Page 1

The benefits of silicon bronze, pg. 14

Tips and Tactics

Go inside the vinyl fence industry, p. 18.

Shop Talk

Exhibitors show their stuff: show report, pg. 36

METALfab 2005




March/April 2005 Vol. 46, No. 2

A seasoned NOMMA fabricator shares tips of his trade. See pg. 52.

NEF Special Feature

Tips & Tactics An easy way to replicate curves in the shop 12 A simple equation helps you determine radius; a jig helps you copy it. By Lee Rodrigue

Silicon bronze has its place 14 The properties of this alloy make it a good choice for fabricators. By Jerry Simms

Member Talk Fabricating a fulfilling career 52 David Wall talks about his career, his shop, and his artistic passion. By Rachel Bailey

Shop Talk

It’s a welder’s market; so where have all the welders gone? 71 Find good employees by updating your recruitment strategies. By Amanda Southall

Working Harder Ten tips for making a successful pitch 93 No matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, make it a good. By Barton Goldsmith, PhD

Job Profiles

What metal fabricators should know about vinyl fence 18 Black vinyl is available, but aluminum still holds its own. By John Campbell

Be prudent with change orders 30 A construction lawyer explains the importance of change orders. By Hugh Bell

Copper and bronze convey a complex image 60 Jamie MacDonald creates a scenic gate by texturing copper and bronze. By James MacDonald

Elegance is subtle out West 64 Steve Fonatnini tames an architect’s rail design into classic style. By Rachel Bailey

Special Feature METALfab 2005 Show Report 16 Take a final look at what some of the 2005 exhibitors showcased. President’s Letter 6 Witter recaps 2004 goals and looks to the future.

NOMMA Education Foundation 50 Supporting our industry through education: interview with Stan Lawler.

Biz Side

A NOMMA fabricator helps celebrate a community’s cultural history 68 Flaherty Iron Works fabricates a public sculpture.

Fontanini’s traditional joinery, see page 64.

What’s Hot! New Members 76 Biz Briefs 78 Coming Events 82 Chapter Contacts People 84 Literature 86 Products 87 Classifieds 92


By Mary Flaherty

Editor’s Letter 8 Reader’s Letters 9 Meeting fabricators and visit- A reader gets California ing shops near and far. building code clarification.

Fab Feedback 94 So, you think your shop’s truck is the mac?

Cover photo: James MacDonald of James MacDonald Metal Art Studio, Woodside, CA, fabricated this grizzly bear driveway gate out of mild steel, copper, and bronze. March/April 2005 n Fabricator



President’s Letter

Dedicated to the success of our members and industry.

The year in review: Witter says thanks

NOMMA Officers

One year later…

President Curt Witter Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX President-Elect Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks Tulsa, OK

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

Vice Pres./Treasurer Chris Connelly

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

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

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

Regency Railings Inc. Dallas, TX

2004 goals

NOMMA Staff Executive Director Barbara H. Cook Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington Communications Mgr. J. Todd Daniel

Technical Consultant Tim Moss Editor Rachel Bailey

Administrative Assistant Liz Ware

2005 Advisory Council Jay Holeman Mountain Iron Fabrications Tom McDonough Master Metal Services Inc. Rob Rolves Foreman Fabricators Inc. Lee Rodrigue Zion Metal Works


As I reflect on the past year, I’d like to say “Thank You” for the privilege of allowing me to lead the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA), your organization. It has been an exciting and interesting experience. When I agreed to be president of NOMMA, I stated that my actions, my advice, and my leadership would be benchmarked against NOMMA’s mission vision, which states that NOMMA is dedicated to the success of its members and industry, the organization’s by-laws, and its strategic plan. Months before the 2004 convention, the Executive Committee set aside corporate and personal resources that would set the stage to take a good association and make it better. The work that has been done thus far has been substantial.

Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises Contributing Writers John Campbell Hugh Bell Amanda Southall

The following has been the primary focus of myself and the NOMMA staff: n Execution of the strategic plan n Marketing n Continuity of leadership n Transition to a more transparent form of government n Continue to build and improve the NOMMA Education Foundation n Improve the Chapter system I’m pleased with the activities we have been working on. Creating, implementing, and monitoring the programs of this organization continues to take a tremendous amount of work and effort. I also feel strongly and passionately about NOMMA. It has been remarkable to see the path of improvement, the commitment demonstrated by the staff, and the

many volunteers that have helped to make this organization what it is today. Each and every moment spent on NOMMA activities has had to pass a litmus test of ensuring productivity that was in line with the programs and policies we currently have in motion and in place. Look to the future

At the risk of putting words in the mouth of my successors, I’m sure they too will benchmark their efforts against NOMMA’s mission vision, its by-laws, and the strategic plan. My belief is that when things get tough or if a crisis arises, I trust that they, as well as I, will Curt Witter is president of do everything possible to make certain the National Ornamental and our efforts will make Miscellaneous this great association Metals Association. even better. If you asked what helped me keep my attention focused, I would say that the core values of NOMMA align very closely with my own personal core values. I will continue to support this organization to the best of my abilities. It has been a pleasure serving as your president! Thank you once again,

Fabricator n March/April 2005

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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Supplier Directory

Published each December as a separate issue. Space reservation deadline is July 31. Deadline for all advertising materials is August 31. For info, contact Rachel Squires at (404) 363-4009 or rachel@


How to reach us

Editor’s Letter

These are the people in my neighborhood . . . Over the past few years I’ve visited several NOMMA member shops and potential NOMMA member shops, most of which are within a 300-mile radius of my home in Atanta, GA. With each visit I learn more about the people and the work that make up our industry. A couple of trips up to David Wall’s shop, The Windvane Co., in Clarkesville, GA has opened my eyes to the incredible detail that goes into hand forged and repoussé work. In his member spotlight article beginning on page 52, Wall shares helpful information on how he tapped into the highly specialized market of ecclesiastical metalwork. There’s some great tips on modifying shop equipment in there too! Last year I actually had the opportunity to stop into Steve Fontanini’s shop out in Jackson Hole, WY while visiting an old friend of mine. During that visit I gained a new understanding of design. Read the job profile article I put together on page 64 to appreciate the role landscape plays in a fabricator’s design process. More recently, I traveled up to Buford, GA, just 45 mintues north of Atlanta, to visit Dennis Primm, a metal artist who’s made his mark in Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolina’s. I’d heard


Reprints of articles are available. For a quote, contact Rachel Bailey 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.

check it out for myself (and see if we couldn’t persuade this talented artist to join our NOMMA ranks). Primm and I were both surprised at what a small world it really is when we discovered that he fabricated the stair rail in my townhome, and the rails for the seven other units in my complex. Those rails were a big part of ME what sold the place to my husband and me. You can find out how Primm went from an industrial fabricator to a metal Rachel Bailey is artist on page 84 in editor of Ornaour “People in our mental & Miscellaneous Metal Industry” section of Fabricator. the magazine. This issue is chock full of great work by several talented people in the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Don’t miss Jamie MacDonald’s gate on page 60, and the latest from Francis Flaherty on page 68. Our seasoned contributing writer, John Campbell, reveals some insightful information about the vinyl fence industry on page 18. And Hugh Bell, a lawyer local to Atlanta, offers some tips on working with change orders on page 30. Need help finding good help? Amanda Southell’s article on page 71 offers innovative ideas on recruiting quality welders. And if you weren’t able to make it to NOMMA’s 48th annual Trade Show and Convention because New Orleans is too far away from your neighborhood, turn to page 36. We’ve brought highlights of the trade show in our detailed exhibitor listing to you! Hope you enjoy the read,

I was surprised to learn that Dennis Primm, a metal artist in Buford, GA, fabricated the galvanized steel stair and rail 8

about Primm’s work and wanted to

Fabricator n March/April 2005


Reader’s Letters Thanks for the Business Library I just wanted to express my appreciation for the placement of The Business Library as a resource on the NOMMA website (member section). I am a young man getting into the ornamental iron business, and 1I have quickly realized that businesses ownership requires proficiency in numerous areas outside the realm of fabrication. This new online resource permanently makes available to me concise discussions of many of the business issues I will surely face. Thanks alot NOMMA. Justin Piggott Emerald Ironworks Inc. Woodbridge, VA Note: The Business Library offers a collection of reports designed to help small shops manage their finances. The reports are a free download in the Member’s Only section of the NOMMA website, Can anyone suggest a good air


filtering system? I am trying to find information on air handling or filtering systems that have proven reliable to filter the air in a shop. Our shop is exposed to cutting and welding smoke along with the morning start-up of our gasoline and diesel trucks. We have a trussed barrel roof with a 14-foot clearance with a height of 27 feet at our ceiling’s peak. Tim Bell Midwest Fence , Chicago, IL Note: Can anyone help? If you have any suggestions, please send them to the contact information below. NOMMA member seeks California code clarification I saw in the current TechNotes that NFPA has been adopted by California. Can you post the text of the dimensional references they include that are different

from the ICC as it relates to handrail. Most notably, I think they require a distance between the underside of the handrail and the horizontal bracket arm of 2-1/4 inch as opposed to 11/2 inch. Tony Leto The Wagner Companies, Butler, WI NOMMA’s Technical Consultant responds The section of NFPA 5000 is Handrail Details Item D (b) The distance between the underside of the handrail and the horizontal bracket is 11/2 inch and for each 1/2 inch of additional handrail perimeter above 4 inches, the vertical clearance dimension of 11/2 inch can be reduced by 1/8 inch. The 21/4 inch spacing is the distance between the handrail and the wall. Tim Moss NOMMA Technical Consultant

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 email. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, grammar, and length. W RI TE !

Fabricator n March/April 2005

Send page 11 PDF

Tips& Tactics n

Ask our expert Contact: Lee Rodrigue

Zion Metal Works Clackamas, OR Ph: (503) 723-3026 Web:

An easy way to replicate curves in the shop Rodrigue tells you how to determine the radius of a curve and then replicate it in the shop using simple jigs, a tape measure, and CAD. By Lee Rodrigue, Zion Metal Works The following method can be used to determine a simple radius, circular curve, or arc for replication. Determine the radius of the curve First: Using a chord, measure the

length of the curve (straight from endpoint to endpoint). Second: Find the midpoint of the curve, then measure the height of the chord (from the midpoint of the line to the midpoint of the curve). Third: Plug these two values in to the following formula (note: h = height of chord, L = length of chord, “2” means to the second power, or “squared”). Enter measurements into CAD r=

For those of you using a ius


h = chord height L = chord length r = 4h2 + L2 8h Use a cord and measuring tape to determine r = (4h2 + L2) / 8h.

computer assisted drawing software program, or CAD, you can use your CIRCLE or ARC command, then choose the 3-point option to draw the curve. In AutoCAD, this is done by drawing the chord, drawing the height of the chord, then using the following commands: Command: CIRCLE (enter) 12

Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/ Ttr (tan tan radius)]: 3P <enter> Specify first point on circle: <select first endpoint of chord> Specify second point on circle: <select second endpoint of chord> Specify third point on circle: <select endpoint of chord height>

Ma lik ke e 1 in 2” sta , 2 nd 4” ar ,e dl tc. en gt

ord ch e t th se ight he hs ,

Check radius between passes

Once you have the curve drawn in your CAD program, you can use a set of 1-inch square tubes to check the radius between passes on the roller. Keep these by your roller. Choose a tube length that will fit inside the curve and have as much chord height as possible for more accurate curves. We use 1-foot, 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, and 8-foot tubes, and use a maximum chord height almost half of the length. These square tubes should have an adjustable round bar at the midpoint held with a thumbscrew. The bar is ground to a point, so it acts like a pointer. Report on the drawings what “chord height” to set a specific bar to(e.g. “71/2” high on a 48” chord). Using a tape measure, set the round bar at the right “chord height,” tighten the rod down with the thumbscrew, and use this tool to check the radius between passes on the roller. When the material contacts both ends of the 1 inch tube and the “pointer” is in the middle, the radius is correct. Assuming the field measurements are within 1/8 inch and the bar setting is within 1/16 inch, this method can generally make radius pieces fit within 1 /4 inch over a 20-foot length. More accurate field measurements can reduce

Square tubes of various lengths can be used to check the radius of each curve between passes on the roller.

this to 1/8 inch over 20 feet. Remember that this method only measures the INSIDE edge of a piece of metal, so don’t provide your fabricators with settings based on centerline measurements. If you do, the fabricated curve will be too “wide.” Happy rolling! 2. Adjustable point touches here. 3. Piece must be rolled tighter for radius tool to touch here. 4. Piece is now rolled correrctly.

Roll tighter.

1. Radius tool touches here

Where the bar doesn’t touch is where the curve needs to be tighter.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

Tips& Tactics n

Ask our expert Contact: Jerry Simms Atlas Metal Sales

Denver, CO Ph: (800) 662-0143 Web: www.atlasmetal.

Silicon bronze has its place Although it may cost a little more, the fabrication properties of silicon bronze make it a good choice for ornamental fabricators. By Jerry Simms, Atlas Metal Sales Inspired by Jack Kruse’s column on distinguishing brass from bronze (Jan-Feb 2005 page 11), Jerry Simms of Atlas Metal Sales, a distributor of nonferrous metals, including silicon bronze, has this to say about the value of silicon bronze in ornamental fabricating. When choosing the right alloy for a specific job fabricators should consider more than cost. They should consider an alloy’s strength, ductility (formability), and thermal stability. After all, the purpose of alloying is to optimize those properties in metal without inducing unacceptable loss in fabrication. It may be that on the front end, silicon bronze appears more expensive than brass alloys such as architectural bronze. However, the cost effectiveness of silicon bronze shows up when considering all of the techniques that fabricators can apply to it, such as cold working or hot forming (without tearing or cracking); its weldability; its corrosion resistance; and its forgeability. Considering these properties, silicon bronze is a bargain fabricators can’t afford to pass up. It is the alloying recipe, if you will, of various metals that produces the desired results that the end user seeks. A foundry producing automotive or industrial castings may well require a casting have certain properties radically different from those properties sought by a fabricator using a wrought piece of sheet, bar, or tube. The choice depends on the final end use application. A bad choice would be to use an alloy that conflicts with the final application or technique intended to be used. Choosing the wrong alloy is akin to wanting a chocolate cake, but forgetting to add the cocoa—you could still pour chocolate syrup on top and maybe be pleased. Worse, however, would be wanting a vanilla cake but mistak14

ingly adding cocoa—too late to do anything about it now. The elements most commonly alloyed with copper are aluminum, nickel, silicon, tin, and zinc. Other elements and metals may be alloyed in small quantities to improve certain material characteristics, such as corrosion resistance or machinability. These alloys are often referred to as copper-zinc alloys (brasses), which contain up to 40 percent zinc; coppersilicon alloys (silicon bronze), which contain up to 3 percent silicon; and copper-zinc-nickel alloys (nickel-silvers), which contain up to 27 percent zinc and 18 percent nickel. Alloying is highly complex and would take a metallurgist to properly explain its affects on the crystalline structure of the metal. Again, the result of alloying may produce results that are positive or negative depending on what effect is sought. The ease of fabrication is one of the properties of importance for copper alloys, and certainly a characteristic sought out by fabricators as opposed to foundries. Those fabricators that intend to cold work, hot form, weld, or forge need an alloy that will permit them to do so. Therefore, they should consider how some basic properties vary among the different alloys. The following gives brief comparisons among the properties of lead, silicon, and zinc elements used in making copper alloys. Lead

Provides high machinability by acting as a microscopic chip breaker and tool lubricant. It does not have a significant effect on strength. However, leaded alloys can be difficult to cold work, and lead is an impairment to welding and brazing. Silicon

Silicon Bronze casting alloys

Everdur Silicon Bronze is CDA87300 and is usually called 95-4-1, symbolizing its nominal chemistry of 95% copper, 4% silicon, and 1% manganese. n Herculoy Silicon Bronze is CDA87600 and is usually called 92-4-4, symbolizing its nominal chemistry of 92% copper, 4% silicon, and 4% zinc. n

Silicon Bronze wrought alloys n In the wrought form, silicon bronze is CDA655, and its nominal chemistry is 97% copper and 3% silicon. n In plate form, it is called Herculoy and may confuse fabricators because “Herculoy” plate is actually closer in chemistry to the “Everdur” ingot than to the “Herculoy” ingot.

*CDA - Copper Development Association

Fabricator n March/April 2005

Reduces machinability, but enhances strength, corrosion resistance, weldability, and formability. It enhances resistance to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). Zinc

Reduces the weldability of copper alloys, and its alloys may be subject

to dezincification in stagnant, acidic aqueous environments. Increased zinc content makes copper alloys more susceptible to SCC and also reduces tensile and yield strength. However, it enhances machinability. Zinc content also affects the color of copper alloys. At less than 8 percent,

for example, in red brass, the result is a red copper-like color; but at 30-40 percent the result is a pleasing yellow color that can be polished to a high luster.

Alloy fabrication comparison guide Fabrication CDA36000 CDA38500 CDA65500 Property Free Cutting Brass Architectural Bronze Silicon Bronze

capacity for being cold worked poor poor excellent capacity for being hot formed fair excellent excellent hot forgeability rating (forging brass = 100) not recommended not recommended 40 machinability (free cutting brass = 100) 100 90 30 corrosion resistance in: fresh water good good excellent brackish water good fair excellent brazing good good excellent oxyacetylene welding not recommended not recommended excellent gas shielded arc welding not recommended not recommended good


This chart illustrates CDA Assessments of fabrication properties for CDA36000, CDA385000, and CDA655000. Information in this article was also obtained from the ASM Specialty Handbook Copper & Copper Alloys.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

Shop Talk

What metal fabricators should know about vinyl fence

An Omaha, NE based company called BLACKline® is currently the sole supplier of black vinyl fencing in the United States.

n A closer look at the vinyl fence industry finds it challenges the

bottom line for carpenters more than metal fabricators. By John Campbell


cal Company is planning to build another resin producing plant in Louisiana that will raise the domestic production of vinyl by 30 percent. Vinyl has a wide variety of uses, everything from water pipe and electrical wire and cable insulation to automotive dashboards, medical disposables, and flexible coatings for cloth upholstery and raincoats. For privacy fence and handrail, vinyl sales amounted to an estimated $645 million last year. Bud Bootier, an industry analyst, tracks and compiles revenue figures for the vinyl fence industry. He estimates another $200 million will be added to the industry’s revenue by 2006. Has vinyl fence and handrail cut into the aluminum market over the past two decades? That’s a question we attempted to explore in this article for NOMMA members.

For your information


Plastics! Remember the 1967 film called The Graduate? Dustin Hoffman played the role of Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate attending a huge reception given by his parents. One of his family friends asked him what he intended to do with his life. Before he could answer, a guest said, “Plastics!” Plastics, that man predicted, would be the rising wave of the future. Well, the old gent was right! One of a dozen different thermoplastics, vinyl, short for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), reached production levels of 4.5 billion pounds in the United States last year. With the industrial growth of densely populated regions like India and China the foreign demand for vinyl is growing rapidly. As a result, vinyl resin has become one of our exports. Domestic producers are operating at 94 percent of capacity. A subsidiary of Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemi-

Tip: A company named BLACKline® is currently the sole supplier of black vinyl in the U.S. Tip: It may be that aluminum more commonly replaces wrought iron and vinyl more commonly replaces wood. Tip: Jerith Mfg. Co., an aluminum fence and handrail producer, gained a 20–25% increase in their aluminum sales in the past year. Tip: A vinyl extruder called Royal Crown produces vertical posts that meet ICC standards without the support of metal inserts.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

What do you call a fence?

Trying to put an estimate on the total value of the domestic market for fence and handrail is like trying to determine a woman’s age by asking her friends. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence, but no one wants to be quoted. Should we include barbed and razor wire? No! Chain link? Maybe. Prison and farm paddock fence? Why not? Have we included the installation costs? Unable to define exactly what constitutes fencing statistics, the


estimates range from $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion. Installation raises those figures to about $17 billion. It’s a big market shared by manufacturers, distributors, and dealers who provide wood, steel, aluminum, plastics, and maybe even stone. The benefit of low maintenance has propelled the market for aluminum and vinyl fencing with double-digit increases. Last year vinyl fence sales increased 35 percent to 40 percent. How much of that increase was due to higher resin costs is speculative. With a more stable cost of raw materials,

aluminum fencing revenue increased by 20 percent to 25 percent in the same period. Who said oil and water don’t mix?

As a thermoplastic, polyvinyl chloride, PVC, can be melted and recycled, unlike thermoset plastics, equally valuable resins that undergo an irreversible molecular change when solidified. PVC raw material is made by combining saltwater, natural gas, and crude oil to produce a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The cost of oil is one reason given for the volatile increases in the cost of PVC. The vinyl chloride monomer or VCM is then polymerized into PVC, which in pure form is hard and brittle. Plasticizers, like phthalates, are added to give pure PVC, sometimes referred to as PVCU, its flexibility. The U stands for unplasticized, a vinyl product commonly used in plastic window frames. One of the problems with vinyl, and other plastics as well, is their tendency to creep, which can occur in differing degrees depending upon the amount of stress put on them, temperature changes and the time elapsed under load. The mechanical and physical properties of PVC can be engineered with various additives. Certain metallic salts like titanium dioxide are added as heat stabilizers to prevent such degradation as well as discoloring from the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Selected fillers give vinyl bulk and reduce its cost. Lubricants prevent sticking to processing dies. Then, there are dyes and pigments added for color. Until three years ago, the only colors available in vinyl were white, gray and beige. You couldn’t buy a green or red colored vinyl, and certainly not black. That changed three years ago, when a company named BLACKline® developed a black vinyl source in South Korea, and began an aggressive marketing program. John Keller, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Omaha company, grew up with the vinyl fence business. “I remember when everyone seemed to want black and we had only white to sell,” said Keller. Like Henry Ford in Fabricator n March/April 2005

the days of the first model T’s, Keller on a Nebraska farm, where the ownwill sell you any color as long as it’s ers installed old irrigation pipe for black. BLACKline® is the sole supplier paddock fencing. They noticed that of black vinyl fencing in the United horses, which are notorious for chewStates. They compete head on with the ing wood fence posts, didn’t like chewtraditional wrought iron ing vinyl. That single incident look, and even after three PVC specifications created a demand for vinyl The ASTM-F-964-2 years, some competitors paddock fence. don’t appear to know it’s specification covers However, since 1974, it’s been PVC fencing. Meavailable. known that vinyl chloride chanical tests covering (VCM) emissions cause impact, tensile, elongaVinyl industry under tion, linear expansion angiosarcoma of the liver and shear strength are attack among workers exposed to found under ASTM The market for vinyl the manufacturing process. D-20. fence was born in 1970 Whenever there’s the smell of

VCM gases environmentalist watchdogs spread the news to the public. Public health advocates like the Center for Health and Environmental Justice ( predict that landfills will bury over 70 billion pounds of PVC over the next ten years. They warn that vinyl burned in house fires is a threat to occupants and firefighters from chlorine gas and harmful dioxins. In one month alone, December 2004, the Center for Health and Environmental Justice published 40 press releases warning the public of the poisonous nature of vinyl, urging manufacturers to switch to other materials for their products and packaging. For the vinyl industry it’s a public relations nightmare. Denny Yoder, President of Royal Crown Ltd., Milford, IN, a company with over a dozen extrusion facilities in the United States and 35 to 40 in Canada, disagrees with the environmentalists. In defense of the vinyl industry Yoder says, “If PVC is so toxic, how come we use it in plumbing to carry water throughout our houses? Vinyl in finished form is inert. Drinking water from a styrene cup is much more toxic.” Yoder further reminds us that PVC is being used in medical products like intravenous bags, tubing and in food packaging. “What people should be working on in this country is not banning the use of PVC, but banning the dumping of PVC in landfills,” said Yoder. “It can be recycled. Our company has a program that encourages dealers to sell their scrap back to us.” “Our main competition is wood”

When asked if vinyl was replacing aluminum in the fence business, Denny Yoder replied, “Our number one competitor is wood.” Vinyl has five times the tensile strength of wood and four times its flexibility. Mark Twain picket style fencing for backyards is vinyl’s most popular style. With an aging population there’s more demand for low maintenance materials. In addition to fencing, vinyl decks and handrails are growing markets as residences age and two-income families acquire vacation homes. The vinyl industry has developed methods of duplicating the grain ap22

Fabricator n March/April 2005

The vinyl fence industry competes with the wood fence industry and has developed methods for duplicating the grainy texture of wood.


pearance and color of wood like oak, maple, and birch by dropping additives in the mix to give their product the unique colors of wood grain. Extruders like Royal Crown use a co-extruding process. The cap stock or outside surface is virgin material with titanium dioxide added like a window shade against UV rays of the sun. Yoder likened the co-extrusion to a chocolate bar…the chocolate being the virgin vinyl and the peanuts inside being the sub-strait that is recycled vinyl. “That type of construction doesn’t cut the cost in half, but it helps reduce the price,” explained Yoder. “PVC has a low coefficient of expansion, about 1 /8 inch under a summer sun for each 8 feet length.” To meet International Code Council (ICC) requirements for handrails, a rod of aluminum or galvanized steel is inserted in cross members. However, Yoder says their vertical posts meet ICC standards without metal inserts. Hoover Fence Company in Newton Falls, OH, sells both aluminum and plastic fencing. Their plastic supplier is Bufftech, a subsidiary of CertainTeed Industries. The Bufftech black plastic fencing is their Prestige® line, but it’s not vinyl. Bufftech uses a product made by Twintex®, a 75 percent glass filled, light-stabilized, polypropylene, a black thermoplastic with a matte finish that looks like wrought iron. Twintex® is a trademark of Saint-Gobain Vetrotex. One of Bufftech’s selling points is that their fade-resistant, glass filled polypropylene is 60 percent stronger than aluminum, more rigid, and will take a higher impact from things like fallen limbs. Using Hoover’s extensive website, a buyer can compare prices of aluminum and plastic fencing. For example, a Prestige® line of black picket fence 4 feet high and 6 feet long sells for $95 per foot. Their powder-painted aluminum counterpart, 4 feet by 6 feet, sells for $73. 75 per foot, or about 25 percent less. That’s a substantial difference, especially if you’re the buyer trying to economize by installing maintenance-free fencing to replace rusting steel fence around a large cemetery. Fabricator n March/April 2005

How is black vinyl made?

“If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you,” laughed John Keller of BLACKline®. He says many curious competitors visited his BLACKline® booth at the January Fencetech Show in New Orleans. Until recently, the availability of vinyl materials in dark colors seemed slim to none. All that changed when BLACKline® introduced their black vinyl fence. With 135 styles they’re soliciting the traditional wrought iron appearance with a five-year-free guarantee. During the first five years

BLACKline® will replace any defective product and pay the installation costs; and their lifetime guarantee is transferable from one owner to another with the sale of property. BLACKline® is selling in a niche market. They’re meeting the demand for maintenance-free wrought iron fence in the old traditional styles. Recognizing that they may have only a few years before competition catches up, BLACKline® has partnered with other vinyl fence manufacturers to sell their product.

“The president of our company comes from the wrought iron sector,” said Keller. “At arm’s length you can’t tell our product from wrought iron. Only the lower horizontal support has either an inserted aluminum or galvanized steel rod for strength. Pieces snap together for ease of installation.” According to Keller, BLACKline® spent over a million dollars to develop black vinyl with the help of British Petroleum and a South Korean producer of automotive parts, the company that makes their extrusions. Recognizing the market for a black vinyl product, Outdoor Technologies Inc., Macon, MS, has partnered with BLACKline® for the past two years to distribute their product. Brian Hammerbacher, President of OTI, is also the chairman of the Vinyl Fence, Deck and Railing Manufacturers, division of the American Fence Association. All of OTI’s extruded vinyl railings are reinforced with aluminum rods to meet ICC regulations. Like all vinyl users OTI has experienced PVC increases of 25 percent to 30 percent over the past year. “Today, we’ve got four resin producers in the United States. With the Shintech plant being built in Louisiana they’ll increase PVC production another 1.6 billion pounds,” said Hammerbacher. Is vinyl a threat to the aluminum fence market?

Bruce Schwartz, president of Jerith Mfg. Co. in Philadelphia, the oldest and largest aluminum fence and handrail producer, concurred that they enjoyed a 20 percent to 25 percent increase in their aluminum sales in the past year. Their raw material costs have been fairly stable. Schwartz feels that aluminum commonly replaces wrought iron and vinyl replaces wood. He doesn’t see vinyl as a threat to his market. Denny Yoder at Royal Crown in Milford, IN, agrees with Schwartz. Both materials, vinyl and aluminum, appeal to buyers because of their low maintenance costs. Yoder thinks his major competitors sell wood fence. Neither Yoder nor Schwartz has suffered a loss of business to black vinyl. Perhaps there’s a cost factor to overcome. Matt Isaacs, Vice President of Sales 26

Fabricator n March/April 2005

than $10 a foot. That’s an eye-opening price, even if you have to buy 15,000 pounds to fill a container. (Note: To contribute to this article the Chinese contacts supplied by Fencetech never replied to repeated phone calls and E-mail messages). A report by TMS (The Mineral, Metal and Materials Society) explains in factual terms how China may play a future role in the aluminum fence market. (See below.) Foreign fence imports will be a bigger concern of the domestic aluminum fence producers than vinyl fence, regardless of its color. left:

Sections of this corroded wrought iron fence were replaced with aluminum fence. right: This aluminum section has been in place three years.

at Ultra Aluminum Mfg. in Howell, MI, attributes some of the increase in their aluminum fence sales to the higher cost of steel, making aluminum more competitive. Ultra buys extruded aluminum (6005-T5). In-house they fabricate and powder

coat with a polyester TGIC thermoset plastic. At the January 2005 Fencetech show there were representatives of an aluminum fence company from China who were offering their product, powder painted, in container loads for less

China’s impact on the fence industry

million people. The major producer is the Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., known as Chalco. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange as ACH ($56.28/share as of 2/4/05) their stock pays a 2 percent dividend. Despite the fact that China is the second largest producer of alumina, they imported 45.6 percent of their requirements in 2002. That drove the price up from $300/ton to $350/ton. An article on the website of TMS forecasts China’s aluminum production to be 9.75 million tons in 2005 and 13 million tons by 2010. Since 1980, the annual growth rate of demand for aluminum in China has been 15 percent (2002 figures). Their cost to extrude aluminum is estimated at 60 percent of those extrusions produced in the United States. While the number of extruders has decreased from 1142 to 620, their production capacity has increased. If they have weaknesses in producing aluminum, it’s their rising cost of electric power, lack of thermal efficiency in processing, and poor die life. The consumption of aluminum in China during 2002 was 4.29 million

By John Campbell

At the Fencetech Show in January 2005 a Chinese company was soliciting orders for aluminum fence, powder coated, for less than $10 a foot, or about 15 percent of retail in the United States. To qualify as a buyer, required ordering a container load (estimated to be 15K lbs.) This suggests more of a threat to the U.S. metal fence industry than plastics. Indeed, industries in the United States are feeling the impact of China’s growth in numerous ways. Based on the year 2002 statistics, The Economist stated that China consumed over half the cement used in the world. They burned 30 percent of the world’s coal and used 36 percent of the world’s steel production. In addition, China has become the world’s largest producer of primary aluminum. As of 2002, there were 135 aluminum smelters in China with a rated capacity of 5.39 million tons a year. China’s aluminum fabricators employ over a 28

tons, second only to the United States at 8.45 million tons (metric tons) China’s market for aluminum is primarily building and construction. At the technical level there’s ongoing trading of information between metallurgists in China and the United States. Gregory J. Hildeman of Alcoa Inc., the 2004 President of TMS, said, “We live in a global information age. As an international professional society that promotes the exchange of technical information concerning minerals, metals, and materials, TMS is exploring initiatives such as electronic memberships with CSM (Chinese Society of Metallurgists) to enable scientists and engineers in that region of the world to access the latest technical information.” *TMS is the acronym for The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, a professional organization in Warrendale, PA, dedicated to materials science and engineering, according to the Maureen Myko, managing editor of their magazine called JOM. For further information, visit: www.tms. org/ pubs/journals/JOM/jom.html. Fabricator n March/April 2005

Shop Talk

Be prudent with change orders n Before performing any changed work or ordering materials necessary for

changed work, be sure to have written modification included or amended to the original contract. And make sure the person who writes the modification has the authority to do so. By Hubert J. Bell Jr. Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP Most contracts include a changes clause because changes to the work may be necessary. This allows an owner or a general contractor or construction manager to make changes to the work without breaching the contract. If the parties do not agree that there could be changes to the work, any change to the original scope of work would be a breach of contract; perhaps a material breach which could justify the metal fabricator stopping work. Therefore, it is essential that the changes clause be included and followed. It allows one party to the contract to change the scope of work without the other party’s agreement, in contrast to the common law of contracts which provides that both (or all) parties to the contract must agree to the modification. The changes clause is enforced because it provides that if one party changes the contract it must adjust the contract price and time for performance. Most subcontracts include a changes clause which permits an increase or decrease in a subcontractor’s work and time for performance if the owner dictates a change to the work of the general contractor or construction manager. Sometimes these changes clauses are incorporated by a “flow-down clause” which provides that the subcontractor assumes to the general contractor the same duties and

For your


Problem: Change work often comes up. And, in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with the other party to its contract and to not delay the project, in hopes of getting furture work, the fabricator may go ahead with performing the extra or


obligations which the general contractor owes to the owner. The changes clause often provides a method for pricing the work and, typically, requires that there be a written modification to the contract before any changed or extra work is undertaken, if the one performing the work is to be paid for it. Herein lies the rub: If the fabricator wants to maintain a harmonious relationship with the other party to its contract and to be cooperative so as not to delay the project and, it hopes, to get more work, it may go ahead with performing the extra or changed work without a signed modification. This is very dangerous. It is not uncommon for a fabricator to proceed with the work based on a verbal direction, only later to be confronted with a “gotcha” because it did not have a written modification to the contract or to have some dispute concerning the additional cost and time required to perform the changed work. Performing the changed work without a written modification or a change order often prevents the fabricator from recovering any compensation for that work. Therefore, it is prudent to demand a written change order, modification, or other directive signed by the general contractor, setting out the scope of the change, pricing the change, (or at least including unit prices for retrospectively pricing the changed work) before beginning to per-

changed work without a signed modification. Implication: The fabricator may end up not getting paid for that changed work. Solution: Have a change clause, including pricing, written into the original contract. About the writer: Hubert J. Bell, Jr. is a partner of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP and has served for many years in various positions for the Public Contract Law Section

When changed or extra work is ordered or when you believe that the work you are being required to perform is different from your understanding of the scope of work, consider the following: n What was the original scope of work? n Did the person ordering the change have the authority to do so? n Notify the other party within the time set out in the changes clause of the contract that you considered this action to be a change or extra work. n Keep accurate records of the cost of performance, including labor, materials and any other increased costs. n Maintain accurate records of the additional time required to perform the changed or extra work. n Is the change or the extra work directed within the general scope of the original contract?

of the American Bar Association, including Chairman of the Section’s Construction Division for three years. Contact: Hugh Bell, Ph: (404) 582-8027; E-mail:

Fabricator n March/April 2005

form or to order materials necessary for the changed work. This is particularly important in public works projects. In some states, Florida, for example, a public owner is not required to pay for changed work in the absence of a written modification to the contract. Authority of person ordering change

In addition, there is another problem of the authority of the person ordering the change. In private-sector contracting, an order to perform changed or extra work may be enforceable so long as the person giving the direction is one who apparently has the authority to do so. For example, the project manager or general superintendent who ordinarily directs the work may order certain extra work to be performed and that order will be binding on the party he represents. However, this is completely different in public works contracting. The socalled “apparent authority” doctrine is not applicable. There must be “actual authority” or, without contracting officer ratification of the change or extra work directive, the fabricator performing the changed or extra work has no entitlement to be paid. This is because there has long been an increased vigilance of obligating and spending public money. The work must be ordered by a contracting officer or other person authorized to obligate the governmental entity. The only exception is that a contracting officer may authorize, in writing, another person to order changes to the work which will bind the governmental entity. Beware of conflicting interpretations

Often, there is a question of whether there is changed or extra work. This usually results from different interpretations of contract plans and specifications. The determination of this question always rests on the specific plans and specifications and contract terms for each job. Therefore, it is difficult to give any rules which are universally applicable. One of these rules, however, is the doctrine that a contract which can be interpreted in 32

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March/April 2005 n Fabricator


two reasonable ways will be construed against the party who drafted the contract. This is based upon the understanding that the party drafting the contract had the opportunity to correct the ambiguity so as to allow only one reasonable interpretation. If a contract is capable of more than one interpretation, the interpretations need not be equally reasonable and one may be more reasonable than another, but if the fabricator’s interpretation is arguably reasonable and the other party drafted the contract, then the fabricator’s interpretation will


prevail. Warning: If the ambiguity in the contract is obvious (or “patent”, in legal terms), then the fabricator is obligated to bring that ambiguity to the attention of the other party to the contract and request clarification before going ahead with performance based on its interpretation. It is only where the ambiguity is “latent” that the doctrine of construing a contract ambiguity against its drafter comes into play. Give notice for any

constructive changes

Changes clauses typically require the party alleging a change or work outside the scope of its contract to give notice. Notice is generally required to be given promptly, often within a few days of the time a fabricator determines that changed or extra work is required or has been directed by the other party to its contract. Many times these changes are “constructive.” This means that the general contractor may direct the fabricator to perform work in a way that is different from what was set out in the original contract but without a change order or written modification. Therefore, when the fabricator believes that it is being required to perform changed or extra work, it must promptly give notice to the other party. Constructive changes often arise from defective plans and specifications. A fabricator may be furnished plans and specifications by an owner or a general contractor which are defective or have not been properly coordinated so there are conflicts. Requiring a fabricator to perform in accordance with one interpretation when it believes that another is correct (and upon which it based its bid or proposal) results in a constructive change. This type of constructive change derives from the so-called “Spearin Doctrine” which was first set out by the United States Supreme Court in 1918. It simply means that when a fabricator is given plans and specifications which it is required to follow, the owner or general contractor which prepared and provided these plans makes an implied warranty that the plans are adequate so that the finished product will be satisfactory. A second aspect of the Spearin Doctrine is that if the fabricator incurs extra cost in attempting to perform according to the plans and specifications, it is entitled to recover compensation for that extra cost. If, as is usually the case, the owner furnishes the plans and specifications, the subcontractor or fabricator usually may recover its extra cost from the general contractor which, in turn, can recover from the owner. Other constructive changes occur when the owner or its representative Fabricator n March/April 2005

requires the fabricator to perform in a way different than the plans and specifications set out. This usually results in additional cost and time for performance. Another constructive change can arise when a contractor is entitled to a time extension but the general contractor or owner refuses to allow the additional time. This results in an “acceleration” of the fabricator’s work, usually resulting in additional cost to perform the work. In all of these cases, the fabricator must give notice in accordance with the changes clause of the contract in order to later assert a claim for additional cost and time. All changes are restricted to the scope of the contract

A changes clause only permits changes within the general scope of work of the contract. The fabricator cannot be directed to provide a Mercedes when the original contract called for furnishing a Chevy Cavalier. This is called the Cardinal Change Doctrine, which restricts changes to those

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

within the scope of the original agreement. A change that is substantially different from what the original scope of work required is a breach of contract and the fabricator usually can proceed as if the contract no longer is in effect and try to obtain payment on a quantum meruit basis; that is, to recover the reasonable value of the work performed for the benefit of the other party to the contract. Keep daily logs of all changed work

A changes clause is desirable because it permits adjustment of a contract’s scope of work to the actual conditions encountered on the job. It not only permits changes to add additional work but also permits the deletion of a portion of the contract scope. Either way, the fabricator is entitled under a changes clause to an adjustment to the cost of performance and the time for performance. When you think you have a change to your work which the other party to your contract will not acknowledge is a change, give prompt

notice and assign discrete cost codes to the labor and materials expended in performing the changed or extra work so that you can prove the extra cost. Require your superintendent or other management personnel to keep daily logs with a detailed description of the changed or extra work, noting all of the personnel performing the extra work, the equipment required and the extra materials required. It is often difficult for a foreman or a superintendent to allocate the time of an employee who works only a few hours on the changed or extra work while performing other work which was within the original scope of the contract, but it is essential to prove your entitlement to recover your additional costs.


Special Feature

METALfab 2005 Show ReMarch 2–5, 2005 New Orleans Photo by Carl Purcell © New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau

NOMMA’s 47th annual trade show and convention took place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, March 2–5, 2005. Below is a review of our METALfab 2005 exhibitors. For a more complete listing, visit: n

Atlas Metal Sales

Bronze Sponsor Atlas Metal Sales is a distributor of CDA655 silicon bronze sheet, plate, rod, bar, and tube. Atlas has a 35 year reputation for quality and competitive pricing serving the needs of fabricators, sculptors, and foundries. CDA655 silicon bronze forges well and is rated excellent for cold working, hot forming, and welding. It has excellent corrosion resistance properties in fresh and seawater environments. Silicon bronze is a superb alloy for artistic and architectural applications. Atlas provides flexible payment plans, orders of any size and quantity, and shipments are generally made within 24 hours after receipt of order. Ph: (800) 662-0143 Web: Auciello Iron Works Inc.

Auciello exhibited the EZ Sleeve, a removable plastic sleeve for forming quick, accurate, clean postholes in concrete. The sleeve is removed after the concrete has set to leave a tapered

hole. Sleeve is 1/6 inch thick plastic swap with tapered tube other pic with a pull-out tab on the closed top and a snap-on base. Color is safety orange. EZ Sleeve is the ideal way to form quick and clean post holes in concrete for installing railings, fence, or other posts. Ph: (978) 568-8382 Web:

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co.

The Big Blu is engineered, produced and marketed by an American artist blacksmith. Its compact design fits through a normal service door. Its large 700 pound anvil and scientifically balanced 110 pound head enables it to operate without a custom foundation. The 18 inch throat and 180 degree foot petal ensures ease of

operation with a variety of sizes and shapes, and 0–240 strokes per minute is obtained with a toe touch. The Quick Change dies made of S-7 heat-treated tool steel are easily interchanged. The Big Blu operates almost noise free except for hammer blows. It is economical and user friendly. Big Blu has low daily maintenance and technical service is just a phone call away.

Ph: (828) 437-5348 Web: Julius Blum & Co. Inc.

Silver Sponsor Julius Blum & Co. Inc. showcased their new hardbound book—Catalog 18—which contains their completely detailed product line and pertinent engineering data. Additionally, Catalog 18 CD version 1.0 was introduced

Start planning now for next year’s show! METALfab 2006 takes place in Savannah, GA March 8–11, 2006. 36

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containing a digital rendition of their new catalog along with their entire updated CAD file library in an easier to navigate edition. New products that were highlighted include a traditionally styled bronze handrail moulding that can also be utilized in JB® Glass Rail and a bronze fluted starting post. Ph: (800) 526-6293 Web: Byan Systems Inc.

Byan Systems Inc. automatic gate and access control products offers unsurpassed quality and dependability with totally integrated electronic and hydraulic design. All Byan components are manufactured in-house from raw castings to finished product insuring total quality control. We offer a 4-year warranty on all models and controllers. All operators now come with adjustable mounting brackets for ease of installation. On-line product information and price quotations are available on our web site. Technical support is always available. Ph: (800) 223-2926 Web:

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL)

C. R. Laurence provides architectural railing systems, hardware, and installation tools—all the components, fasteners, and tools needed to create attractive glass railings, in a variety of styles and finishes, using dry glaze or wet glaze methods. CRL’s GlassWedge™ Dry Glaze System for mounting heavy glass into a base shoe will be demonstrated. See Standard Square, Heavy-Duty Square, Low Profile, and Tapered Base Shoes in a selection of lengths and clad finishes. For the Wet Glaze method, the necessary components, tools and accessories, including alignment systems, installation kits, brackets, and lasers will be exhibited. Products for All Glass Entryway Systems and Security Transaction Hardware Products were also displayed. Ph: (800) 421-6144 Web: The Cable Connection

The Cable Connection’s Ultratec® Cable Railing System features sleek stainless steel hardware that is designed for cable railings, including some that is hidden inside the end posts. Perfect for indoor or outdoor railings and decks using 1/8 inch March/April 2005 n Fabricator


through 3/8 inch diameter cable. Fabrication specifications are offered for various railing frame styles. Ph: (800) 851-2961 Web: Cleveland Steel Tool Company

Cleveland Steel Tool Company exhibited two of its most popular ironworkers for the ornamental metalworking industry at METALfab. The 25 Ton machine is a compact, mobile ironworker that features two workstations: one outfitted for punching, and the second equipped with Multi-Shear Attachment for shearing round, square and flat bar stock, and angle iron. The 55 Ton Ironworker offers four workstations for non-stop metalworking action. A full line of ironworkers, related tooling and portable metalworking machines are available exclusively from Cleveland Steel Tool Company.

Ph: (800) 446-4402; Web: CML USA Ercolina

Ercolina angle rolls are capable of bending a wide range of profiles and materials to centerline radius as small as four times diameter of the work piece. Ercolina has capacity for five inch pipe or four inch angle iron. All models are de-

signed to operate in the vertical or horizontal position with roll speeds up to 20 feet per minute and include foot pedal for hands-free operation. Standard universal tooling adjusts easily to most material profiles and digital display tracks position of center roll for repeatability. Threaded drive shafts allow fine adjustment of tooling without spacers and side roller system adjusts as necessary to create coil effect in work-piece.

Ph: (563) 391-7700 Web: Colorado WaterJet Co.

Silver Sponsor Custom panels and components waterjet cut with your design from any material (steel, aluminum, stainless, bronze, etc). This cold cutting process is slag-free, HAZ-free and distortion-free. It eliminates the need for welding and grinding, and the chance of joints rusting. Endless possibilities for design: “If you can draw it, we can cut it!” Ph: (970) 532-5404 Web: www.coloradowaterjet. com

Crescent City Iron Supply Inc.

Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. is a family owned and operated company supplying the ornamental iron industry. Customer service is the most important part of our business so you can expect friendly and courteous service. To support the ornamental fabricator we stock a complete line of castings, forgings, fence and rail components, gate hardware, paint, welding supplies, and fabrication equipment. Ph: (708) 345-6660 Web: Davison Publishing

Davison’s Fence Blue Book is a comprehensive fence book detailing profiles for fence contractors, manufacturers, and distributors. These listings are geographical, alphabetical, and by product type. Key information includes: contact name, title, address, phone, fax, email, website, and more. It is also available on disk, mailing labels or online. Ph: (800) 328-4766 Web:


Fabricator n March/April 2005

D.J.A. Imports

Silver Sponsor D.J.A. Imports with over 25 years of technical and hands-on fabrication experience can provide a variety of services including consulting, technical support, machinery for the industry, gate and door hardware, paints, patinas, blackener, high quality wrought iron components including stainless steel. The stainless steel systems were developed with the fabricator in mind: cutting the expense of fabrication time and additional machinery, assembling railings is a snap, and there’s no need for a welding machine—you can even do it on the job site.

Ph: (718) 324-6871; Web: DKS, DoorKing Inc.

DoorKing’s 9000 series vehicular slide gate operators offer easy installation and outstanding features at a remarkably affordable price. The unique design of these operators allows them to be installed in a front, rear or center position on the gate without any field modifications. These operators are designed for residential, commercial and industrial applications and are available in a variety of horsepower and voltages. Advanced features on these operators include automatic limit settings, plug-in loop detectors, selectable modes of operation and our patented failsafe entrapment prevention and automatic release system. The 9000 series of operators exceed current industry safety standards and are listed by ETL.

soles are standard. NEW Z402’s are built tough to the high standards fabricators expect of professional Eagle equipment. Twist-max and scroll-max accessories and all other tooling fit these units. Standard 24-component tooling rolls flats, square, and round bar, T’s, C’s, square, and rectangular tubing. Tooling for angle leg-in/out is optional. Ph: (251) 937-0947 Web: Encon Electronics

Encon Electronics unveiled its new, cutting edge trade show booth to the attendees of METALfab 2005 and received enthusiastic reviews. We appreciate all of you who took the time to visit with us. This show is a perfect opportunity for Encon to showcase its exceptional services and vast product line. Encon continues to be a leading distributor of access control and gate operator products, and we currently sell and support product from over 50 different manufacturers. If you would like more information about our extensive product line or our unparalleled customer service and free technical support, please contact us.

Ph: (800) 826-7493; Web:

Eagle Bending Machines Inc.

Silver Sponsor Eagle Bending Machines introduces the 2005 ZM/ZH-402 Roll Benders as an economical alternative to fabricators bending 2” Square Tube for gates and larger steel, bronze or aluminum cap rails. Adjustment is hydraulic on ZH, manual on ZM. LED Readouts, dual E-Stops, Foot Pedal controls and mobile control conMarch/April 2005 n Fabricator


Ph: (800) 782-5598 Web: FABCAD.COM

FABCAD.COM demonstrated its automatic railing and gate drawing programs and CAD Starter System. This popular product has everything an ornamental/miscellaneous fabricator needs to develop attractive and accurate drawings. The package includes a customized version of AutoCad® LT, training videos, over 2,700 casting and forging designs, and pre-drawn gates, columns, rails and fences. This year FABCAD added a new company to its design library, House of Forgings. The latest features of the AutoRail program include an automatically produced bill of materials, customization features that add piece marks and dimensioning options, a new fence module and enhanced gate options. FABCAD offers live on-line tutoring, along with its plotter services. Ph: (800) 255-9032 Web: GTO/PRO Professional Access Systems

The GTO/PRO 3000 by GTO/PRO Professional Access Systems is designed for gates weighing up to 650 pounds and 16 feet in length. The all black GTO/PRO 4000, nicknamed “Shadow,” blends well with decorative and ornamental gates and can handle

gates weighing up to 1,000 pounds and 20 feet in length. Both systems feature true soft/start-soft/stop and larger controls. Ph: (800) 543-4283 Web: HEBO

HEBO, manufactured in Germany, produces wrought iron machines for the ornamental iron industry. For over 35 years HEBO has been refining the process used in manufacturing wrought iron. HEBO demonstrated the com40

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puterized scroll machines as well as

others that twist, forge, and emboss. HEBO works with steel, aluminum, copper and brass. No more waiting for parts to be delivered. Your least experienced employees can give you journeyman results. Ph: (503) 572-6500 Web:

Illinois Engineered Products Inc.

With 45 years of Chicago manufacturing experience in the security gate business, Illinois Engineering can show you how easy it is to sell these important products. Turn every service call into a sales call. Become a dealer today and enjoy the full membership benefits of online ordering,

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

automatic tracking, and delivery status, or call for personalized service. Steel folding gates come in standard sizes for doorways, lift doors, and many other applications where security and access control are important. Our folding gates allow you to provide a low cost alternative when additional security is required or asked for by your customer. Ph: (312) 850-3710 Web:

King Architectural Metals

Silver Sponsor The King Metals 2005 catalog contains over 1200 new items, including balusters, panels, scrolls, and accessories organized by Family Coding to simplify design. The forged and cast aluminum offering includes over 100 new components ranging from balusters and scrolls to finials and spears. New in fencing products are steel tubing pickets with fully welded cast and hand forged finials in a variety of lengths and sizes and a new line of curved gate top

frames in plain and hammered tubing. The Design Concepts Section has new fence, staircase, railing, door and window grille design ideas. King Metals maintains three fully stocked warehouses in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Baltimore to keep delivery times short and freight charges low. Ph: (800) 542-2379 Web: Joachim Krieger eK

Only one machine with its different attachments enables the complete production of highest quality wrought iron window grilles, gates, railings, balusters, fence, house decorations, etc. It allows automate production of bar twisting, scroll forming, surface hammering and designing, basket production, scroll end forging, and many other functions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a complete history in only one powerful machine.


Enormous time savings; no skilled labor required; high price range of

finished products.

Ph: (011) 49-64-258-1890 Web: Lavi Industries

Silver Sponsor Lavi has a renowned reputation in supplying high quality tubing and fittings for nearly 20 years. We were the first in our industry to offer stainless steel fittings and we continue to set the standards in this market. As a premiere world supplier and manufacturer, Lavi offers a variety of components and tubing for architectural railings, kitchen and closet accessories and other architectural applications. Ph: (800) 624-6225 Web:


Lawler Foundry Corp.

Platinum Sponsor Lawler Foundry Corp. of Birmingham, AL displayed their traditional and latest ornamental iron castings and artistic forgings. Lawler continually develops new and different products for the industry and is the largest full-line producer and supplier of high-quality, low-cost ornamental metal components in the U.S. Ph: (800) 624-9515 Web: Logical Decisions Inc.

Logical Decisions Inc. is proud to introduce its new LIFT & TURN gate operator. This operator has the ability

to lift a gate panel while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening, offering a great solution to swing path obstructions such as snow and a sloping drive. This lifting also enables the gate panel to be secured with out manual assistance, a feature that plays a key role in providing crash capabilities to a swing gate. Rated for class II operations, the LIFT & TURN comes with a 1-800 technical support team that has been in the business for 28 years. Give us a call so that we may solve your gate access needs.

Ph: (800) 676-5537 Web: Marks USA

Marks USA introduced a complete lock line for the ornamental iron security storm door. Standard and thin line versions are available featuring screwless knobs and levers, proprietary no droop lever springs, cylinder collar security inserts and high strength solid steel hubs. Lifetime mechanical warranty applies to all Marks USA products. Handsome design and solid construction have made these ornamental locksets the most popular in the country. For application assistance

Fabricator n March/April 2005

or brochure contact us. Ph: (631) 225-5400 Web: www. marksusa. com. Master Halco

We are proud to introduce MontageÂŽ All Terrain Fence (ATF), a high quality welded steel fence system with virtually invisible, structural connections with no unsightly exposed fasteners. It is the only welded steel fence that can accommodate severe grade changes and follow uneven ground contours. In addition to MontageÂŽ, Master Halco offers a virtually limitless selection of fences, gates, and access control. Monumental Ironâ&#x201E;˘ provides a vast range of styles, materials, and options, allowing you to create precisely the right match for every project. All gates can be manufactured to accom-

modate automatic entry, and we offer a complete selection of access control products to satisfy the needs of any project. Ph: (888) 643-3623 Web: Metal Fabrik India

Metal Fabrik India is based in the coastal paradise of Goa, India, from where we manufacture and export our products, since 1989. We specialize in ornamental gates, grills, balusters, staircase railings, and cast iron components and offer a wide range of styles and designs in our catalog. All of these are manufactured in wrought iron and powder coated in a variety of colors. The company philosophy of giving the customer the best product at the most reasonable price is strengthened by our strict inhouse quality control and constantly evolving, innovative design for our March/April 2005 n Fabricator


entire range of products.

Ph: (011) 91-832-564-1074 Web:

and enables the operator to tailor the speed of the cutter to the wall thickness and diameter of the tubing. With this “matched” speed customers will be able to notch small diameter thin walled tubing without the “grabbing” experienced on some single speed cutters. Mike Mittler, CEO of MB, said, “This is a natural evolution of our standard Ultimate Tube Notcher

Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool

Visitors to METALfab 2005 were treated to demonstrations of the new Variable Speed Ultimate Tube Notcher. This new piece of fabrication equipment is targeted at users who work primarily with thin walled small diameter tubing (1/2 inch to 13/4 inch and .032 inch to .95 inch wall)

and was brought about by customer input.” Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool is the leader in race car, restoration, and fabrication tools and accessories.

Ph: (636) 463-2464 Web: Frank Morrow Co.

At METALfab 2005, Frank Morrow Company displayed 14 cast grey iron candleplates/bobeches in a variety of sizes and styles. Four diameters are available: 31/16 inch, 31/2 inch, 41/4 inch, and 51/8 inch, each with scalloped or plain edges, and with or without center hole. Also shown were the company’s most recent cast finial/drawer pull designs including five seashells, fish, seahorse, tortoises, birds, flowers, classic motifs, and animal designs. Over 250 grey iron and white metal cast products, including leaves, rosettes, scrolls, fruits, pinecones and more, are pictured in the Decorative Metal Stampings catalog. Ph: (800) 556-7688 Web: New Metals

DecoGuard™ decorative expanded metal mesh, manufactured exclusively by New Metals Inc., combines an attractive design with the strength of steel. Available in eight distinct designs, DecoGuard can be used anywhere intrusion prevention is a must, such as in fencing, gates, window covers, and more. Great for strict building code compliance, DecoGuard is now available in a wider range of sheet sizes, including 6-foot tall sheets for residential fencing applications. Shown is the “Roman” design. Ph: (888) 639-6382 Web: NOMMA / NEF

METALfab 2005 The National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association was proud to once again sponsor its annual trade show and convention, METALfab. A special thanks goes to the NOMMA Education Foundation for an outstanding education program. Ph: (404) 363-4009 Web: 44

Fabricator n March/April 2005

the qualities that distinguish Rik-Fer products from other manufacturers. The show introduced several new items. Your favorite products are now stocked in the U.S. for more convenient availability. Ph: (877) 838-0900 Web:

Ohio Gratings

Bronze Sponsor Aluminum’s high strength-to- weight ratio, excellent corrosion resistance and natural attractiveness makes it a perfect construction material. When used for bar grating, it’s ideal for countless commercial and industrial applications. Aluminum is 1/3 the weight of steel and therefore offers great flexibility. It is an ideal architectural material for building facades, sun screens, security screens, vent grilles, visual barriers, handrail panels, fencing, et. Aluminum can also be powder coated or anodized to match just about any color scheme. Our newest product is the Lite I-Bar series which is approximately 20 percent lighter than our other comparable sizes.

Rockite Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc.

Rockite is an anchoring and patching cement that sets in 15 minutes. New Kwixset Exterior Anchoring and Patching cement mixes with water and sets up in 15–20 minutes. Use it for installing railings and fences in concrete outdoors. Both products are stronger than concrete in one hour. Ph: (216) 291-2303

Scotchman Industries Inc.

Scotchman® Industries

featured the 5014 TM Ironworker at METALfab 2005. This machine has 50 tons of punching pressure (13/16 inch hole in 3/4 inch plate) and is made in America. Standard features include: keyed punch ram, three-station revolving turret punch, which accepts up to three pieces of tooling that can be changed in seconds, rectangular notcher (21/2 inch by 3 inch in 5/16 inch), angle shear (4 inch by 4 inch by 3/8 inch) and flat bar shear (1/2 inch by 8 inch to 1/4 inch by 14 inch). The component tool table design options include: 12 inch press brake, rod shear, square tube shear, picket tools, pipe notcher, and special tooling. Ph: (605) 859-2542 Web: www. scotchman. com Sharpe Products

At METALfab 2005, Sharpe

Ph: (800) 321-9800 Web: Rik-Fer USA Inc.

Bronze Sponsor RikFer USA presented its line of quality ornamental iron products, including gates, steel forgings, component items and furniture. Attention to detail and a consistent desire to give their work that “handmade” touch are two of March/April 2005 n Fabricator


Products proudly displayed our growing line of handrail components, which includes the largest selection of stock bends in the industry! You can check out our products in our new Volume #4 catalog. Contact us for one today. If you have one but don’t see what you need, we can still help. Our large selection of dies and machinery lets us bend and roll to your specifications. Call today and let one of our knowledgeable sales representatives help you get exactly what you need. Ph: (800) 879-4418 Web: www. Signon USA

With 25 years of manufacturing experience, we proudly present classic quality designs as well as its own presentation we are mak-

ing debut with introducing a new concepts in fabrication the “Braided Series” in addition to the famous “Kesher Series.” At your request SignonUSA will custom manufacture original designs in quantity or individual orders. We look forward to providing you with fine iron design art of the best quality at most competitive prices.   

Hammer Bases, and Platen Tables. The Striker STC self-contained, pneumatic forging hammer is the number one selling forging hammer in the U.S. designed specifically for use within fabrication and blacksmith shops. The rugged, one-piece and two-piece models come with limited lifetime original owner warrantees on the hammer’s cast frame.

Ph: (866) 744-6661 Web:

Ph: (866) 290-1263 Web:

Sparky Abrasives

Sumter Coatings

Sparky Abrasives Co. presented the firm’s extensive line of abrasives for the fabricator. The exclusive Sparky Flap Disc was featured. With this product, a grinder can take down welds and finish-sand with one product. Ph: (800) 328-4560

Striker Tool Co. USA

Striker Tool Company (USA) was pleased to present its line of Striker STC Forging Hammers, new Cast

Sumter Coatings featured paints, primers, and topcoats especially for ornamental and miscellaneous metal. The firm’s popular Satin Shield Enamel was a featured product. Satin Shield is a fast drying direct-to-metal paint offered in assorted colors. Ph: (888) 471-3400 Web: Tennessee Fabricating Co.

Silver Sponsor This year’s METALfab saw Tennessee Fabricating Co. showing examples from their complete lines of high quality castings, forgings, hardware, and introducing the NEW rollformed punched channel. Another feature this year was the emphasis on custom capabilities at little or no extra charge. Special lengths, twists, textures, and castings can be made from a variety of metals in short lead times, continuing a tradition of customer service. Ph: (901)725-1548 Web: www.

Texas Metal Industries Inc.

Texas Metal Industries Inc. presented its new 250+ page catalog number 11. The catalog shows their extensive collection of ornamental iron products. Texas Metal now has three locations for quick shipping and service that is second to none; two in Texas and one Michigan. Ph: (800) 222-6033; Web: www.


Fabricator n March/April 2005

W.G.F. Ironwork Products Center Inc.

W.G.F. Ironwork Products Center Inc. supplies spears/ fence, gate, window hardware/ handrail accessories, casting/ baluster/scroll/floral, elements/rosette/ panel designs. Ph: (888) 696-6943

The Wagner Companies

Platinum Sponsor The Wagner Companies introduced the latest in LED technology now available for use in railing products. Lumenrailâ&#x201E;˘ Lighted Railing Components utilize a low profile lighting unit that enables functional luminous intensities in handrail or guardrail applications. Lumenrail can be used for handrail or guardrail applications to improve safety

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

and security. Light strips are available in 6-inch to 96-inch lengths, in three beam patterns and optional colors. Wagner is developing brackets, mounting clips and adapters for use with Lumenrail. Contact Wagner for availability and to receive our 2005 Anniversary Edition catalog. Ph: (888) 243-6914; Web: www. J. Walter Inc.

J. Walter Inc. has finally broken the price/ performance barrier for resin bonded 1/4 inch thick grinding wheels with its

newly formulated ALLSTEEL grinding wheel. Additional reinforcement increases performance while yielding a safer grinding wheel when used in all positions. A careful blending of several types of abrasive grains along with selected grinding aids lets ALLSTEEL live up to its name when used on either ferrous or non-ferrous metals. On stainless steel this wheel runs cool and comfortable while on carbon steel longer life and faster cutting has been achieved. No other wheel in its class performs as equally well on stainless steel and carbon steel.

Ph: (877) 210-7427 Web: West Tennessee Ornamental Door

West Tennessee Ornamental Door has expanded to better serve the ornamental fabricator with custom and in-stock products. At Metalfab 2005


we displayed ornamental security doors, locks, steel and aluminum fence panels, Apollo, Eagle, GTO gate operators and Linear access control products. We have the most popular operators and access control parts in stock ready for immediate shipment. We have steel and aluminum entrance gates, gate operators and access control parts in stock ready to ship in 24 hours. We can also custom manufacture steel and aluminum gates to your specification.

quotes, and track shipments at your convenience. What hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed is our commitment to you the customer. We still offer great deals on quality ornamental products, including our fully customizable websites for fabricators. We continue to innovatively meet the needs of our customers. Ph: (877) 370-8000; Web: www.

Ph: (866) 790-3667

Wrought Iron Concepts Inc.

This year at METALfab 2005 we unveiled a new selection of decorative hand forged panels for gates, fencing, and handrail, as well as a our new line of powder coated balusters. We also showcased our dynamic new E-Commerce website, allowing you to place orders, receive instant shipping


Fabricator n March/April 2005

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

Supporting our industry through education left: (l to r)

NEF Director Martha Pennington, Stan Lawler, and NOMMA Executive Director Barbara Cook share a metal moment.

below: Lawler has been a loyal METALfab exhibitor for several decades.

n Lawler Foundry Corp. believes in the power of education. The firm, which shares a long history with NOMMA, has pledged $100,000 to the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Fabricator: Since the late 1950s Lawler Foundry has supported the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA), including its recent commitment to the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) of $100,000 over a four-year period. Why does Lawler feel such a strong responsibility to NOMMA and NEF? Lawler: Obviously the better our customers are, the better we are. I believe NEF offers a platform for educating NOMMA members to help them improve their skills, 50

technically and operationally of course, but also in fiscal management and overall business acumen. Experience alone can be a time-consuming and costly process without the adjunct of skill enhancement. Most NOMMA members are 2–5-people shops, so an owner has to know a little about everything. There are many fine, smart people in our industry, but you can’t run a successful business if you don’t know how. Many shop owners can provide jobs for themselves by figuring the cost of material and multiplying it by three or four to account for profit. And that’s fine. But these other systems can help develop a shop into a business. We want to help our customers secure longevity. The goal of any business is to maximize profits by using the advantages without taking unfair advantage. There are other NOMMA suppliers who must feel the same way, and I know they can come up with even more ways to help. Support for and

For your information


In support of the NOMMA Education Foundation, Lawyer Foundry Corp. committed to a four-year pledge of $100,000. Recently NOMMA Fabricator magazine had the opportunity to say thank you to Mr. Lawler and find out first-hand why he places such a high value on education in our industry.

Spotlight: NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Member Lawler Foundry Corp., Birmingham, AL. Special Thanks: Lawler has pledged $100,000 to the NOMMA Educaiton Foundation. Want to make a contribution? Contact: Martha Pennington, NOMMA Education Foundation, Ph: (404) 363-4009; E-mail:; Web: The NOMMA Education Foundation partners with NOMMA to provide education to the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

NEF Metal Moment

NEF News Stan Lawler has been an active member of NOMMA since the 1960s.

participation in the NEF programs will benefit everyone in the industry. Fabricator: So how were you introduced to the industry? Lawler: I was given the end of a shovel when I was 12! My older brother Lacy and I worked at the Foundry when we weren’t in school. He was my mentor for several years. Fabricator: What is your educational background? Lawler: After high school I went into the army. That was 1955. I spent a year and a half in Europe. That experience probably prepared me more than anything for life. I returned home to graduate from the University of Alabama, where I met and married Sandra in 1961. I began running the Lawler Shipping Department in 1962 and to enhance my own education I attended law school at night, and graduated in 1968. Fabricator: What made you decide to go to law school? Lawler: There were too many Lawler’s at the table at that time. I wasn’t quite sure my future would be there, so I decided to prepare for another career. But about the time I graduated from law school, my father died suddenly at the age of 60, leaving the company to his children. Thus, my life’s work was decided. March/April 2005 n Fabricator

Fabricator: I know your father, who was trained in machining, started Lawler Machine Shop in 1933. But in the late 1960s Lawler made a transition out of the machining industry and became a fulltime foundry. What factors played a role in that transition? Lawler: During the 1960s Fairmont Foundry and Tennessee Fabricating were the “big dogs” in this industry, and Lawler typically did commercial work. But we lost several old hands around the time my father died, and we were also using old equipment. My brother and I decided it might be better to get away from the commercial side of the business and the expense of updating machine tools. Our dad and his brother were actually the machinists. My interests and my personality just seemed to fit better with ornamental and miscellaneous metals.

Coming in August! The NOMMA Education Foundation is pleased to announce it’s latest project—The Standard Practices Guidelines, which will be published in August. The booklet is uniquely designed for our industry and covers items ranging from design responsibility to finishes. To obtain maximum input from the NOMMA membership, there will be a survey and two comment periods. Also providing input is an Advisory Committee made up of NOMMA members. Regular updates on the project will appear in Fabricator and TechNotes, the bi-monthly technical bulletin for NOMMA members. New books from NEF You can now purchase four Schiffer books on metalwork design through NEF: Architectural Ironwork; The Contemporary Blacksmith; Decorative & Sculptural Ironwork: Tools, Techniques, & Inspiration, by Dona Z. Meilach, and Decorative Ironwork: Wrought Iron Latticework, Gates, & Railings, by Margarete Baur-Heinhold.

Fabricator: What are some important lessons you have learned while working in our industry that have helped Lawler Foundry Corp. continue to grow as a successful enterprise? Lawler: My brother and I decided when we left the commercial machining industry we would stop trying to be everything to everyone, and by the mid 1970s we really became focused. Still today, we continue to develop and realign our business according to the current economy. In that way, we turn challenges into new opportunities for growth.


Member Talk

David Wall is a self taught metal artist, among other things. He has owned and operated The Windvane Co. in Clarkesville, GA for the past 22 years.

Fabricating a fulfilling career n Find out how this NOMMA member’s rich work history has provided

tools for creating his own metal Zen.

He’s actually a jack of several trades. David Wall, whose metal roots go back to the early 1970 American blacksmith resurgence, may be one of our trade’s best kept secrets. Wall’s work has appeared in Southern Living, Architectural Record, House Beautiful, Atlanta Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. Not only is he a talented and highly knowledgeable metalsmith and fabricator, he’s also a toolsmith, a machinist, and skilled at working with wood and glass. Today, Wall mostly fabricates furniture, other interior accents, weather vanes, and chandeliers. About 25 percent of his work is ecclesiastical and adorns churches all over the southeast. How Wall got involved 52

in such a specialized market is almost as interesting as all of the handmade tools and modified shop equipment he uses to fabricate and texture such work, let alone the multifaceted career he’s enjoyed. Jack of several trades

Although The Windvane Co., his current miscellaneous metal shop, lies tucked away in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains, just a couple hours north of Atlanta, GA, Wall is a native to Atlanta. There he began in the 1960s working in his own company doing construction, commercial/ industrial real estate brokerage, and management. During this time he began experimenting with metal fabrication. “My first metal work was a set of garbage can stands for an apartment building com-

For your information


By Rachel Bailey, Editor

NOMMA member: The Windvane Co., Clarkesville, GA. Owner: David Wall Niche: Handcrafted and textured interior accents and weather vanes. Resume: Wall began in construction and real estate brokering. In addition to metal fabrication has worked as a volunteer fire chief, an EMS technician, and an industrial wellness instructor for OSHA.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

he has also worked as a volunteer fire chief, an EMS technician, and an industrial wellness instructor teaching CPR, first aid, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes. But most significantly (at least for metal fabricators) Wall had an early and important role in the development of the ArtistBlacksmith Association of North America (ABANA). He and Alex Bealer, an Atlanta neighbor at the time, held the first blacksmith conference in Westville, GA, which led to the 1972 development of ABANA. “Bealer was a history buff, an English major, and the owner of his own advertising firm” Wall explains. “Bealer’s book The Art of Blacksmithing really started the blacksmith resurgence in this Wall fabricated this 12’ tall by 5’ 6” wide multi country.” media cross for the Covenant Congressional During the early days of ABANA Church at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA. He’s shown here with Rev. Dr. Ashley Cook. Wall was a liaison for ABANA with Blanche Blackwell Ballew, plex,” Wall recalls. “The 35 gallon galthen Executive Director of NOMMA. vanized metal cans used back then were According to Wall, he and Blanche very noisy and messy when they blew worked with members of both orgaover and rolled around in the parking nizations to meet the mutual interest lot. So I welded together a stand to hold of those two organizations at the time. the cans upright using a Westinghouse “Some of those NOMMA members MK 180, some channel iron, and flat were Bill Gasparrini, Bill Gitchner, and strap. From there I fabricated different Mitch Heitler to name a few,” Wall exthings as needed on the job sites. I just plains, “and there were others involved did it at night using structural comas time went on.” ponents to make pipe railings, simple Wall remained active in ABANA for a things.” while. But in 1974 and 1975 a commisUp until this point Wall dabbled in sion fabricating all of the metal parts metalwork only on the side. But, in the for the Rhine River boats at Anheuser early 1970s the real estate market went Bush Co.’s Bush Gardens Williamsburg down, and Wall soon found himself theme park (Williamsburg, VA) began making a living at it. So he switched demanding more of his time. over to metalwork full-time and made Wall continued to fabricate interior his real estate business part time, one residential metalwork in Atlanta and of many career shifts he would make North Carolina. Eventually, however, through the years. in 1983 when the market was right, he “I look at it like jumping from lily pad moved his family up to Clarkesville, to lily pad,” Wall says with a laugh. GA, and officially established The “I’ve switched through the years to Windvane Co. whatever market was doing well.” That strategy has helped Wall be a master of several trades. His legal and management knowledge as a real estate broker and owner of his own firm gave him the experience needed in business. In addition to real estate, construction, metal fabrication, and blacksmithing, March/April 2005 n Fabricator

The outfitted shop

This 5,000 square foot shop attached to Wall’s home is outfitted with several pieces of equipment he created and fabricated himself to better suit his needs, which in recent years has led to a great deal of repoussé work. 53

far left:

Wall’s assistant Bob Slack textures copper on the vacuum table Wall built. middle: Wall stands behind the air pump which operates his vacuum table. far right: Wall and Slack illustrate the different texturing effects created by the various hand crafted wooden mallets in Wall’s workshop.

He uses a CNC plasma cutting system for cutting shapes, which he polishes, textures, and finishes, and then uses as part of a fabrication project. “The system consists of a Miller Spectrum 2050 Plasma cutter and a PlasmaCAM CNC cutting table driven by a standard computer enclosed in a dustproof cabinet,” Wall explains. “I’ve added an enclosure around the base of the table with water pans mounted under the table grid. A 12-inch duct is connected to the lower enclosure and is routed up and through a belt driven tubeaxial fan and continuing out of the building into a filter on the outside of the building. The ventilation system creates what would be termed a ‘down draft’ system.” Wall emphasizes the importance of a proper ventilation system. “Particularly if you’re operating it in a closed environment,” he says. Obviously with his medical/OSHA knowledge

he realizes the hazard and states, “This is no hazard to take lightly.” For texturing nonferrous metal Wall built a vacuum table. It holds the sheets securely in place, so they don’t travel as they grow, a result of texturing. The vacuum table works similarly to others that have been written about previously in Fabricator magazine, particularly Ernest Wiemann’s table featured in the March-April 1988 issue, page 14. Wall has added some unusual twists to the system. For instance he uses different materials such as plastic netting and neoprene under the sheet metal to create a more airtight and flatter working surface. Wall uses this vacuum table to texture nonferrous sheet in various sizes. Some of the textured designs he creates are free handed embossed while others are more controlled by cutting the design out of 1/4 inch plate steel with the plasma system.

For large textured sheets he uses a hand sheet metal slip roller to flatten the textured sheet. But with pieces that are smaller, he uses a 50 ton press that he fabricated to suit the application of embossing and flattening sheet items. This press also embosses using the 1/4 inch plate steel designs mentioned above. Wall’s shop also contains plenty of stocked material, consisting of sheet and architectural shapes of different sizes and thicknesses of copper, bronze, brass, german silver, stainless steel, and a wide variety of stained glass in standard sheet and dalle de verre. The shop is equipped with a slew of hand tools, in different shapes and sizes, all neatly organized. Many of these hand tools he has also made himself. “I make most of my wooden repoussé tools of persimmon, ash, maple, mountain laurel, or any hardwood that I’ve cut,” he says. “I harvest the wood, paint both ends, and store them in the


Wall demonstrates how this roller flattens textured sheet.


For finer details Wall uses a variety of repoussé and chasing tools, including metal, leather, and wooden mallets.


Fabricator n March/April 2005

Wall’s ecclesiastical work adorns churches all over the Southeast..

loft for five years or more before I craft them into a tool.” The metal repoussé tools he fabricates come from different grades of tool steel using standard blacksmithing methods including hardening, and tempering.


Wall’s multi discipline shop has allowed him to receive commissions in many areas of design. From early American to ultra modern polished stainless steel, intricate laminated wood to complex dalles de verre stained glass. He is equally comfortable in all media. The multi discipline shop lends itself to securing commissions that would be awkward if segments were outsourced. This capacity has created an unusual mix of commissions through the years. He has designed and fabricated items such as a 25 passenger self propelled Trolley that operates on standard rail road rails. He fabricated all of the metal parts including the boiler for a full size operating replica of the “African Queen” boat. Wall has enjoyed working on such projects along with the more standard projects that a miscellaneous metal shop gets on a regular basis. However, there is a specialty area of which he is most proud: about 25 percent of his commissions are ecclesiastical. Ecclesiastical work

His first ecclesiastical work began by happenstance. “I made a small Celtic

cross for a rector as a personal gift,” Wall explains. “And that led to a commission which led to another commission.” One of his favorites was one that he received from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, a tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “I was included in the presentation of the sculpture of bronze and glass to the Archbishop,” Wall recalls. “Ecclesiastical work is highly specialized,” he explains. “The ratio of the cross and how the different elements are used all play a role in design and fabrication.” But, aside from his artistic and technical acumen, Wall believes his past business experience is an important aspect of his ecclesiastical work. Particularly, working with committees has allowed him an inside understanding of the financial structure of non profit organizations, which typically commission ecclesiastical work. Job profile

Wall recently created the 12-feet tall by 5 feet 6-inches wide multi media cross weighting 600 pounds shown on page 53 for Covenant Congressional Church at Piedmont College in De-

Fabricator n March/April 2005

above: Wall uses the vacuum table to emboss this square sheet insert for the apex of the cross. below: Wall demonstrates how the embossed brass insert fits into the cross’s steel frame.

morest, GA. It consists of copper repoussé, polished embossed brass, 23 count weight gold leaf, #9 polished stainless steel White oak laminations, and a 1 inch square tubing armature. He textured some of the elements with his own specialized repoussé and chasing methods. The structure rests on a rolling oak and copper pedestal, allowing easy mobility. This work, while a beautiful example of artistic metalwork, also illustrates the complex symbolism that goes into ecclesiastical art. For example, the three metals of the Covenant Congressional Church’s cross represent the three entities of the Christian Trinity while the trefoils on the cross’s base, pedestal, and at the back, demonstrate the Trinity’s unity, Wall explains. The polished stainless steel crown at the top of the cross symbolizes Christ, and the angles of the hammered copper through the stem of the cross point inward intentionally. By doing so they suggest “an inner spiritual journey and a calling to March/April 2005 n Fabricator


cally demanding to some degree. “Of course there are those times when things don’t go like they should, but as in many endeavors of value there are those special challenges.” Wall says the completion of a well designed and fabricated commission is a very personally rewarding experience. So it seems Wall’s range of talents serves him well as they certainly serve the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Look for future issues of Fabricator and Fabricator’s Journal (NOMMA members only publication) to find out just how Wall’s modified shop equipment and tools work and how you can build them for your own shop. The ratio of the cross plays a role in design and fabrication of Wall’s ecclesiastical work.

Wall textured the cross’s brass and copper elements with his own specialized repoussé and chasing methods.

Christians to uphold God’s teachings,” he adds. Such fulfilling work however has a downside, Wall admits, “Sometimes I almost feel guilty. I enjoy my work so much that I don’t feel as if I’ve been working at all.” He describes his work as enjoyable and relaxing, yet physi-


Fabricator n March/April 2005

Job Profile

Copper and bronze help convey a complex image

MacDonald used the process of low relief and repoussé to produce the detail in this driveway gate.

n The addition of copper and bronze to a mild steel driveway gate gives

For your information

By James MacDonald James MacDonald Metal Art Studio Out west in the Arizona desert there is a ranch that is home to some of the world’s finest western performance horses and, now, a couple of brown bears. The horses are the responsibility of the ranch manager, but I was given the opportunity to work with, well, actually create the bears. I was hired to design the front gate entry for the main house, adjacent to the ranch. This included gates and gate supports (light boxes) that would hold the gates in place. The clients had no requirements on the subject matter of the gates. However, they suggested that a bear motif of some sort might be nice. I was given artistic freedom to design the rest. I drew three different conceptual drawings for a front gate entry and light boxes and presented them to the 60

clients. The client liked the design depicting two different bears, one on either gate, with water as their background the best. Fortunately, getting the design approved was easy. But after that the real work began. I had to translate the image from a drawing to metal in a way that conveyed the same artistic qualities that my clients and I appreciated from the drawing. The bear design on the gates is fairly complicated. It shows the bears both postured individually and presents a river as their background. I realized that using mild steel would allow me to come up with a good, easy solution for the gate design. But, I decided that mild steel might understate the craftsmanship of the residence in general. So I added copper and some bronze to the design. The addition of copper and bronze added more malleability, dynamic color of natural copper and bronze, and the ability to convey the blue of the water.


the design’s nature motif more malleability, texture, and color.

NOMMA Member: James MacDonald Metal Art Studio, Woodside, CA. Project: Driveway gate. Materials: Mild steel, copper, and bronze. After applying a patina to the Core-ten steel plate, MacDonald was able to obtain a naturally rusty finish, the desired look, without damaging the integrity of the steel in the long run. Equipment: MacDonald recommends that fabricators who do relief and repoussé work take a look at the Pullmax, a machine that creates numerous types of stroke patterns (available through Graham Manufacturing, Web:

Fabricator n March/April 2005

MacDonald says the Pullmax P-5 was a lifesaver with this particular project. Adding a urethane disk to the equipment made texturing less time consum-

I knew I wanted to use the method of low relief repoussé for the copper bears. Having done enough copper repoussé by hand to know that it is time consuming and fatiguing, I was searching for another solution. I found it in the Pullmax. I highly recommend fabricators who do relief and repoussé work to take a look at this machine if possible. I had the opportunity to see a Pullmax demonstration at a local blacksmithing event of the California Blacksmith Association (CBA) prior to starting the gates and quickly realized the value of a machine that could be so versatile by creating numerous types of stroke patterns. Thanks to Bob Graham Manufacturing I became the proud owner of a Pullmax P-5. More importantly, with the simple addition of a urethane disk used as a bottom dye that Bob provided, I was able to texture and repoussé all the copper added to the steel bear silhouettes. With the amount of copper involved in the project it would not have been possible to complete the amount of work I wanted in relief and repoussé without this machine. Even with the use of the Pullmax each section of copper had to be annealed, run through the Pullmax, annealed again, run through a second time, reheated, and then colored for the final effect. This starts to explain March/April 2005 n Fabricator


The gates are double sided 1/8“ plate with 021 copper inlay. Everything has its mirror image, which was cut at the same time. The bear silhouettes had shapes removed from strategic areas of the image, which reveal the 021 copper from behind the steel image. The inset shows the relief technique done with the P-5 Pullmax machine.

the over 500 hours of work in the two gates alone, excluding the light boxes. The process of low relief in copper is a little time consuming, but the end result is worth it. Pullmax aside, everything was done by hand. Every piece was cut and fit individually, and little by little the bears took shape while the copper gained relief. If you work with any material, at some point you become comfortable with its physical character. You gain insight as to its potential and see new possibilities. Figuratively or otherwise with some technique and tooling, you

can take each material to its fullest potential. I think this idea applies to the design itself, and this was the general direction of this project. This approach also enables a fabricator to clarify the intended results by defining the quality of the work at every step of the design process. Making new decisions about each of the individual shapes enhances the final image as each decision builds on the last. For example starting with the drawn image of this particular design to the final assembly there was an opportunity to revisit each shape at least nine times. The four bears alone consisted of more

The light boxes had to have enough size to frame the gates from their surroundings, yet they couldn’t compete with either the architecture of the residence or the artwork itself. The material I used was ⁄ inch Core-ten steel plate. 62

than 125 pieces that went through a nine-step process: Initial drawing, image transfer to transparency, projection of transparency to steel, drawing image onto steel, freehand plasma cutting of image on steel, second transfer of image from projection onto paper, paper image cut and transferred to copper sheet, plasma cut of copper shape, and finally, check piece for fit, it has to fit right or the rest of the design will suffer. To form the bears, the transferred image of the bears from the original drawings was first drawn onto a 5-foot by 8-foot sheet of steel and then plasma cut. It took four, 5 foot by 8 foot sheets to transfer the four bears since each gate was two-sided and three-dimensional. Copper and bronze was worked on the Pullmax and then riveted to each side of the gate. Since the gates are double sided, everything has its mirror image, which was cut at the same time. The bear silhouettes had shapes removed from strategic areas of the image, which reveal copper from behind the steel image. These areas relate to the copper shapes applied to the front surface of the image providing an effective way to convey the bears as almost a three dimensional image. All the copper shapes were applied with copper rivets to each individual bear silhouette. The two bear silhouettes were assembled back to back in the frame and TIG welded together with a 1fi inch stripe of 16 gauge steel in between them. This implied some added dimension to which all the water design was cut and assembled on center out of mild steel. With the addition of the copper relief to complete the water image, the bears still appear to project forward from the water background. The bears standing on their own in the shop enabled me to turn my attention towards the light boxes which would frame and support the gates in Arizona. Gates are usually hung between supporting posts. Their design is usually decided before the two are put together. This project allowed me to design the gate supports (light boxes) so that they complement the gates. The light boxes had to have enough size to frame the gates from their surroundings, yet they couldn’t compete Fabricator n March/April 2005

with either the architecture of the residence or the artwork itself. The material I used was â &#x201E; inch Core-ten steel plate. Core-ten was used to obtain a naturally rusty finish, the desired look, without damaging the integrity of the steel in the long run. After applying a patina to the steel plate and leaving them out in the wet weather, the accelerated rusty finish was accomplished. Copper was also used for water-like inserts shadow boxed in the front and back of each gate support. The simple rust patina of the Core-ten allowed for an understated foreground featuring a copper water motif. On one side of each box is a hidden door for electrical access; the copper areas are lit internally to highlight the copper shaped water at night. There are also two rectangular sections cut out of the side of the boxes that face the gate. Behind these cutouts are other lights that illuminate the gates at night. The light boxes are internally structured with 6â &#x201E;-inch walled, steel, square tubing, attached to ďŹ -inch plate on top and bottom that is bolted to the cement

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

foundation, supporting the gates. The finished dimensions of the light boxes are 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep by 68 inches tall. I built the gate supports and frame to be as simple as possible, having a presence but not to detract from the focus of the gates and the bears. The light boxes make an excellent transition from the architecture of the house to the artistic central images of the gates. As well as the gates and light boxes, this project allowed me to design and build over 60 interior fixtures incorporating the bear theme into the house, including towel bars and rings, toilet paper holders, robe hooks, and textured iron bars for patio openings to the pool area. It is not often that opportunities as revealed in this job present themselves to a one-man shop, and I look forward to many more opportunities in the future.

Special thanks . . . A 100-square-foot garage is not a lot of space, but it was the beginnings of the James MacDonald Metal Art Studio. With the recent relocation to Woodside, CA, my metal art studio now encompasses 1,200 square feet. This studio/shop was built by Mr. Keith Rongey, an accomplished blacksmith in his own right, and his late father in 1984. When Mr. Rongey sold the property to my wife and I, his desire to keep the passion for metal work alive in the shop was one of the reasons why I now have a working metal art studio. This project for clients in Arizona was built in the new studio.


Job Profile

Elegance n By modifying the

architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design, the fabricator made this hand forged classic steel rail more elegant, more useable, and a lot easier to build. By Rachel Bailey Editor

For your information


NOMMA Member: Steve Fontanini Blacksmithing, Jackson, WY. Project: Steel stair rail. Style: Fontanini exhibits a classic, ornate yet paired down style as illustrated in the rail featured at left, top right on opposite page, and the split picket railing below.

This very classic steel railing design was originally created by the architect but modified by the fabricator for a more elegant look.


Fabricator n March/April 2005

is subtle out West This 40-foot steel railing hand forged for a residence near Jackson Hole, WY exemplifies what fabricator Steve Fontanini considers classic design influence. “The big snub ends, the scrollwork, the hand techniques are all classic,” Fantanini explained to me during a conversation in mid January. The rail was initially designed by the home’s architect but required modifications. “The architect drew the design more for an ornamental welder but only because he really just didn’t know any better,” Fontanini said. “The client wanted a high-end look. My modifications to the architect’s drawing made the rail more useable, more elegant, and easier to build.” The modifications that Fontanini added include a second horizontal rail below the cap rail, creating space for hands to travel up and down the rail

without catching on scrollwork. He also added the rail’s bottom horizontal bar. This added bar vertically shrunk the panels containing the scrollwork, allowing the scroll elements to appear more elegant and proportional, while keeping them off the ground. The changes Fontanini made also enabled him to employ This rail, fabricated with no welding, illustrates several types of traditional Fontanini’s classic and elegant yet humble style. joinery. In fact Fontanini their limestone slabs. Fontanini had to intended for the entire rail to shorten the top four panel widths and only involve welds between the wall did so by cutting and welding the horimounting plates and the tenoned zontal bars back together. Fortunately shafts that protrude from them. But the origination of the error was easy a code inspection revealed that some to spot, and Fontanini did not have to of the stair’s treads failed to meet the consume any cost for these changes. area’s code compliance of 36-inch All of the rail’s scrollwork was hand minimum tread width. So the top four forged, collared, and installed into treads had to be replaced, including

This forged, mild steel bench with padded leather seat is 36” long 15” high, and weighs 190 lbs. All parts were forged from 11/4” x 7” flat bar. The two seat pieces were cut 17 inches long and a taper forged so the pieces ended up approx. 26” long with the small end being 7/8” thick and 31/2” wide. The tapers were then split, under a power hammer, spread and shaped with a 12 lb sledge. The off set joints were then forged and the rivet holes drilled. The slots were drilled and filed, and the ends upset with a torch and 4 lb. hammer. The two halves were then riveted together. The legs were also forged with a power hammer to taper one end and spread the other. Slots were drilled and filed in the legs and then were arched using a 4 lb. hammer and swage block. The vertical pieces were forged, and tenons cut on the top and bottom of them to fit the slots in the legs and seat pieces. The tenons were then slotted to accept hand forged wedges that would be driven through them to hold everything together. Finish: wire brushed with clear wax applied hot.

March/April 2005 n Fabricator


pound power hammer to flatten the cap rail from 1fi inch round to fl inch thick. It was attached to the forged balusters with rivets. For the finish, Fontanini sandblasted the rail and flun i applied a brown wax ely sur e hot and then added p ca nds ere. a l highlights with Scotchn’s eh kso settl c brite pads. a J o ith se t d w choo Fontanini and his assistant Martha, e t a o h ci sso ists w who has worked with him for nearly a ry rt isto k of a h six years, fabricated about 80 percent rich wor The s the of the rail. “Martha is really good with e enc math and is a big help with layout.” the frames with rivets. To Another friend named Eric helped collar together the different panel Steve and Martha with some of the elements Fontanini used angle iron. rail’s detail. Fontanini and his team “For the larger center collars I used fl made the railing in sections. The cap inch by fl inch, which flattens to about and two horizontal bars were rejoined 1fi inch. And for the smaller collars, on site at predetermined lap joints which hold the upper and lower panel with rivets. scrolls, together I used fi inch by fi I found this rail exemplary of what inch angle iron,” said Fontanini. I’ve come to recognize as Fontanini’s To pass the balusters through the botstyle. In the fall of 2004 I had the tom and top horizontal rails Fontanini opportunity to visit Fontanini’s shop used a method known as slitting and and look at several pieces of his work, drifting. A chisel slit the rail where balexplore his shop, and appreciate the usters would pass. Then a drift, called landscape which contains it all. I was an opener, pushed the parallel sides already familiar with some of his work, apart. He then used another drift to particularly a 243 foot rail featured in fully shape the round holes that would the January-February 2003 issue of accept the balusters. Fabricator (page 65) for which FontaTo make the balls in the balusters Fonini won a silver Top Job 2003 award. natnini made a special spring die for Fontanini has developed a reputation his 300 pound Chambersberg power for the pickets depicted in that rail hammer. But to draw out the balusters which resemble Aspen tree branches. he used his 200 pound Williams White He says contractors have asked him to power hammer, since it is easier to mass fabricate them. “But control. Fontanini also used his 300

I’m not about that,” he told me. Aside from the Aspen tree branch pickets, most of Fontanini’s metalwork reveals a practical interpretation of classic design, an ornate style made clean and simple. I asked Steve a few times if he could describe what influences this “style” of his. He explained that he typically talks to his clients, looks at their home, and considers their budget when coming up with a design. But the writer in me pushed him for a more lyrical response. Before our visit ended Fontanini agreed that he indeed had a distinct style and that perhaps the landscape surrounding his home influenced it. Certainly the landscape influenced his Aspen tree branch pickets. But the rest of his work seemed to encompass a look distinct to Jackson Hole, WY. In recent years, the area known as Jackson Hole has become famous for its remote ski resorts. But two other elements have shaped the regions’ culture more profoundly: the land and the 19th century pioneers who cultivated it. “The influence of the area’s majestic land preceded even the ranchers and homesteaders who came here in the early 1800’s,” explains Elisa San Souci, director of the Art Association of Jackson Hole, where some of Fontanini’s work is displayed and where he occasionally teaches blacksmithing courses. “Life wasn’t easy taming the rugged terrain surrounding the Teton Mountain Range, and yet it was simple in its isolation.”

right and below: An extra panel of Aspen tree branch pickets lies just outside Fontanini’s shop door, as well as his faithful canine, resting on a hand-forged iron doormat of course.


Fabricator n March/April 2005

The view from Fontanini’s shop door.

San Souci, who is familiar with Fontanini’s work, suggests that it mimics the landscape which must have attracted him to the area. “His work illustrates the ornate and highly decorative style associated with prosperity but in a more simplistic, paired down way.”

This contemporary style stair case and railing was fabricatoed with no welding.

March/April 2005 n Fabricator


Job Profile

A NOMMA Fabricator helps celebrate a community’s cultural history

By Mary Flaherty Flaherty Iron Works Inc. Sometimes, even when you plan ahead you can’t account for unexpected challenges. In the end , however, this sculpture, which was part of a community beautification project in Arlington County, VA, turned out beauifully, and we enjoyed working on it. We were very interested and happy when the artist called to ask Flaherty Iron Works (FIW) to join the team of artisans that would be involved in completing the project. The artist, Dr. Winnie Owens Hart, an art 68

professor at Howard University in Washington D. C. contacted FIW after receiving a commission to do a sculpture for the Arlington County Dept of Parks. We had done another sculpture for the county, and they gave our name to Dr. Hart. The sculpture stands in the Hall’s Hill High View Park that is adjacent to the Hall’s Hill community. This community has a rich history. It was settled by freed slaves after the civil war. The artist was tasked with the job of coming up with a sculpture that would convey the values of the original settlers. A sculpture, which includes a mother, father and a daughter,


n Utilizing a technique learned in a NOMMA education session, Flaherty Iron Works fabricated this beautiful community park sculpture, despite a few challenges that emerged toward the end of the project.

For your information NOMMA Member: Flaherty Iron Works Inc., Alexandria, VA. Project: Public sculpture. Image transfer technique: Flaherty Iron Works learned this technique at a NOMMA education session led by Lloyd Hughes, NOMMA Education Foundation Trustee. The technique involves using an overhead projector to project an artist’s small-scale drawing to a full-scale template. Finishing challenge: Powder coating this large sculpture was not possible even after two attempts. However, a polyurethane finish on top of galvanizing did the trick.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

The county parks department as a community beautification project commissioned this sculpture, which involves two parts: a three-person piece and the five large letters “HHHVP” (the community’s initials) shown here.

was chosen to celebrate the family values of the original inhabitants. There had been a sculpture previously at this location, three large Totem poles, which were being replaced to better convey the community’s more recent history.

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

This project actually has two parts, which include the three-person sculpture, and the five large letter sculptures, which are the initials of the community. All parts are made from iron. The three-person sculpture representing the family is 13 feet high and

5 feet wide and was cut from 3/8 inch plate. The five sculptured letters are each 8 feet high and 4 feet wide. They were cut from 4 foot by 8 foot plate. The design and height of the threeperson sculpture presented us with a few challenges. The figures were supposed to form somewhat of a circle so the plate from which they were made had to be curved. We chalked out a plan view on our worktable. Then we rolled a 1/2 inch by 2 inch bar that we used as a template for the correct amount of curve. We then rolled the plate in a rolling machine to the curve that was specified. Then, because the plate only came in 10 foot lengths, we had to weld sections of the rolled plate together to come up with the final height of 13 feet. Our next challenge was to ensure that the 11 inch by 14 inch drawings given to us would look the same when fabricated into a 13 feet-high sculpture. Our solution was to use the transfer technique we learned at a NOMMA workshop taught by Lloyd Hughes. This is how it worked. The artist


The five sculptured letters, each 8’ tall and 4’ wide, were cut from 4’ x 8’ plate. Everything was polished to a satin finished, galvanized, and painted. Although the fabricator wanted to powder coat this project, the size and thickness of the materials would not be conducive to the technology.

brought us drawings of the family sculpture. She had drawn each person individually. We were asked to fabricate each separately and then join them together. So we rented an overhead projector. We took the drawings given to us by the artist to the print


shop and had them made into transparencies. We taped brown paper on a wall. We then projected the images on to the wall and traced them on to the brown paper at full size. Then the full-size image was transferred to the steel plate using transfer paper. Now

we had exactly the same drawing full size on our steel plate. We then cut the pieces using a plasma cutter. The three figures were then welded together. There were inside plates for mounting the sculpture to the concrete footing using 3/4 inch by 6 inch stainless steel thunder studs. Since this was a county government project, they required it to be engineer stamped and all welds had to be certified. After the sculpture was fabricated the artist thought it needed a little something else. So she came up with the idea of putting some decoration on the skirt. She then decided on using large Braille letters on the skirt that form words telling the history of the community. We drew them on with chalk and then MIG welding beads were used to form these Braille letters. This took a very steady hand. Originally we planned on the sculpture being metalized and powder coated. And we spent many hours polishing it with 320 grit sanding paper to get the satin finish needed for the powder coater. But then when we took

Fabricator n March/April 2005

the piece to the powder coater he said he could not get his metalizing nozzle behind the sections to get to the corners, and he would not be able to do this project. We had to regroup and decided on galvanizing then powder coating. We took the sculpture to be galvanized and needed to be there and watch every step of the process to ensure everything went just right. They are used to dealing with heavy steal beams and things not as “fragile” as our sculpture. Normally at the end of the galvanizing process the material is dipped in a coolant. But for our needs it was better to let it air cool giving it a texture for powder coating. But when we took the sculpture back to the powder coater another problem presented itself. After putting the sculpture into the oven, the powder coater realized that because the metal was so large and so heavy it would not reach the required temperature necessary for powder coating. So we had to fall back on a polyurethane finish on top of the galvanizing. This does give a good long life finish on metal, however. The five letters were plasma cut from 3/8 inch plate. The top and bottom of each letter is curved, so we rolled plate and sections of rolled plate were cut and welded to the top and bottom of each letter. Holes were drilled in the bottom for drainage. The letters were then galvanized and painted. We worked as quickly as possible on this project as the county gave us a deadline to meet. Then the landscaping was not finished on time and we needed to store the completed sculpture for six months until the site was ready. After everything was installed everyone was happy with the final outcome.

Flaherty also fabricated this steel stair for a homeowner who wanted a “French look.” The railing has hand forged patterns and steel support posts with bronze centers. The entire project consists of approx. 80 linear feet of railing including two stair rails and a railing on the second floor. The patterns are entirely hand forged. The main pieces of the pattern were made with 1/2” round forged into scrolls, flat pieces, and small oval ball inserts. The scrolls have some button ends and some hand forged rosette ends.

Flaherty Iron Works enjoys a wide arrange of ornamental fabrication commissions. This pre Civil War fence made of wrought iron was originally hand forged and installed at a historic church. Flaherty was contacted by the owner to restore the fence, which was badly damaged from years of neglect.

March/April 2005 n Fabricator


Biz Side

It’s a welder’s market; so where have all the welders gone? n If you’re having a hard time finding good welders, try updating your recruitment methods. Also, make sure potential hires know the advantages of a career in welding.

Skilled welders and fabricators are increasingly hard to find. Through industry changes and economic highs and lows that fact has remained the same for more than five years. The lack of workers can chiefly be attributed to a rapidly retiring workforce, poor job image, a scarcity of experienced applicants, and difficulty retaining new hires. The shortage of welding, soldering, and brazing workers is widespread and long-term. It has had an impact on small companies and large corporations nationwide for over half a decade with no end in sight. The need for welders and fabricators, however, hasn’t declined at all. “There is a lot of business in this industry, there is so much building going on and so many bid opportunities,” said Buzz Taylor, President of ProCounsel Industries, a recruiting company for fabricators. And yet, somewhere along the line there is a disconnect between supply and demand of quality welders. Amy Nathan, a spokesperson for the American Welding Society (AWS) said, “This is absolutely a national circumstance.” The good news? There is an employable work force out there; you just have to find

them. If your current strategies aren’t working then they need to be updated and changed. Short and long-term solutions include developing and exploring better recruiting strategies, working to change the image of welding, implementing training programs, and improving management policies. Update your recruiting strategy

The most apparent reason for a lack of laborers is the failure to replace retiring workers with new hires. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects a labor shortage of 250,000 welding professionals by 2010 as baby boomers continue to leave the workforce. Meanwhile, changes in vocational education and technology, coupled with varied economic conditions have lured or forced away younger workers. The result is a gap in the labor pool of skilled tradesmen. In order to bring more skilled personnel into the industry a new course of action must be taken. Updating recruitment tactics by changing how and where new employees are found is the first phase in attracting qualified workers. In addition to utilizing old recruitment methods, such as placing help wanted ads, explore new ways to find potential hires.

For your information


By Amanda L. Southall

Important statistics: The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects a labor shortage of 250,000 welding professionals by 2010 as baby boomers continue to leave the workforce. Sources for recruitment: Vocational schools; the Armed Forces; scout troops, and welding recruiters. Ways to improve job image: n Exchanging the term “welder” with “technician.” n Make sure potential hires know the advantages of a career in welding. n Offer training and help with certification. n If skilled welders simply aren’t available, hire people who are willing to learn and then help them become skilled welders.

About the author: Amanda Southall is a freelance writer and student of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. Contact: Amanda Southall, E-mail:

“The shortage of welding workers is widespread and long-term,

but The need for them hasn’t declined at all. ‘There is a lot of business in this industry, there is so much building going on and so many bid opportunities.’”


Fabricator n March/April 2005

Consider hiring alternative students

Chris Overfelt, an instructor of welding for the Arnold R. Burton Technology Center in Roanoke, VA, said that employers should remember vocational schools when looking for skilled welders. Some high schools offer formal training in metalworking and The Armed Forces operate welding schools as well. If local education still leaves you short, target a demographic in your community that may need employment. For example, companies in Louisiana in need of employees began a fast-track welding and ship-fitting curriculum that has helped 117 former inmates become professional welders. A cooperative effort by owners, contractors, and workers to develop early interest in the industry will provide a long-term recruitment solution. Working with local scout troops, high schools, and establishing apprenticeship programs will help introduce welding to the work force of the future. In an effort to attract new workers Vermeer Mfg., which began as a one-person operation in Iowa and is now an international organization with over 3,000 employees, has implemented proactive programs that make instructors at high schools and area colleges aware of metalworking as a viable career and work to improve the tarnished image of welding.

“If local education still leaves you short, target a demographic in your community that may need employment. A fast-track welding and ship-fitting curriculum in Louisiana has helped 117 former inmates become professional welders.” qualified candidates for fabricating jobs. Recruiters like Taylor are reliable sources for employers looking to fill their shops with experienced workers. “I talk to employers every day and they’re looking for highly skilled employees with good references that will make a good impact on their business,” he said. Before referring a candidate to a potential employer the candidate’s back-

ground and references are thoroughly scrutinized, examining qualities such as work ethic, strengths, weaknesses, and personality issues. “I seldom work with a trainee,” Taylor says. “I only like to work with experienced people who can bring me good references.” According to Taylor, there isn’t just a shortage of qualified industry veterans, but there is also a shortage of job candidates that are dedicated

Leave recruiting to the professionals

New talent is hard to find, but field veterans almost seem like an endangered species to some employers. Furthermore, performing detailed reference, background, and criminal checks can be daunting. Settling for lackluster hires that have potentially checkered pasts isn’t the way to avoid the hassle of the employment process. Instead, solicit the help of an industry recruiting agency. “My product is a good employee with great references, and I stand behind my product,” said Buzz Taylor of ProCounsel Industries. ProCounsel works with fabricators all over the country with the goal of recruiting and then marketing well March/April 2005 n Fabricator


and driven to do a good job. “All day every day I’m looking for people with good experience and good references; I never have enough highly skilled, well referred employees,” he says. “We encounter a high volume of poorly qualified candidates, people that haven’t formed a good work ethic, have addiction problems or don’t have drive to get the job done.” For some, welding seems too hot to handle

Even the best recruiting efforts can be handicapped by the poor reputation that some associate with a career in welding, soldering, and brazing. Though this industry doesn’t necessarily offer a corner office or employee luncheons, welders generally receive good pay, benefits, and exceptional promotion potential. The first step to attracting qualified applicants is to make sure what your company offers is comparable to opportunities in similar industries. Some employers may

not like the idea of raising compensation and benefits, but doing so may be necessary in order to get attention in the competitive job market. The Occupational Outlook Handbook informs readers “welding, soldering, and brazing workers often are exposed to a number of hazards, including the intense light created by the arc, poisonous fumes, and very hot materials.” The job is further described as one that may require heavy lifting and working in a variety of awkward positions. That substandard review sends many potential welders in search of cooler working conditions. A little bit of strategy can go a long way to eliminate this recruiting hurdle. Even simply exchanging the term “welder” with “technician” in a job ad can boost image and increase applicants. Make sure potential hires know the advantages of a career in welding. According to Nathan, AWS’s spokesperon, one of the most appealing aspects of working in welding is the career potential. “The truth is that a basic metalworking program can lead to a career as an engineer, researcher, scientist, or welding technician,” Nathan says. For anyone who is apprehensive that human power will soon be replaced by machines, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) projected outlook can put those fears to rest for welders. The DOL says that employment of welding, soldering, and brazing workers is expected to grow faster than the average occupation for the 2004–2012 period. Offer employment and training

One short-term solution to an employee shortage is to make the existing workforce more effective through training and certification. Joe Farmer, franchise manager for Express Personal Services located in Salem, VA, is offering up to 10 students a six-day intensive class in basic welding for free in response to a growing need for skilled welders by business clients. “These welders have become a real sticking point for us to recruit,” said Farmer, “It has started to affect our clients and when it starts affecting our clients it’s time for us to be a little 74

Fabricator n March/April 2005

creative in our efforts.” If skilled welders simply aren’t available, hire people who are willing to learn and then help them become skilled welders. Even small manufacturers could develop their own welder training program or provide means or incentives for their employees to become certified. Good help is hard to keep

Once job vacancies are filled the next challenge is often worker retention. Manufacturing companies surveyed by the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that a majority of new hires have little or no manufacturing expertise and require extensive training before they are adequately productive. Once trained, however, many workers lose interest in manufacturing and assembly work and quit. One firm stated that for every six employees the company hires and trains, just one hire is typically retained for an extended period. “It has been nearly impossible to find and keep qualified applicants who possess skill as well as good work ethics,” said Debbie Honaker, human resources manager for Tread Corp., another huge equipment manufacturer out of Virginia, which is currently in need of four to six welders. Making advancement opportunities, incentives to remain with the company and changes in management available to employees will help to alleviate retention problems in any industry. Research conducted by behavioral theorist Frederick Herzbert shows evidence that employees respond best in an environment that includes individual recognition, opportunity for advancement, and job security. Competent management improves a worker’s efficiency and drastically reduces employee turnover.

“Research conducted by behavioral theorist Frederick Herzbert

shows evidence that employees respond best in an environment that includes individual recognition, opportunity for advancement, and job security.” the shortage of workers could soon be a thing of the past. The ornamental metals industry is evolving, and so is the job market. Current strategies used to fill the work force that aren’t working should be updated to match the changing industry. Only then will a new generation of welders and fabricators begin to take up their torch.

Look to the future

There is no reason for the shortage of laborers to continue to strain employers. If managers are willing to make changes in their recruiting strategies, strive to improve the image of welding, implement training programs, and improve management-employee relations, March/April 2005 n Fabricator


NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members As of February 18, 2005; Bold denotes new members A Cut Above Distributing 800-444-2999 Action Ornamental Iron 901-795-2200 Advanced Measuring Systems 888-289-9432 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 Ameristar Fence Products 918-835-0898 Apollo Gate Operators 210-545-2900 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. 800-784-7444 Arteferro Miami 305-836-9232 Artezzi 800-718-6661 Artist Supplies & Products 800-825-0029 Atlas Metal Sales 800-662-0143 Auciello Iron Works Inc. 978-568-8382 Aztec Castings Inc. 800-631-0018 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 800-526-6293 Builders Fence Co. Inc. 800-767-0367 Byan Systems Inc. 800-223-2926 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. 800-421-6144 The Cable Connection 800-851-2961 Carell Corporation 251-937-0948 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. 888-933-5993 DAC Industries Inc. 800-888-9768 Decorative Iron 888-380-9278 DecorCable Innovations 800-444-6271 DKS, DoorKing Systems 800-826-7493 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 251-937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply Inc. 800-343-8154 Eastern Ornamental Supply Inc. 800-590-7111 Elegant Aluminum Products Inc. 800-546-3362 Encon Electronics 800-782-5598 Euro Forgings Inc. 800-465-7143 EURO-FER SRL. 011-39-044-544-0033 FABCAD.COM 800-255-9032 FabTrol Systems Inc. 888-322-8765 Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging 800-888-2418 Frank Morrow Co. 800-556-7688 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. Inc. 270-298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC 800-346-4296 Hebo / Stratford Gate Systems 503-658-2881 House of Forgings 281-443-4848 Illinois Engineered Products Inc. 312-850-3710 76

Indiana Gratings Inc. 800-634-1988 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. 817-598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. 800-667-9101 The Iron Shop 800-523-7427 ITW Industrial Finishing 630-237-5169 J.G. Braun Co. 800-323-4072 Jamieson Mfg. Co. 214-339-8384 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. 800-423-4494 Joachim Krieger eK Systems 011-49-64-258-1890 Justin R.P.G. Corp. 310-532-3441 King Architectural Metals 800-542-2379 Lavi Industries 800-624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. 800-624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. 800-221-5579 Liberty Brass Turning Co. 800-345-5939 Logical Decisions Inc. 800-676-5537 Loyal Wrought Iron Co. Ltd. 011-86-208-469-0306 Mac Metals Inc. 800-631-9510 Marks U.S.A. 800-526-0233 Master Halco 800-883-8384 Matthews International Corp. 800-628-8439 Metal Amoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 760-747-7200 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 800-467-2464 Multi Sales Inc. 800-421-3575 New Metals Inc. 888-639-6382 Ohio Gratings Inc. 800-321-9800 Omega Coating Corp. 888-386-6342 Orange Steel & Ornamental Supply 305-805-6000 Overseas Supply Inc. 866-985-9885 Polished Metals Ltd. 800-526-7051 Pro Access Systems 813-664-0606 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 Robert J. Donaldson Co. 856-629-2737 Robertson Grating Products Inc. 877-638-6365 Robinson Iron Corp. 800-824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. 800-841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. 940-325-7806 Sahinler Form Metal 011-90-224-245-5465 Scotchman Industries Inc. 800-843-8844 SECO South 888-535-SECO Sequoia Brass and Copper 800-362-5255 Sharpe Products 800-879-4418 SIgnon USA 866-744-6661 Sparky Abrasives 800-553-7224 Stairways Inc. 800-231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. 602-243-5245 Stephens Pipe and Steel LLC 800-451-2612 Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. 800-461-0060 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. 866-290-1263 Sumter Coatings Inc. 888-471-3400 Tennessee Fabricating Co. 800-258-4766 Texas Metal Industries 800-222-6033 Texas Stairs & Rails Inc. 800-633-6874 Fabricator n March/April 2005

Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. 909-581-3058 Tri-State Shearing & Bending 718-485-2200 Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works Co. 800-522-4766 Triple-S Chemical Products 800-862-5958 Tusa Metals Inc. 800-995-8872 Universal Entry Systems Inc. 800-837-4283 Universal Mfg. Co. Inc. 800-821-1414 Valley Bronze of Oregon 541-432-7551 W.G.F. Ironwork Products Center Inc. 888-696-6943 Wasatch Steel Inc. 888-496-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door 866-790-3667 Wrought Iron Concepts Inc. 877-370-8000 YAVUZ FERFORJE A.S. 011-90-258-269-1664 Join NOMMA 404-363-4009

New NOMMA Members As of February 18, 2005; Asterisk denotes returning members A2 Fabrication Portland, OR Gale Schmidt Regional Supplier Anco Steel Aurora, IL Ronald Radosta Local Supplier Andrews Custom Metalwork and Design Charlotte, NC Ben Andrews Fabricator Anviljac Studios Portland, ME Jac Ouellette Fabricator Artec Welding Tucson, AZ Artie Nuttall Fabricator Caltech Fence Company Livermore, CA Craig Crawford Fabricator Classic Entry Systems Inc. Atlanta, GA Keith Dudley Fabricator Custom Metal Design LLC Denville, NJ Clayton Squire Fabricator Custom Metal Designs L.P. *

Houston, TX Michael Davila Fabricator Dragon Forge Eddigton, ME Peter Roderick Fabricator Gemini Metal Works Atascadero, CA Brian Weitkum Fabricator

Fabricator Illinois Engineered Products Inc. Chicago, IL Dean Wynne Nationwide Supplier Iron Garden Mesa, AZ Stacy Burgess Fabricator

Gordon Bros. Steel Warehouse Chicago, IL Rick Gordon Regional Supplier

Iron Gates in Motion Palmer, TX Steve Sessums Fabricator

Gould Metal Works Covington, KY Dennis Gould Fabricator

Kryten Iron Works Hawthorne, NY Peter Lavelli Fabricator

Graham Ironworks * Lindon, UT Rodger Graham Fabricator

LG Mechanical Welding & Fab. York, PA Larry S. Geier II Fabricator

Great Lakes Ornamental Iron Inc. Hilton, NY Fredrick Ledtke Fabricator Hanco Enterprises Richland, IA Harold Anderson Fabricator Hap’s Ironworks Shelter Island, NY Hap Bowditch

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

Loyal Wrought Iron Co. Ltd. Guangzhou, James Yan Nationwide Supplier Majors Ironworks Inc. Redwood Estates, CA Tony Majors Fabricator Mattei Inc. Metal Works

Harlingen, TX Guido Mattei Fabricator Metal Fabrik India Panaji, GOA, Harin Bhonsle Fabricator Metcalfe Roush Forge & Design Brasstown, NC Lynda Metcalfe Fabricator Michel Orn. Iron and Metal Fab. LLC Holly Springs, MS Gary Michel Fabricator Myers Orn. Iron Works Jackson, MS Jason Myers Fabricator

Owens Welding Inc. Cleveland, OH Robert A. Owens Fabricator Paul Benedict Imlaystown, NJ Paul Benedict Fabricator Phil’s Ornamental Iron Inc. * Grove, OK Phil Endicott Fabricator Pro Access Systems Tampa, FL Richard Linkens Nationwide Supplier Rathbanna Ltd. Northern Ireland, Paul O’Neill Fabricator

NE&WS Metal Works Inc. Maspeth, NY Jacek Medlarz Fabricator North County Welding & Ironworks * Paso Robles, CA Karl Williams Fabricator Northshore Steel Fab LLC Slidell, LA Charles Perez Fabricator


Robinson’s Ornamental Iron Works Atascadero, CA Brian Weitkum Fabricator Shenandoah Decorative Iron Richmond, VA John Skiles Fabricator Southern Iron Works Mulberry, TN Michael Thomas Fabricator

What’s Hot? n

Inside Biz Briefs 78 Coming Events 82 Chapter Contacts 83 People 84

Literature 86 Products 87 Classifieds 92

Negotiate equitable price adjustments Tips from ASA on fixed-price contracts When prices of construction materials fluctuate wildly as they did with steel in 2004, a question naturally arises in specialty contractors’ minds: Are we entitled to get any price adjustment to our fixed-price contracts if major material prices go up too much? The unsatisfying answer to this question is: It depends. Force majeure clause

As a rule of thumb, specialty trade contractors that have not gone out of their way to negotiate a well-written force majeure contract provision will be legally entitled to price adjustments in an extremely limited number of cases. A white paper titled “Force Majeure,” published by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), explains: “Courts will excuse failure to perform a contract due to a force majeure event, but only if the circumstances fit within the narrowly-defined doctrines of ‘impracticability,’ or if the contract has an express provision dealing with force majeure events, commonly called a ‘force majeure clause.’ In fact, the reason to include a force majeure clause in a written contract is because

the law of impracticability is so narrowly defined that it provides little protection from unexpected events.” The point about impracticability is that a specialty contractor would have a hard time convincing most judges that any increase in prices made its execution of the contract “impracticable.” Courts would more likely see a large increase in material prices as a risk inherent to the business of construction than as an unforeseeable (and excusable) event preventing the specialty 1 contractor from performing its work at the agreed-upon price. ASA’s white paper suggests that the specialty contractors that want adjustments for large price increases are better off proactively seeking contract language that entitles them to equitable price increases rather than simply relying on the law. A well-written force majeure clause that explicitly gives the specialty contractor more rights than the legal doctrine of “impracticability” would provide better protection. Negotiate effectively

Negotiating an effective force majeure clause is the challenge for specialty

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor’s

SMACNA wants welding excluded from OSHA hexchrome standard

National Association (SMACNA) recently urged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to exclude welding from a proposed rule on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (hexchrome). Because of possible risks leading to cancer, OSHA’s rule proposes to lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexachrome. According to OSHA, occupational exposures 78

contractors to meet if they want assurance of equitable price adjustments. ASA’s white paper points out several factors to keep in mind when approaching this task: n The force majeure clause needs to explicitly rebut the legal presumption that the specialty contractor is entitled to adjustments only when work is “impracticable.” n Force majeure language that specifies a measurable condition as qualifying the specialty contractor for an adjustment, such as a material price increase of 20 percent, likely will be more effective than vague language such as a “major” increase in material prices. n Most industry model documents for fixed-price contracts do not contain language giving subcontractors the right to equitable price adjustments. n Many force majeure clauses limit the specialty contractor’s adjustment to an extension of time but are silent on, or deny, price adjustments. This article was provided courtesy of the American Subcontractors Association Inc., as part of ASA’s Stand Up! Campaign. Ph: (703) 684-3450; Web:

occur mainly among workers who handle pigments containing dry chromate, spray paints and coatings containing chromate, operate chrome plating baths, and weld or cut metals containing chromium, such as stainless steel. However, SMACNA believes the data used in this additional regulatory intervention on hexchrome was insufficient and outdated. In support of this position, SMACNA notes that most of the studies, exposures, and data cited by OSHA relate to industries that manufacture, produce, or use hexchrome in forms that are far different from welding operations.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

New IAS accreditation program to enforce code compliance The International Accreditation Service Inc. (IAS), an arm of the International Code Council (ICC), has developed a new program to enforce code compliance among building departments. An IAS team of independent evaluators will evaluate all aspects of a building department’s services to determine if the codes the community has adopted are being effectively enforced. According to an IAS press release, when a building department earns IAS accreditations, it means that the department operates under the highest professional and technical standards. “IAS is the first to offer nationally recognized accreditation for code enforcement agencies,” said James Lee Witt, CEO of the ICC, a member association that includes state, county, and municipal code enforcement and fire officials. “IAS accreditation provides building departments a tool to document strengths, identify areas in

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

need of improvement, and implement solutions that result in safer communities and happier citizens.” IAS accreditation program has been endorsed by a similar program operated by the Insurance Services Offices Inc. (ISO), an organization that provides information on risk assessment of communities to insurance companies. “The new IAS accreditation program, and its endorsement by ISO, is a positive step for jurisdictions that are working hard to improve public safety,” said IAS President Chuck Ramani. “A community with a building department that earns IAS accreditation is much more likely to be a safer place to live, with lower insurance rates.” To learn more about third-party recognition through IAS Building Department Accreditation Program, call (866) 427-4422, or visit: www.

What’s Hot n?

Biz Briefs Chamberlain group expands The Chamberlain Group Inc., a manufacturer of access control products has acquired DC Solutions, Inc. of Sawgrass, FL, as a part of its ongoing growth plans in the access control industry. The announcement was made by J. David Rolls, Chief Executive Officer of The Chamberlain Group Inc. According to Rolls, the acquisition of DC Solutions will further expand Chamberlain’s current line of gate operators and related gate and access control products. This new combination enhances Chamberlain’s line of barrier, slide, and swing gate operators for residential and commercial installations. Improved finishing website New downloadable content on


What’s Hot n? Biz Briefs Metal Improvement Co.’s website ( offers its customers a new treatment services resource. Customers can now access data sheets and technical articles relating to the company’s core technologies of shot peening, laser peening, heat treating, and specialty coatings. Visitors to the website can also subscribe to and download the company’s Metal Improvement World newsletter. Metal Improvement Company provides precision metal finishing services through a network of over 50 facilities in North America and Europe.

Ten construction drivers for the next 10 years FMI looks at the future The following forecast by Jerry Jackson was adapted from FMI’s 2005 U.S. Markets Construction Overview. Find out more about FMI at www.fminet. com. Customer sophistication

Marketing and selling to more sophisticated customers means that the workacquisition process itself must become more sophisticated in order to build compelling value propositions that trump low bids. Competitive advantage comes to those who develop strategic solutions that appeal to the decisionmakers’ core needs. Shifting skills

Economies change (see China). When markets shift, skill shifts are essential. The combination of critical needs


for new skills and a dwindling pool of construction workforce entrants makes a scenario for extreme shortages of the highly capable. To that end, careful selection of target projects, target customers, and offered services will be required to maximize return on those limited resources. Destruction of construction

The process of construction is continually redefined, paralleling the evolving definition of work itself. While work is shifting from physical to intellectual in a broad sense, there is residual blue-collar difficulty with this evolution. These changing and frequently blurred rules of the game impact productivity and the total costs of design, construction, finance, and ownership of facilities.

Fabricator n March/April 2005


Construction is a local business. . . when buyers are local businesses. From materials to services, the planet is the marketplace, and the buyer may be found anywhere . . . less and less in your hometown. That said, international outsourcing impacts the domestic construction market in two ways: the nature of demand for construction services, and the sources of engineering and technical skills. Domestic joint ventures may increase with global partners. Consolidation

Capital does flow to larger firms. Often, smaller, capital constrained firms bind together first via joint ventures and eventually via mergers.The end of consolidation in construction is only a rumor. Diversity

The workforce of the future will increasingly reflect diversity of the general population. Given the increasing ethnic diversity of the field force, multi-lingual skills will become

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

increasingly important. To improve communication and productivity, providing supervisors with Spanish language skills is only part of the solution. Providing workers with English as a second language (ESL) skills completes the connection. Capital supply

Capital for smaller construction companies is in short supply and is increasingly difficult to obtain. Capital shortages mean increased emphasis on cash management, including cash forecasting on projects, front billing and aggressive collection, slowed payment to suppliers and vendors, and transfer of payroll to others where possible. Restoration

Concern for the environment has finally become mainstream. Traditional focus on only new construction will overlook significant opportunities. Advantages to construction come from problems and solutions involved with transitioning the national economy from fossil-fuel dependency to a hydrogen-base.


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was spawned by the Enron crisis and was aimed at public companies for investor protection. “Little Sarb-Oxes” at state levels may not stop with public companies. Implications include increased transparency of transactions ranging from accounting to procurement. Positive impacts include increased professionalism in management and increased stewardship of resources, both financial and human. Technology

Technology likely to have significant implications for construction in the mid-term includes RFID’s (Radio Frequency Identification) and nanotechnology. While increased information from such technology may be valuable to some; it will drown others in useless detail.


What’s Hot n? Coming Events April 6–9, 2005

The Steel Conference

The North American Steel Construction Conference is in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at the Montreal Conference Center. Contact: AISC, Ph: (312) 6702400; Web: April 27–30, 2005 2005 Traditional Building Show The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA hosts the 2005 Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference. The show’s theme is “Reviving Traditional Communities Contact: Traditional Building, Ph: (800) 982-6247; Web: www.


Event Spotlight

PMA hosts student day at its March 2005 convention

The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) holds its annual trade show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL March 20–23, 2005. On the last day of the show PMA hosts Student Day, an opportunity for high school students who live within a three-hour drive from the exhibition center to find out more about the metalforming industry. After a 15-minute orientation the students are chaperoned to the show floor where they meet leading-edge exhibitors displaying technology, information, and ideas targeted for the

metalforming industry. Students also have the opportunity to see state-ofthe-art equipment demonstrations and featured exhibits highlighting stamping and turret presses, welding and assembly equipment, press brakes, lasers, roll forming and spinning machines, coil handling equipment and feeds, automation, finishing, tool and die, machining and more. According to PMAEF Executive Director Dave Sansone, the most recent Student Day program attracted more than 300 students, teachers, and school administrators.

NOMMA’s METALfab 2005 was held in New Orleans, LA March 2–5, 2005. Be sure to see the May-June 2005 issue of Fabricator for a recap of the convention and trade show and for a listing of the 2005 Top Job Contest award winners.

Fabricator n March/April 2005

Chapter Updates

The Upper Midwest Chapter plans a riverboat dinner cruise. The May 21, 2005 meeting of NOMMA’s Upper Midwest Chapter will be hosted by: Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc., Bettendorf, IA., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meeting includes a welding and polishing demonstration of nonferrous metals, a shop tour, an open forum on bidding, fabrication, and installation of non-ferrous metals, and lunch. Later that evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. members of the Upper Midwest Chapter will also gather for a Riverboat Dinner Cruise on the Upper Mississippi River. Chapter members and their friends and family are welcome. Please

reserve your space with Upper Midwest Chapter President Lynn Parquette by April 15, 2005. Ph: (847) 758-9941; E-mail: Space is limited on the Celebration Belle, and tickets are $36 per adult and $25 for children 3–10. A block of rooms are also being held at two hotels local to Boyler’s shop for the nights of May 20 and May 21. The Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino, Ph: (563) 441-7006; and the Holiday Inn Holidome - Davenport (with shuttle service to area casinos), Ph: (563) 391-1230. For more details visit the chapter’s website at

For a listing of NOMMA chapters, officers and meeting updates, visit

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

Chapter Contacts April–June, 2005

TechSolve Machining and Grinding Courses

TechSolve Inc., an independent machining and grinding firm based in Cincinnati, OH, is still taking registrations for its spring 2005 public training classes. Seven different courses in machining and grinding are offered between April and June 2005. Contact: TechSolve, Ph: (800) 345.4482; Web: www.techsolve. org/events_training. June 6–10, 2005

NFPA 2005 World Safety Conference & Exposition

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) holds its annual conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Contact: NFPA, Ph: (617) 9847312; Web:


What’s Hot n?

People in the Industry

About the Artist


Metal artist organizes an artist colony

Artist: Dennis Primm is a metal artist living in Buford, GA. In 2003, the opportunity for larger studio space and to be involved in an artist colony under one roof, brought Dennis to the historic Tannery Building at 554 West Main St., Buford, GA. This building is now the Tannery Row Cultural Arts Center and houses 17 other talented artists. Contact: Dennis Primm,

to go into business for yourself as a metal artist? How did you know that it was the right time for you?

Primm fabricated this steel rail as part of a home renovation project in Buford, GA.

Dennis Primm is a classic example of an ornamental metal artist, creating custom, functional ornamental and miscellaneous items. However, unlike some metal artists who typically start out on a smaller scale making jewelry, Primm entered the metal arts world through structural steel fabrication. Fabricator: How did you get started in the metals industry? Primm: My high school offered a general metals class that sounded interesting so I decided to sign up for it and have had a relationship with metal for almost thirty years. After graduating, I began working with Tate Fabricating, a Category 2 Fabricator in White House, TN. I started there sweeping 84

floors, worked up to management and sales, and in 1996, opened a satellite sales office in Buford, GA, ending as vice president of sales. Fabricator: What brought you to Buford instead of Atlanta? Primm: I knew that I was going to open an office near Atlanta but did not know much about the outlying areas. I asked my Georgia insurance agent his opinion of a good town, schools, etc. near Atlanta, and he said that Buford was probably going to be the next “growth” town. We looked around, and especially liked the quaint look of the old part of town, so we moved here. Fabricator: When did you decide

Primm: I have always experimented with metal art and decided to show my work. In 1998 my wife found a small space to rent in downtown Buford, and it all seemed to just fit; the right place at the right time. Once a month, all the artists got together and had an “Artrageous Weekend,” where the public was invited to browse all the studios and talk with the artists. Word of the new metal artist spread, and my first really big commission was for a new upscale restaurant in Buford called Seven Sisters. That was my best advertisement. Fabricator: In what ways were you influential in developing the artist colony in Downtown Buford? Primm: I left the structural and miscellaneous steel business in 1999 and bought and renovated a 100-yearold farm house in downtown Buford, along with another artist, and converted it into an art gallery. Then in AuFabricator n March/April 2005

gust of 2003 I expanded and opened another gallery and shop in the Old Tannery Building down the street and helped create the artist colony that is there today. You can see my pieces throughout the building.

These ornametnal items illustrate the water-like flowing quality of Primmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work. The bath tub stand (lower left) is a popular commission for Primm and is currently on display at his Tannery Row studio.

Fabricator: How would you describe the work that you do? Primm: I suppose the best way to describe my work would be flowing, peaceful pieces that seem to have graceful movement, even though they are metal. I feel that although we may not have lived in the area of our heritage all of our lives, roots run deep. My Hawaiian heritage could explain why my pieces flow like the ocean. I especially enjoy working the metal into sculpture because there are no limitations. Fabricator: What is your typical work flowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;about how many projects do you work on at a given time? Primm: My work flow varies according to the commission. I have worked on a large commission for 12 to 14 hours a day, every day for about five months or as little as an hour, once again depending on the size and complexity of the project. Fabricator: It seems 2002 was a tough year for many people in our industry. How did you persevere? Primm: The day before the 9-11 tragedy, I received two large commissions that helped carry my business for about six months. But most of 2002 was tough; my business dropped by 50 percent. In a strange way, I was fortunate not to have a heavy work load because I had a bad shoulder injury, due to sculpting metal. I was able to heal and spend more time with my family. In 2003 my business bounced back and increased 20 percent. The one thing I have learned through being in the structural steel business is to always be prepared financially for the downtime, which helps me in my business.

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What’s Hot n? Literature 2003 I-Code Commentaries on CD


European design inspiration The latest annual international design book from Hephaistos offers great new design ideas–Euro-style. METALL DESIGN International 2005 features work from some of the hottest current metal artists Europe has to offer. The book depicts gates for storefronts, driveways, and gardens along with railings, interior accents, knifework, and public sculptures. Metal artists featured include Paul Elliott of Great Britain, Vladimir Pulis, Slovik Republic; Linas Lesciauskas, Lithuania; Dirk Holler, Germany; Hannes Turba, Austria; Manfred Fattler, Germany; and Willem Jonkers III of the Netherlands. Contact: Peter Elgass, Verlog and Redaktion Haphaistos, E-mail:; Web:


Store front by Paul Elliott. Rail by Manfred Fattler.


Fabricator n March/April 2005

Photos ©METALL Design International

International Code Council The 2003 I-Code Commentaries are available on CD in a PDF format. Users can search text, figures and tables. “I-Code Commentaries are a key element of any code library because they provide direct guidance on the interpretation and application of the codes,” said International Code Council (ICC) Senior Vice President of Technical Services Tom Frost. “Putting the Commentaries on CD makes them even more accessible and increases their utility.” Contact: ICC, Ph: (800) 786-4452; Web:

Literature Spotlights

What’s Hot n? Catalogs Product catalog

Quality Carbide Tool Quality Carbide Tool has released a new 148 page product catalog that serves as a selection guide for their Quality Carbide Tool line. QCT’s line of quality carbide tooling includes drills, reamers, boring tools, end mills, The products are categorized by length and flute design to enable customers to easily determine which tool is best for their application. Charts, an application guide by work material, and a list of coating options aids in the selection of the appropriate inch or metric cutting tool. QCT also has capabilities to manufacture specials to customer prints. Contact: Quality Carbide Tool, Ph: 847-437-3800; Web: www.

New Products Complete gate operator package GTO

Inc. GTO Inc.’s new products—a Residential Wireless Entry Intercom/Keypad, a single channel Loop Detector, an automatic Gate Operator Light Kit, and an upgraded Bulldog Pedestrian Gate Lock—offers a complete package concept in remote entry. The Residential Wireless Intercom/ Keypad has a versatile digital keypad and intercom system that alerts the home of visitors and allows gate operator activation safely from inside the home. The Automatic Gate Operator Light Kit is a low voltage light kit and can be used for new or existing gate operator installations requiring gate illumination. The digital controller allows adjustment from zero to 120 seconds when the gate operator is activated and is solar compatible.

The single channel Loop Detector is designed for any brand gate operator, provides 8 to 26 v AC/DC, and has low power consumption. The upgraded Bulldog Pedestrian Gate Lock is designed to mount on horizontal swing walk-thru wood, chain link, and metal pedestrian gates opening in or out. It has a powder coated steel housing and can withstand up to 3,500 pounds of force. Contact: GTO Inc., Ph: (800) 5434283, Web: Rust blocker

Birchwood Casey

Full Line Catalog

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. A new full-color, 84 page catalog from Miller Electric features photos and suggests accessories to accompany each product. The 2005 full time catalog provides technical specifications, benefits and selection tips for Miller’s complete line of welding and plasma cutting products and accessories. The catalog has product descriptions and color-coded symbols to identify process capabilities and power specifications. In addition to a glossary of welding terms, the catalog contains customer testimonials and application photos for each product class. Contact: Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Ph: 800-426-4553; Web: www. Estimating software

MB Software Solutions MB Software Solutions announces March/April 2005 n Fabricator


What’s Hot n? CD ROM Stair Pan Manual on CD ROM

Eberl Iron Works Inc. In an effort to help fabricators with take off’s and estimates, Eberl Iron Works now offers its Stair Pan Manual on CD ROM. Users can select a stair style, print the cut sheet, fill in the dimensions, and then return it for a quote. The Stair Pan Manual is also available in paperback. Eberl Iron Works Inc. has been a family owned business since 1923 that provides custom formed pan-type risers and floor plate stair treads. Contact: Eberl Iron Works Inc., Ph: (716) 854-7633; Web: www.


Birchwood Casey introduces new Dri Touch® Amber Rust Blocker, which produces a colorless, odorless barrier film for long-term metal protection. Designed for use on cast iron, steel, and MIM components, Dri Touch Amber is dry-to-touch and highly resistant to humidity and corrosion. The rust blocker will not drain off parts, or wick off into packaging materials. Dri Touch Amber can be used on hand tools and motor assemblies that contain metallic and non-metallic components. Dri Touch Amber is applied to wet or dry surfaces by dipping, brushing, or low-pressure spraying. Bulk handled parts can be coated by dipping, followed by a short spin. It can be used as a topcoat over a black oxide or phosphate conversion coatings. The rust blocker film dries and is lubricated

without interfering with part assembly or operation and is compatible with most lubricants, cutting oils, and hydraulic oils. Available in 5 gallon and 55 gallon containers. Contact: Birchwood Casey, Ph: (952) 937-7931; Web: www.birchwoodcasey. com. Handrail bracket

The Wagner Companies Now available from the Wagner Companies are handrail brackets that meet the handrail clearance requirements of the new NFPA 5000 building code. NFPA 5000 requires a 21/4 inch minimum clearance between the wall and handrails, according to Wagner. In order to meet the NFPA bracket clearance requirement, a 11/2 inch diameter tube section may be used with a bracket that has a center-line projec-

Fabricator n March/April 2005

tion of 3 inches. The stamped, cast, or machined brackets and bracket components meet NFPA 5000 criteria in steel, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. According to Wagner, the NFPA 5000 building code has been adopted in the state of California and jurisdictions in Maine, Texas, and Illinois. Wagner reccomends fabricators, designers, and specifiers confirm with local authorities to determine what codes apply to their application. Contact: Jason Riehl, The Wagner Companies, Ph: (888) 243-6914; Web: Long range operator

Radio Bird Radio Bird has now integrated its long range operator circuitry with standard gate operating functions. The only part that is now separated is the NIR retro-reflective photo eye which is seen attached to the outside of the enclosure above. You use the Gateway Alert™ with or without a gate present. Mounting is as simple and convenient as connecting three wires. If your

March/April 2005 n Fabricator

gate is open and someone drives through, your Radio Bird will transmit a call to your home Base Station or pocket-size transceivers to let you know someone is coming. If the gate is closing and someone attempts to pass through and/or blocks the gateway, the gate will stop and reverse to the open position. Even the homeowner can reverse this action via the Base Station. If the NIR Beam is made inoperative by a heavy snow storm, the constant frog “ribbit” sound will last only for one minute. It will then sleep for minutes and try again until the view clears. The nation’s first and only long range operator for safety, security, and convenience. Some other new and exciting Radio Bird® products include: GATEBELL™, VOICECALL ™, DRIVEWAY ALERT™, GATEWAY ALERT™ described above, and a POSTAL ALERT™. All of these options can be

What’s Hot n? Software the launch of their new estimating software package, FabMate. The software was designed to assist estimators in the creation of proposals containing materials, labor, and installation pricing for their clients. FabMate was initially designed for the metal fabrication industry, but any business that uses materials, labor, and installation for their bid proposals can benefit from it. Licensed FabMate users can access technical support and view online demos. Contact: MB Software Solutions, Ph:( 717)350-2759; Web: www.


What’s Hot n? used with or independently of the new Radio Bird Gate Operators and for any distances up to a mile or more. Contact: Radio Bird, Ph: (800) 3314416; Web: Welding arm

Lincoln Electric Company The Lincoln Electric Company’s new 6000 Series Welding Arm will allow fabrication shops to create a safe, uncluttered work environment and efficiently use floor space. The 6000 Series Welding Arm will help shops conserve space, maximize work area and improve production. The 13.5 foot welding arm can be positioned in a 180° rotation, bringing the welding wire feeder controls to the operator. This feature will save time

and increase productivity since the operator no longer has to leave the work station to adjust the welding parameters. The 6000 Series arm is designed to accommodate a number of Lincoln wire feeders, power sources and fume extraction systems. The system can be mounted on the floor or a steel mounting base for portability. Contact: Lincoln Electric Company, Ph: (888) 355-3213; Web: Safety eyewear

Uvex New from Uvex is FitLogic™, safety eyewear that offers a custom fit for any face. FitLogic utilizes a combination of designs and materials to allow wearers to adjust their eyewear at four different positions to match their own custom fit profile. The eyewear’s frame has a cushioned, lightweight brow bar that adjusts to any face shape with enough tension to fit comfortably on wide faces and securely on narrow faces. The nosepiece rotates 360°, pivots, and slants in and out to fit any nose bridge.

FitLogic also has a floating lens design that provides ventilation to minimize fogging as well as an extended wraparound lens for extra cheek and side coverage. FitLogic lenses block 99 of UV rays and is available with Ultra-dura hard coat or Uvextreme anti-fog coatings. Contact: Uvex, Ph: (401) 757-2220; Web: Metal adhesive

System Three Resins Inc. MetlWeld is a toughened, two-part room-temperature curing epoxy adhesive. It develops strength earlier that most comparable 1:1 epoxy adhesives and will cure at temperatures down to 50°F. MetlWeld will bond metals to metal, wood, stone, concrete, and even glass. Each kit contains 1-part resin and 1-part hardener. Available color is grey. MetlWeld Metal Bonding Epoxy is part of the SilverTip Marine Epoxy Series. Contact: Ph: (800) 333-5514; Web: Tube/pipe notcher

Heck Industries Inc. A new tube and pipe notcher has been introduced by Heck Industries. It is manually operated and makes fast and accurate 90° notches in pipe up to 2 inches in diameter. No set-up is required, simply insert pipe into the correct die opening and pull down on the handle. There are 3 models available with capacities from 1/4 inch in diameter through 2 inches. Contact: Heck Industries Inc., Ph: (800) 632-5400; Web:


Fabricator n March/April 2005

Classifieds Recruiter Employment nationwide in structural/miscellaneous steel fabrication. ProCounsel is in communication with over 3,000 structural/ miscellaneous and ornamental steel fabricators. We can market your skills (estimator, project manager, detailer, shop manager) to the city or state of your choice without identifying you. Employer pays fee. The

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

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. Opportunity Our successful NOMMA member company is for sale. This premier Southwest Florida manufacturing/ installing contractor has 100 employees,

Advertiser’s index Pg Company Name Contact 57 Acme Metal Spinning www.Acmemetalspinning. com 67 All-O-Matic Inc. 13 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. 9 Architectural Products by Outwater www. 10 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc.of North America In www. 80 Atlas Metal Sales 89 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. 57 Birchwood Casey 81 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne www.blacksmithsdepot. com 37 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 38 The Cable Connection www.thecableconnection. com 55 Cable Rail by Feeney 79 CAME (America) LCC 33 Carell Corporation 71 Classic Iron Supply 21 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. www.clevelandsteeltool. com 39 CML USA Inc. 87 COLE-TUVE Inc. 44 Colorado Waterjet Co. 74 Colorado Waterjet Co. 75 COMEQ Inc. 40 Crescent City Iron Supply (800) 535-9842 43 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. 59 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. 15 D.J.A Imports Ltd. 34 Decorative Iron 23 DKS, DoorKing Systems 33 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 85 Eberl Iron Works Inc. 40 Encon Electronics 80 17 58 Gatekeepers Inc. 16 Glaser USA 56 Graham Manufacturing 75 The G-S Co. 90 Hawke Industries (909) 928-9453 44 Hebo GmbH 85 International Gate Devices 87 Iron Craft 92

75,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space on eight acres, a 50 year record of success now doing $10 million in annual sales with a $6 million backlog. Estate planning measures by long-time ownership bring about this opportunity for your expansion and growth in this fastest growing market. Write: Box 21300, Canton, OH 44701 for executive summary by return mail.

Use this index as a handy guide for contacting suppliers. Firms in boldface are first-time advertisers. 96 The Iron Shop 48 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. 83 Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO div. www.jescoonline. com 53 K Dahl Glass Studios 35 King Architectural Metals 45 Krieger eK Wrought Iron www.wrought-iron-systems. com 27 Lawler Foundry Corp. 2 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. www.lewisbrass. com 75 Liberty Ornamental Products (800) 636-5470 85 Lindblade Metal Works www.lindblademetalworks. com 42 Marks U.S.A. 24 Master Halco 46 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 86 Pat Mooney Inc. 16 Multi Sales Inc. 69 National Bronze & Metal 3 New Metals Inc. 43 Ohio Gratings Inc. 86 Ol’ Joint Jigger Inc. 74 Ornamental Décor 53 Patina Finishes & Copper Coatings Inc. (800) 882-7901 29 Perfetto Inc. 49 Production Machinery Inc. 82 R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine Co. 63 Red Pup Productions 69 Red Pup Productions 4 Regency Railings 31 Rik-Fer USA (630) 350-0900 73 Simsolve (951) 737-2480 95 Sparky Abrasives Co. (800) 328-4560 7 Spiral Stairs of America LLC 25 Stairways Inc. 73 Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. 26 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. 47 Striker Tool II 22 Sumter Coatings Inc. 20 Sur-Fin Chemical Corp. 32 Tennessee Fabricating Co. 61 Tennessee Fabricating II 41 Texas Metal Industries 81 Tornado Supply 10 Traditional Building Fabricator n March/April 2005

Working smarter—not harder


Top 10 tips for making a successful pitch

get his head shot

About the Author: Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., presents to numerous companies, associations, and leaders worldwide. His articles

n Whether selling to clients, your boss, your boss’s boss, or

your board, keep these simple points in mind. By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. Learning how to get your ideas accepted is an art form and requires patience and practice. The people you want to present to have proved they know how to do it (because they are sitting in the big chair). These ten tips are how they got to the top of the business food chain—and how you can too.

1Do your homework

Know the players and what they need and want. The more you know about the person or company you’re talking to, the easier it will be to get your idea across.

2 Practice your pitch Shooting from the hip may have been a great skill in the wild west, but it doesn’t work in today’s business environment. Rehearse with one of your teammates, your spouse, in the mirror or in front of your dog. The point is for you to get comfortable with talking about your idea.

3 Hit the high points Don’t try to cover all the bases in the first meeting. Your job is to get them excited and let your idea inspire the person you’re talking to. If you see them looking around the room or at their watch, you’ve over-stayed your welcome.

4 Incorporate their ideas

If the person you are presenting to has some additional ideas, listen to them and do everything you can to blend them with your own. This will inspire the buying party to buy in to your March/April 2005 n Fabricator

project or product.

5Don’t Don’tget getdefensive defensiveif they say no

so big that you have to raise your voice to be heard in the back of the room.

today. Remember that tomorrow is another day, and many times a person will change their mind after sleeping on it. I suggest that you don’t even ask for acceptance of your idea right then and there. Tell them to call you in the next day or two after they’ve had a chance to mull it over. However, if this is a sales call and they say yes - take their order, say thanks, and leave.

The person you are talking to is always on the hunt for new ideas and people to pull them off. If you are 9theBe passionate selling an idea, you are also selling the fact that you are capable of bringing it to fruition. If you can get the person you’re talking to excited (through your own enthusiasm), your chances of getting accepted is a thousand percent better.

6Don’t Don’tmake over promises promise you can’t keep. If

The receptionist, the secretary and any0of the assistants you come in concould the boss next year, 1tact with Be nice to be everyone so remember to be extra considerate. Even if things don’t work out this time, you want to have another shot in the future. Remember not to let your ambition or ego cause you to behave in a manner that will get doors slammed in your face. By following the tips above, you will be able to not only sell your ideas to those in charge, but you will be selling yourself as well.

you don’t have the people, the product, or the permission to do what you say - don’t offer it. The quickest way to ruin your chances of moving forward with your idea (or your career) is to be branded as a fabricator.

someone likes 7If Sell yourself firstyou, they will be

open to what it is you want. Do not underestimate the importance of being easy to work with, kind, trustworthy and smart. These are the qualities that the higher-ups look for.

8Don’t Pick do a good yourplace pitch in your office or

at lunch. Asking someone to come to your office says you don’t value their time. Having a meeting at lunch creates the possibility of your idea getting lost because there are too many distractions. If you are pitching to a large group, make sure that the room is not

Now that you have the tools, get on the phone and make some appointments. Summon up your courage and present your ideas knowing that you have the skill set to make things happen.



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2005 03 fab