using a crane, and then slid into place using Genie lifts. Approximate labor time for fabrication and installation was 405 hrs.


left: With the lights from the police cars and truck, the assembly really did look like a flying saucer. top: The unit is lowered into place.

weight, and the balance was on the Lull (which we couldn’t see) so we had to use radio communication. We were worried that if one Genie failed, we’d be overloaded and could face a major failure. In addition to being hampered by limited overhead clearance, the frame had to fit inside the concrete bar structure over previously-mounted partial columns. The four partial supports were 8-inch diameter by 3/4inch wall thickness round aluminum tube, which we had mounted into the concrete deck before the bar was constructed. The lower column section was set below grade using 3/4 inch stainless steel all-thread set in Epcon over poured concrete. The splice was accomplished by using 8-inch billet stock turned down in size to fit inside the diameter. It was plugged eight times around the base and eight times around the upper rim using 1 inch pieces of bar stock that were pinned and welded on site. The saucer is only one of the many amenities adorning this beachfront residential high-rise. The building has two separate estate homes per floor with floor plans from 7,481 square feet to 12,050 air-conditioned square feet. As you can imagine, the quality of craftsmanship is held to a very high and expensive standard. With that in mind, the architect had no hesitations knowing that Sunmaster was on the job.


Fabricator n September/October 2004

Job Profile

Creating a cemetery gate for posterity metalsmith drew on inspiration from the surrounding farm and a nearby burial ground to create this cemetery gate. The design includes a mountain, rising sun, cattle, a bird, and even a small surprise. The columns were found on the property and date back several hundred years. By Thomas Sleeper Sleeper Welding My customers for this gate are Gene and

Evelyn Auger, the grandparents of the couple I made the oak branch and bird fireplace screen that appeared in the July/August 2002 issue Fabricator. I learned about this project when I went with my wife to get hay for her horse. Seeing a newly leveled lot across the dirt country road, I asked the farmer what they were going to build. The reply was that it was their “retirement lot.” Being a little slow I didn’t get the subtle Yankee humor, and he had to explain that they were setting up a family cemetery. They prefer to call it a burial ground. It was about a year later that Evelyn’s mother became terminally ill. This made finishing the burial ground much more urgent. During the few weeks that Evelyn was spending most of her time at the hospiSeptember/October 2004 n Fabricator

tal with her mother, the whole family came together and finished the project. This is the third generation to live on this farm since the family purchased the property in 1914. Gene was born in the farmhouse. It was a large dairy farm at one time, and they still raise a small herd of beef cattle. The state of New Hampshire requires burial grounds to be enclosed with some type of fence. The Augers built a stone wall for theirs. The posts for the gate were granite pillars that they had found on their property and were probably 200 to 300 years old. For the gate threshold they used a well-worn piece of granite that had been a step into their milking parlor. At this point I was contacted to design and build the gate. We met on site and with the dairy farm history and country setting we decided to have some cows and birds. The cemetery was named Shadagee Mountain Burial Ground, and in the design I included a mountain, cows, birds, and a rising (or setting) sun.

For your information


n The

NOMMA Member: Sleeper Welding, Belmont, NH. About the Job: A gate was crafted for a small family cemetery. The main frame is 1” x 2” rectangular tubing and 1/2” x 2” flat. The letters were cut out of 1/4” plate. Installed on a former dairy farm, the gate features grazing cattle, a rising sun, and a Purple Martin in the corner. Whimsy: The “bird” at right is actually an angel. You don’t even see this surprise until you get up close.


In our area there is a cemetery gate with the date 1775 on it. Many times I have looked at that and imagined its builders standing in the same spot 200 years ago admiring the newly completed gate. So 2003 was also put on the gate. I hope it is still there in two centuries to inspire wonder in some future metalworker. For the main frame of the gate I wanted simple yet elegant lines. I normally design several options and let the customers choose what they prefer, but when I got this one down on paper I knew it was the one. The design was approved in early fall and I started building. There was no deadline for installation, but I wanted it done before winter. The top arches were made with 2 x 1/2 inch flat plate. I drew the arches on a large piece of 1/2 inch plate and tacked on angle clips to follow the lines. I then clamped the 2 x 1/2 inch flat stock to the angle clips, and with the help of a rose bud torch forced the arches into place. The sides and bottom of the gate are 1 x 2 inch rectangular tubing.


The bird’s body and wings were cut from steel plate. To create a realistic look, the wings were then heated and cupped. The features were detailed with a thin cut off wheel.

The cows are hand torch cut out of 3/16 inch plate. The legs are cut out separately then welded on and ground off to give them a little bit of a 3D effect. The bird’s body is 3/16 inch plate and the wings are 1/8 inch plate. The wings were heated and bent to be cupped

for flight. The feathers are detailed with a thin cut off wheel. I built the first bird and decided it was too big in proportion to the rest of the gate. After building a second, smaller bird, I decided I had enough of the birds. At this point I started brainstorming on how to turn the bird pattern into an angel. I wanted the angel’s profile to be the same as the bird from a distance, and only when you move in close notice that it had angel features. I gave my wife my bird pattern and asked her to make an angel body to match using the same wing pattern. She did a great job and I think this is the most outstanding feature of the gate. Normally I cut the letters out myself by hand, but due to the large volume of letters and numbers in this project, I contacted my friends at DGF Industrial Innovations. They have a photo eye torch, which was much more time effective. They schooled me on how to make the templates for them out of white poster board. The letters and numbers required very little clean up. It was then easy

Fabricator n September/October 2004

to lay the gate frame flat on the floor with spacers to center the letters and numbers on the gate and weld them on. This probably saved me a week of hand cutting and grinding. The gate was pretty well completed by early October, but something just didn’t look right with the cows heads. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Every October I go to Vermont for bow hunting with a group of friends. I had been putting in long hours at work all summer, and decided to worry about the cow head when I got back. I was really looking forward to a relaxing week with no phones or other work related pressures. Well it just happens our hunt took place on a dairy farm. After sitting for long hours in my tree stand watching the cows eat from the apple tree my stand overlooked, I figured out what had been wrong with the cow heads. I had made them much too rounded in the back. Cow heads come to a flat point

One of the surprises of this gate is the angelic being on the right side. At a distance, it appears to match a similar bird on the left of the gate, but as a person approaches, angelic features can be made out. The halo was painted a light bronze color.

in the back. I’m going to see if I can write that whole trip off on my taxes as research. Once finished I had the gate sandblasted. Then I painted it flat black with oil base paint. The angel’s halo was painted a light bronze color. I did

the sun in bright yellow with the heat rays starting out red and fading to orange over spray, and back to yellow. On installation day I got my wife to help me. We loaded up the gate on my trailer and headed out. We were almost there when I noticed one of the

above & below: The legs were added on top of the body and then grounded off to create a small 3D effect. One of the challenges of this phase was getting the shape of the head correct. After observing cattle during a hunting trip, the fabricator finally determined the correct angles.

September/October 2004 n Fabricator


tires was flat and realized I didn’t have a spare. No big deal with dual axles. I just removed the wheel and chained the axle up so it cleared the ground. So we were back on the road again. I kind of like to time my installations for when the customers are busy so I don’t have an audience while working out the initial bugs. This farm is way out in the country and in all the years we have been going there to get hay, I don’t think I ever saw a car go by. Before I could get started I had a dozen people materialize out of nowhere to watch. Gate installations are usually pretty cut and dry, but this would be my first time attaching to the uneven surface of granite posts. I had made an assortment of spacers to compensate for this. On my second hole I got half way through, and progress slowed.

This nearby cemetery, which features the year 1775 in large numbers, provided some inspiration for the project. The fabricator used this idea and prominately featured the year 2003 in his design.

I turned to my spectators and told them I must have hit a hard spot in the granite. I pulled out my brand

5186-F Longs Peak Road, Berthoud, CO 80513


new hammer drill bit, and the carbide tip was gone. That was the end of the show for that day. I was afraid the carbide was still in the granite, ready to kill the next new drill bit. We loaded up and headed back to the shop. About two miles from the farm I looked back and I had another flat tire on the trailer. It’s a good thing my wife has heard “bad words” before. My trailer is 8 feet, 6 inches wide and the dirt road was barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass one another. Leaving the trailer was not an option. I decided to sacrifice the rim and tire and drag it back to the farm. As we clop, clop, clopped up the road at two miles per hour, past the half dozen or so houses on our way back to the farm, we were drawing strange looks from everyone we passed. Trying to read their minds it was obvious they were not going to nominate us into the Mensa Society. I went back the following day with plenty of spare tires and drill bits. I then drilled the problem hole starting in from the back. Could I line the drill up so it was straight enough to be in line with the hole drilled from the other side? Would the carbide in the center eat my drill bit? It worked and the rest of the installation went smooth. The Auger family got together for Thanksgiving at which time the extended family got their first look at the gate. I’m sure many more generations of Augers will enjoy this connection to their past and future. The approximate time to fabricate, Fabricator n September/October 2004

Biz Side

Lessons I learned from my sales manager

It really adds up to inspire your sales

team to perform at their very best.

What you’ll learn!

By Dave Kahle The DaCo Corp. I was in the depths of a major depression. As

a third year salesperson with a good company, I was doing well, and was on my way to becoming the top salesperson in the nation for that company. But business had slowed down a little, and I didn’t have my usual number of proposals out for consideration. So, I wasn’t as busy as usual. As my activity slowed, I began to worry. My doubts increased to the point where I had thought myself into a real depression, stuck on the question of “What’s the use of trying?” The more negative my thoughts became, the less energy I had. My lack of energy led to fewer and fewer sales calls, which of course, led to less activity. And that led to more depressing thoughts. I was caught in a downward spiral. It was then that I caught a glimpse of what a professional sales manager is like. Ned was my boss—a sales manager of the highest caliber. He could see the symptoms of my sour state spilling over into

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

everything I was doing. So Ned intervened. He arranged to have lunch with me, and listened patiently as I rambled on and on about my problems, my doubts, and my lack of activity. Finally, after I had dumped all my depression and negative thoughts on him, he looked me straight in the eye and said, with all the authority and resolve of someone who is absolutely sure of what they are saying, “Kahle, that’s enough.” I was stunned. I was expecting empathy, an understanding shoulder to cry on. Instead, I got a simple, straightforward mandate. Ned knew me well enough to cut through the fluff and come right to the heart of the matter. He said, “That’s enough. That’s enough feeling sorry for yourself. That’s enough thinking all these negative thoughts. That’s enough sitting back and not working as hard as you’re used to. Stop it. You’re better than all this. Stop it right now, today, and get your ..... back to work.” He saw my situation clearly. And he provided me the direction I needed. That conversation turned me around. I left my depression and negativity at that lunch table, and started back into my job with a renewed

For your information


n A valued mentor provides life-long advice on how to hire, motivate, and inspire a sales force. While this article is geared toward salespersons, the rules of thumb can be applied to any manager-employee relationship.

Challenge: Developing a sales professional requires an understanding of the “total person.” About the author: Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who helps his clients increase their sales and improve their sales productivity. Dave has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful in the Information Age economy. He’s the author of over 500 articles, a monthly e-zine, and five books. His latest book is 10 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople. You can join Dave’s FREE “Thinking About Sales Ezine” online at: http://www. htm, or register for his monthly phone seminars at: http://www.davekahle. com.


Ned knew that a salesperson was essentially a loaner, an individual who did most of his/her most important work alone. sense of the possible. A year later I was the number one salesperson in the nation for that company. What made the difference in my performance was the skillful intervention of an astute and professional sales manager. He made the difference in my job performance, and that made a difference in my standing with that company. And that made a difference in my career. And that lead me to my current practice. It’s entirely possible that I would not be doing what I do now, speaking and consulting with sales forces around the world, if it weren’t for his timely intervention. All of us have become what we are, at least in part, due to the impact other people have had on us. A professional sales manager is gifted with a rare and precious opportunity—the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the lives of his/her charges. I so value the role that Ned played in my

career, that the last paragraph on the “Acknowledgment” page of my first book reads, “Finally, I must make a special, post-humus acknowledgement of the contribution made by Ned Shaheen, the best manager I ever worked for... It was Ned who, years ago, urged me to ‘write the book...’” So what does this have to do with being a “Professional Sales Manager?” During my 30 plus years of sales experience and 16 years of experience as a sales consultant and sales trainer, I’ve encountered many sales managers. Some have been good, many mediocre. But Ned was the best sales manager I ever met. He serves as a model for me. We can learn a number of lessons from him. lesson

Understand the difference between a salesperson and sales manager

First, Ned knew the differ-

ence between the job of a salesperson and that of a sales manager. He had been a great salesperson—like many sales managers around the world—and had been promoted to sales manager. Yet he knew the jobs of sales manager and salesperson are completely different. A salesperson is responsible for building accounts and making sales. A sales manager, while ultimately responsible for the same results, understands that his/ her job is to achieve those means through other people. A sales manager builds people, who in turn build the business. Salespeople focus on selling; sales managers focus on building salespeople. As a sales person, I could comfortably take Ned into any account, secure in the knowledge that he wouldn’t try to take over the presentation or usurp my relationship with the customer. I knew Ned was more concerned with me than he was about any one sale. Ned knew that a salesperson was essentially a loaner, an individual who did most of his/her most important work alone. While a sales manager, on the other hand, was a coach, whose only success derived from the success of his team. A sales manager’s best work is always done not with the customers, but with the people he or she supervises. Ultimately, a sales manager is measured by the results achieved by his people. Sales, gross profits, market share, key product selling—all these typical measurements of sales performance are also one of the rulers by which a sales manager is measured. So, an excellent sales manager, like a great soccer coach, is ultimately measured by his numbers. It doesn’t matter how empathetic he is, nor how his players respect or like him,

Ultimately, a sales manager is judged by his or her numbers. That’s why it’s essential to create a winning team. 66

Fabricator n September/October 2004

if year after year he produces a losing team. So it is with a sales manager. Ultimately, an excellent sales manager produces excellent numbers for his company. In the five years that I worked for Ned, my own territory grew by $1 million a year, and the branch for which he was responsible grew from about $6 million to about $30 million. lesson

Take the extra time to hire the right person

Ned was excellent at one of the key competencies of the professional sales manager—he had an eye for talent. He knew how to hire good people. After all, he hired me! Over the years, I watched him take his time, allowing a sales territory to go vacant for months, if necessary, while he waited for the right person to bubble up through his pipeline. Only one of his hires didn’t work out— which gave him an incredible winning percentage. A professional sales manager understands the importance of making the right hire, is always recruiting in order to keep the pipeline of prospective salespeople full, and spares no expense to make sure the person he hires meets all the necessary criteria. When I was hired, I went through four interviews, and a full 10-hour day of tests with an industrial psychologist. With all the time he took to make sure he was hiring the right person, Ned confided in me one day that, “It is more important to fire well then it is to hire well.” He went on to explain that hiring sales people is an extremely difficult task, and that even the best sales managers fail at it frequently. Therefore, it was important to recognize your mistake quickly, and act decisively to fix it. lesson Fire


customers is to persist in a dishonesty. Get to know your sales


Help create an environment that allows your team to reach their full potential.

a salesperson who isn’t working out is both good business as well as good ethics. To allow a mediocre situation to fester to the detriment of the company, the salesperson, and the

Understanding that he works only through his sales people, and that he has the opportunity to make a great impact on his people, a professional sales manager makes it his business to know his people. Ned spent days with me in the field, talking not only about business, but also working at understanding the person I was as well. He’d arrange to meet me for breakfast


A professional sales manager, then, understands that when it is clear that a salesperson is not right for the job, he acts quickly, kindly, and decisively to terminate the individual, allowing both the individual and the company an opportunity to find a better match. Acting quickly to terminate September/October 2004 n Fabricator


Ned let me know that my ways needed to change. At first, I didn’t pay much attention. My numbers were too good for anybody to be concerned. or lunch regularly, even if he weren’t spending the day with me. He wanted to get to know my wife as well, and paid close attention to her opinions. Several times over the five years we went to dinner as a foursome. I could never stop in the office without being expected to sit in his office and talk about things. And, of course, there was the annual pig roast at his house, where all his salespeople and their families were invited to

spend a fun day while the pig roasted over the spit. I was always a person to les- Ned, never just a “salesperson son.” Don’t be afraid to reprimand

Because he took the time to get to know me, he was equipped with the knowledge of exactly how to best manage me. And he always saw the potential in me, and was ready to cor-

rect me when necessary. In the first year of my employment, I was earning the reputation among the inside customer support and purchasing people of being difficult and demanding. I was a hot-shot superstar who didn’t take their feelings into consideration and came into the office and dumped work on them. Ned let me know that my ways needed to change. At first, I didn’t pay much attention. My numbers were too good for anybody to be concerned. So Ned let me know a second time that I was going to have to change. The situation was so acute, that the operations manager was lobbying to get me fired! Guided by his firm hand, I swallowed my pride, adopted a more humble attitude, and bought all the customer service reps a six pack of premium beer as a gift. My stock inside the company sprung up dramatically, my ways corrected, and my future assured. lesA professional sales manson ager guides and corrects his charges in order to help them achieve their potential. Set an example by continually learning

Ned never stopped learning. He would often tell me about seminars he’d attended, books he’d read, or ideas he’d picked up by talking with other people. He knew that he never “knew it all.” So it is with every professional sales manager. A real professional never stops learning. He understands that the world is changing rapidly, continually demanding new skills, new ideas, and new competencies

Take the time to know your sales team. 68

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from him. At the same time, his salespeople and their customers are changing also. So, he understands that he has a challenge to continuously grow and improve, to learn more and become better at his job. Sales management isn’t just a job, it’s a challenge of a lifetime of improvement. One more observation...

Understanding that a professional sales manager is only successful when his charges are successful, an excellent sales manager supports, encourages and gives his sales people the credit. It was the fourth year of my tenure, and Ned was lobbying for me to be awarded the “Salesperson of the year” award. It was given not only for sales performance, but for more subjective things like supporting the company’s objectives and ethics, getting along with other people in the company, etc. The award was a great honor, and extremely difficult to win. Each sales manager nominated their favorite salesperson, and lobbied for one of their charges with the company’s

While it’s good to set your star sales people on a pedestal, it’s also important to know when to correct them.

executives, who made the final choice. The annual awards banquet was held at an exclusive country club, where the men wore tuxedos and the women formal evening gowns. When dinner was done, the speeches were finished, and the lesser awards announced, it came time for the big one, the one I wanted. The climate was tense and expectant. The entire room silent as the time approached for the announcement. Then, as the company president

announced my name, it was Ned who thrust his fist in the air and shouted “YES!” The photograph that hangs on my bedroom wall shows me shaking hands with the president and accepting the award. Look carefully and you’ll see Ned standing proudly in the background. There is a song that I find particularly moving. Perhaps you know the words made popular by Bette Midler. It goes like this: “It must have been lonely there in my shadow... Without the sun upon your face I was the one with all the glory You were the one with all the strength. I can fly higher than an eagle Because you are the wind beneath my wings.” Want to excel as a sales manger? Want to be a true professional? Look at your job as a unique opportunity to impact others, to select, correct, support and encourage your salespeople,

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. September/October 2004 n Fabricator


Biz Side

Selling your business??? Unlock the secrets of a successful sale n If you’ve been thinking about selling your shop, here are some things you need to know to make your transaction a success. By William J. Lynott You may not be planning to sell your business right now, and that may be a good thing. We may be just coming off the worst time in a decade to be a seller in the business marketplace. But, here’s the good news: Better times for sellers are coming­—and soon. After the 1990s, a decade that saw business sellers calling their own tunes, 2000 ushered in something else besides the beginning of a new millennium—a precipitous drop in business mergers and acquisitions. The following year, 2001, was worse. According to the research firm Mergerstat, total dollar volume for acquisitions and mergers in 2001 and 2002 dropped nearly 50 percent from 2000. However, we interviewed two veteran business intermediaries who told us that the worst is probably behind us. With buyers on the sidelines for several years and the economy showing signs of perking up, business sales almost certainly will follow suit. Business broker Herman Petrecca, Business Connection Plus, Warminster, PA, specializes in small business sales. He goes further. “In our part of the country, buyers 70

already exceed sellers by a wide margin in the small-business market.” Timing is an important factor in selling a business and, while this may or may not be the best time to put your shop on the block, any time is a good time to be getting it ready. If you have any notion of selling your business in the near future, take these steps to make sure that you bring a Cinderella to market and not an ugly duckling. Plan ahead

“Last minute, emotional decisions to sell a business seldom end up with a satisfactory sale,” says business intermediary Dick Marsh, R.H. Marsh Associates, Jenkintown, PA. “I often receive phone calls from business owners who have had a frustrating day. ‘I’ve had it,’ they say. ‘I want to sell my business.’ That’s a recipe for failure.” Petrecca agrees. He says, “One of the biggest mistakes owners of small businesses make is failing to plan in advance for the eventual sale of their companies.”   Selling a small business can be a demanding challenge in the hottest of markets. “Your best chance for getting the deal you want is always sensible preparation,” says Marsh. Our experts agree that preparing a busi-

For your information


What you’ll learn!

Plan ahead: Don’t sell in an emotional mood. Remain realistic: While the business may seem worth more to you, remember that the buyer will be viewing it through an objective lens. Document your business: A buyer will likely want to view several years of financial statements. Prepare a seller’s document: Describe your business and tell why it’s worth purchasing. Tell your employees: It’s better to break it to them up front. Seek professional help: You’ll likely only sell a business once in your life, so it pays to get it right. About the author: William J. Lynott is a freelance business writer for the manufacturing and construction industry.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

“Last minute, emotional decisions to sell a business seldom end up with a satisfactory sale.” — Dick Marsh, R.H. Marsh Associates ness for sale takes more than a few weeks of cosmetic touch-up. Potential buyers will examine your business with a cold, calculating eye. Unless they see the likelihood of an excellent return on their investment, they’ll move on. Therein lies the rub. Human nature being what it is, many business owners start to think about selling out when business is slow and profits are sluggish. “That’s exactly the wrong time to sell a business,” says Marsh. “Nothing is more attractive to a potential buyer than a couple of years of solid growth in gross volume and net income. Nothing will scare off a buyer more quickly than a business that seems stuck in the doldrums.” Preparing your shop for sale, then, calls for bringing it into a state of robust health. When it looks so good to you that you begin wondering why you want to sell it, then it’s probably ready for the market.

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Keep a realistic view of your shop’s value

It’s understandable: You gave birth to the business, nurtured it, and lived with it during good times and bad. It’s part of you. There is a genuine emotional attachment between you, your business, and your clientele. Sadly, your potential buyer doesn’t care a whit about your emotional relationship with your business. A buyer has one interest above all others: Can I make this business a success and what return can I expect from my investment? That’s why you need to work hard to divorce yourself from emotional considerations and look at your business from the viewpoint of a coldhearted investor. Any business broker can tell you stories about sellers who place unrealistic selling prices on their businesses because they are too emotionally involved to be objective. Dick Marsh offers this advice: “Ask

yourself: Would I pay my asking price for this shop if I were buying it? If the answer is no, it’s time for you to reevaluate.” Document the progress of your business

“The first thing a sophisticated buyer will want to see is three to five years of financial reports in a form that follows conventional accounting standards,” says Marsh. A prospective buyer or his accountant isn’t going to be satisfied with claims that your shop is actually more profitable than financial records indicate. Many shop owners are lax in preparation and maintenance of conventional operating statements and balance sheets. Most business brokers have heard prospective sellers say something like, “My accountant charges too much for those fancy reports. I don’t need them to run my business.” Perhaps not, but a seller who hopes to get a fair price for a business is going to have to demon-


Potential buyers will examine your business with a cold, calculating eye. Unless they see the likelihood of an excellent return on their investment, they’ll move on. strate its true financial condition in black and white. You may or may not need full balance sheets and operating statements to run your business, but you most certainly will need them if you expect to sell it. “When you’re ready to sell,” says Petrecca, “you should have copies of all documentation related to the business—leases, a list of capital equipment, manuals, accounts receivable and payable, tax returns, all disclosures, etc. It is also important to have a written description of the business, a current marketing plan, and projections for the future.” It is in this area that many entrepreneurs come up short, say our experts. Paperwork may not be your favorite activity in business, but when it’s time to sell, any inability or unwillingness on your part to produce the required information will tarnish your offering in the marketplace.


Don’t drop the ball

“It’s not uncommon,” says Dick Marsh, “for a seller to neglect the business once it’s been put up for sale. That’s a big mistake. Any evidence that a business may be going downhill is a serious red flag to prospective buyers.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can charm potential buyers with excuses or rosy projections of what your shop could be under different circumstances. Instead, you can expect them and their accountants to cast a jaundiced eye on your past and present performance as a gauge of your company’s market value. Prepare a seller’s document

“Seller’s document” may be a phrase that you haven’t heard about but when you decide to sell your business, it can be an extraordinarily valuable tool.

Briefly, you create a seller’s document to tell prospective buyers about your business and why they should buy it. A good one will contain, at the least, a brief history of the business, a description of the products and services you offer, observations about your local market and prospects for growth, and a frank look at the competition. While large businesses often create elaborate brochures with glossy photos and lengthy chapters, singlelocation shop owners need not go to such lengths. A two-page summary neatly typed and grammatically correct is often enough. Most important is the content. If you engage a business broker to sell your business, she will be able to help you prepare your seller’s document. How can you tell if your seller’s document will do the job? “A good seller’s document will answer 80 percent of the questions that a prospective buyer is likely to ask,” says Dick Marsh. Decide what to tell employees

Fabricator n September/October 2004

For a variety of reasons, many business sellers are reluctant to tell their employees that the business is up for sale. “In my view,” says Marsh, “that’s a mistake. They’re going to find out eventually. In fact, it’s almost impossible to keep employees from knowing that a business is for sale. When they eventually find out, resentment is certain.” Petrecca agrees. “A small business owner should definitely inform his employees about his plan to sell the business. If they find out from anyone other than you, you will almost certainly lose their respect and loyalty. That, in turn could influence prospective buyers.” Both of our experts agree that the timing and the manner of informing employees are very sensitive. “It’s important,” says Petrecca, “to respect your employees’ concerns about their futures. Anything you can do to demonstrate your concern for them will help everyone.” Get professional help

Getting assistance in preparing your seller’s document is far from the only reason that you should engage professional help. It is very difficult for a small business owner to place a realistic price on his business. Experience suggests that using a professional business broker to sell your business is likely to bring the most satisfactory results, including the best net return for you. However, if your business is small, say under $1 million in annual sales, it may be difficult for you to find a broker. Or you may be reluctant to pay a broker’s fee (typically 8 to 10 percent of the first $1 million scaling downward after that). If you intend to put your business on the market without the services of a broker, you need, at the very least, a good accountant and a good attorney. Both should be experienced in business sales. The sale of a business, even a very small business, is a complex transaction rife with potential frustrations and legal pitfalls. Dick Marsh summarizes it this way: “If you’re like the great majority of business sellers, you’ll do the job only once in your lifetime. That means you need to get it September/October 2004 n Fabricator


NOMMA Education Foundation In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

The latest news and activities of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Meet the Foundation’s newest trustees

Meet new Trustees Charles Mercer of Hallmark Iron Works Inc., Newington, VA and James Minter Jr. of Imagine Ironworks, Brookhaven, MS Charles Mercer Hallmark Iron Works Inc. Newington, VA Charles Mercer is president and owner of Hallmark Iron Works, a company that has a long tradition of supporting education in the industry. Hallmark’s founder, Clifford H. Brown, was a past NOMMA president and a long-time advocate of industry education. To honor Mr. Brown’s memory, in 2002 the company committed to make an annual contribution to the Foundation. In return, the Board of Trustees approved the Clifford H. Brown Award, which is now given each year to a NOMMA member who has made outstanding contributions toward industry education and training. Hallmark was founded in 1966, and Mr. Mercer joined the firm a few years later after graduating from college. He initially began part-time and did everything from working in the paint department to driving delivery trucks. Other jobs he has held include leading an erection crew, shop mechanic, draftsman, and estimator. In 1998 he and his wife Wendy purchased the firm from the Brown family. Today, the 39-year-old company is a distinguished firm that has won several awards and has completed many famous jobs, including projects at the White House, Vietnam Memorial, and Reagan National Airport. The firm employs about 85 people and has sales of about $12 million a year. The firm specializes in commercial and industrial work, and their clientele includes schools, offices, and government facilities. Mr. Mercer has sat on many boards during his career, and he brings to the Board of Trustees a wealth of experience and new ideas.

Auction Items Needed A “thank you” goes to everyone who contributed items to this year’s Silent Auction. If you would like to provide an item for 2005, it’s a good idea to begin work on your project early. For information on how to donate, please call the NOMMA office at (404) 363-4009.


James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS What James Minter, Jr. lacks in longevity with NOMMA, he more than makes up for it with his enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. A relative newcomer to NOMMA, Mr. Minter attended his first convention in 2002 in Galveston, TX and immediately caught “NOMMA fever.” He has since attended the last two NOMMA conventions and because of his passion for education, he was asked to serve on the Convention Education Committee. More recently, he was named a Foundation trustee. Already, he has gotten highly involved in the education program and he provided valuable input into the 2005 education program. He also attended his first trustee meeting in August. Imagine Ironworks is primarily a residential ornamental shop, and has crafted projects throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. The company is part of B & O Machine and Welding Co., which was purchased by Mr. Minter’s father in 1979. Mr. Minter Jr. joined the firm a year later and then purchased the company in 1998. While B & O has done ornamental work for years, Imagine Ironworks was created in 2002 to solely concentrate in this area. Currently, plans are to move the 44-year-old company into a new shop building. Mr. Minter and his wife Sue are particularly proud of their 12-year-old son. When not running the business or parenting, he pursues his other interest of acting and he is involved with two theatre organizations. He also holds

Improved On-Line Ordering Coming in September Ordering publications on the web will be much easier thanks to a new on-line ordering form. With the secured form, visitors can quickly choose from nearly 50 books, videos, sales aids, and CDs available for sale. Important: Members should first “log on” at the NOMMA website and then proceed to the Member’s Only area. From there you can order all items at the lower member rate.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

n Educatio NOMMA ces... u d o tr In on Foundati

Our Latest Publication

A Concise Dictionary of Architectural Terms By John Henry Parker First published in 1846, this illustrated dictionary of architecture was so successful that the author revised it several times. It remains one of the best guides to hundreds of terms used in Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance architecture. Architects and students of architecture will find the reference indispensable; tourists will appreciate it as a portable guide to features of historical buildings. Illustrations of many British cathedrals, castles, and parish churches, used as examples. The 344 page book contains nearly 500 architectural terms and 499 illustrations that cover everything from window components to column parts. The book is ideal for period recreations, restorations, and for working with architects on historic projects. It is a “must� for any ornamental and architectural metalworking library.

Now Available

Support the NOMMA Education Foundation....

To order, call: (404) 363-4009

Your tax-deductible gift is an investment in our industry.

The foundation provides a wide assortment of educational resources for the industry. Technique video series

Custom publications

Professional business speakers

History & design books

Hands-on continuing education

q I will help the NOMMA Education Foundation deliver quality education programs and services for the industry. Name:__________________________________________________________________________ Company:_______________________________________________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________________________ City:_________________________________State:___________Zip:________________________ Phone:_______________________ Fax:____________________ E-mail:_____________________ I would like to pledge: q $100 q $500 q $1,000 q Other $_______ Type of donation: q Individual q Company Check One: q Check q Credit Card (choose type below) q Visa q MasterCard q Discover q American Express Card Number: ______________________________________________________Exp. Date: ____/_____

If paying by check or credit card please include this form, along with remittance, and send to:

NOMMA Education Foundation

532 Forest Pkwy., Ste. A Forest Park, GA 30297 Phone: 404-363-4009 Fax: 404-366-1852

Name on Card:__________________________________Signature:______________________________

September/October 2004 n Fabricator


NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members As of August 30, 2004; Bold denotes new members A Cut Above Distributing 800-444-2999 Action Ornamental Iron 901-795-2200 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. 800-204-3858 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. 800-527-1318 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 Arteferro Miami 305-836-9232 Artist Supplies & Products 800-825-0029 Atlas Metal Sales 800-662-0143 Aztec Castings Inc. 800-631-0018 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 800-526-6293 J. G. Braun Co. 800-323-4072 Builders Fence Co. Inc. 800-767-0367 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. 800-421-6144 Cable Connection 775-885-1443 California Tool & Die 626-969-1821 Carell Corp. 251-937-0947 Chamberlain 800-282-6225 Classic Iron Supply 800-367-2639 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 800-446-4402 CML USA Inc. 563-391-7700 Colorado Waterjet Co. 866-532-5404 Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. 800-535-9842 Custom Orn. 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 800-444-6271 DKS, DoorKing Systems 800-826-7493 Robert J. Donaldson Co. 856-629-2737 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 251-937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply Inc. 800-343-8154 Eastern Ornamental Supply Inc. 800-590-7111 Elegant Aluminum Products Inc. 800-546-3362 Encon Electronics 800-782-5598 EURO-FER SRL 011-39-044 5440033 Euro Forgings Inc. 800-465-7143 FABCAD.COM 800-255-9032 FabTrol Systems Inc. 888-322-8765 Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging Inc. 800-888-2418 The G-S Co. 410-284-9549 Gates and Controls 206-767-6224 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. 800-663-6356 Glaser USA 888-668-8427 Glasswerks LA Inc. 800-350-4527


GTO Inc. 800-543-4283 Hartford Standard Co. 270-298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC 800-346-4296 Hebo / Stratford Gate Systems 503-658-2881 House of Forgings 281-443-4848 Indiana Gratings Inc. 800-634-1988 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. 817-284-3326 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. 800-667-9101 The Iron Shop 800-523-7427 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 Krieger eK Wrought Iron Systems 011-49-64-258-1890 Lavi Industries 800-624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. 800-624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. 800-221-5579 Liberty Brass Turning Co. 800-345-5939 Mac Metals Inc. 800-631-9510 Marks U.S.A. 631-225-5400 Master Halco 800-883-8384 Matthews International Corp. 800-628-8439 Metal Amoré 760-747-7200 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 800-467-2464 Frank Morrow Co. 800-556-7688 Multi Sales 800-421-3575 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. 800-526-7051 Production Machinery Inc. 410-574-2110 R & B Wagner Inc. 800-786-2111 R & S Automation Inc. 800-543-6001 Regency Railings Inc. 214-742-9408 Rik-Fer USA 877-838-0900 Robertson Grating Products Inc. 877-638-6365 Robinson Iron Corp. 800-824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Prod. Co. 800-841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. 940-325-7806 Sahinler Form Metal San. Ve Tic. 011-90-224-455-5465 Scotchman Industries 800-843-8844 SECO South 888-535-7326 Sequoia Brass and Copper 800-362-5255 Sharpe Products 800-879-4418 Sparky Abrasives 800-328-4560

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Stairways Inc. Steel Masters Inc. Stephens Pipe and Steel LLC Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. Sumter Coatings Inc. Tennessee Fabricating Co. Texas Metal Industries Texas Stairs & Rails Inc. Transpacific Industrial Supply Co. Tri-State Shearing & Bending

800-231-0793 602-243-5245 800-451-2612 800-461-0060 866-290-1263 888-471-3400 800-258-4766 800-222-6033 800-633-6874 909-390-8885 718-485-2200

Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Triple-S Chemical Chemical Prod. Tubo Decorado SA de CV Universal Entry Systems Inc. Universal Mfg. Co. Inc. Valley Bronze of Oregon W.G.F. Ironwork Products Center Inc. West Tennessee Ornamental Door Wrought Iron Concepts XCEL Distribution Inc. Yavuz Ferforje A.S.

800-522-4766 800-862-5958 800-345-5939 800-837-4283 800-821-1414 541-432-7551 888-696-6943 866-790-3667 877-370-8000 909-392-0808 011-90-258-2691664

New NOMMA Members

As of August 20, 2004; Asterisk denotes returning members

A & A Ornamental Iron Inc.* Plant City, FL Diego G. Smude Fabricator Artistic Iron Designs Inc. Phoenix, AZ Ted Donavan Fabricator Avery Railings Dubuque, IA Jim Avery Fabricator B2 Design Ltd.* Mooresville, NC Steve Barringer Fabricator Best Metalwork West Palm Beach, FL Glenn Simmons Fabricator Bonfils Iron Works Inc.* Baton Rouge, LA James Bonfils Fabricator Calvary Welding Service Acworth, GA Carl Schmoock Fabricator Cincinnati Iron Works Cincinnati, OH

Philip Petrick Fabricator Conceptual Metalworks San Francisco, CA Dan Greenberg Fabricator Fabri-Tech Ornamental North Fort Myers, FL Marc Christian Fabricator Flemings Iron Rialto, CA Michael Fleming Fabricator J.A. Gerber Steel Fabrication Columbus, NE Jan Gerber Fabricator D. Hall’s Ornamental Iron Fort Mill, SC Dennis Hall Fabricator La Bella Ferro Designs LLC Fallon, NV Bill Masterpool Fabricator Lockhart’s Security Grills & Custom Metal Works Boundary Creek, NB, Canada Stephen Lockhart

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Fabricator Loken Forge* Omaha, NE Ron Loken Fabricator Moore’s Welding & Iron Works* Lakeland, FL Enorris Moore Fabricator Mud Hen Lake Farm & Smithy Siren, WI Chuck Awe Fabricator Palmer Designs San Diego, CA Anna Palmer Fabricator Plum Orchard Forge Cullowhee, NC David Brewin Fabricator Precision Fencing & Custom Iron Works Inc.* Boise, ID Kenneth Kern Fabricator R & S Automation Inc.* San Leandro, CA Tom Poole

Nationwide Supplier Ray Allen Steel LLC Manchester, NH Ray Mongeau Fabricator Rik-Fer USA* Franklin Park, IL Michael Pietanza Nationwide Supplier Joe Rossi Chicago, IL Joe Rossi Fabricator Tremmel Construction Specialties LLC Biloxi, MS Burt A. Tremmel, Jr. Fabricator Wayfarer Forge Afton, VA Gerald Boggs Fabricator The Wrought Iron Renaissance Ltd. Trinidad, St. James West Indies John Patrick Hazell Fabricator Zion Metal Works Clackamas, OR Larry Jenks 77

In Memoriam Leon York, two-term NOMMA president

Walt Schill, longtime member

Leon V. York, a two-term NOMMA president and co-founder of the National Ornamental Metal Museum, died August 12, 2004 at age 74. A life-long metal fabricator, he began his career with Wiemann Iron Works in Tulsa, and eventually moved to Oklahoma City. There he and his wife Evelyn founded York Metal Fabricators Inc. in 1963. Over the years the firm has received many Top Job awards and they are wellknown for their high-end nonferrous work. Mr. York’s service to NOMMA is extensive and includes serving as a director, leading the association as president for two terms (1973-74), and chairing the prestigious Standards Committee. Other committees he has chaired or co-chaired include Insurance, Bylaws, Museum, and Convention.

Walter G. Schill, a NOMMA Gold Member, passed away June 23, 2004 at age 59. He was owner of Alameda Ornamental Iron Inc. in Denver, CO. Born in Colonia Dubland, Mexico, he moved to Denver in 1965 and met his wife Ann while attending college. In 1974 the couple founded the company, which is one of the oldest and most successful ornamental iron shops in the region. A NOMMA member since 1978, the firm is a past Top Job Award recipient and has participated in NOMMA conventions. The family owned business will continue to operate with Ann Schill as president. Other family members involved in the the business include son Kurt Schill, daughter, Susan Griffin, and sonin-law Gene Griffin.

Always an innovater, he helped create the Top Job committee in the early 1970s and served as its chair for several years. He was also instrumental in founding the Oklahoma Chapter and served as the chapter’s delegate to the Board. In 1971 he was given the Julius Blum Award for his service to the industry, and in 1975 he was presented with the NOMMA President’s Award. A dedicated industry advocate, he was considered an expert in the area of railing performance and testing. One of his greatest passions was the National Ornamental Metal Museum, and in 1975 he was named co-chair of NOMMA’s first Museum Committee. Today, he and his wife are listed as one of 29 founders who helped turn the dream of a museum into reality. Mr. York will always be remembered for his major contributions to both NOMMA and the industry. He was a true industry pioneer, and will always serve as a role model and

Howard Troxler, past NOMMA president and founder W. Howard Troxler, a NOMMA founder and past president, died June 17, 2004 at age 83. A World War II veteran, Mr. Troxler founded Piedmont Metals in 1954 and became a charter member of NOMMA four years later. During his years with NOMMA, he was a long-time director and served as the association’s fourth president in 1966. He served on several committees, including the Budget, Awards, Nominating, and Standards. As a member of the Standards Committee, he served as


chairman and spent much time traveling and working with government agencies on behalf of the association. In 1976 he was given the coveted Julius Blum Award for outstanding service to the industry, and in 1978

the NOMMA board honored him with an official proclamation. During his involvement with NOMMA he rarely missed a Board meeting and had a perfect convention attendance for 35 years. Many members remember him best for his ballroom dancing, which was his other passion. Mr. Troxler and his late wife Mary often gave beautiful performances at NOMMA conventions. They are perhaps best remembered for a waltz they led in 1982, in honor of NOMMA’s 25th anniversary. Mr. Troxler, a true gentleman, leaves behind a legacy of exceptional volunteerism, dignity, and duty. He will always be remembered and honored by his NOMMA friends.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

What’s Hot? n Biz Briefs Lewis Brass & Copper acquires more facilities Lewis Brass & Copper Co. has recently acquired the copper and copper alloy tube mill in Whitney, TX, formerly known as Magnum Sci and Robitech. The equipment is being relocated to former Plume and Atwood, a 221,000 square foot brass facility in Thomaston, CT. It was also acquired by the LBC group in 2000. The new 60-inch GE bright anneal furnace and 200-300 foot long multihead drawbenches, bullocks, and robhi saws will give Continued on page 80 . . .

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Inside Biz Briefs................................... 79 Literature........................82 Coming Events..................... 83 NOMMA News...............85

People.......................................... 86 Products..................................... 88 Chapter Contacts............... 91

Liberty Brass Turning Co.’s owners recognized by Crain’s New York Crain’s New York, a business magazine, recently recognized Peter and David Zuckerwise of Liberty Brass Turning Co. as one of New Yorks top ten entrepeneurs. An article in Crain’s New York explains how the “current heads of an 85-year-old manufacturing company [have] outlived intense compeition by investing in technology and focusing on high-end work.” The Zuckerwise brothers took over the company in 1993. It was started by their grandfather in 1919. According to Crain’s, the brothers turned “Liberty into a hybrid, that specializes

Peter (left) and David Zuckerwise

in fulfilling orders that are complex, small, or urgent, and out-sources production of simple stock parts.” Crain’s also recognized the owners of Liberty for supporting several nonprofit organizations.


What’s Hot n? Biz Briefs Continued from page 79 . . .

the manufacturing group the ability to service the light-wall tolerance copper tube market, as well as the automotive industry. Expected to be operational in the fourth quarter 2004, the additional equipment will add approximately 1 million pounds of new capacity per month. NOMMA shop moves Portable Welding Specialist Inc. of Orlando, FL has moved their facility. They are now located at 106 South Norton Ave., Orlando, Fl. 32805. Ph: (407) 648-8040 and Fax: (407) 648-0008 remain the same.


New overtime rules probably won’t affect most NOMMA members Revised overtime eligibility rules from the Department of Labor took effect on Monday, Aug. 23. These changes affect classification of “white collar” employees almost exclusively. “This law has been on the books since 1949 and was recently challenged by a GEICO claims adjuster,” explains NOMMA president Curt Witter, Big D Metalworks, Dallas, TX. “I think that’s why we’re seeing a ‘new’ interest in it. Big D is in compliance, and it should not affect most of the NOMMA members. However, it is always good to check and make

sure your salaried employees meet the exemption requirements.” To be classified as an overtimeexempt employee, the employer must prove that an employee earns no less than $455 a week and maintains certain job responsibilities, including management of enterprise and nonmanual labor. The U.S. Department of Labor offers an online test and several fact sheets to help determine which salaried employees are exempt. For more information about the new rules, visit: regs/

Metal processing plant gets cited by OSHA The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently fined Ansonia Copper and Brass Inc., a metal processing company in Ansonia, CN, over $55 thousand for failing to safeguard workers

against overexposure to cadmium, inadequate respirator use and maintenance, and unguarded moving machine parts at its 75 Liberty St. metal casting and extrusion plant. The inpsection was prompted by employee

Fabricator n September/October 2004

HSA as a possible health care alternative Health insurance costs are becoming an increasingly important issue. NOMMA members Lee Rodrigue of Virginia Architectural Metals and Rob Rolves of Foreman Fabricators have recently mentioned Health Savings Account (HSA) options as a hopeful alternative on NOMMA’s e-mail discussion list. “I recently got an HSA, and I can’t speak highly enough of it,” says Rodrigue. “It basically operates like a catastrophic plan, except that the indi-

vidual gets to contribute pre-tax dollars toward a savings account, which can be used to pay for expenses up to the deductible. . . The greatest advantage I can see is that it could reduce your cost plus give your employees an incentive to spend their medical savings wisely.” Rodrigue and Rolves suggest fabricators talk to their insurance agent for information about HSA options. NOMMA’s sponsored insurance agency is Industrial Coverage Corp., Mike Donato, Ph: (800) 242-9872;

New ADAAG laws are in effect As of July 23, 2004 the new Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) have finally become the law of the land. Overall, the final edition of ADAAG is favorable to NOMMA. Look for details on provisions that affect our industry in the next issue of TechNotes and also in past editions of TechNotes, (editions #1, #3, and

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

#4). These can be downloaded from the the NOMMA Web site’s Member Resources area ( NOMMA members and the Technical Affairs Division put a monumental amount of work in this project, which included attending hearings, sending samples, organizing letter writing campaigns, and participating in all phases of the review process.

Biz Briefs AGA’s call for entries The American Galvanizers Association (AGA), is now accepting applications for its 2005 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards. Presented annually, these awards recognize projects that utilize hot-dip galvanizing in an ideal, creative, innovative, or monumental fashion. Winning projects will be announced at the AGA’s annual conference awards dinner on Wednesday, April 6, 2005 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL. For each award presented, the galvanizer and all parties involved with the project will receive recognition.


Literature Two new sources for help with contracts A useful resource for identifying and discussing the important elements underlying a price estimate is “Guidelines on Site Logistics,” a four-page document endorsed by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), the Associated General Contractors of America, and the Associated Specialty Contractors. Available free on the Web: Also check out ASA’s CD-ROM, Fundamentals of Fair Contracts. It includes neogtiating tips on payment terms and explains key terms found in the American Institute of Architects’ A401 document. Cost: $37 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Contact: ASA, Ph: (703) 6843450; Web:


Literature Spotlight

By Rachel Squires Bailey, Managing Editor

An inspiring work book Reading a chapter of Scott Hunter’s Making Work Work could serve as a good mental exercise program for anyone’s work day. Even if you are not starting your own business, you can still benefit from the book’s inspiring metaphors about making the most of your job and the company you work for. Basically Hunter explains that if you want work to work for you, you have to work for yourself. That is, you have to make yourself happy and make your working environment assimilate to that level of self actualization. Hunter uses several other trendy sources to help make his points. One important statement he makes is how perceptions shape how we think. Referring to Adam Smith’s Powers of the Mind, Hunter explains that a

Making Work Work: A Leader’s Guide to Creating an Extraordinary Organization By Scott Hunter Publisher: Hunter Alliance Press ISBN: 0-9745111-0-2

fish doesn’t know it swims in water until it gets out of the water. That is, people create their own reality, and if you want your reality to change, it’s as simple as getting out of the water. Change your perception, and your reality will change. Hunter’s Making Work Work is a self-helper’s guide to running or working for a successful company. Filled with interesting anecdotes, its 216-pages offer personally motivating tips in an easy-to-ready style. It’s good, light, helpful reading for anyone with a job or anyone who wants one.

Fabricator n September/October 2004

What’s Hot n? Coming Events Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2004

ASA Leadership Forum 2004 The Power of Example

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) hosts its educational forum at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, CO. Featured workshops will cover critical business topics including productivity, ethics, marketing, and professional development. Details of the forum’s workshops are available on the “Workshops” page of the ASA Web site; point your Web browser to, click on “Learning Network” and then on “Workshops.” Contact: Michael Starkweather, ASA, Ph: (703) 684-3450, ext. 1320; Web: www. Continued on page 84 . .

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Event Spotlight Museum holds Berman exhibit and Repair Days September 26–November 14, 2004

Harriete Estel Berman

This year, in conjunction with Repair Days Weekend, the National Ornamental Metal Museum presents a one-person exhibition of work by Harriete Estel Berman. As “the appliance lady,” her jewelry and sculpture comment on and reflect the images presented to by a consumer society. Berman, as “recycling evangelist,” works preprinted post consumer metal containers into art. A frequent exhibitor at the Metal Museum, Berman’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, and

left: Everready Working Women is made of metal, makeup, and other mixed media.


Grass is made of recycled tin.

Temple University’s Tyler School of Art as well as numerous private collections. October 15–17, 2004

Repair Days

Metalsmiths from across the country will be at the National Ornamental Metal Museum during Repair Days to solder, sharpen, and repair various metal items. Contact: National Ornamental Metal Museum, Ph: (901) 774-6380;


Coming Events Oct. 7-8, 2004

Practical Welding Today Forum Joining in the New World Order

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA) and American Welding Society (AWS) host the Practical Welding Today Forum in Cleveland, OH, at the Radisson Hotel ClevelandGateway. The forum emphasizes how to turn “blue collar into gold.” Contact: FMA, Ph: (815) 3998775; Web: October 5 and 6, 2004; October 20 and 21, 2004

ITW Fall Training Classes

ITW Ransburg Electrostatic Systems holds training classes at its training and conference center in Toledo, OH, in October. The October 5 and 6 session teaches attendees how to use the No. 2 Process Handgun. The October 20 and 21 session features


Fundamentals of Fluid Handling. Contact: ITW Ransburg Training Department, Ph: (419) 470-2066; Web: October 26–28, 2004

FABTECH International 2004

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA) holds FABTECH 2004, a metal forming and fabricating event, at the IX Center in Cleveland, OH. Contact: FMA, Ph: (815) 3998775; Web: January 13-16, 2005

International Builder’s Show and TecHOMExpo

The National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) presents The International Builder’s Show and TecHOMExpo in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center. The largest builder’s show in the world also offers over 200 educa-

tion sessions. Early registration is now available. Contact: NAHB, Ph: (800) 3685242 ; Web: January 19–21, 2005


The American Fence Association (AFA) holds its annual convention and trade show, FENCETECH, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. Contact: AFA, Ph: (800) 8224342; Web: March 2–5, 2005 METALfab 2005

The National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) holds METALfab 2005, its 47th annual trade show and convention, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA Contact: NOMMA, Ph: (404) 363-4009; Web:

Fabricator n September/October 2004


NOMMA Chapter Updates

New online newsletter for NOMMA members NOMMA members who have notified NOMMA headquarters of an active e-mail address will now recieve a weekly newsletter from the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF). The first test newsletter went out on August 11 and announced industry news, NEF news, and some calendar items. Particularly, NOMMA’s Technical Consultant Tim Moss is preparing for the Fall ICC Code

Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, Sept. 26–29. One of Tim’s objectives for this meeting is to get appointed to a task force that will examine the stair and guard sections of the building code. The newsletter also includes a tip of the week. The first tip reminds NOMMA members about NOMMA’s members only e-mail discussion list. The weekly newsletter begins regu-

NOMMA fabricators deal with slow pays After speaking with several NOMMA members in July we found that many fabricators are dealing with a similar issue—slow pays. We did some research and found that various trades forums suggest calling a client right before setting out to install their item. A member of the woodworking industry’s forum says, “Before I leave the shop to install or deliver, I call the customer and

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

remind them I am on my way and remind them of the balance due, and ask them if there is going to be any problem with final payment. I have never had a problem collecting.” Stay tuned to Fabricator for more tips on how to manage slow pays and managing other business-related issues.

Florida Chapter President: John Wilkinson, Sunmaster of Naples Inc. Naples, FL , Ph: (239) 261-3581 Northeast Chapter President: Tom Zuzik, Jr. Artistic Railings, Garfield, NJ Ph: (973) 772-8540 Southern California Chapter President: Hans Duus Hans Duus Blacksmith Buellton, CA, Ph: (805) 688-9731 Upper Midwest Chapter President: Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC, Peoria, IL, Ph: (309) 697-9870 Their last meeting: September 11, 2004 at MOFAB Inc., Anderson, IN Program: Powder coating tour, priming/finishing demos.


What’s Hot n? Hypertherm Hypertherm Inc. announces the appointment of John Canterberry to Manager, North America John Canterberry OEM and Integration Sales. Canterberry is expected to bring new focus to Hypertherm’s mechanized systems, automation products, and laser businesses. Canterberry joined Hypertherm in 1997 as a district sales manager after working in sales and marketing for Motorola and Raycom for 10 years. Prior to that he worked for Amerigas in Southern California for four years.


Paley wins Alex Bealer award Geoff Tesch


People Spotlight

NOMMA member Albert Paley, esteemed metal artist and distinguished professor at the School for American Albert Paley Crafts, at the Rochester Institute of Technology, recently won the Alex Bealer Award from the ArtistBlacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA). The award recognizes the efforts of metal artists whose work presents a quasi-historical survey of the progression of blacksmithing. According to ABANA’s LeeAnn Mitchell, Paley’s work crosses the boundaries separating art from craft, as he is recognized as one of the country’s most gifted metal artists. Fabricator: How did your distin-

guished metalworking career begin? Paley: I attended art school at Temple University, Tyler School of the Art in the early 1960’s. And then I earned a master’s degree in goldsmithing. I initially worked with jewelry and hollowware and then moved on to larger ornamental pieces like candle sticks and lamps, and then eventually onto larger architectural items like furniture and then gates and sculpture. Fabricator: Is there a particular project that initiated your transition over to larger ornamental metalwork. Paley: In 1974 I entered and won a competition for the Smithsonian Institution that involved designing and fabricating a set of gates for the Institution’s Renwick Gallery. After that I completed two large portal gates for the New York State Senate

Fabricator n September/October 2004

Bruce Miller

Chamber in 1981, which received an award from the American Institute of Architects. In 1996 I was awarded a lifetime achievement as well from the AIA. That was significant because it was the first time they had given an award to someone who was not formally an architect. Fabricator: You are a member of NOMMA and ABANA and in addition to wining this award from ABANA you have also won several awards from NOMMA, including NOMMA’s most prestigious ornamental fabrication award,the Mitch

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

Heitler, in 1995. Do you consider yourself more of a blacksmith or metal fabricator?

Bruce Miller

left: Paley and an entrance gate fabricated in 2003 for a New York residence. The steel gate is 143.5” x 285” x 48”. right: The Sentinel, made for the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, in 2003, is made of Cor-ten steel, stainless steel, and bronze, and is 73’ x 30’ in diameter.

Paley: I think it is true that ABANA is traditionally more for individual practitioners, while NOMMA more typically represents metalworking companies. But there really should be a third distinguishable category for the artist-designer who creates unique works. My studio in Rochester, NY, employs ten full-time people. We are not a typical metal manufacturing company because our

main emphasis is design integrity rather than economics; our goals are different. Fabricator: Is there a project you recently completed that illustrates this third category of metal artist/ designer? Paley: My studio recently completed a sculpture entitled Sentinel for the Rochester Institute of Technology—


Product Spotlight Gate system Van Noorden Gate Systems

Van Noorden Gate Systems now offers custom fabricated automated gate systems, featuring hand-forged steel constructed gates combined

with a compact electro-hydraulic Power Hinge™. The Power Hinge is a discreet gate operator with no exposed moving parts that can open and close a 1,200-pound leaf gate in 12 seconds. It can perform 60 operations per hour continuously and will open and close automatically more than three million times. Van Noorden Gate Systems combine aesthetics and automation technology. They can be built to swing in or out and are appropriate for high-end homes, gated communities, resorts, corporate headquarters, and country clubs. Contact: Van Noorden Gate Systems, Ph: (508) 541-9123; Web:

What’s Hot n? Products - Catalogs New catalog and DVD

Plasma CAM Inc. Plasma CAM has a new 24-page, full-color catalog introducing its latest cutting machine, DHC Robotic Plasma Cutting Machine. A DVD accompanies the catalog and gives over 20 minutes of instruction and demonstration of the machine’s capabilities. The DHC is a completely integrated cutting system that replaces traditional programming and processing steps with a graphical interphace, where fabricators work directly with the images they want cut. The DHC plasma cutting system includes a PlamsaCAM Cutting Machine, PlasmaCAM CAD/CAM Software, a personal computer and almost any hand-held plasma cutter (latter two are supplied by the customer). Contact: Plasma CAM Inc., Ph: (719) 676-5558, Web: Four-page brochure

Thermal Dynamics Thermal Dynamics just released a four-page, full-color brochure on its newest air plasma system, CUTMASTER 51. The catalog illustrates the technology behind the 1Torch™ plasma torch and patent pending quick disconnect equipped with the machines, Advanced Torch Technology (ATC™). CUTMASTER 51 can be used in with various quality cutting tables and is rated for 1/4 inch (6mm) production cut capacity and 5/8 inch (15mm) edge start capacity. The machine is part of a family of three air plasma cutting systems introduced for 2004. Contact: Thermal Dynamics, Ph: (800) 752-7621; Web: www.


Fabricator n September/October 2004

Safety glasses

Wizard Industries

Wizard Industries introduces Safety Sport Specs. The protective eyewear “combines sporting good looks and comfort” with safety glasses. Safety Specs are reading glasses that meet with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) compliance for safety glasses. Safety Sport Specs offer full frontal impact protection and side protection that hugs the curve of the face. The glasses feature a 28 mm flat-top bifocal reading segment and are available in strengths from 1.0 diopter to 3.0 diopter in .5 diopter increments. The glasses give fabricators proper eye protection and allow easy reading of plans, instructions, and computer screens. Contact: Wizard Industries, Ph: (888) 346-3826; Web:

construction and simple graphic interface programming of PC-based controls allow for minimal downtime and maximum productivity. The Hydro-Jet base is made of stainless steel and includes a regulated water reservoir and four-chamber settling tank with a connector for an abrasive sludge removal system. Contact: KNUTH Machine Tools USA Inc., Ph: (847) 229-0600; Web: Punching and shearing machine

Salvagnini America Inc. The new Salvagnini S4N punching and shearing machine provides material handling, punching and shearing, programming, and diagnostics for consistent, quality, and flexible manufacturing. By reducing the dis-

tance of sheet travel required to punch parts, the new S4N’s offers increased productivity and throughput. All of the S4N’s 96 punching tool stations are live, allowing its Salvagnini patented multi-press head and integrated shear to punch and cut parts more efficiently than machines that must be indexed before each operation. Plus, the Salvagnini S4N is designed to accommodate additional Salvagnini laser cutting and bending equipment.

Waterjet system

Knuth Machine Tools USA Inc. Now available in the U.S., the HydroJet system, offered by Knuth Machine Tools USA Inc., features five-axis water-jet cutting that produces complex three-dimensional shapes in single-pass operations. The system can operate with either pure water or abrasive-added cutter heads and includes a computer-controlled gantry that guides the Hydro-Jet over work-pieces. According to the manufacturer, the Knuth USA Hydro-Jet features servomotors and finely tuned drive systems for high performance and low maintenance over a long work life. Plus, modular equipment September/October 2004 n Fabricator


What’s Hot n? Products - Catalogs Decorating catalog THE GUILD has released a new fall 2004 catalog, The Artful Home®. The collection is presented in the catalog and on the web. Visitors can search for artists’ products by size, color, and price range. All works are shipped direct from each artist’s studio to the customer. Custom orders are also available. “In keeping with our mission to provide ideas and inspiration for artful living, all artwork is photographed in room settings shot in natural light,” says CEO and Founder Toni Sikes. Contact: The GUILD, Ph: (608) 257-2590; Web:


Other features of the S4 include sheet feeding in eight seconds, automatic stacking of punched parts, 10-gauge punching capacity, and automatic scrap handling. Contact: Salvagnini America Inc., Ph: (513) 874-8284; Web: Slip-on pipe fittings

Easyfit Inc.

to an EF36 female swivel fitting by a stainless steel bolt and other hardware included in teh kit. It serves as a variable angle tee for sloping handrails. The EF46 Base Swivel Kit features an EF35 male swivel fitting connected to an EF10 swivel base with a stainless steel bolt and other kit hardware. The EF46 provides an in-line angle joint at a post. Both kits are available in sizes to fit standard 1-inch, 11/4–inch, and 11/2-inch pipe and require no welding, threading, bolting, or drilling to install. Contact: Easyfit Inc., Ph: (877) 3279348; Web: Self-storing ratchet set

Easyfit Inc. has added the new EF45 Single Swivel Kit and EF46 Base Swivel Kit to its line of structural, slip-on pipe fittings. Easyfit fittings provide an alternative to welding for tubular pipe structures. The EF45 Single Swivel Kit is composed of one EF35 male swivel fitting connected

Ready Products Ready Products introduces the new Ready Ratchet Self-Storing Socket System. Available in 3/8 inch or 1/4-inch standard or metric sizes, the Ready Ratchet stores sockets in a snap-in locking socket tray in the ratchet’s handle. A quick-release cap keeps the sockets secure when not in use. The Ready Ratchet is manufactured from

Fabricator n September/October 2004

composite materials with a contoured handle and, according to the manufacturer, exceeds national specifications for torque. Contact: Ready Products, Ph: (866) 942-9230; Web:

polyester. The oval-shaped tool bucket measures 15.5 inches long, 7.5 inches wide, and 10 inches high. A contoured, padded, slip-resistant shoulder strap provides hands-free mobility for the user. The tote can carry up to 900 pounds and has five interier pockets. Its molded bottom has drain holes to prevent water retention. Contact: Klein Tools, Ph: (800) 553-4676; Web:

Tool carrier

Cordless tools

Klein Tools

Klein Tools offers a new versatile and compact Tool Tote™ as an alternative to a tool belt. The bag is made of double-layered 600 by 300 denier

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

DeWALT DEWALT has expanded its 18V cordless system, by adding three tools—the heavy-duty 18 gauge 18V cordless swivel head and shear kit (DC490KA), the heavy-duty 18V cordless drywall/deck screwdriver kit (DC520KA), and 18V cordless cut-out tool (DC550KA). The swivel head and shear kit comes equipped with a head that swivels 360 degrees, allowing users to access tight quarters, while maintaining comfort. The drywall/deck screwdriver kit features

dual speed ranges, providing the user with increased versatility. And the cut-out tool has a 26,000 rpm motor, plus a tool-free bit change for fast and easy bit changing, without a wrench. The tools will be available in October 2004. Contact: DeWALT, Ph: (800) 4339258; Web: Access alert

Radio Bird™ The Radio Bird Long Distance Postal Alert notifies owners of a rural mailbox when mail is delivered. This security and postal alert has a range of over a mile in usual terrain and is mounted to the inside of the mailbox pull-down lid. When the lid is opened for mail delivery a tiny mercury switch automatically connects to 9V power and sends out its dualcoded radio signal. Radio Bird Postal Alert is part of the Radio Bird Long Distance Gate Operator Systems also offered by Radio Bird. Contact: Radio Bird, Ph: 877-8002473; Web:


Classifieds Auction Auction, Saturday, October 16, 2004. Lifetime private collection of blacksmith, welding, and metalworking tools. Custom tables, 18 tool cabinets, 470 rivet-head dies, floor cone-mandril, swage blocks, post vices, anvil, bickerns, stakes, blowers, hoods, power hammer tools, tongs, layout tools, jigs, hardies, sets, swages, flatters, drifts, punches, chisels, blocks, forks, dies, butchers, mandrils, monkey tools, fullers, books, power tools, torches, rosebud and gouging tips, antiques, forgings, much more. John (719) 784-4484. Sales rep wanted National supplier seeks motivated outside sales representative for NY-NJ Metro

Advertiser’s index Pg 67 24 35 33 91 71 72 52 56 55 38 87 48 89 81 4 69 88 64 64 84 37 31 46 45 48 88 83 85 27 29 80 18 47 20 63 68 21 54 54 96 9 58 28 86

Contact Rachel Squires Bailey at (423) 4136436, or

Please note, classified ads promote a one-time sale or offer, or a job listing.

area. If you have a winning track record, are intensely competitive, persistent, and driven by an internal need for greater authority and responsibility, you may be the individual we are seeking. We are an aggressive, performance-oriented company. If you thrive on challenge, possess high energy, are committed to hard work, and want to be paid based upon performance, send your resume to: Box 869 c/o NOMMA, 532 Forest Parkway, Suite A, Forest Park, GA 30297.

ornamental steel fabricators. We can market your skills (estimator, project manager, detailer, shop manager) to the city or state of your choice without identifying you. Employer pays fee. The right location, the right job, at the right money. ProCounsel: Buzz Taylor. Call toll free (800) 545-5900, or (214) 741-3014. Fax: (214) 741-3019. E-mail: Business for sale RETIRING-Small 25-year-old weld/fabrication business for sale. Steady growth in resort area in Eastern Washington. For more information, call (509) 682-4377 days, (509) 682-5737 evenings.

Recruiter Employment nationwide in structural/miscellaneous steel fabrication. ProCounsel is in communication with over 3,000 structural/miscellaneous and

Use this index as a handy guide for contacting suppliers. Firms in boldface are first-time advertisers.

Company Name...........................................................................Contact Acme Metal All-O-Matic Inc........................................................ Architectural Iron Designs...................... Arch. Products by Outwater.............................. Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc........................................... Atlas Metal Birchwood Casey................................... Julius Blum & Co. Inc....................................... J.G. Braun Co., Div. of Wagner Co..................... The Cable Carell Center for Metal Arts............................................. Classic Iron Cleveland Steel Tool CML USA Inc.................................................... COLE-TUVE Inc....................................................... Colorado Waterjet COMEQ Inc................................................................. Crescent City Iron Supply.........................................(800) 535-9842 D & D Technologies (USA) D.J.A Imports Ltd............................................... Decorative Iron........................................... DKS, DoorKing Eagle Eberl Iron Works Inc............................................ Encon Feeney Wire Rope & Glaser Graham Manufacturing................................... The G-S Hartford Standard................................. Hawke Industries........................................................(909) 928-9453 Hebo GmbH................................................................ House of International Gate Devices................................... Iron Craft........................................................................(559) 688-4766 The Iron Shop................................................. Ironcrafters Security Prod...................................(800) 221-6658 Ironwood Jansen Ornamental Supply Co................ Jesco Industries

September/October 2004 n Fabricator

84 72 79 50 17 2 60 89 85 22 51 66 83 71 39 92 82 86 3 7 41 30 90 25 23 14 10 68 95 12 43 52 62 32 80 35 40 73 59 44 82 90 38 62 91 19

K Dahl Glass Kayne & Son.................................................. King Architectural Joachim Lawler Foundry Corp.................................. Lewis Brass & Liberty Brass Turning Co. Liberty Ornamental Products..................................(800) 636-5470 Lindblade Metal Works............... Marks U.S.A........................................................... Mittler Bros. Machine & Pat Mooney Inc....................................... Multi Sales New Metals Inc................................................. NOMMA Oak Hill Iron Works.................................. Ol’ Joint Jigger Operator Specialty Co. PLASMA CAM Production Machinery Inc................................. R & B Wagner Inc., Div. of Wagner Co......... R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine Co..................... Regency Rik-Fer USA...................................................................(630) 350-0900 Sharpe Shop Simsolve.........................................................................(909) 737-2480 Sparky Abrasives Co...................................................(800) 328-4560 Spiral Stairs of America LLC........ Stairways Inc.................................................... Steptoe & Wife................................................. StingerPower Inc................................................... Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc............................. Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc............................. Sumter Coatings Inc................................ Sur-Fin Chemical Tennessee Fabricating Texas Metal Industries........................................... Texas Stairs & Rails Inc............................................ Tornado Traditional Triple-S Chemical Tri-State Shearing & Bending..................................(718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc.....................................(800) 837-4283 Wrought Iron Concepts 93


What’s your favorite shop tool?

Fab Feedback


Hebo wrought iron machine

Main motor unit

Fabricator: Rod Stodtmeister, Stodtmeister Iron, Sparks, NV. Favorite tool: Hebo wrought iron machine. Why: “It’s an expensive employee that shows up everyday!”

Hebo machine changes your business By Rachel Squires Bailey Managing Editor “My newest and brightest toy is my Hebo wrought iron machine system,” says Rod Stodtmeister of Stodtmeister Iron. “It’s an expensive employee that shows up everyday.” The Hebo wrought iron machine is capable of bending, twisting, forging—you name it. If a fabricator can do it, the Hebo can do it by the push of a button. However, that is part of the catch. There’s a high learning curve associated with using the equipment, says Stodtmeister. But he feels

Hydraulic table

confident that once his fabricators get used to the machine, they will become more proficient with it. “We’re still fumbling around with it,” Stodtmeister days. “It’s got a computer program to it which is intimidating. We’re fabricators; we don’t feel comfortable with computer programs and buttons.” “The only reason it hasn’t affected our business more is because we simply haven’t had a chance yet to let others know that we have it,” Stodtmeister says. Although we typically work with custom builders and developers, we now have the capability to make baskets, pickets, etc., for other shops too. The system speeds things up so much.” “Although you probably have to be a certain size shop to justify the cost, I know of a guy who runs a one-man shop back east who has one,” Stodtmeister explains. “He says it has made his life so much easier. It didn’t take long to justify the cost because of the way it changed the way he does business.”

Scroll bending attachment

The Hebo wrought iron machine consists of a main motor unit for twisting bars, and then other units and attachments can be added to accomplish more fabricating tasks, like hammering, forging, drilling, embossing, shearing, and bending. Stodtmeister says he purchased the main motor unit, a hydraulic table, and a scroll making attachment. System features: n The Hebo wrought iron system can work with steel, copper, brass, bronze, and aluminum materials. n The machine works as a modular system so that different units can be added to increase the usefulness of the machine. n Operations such as scroll forming, tube bending, or embossing, can be done on stand alone units or in association with the main motor units. n The gearbox is maintenance free.

For more information, contact Hebo’s U.S. representative, Robert Rayson, Ph: (503) 572-6500.


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Fabricator n September/October 2004

2004 09 fab  
2004 09 fab