The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association
Put a little chill in your blasting, page 22
Helping to preserve history, page 44
Improving your bottom line, page 74
‘Don’t Thread On Me’ page 56
Super Truck - The Ultimate Installation Vehicle, page 44
&(/(%5$7,1* 285 507+ <($5 7
Join us for
February 28–March 3
METALfab 2007 Supplier Showcase Wednesday, February 28, 5:00–7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 4:30–8:30 p.m. Baytowne Conference Center — Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Destin, FL 32550 Go to www. sandestin.com for directions or more information on the resort METALfab is the only supplier showcase for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Join the Supplier Showcase participants for a tabletop display of their products and services. Enjoy great food and beverage while visiting with the suppliers and other fabricators attending the showcase. This is also a great opportunity to view the Top Job competition photos and for member companies to vote in the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest. Visit the NOMMA website www.nomma.org/metalfab FREE TICKET: Supplier Showcase Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort Complete this form and mail to METALfab, 535 Lakemont Ct., Ste. 200, Roswell, GA 30075, fax: (770) 518-1292. Or bring with you to the Baytowne Conference Center — 2/28/07 (5–7:30 p.m.) or 3/1/07 (4:30–8:30 p.m.)
for additional information on the other activities and education program available to Full Registrants. Complete the information below for free admission to the showcase. If you have questions about the free ticket call 888.516.8585 x 101. Pick up your badge in the foyer of the Baytowne Conference Center. Young persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Cameras and video equipment are not permitted. METALfab 2007 is sponsored by the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association. List 3 products you hope to purchase at METALfab 2006: 1)__________________________________________________ 2)__________________________________________________ 3)__________________________________________________ 1) Primary type of business: K Fabricator K General Supplier K Contractor K Other________________________
Name Company Address City State
2) Annual gross sales K Below $500,000 K $500,000–$1 million K $1 million–$2.5 million K $2.5 million–$5 million K Over $5 million
3) Your role in purchasing: K Final Say K Recommend K Specify 4) Job description: K Owner K Manager/Foreman K Other_______________ Check here K if you are not involved in the business.
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January/February 2007 Vol. 48, No. 1
“Don’t Tread on Me” — this steel-and-copper snake is a patriotic tribute. See page 52.
Tips & Tactics
Virtual assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The latest technology can help you track everything from your business expenses to client follow-up. Should your news salesperson train “on the job”?. . . . . . . . . . 16 Probably note, and here’s why. By Dave Kahle
Marketing your business on a shoestring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 You can be your own source of bright (and inexpensive) marketing ideas!
NEF Special Feature
Preserving history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 A NOMMA member serves as a consultant on a community project. By Kevin Kreger
Job Profiles A patriotic sculpture ....................56 Crafting a rattlesnake from steel and copper is no easy feat. By Tom Sleeper
Gallery Top Job ..................................59 A look back at some of the best of the 2005 Top Job contest entries.
Shop Talk Try dry ice blasting for removing paint, oil and other debris . . . . . 22 It’s non-abrasive and enviromentally safe. The benefits of using woven wire mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 It’s durable, cost-effective and more. By Gary Brunelle and Bonny DesJardin
Super Truck 44 A low-cab truck is the perfect installation vehicle.
What’s Hot! Nationwide Suppliers
. . . . . . . . . . 80
New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 NOMMA News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Biz Side “Toxic” employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Keep “difficult” employees from wreaking havoc in the workplace. By Glenn Shpard
Your business vehicle as a tax deduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Know the rules.
Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 New Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Classifieds
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
By Mark E. Battersby
Improving your bottom line . . . 74 Managing your cash flow is imperative.
By Todd Daniel
President’s Letter . . .6 Proposed changes in codes could affect you.
NOMMA Education Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 The premiere screening of NEF’s latest education video will take place at METALfab ‘07.
Editor’s Letter . . . . . . 8 Teamwork is an integral part of NOMMA.
By William J. Lynott
Reader’s Letters . . . 10 Wrtiers ask for your assistance.
Fab Feedback . . . . . 98 Putting square holes in stair treads.
Cover photo: A steel-and-copper snake represents the American spirit. See page 56. January/February 2007
President’ s Letter Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA OFFICERS President Chris Connelly DeAngelis Iron Work Inc. South Easton, MA President-elect Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC Peoria, IL
Vice President/ Treasurer Sally Powell Powell’s Custom Metal Fab Inc. Jacksonville, FL Immediate Past President Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks Tulsa, OK
FABRICATOR DIRECTORS Fred Michael Colonial Iron Works Inc. Petersburg, VA
Bob Foust Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Kansas City, KS
Don Walsh Pro-Fusion Ornamental Iron Inc. San Carlos, CA
Bruce Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA
Terry Barrett Royal Iron & Aluminum West Palm Beach, FL
Frank Finelli Finelli Ornamental Iron Co. Solon, OH
SUPPLIER DIRECTORS David T. Donnell Eagle Bending Machines Inc. Stapleton, AL
Wayne Haas Cleveland Steel Tool Co. Cleveland, OH
Gene Garrett Regency Railings Inc. Dallas, TX
NOMMA STAFF Executive Director Barbara H. Cook Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington Communications Mgr. J. Todd Daniel
Administrative Assistant Liz Johnson Technical Consultant Tim Moss Editor Helen K. Kelley
2006 ADVISORY COUNCIL Jay Holeman Mountain Iron Fabrications
Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks
Tom McDonough Master Metal Services Inc.
Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises
Rob Rolves Foreman Fabricators Inc.
Curt Witter Big D Metalworks
Join us in the effort to stop proposed code changes Having just returned from a meeting of the Code Technology Committee in
Phoenix, AZ, I am compelled to write about the experience and make an appeal to all NOMMA members. Like many of you, I have come to rely upon updates from Todd Daniel and the NOMMA staff as to the everchanging landscape of building codes. Although these updates have proven very comprehensive and enlightening over the years, it is a completely different experience to actually attend a code meeting, listening to others speak in support of code changes that would deprive many NOMMA members of their ability to earn a living. What goes on in these hearings? People testify that all guardrails with horizontal components are unsafe. They will not be satisfied until building codes are revised to mandate that all guardrails must consist primarily of straight, vertical pickets. That’s it. Sound ridiculous? Maybe so, but there are several countries in which it has already happened. It’s probably just human nature to assume that if others propose code changes that could be detrimental to members of NOMMA, the same group of people whom we have all come to depend on through the years will successfully oppose these proposals. Guess what, folks? They need our help. They need us to attend meetings. We had a strong group of 13 attendees in Phoenix, consisting of NOMMA members, consultants, and staff. I can tell you first-hand that the Code Technology Committee was impressed with the turnout. If an upcoming meeting is being held in your part of the country, please make it a point to find out when and where it will occur and make plans to attend. You can participate as much or as little as you would like at the meeting itself, but your mere presence will help
to further NOMMA’s cause. They need our help in preparing documents that will be presented to code bodies. You can become involved with this by simply calling Todd Chris Connelly Daniel at NOMMA is president of and requesting to be the National added to the Technical Ornamental and Miscellaneous Affairs ListServ. The Metals more people we have Association. reviewing various documents, the more likely it is we can ensure that those documents are of high quality. They need our financial support. Having previously donated $100,000 to NEF, Stan Lawler and Lawler Foundry pledged to donate an additional $50,000 to NEF and the NEF Lawler Research Program. As of this writing, individual members of the NOMMA Board of Directors and the NEF Board of Trustees have collectively pledged an additional $38,000 in an ongoing effort to match Lawler’s most recent pledge. Because the reality of the situation is this: if the CTC requests that NOMMA hire independent researchers to reinforce our positions with objective, third party studies, we will need to effect a dramatic increase in fund-raising. I spoke the following words at METALfab last spring: “We have shown many times in the past, if this Association comes together and locks in on a common goal, there is a very strong likelihood that that goal will become a reality.” I believe what I said. The threat is real, and the time to help is now. Please consider a donation to NEF to help support the NEF Lawler Research Program.
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How to reach us
Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator (ISSN 0191-5940), is the official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA).
O&MM Fabricator / NOMMA 1535 Pennsylvania Ave. McDonough, GA 30253
Send story ideas, letters, press releases, and product news to: Fabricator at address above. Ph: (888) 516-8585. Fax: (770) 2882006. E-mail: email@example.com.
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In addition to the magazine, enjoy more benefits as a NOMMA member. To join, call (888) 516-8585, ext. 101. For a list of benefits, see membership ad in this issue.
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Payment in U.S. dollars by check drawn on U.S. bank or money order. For NOMMA members, a year's subscription is a part of membership dues.
Published each December as a separate issue. Deadline for all advertising materials is Dec. 15. For info, contact Todd Daniel at (888) 516-8585 or email@example.com.
For a quote, contact NOMMA at (770) 2882004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: 10,000.
Editor’ s Letter Team Power My dog, Jasper, and I are a team.
Each month, we visit a local children’s hospital, where, as part of an even larger team of four other dogs and owners, we talk, play and get lots of hugs from some pretty great kids. Over the years, I’ve observed some amazing therapeutic interaction between people and pets, as well as numerous examples of powerful teamwork — parents and children, doctors and patients, team members and hospital staff — the list goes on and on. It’s been only a few short months since I came on board at Fabricator, but in that time, I’ve already noticed quite a bit of teamwork going on at NOMMA, too. For example, my colleague, Todd Daniel, always begins his emails to his fellow staff members and to the Code Advisory Council with the salutation, “Team.” That simple address conveys a spirit of cooperation, the acknowledgement that we are part of a concerted effort. Another shining example of teamwork at NOMMA is the ListServ interaction. It’s an amazingly simple, yet effective system — you ask a question and almost immediately the suggestions and answers start pouring in via email. Best of all, members share their information readily and willingly in order to help fellow members. And having just mentioned the Code Technology Committee, that reminds me: NOMMA members, it’s time to rally ‘round and throw your collective weight behind this committee and your association. A larger team is needed to fight against the passage of code changes that could drastically affect the way you and your fellow members do business. In fact, these proposed changes could determine whether or not some of you are able to continue doing business at all. In his President’s Letter on page 6, Chris Connelly has outlined in detail several ways you can assist in this crucial effort.
Now, on to what you’ll find in the pages of this issue of Fabricator. NOMMA member Don Walsh was cleaning out his office when he came up with a very innovative (and inexpensive) marketing idea, which he shares in our Tips & Tactics section. Also in this section, you’ll learn how you can easily and effectively manage and integrate all the details of your busy schedule, even while on the road or at a job site, with the help of some state-of-the-art technology. In Member Talk, Kevin Kreger shares a fascinating story about a community partnership and plans for restoring an old ironworks shop in Johnstown, PA. Story and photos begin on page 44. Our Shop Talk articles this Helen Kelley is editor month address of Ornamental & an environmen- Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator. tally safe and less messy way to remove all kinds of debris from metal surfaces in the form of dry ice blasting; a discussion of the safety features and cost-effectiveness of wire mesh infill panels; and an exploration of the latest features of customized trucks. In Job Profiles, Tom Sleeper of Sleeper Welding shows you the perils of constructing a rattlesnake from steel and copper. Read about the patriotic inspiration behind this unique sculpture, starting on page 52. Also, see our recap of some great 2005 Top Job entries in a showcase beginning on page 59. You’ll find lots of interesting people and chapter news, along with some helpful new literature and products in What’s Hot. And, of course, I’m looking forward to meeting you all at METALfab 2007 at the end of February. See you then and... Go TEAM! Fabricator
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Readers’ Letters Tell us what you think We need to hear from you. Please send us your article suggestions, editorial corrections, tips you’d like to share with other readers, and comments on new products and services. Your input makes our industry, association, and publications stronger. Mail: Letters to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. E-mail: email@example.com. Fax: (770) 288-2006; Ph: (888) 516-8585. Please include your name, company, address, telephone number, and e-mail. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, grammar, and length.
Looking for computer design program I have been receiving your magazine for a year now and I have enjoyed many of the articles. After some personal setbacks, I am going to start my own ornamental fabrication business. I was thinking about buying one of the computer programs that help design projects. Have there been any articles written about the different programs or could any of your readers offer some advice if they have tried one? As with most new companies I have limited funds, so I want to spend my money as wisely as I can. Ted W. Weeks Titusville, FL
William M. (Bill) Merry Sr., past NOMMA president and long-time volunteer William M. (Bill) Merry, Sr., 75, a past NOMMA president and co-founder of Herndon & Merry Inc., Nashville, TN, has died after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis disease and leukemia. A legendary NOMMA member, Mr. Merry served on the Board of Directors and many committees during his years of service with the assocation. He was NOMMA’s president in 1977, and received the Julius Blum Award that same year. He was also honored with a Distinguished Service Award in 1983. Prior to becoming president, he and his wife Moneta co-chaired the Convention Committee for two years. However, Mr. Merry is best remembered for his outstanding work on the NOMMA Publications Committee. During his tenure on this committee he
helped to produce a number of publications and sales aids, some of which are still sold today. Mr. Merry always had a passion for sales and design, and gave a memorable presentation on this topic at the 1999 METALfab convention in Nashville. Bill Merry Sr. Many NOMMA members say that Mr. Merry was one of their inspirations, including three past NOMMA presidents— Jan Allen Smith, Michael D. Boyler, and David G. Filippi. Mr. Merry is survived by his wife, Moneta, and their three sons, who currently run the business.
Michael P. von Kaenel, long-time NOMMA member and industry activist Michael P. von Kaenel, a long-time NOMMA member, died November 21, 2006 at age 63. Originally joining NOMMA in 1973, he was the owner of Bethesda Iron Works in Rockville, MD, a firm specializing in architectural and ornamental ironwork. During his years with NOMMA, he served on the Standards Committee. While serving on the committee, Mr. von Kaenel served as NOMMA’s liaison with NAAMM and provided valuable input for the creation of their Code of Standard Practice. He also represented the association at trade meetings in Washington, D.C. With his unique background in law, he was able to provide valuable input to Fabricator magazine over the years, and
he authored or provided information for several articles. Mr. Kaenel is survived by his wife, Margo, two sisters, and 14 nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Montgomery Hospice, 1355 Piccard Dr., Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850, or to the Montgomery County Humane Society, 14645 Rothgeb Dr., Rockville, MD 20850.
Michael P. von Kaenel
Fabricator January/February 2007
Need metalsmith for aluminum forging project I am looking for a blacksmith who works in aluminum to create a special cross for my mother’s grave. The cross I have in mind would feature scrollwork, flowers, collars, a twist, and tapered ends, with dimensions of approximately 51 by 28 inches.
I do have a picture of what I have in mind, and I can provide a link on request. Unfortunately, the company that offers a design similar to what I want does not have any in stock. Since I am on a budget, I am looking for a student, apprentice, or small shop that might be able to provide this piece at a reasonable cost. I would be
open to the use of manufactured parts, if needed, to help control expenses. Lionel Smith Hartselle, AL If anyone can help either of these letter writers, please contact the Fabricator staff. Ph: (888) 516-8585, ext. 103, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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US Representative, Robert Rayson, Stratford Gate Systems Office 503.658.2881 Fax 503.658.2517 Cell 503.572.6500 Email: email@example.com www.drivewaygates.com hebo Maschinenfabrik, Am Berg 2, 35285 Gemunden-Grusen, Germany. Phone ++49 6453 91330 Fax 49 6453 913355 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.heboe.com January/February 2007 Fabricator
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Gate operators do not include batteries and accessories. Security– it’s the watchword in the gate operator industry. Which explains why a growing number of people are turning to Apollo Gate Operators. Of course, we offer the security of our full line of gate operators. Apollo gate operators are precisely engineered and solidly constructed to meet all commercial and residential needs, requiring only a 12 volt DC battery rechargeable by either solar or AC power. All Apollo gate operators are available in models that meet UL 325 standards. And all come backed by a two-year warranty. But there’s also security in Apollo’s customer service depar tment. Our customer ser vice depar tment is staffed entirely by skilled technicians, each with a comprehensive grasp of all Apollo products at all stages of product life, ensuring prompt and precise repair turnaround. And these
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Tips & Tactics
Struggling with administrative duties? Consider a cyber assistant
One of the biggest frustrations for small business owners, people who work in the field and those in sales is the need to keep up with all of their information in an efficient manner. Today’s technology makes it possible.
Back in the “old days” of actual
offices and secretaries, you could count on your assistant to make sense out of your dictation, handwritten notes and gas receipts. But today’s work environment has changed quite a bit, and even many large companies expect employees to handle their own administrative tasks. When there is no office assistance available, it falls on the owner or employee themselves to find ways to keep track of their notes, expenses and follow-up actions. That’s when a cyber (virtual) assistant can make a lot of sense. A virtual assistant (VA) provides administrative services, from answering your phone to accounting, on as as-needed basis — and it’s all done via 14
e-mail, fax and/or other electronic technologies. This type of service is flexible, since you can contract for specific hours or time periods when your workflow is heaviest. A VA is generally cost-effective, too, since you are only paying for select services rather than an employee’s salary. Talking it in… instead of typing it in
There are many VA services from which to choose in the marketplace today. Here’s a profile of one such company that’s offering a slightly different approach — data management through a technology-human combination.
Virtual Management Inc. (VMI) is a Utah-based company that offers a VA service called EVA (Electronic Virtual Assistant). EVA provides a
F.Y.I. There are many companies that provide virtual assistance to all kinds of companies, large and small. By simply typing in the words “virtual assistant,” or “cyber assistant,” a Google search will yield hundreds of results. There is even a Virtual Assistant University, AssistU that offers courses and certifications, and awards degrees to those who complete its programs. Learn more about it at www.assistu.com.
simple voice-based system for field representatives or busy travelers whereby key information is dictated while it’s fresh – directly into a highly secure Web-based Sales Automation System – either via phone or the optional digital recorder called EVAs Ear. However, EVA is not a voice recognition system; all data is transcribed by real people – which helps to eliminate the errors inherent in voice recognition technology. EVA stores information in real-time to turn thoughts into actions. EVA operates from a digital recorder or your cell phone, so it’s ideal for anyone who feels overwhelmed, keeping up with all the details of a busy workday, according to Eric Tippetts, VMI’s executive vice president of worldwide sales. “As we met with our customers, we found they were having a real struggle. After working all day, they had to dread spending a few more hours doing the administrative duties to keep up with all they did during the day. That also created the challenge of balancing their work and home lives,” explains Tippetts. “We wanted to supply a product to simplify the administrative portion, so that you don’t have to hire an assistant. Or, if do have one, you can let the assistant focus on more important issues.” EVA supplies the customer with a digital recorder and contact manager database. The customer can then speak into the device to record details of a meeting, client requests, contact information, need to follow-up, etc. Alternatively, the customer can call a toll-free number and speak their information into any regular or cell phone. The information automatically goes to EVA’s bank of actual employees, who actually transcribe the customer’s voice information into an easy-to-read text report. The transcribed file is then “pushed” into the customer’s own database program of choice, such as Outlook, a web-based database, or even into a blackberry. Information is available to the user wherever they are, 24 hours a day. “I think it’s important to note that January/February 2007
RIGHT: The handheld EVA “ear” allows the user to dictate information that is transcribed and and “pushed” into the customer’s own database program.
EVA does not rely on voice recognition,” says Tippetts. “We have actual employees interacting with the technology, which results in extremely high quality when it comes to turning your words into actions.” EVA offers what it calls “seamless synchronization.” The synchronization tool allows users to keep their online EVA contacts in sync with local desktop or PDA-based address books just by speaking into their digital recorder. The system integrates with desktop versions of Outlook 2002, XP and 2003, and data transfer is as easy as clicking the dedicated EVA button from within the Outlook program. By doing so, all updated contacts, calendar items and/or tasks from the user’s online EVA-maintained database are merged with their local Outlook database and calendar. Mobile devices (such as Blackberry and Treo) are supported through desktop synchronization with Outlook. Recently, EVA has added an expense-tracking feature to its system. Called Verbal Expense Tracking, this simple, easy-to-use service allows users to call-in and log expenses immediately following a meeting (or other tax deductible event) for perfect record keeping. “Expense tracking has become a job in itself for many people,” notes Tippetts. “It’s easy to forget to record small expenses, or you might find yourself with a wallet full of receipts at the end of the month that you have to record.”
EVA’s Verbal Expense Tracking users are asked to call their assistant at an 800 number and succinctly leave expense and meeting details on the dedicated voicemail. The average expense call is approximately 30-seconds. Once the call is finished, the assistant puts all the expenses into a report to be used at a later date. Something as easy as mileage can save users thousands a year by tracking mileage to and from all business appointments; but tracking mileage is often missed without people even realizing they could be putting money back in their pockets as they drive. “We can even create an expense report module in your Outlook program,” states Tippetts. “Just click a button and it automatically pulls information out into an Excel format.” What does virtual assistance cost?
A quick online search of firms providing virtual assistance yields a wide variety of service plans and pricing. For as little as $10 a month, you can contract for a virtual “receptionist” to answer your phones and retrieve messages, but some plans with multiple services and tracking features can run as high as $300 a month. Most companies tie the pricing into the number of phone minutes you actually use. The above-mentioned firm, EVA, offers plans starting at $69.95 a month. For more information on Virtual Management Inc. and EVA, log on to www.evaforhire.com. 15
Tips & Tactics
Is ”on the job” training the best way to develop a salesperson? Expecting a new salesperson to learn the job on his own can be a big mistake for your company. Learn why in Part 1 of this article on sales productivity.
By Dave Kahle In our surveys, distributor CEOs indicate “on the job” training as the predominant method of developing salespeople. If everyone is doing it, it must be OK, right? I don’t think so. See if this sounds familiar. You are ready to expand your sales force, so you hire a nice guy who has some experience in the industry. You start him with a few days in the warehouse, have him sit in customer service for a week, and meet with whichever manufacturer’s rep happens to stroll in. You send him out with a senior salesperson for a week or so. Then, he’s deemed ready to represent you, and he’s unleashed into the territory with the charge to “go forth and sell a lot.” He’ll pick it up, you assure yourself, by learning “on the job.” Or, worse yet, you make it a practice of only hiring people who have experience, limiting your future salespeople to those who have gone through the process described above at some other company. What’s wrong with this tried and true method of developing salespeople? There was a time, ten or twenty years ago, when competition was not nearly as fierce, where the job was not 16
nearly as demanding, and salespeople not nearly as challenged as they are today, when this method was adequate. In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, however, “on the job” learning for salespeople consistently produces mediocre performers. It’s not that “on the job” training isn't effective for other positions. “On the job” learning works well for other positions, like customer service, warehouse, etc., where there is both a mentor constantly present as well as a clearly defined articulation of how to do the job well. However, for salespeople, it’s an abdication of responsibility. There is rarely a mentor constantly available, nor is there, in most businesses, a clearly defined set of practices as to what constitutes the best way to do the job. “On the job” training, for salespeople, is code for “learn on your own.”
“On the job” training for salespeople assumes that there are no standards for what constitutes a good salesperson. Other than net sales and/or gross profits measured at the end of the month, there are no standards for what constitutes professional
excellence. Therefore, every salesperson is left to develop his own “style.” If there were a set of best practices that define the way a professional salesperson does his job, it would be unreasonable to expect that every salesperson would, by trial and error, stumble across those best practices. That’s the concept. Of course, the problem is that this idea is the biggest single cause of sales
For your information About the author: Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who helps his clients increase their sales and improve their sales productivity. Dave has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful in the Information Age economy. He is the author of over 500 articles, a monthly e-zine, and six books. Ten Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople was recently released by Career Press. Join Dave's "Thinking About Sales Ezine" on-line at http://www.davekahle.com/mailinglist.h tm. Contact: The DaCo Corp., 3736 West River Dr., Comstock Park, MI 49321; Ph: (800) 331-1287; E-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.davekahle.com
mediocrity in existence today. It is totally, completely false. There is a set of behaviors that constitute the skill set of the sales masters. The job of the salesperson has been studied and written about probably more than any other profession in the world. There exists a universal body of knowledge about how a good salesperson does his job. There are behaviors and competencies that relate to planning, preparation, time management, interaction with customers, etc. Regardless of the hype of promoters, there are no secrets in selling. I just encountered a well-trained, professional salesperson. He answered the phone when I inquired with a company with whom we already have a relationship. I was interested in expanding the relationship to include some other services from this company. He was polite and respectful. He first referenced our previous relationship, and then asked a series of questions that had obviously been prepared beforehand. I could hear him typing the answers into the computer. He repeated back to me, several times, his understanding of exactly what I was looking for, and exactly what my situation and requirements were. He outlined a series of next steps, the most next logical being him doing some research on a solution, and then calling me back to relay that solution. We agreed, and made an appointment for that phone call. When the time came, he was prompt. He began the phone call by reciting the steps we had taken, and once again, explained his understanding of my situation. When I agreed that he accurately understood our situation, he relayed his proposal. We discussed it, and together settled on a next step to move the project forward. After the call, I felt very comfortable, knowing the project was in the hands of a well-trained professional salesperson. He exhibited mastery of a series of behaviors that we teach every salesperson. In other words, he knew how to sell. January/February 2007
He was so good, that I doubt that he stumbled over these best practices on his own. It didn’t matter if he was black, white, yellow, green or orange; it didn’t matter if the person was male or female; Indian, Puerto Rican, or American; it didn’t matter if he was old or young. It didn’t matter what the product was, or how long the company had been in business. What did matter was that he was a welltrained, professional salesperson, exhibiting all the behaviors of a master salesperson. I suspect that he was intentionally exposed to these best practices, that he was trained in them, that he practiced them until he achieved some degree of competence and that he was and is regularly inspected to make sure that he continues to develop his compe-
tence with these behaviors. I doubt if he was expected to “learn on his own.” My point is this: There is a universal body of knowledge about how an effective professional salesperson does his job. This set of practices can be identified, learned and managed in every salesperson. To not do that is to promote the concept that every salesperson has “his own style,” and can’t therefore, be held accountable for anything. “On the job” training, for salespeople usually means that we expect the salesperson to eventually “get it,” but we have no articulate idea of what “it” is. Look for part 2 of this article and more insight on sales productivity in our next issue.
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Tips & Tactics
Marketing your business on a shoestring It only takes one simple idea turned into an effective marketing plan — and it doesn’t have to cost a lot!
Don Walsh was cleaning up his office
when he had a “light bulb moment” that turned into a completely new and unexpected way to market his services. The Fabricator staff asked him to share his experience with fellow NOMMA members :
Tell us about the idea you had while doing a routine office clean-up.
My shop is fairly small, approximately 200 square feet. Since I have a habit of holding on to CAD drawings of projects we have completed in the last few years, it becomes necessary to clean house once in a while. I did this recently (and as usual, I always pick a time when I can least afford the time!) So, that’s where I found my attention focused last month. I was about to dump the old drawings when I looked at the four walls of my office, which feature pictures of past projects and my couple of Top Job awards. Suddenly, I had a brainstorm for a quick facelift to the wall surface. What if I basically “wallpapered” the office walls on all four sides with the draw18
Designs for past projects literally paper the walls of NOMMA member Don Walsh’s office.
ings — in no particular order and juxtaposed, overlapping parts of them over each other — covering the entire wall surface? That’s how it got started.
What did this “wallpapering” cost you?
After spending about $10 on wallpaper paste, a brush to apply it,
F.Y.I. “Word of mouth” is actually one of the most powerful marketing tools available to you. Customer recommendations and referrals are invaluable when it comes to getting new business, so... remember to cultivate lasting relationships with your clients and pay attention to customer service. Fabricator
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and a smoothing brush, it took about three or four hours, max. I still need to install some wood trim where the wall meets the ceiling. But the total effect is amazing.
And how did this turn into a marketing opportunity for you?
Within a few days of covering the walls, meeting with a potential client took on a whole new meaning. The answer to the question of what we, as a fabricator, can do is right there on the wall. I’ve watched the reaction of new clients when they walk through the door and into the office – their eyes immediately start taking in all four of the walls. And because the drawings are in no specific order, they don’t know where to look first – so they look everywhere. No matter what they came to meet with us about originally, their usual reaction is, “I had no idea you did driveway gates (or balconies or stair rails, etc.).” They see our skills and ability to do a wide variety of projects, right there on the walls.
Have there been any drawbacks to the papered walls?
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No, but I think I might do it differently. While I chose to paste the drawings directly on the wall, in retrospect, I think I should have mounted them on 4’ x 8’ Masonite panels. Then, if I ever had the occasion to move my shop, the panels could easily be removed and reinstalled in another location. Don Walsh is owner of ProFusion Ornamental Iron Inc. in San Carlos, CA. For more information, visit the company website, www.profusioniron.com or call (650) 637-9652. Fabricator
Dry ice blasting offers high-impact cleaning
It’s non-abrasive, mess-free, enviro-safe…and it cleans in-place! By Mark Adams Remember the saying about “a snow-
ball’s chance in hell?” Well, meet the snowball from hell! It’s called dry ice blasting and it’s beginning to get widespread attention in the cleaning industry because it screams and cleans with the same ferocity of a sandblaster, but without the abrasiveness, dust and mess of sand, soda, shells or other media blasting. For instance, unlike sandblasting: Dry ice is non-abrasive and the blasting can be regulated so it can clean virtually any surface, from stripping paint off metal or concrete to removing mold from plastic or wood without pitting or damaging the surface. Dry ice has proven effective in removing mold, paint, grease, oil, 22
asphalt, tar, soot, decals, dirt, ink, adhesives and resins. Dry ice vaporizes (sublimates is the correct scientific term) into the air soon after contact leaving the contaminant residue on the floor to be swept up or vacuumed. And there’s no secondary wastewater, solvent, sand or media to clean up. Dry ice converts quickly and harmlessly into CO2 making it an ideal friend to the environment. And it is dry so it cleans without wetting the surface. Dry ice also sublimates so quickly that you can clean machinery inplace eliminating the hours of labor normally used to disassemble and reassemble equipment. It also means
machinery doesn’t have to be moved—a common cause of damage—to be cleaned.
For your information What is dry ice? Basically, it is carbon dioxide in its solid form (frozen at -109.3 ° F or 79.5° C). Dry Ice doesn’t melt — it goes from its solid form to gas, in a process called sublimation. Dry ice has a variety of uses, such as a refrigerant to ship perishable foods; in entertainment as a means of creating special effects such as fog; in cryogenics; in domestic cleaning products and more.
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Kärcher brand. “To think cleaning can be this effective with so much versatility and so little mess is amazing. We’ve seen a lot of cleaning equipment come and go over the past three decades but the many benefits of dry ice blasting makes this product one of the most exciting we’ve ever introduced.” The dry ice story
Dry ice blasting can be used for a variety of applications, such as removal of car paint.
“It’s a remarkable method of cleaning,” explained Andy Gale, CEO of CTech Industries, one of North
America’s largest manufacturer of industrial pressure washers, which now offers a dry ice blaster under the
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Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a naturally occurring colorless, tasteless, odorless gas found in the earth’s atmosphere. It is a relatively simple process to pressurize and cool carbon dioxide enough to turn it from gas to solid. Dry ice was first discovered in 1835 by a French chemist, but it wasn’t used commercially in North America until the 1930s when dry ice replaced ice blocks used for shipping produce and other perishables in railcars. At a temperature of –109°F, shippers discovered dry ice had twice the cooling power of water ice and left no mess when it vaporized back into the atmosphere. Soon ice cream makers and vendors turned to dry ice until electric refrigeration came along. At one point, usage was so widespread that annual dry ice production in the U.S. reached 120 million pounds. Only in relative recent history has dry ice been found to be an extraordinarily effective media for high-impact cleaning or blasting. How dry ice blasting works
Dry ice cleaning is similar to sand blasting with dry ice pellets as a blasting media. The advantage of dry ice, of course, is that it vaporizes or sublimates into the air almost upon contact. There are three basic reasons dry ice cleans so effectively: As the dry ice pellets are shot out of the blaster at supersonic speeds. The kinetic energy of this action is transferred to the surface being cleaned thus cracking and lifting contaminants from the surface. There is also a transfer of thermal energy. The extraordinary low Fabricator
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temperature of the dry ice allows the pellets to flash freeze the surface being cleaned causing a thermal shock that produces fine cracks in the contaminant. The dry ice pellets then penetrate the cracks in the contaminant and explode on impact. These small explosions, as the pellets quickly convert from a solid to a gas, further help to fracture the contaminants and literally blow them off the surface. This increase in volume is more than 400 times its original mass. Most dry ice systems use a single hose design where the compressed air and dry ice are mixed at the machine. Dual hose systems feature one hose for the dry ice and one for the air then the two are mixed at the gun. Dry ice systems typically do not come with compressed air, but rely on the addition of an air compressor that delivers 150 to 300 CFM at 45-250 PSI. Dry ice pellets are 3mm—the standard industry size—with consumption between 50 and 250 pounds per hour. Additionally, most dry ice units have a sloped hopper to store and feed the dry ice into the dosing system. The dosing system meters the dry ice into the hose, which delivers the product through a trigger gun. Some systems have a shaker or vibrator to help prevent “bridging” inside the hopper. There is a wide variety of nozzles used with dry ice blasting. Similar to pressure washers, a fan nozzle or flared round nozzle is best when cleaning wood surfaces. Pencil jet nozzles give maximum impact to concrete or metal surfaces, but with very limited fan or spray coverage. Accessories include adapters to break up the dry ice into smaller particles for cleaning delicate products. These are especially helpful when restoring wood and cleaning porous surfaces. Curved nozzles allow cleaning into areas not accessible with a straight nozzle. Proper nozzle selection not only speeds up a job but can also prevent damage to extra-vulnerable surfaces. Consumables and contaminants
The 3mm dry ice pellet resembles a grain of rice and is some times referred to as “rice ice.” It is available from most industrial gas suppliers and companies that specialize in producing and distributing dry ice. Pellets should be stored in an insulated dry ice container and opened as little as possible to prevent vaporized loss. Depending on weather conditions and the thickness of the storage container, expect to lose 2 percent to 12 percent to sublimation per day. Fresh dry ice will clean better and help prevent clumping in the hopper. Clean dry air is another critical factor. Air with too much moisture can cause a unit to freeze up forcing the operator to stop and wait until it thaws out. This is common with portable air compressors. Freeze ups can be prevented by using an air/water filter or an air dryer. 26
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While dry ice dissipates quickly, there’s still a residue involved in the cleaning process—the contaminant itself, such as paint, grease, mold, etc. If the contaminants are dry, like hardened paint or mold, they will clump together and fall to the floor. If contaminants are wet, such as oil, grease or ink, they will flash freeze and also fall to the floor. In both cases the contaminants can be swept up or vacuumed. Note that when cleaning wet contaminants it’s preferable to clean in the same direction, similar to cleaning a flat surface with a pressure washer attachment, pushing the soil to one side. Tarps or other forms of containment are helpful in capturing the contaminants as they fall so they can be collected and disposed of.
Dry ice blasting creates a very high pitch, screaming sound with noise levels as high as 112 decibels. In fact, ear and eye protection is required for operators. Also, because the pellets are so cold, gloves are required. Carbon dioxide is 40 percent heavier than air so proper ventilation is needed. CO2 in itself is not harmful, but it can displace the oxygen in an enclosed work area or in a vehicle when transporting the ice pellets. Due to the complex nature of shooting pellets at super-sonic speeds, dry ice blasting equipment typically is more expensive than other high-pressure cleaning equipment.
Dry ice is easy to scoop and measure in pellet form.
Disadvantages of dry ice blasting
Advantages of dry ice blasting
While extremely effective, dry ice cleaning usually is not the first choice in cleaning equipment simply because it has its downsides, too:
On the other hand, dry ice blasting effectively overcomes the weaknesses of other cleaning technologies:
A FA B o o t h # 1 0 1 5
Pressure washers and steam cleaners are a less-expensive alternative, but they, too, are limited in that they rely on water, which becomes wastewater that must be captured and disposed of safely. Plus, some surfaces cannot tolerate dampness. Dry ice blasting is just that, “dry” cleaning without the wet and mess.
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Abrasive blasters, whether with sand, soda, walnut shells or other media, leave secondary waste that must be collected and disposed of. Blasting with media is generally faster than dry ice cleaning, but may cause damage to moving parts or pit and erode the surface. Dry ice pellets leave no secondary waste and do not damage the surface being cleaned.
determination stability hope
Cleaning by hand is always an option, but typically requires the use of hazardous solvents or other clearing chemicals potentially harmful to workers. It’s also very slow. Time is money when it comes to cleaning. Dry ice blasting is extremely fast in comparison. Of course, there’s always the choice of not cleaning machinery at all, which unfortunately is quite common, Fabricator
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A dry ice blaster, such as this one from Karcher, is portable and easy to use.
ignoring the fact that clean equipment lasts longer, clean equipment is easier to maintain (a technician can spot problems easier when equipment is clean) and clean equipment creates pride among the work force. Dry ice blasting applications
Because of its versatility in cleaning so many different surfaces, dry ice cleaning has been effective in a broad range of applications and markets. For instance:
Dry ice blasting has been used to clean in-place many types of machinery that can’t be moved or are too complex to disassemble, such as large ovens found in food processing plants and bakeries. Manufacturers and metal working shops face the same challenge where cleaning is needed for bulky machining tools, stamping machines, dies, molds and molding equipment. Dry ice blasting has proven successful in cleaning molds and molding equipment while still hot so they can be put back into operation sooner to maximize production time. Dry ice blasting also has been successful in cleaning adhesives used in packaging machinery. In a very unique application, dry ice blasting has been found effective in cleaning surfaces contaminated by radioactivity, a nightmare when cleaned with a pressure washer because the wash-water must be treated as a hazardous waste.
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Electric motors and electronic equipment can be cleaned with dry ice and put back into service immediately. Printing presses are one of the messiest of cleaning jobs because of the sticky inks and disassembly time. Dry ice blasting cleans a printing press in a fraction of the time. One of the most popular uses of dry ice blasting is the removal of mold from structures involved in building restoration. Traditionally mold is removed by hand with grinders and scrapers, then spraying it with a biocide. Dry ice cleaning reduces, or eliminates altogether, the use of biocides and delivers a more complete kill to the mold spores. The dead mold must still be removed from the area, but the job is a lot less intensive and time consuming. In fire restoration projects, dry ice removes smoke and soot as well as related odors. Wood, concrete, brick or metal surfaces can be cleaned quickly and safely. Plus, dry ice cleans the hard-to-reach crevices that other methods miss. Some in the cleaning industry have begun to compare dry ice blasting to the advent of hot water pressure washers, when they began to replace steam cleaners 25-30 years ago with a faster, more effective way to clean. Pressure washer dealers, with an eye to expanding their cleaning options, are now looking at incorporating dry ice blasting into their product offering. Others will find that dry ice blasting will prove to be a very attractive—and lucrative—rental business that will lead to equipment sales. Either way, watch for dry ice blasting to make its mark in the history of cleaning. Mark Adams is general manager of Kärcher Industrial Products. For more information on Kärcher Industrial Products, log on to www.karcherusa.com; for information on C-Tech Industries, visit www.ctechindustries.com.
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Why use woven wire mesh on your next project?
Wire mesh partitions and infill panels offer a fast, durable and costeffective answer to projects that require more security and safety.
By Gary Brunelle and Bonny DesJardin Jesco Industries Inc. Wire mesh partitions and infill panels offer a fast, durable answer to projects that require more security and safety. Wire mesh is a popular product these days, used in all type of industries, primarily because it can provide security and safety, while, at the same time, allowing free airflow flow and better visibility. It also has flexible uses: The partitions can be specially fabricated to fit different size and functional needs. Additionally, wire mesh partitions are, in most cases, economical and fairly easy to install. They also can enhance the aesthetics of a project.
Planning a project using wire mesh
The planning stage of a project utilizing wire mesh, just as with any type (Photos and graphics provided courtesy of Jesco Industries, Inc.) 32
of design build project, can, and should be, challenging and fun. And successfully finishing the toughest projects is both rewarding and selfsatisfying. It all begins with a telephone call or a fax and ends when the product is installed. But everything must start with a clear understanding of the project, making communication the number one priority. It’s often tough to gain a clear understanding of the job, though. For example, it isn’t easy when designbuild projects have some unusual specifications that cannot be economically produced with the materials specified for the project. Therefore, compromise and acceptance from both the contractor and the owner are paramount when trying to stay within budget. Another stage of planning is providing the quote. Blueprints and specifications (or at least sketches) will get the quoting process done. And,
although small projects are quoted more quickly, all are unique — we all know that no two projects are ever the
For your information Woven wire is versatile and easily adapted to special uses and conditions. It is fabricated from drawn or rolled sections in standard or special materials. In open mesh construction such as partitions, guards and grilles which are known for excellent quality and durability. Woven wire is highly recommended when ventilation, lighting, vision and fire proof materials are prime requisites. Woven wire is available in the finest to the coarsest of meshes. These meshes can meet any open mesh requirement that may be presented to the fabricator — From the Woven Wire Products Association, www.wovenwire.org
same. Yet, the paperwork remains the same whether the project is small or large: receiving the purchase order, establishing credit, creating a CAD drawing, sending a submittal, getting a
When a project is completed and the owner accepts, the contractor signs off, and everyone is happy. You know you did your best.
change order, getting verified field dimensions from the contractor (or the installer), and establishing an acceptable timetable for fabrication and delivery. Another important part of planning a job is taking good, reliable measurements. These measurements are critical in providing the product where you need it, when you need it. When it comes to wire mesh, this is
generally the last area of the project to be installed. This usually means that you will need to work around any other elements that were installed after your initial measurements were taken, such as HVAC, sprinklers, mechanicals, compressor lines, etc. Therefore, cutouts, as frustrating as this sounds, will only be as difficult as you let them be. The cutouts may be done at the factory or in the field. You can get very creative in your thinking when installing around these impediments. Just keep in mind that, despite careful planning, problems with installation can occur on any project. The good news is that there is normally more than one solution for most problems.
Woven wire mesh partition specifications: 10 gauge woven into a 1-1/2”diamond in a 1-1/4” x 5/8” channel frame 8 gauge woven into a 1-1/2” diamond in a 1-1/24” x 5/8” ¾” channel frame or 1-1/2” x ¾” channel frame 6 gauge woven into a 2” diamond in a 1-1/2” x ¾” channel frame 10 gauge woven into a 2” x 1” rectangular opening in an angle frame
Woven wire mesh infill panels specifications: 10, 8, and 6 tauge woven wire in diamond, square or rectangular dhannel frames in 1” x ½”, 1-1/4” x 5 /8”, 1-1/2” x ¾”, “U” edging Other options available: banding, or capped with larger channel, which produces a highly desirable finished edge, and stand-offs.
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Advantages of, and uses for, wire mesh infill panels
Woven wire infill panels, such as those that Jesco Industries manufactures, come in a variety of configurations that are durable and aesthetically pleasing, while also providing safety, visibility and free flow of air.
Infill panels offer a reliable, fast, high quality, and low cost method for security and safety applications. Woven wire mesh infill panels have many uses in all types of industries, and are often used in stairways, window guards, and catwalks. They provide an economical means for complying with OSHA and
“Freighty” matters Shipping can be a significant concern when it comes to getting large or unwieldy products to the customer in good condition. Here’s how Jesco Industries handles the shipment and freight issues regarding their wire mesh products: The wire mesh products Jesco Industries-WIPCO Division manufactures are packaged in crates, and the infill panels in gaylords, with a forklift/pallet base for the smallerto-medium sized projects in order to minimize the freight issues that can occur. Crating the partitions/panels has reduced freight claims significantly, according to company President and CEO Bonny Desjardin Only the dedicated truckloads are hand-loaded and packed side-toside, top-to-bottom and braced in the truck for transport. However, this means the contractor at the job site will be off-loading. Jesco/WIPCO has selected carriers that handle most of its freight. These carriers have a clear understanding of the company’s requirements, which provides an additional buffer in the event something does go wrong. Jesco/WIPCO prepays the freight. However, some customers prefer to use their own carrier, which means that they are responsible for the product once it leaves the manufacturer’s facility.
code regulations, and may also be used in retrofitting existing stairways and guardrail systems to comply with current codes. In the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry, infill panels can be used in window guards, railing systems, barrier guards, and many other applications. The product is also utilized in other industries such as government facilities, warehouse supply chains, food and beverage, appliance, aerospace, cabinet, and furniture manufacturing. When a project is completed and the owner accepts, the contractor signs off and everyone is happy. You know you did your best. This is when you are remembered for future projects. That, in itself, is worth doing all over again! Bonny DesJardin is President and CEO of Jesco Industries Inc.; Gary Brunelle is Sales Engineer.
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A fabricator turns an Isuzu NPR stake bed truck into a highly
efficient installation vehicle. By Todd Bohannon Bohannon Metal Crafts I feel our Isuzu NPR low cab truck pro-
vides an ideal setup for ornamental metal installation work. Every tool we need is easily accessible, which saves valuable time in the field. The vehicle is powered by a 350 Chevrolet engine with automatic transmission. It is very compact and maneuverable while still having a larger-than-average 12-foot flat bed. We haul our jobs standing up and strapped
to either side using ratchet straps. We can get a surprisingly large amount of product on the truck, so we usually don’t need to use our trailer. There is a thermal arc Scout welder that is removable when the 130-foot leads aren’t long enough. I built the left cabinet around a tool box, which is more efficient for storing tools. The right cabinet houses a cutting rig, welding leads, and fire extinguishers. The bed has a removable rear 2-by-4 inch tube, which is pinned in, for hauling long materials on top. The cab is finished with tinted windows and a Clarion stereo. The wheel covers are stainless. I get compliments on the truck quite often and I am proud to have it. The passenger side storage cabinet holds welding leads, a cutting rig, and fire extinguishers.
For your information About the company: Bohannon Metal Crafts, 2108 Jennifer Ave., Muscle Shoals, AL 35661. Ph: (256) 3146009. Company specialties: Railings, stairs, fire escapes, balconies. The Truck: Isuzu NPR with 350 Chevy engine and automatic transmission. Notable features: Storage cabinet for welding equipment, cutting rig, and fire extinguishers. Removable welder for when the 130-foot leads won’t reach the work area.
Tool box with pull-out drawers.
Storage tube for hauling long materials on top.
Clarion stereo, tinted windows, and stainless wheel covers. Fabricator January/February 2007
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TOP LEFT: The portable welder sits between the two cabinets. If needed, the entire unit can be removed. TOP RIGHT: The left cabinet holds tie-down straps, a tool box, and three shelves for holding extension chords and equipment. BOTTOM RIGHT: A view of the welding supply cabinet, welder, and bed. When items are stacked upright, the bed can hold a surprisingly large amount of material.
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If you produce ornamental driveway gates, garden entrances, fencing, or exterior railings, then consider making NOMMA your educational resource. We offer publications, directories, bulletins, technical support, videos, a trade show, and educational classes that aim to make your job easier â€” and more profitable!
Fabricator January/February 2007
Building a business; growing a community A NOMMA
member serves as a consultant in a unique community effort to restore an historic ironworking shop.
By Kevin Kreger Stanley Associates What do you do with a 134 year-old blacksmith shop? That was the question faced by the city of Johnstown, PA when Bethlehem Steel, on the verge of bankruptcy, signed over the title to one of the nation’s most historically important ironworking sites. Bethlehem’s gift to the city was a 11,000 square foot blacksmith shop located in downtown Johnstown, on the bank of the Conemaugh River. Although years of neglect had left the brick building in an advanced state of decay, its classic mid-19th century architecture was still eye-catching.
Old and modern converge for a well-equipped shop
The building has several work areas, including a central octagon topped with an octagonal cupola, plus three large wings. It is also well-lit — fifteen-foot tall arched windows admit a generous amount of natural light into the spacious interior. One unique feature of the blacksmith shop is the large supply of tools and equipment that Bethlehem left in place when they shut down operations 44
in Johnstown. Forges and heat-treating furnaces remain, along with a half dozen steam and air hammers ranging in size from 1,000 to 10,000 pounds. Racks of power hammer tooling stand throughout the interior, and thousands of tongs and hand tools fill steel cabinets lining the walls. The shop contains five steam hammers, which have been converted to compressed air operation, as well as a 2,000 pound Chambersburg self-contained air hammer, powered by a 75 h.p. electric motor. Seventeen coal and gas forges are arranged throughout the shop, all supplied with forced air from electric centrifugal blowers. The shop has a set of gas-fired heat-treating ovens inside, while two large pit furnaces and quench tanks are located outside under a covered work area for heat-treating large work and batch jobs. A second covered outdoor work area holds a large gas-fired pass-through furnace and an enormous seven by fourteen-foot stake table for heavy bending. Inside, a Diacro #2 bender is provided for more mundane bending needs. Among the shop’s fixtures are a number of bridge anvils ranging from approximately 700 to 1,000 lbs.
The arrangement for work flow throughout the facility is interesting. Designed before the advent of forklifts, the shop has numerous pivoting jib cranes with chain hoists arranged at intervals, enabling work or machinery to be moved about as needed. The preservation plan
When the city received title to the shop, the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, along with a group of stakeholders from local, state and national organizations, studied the
For your information “Founded in 1852, the Cambria Iron Co. of Johnstown made an important contribution to American industrialism - it is considered one of the greatest of the early modern iron and steel works. Forerunner of Bethlehem Steel Co., United States Steel Corp., and other late 19th and 20th century steel companies, the Cambria plant became a model for the industry.” — From the Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s website, www.jaha.org/ DiscoveryCenter/steel.html Fabricator
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The south side of the blacksmith shop.
advantages and disadvantages of turning it into a museum. The group decided that a better way to preserve the facility would be to put it in the hands of an independent business that would create modern ironwork, while, at the same time, allowing a degree of access to visitors wanting a glimpse of history. “The standard museum approach doesn’t quite fit a site like this,” said Richard Burkert, executive director of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association and one of the projects partners. Gesturing to a 3,000 pound Chambersburg steam hammer, he added, “The best way to preserve this old iron is to keep on using it.” The Redevelopment Authority plans to lease the shop to a business that will use the air hammers, at least occasionally, and that will allow visitors to view the shop when workload and safety permit. Although one of the project’s goals is to provide visitors with an interpretive historic experience, the city isn’t interested in historic re-enactment. Initial plans to make the shop into a museum with paid actors forging steel for visitors were abandoned. “A working blacksmith museum would have involved a lot of compromise,” Burkert explained. “Since the shop was in continuous operation for 130 years, it contains artifacts from various historic periods from the mid19th century to the late 20th century. Attempting to interpret the shop’s history through reenactment would mean choosing one period over the others. But, what the shop does show 46
A commercial operation such as an ornamental ironwork business would work well for historic interpretation in the shop. Such an operation could demonstrate the continuum of the blacksmith trade, drawing a line from the industrial revolution through the 20th century heyday of the steel industry, and into the 21st century as a transformed but still-vital occupation now focused on artistic creation. The Redevelopment Authority has embarked on a several-years-long project to conduct environmental remediation, restore the building and overhaul its forging equipment. At the same time, they have begun the search
for tenants to operate in the shop. Their commitment to the twin goals of historic preservation and business development offers an interesting opportunity to ornamental fabricators and blacksmiths for professional growth combined with community involvement. As a consultant for JAHA, I have been pitching the shop to individuals in the forging, fabrication and artistblacksmith industries, seeking qualified operators who could take advantage of this opportunity. There has been a lot of curiosity about the shop, and I have given quite a few tours to interested parties. Early in the process, I found that the shop was not considered particularly viable from the point of view of the commercial forging industry. Although some of the shop equipment, such as forges and heat treating furnaces, is suitable (with modernization) for a commercial forging operation, most of the steam hammers are not easily capable of production to industry standards. While plenty of older hammers are still running in commercial forging shops, the majority of the defense and industry contracts in today’s market have product specifications that require hammers be able to hold tighter tolerances than those in the blacksmith shop can achieve.
Double-sided gas forge.
1,000-lb. Bement Miles steam hammer.
well is the evolution of forging steel through changing times. “Authenticity is also important,” Burkert continued. “There is a good argument that seeing workers use the old shop equipment to create real, modern products would provide visitors with a better interpretive experience than watching a bunch of period actors just pounding on steel.” The search for operators is on
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Just a few of the shopâ€™s tongs.
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Rack of power hammer tooling.
Obsolescence is not such a big factor for the ornamental fabrication and artist-blacksmith communities. Most of the blacksmiths who toured the shop were excited at the possibilities the equipment offered. That excitement was usually followed by the remark that the equipment was just too large for everyday use. At 1,000 pounds, the smallest hammer in the shop was far bigger than they would normally need. The answer is that there is plenty of room in the shop for blacksmiths to set up all of their own equipment, such as smaller trip hammers, hydraulic presses, and whatever else they normally use. The large hammers would be available when needed, offering capabilities for designing and creating work on a scale most blacksmiths would never consider. The opportunity would be a natural fit for a fabricator/blacksmith just starting a business, or an established business outgrowing their shop and frustrated by the lack of affordable space. Custom tool makers would also find the large hammers and heat treating equipment useful and time-saving for producing everything from hammers to anvils. Currently, the city is in discussions with an experienced blacksmith/fabricator who is interested in building an ornamental ironwork business in the shop, and who is Fabricator
A 7x9’ stake table.
looking for partners. Also, the Redevelopment Authority is exploring a flexible set of business options: a single business jointly owned by several blacksmiths; several independent operators leasing shop space under one roof (and able to collaborate on large projects); or a combination of a major tenant with several independent blacksmiths leasing shop space. The final business model will depend on the interest of the next candidates we identify. Community and economic factors
Heat treating ovens and control panel.
Of course, the decision to relocate your existing business to a new area depends on more than the availability of a good shop. Quality of life considerations and a market for your product are essential. The area offers excellent an quality of life, along with a low cost of living. Johnstown has all of the amenities of a big city, but retains much small town charm, featuring excellent schools, one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, and beautiful tree-lined neighborhoods with extremely affordable homes. Add in the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, and the result is an ideal place to live, work, and raise a family. The area maintains a strong trend of economic recovery from the loss of the steel industry. Johnstown has been successful in attracting new companies over the past decade, resulting in sustained job growth, particularly in the medical, defense, and technology fields. On the other hand, ornamental ironworkers will likely find scarcer local opportunities for residential commissions than in many of the high growth/high income cities around the country. Johnstown blacksmiths will probably have to reach out to the broader regional market for custom ironwork; however, the city’s central location makes this feasible. There are several major cities within a few hours’ drive, including Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Prospective Johnstown blacksmiths will also gain a significant advantage from working from a blacksmith shop that will be promoted as a visitor attraction: the city will be a strong partner in helpFabricator
ing their business achieve national visibility. Restoration timeline
Restoration is now in full swing at
Pictured are a 4,000-lb. Bement Miles steam hammer (left) and a 3,000-lb. Chambersburg steam hammer (right).
If I had a hammer... This is a 10,000-lb. W.H. Sellers steam hammer.
the Johnstown blacksmith shop. Repairs have been completed to stabilize the worst of the building’s deterioration, and environmental remediation is underway to remove lead wall paint and contaminants in the shop’s dirt floor. A museum-quality restoration of the walls, windows, and roof is scheduled through mid-2007, and will be followed by renovation of the shop’s compressed air system, power hammers, and forges. Final work is expected to be complete and the building ready for new tenants in early to mid 2008. For more information and pictures of the shop, go to: www.jaha.org. If any of you NOMMA members reading this article like the idea of being a community partner in historic preservation, and feel this opportunity could be a fit for your business, please contact Kevin Kreger at: Kevin.Kreger@stanleyassociates.com. Ed. note: Thanks to NOMMA member Kevin Kreger for providing the article and photos.
“Don’t Tread on Me” A snake is symbolic of
one craftsman’s tribute to the invincible
spirit of patriotism. By Tom Sleeper Editor’s note: In the wake of the 9-11 tragedy, Tom Sleeper of Sleeper Welding, was, like all Americans, sad and angry. Drawing on those emotions, he created a magnificent sculpture that symbolizes America’s best traits: courage, patriotism and fiery independence. His copper snake, a long time in the making, was a 2004 Top Job entry. After September 11, 2001, many Americans went from shocked to fighting mad in about a half a second. Between our not winning in Vietnam (through no fault of our soldiers), our helicopters flying into each other in Iran, and Somalia, our enemies were beginning to think of us as wimps. But lately, we’re proving we are the descendants of those who, 240 years ago, made a flag with a rattlesnake insignia and the words, “Don’t Tread on Me” — then went out and took on the world superpower of the day. (No offense to our British readers, but your ancestors should have read that flag!) All kidding aside, the point is that attitude is what that saying, “Don’t Tread on Me,” is all about. And today, many
For your information Project: Steel and copper snake sculpture Shop: NOMMA member Sleeper Welding Owner: Tom Sleeper Entry: 2004 Top Job contest How to keep a snake’s copper scales from corroding: Drown it in linseed oil.
of our fellow Americans are making hard sacrifices; we should be proud of our armed forces. Some history and inspiration
Ben Franklin was behind the first use of the rattlesnake as our symbol of independence; in 1751, he created a wood-carved stamp of a snake cut into eight pieces with the initials of the existing colonies beside each section. Beneath the snake was printed, “Join or Die,” a saying intended to unify us in the French and Indian War. In June 1765, King George enacted the Stamp Act, which taxed the colonies on paper, legal documents, newspapers, ship papers, etc. Boy, did this tick us Americans off! We didn’t want to pay taxes, so we boycotted English products, forcing the King to repeal the Stamp Act a year later. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get behind tax resistance again?) As rebellion boiled in the colonies, the snake symbol took hold on our flags. In 1775, the Pennsylvania Journal printed an anonymously written article, which included the following: “I observed on one of the drums belonging to the Marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle Snake, with this modest motto under it, ‘Don’t Tread on Me.’ As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America… This snake is found in other quarter of the world besides America… She never begins an attack, nor when once engaged, ever surrenders. She is, therefore, an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. She never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and caution him against the danger of treading on her… I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the colonies united in America; and I recollected, too, that this was the only part of the snake which increased in numbers… Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together. So as never to be separated, but by breaking them into pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen January/February 2007
together is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living.” It is generally believed that Ben Franklin was the anonymous author. Many of the colonies instituted some variation of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. The Navy Jack flag has a background of red and white stripes with the rattlesnake and “Don’t Tread on Me.” It is believed that the U.S. Navy first flew the Navy Jack in 1777. On May 22, 2002, it was ordered that all ships display the first Navy Jack for the duration of the War on Terror. So, the historical significance of the snake and the spirit is symbolizes became one inspiration behind my sculpture. Another inspiration came from the memory of a visit with friends in Louisiana during the mid1970s. Three of us piled onto a tractor for a tour of their large farm. One friend stopped the tractor and pointed out a large rattlesnake nearby. I have no idea how long that bad boy was because he was all coiled up, but his 4”-5” diameter was impressive. I definitely wasn’t about to get off that tractor, let alone tread on him (or her). How to sculpt a snake
Inspirations in mind, I decided to create a tribute to “Don’t Tread on Me” in the form of a rattlesnake. I began my project by cutting the curved base (where snake meets ground) out of ¼” flat plate. Next, I took 14 galvanized steel plates, and with the help of a rose bud torch and a ball peen hammer, I forced the steel into the curved shape in 4” sections. The tail was raised in the rattling position. The rattle itself was made by brazing over the steel, then cutting the lines with a cut-off wheel on a 4” side grinder. The upright striking part of the body was one straight piece that
The curved section near the tail had me questioning the sanity of the project. It was painfully slow going. In three days, I completed on about 10 inches. 54
The snake’s head is true to life with its forked tongue. The head is clad in copper plates, and the eyes are stainless steel with copper pupils.
tapered down as it neared the head. Then, I made cuts in the back, every two inches, almost completely through, so that I could bend it into the striking arch. The belly was done in similar fashion but with a flatter profile. The body and belly overlapped each other, and though I didn’t plan it, this was a life-saver when I started soldering. I soldered all the belly plates first. They were made of flat brass plate and hammered into shape. Next came the copper scales. The scales were all created on paper templates, which were transferred to the copper; then, the copper was cut out with tin snips, hammered, and repousséd. I began at the tail and worked toward the head. The first couple of rows of scales could be done as a single band, but as I worked into the curves, I had to “cheat in” extra scales into the outside of the curve. The scales overtipped like shingles, so I could solder the top and the next row of scales covered where I had soldered. The curved section near the tail had me questioning the sanity of the project. It was painfully slow going. In three days, I completed on about 10 inches. Fortunately, January/February 2007
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The snake’s scales were first created on paper templates, which were transferred to the copper. Then, the copper was cut out with tin snips, hammered, and repousséd.
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though, those ten inches already looked pretty good. I hoped that once I got into the striking position of the snake’s upper body, which is straight, things would go faster. I was wrong. I had attached the brass belly plates by extending them around to the snake’s sides and clamping, then soldering, them. This left a slight spring tension in them, and I was afraid that when I soldered the copper scales, the heat would soften the solder on the belly scales and the spring tension would pop them off. This would have been very hard to correct. (Keep in mind that I had weeks invested in the project at this point.) This is where that overlap seam in the steel base saved me. It was just strong enough to stop the heat from migrating to the belly plates. After 180 hours, the snake was finished… but the head looked terrible. Actually, it looked more like a turtle’s head than that of a snake. Now, when you put that many hours into a project, you are going for a very dramatic effect. Realizing I had no choice, I covered up all the copper parts to protect them from steel sparks and then cut off the snake’s head. I made a whole new one. Another 20 hours, and the snake was complete again. His eyes are stainless with copper pupils. His head is clad in copper plates like the rest of his body. And, of course, he had to have a forked tongue. I asked my friend, Ron Beauschesne, of Team Builders to make a base for the snake, which he constructed from Birdseye maple. This gave me a place to attach the plate that reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
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The big finish
Now that my snake was finished, I worried that the corrosive soldering paste and copper cleaners I’d used might cause the steel underneath to rust and bleed out onto the copper. So, after a thorough cleaning, I “drowned” the snake in linseed oil, letting it run down to completely cover the steel base. I then cleaned the copper so it would age naturally. When I first cleaned it, the cop-
per was bright and shiny. Today, it has aged to a nice, rich tarnish. The rust I was afraid of was never a problem. UPPER & LOWER RIGHT: The snake’s body had to be clamped, then soldered. It was tedious work.
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References for history section:
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1. Chris Whitten, “Rattlesnake Flags & Early American Snake Symbolism.” Gadsden.info. 3/24/05. www.gadsden.info/snake/html
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Looking back at Top Job 2005 Each year, our members
submit their best works for judging in the annual Top Job contest. Here are just a few highlights from last yearâ€™s contest. Weâ€™ll be featuring some 2006 Top Job winners in upcoming issues of Fabricator. RIGHT: Metalsmith Designs, Ft. Myers, FL, created this for a client who requested a gate that would convey the feel of a bamboo forest. The gate is made from aluminum, except for the forged steel leaves, which conceal the hinge blocks. The finish is a textured bronze powder coat with an enamel green patina applied over the base coat. The project was designed by the fabricator, and fabrication time was 130 hrs.
LEFT: These gates were a designed by Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, in conjunction with a landscaper. The evergreen trees were cut out of 1/4" aluminum plate with a plasma torch. Creative thinking was required when the hinge posts could not go into the ground because adjacent boulders prevented it; eventually, the posts had to be through-bolted to the boulders. All the trees were attached to the gate by screws so that they
LEFT: This driveway gate, constructed by Vaclav Metalcraft Inc., Middletown, NY, is 16 ft. wide and 8 ft. high. The whole gate was galvanized and painted with smithy black and highlighted with silver patina. Approx. labor time: 300 hrs.
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ABOVE: Artistic Railings Inc., Garfield, IL, fabricated this round bronze twin leaf door from C385 bronze bar and muntz sheet for a private residence. A major project hurdle was the 8’ diameter opening for the door and the fact that the walls are curved on a 52” radius, making the doors a compound curve. The doors are finished with a brown/black patina wash and then waxed. Another project hurdle was that the client required the fabricator to meet or exceed the state’s strict energy management code. Approx. labor time: 836 hrs. Fabricator
LEFT: SRS Inc., Metuchen, NJ, renovated this stair, an existing structure, which ran from the basement to the 2nd floor. The new design called for the existing double steel plate stringers to be clad with stainless steel inside and out. The work also included stainless posts, brackets and top rail, glass infill panels, and wood rail cap. Approx. labor time: 1,500 hrs.
RIGHT: Heritage Forge, Salt Lake City, UT, crafted this luxury railing for an elegant residence. Flowers and large lives were hand-forged from tube and sheet metal. The railing finish was a combination of acid, gun-blue and fire application sealed with lacquer. The greatest challenge of this job was merging the owner's vision and fabricator's idea, and meeting the building code.
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ABOVE LEFT: This handrail was crafted by Virginia Architectural Metals, Fredericksburg, VA. It incorporates the client’s wish for a handrail that was unique and used a combination of straight and belly pickets. Countless hours were spent hand forging the 15 magnolias required in the handrails and painting each with enamel paints. The frieze scrolls were hand forged and antiqued with gold. The design of the rail ended up being a perfect way to incorporate the 15-lb. magnolias and help relieve the 4" violation that the transition of belly to straight pickets created. ABOVE RIGHT: This “bird of paradise” window grille was commissioned for a private residence. Inspired by a report that an art-nouveau style "bird of paradise" had once occupied the same masonry opening, the senior artisan at Eurkea Forge, House Springs, MO, designed and executed this piece over a two -week period. The bird was forged from sheets of 1/4" bronze plate which were cut, shaped, and textured. The coloring was achieved through the careful layering of chemical patinas before final polishing to produce the graduated shading. Fabricator
LEFT: This bamboo style railing was designed by Steely Donâ€™s Inc., Jupiter, FL, for a residence in need of both street and waterfront railings. The top and bottom horizontal bars are 1" x 2" box aluminum tubing, chosen because of the crisscrossing or overlapping of the bamboo spindles. Three sizes of aluminum pipe schedule 40 were used for the spindles; 1/2", 3/4", and 1". Knuckles were formed in each spindle by heating and forging on the power hammer with a custom made spring jig. They were then put in a pyramid roller and radiused into different patterns.
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Left: This is the largest sculpture project Cape Code Fabricators, North Falmouth, MA, had completed to date. There are four monumental kinetic structures (two at 60' and two at 40') fabricated with mild steel and a color-galvanized finish in five different colors. The four 316 stainless steel curved sails, rotator cuffs, cables, and assorted hardware have angel hair, brushed or epoxy painted finishes. This project was designed by a landscape architect for a city park project and required 1,100 labor hours. Challenges included the fabrication of the anticlastic stainless steel sails and the schedule deadlines prior to a large festival in the park.
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LEFT: When a talented young stone mason was killed in a motorcycle accident, Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, Chester, NY, was asked to create a commemorative bronze plaque to lay into the fieldstones around the pond he had built. The plaque is rectangular with a raised border, with two breaks to symbolize the inflow and outflow of water in a spring. The wording was carved into bronze with a 5-axis CNC router. The complexity of the design resulted in more than a million points for the cutting program. The plaque was patinated to a deep dark bronze before covering with a protective clear coat.
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ABOVE: Choestoe Forge Inc., Jasper, GA, designed and executed this â€œDogwood Treeâ€? baptismal font for an Episcopal Church. The flowers are forged from two "dogbone" shapes, driven over a forged rivet, serving as stamen and stem. Leaves are forged, chased, and shaped with treadle and hand hammer. Guilders Paste accents were applied beneath a clear satin epoxy electrostatic finish. The catalyzed lacquer protected wood top is hand carved from a butt section of old growth walnut, relieved to contain a fused glass bowl by others. January/February 2007
Don’t let toxic employees turn your office into a toxic energy dump A “difficult” employee can affect everything from the company’s
ability to get a project done on time to co-workers’ morale. But there are ways to prevent this toxicity from infecting the workplace. By Glenn Shepard The toxic employee. Every manager
has had at least one of them. Toxic employees stop the flow of normal events the way that caliper brakes stop a car. They squeeze the momentum from us. They ooze something inorganic that ought to be banned by the EPA. The name almost fits their actual physical description. They need therapy, but who has the time to psychoanalyze every employee every day? If toxic people are just those that you encounter in public, it may be enough to simply avoid them. But when they work for you, listening to their tales of woe, gossip, or outand-out plots drains the joy out of 66
work (and yes, you should be able to enjoy your work. It’s what keeps people like Paul Harvey young at 88!). When you leave at the end of the day, you’ll feel like somebody has just sucked the life out of you. Soon, everyone will dread coming to work. When you arrive home, you’ll be mentally exhausted and emotionally drained. Your spouse will see it painfully written all over your face, and ask if you had a bad day. You try to explain, but can’t, because there isn’t any one big incident. It’s just lots of little things. It feels like you’ve been rubbing up against a porcupine all day long. And that’s wrong – because life is too short to put yourself through that.
For your information Glenn Shepard is an accomplished motivational speaker and author of books such as How to Manage Problem Employees and How to Make Performance Evaluations Really Work, published by John Wiley & Sons of New York. His latest book, How to Be the Employee Your Company Can't Live Without, became the #1 best seller at Barnes & Noble.com in March 2006. Glenn will be speaking to NOMMA members and conducting seminars at METALfab ‘07 in Sandestin, Feb. 28March 2. For more information on Glenn Shepard, visit his website, www.glennshepard.com. Fabricator
Bad behavior is more contagious than good behavior…
If you have small children and you’ve instilled good manners in them, you know how quickly years of good parenting can be undermined by one bad influence. It doesn’t even have to be far from home. For example, let your little angels stay with their grandparents on the same weekend their cousins – who are the most undisciplined, out of control little monsters in your family tree – are also staying. You’ll be amazed at how many bad habits your good kids will pick up from their rotten cousins in just one weekend. You’ll be undoing the damage for months. Now here’s the $1 million question that professionals grapple with every day: Why don’t the rotten cousins pick up your kids’ good habits, instead of the other way around? The answer is simple, but unfortunate. It’s because bad behavior is always more contagious than good behavior. And that was after just one weekend. Imagine how much damage a toxic employee can wreak on your company when he’s allowed to spew his venom day in and day out, week after week. The cost of doing nothing
But if you have 25 employees and 24 are great, wouldn’t they hold your one “problem child” at bay? Again, the answer is simple, but unfortunate. Contrary to then 14-year-old Donnie Osmond’s assertion in 1971, one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch. By allowing under-performers, negative people, and trouble makers to continue their behavior patterns, you put the future of your entire organization at risk. This can hurt you in more ways than one:
So what should you do?
They become a personal energy drain on you, zapping hours out of your day. Now you have to stay late to get caught up.
To add insult to injury, they can even set the stage for possible lawsuits.
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They kill morale faster than a speeding bullet.
First, identify the personality type If this all sounds eerily familiar, chances are that you have a passiveaggressive employee working for you. The hallmark of passive-aggressive people is that they’re charming to your face, but their claws come out as soon as you turn your back. We often use words like “sabotage,” “ambush,” and “revenge.” A good example comes from a manager who worked at a large theme park. He reprimanded a young male employee at the end of the day. The young man didn’t say a word, but apparently went home and pouted (and just to be clear, let’s state this for the record: yes, men pout, too). The employee was a parking lot attendant who apparently thought long and hard about how to get even with his manager when he returned the next day. How he got his vengeance is the stuff of legends. His job was to direct more than 10,000 cars where to park every day,
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but he made one slight deviation from his routine the next morning. He began directing all of the red cars to park together, and the blue cars to park together, and so on. At the end of the day, just as every other day, more than 10,000 exhausted, dehydrated, blurry eyed tourists — who’d been dragged around the theme park by their little ones for 14 hours — came stumbling out of the park, looking for their red Nissan Maximas. There were 1,400 red Maximas
Passive aggressive employees... conveniently lose orders, call in sick the day after they’ve been reprimanded, and gossip about you behind your back, but smile and deny it to your face. parked side-by-side. To make the situation worse, most were rentals, so no one knew their license plate numbers. And this was before Maximas had
remote controls — most people didn’t know the license plate number was on the keychain, so many of them ended up breaking off keys in each others’ car doors. The result was total chaos. The theme park had to call out every locksmith in town that night. But the real brilliance of what the employee did lay in the fact that the manager couldn’t reprimand him, because he couldn’t prove the employee had intentionally done something wrong. Still, the
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employee found a way to stick it to his boss. Right about now, you’re probably laughing, aren’t you? And perhaps thinking, “I want to hire that guy – he’s brilliant!” Therein lies the rub. Passive-aggressive people are very intelligent, but they use that intelligence in such destructive ways. The best way to explain this is to look at the animal kingdom. If you’ve ever had an employee who challenged you face-to-face, toe-to-toe, bellybutton-to-bellybutton, you had a purely aggressive employee. Aggressive employees are like dogs. Like two male dogs that have just met for the first time, aggressive employees will challenge you for alpha status. Everything is out in the open, and you know exactly what you have to do — stand your ground and assert your authority. There are no surprises, and everything is very direct. Passive-aggressives are more like cats. If you accidentally step on your dog’s tail, he may immediately bite you. But the very next second, he’ll be
It’s all about
licking you in the face. Dogs are the simplest, most forgiving creatures God ever made. It is scientifically impossible to screw up a relationship with a dog (which might explain why dogs are man’s best friend). Cats, on the other hand, are highly intelligent, independent, and the most impossible-to-control creature God ever made. If you make a cat mad, he won’t let you know about it — until you leave the house. Then he’ll spray your walls with urine and leave very unpleasant souvenirs on your pillow to show his contempt for you. When you get home, you’ll be bitterly reminded that you don’t really own the cat; he owns you. He only tolerates you living in his domain. This is what passive-aggressive employees are like. It’s a constant, never-ending battle. They conveniently lose orders, call in sick the day after they’ve been reprimanded, and gossip about you behind your back, but smile and deny it to your face. So, is there a silver bullet that stops passive aggressive people dead in their tracks? You bet there is! It’s two sim-
ple words, which I’ll reveal to you at the beautiful Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in sunny Destin, Florida, on Thursday, March 1, at METALfab 2007. I look forward to seeing you there.
Glenn Shepard is a professional speaker, consultant and best-selling author of books on management and career success. He will be featured as the keynote speaker at METALfab 2007, where he will also conduct three education sessions.
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Pleasing the customer (even the most demanding ones) without driving yourself (or your company) over the edge — it’s a fine line every fabricator and supplier walks. Keynote Speaker Glenn Shepard will share his insights and solutions with METALfab 2007 attendees in his speech entitled, “Customer Service and How to Keep Difficult Customers Without Giving Too Much.” Glenn will also conduct educational sessions that are will address some of your most important business concerns: • How to Get People to Pay • Managing Problem Employees and Difficult Supervisory Positions • How to Supervise People and Lead a Team Learn how your business and your customers can benefit from Glenn’s advice in these outstanding presentations on Thursday, March 1, 2007. January/February 2007
Cars, Trucks, and Tax Deductions
By Mark E. Battersby As part of its crackdown on overstated
Do you know what
the IRS guidelines are for deducting your business vehicle expenses? Know your options before you prepare your 2006 tax return.
adjustments, deductions, exemptions, and tax credits to stem the loss of an estimated $30 billion in unpaid taxes each year, the Internal Revenue Service has issued guidelines for deducting car- and truck-related business expenses. Everyone within the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry can deduct expenses related to use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck for business – but they’d better closely follow the IRS’s new guidelines. In order to claim a deduction for business use of a car or truck, a metals fabricator must have ordinary and necessary costs related to a legitimate business use of the vehicle. When the deduction kicks in
The tax deduction for so-called 70
“transportation costs” is available for traveling from one work location to another within a fabricator’s tax home area. Generally, the tax home is the entire city or area in which the fabricator’s main place of business is locat-
For your information Got tax questions? You don’t necessarily have to call an accountant to get the answers. There are many reliable sources of tax information online, such as: www.smartmoney.com/tax/workbusiness/ www.bankrate.com/brm/news/news_ taxes_home.asp www.irs.gov/taxtopics
ed, regardless of where he or she actually resides. The transportation expense deduction is also available for transportation costs of visiting customers, attending a business meeting away from the regular workplace, and getting from home to a temporary workplace when there are one or more regular places of work. Unfortunately, expenses incurred commuting between home and a business location within the area of the “tax home” are not tax deductible. An exception is made, however, for fabricators whose principal place of employment is their home or for transporting job-related tools and materials. Naturally, someone who works at two or more different places in the course of a business day may deduct the costs of getting from one place to another. Expenses related to travel away from home overnight are considered not “transportation” expenses but. rather, “travel expenses.” However, if a fabricator uses a car while traveling away from home overnight on business, the rules for claiming car or truck expenses are the same as mentioned for transportation expenses.
a vehicle is available for business use in order to use the standard mileage rate in subsequent years. Most importantly, self-employed fabricators or employees (even of their own metalworking business) who own or lease an automobile can utilize the standard rate, as long as they operate only one car at a time for business purposes. The IRS adjusts the standard mileage rate annually to reflect changes in the cost of operating a
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When the optional is standard
For tax purposes, a metals fabricator has the choice of substantiating car expenses by keeping an exact record of the amounts paid for gasoline, insurance, and other costs. A more attractive alternative allows taxpayers to determine the amount of the allowable deduction by multiplying all of the business-related miles driven during the tax year by a standard mileage rate. And, don’t forget, the business portion of parking fees and tolls may be considered a transportation expense. The standard mileage rate may be used to figure the deductible costs of a vehicle whether it is owned or leased. If a fabricator whishes to use the standard mileage rate for a leased vehicle, that standard mileage rate must be used for the entire lease period. In other words, a fabricator must use the standard mileage rate for the first year January/February 2007
vehicle. The 2006 standard mileage rate was 44.5 cents per mile. Beginning January 1, 2007, the standard mileage rate is 48.5 cents per mile for business miles driven; 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and 14 cents per mile driven in service to a charitable organization. Remember, the standard mileage rate is to be used in place of actual expenses. Fabricators who choose the standard mileage rate may not deduct
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actual expenses, such as depreciation, lease payments, maintenance and repairs, gasoline (including gasoline taxes), oil, insurance, or vehicle registration fees. The standard mileage rate incorporates those expenses, eliminating the need for any fabricator to keep detailed records. As previously mentioned, businessrelated parking fees and tolls may be deducted in addition to the standard mileage rate. Fees for parking at the metalworking operation’s main place of business or tolls related to commuting to and from that main place of business are considered personal expenses that are, generally, not tax deductible. The tax rules, as well as the IRS’ guidelines restrict who may, and who may not, use the standard mileage rate. The standard mileage rate cannot, for example, be used if a fabricator:
Uses the car for hire (such as a
Uses five or more cars at the same time (as in fleet operations);
Claims depreciation or a Section
179 deduction; or
Is a rural mail carrier who receives a qualified reimbursement. Naturally, if business use of the vehicle is less than 100 percent, expenses must be adjusted between business and personal use. Only the business use portion of each expense is deductible.
Proof by records
Although the tax laws are vague in this area, the IRS continues to stress the importance of keeping complete records to substantiate all
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items reported on the annual tax return. In the case of car and truck expenses, the types of records required depend on whether the fabricator claims the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. To claim the standard mileage rate, appropriate records would include documentation identifying the vehicle and proving ownership or a lease and a daily log showing miles traveled, destinations, and business purposes. For actual expenses, a mileage log helps establish business
use percentage. Metals fabricators should also retain receipts, invoices, and other documentation to show cost and establish the identity of the vehicle for which the expense was incurred. For depreciation purposes, they need to show the original cost of the vehicle and any improvements, as well as the date it was first placed in service. Metalworking businesses and employees
An employee’s personal use of an employer-provided auto is generally considered a taxable fringe benefit. Personal use, under our tax rules, is any use (including commuting) other than business use properly substantiated by the employer. An employerprovided auto is considered a working condition fringe benefit and, thus, excludable from the employee’s income, only if the business use is properly substantiated. An employee’s car expenses are deemed to have been substantiated if the payor (usually the employer) reimburses the employee’s expenses with a mileage allowance using a flat rate or a stated schedule that combines fixed and variable payments. At least five employees must be covered by such an arrangement at all times during the calendar year, but at no time can the majority of covered employees be management employees. Tucks and vans
Automobiles and other forms of transportation that our lawmakers believe might lend themselves to personal use (such as airplanes, trucks, boats, etc.) are “listed” property. As listed property, unless used more than 50 percent for business, the depreciation deductions are restricted. Tax deductions permit many fabricators to fully recover the cost of an automobile used in the business. In reality, many fabricators have discovered that a metalworking business Fabricator
with a valid business need of a van or light truck cannot recover its full cost within the prescribed five-year period. It is only recently that the IRS recognized that these vehicles generally cost more than other passenger automobiles, while still subject to the same write-off restrictions imposed on socalled “luxury cars.” Fortunately, the tax regulations now exclude from the definition of passenger automobile any truck or van that is a so-called “qualified non-personal use” vehicle. Qualified non-personal use vehicles include some basic trucks and vans. More often, however, the term refers to light trucks and vans that have been specially modified by installing permanent shelving, and/or painting the vehicle to display advertising or the company’s name so that they are unlikely to be used more than minimally for personal purposes.
What’ s deductible for businesses?
According to the IRS: Business expenses are the cost of carrying on a trade or business. These expenses are usually deductible if the business is operated to make a profit. To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. It is important to separate business expenses from the following expenses: The expenses used to figure the cost of goods sold Capital Expenses Personal Expenses
Note: If you have an expense that is partly for business and partly personal, separate the personal part from the business part.
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According to the IRS, these specially manufactured or modified vehicles do not provide significant elements of personal benefit. In other words, since few fabricators are likely to purchase these vehicles unless motivated by a valid business purpose that could not be met with a less expensive vehicle, the IRS can safely exclude them from the luxury car definition. Today, a metalworking business can depreciate or write off the entire cost of modified vans and trucks, ignoring the limits imposed on “luxury” vehicles. However, the question remains as to whether the expenses of operating those modified trucks and vans are realistically reflected by the standard rate accorded vehicles used for business purposes. The IRS is under pressure to at least make a dent in the estimated $30 billion of annual tax revenue lost because of overstated deductions, credits, and exemptions. They have issued a fact sheet providing an overview of the rules for deducting car and truck expenses. The car and truck expenses of every metalworking business, as well as all of those involved in those businesses, will, most likely, be closely scrutinized. January/February 2007
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Managing cash flow to improve your bottom line
You’re generating enough money to cover your bills.
do you know how healthy your bottom line actually is? By William J. Lynott Cash flow — how much money is flow-
ing into and out of your business — is an easy concept to understand. Still, not every shop owner is fully aware of the impact that well-managed cash flow has on the bottom line. That’s probably because the importance of cash flow is much easier to recognize in some types of businesses than it is in others. Take home building, for example. When a builder takes on hundreds of thousands of dollars in short-term 74
debt in order to build some new homes, it’s obvious that he or she must generate substantial positive cash flow in a hurry if the business is to survive. The situation may not be that dramatic for most metal fabricators, but generating and managing cash flow is critically important in even the smallest shops. Losing control of money has put more entrepreneurs out of business than temporary red figures on the bottom line. On the other hand, a sensible cash management system can provide a life-sustaining cushion dur-
For your information If you are a small business owner, the U.S. Small Business Administration can be an invaluable source of assistance and advice on a number of topics, including cash flow. The SBA has distrct and local offices throughout the country, as well as its resource partner, S.C.O.R.E., which is made up of hundreds of retired business owners, executives and corporate leaders who counsel small businesses on a volunteer basis. Log on to www.sba.gov for details.
ing those inevitable slow times when the phone isn’t ringing and clients aren’t signing up as often as you’d like. Once you accept the importance of managing cash flow in your shop, you’ll find it easier to stick to the rules of profitable cash management. Here are nine powerful techniques for improving cash flow and profits in your business right now:
Never allow ANY of your money to lie idle.
If you don’t already have one, open a money market account at your bank and have it linked to your business checking account to allow for telephone or online transfers. From that point on, deposit all of your daily receipts into the money market account where they will immediately start drawing interest. Perhaps this step didn’t seem worth the effort at yesterday’s somewhat anemic interest rates, but that was a temporary situation. Rates have already begun their climb toward a more normal level. Setting up a smooth money management system now will pay permanent dividends in your future business operations. NEVER deposit receipts directly into your checking account. Keep a minimum balance in the checking account and transfer cash by phone or online only as needed to cover checks written. Modern technology has made telephone and online money transfers so quick and easy that you can’t afford to pass up this profit enhancing technique. Worst money sin of all: leaving checks or cash lying around in a desk drawer until you can get to the bank. Using every cent of your money to make money is the mark of a professional money manager.
your most effective business-building tools. While extensive use of credit for personal affairs can be problematic, business is a different matter. To begin with, the costs of borrowing are legitimate tax deductions for businesses. It makes more sense to spread out the cost of capital purchases than to put stress on your cash flow by laying out large amounts of cash that you could put to productive business use. Credit, when used in a sensible and controlled manner, can be a powerful profit enhancer.
Leasing products like cars or vans for personal use is generally not economically advantageous. Most Visit our website and download our full line catalogue.
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accountants agree that leasing is the most expensive way to maintain a car exclusively for personal use. But the rules change for business. “The nature of business accounting is such that leasing can be the most sensible approach to many types of capital investments including vehicles,” says CPA Thomas Normoyle, Huntingdon Valley, PA. “It usually makes sense to lease if you will be able to use the cash in your business or in your investments to earn a better return than the cost of leasing.” Talk to your tax advisor about this the next time you’re considering any purchase of capital equipment that might be available on a lease basis.
Don’t be in a big hurry to pay your bills.
There’s a good reason why checks are slow to come in from people who owe you money: Hanging on to your cash as long as possible keeps that
money available to draw interest or to work in your business. Take the time to set up a system that provides for paying bills only when they are due. It’s easy to do and is another rung on the ladder of professional cash management. Important: Don’t go overboard and jeopardize your credit record by paying bills late. Pay your bills when they are due — not before, not after. And keep an eye on the state of postal deliveries during this uncertain time. If it appears that late deliveries may become a problem, avoid those oppressive late-payment fees by allowing a little extra time.
Be aggressive about collecting accounts receivable.
If you do any or all of your own billing, it’s important not to allow those receivables to go untended. You’ve earned that money; you have a right to it; you need it. Most shop owners use contracts that require full and final payment on completion of the job, but that’s not a guarantee against unusual situations such as retail customers who aren’t home, corporate or government jobs that have to go through “the home office,” and other assorted reasons for delayed payment. Situations like these can cost you dearly if you are casual about money owed to you. While paperwork may not be your favorite pastime, setting up an accounts receivable file and following through on late payments is as important to your financial success as the quality of the work turned out by your shop. If your clients learn that you are cavalier about money owed to you, you can be certain they will stretch your patience (and your cash flow) to the limit.
Maintain a cash cushion.
Whenever possible, keep enough business cash in interest-bearing accounts to cover normal operating expenses for three to six months. There is nothing like the peace of mind and self-confidence that comes when you don’t have to sweat out next week’s payroll during a slow spell. Also, keep in mind that your cushion money is making money for you in those interest-bearing accounts.
Building a growing and profitable fabricating shop requires an ongoing marketing program. There is no other way. 76
Develop a personal relationship with your banker.
Handling money is a banker’s job, and most are very good at it. Even if your shop is a tiny operation, it’s a good idea to have a personal relationship at the bank where you do business. Discuss your financial picture honestly with the manager of your local branch. You’ll get some good ideas and a favorable ear should you ever need a little financial help.
Spread the Gospel.
To manage cash, you must have a steady flow of the stuff coming in. Many shop owners are so busy dealing with day-to-day problems that they never get around to putting together a business-building marketing program. That’s a serious mistake. Marketing is an essential ingredient in the recipe for growth — even survival — for any small business, especially one that deals in a highly competitive service such as metal fabricating. Yet, many shop owners shy away from all but the most obvious ways to promote their businesses. For some, their entire marketing program consists of an expensive ad in the Yellow Pages. As the proud owner of a professional shop, you may not feel comfortable promoting yourself and your business. That’s understandable, but it’s a potentially costly handicap. Almost by definition, a competitive business such as yours means marketing. Some time, some place, someone may have bought the necessary equipment, placed an ad in the Yellow Pages, and sat back while the phone rang off the hook and the money poured in. Maybe, but not likely. Building a growing and profitable fabricating shop requires an ongoing marketing program. There is no other way. Competitive prices alone won’t do it. A high degree of professional skill alone won’t do it. As one shop owner put it, “You have to tell the world your story. If January/February 2007
you don’t do it, no one else will.”
Let your computer help you manage your cash flow.
Whether your shop is large enough to make use of one of those heavyweight commercial software packages, or whether you use Quicken or Money on a desktop PC, trust every financial aspect of your business as well as personal investments to your computer. The financial reports and analyses that modern software can produce at the touch of a button are now critically important tools for improving cash flow and bottom-line profits. All of the popular software packages designed for small business and personal finance are infinitely easier to use than they were as recently as a couple of years ago. More important, they will teach you in dramatic fashion how much you can benefit from a sensible cash management system.
Taken individually, good cash management techniques may seem inconsequential. However, when you blend them together in a consistent manner, they will form a significant and permanent contributor to your bottom line.
Do the math...
Cash flow is the movement of money in and out of a business. Cash inflow is the movement of money into your business, and most likely comes from the sale of goods or services to your customers. Cash outflow is the movement of money out of your business, and is generally the result of paying expenses. By projecting the inflow and outflow of your businesses cash, you can determine the amount of cash that will be available during a designated period of time. — From SCORE’s* 60-Second Guide to Managing Cash Flow. *SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Formed in 1964 to help small businesses flourish, SCORE provides a public service to America by offering small business advice and training.
NOMMA Education Foundation In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association
Introducing NEF’s latest education video:
Forging, Fabricating, Annealing, Texturing, and Coloring Stainless Steel Presenter: George Bandarra, The Iron Hammer
Join us during METALfab for the unveiling of NEFʼs newest video. The premiere screening takes place Friday, March 2, at 2 p.m. Presenter George Banadarra will be personally on hand to introduce the video, and then will answer questions after the showing. The video may be ordered during METALfab and will be available for order on the website immediately following the convention.
Learn how to successfully forge stainless steel.
Heating the metal.
NEF Basic Blacksmithing Workshop is a hit!
Attendees learn from a master blacksmith The NOMMA Education Foundation held its second annual “Basic Blacksmithing Workshop” in October on the grounds of The Metal Museum in Memphis, TN. During the two-day event, students were treated to lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on training, which was led by master blacksmith and museum director Jim Wallace. Topics covered during the intense workshop including basic forge techniques, blacksmithing history, silver soldering, brazing, finishing, proper use of the power hammer, and an introduction to sandcasting. TOP LEFT: Instructor Jim Wallace at the anvil. LEFT: Students receive instruction. TOP RIGHT: Students include (BACK ROW, L TO R) Bill Coleman, Duane Stendel, Justin Pigott, (FRONT ROW, L TO R), Mark Pung, and James Minter Jr. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jim demonstrates the power hammer.
For your information
Contact: NOMMA / NEF 1535 Pennsylvania Ave. McDonough, GA 30253 Ph: (888) 516-8585 Fax: (770) 288-2006 Web: www.nomma.org
Date & Location: METALfab 2007 takes place at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, FL, February 28–March 3, 2007.
To order Videos/DVDs: www.nomma.org/NEF/index.cfm
Visit the NOMMA website for more details: www.nomma.org/metalfab Fabricator January/February 2007
NOMMA Member Benefits and Application Form Technical Affairs Division — By supporting NOMMA,
“bouncing” each person’s e-mail to all others on the list, and in that way conversations take place.
you promote the work of our technical team. Our volunteers and staff continually represent industry interests with ASTM, ANSI, ICC, NFPA, UL, and ADA. This advocacy work is essential to ensure that our industry has a voice in building codes, standards, and government regulations.
Top Job Awards Competition — All members are eligi-
ble for the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest. Enter your best work in any of 16 categories that covers sculpture, gates, rails, furniture, structural, and more. All entries are displayed in a gallery during the METALfab convention and the winners are announced at a special awards banquet on the last night of the event. Winners receive a plaque and the “best of the best” winner is awarded the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence.
NOMMA Education Foundation — The NOMMA Education Foundation works to advance the educational mission of NOMMA. The Foundation provides resources ranging from training videos to continuing education programs. Plus, the Foundation continually evaluates innovative learning programs to keep pace with new industry technologies and trends.
Member Discounts — Members receive discounts on all
publications, videos, educational seminars, METALfab (our annual convention and trade show), and on display advertising in Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator.
E-Mail Discussion List — Get quick answers to your
question by joining our on-line "ListServ." The systems connects you to a community of fellow NOMMA members around the world via e-mail. The ListServ works by
Affiliate $275.00 - Individuals, firms, & organizations which do not engage in the fabrication of ornamental or miscellaneous metal products and do not provide products or services to the industry but which have a special interest in the industry.
Please Check One: Fabricator $365.00 - Metal fabricating shops, blacksmiths, artists or other firms and individuals in the industry whose products or services are sold directly to the consumer or the consumer's immediate agent or contractor. Nationwide Supplier $560.00 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services on a nationwide or international basis. Regional Supplier $430.00 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services only within a 500-mile radius. Local Supplier $340.00 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services only within a 150-mile radius.
Please note: The membership year runs from July 1 to June 30. Membership dues payments are not deductible as charitable contribution, but may be deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense. By signing this application, you agree to abide by NOMMA’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics upon acceptance. Checks should be made payable to NOMMA (U.S. dollars, check drawn on U.S. bank).
Phone E-mail Company Specialty/Description Signature
Country Sponsor (if any)
Web Payment Method Check VISA MC AMEX Discover
Credit card # Exact name on card
Return to: NOMMA, 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253 (888) 516-8585 Fax: (770) 288-2006 Or join online at www.nomma.org
New NOMMA members As of December 8, 2006. Asterisk denotes returning members.
Authentic Designs Inc. West Rupert, VT Michael Krauss Fabricator A.Y.â€™s Designs in Iron* San Diego, CA Mark Yturralde Fabricator Brenseke Welding Meville, NY Mike Brenseke Fabricator Dynasty International Creations Inc. Orangeville, ON Canada Nicole Amber Fabricator Grande Forge (Asia) Sdn Bhd MacDonald House, Singapore David Chew Nationwide Supplier Harris Metalsmith Studio LLC Port Deposit, MD Matthew Harris Fabricator Iron Images Inc.* Tallahassee, FL David Watson Fabricator Ironhaus Hamilton, MT Tim Campbell Fabricator Louis Hoffmann Company Menomonee Falls, WI Bryan Hermus Fabricator
NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members A Cut Above Distributing (800) 444-2999 Alfa Technologies Inc. (714) 550-9278 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (972) 286-2368 American Punch Co. (216) 731-4501 American Stair Corp. (800) 872-7824 Ameristar Fence Products (918) 835-0898 Apollo Gate Operators (210) 545-2900 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (908) 757-2323 Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143 Auciello Iron Works Inc. (978) 568-8382 Bavarian Iron Works Co. (800) 522-4766 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (800) 526-6293 Builders Fence Co. Inc. (800) 767-0367 Byan Systems Inc. (800) 223-2926 The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961 Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948 Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271 Classic Iron Supply (800) 367-2639 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402 CML USA Inc. (563) 391-7700 Colorado Waterjet Company (866) 532-5404 CompLex Industries Inc. (901) 547-1198 Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. (800) 535-9842 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (714) 677-1300 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (888) 933-5993 DAC Industries Inc. (616) 235-0140
Dashmesh Ornamentals (011) 911-61-250-2574 Decorative Iron (888) 380-9278 Decorative Ironworks Inc. (817) 236-6151 DKS, DoorKing Systems (800) 826-7493 Robert J. Donaldson Co. (856) 629-2737 Eagle Access Control Systems Inc. (818) 899-2777 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. (251) 937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply (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) 390-44-544-0033 FabCad.Inc (800) 255-9032 FabTrol Systems Inc. (541) 485-4719 Fatih Profil San. Tic. AS (011) 902-58-269-1664 Feeney Wire Rope & Rigging CableRail (800) 888-2418 The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (604) 299-5264 Glaser USA (888) 668-8427 Glasswerks LA Inc. (323) 789-7800 Grande Forge (Asia) Sdn Bhd (011) 656-235-9893 GTO Inc. (800) 543-4283 Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC (860) 257-0680 Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems (503) 658-2881 Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (570) 267-1922 House of Forgings (281) 443-4848 Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Fabricator
Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (631) 736-7500 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (818) 729-3333 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 ITW Ransburg (419) 470-2000 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. (800) 4-JANSEN C. Sherman Johnson Co. Inc. (860) 873-8697 Justin R.P.G. Corp. (310) 532-3441 King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 Laser Precision Cutting (828) 658-0644 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (718) 894-1442 Liberty Brass Turning Co. (718) 784-2911 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510 Marks U.S.A. (631) 225-5400 Master Halco (714) 385-0091 MB Software Solutions LLC (717) 350-2759 McKey Perforating (262) 786-2700 Metalform - Bulgaria (703) 516-9756 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Frank Morrow Co. (401) 941-3900 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 Mylen Stairs Inc. (914) 739-8486 New Metals Inc. (956) 729-1184 Ohio Gratings Inc. (330) 477-6707 Overseas Supply Inc. (281) 776-9885 Paxton & Thau Artistic Supply (205) 290-2790 January/February 2007
Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Rik-Fer USA (305) 406-1577 Robertson Grating Products Inc. (877) 638-6365 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (216) 291-2303 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 S & R Inc., Precision Cutting Specialist (615) 382-8850 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (636) 225-5358 Scotchman Industries Inc. (605) 859-2542 Sculpt Nouveau (760) 432-8242 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 Signon USA (718) 485-8500 Stairways Inc. (713) 680-3110 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245 Stephens Pipe and Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. (866) 290-1263 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 Tennessee Fabricating Co. (901) 725-1548 Texas Metal Industries (972) 427-9999 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283 Universal Mfg. Co. Inc. (901) 458-5881 Valley Bronze of Oregon Inc. (541) 432-7551 Vogel Tool & Die, Div. of TES Tube Equipment Inc. (630) 562-1400 The Wagner Companies (800) 786-2111 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 496-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door (901) 346-0662 Wrought Iron Concepts Inc. (877) 370-8000
New NOMMA members continued . . . Metal Head Inc. Lafayette, LA Randy LeBlanc Fabricator Mister Metals Inc. Sacramento, CA Michael Leyva Fabricator The Modern Forge* Oakland Park, FL Robert Cucco Fabricator Modern Metal Works Maryville, TN Trish Cook Fabricator Naples Inc. Naples, FL P.J. Lodge Fabricator Kurt Schmidt Enterprises Inc. Panama City, FL Kurt Schmidt Fabricator Structural & Ornamental Metals Concord, VA Tommy Page Fabricator Sunbelt Metals & Mfg. Inc. Apopka, FL Bill Harbin Fabricator
What’ s Hot Inside Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . .82 People . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 Chapter News . . . . . . .87
Events . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 New Products . . . . . . .92 Fab Feedback . . . . . . .98
Lincoln Electric acquires Metrode; Banker Steel product part of Freedom Tower Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO) recently announced that it has acquired Metrode Products Limited, a privately-held manufacturer of specialty consumables focused on the process and power generation industries. Lincoln Electric expects the acquisition to contribute to earnings in its first year. Headquartered near London, England, Metrode’s annual sales are approximately USD 24 million. In other news, Lincoln Electric customer Banker Steel Co. LLC, a steel fabricator based in Lynchburg, VA, recently began construction on 27 massive columns, which will serve as the foundation for the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower in New York City. Banker Steel is welding six-inch plates to the flanges of the Ibeam sections, ranging in size from 30 to 56 feet, to increase the strength of the box columns. On the ground in New York, the columns – each weighing approximately 1,500 pounds per foot – will be assembled and extended six stories underground to serve as supports for the tower’s aboveground perimeter columns and a steel frame over the subway tracks. Lincoln Electric’s DC600 welding power source and LT-7 welding tractor are being used by Banker Steel for submerged arc welding of the six-inch-thick cover plates. Banker Steel is using Lincoln’s 1/8-inch LA75 welding wire with 960 flux. Banker Steel began work on the columns in mid-November, and the company’s facility and work were showcased on December 8 when New York Governor George Pataki and first responders toured the facilities, met with mill workers and held a short ceremony before the columns make their way to New York. Three of the columns will be traveling on flatbeds throughout various parts of the country to give supporters an opportunity to sign and lend their support to the Ground Zero rebuilding effort. The exact route and schedule have yet to be announced. Installation of the columns began on December 19. Lincoln Electric designs, develops and manufactures arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Lincoln has 33 manufacturing locations, including operations, manufacturing alliances and joint ventures in 19 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries. For more information, visit the company website, http://www.lincolnelectric.com. 82
Court says agreement can be enforced between outof-state contractors In a Nov. 20 decision, the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — fashioned a limited exception to the policy of not enforcing pay-ifpaid clauses in construction contracts. As a result, outof-state subcontractors working on New York projects should scrutinize clauses in their contracts with other out-of-state contractors to determine whether those contracts could allow pay-if-paid terms to be enforced. In the appeal of Welsbach Electric Corp. v. MasTec North America, Inc., the high court largely re-affirmed the policy that it articulated in the 1995 case West-Fair Elec. Contrs. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. In that landmark case, the court declared a pay-if-paid provision “void and unenforceable” because it undermined the state’s lien law, which is the position that ASA supported in a brief. In the Welsbach decision, the court asserted that New York lien law “seeks to protect New York subcontractors from the oppressive use of bargaining power” but permitted enforcement of pay-if-paid in a contract between two out-of-state contractors — Delawarebased subcontractor Welsbach Electric Corp. and Florida-based general contractor MasTec North America Inc. Their contract for electrical work on a project in New York contained a choice-of-law provision specifying Florida law, and a pay-if-paid provision, which Florida law allows. In 2001, the owner of the project filed bankruptcy, and Welsbach sued MasTec for the unpaid balance of the subcontract, arguing that the pay-if-paid clause violates New York lien law and public policy. After a trial court agreed and an intermediate appellate court affirmed the decision, MasTec appealed again. In July 2006, ASA filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that contractors cannot circumvent the state’s policy by using venue provisions that apply out-of-state laws. The court concluded, however, that the out-of-state contractors are “sophisticated commercial entities that knowingly and voluntarily entered into the subcontract,” and that “the checkered history of pay-if-paid clauses” provided insufficient grounds upon which to void the parties’ choice of law. Despite the court’s decision, it is likely to have limited application. Choice-of-law provisions in New York contracts on private improvements of $250,000 or more that designate out-of-state laws as controlling are void under the state prompt pay law that went into effect on Jan. 14, 2003. For more information, visit the American Subcontractors Association web site, www.asaonline.com. Fabricator
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Chamberlain announces program enhancements The Chamberlain Group’s Training Academy has recently developed two new initiatives in product and safety training. The first is the addition of more regional seminars with emphasis on new product and train-the-trainer programs for distributors and dealers. The second is to bridge the gap between the training provided to Chamberlain’s customers and the telephone agents who support their customers. This synergy will allow Chamberlain to provide consistently updated information and improved customer support. In addition, Chamberlain has made some key personnel changes to enhance these initiatives and the program. Bill McCoy has been promoted from Training Academy manager to regional seminar trainer. McCoy managed the launch of the Training Academy and will now be responsible for formalizing the regional seminar training requests and programs. He will also serve as an ad-hoc professor. Edward Cam has been promoted to the position of Training Academy manager and will be responsible for all activities including customer and telephone agent training. Cam joined the Training Academy in 2005 as an instructor for professional products. Since then, he has assisted with program development, among other things. The Chamberlain Group, Inc. manufactures and markets
residential garage door openers, commercial door operators, residential and commercial gate operators, telephone entry systems and related access control products.
Liberty Brass achieves compliance certification Liberty Brass Turning Company, manufacturer of solid brass and aluminum screw machine products, has announced that its quality management system has been certified as ISO 9001:2000 compliant and is registered as an ISO 9001:2000 company. The ISO 9001:2000 (International Organization for Standardization) certificate of registration helps ensure that the company can consistently deliver products and services that meet its customers’ quality and service requirements, while enhancing customer satisfaction and sustaining performance improvements. “Achieving this certification demonstrates Liberty Brass’s longstanding commitment to quality,” said Peter Zuckerwise, company president. “Our customers can be confident that we are applying the highest standards in order to provide the best possible products and service.” Liberty Brass Turning Company is located in Long Island City, NY. For more information, call (80) 345-5939 or log on to www.libertybrass.com.
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DoorKing names regional sales managers
Crowe joins ACBA faculty
DoorKing has hired Steve Lawrence and Dan Morris as the company’s newest regional sales managers. Lawrence’s area of responsibility will include Southern California and parts of Nevada, while Morris will be responsible for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Vancouver, BC. Lawrence comes to DoorKing from Steve Lawrence Alco Services (aka South Bay Security Gates) in Palm Springs, CA. where he was the branch manager. Morris was previously employed by HySecurity, where he worked with architects, engineers and integrators, designing and writing specifications for complete perimeter security systems. He also provided sales and technical support to distributors, dealers, and end users. DoorKing, established in 1948, is Dan Morris one of the country’s largest manufacturers of vehicular gate operators, telephone entry, and access control systems. Contact: DoorKing, Ph: (800) 826-7493; Web: www.doorking.com.
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The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) in Charleston, SC has announced the addition of Lance Crowe to the fulltime faculty of its Architectural and Ornamental Metals program. Crowe, who is charged with expanding the metal work curriculum, will begin work at the College starting the spring semester of 2007. He has run his own ironwork business in Asheville, NC for the past 11 years. ACBA is the only four-year college in America to offer a bachelor of applied science degree in the Building Arts with a major in Architectural and Ornamental metals. Contact: ACBA; Web: www.buildingartscollege.us.
MBSS welcomes new marketing specialist Tisha Kulik has joined MB Software Solutions, LLC (MBSS) as the company’s marketing specialist. Utilizing her background in marketing and sales, Tisha will be focusing her efforts on helping MBSS become more visible, increasing its growth into new markets, and helping with sales efforts of the company’s existing products such as FabMate Standard. Contact: Tisha Kulik, MBSS, Ph: (717) 350-2758; Web: http://mbsoftwaresolutions.com.
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GTO Inc. expands Hypertherm announces new professional sales appointments team Paul Haas has joined GTO Inc. as northwestern regional sales manager. Paul Haas He will cover the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Alaska, representing the complete GTO line of products including Mighty Mule and GTO/PRO branded Automatic Gate Openers and Access Controls. Mike Jessen also has joined the Mike Jessen company and will serve as southwestern regional sales manager. Based in Van Nuys, CA, Jessen will cover the western states of California, Arizona and New Mexico, also representing GTO’s complete product line. GTO Inc. manufactures turnkey access control system solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The company also manufacturers and distributes Mighty Mule automatic gate operators and accessories for single and dual chain link, aluminum, wood, and ornamental wrought iron fence gates. For information, visit www.gtopro.com or phone (800) 543-GATE.
Hypertherm Inc. has named Carey Chen as its new Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He replaces Mike Golden, who recently retired. Jenny Levy has been promoted the position of North American Marketing Director. She will now oversee the newly-formed North American Marketing Team and the Call Center. John Brennan has been promoted to the post of National Distribution Manager. In his new position, he will focus on developing and directing Hypertherm’s long-term strategy for its national distribution accounts. Hypertherm is an industry leader in plasma arc cutting equipment and service, and is a supplier of advanced high temperature metal cutting technology. For more information, log on to www.hypertherm.com.
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B & O Machine and Welding Co. honored
Bill Sones (right), chairman of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Industrial Development Foundation, presents the 2006 Industry of the Year Award to B & O Machine and Welding representatives (from left) Angie Smith, James Schenk, Chuck Plaisance, Mike Said and James Minter. (Photo and text courtesy of The Brookhaven Daily Leader.)
B & O Machine and Welding Co., Brookhaven, MS, was recently named Industry of the Year by the BrookhavenLincoln County Industrial Development Foundation. The business, a Lincoln County institution since the 1960s, has been owned by the Minter family since 1979. In accepting the award, James Minter thanked B & O Machine and Welding Companyâ€™s wonderful and talented team of employees. â€œI count myself as fortunate to live and do business in
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Brookhaven and Lincoln County,â€? he said. B & O Machine and Welding offers a full line machine shop with lathes up to 27 feet long, complete in-house and mobile welding capabilities, steel and aluminum sales, hydraulic and pneumatic cylinder repair, and crane service to 35 tons. It is a shop experienced in the fabrication of hard-to-find parts, and can make repairs to all types of industrial and commercial equipment. Imagine Ironworks, a part of the B & O family, proudly crafts ornamental ironwork for residences and businesses.
Cable Railing Design Award Aluminum and Bronze Fabricators, Inc. of Seattle, WA is the recipient of the Ultra-tecÂŽ Cable Railing design award, for its work on the fabrication and installation of the cable railing on the pedestrian bridge built over the railroad tracks off Elliott Street in Seattle. This award is given for the design of the railing in relation to its setting and for the appearance and quality of fabrication of the railing. The Cable Connection, manufacturer of Ultra-tecÂŽ cable railing products, supplied the tensioners and cable for the project. â€œCable is the perfect in-fill for a railing like this,â€? said Raymond Kechely, vice president of The Cable Connection. â€œThe clean stainless steel fittings and cable fit in well with the modern, streamlined design of the bridge.â€?