Donate your items to the 2009 METALfab NEF Auction, pg. 65 Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association
January/February 2009 $6.00 US
The stunning work of Big Blu Hammer/ Oak Hill Iron Works pg. 34
Tips & Tactics
Stick electrodes, pg. 12
Copper base alloys, pg. 15 Member Talk
Thriving on diversity pg. 53
A large body of work crafted entirely from a binary alloy, pg. 44
&(/(%5$7,1* 285 51st <($5 8
METALfab 2009 - Trade Show Join Us For
Hall C – Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA - go to www.longbeachcc.com for directions and parking. Wednesday, April 22 Thursday, April 23 Friday, April 24
TRADE SHOW HOURS
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Trade Show Grand Opening Reception. 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Trade Show Open with Lunch and Education. Go to www.nomma.org/metalfab for a schedule of classes on the show floor.
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Trade Show Open with Breakfast on show floor.
METALfab is the only trade show for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Join the METALfab 2009 exhibitors for a display of their products and services. Also enjoy great food and beverage while you visit with the exhibitors and other attendees.
To give trade show attendees a greater opportunity to experience METALfab, Thursday, April 23, we will have outstanding education classes and demos on the show floor. Go to www.nomma.org/metalfab for class and demo schedules. If you would like to participate in all the opportunities that METALfab offers (education program, social activities, trade show etc.) visit www.nomma.org/metalfab for additional information about a full registration for METALfab 2009.
Complete the information below for free admission to the METALfab 2009 Trade Show. If you have any questions call (888) 516-8585, ext. 101. You will not receive a confirmation for this free ticket – your badge will be ready for you at the METALfab registration desk in the lobby of Hall C – Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. METALfab 2009 is sponsored by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association.
FREE Ticket for METALfab 2009 Trade Show & Education on the Show Floor
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center - Hall C 300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA Go to www.nomma.org/metalfab to register online. Complete this form and mail to: METALfab, 535 Lakemont Ct., Ste 200, Roswell, GA 30075. Fax to (770) 5181292. You can bring this form to the registration desk outside Hall C.
First Name _______________________________________________________ Last Name _______________________________________________________ Company ________________________________________________________
Address __________________________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______ Zip ___________________ Country ____________________________ Phone _______________________
Email ____________________________ Fax_________________________
List the products you hope to purchase at METALfab 2009:
1) ________________________________________ 2) ________________________________________ 3) ________________________________________
Primary type of business: Fabricator General Supplier Contractor Other___________________ Annual gross sales: Below $1 million $1 - $2.5 million $2.5 - $5 million Over $5 million
Your role in purchasing: Final Say Recommend Specify
Job description: Owner Manager/Foreman Other_______________
Check here if you are not involved in the business.
Children 12 years and under are not permitted on the show floor. Young people between the ages of 13 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
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January/February 2009 Vol. 50, No. 1
The spirit of Ellis Island lives on as a veteran fabricator — and weekend pilot — gives a thumbs up to diversity in the workplace.
Tips & Tactics
Stick welding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Select the right stick electrode for the job.
It’s all in the details......................34 A massive, hand-forged railing captures the client’s rustic style.
By Mike Crawford
Shop Talk Copper base alloys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Learn how to clean and preserve the “chameleons of color.” By John L. Campbell
Of Special Interest Fabricator turns 50! ......................26 A retrospective in words and photos takes you through Fabricator’s history.
By Cynthia Paul
By Peter Hildebrandt
A challenging metal......................44 Working with Monel 400 is challenging, but rewarding. By Lisa Bakewell
An “Ellis Island influence” . . . . 53 SRS Inc. thrives on diversity — in its employees and its projects.
A salute to Top Job ........................60 NOMMA members’ work is showcased in a gallery of photos.
Editor’s Letter . . . . . .8 Hard-working hands are respectable hands.
What’s Hot! New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Nationwide Suppliers
By Todd Daniel
President’s Letter . . .6 Taking steps toward meaningful change.
Storm clouds on the horizon . . 68 Prepare your company to weather troubled times.
By Sheila Phinazee This lovely railing is crafted completely from Monel 400, a binary alloy. See page 44.
. . . . . . . . . . 66
Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Chapter News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 New Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Reader’s Letters . . . 10 Old equipment manuals are looking for a new home.
Metal Moment . . . . 82 The Iron Horse, once maligned, stands its ground.
Cover photo: Unique concepts and customized jobs are a winning combination for Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co./Oak Hill Iron Works Inc. January/February 2009
President’s Letter Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA OFFICERS President Terry Barrett Royal Iron Creations West Palm Beach, FL President-Elect Bob Foust Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Kansas City, KS
Vice President/ Treasurer Bruce Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA Immediate Past President Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC Peoria, IL
FABRICATOR DIRECTORS Frank Finelli Finelli Architectural Ironworks Solon, OH
J.R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX
Will Keeler Keeler Iron Works Memphis, TN
Mark O’Malley O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. Yorkville, IL
James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS
Greg Terrill Division 5 Metalworks Kalamazoo, MI
SUPPLIER DIRECTORS Wayne Haas Cleveland Steel Tool Co. Cleveland, OH
Cathee Speaks King Architectural Metals Dallas, TX
Gina Pietrocola D.J.A. Imports Ltd. Brooklyn, NY
NOMMA STAFF Executive Director Barbara H. Cook Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington Communications Mgr. J. Todd Daniel
Administrative Assistant Liz Johnson Editor Helen K. Kelley Circulation Assistant Tina Gunderson
2008 ADVISORY COUNCIL Doug Bracken Wiemann Ironworks
Rob Rolves Foreman Fabricators Inc.
Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises
Rob Webster Web Metal Fabricators Ltd.
Tom McDonough Master Metal Services Inc.
Meaningful change and determining our direction nless you were on another planet recently, you no doubt heard the word “change” in just about every speech made by our presidential candidates. Both candidates were very adept at making the case for “change.” But, if you were like me, you were really waiting to hear the direction of the change and the plan to achieve that direction. Simply using the word “change” is like coming to a fork in the road and knowing that you need to make a decision. But without a destination in mind, you don’t know whether to choose left or right. NOMMA has existed for 50 years and continues to be a strong and vibrant organization. However, considering the current economic environment and the strain for our staff to provide the meaningful services and products that our members desire, we are approaching the fork in the road. We are at the point where we must determine the direction that we want to go, both for the short and long term. As discussed in previous letters, the board and staff are working extra days and hours to develop the direction in which we want to take NOMMA. We have interviewed current and past members, we have evaluated our programs and services, and we have redeveloped our Strategic Plan. We are now in the final stage of the process with our outside consultant to arrive at the all-important point — where we establish the direction for the next several years and the action plans to get us there.
Action plans are the most important part of the process. With direction, we will know whether to choose the left fork in the road or the right. With Terry Barrett is action plans and president of NOMMA. execution, we can make the turn in the road and accelerate the organization toward meaningful results and “change.” I snuck that word in on you. But, we are not going to use the word “change” again until we know exactly where we want to go and how we are going to get there. No election night promises, just action and results. Stay tuned.
Curt Witter Big D Metalworks Fabricator
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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.
For information, call Todd Daniel, Ph: (888) 516-8585, ext. 102. Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads on CD to: Fabricator at address above. E-mail ads to: firstname.lastname@example.org (max. 5 megs by e-mail). Or upload ads to our website where a downloadable media kit is available: www.nomma.org.
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.
1-35 words: $50 member, $65 nonmember; 36-50 words: $75 member, $90 nonmember; 51-70 words: $100 member, $115 nonmember; 71-100 words, $130 member, $145 nonmember. Send items to: Fabricator, at address above, or E-mail: email@example.com. Ads may be faxed with credit card information to: (770) 288-2006. Deadline: 2nd Friday of the month prior to publication.
Subscription questions? Call (888) 516-8585. Send subscription address changes to: Fabricator Subscriptions,1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. Fax: (770) 288-2006, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1-year: 2-year: 1-year: 2-year:
U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30; U.S., Canada, Mexico — $50; all other countries — $44; all other countries — $78.
Payment in U.S. dollars by check drawn on U.S. bank or money order. For NOMMA members, a year's subscription is a part of membership dues.
Published each December as a separate issue. Deadline for all advertising materials is October 31. 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: 9,000.
How to reach us
In good hands “Knowledge comes by eyes always open and working hands; and there is no knowledge that is not power.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Recently, I had the opportunity to hear
former newspaper reporter-turnedauthor Rick Bragg speak at a meeting of magazine editors. Bragg is not only a consummate storyteller, but also a keen observer of life. One of his anecdotes made me think of you, our NOMMA members. Bragg mentioned that, whenever he travels by plane, the person who takes the seat next to him is never a majorette (he has a fascination with majorettes...as well as midgets; don’t ask). Rather, his seatmate is always a big, burly guy whose large hands are calloused and have dirt in the creases and under the fingernails that never quite goes away, no matter how hard they’re scrubbed. Inevitably, the burly fellow will turn to Bragg and say, “So, what do you do for a living?” Bragg’s usual answer, “I’m a writer,” always gets an amused/ pitying look from the inquirer. However, for one brief, shining moment in time, Bragg owned a piece of farmland that came with a pasture of bulls. For a little while, he was able to answer the question with, “I raise bulls.” This got a serious nod, and garnered a certain amount of respect, bordering on awe. “Bulls, you say? That’s some hard work.” The point of the story was how respectful we still are, as a society, of those who work hard — with their hands. NOMMA members have those hard-working hands. Next time you glance at your hands, take a moment to study them — you’ll see that they are really good indicators of your dedication to producing fine quality work. Speaking of hard-working hands, in this issue of Fabricator, one of our Job Profiles focuses on a 2008 Top Job award winner — a 100 percent handforged interior railing crafted by Oak
Hill Iron Works. See how Dean Curfman and team met the challenges of creating and installing this massive railing on p. 34. Also featured in Job Profiles is an award-winning job by Wonderland Products Inc., crafted entirely from Monel 400 (see p. 44).We turn our Member Talk spotlight on Dan Bellware and SRS Inc. in Metuchen, NJ. SRS has a diverse employee base that has steadily grown Helen Kelley is editor over the company’s of Ornamental & 40 years in business Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator. (see p. 53). Rounding out this issue, we offer a Tips & Tactics article on stick welding (p. 12), plus we bring you another of John L. Campbell’s stellar Shop Talk articles, this time on the topic of copper base alloys (p. 15). And Fabricator magazine’s rich 50-year history is highlighted in a feature written by NOMMA Communications Manager Todd Daniel (p. 26). We’re also pleased to highlight some of our members’ work in a Top Job gallery, beginning on p. 59. I wish you all a happy (and handy) New Year!
Our apologies! The ornamental door featured on the cover of the Nov./Dec. 2008 Fabricator and as a job profile within the magazine, was erroneously attributed to Shanghai Loyal Ornamental Wrought Iron Works Co. Ltd. The door was actually crafted by Loyal Wrought Iron Co. Ltd. We regret the error, and apologize to both companies. Fabricator
Letters are welcomed and encouraged. Send to: Mail: Letters to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. E-mail: email@example.com. Fax: (770) 288-2006.
Reader’s Letters Old manuals available for a good home I was cleaning out a filing cabinet and found a collection of old manuals. If there is a museum, organization, or anyone else interested, I will donate them. If not, I will continue trying to find them a good home. ~ Wade Ranck Eagle Machine & Welding Newark, OH
Ed: If anyone is interested in these old welding manuals, please contact Todd Daniel at the NOMMA office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 888-516-8585, ext. 102). New children’s book focuses on metal arts Charlesbridge Publishing has released a new children’s book that I think will interest your readers. Ti-
A member is wanting to find a good home for a collection of old equipment manuals.
tled Metal Man, it is written by Aaron Reynolds. The story is about a young boy who discovers his own voice and vision in art with a kind mentor to lead the way. In the story, the main character Devon visits the Metal Man’s workshop everyday. There, he watches as the Metal Man cuts and welds old pieces of scrap to create works of art. Metal Man is available at online retailers, local book stores, or online (www.charlesbridge.com). It’s a great gift for readers who are interested in the art of welding and sculpting. ~ Taylor Rogers Charlesbridge Publishing Watertown, MA Ed: Thanks for sharing. We provided a brief review of this book in our Nov./Dec. Literature section.
METALfab 2009 Update
Plan now for Long Beach, CA!
• A METALfab 2009 Convention Guide is included with this issue. Or, you can download one from the NOMMA website (www.nomma.org). • The schedule and trade show listing is being continually updated. For the latest information, visit the METALfab section of the NOMMA website (www.nomma.org/metalfab).
Photo: NOMMA file photo
Other helpful information:
Photo: Destinations Magazine
METALfab 2009 is just around the corner, and everyone in the industry is invited! A highlight of this year’s event is the return of Cynthia Paul, a managing director with FMI Corp., who is giving the keynote speech and leading three education sessions. Other features for METALfab 2009 include an outstanding education program, trade show, awards contest, shop tours, and social/networking events. Please note that important deadlines are coming up: • January 30, 2009 is the Early Bird registration deadline — register by this deadline to get the best price. The regular registration deadline is April 10, 2009, and after this date late fees will apply. • March 28, 2009 is the deadline for room reservations, but sooner is always better. After this date, rooms are on a space available basis. To reserve your room, call (800) 468-3571. Be sure to mention the code “NOMMA/METAL” to take advantage of the METALfab room rate.
The Long Beach Convention Center atrium. ABOVE: A scene from a past METALfab trade show. Fabricator January/February 2009
Join NOMMA today! Own or Manage an Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal Fab Shop? Then NOMMA is the organization for you! Tap into a goldmine of information by becoming a NOMMA member. Get quick access to information and resources by joining NOMMA. We oﬀer educational tools, discounts, networking opportunities, and more... O&MM Fabricator Magazine NOMMA’s glossy magazine oﬀers shop techniques, job proﬁles, business articles, and more.
Member Discounts Pay lower rates for our educational materials, sales aids, training videos, continuing education classes, and annual METALfab convention.
Members only Website Download technical bulletins and access information on ADA, building codes, driveway gates, etc.
Professional Resources Receive TechNotes, our bimonthly technical bulletin and Fabricator’s Journal, our members only “how to” publication.
Technical Support Get answers to your questions by posting them on the ListServ or contacting our staﬀ.
Best of all, a NOMMA membership is only $415* per year! That’s less than $1.14 a day for one of the smartest choices you’ll ever make.
NOMMA & NEF Provide First-Class Education For the Industry LEFT: The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) provides professional education sessions during our annual METALfab convention and trade show. TOP RIGHT: NEF Continuing Education programs are regularly held in the fall and prior to METALfab. RIGHT: A highlight of METALfab is the shop tours, which typically feature various mini demos.
Other Member Benefits: Awards Contest, Insurance Program, Chapter Membership✝, Member Locator, Introductory Package, and MORE ...
National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253 Call 888-516-8585, ext. 101 or visit www.nomma.org *For fabricator membership. Memberships are also available for suppliers.✝Chapter membership is only available in regions serviced by a chapter.
Selecting the right stick electrode By Mike Crawford Hobart Brothers tick welding is a skill that takes much practice to master, and selecting the correct electrode for the job can be equally challenging. Stick electrodes are available in a wide range of types, each of which provides different mechanical properties and operates with a specific type of welding power source. Factors you should consider when selecting a stick electrode include base metal type, joint fit-up, and welding positions. Before you power up your machine and pick up your electrode holder, consider these basic guidelines.
Assess your base metal The first step in choosing an electrode is to determine your base metal composition. Your goal is to match (or closely match) the electrode composition to the base metal type, which will help ensure a strong weld. If you’re in doubt about the composition of your base metal, ask yourself these questions: What does the metal look like? If you’re working with a broken part or component, check for a coarse and grainy internal surface, which usually means the base material is a cast metal. Is the metal magnetic? If the base metal is magnetic, chances are good that the base metal is carbon steel or alloy steel. If the base metal is not magnetic, the material could be 12
manganese steel, 300 series austenitic stainless steel or a non-ferrous alloy such as aluminum, brass, copper, or titanium. What kind of sparks does the metal give off when touched by a grinder? As a rule of thumb, more flare in the sparks indicates a higher carbon content. Does a chisel “bite” into the base metal or bounce off? A chisel will bite into a softer metal, such as mild steel or aluminum, and bounce off harder metals, such as high carbon steel, chrome-moly, or cast iron. Tensile strength To prevent cracking or other problems, match the minimum tensile strength of the electrode to the tensile strength of the base metal. You can identify a stick electrode’s tensile strength by referring to the first two digits of the AWS classification printed on the side of the electrode. For example, the number “60” on an E6011 electrode indicates that the filler metal produces a weld bead with a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 psi and, as a result, would work well with a steel of similar tensile strength. Welding current Some electrodes can be used with only AC or DC power sources, while other electrodes are compatible with both. To determine the correct current type for a particular electrode, refer to the fourth digit of the AWS classification, which represents the type of
coating and type of compatible welding current (see Figure 1). The type of current you use also influences the penetration profile of the resulting weld. For example, a DCEP compatible electrode, such as an E6010 delivers deep penetration and produces an extremely tight arc. It also has the ability to “dig” through rust, oil, paint and dirt. A DCEN compatible electrode, such as an E6012, provides mild penetration and works well when bridging two joints or welding high speed, high current fillet welds in the horizontal position. An AC compatible electrode, such as an E6013, produces a soft arc with medium penetration and should be used to weld clean, new sheet metal. Base metal thickness Thick materials require an electrode with maximum ductility and low hydrogen to prevent weld cracking. Electrodes with AWS classification numbers ending in 15, 16, or 18 provide excellent low-hydrogen properties and good toughness (high impact values) to accommodate for residual stress. For thin materials, you will need an electrode that produces soft arcs, such as a 6013. Also, smaller diameter electrodes will provide shallow penetraFabricator
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Here’s how you decipher the qualified electrode position: 1 = flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead 2 = flat and horizontal only For example, a 7018 electrode can be used in the flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead positions.
Figure 1: Refer to the fourth digit of the AWS classification to determine the compatible welding current.
Environmental conditions To achieve the best results, you should always remove excessive mill scale, rust, moisture, paint, and grease. Clean base metals help prevent porosity and increase travel speeds. If cleaning your base metal is not possible, E6010 or E6011 electrodes deliver a deep penetrating arc that has the ability to cut through contaminants.
tion to help prevent burn-through on thinner materials. You’ll also want to assess the joint design and fit-up. If you’re working on a joint with a tight fit-up or one that is not beveled, use an electrode that provides a digging arc to ensure sufficient penetration, such as an E6010 or E6011. For materials with wide root openings, select an electrode, such as an E6012, that creates a concave weld face suitable for bridging gaps and making groove welds.
Conclusion Consideration of the above factors will help you overcome the challenges of selecting the correct stick electrode for your particular application. However, given the wide range of available electrodes, several solutions may exist for one application. If you need additional assistance with electrode selection, your local welding supply distributor or a company representative of a reputable filler metal manufacturer can serve as an excellent resource.
Welding position To determine what position(s) a particular electrode is qualified for, refer to the third digit in AWS classification.
Mike Crawford is stick electrodes product manager for Hobart Brothers, Troy, OH. Ph: (937) 332-4000; Web: www.hobartbrothers.com.
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Copper base alloys — Let the brightness shine through Photo courtesy of Hans Liebscher
By John L. Campbell
here’s a richness that shines through bronze and brass fabrications as well as statuary. We go to great lengths to control the original appearance of these products. This article seeks to explain the finishes available for copper base alloys and
methods used to reduce the cost of maintaining them. There’s a story, either fact or fiction, of the fabricator who sent their top engineer out to handle a customer’s complaint about the pitting of a bronze handrail. Turns out, the customer’s janitor was polishing the handrail with a popular barbeque sauce. It worked faster and with less
These “chameleons of color” have a diverse array of finishes that require an equally diverse number of cleaning and preservation techniques.
buffing than the commercial tarnish remover. However, the highly acidic content of the sauce was leaching the zinc content out of the brass. Once pitting starts with the presence of chlorides (salts), it’s a continuous process called bronze disease. The reason for this is that one of the byproducts of such pitting is hydrochloric acid. Bronze disease is common with
TE LL US !
If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered in Shop Talk, please let us know. For consideration, please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585 ext. 103, or E-mail email@example.com. January/February 2009
copper alloy artifacts found in sunken ships, where items like coins have been in salt water for decades. In past articles, we’ve called copper base alloys the “chameleons of color” because their colors change when exposed to the atmosphere and sunlight. Out of the hundreds of bronze and brass alloys available to us — combinations of copper, tin, lead and zinc — we only use a few for architectural and fabrication purposes. There’s pure copper, commercial bronze, red brass, golden yellow architectural bronze, and Muntz metal, which is 60% copper and 40% zinc with a trace of iron, silicon bronze, and alloys that look like stainless called nickel silvers. Because these alloys produce an oxide film to protect themselves from the elements, we spend an inordinate amount of time and money polishing them and coating them to preserve their original shine and color. So there’s no confusion about the alloy numbering system, because it has changed over the years, we have adopted the Unified Numbering System (UNS) which takes the CDA alloy designations and adds a C prefix and a double 0 as a suffix. As a result, the common architectural bronze extrusion CDA385 becomes C38500, very close in chemistry to C28000, Muntz metal. Muntz metal sheet and plate are close in color to architectural bronze. The alloys that can be rolled, extruded and formed are technically brass alloys. These include both the architectural and commercial bronzes (C22000). They have no tin content to justify calling them bronzes; but we do, because it’s an industry custom. Their zinc content varies with the alloy. The amount of copper determines their color. Copper alloy finishes The finishes of these alloys are so diverse that the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) produced a series of finishing manuals in 1964. In 2006, NOMMA and NAAMM jointly released an updated version of these manuals in a single publication, The NAAMMNOMMA Metal Finishes Manual. (For your reference, we have included some excerpts from the manual on copper base alloys — a resource list on page 17, and two summary tables on pages 20 and 21.) The manual divides copper alloy finishes into three basic categories and breaks them into sub-classes. The three basics are mechanical finishes, chemical, and applied coatings. As-fabricated is one class of mechanical finishes based on the process for producing them such as cold or hot rolling, extruding or casting. The as-fabricated finishes can vary from unspecified to specular, which is a mirror like cold-rolled finish on one or both sides, or a matte dull finish produced by a final annealing of an extrusion, hot-rolled sheet, or cast16
ings. Texturing is another mechanical finish designated as directional and non-directional. The directional texturing gives the surface a satin sheen of tiny directional scratches produced by a wheel or grinding belt. As you might expect, texturing is further defined as fine, medium, coarse, and uniform. Non-directional texturing is done by blasting with aluminum oxide or silica sand, particles of which vary in mesh size to provide a fine, medium, or coarse appearance. This process can cause large flat surfaces to buckle, giving the surface a waviness called “oil canning.” Using heavier thicknesses of sheet material or contouring the surface either with a texture or coined surface will help eliminate buckling. Embossing stiffens the material. Cleaning and preservation Left in their natural state, brass and bronzes will oxidize, a stain referred to as tarnishing. A pink color turns green over time from a combination of carbon dioxide,
L A W L E R
Mail Box Post, etc. Same Design as
5! ˝ H
Resource list The NAAMM-NOMMA Metal Finishes Manual for Architectural and Metal Products is a wealth of information on various finishing topics. It includes the following reference list for detailed information on the subject of finishes for copper alloys: American Society for Metals (ASM International), 9639 Kinsman Road, Materials Park, OH 44073-0002; www.asm-intl.org.
$22.50 - 4+ sets $27.50 - each set
2"˝ ¯ ID
set wt. 23 lbs
12•˝ H 17 lbs
Architectural Metals, L. William Zahner, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.
Copper Development Association, Inc. (CDA), 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016; www.copper.org. Electroplating Engineering Handbook, Van Nostrand Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, NY. The Colouring, Bronzing, and Patination of Metals, Hughes and Rowe, Whitney Library of Design, New York, NY.
6˝ dia. base
© Jan 2009
Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), 355 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017; www.buildershardware.com.
manufacturer direct prices 800-624-9512 u fax 205-595-0599 www.lawlerfoundry.com 17
There are several ways to handle tarnishing problems — let
them go natural, polish them regularly, use a chemical conversion process like a patina, or coat them with lacquer, a film laminate, oils, and waxes. water, and oxygen that creates copper carbonate. Atmospheric gases tarnish leaving surfaces with copper sulfides. Then, there are copper chloride salts that form when sprayed with salt water. Bronze alloys of copper and tin react
slowly, with oxygen forming white tin oxide tarnish. The only true bronze alloys are those that can be cast. There are several ways to handle tarnishing problems — let them go natural, polish them regularly, use a chemical conversion process like a
patina, or coat them with lacquer, a film laminate, oils, and waxes. There are numerous brass cleaners on the market, or you can make your own. In the military, we used Brasso™ to polish brass insignias. Salt and vinegar or lemon juice will take the stain off the bottom of a copper pan. Remember that heat increases all chemical reactions. So, for exterior handrails, as an example, cleaning in mid-winter would not be the ideal time to apply a citric acid cleaner like Stellar Solutions’ Citrisurf 2250. That particular formula has a broad application for cleaning both bronze and stainless steel surfaces. You never want to use an acid cleaner on galvanized steel before checking with the manufacturer. You can damage the zinc coating. Located in McHenry, IL, Stellar Solutions manufactures a wide range of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that comply with ASTM A967 and AMS 2700 specifications for both copper base and stainless alloys. Their products are available through world-wide distributors or you can contact them at (847) 854-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. So, getting back to chemicals for converting the surfaces of copper base alloys — some mills now provide a carbonate treatment that gives the surface an aged and antique look. Many patinas are accomplished with acid chloride and acid sulfates like ammonium sulfate, but they all require some artsy-craftsy techniques. Over large surfaces, it’s difficult to attain a uniform appearance. In the Metal Finishes Manual, you’ll notice the use of the prefix letter C to designate chemical finishes. A C52 specifies an ammonium sulfate conversion coating. Lacquer coating specifications in the Metal Finishes Manual are prefixed with the letter O, and coatings – laminated with the letter L. There are many clear polymer coatings being marketed for brass and bronze preservation — Everbrite, ProtectaClear, Permalac, and Incralac are a few. Preparation for cleaning the surfaces to be lacquered is of the utmost Fabricator
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SUMMARY OFofTYPICAL COPPER ALLOY FINISHES Summary Typical Copper Alloy Finishes Copper Development Ass’n _ Finish Normally Supplied By Finish Designation Proces- Fabricator (see 2-11) (seepage Table 2-12) Mill sor or Finisher
MECHANICAL As Fabricated ....................................M10 Series Buffed.................................................M20 Series Directional Textured ..........................M30 Series Non-Directional Textured ..................M40 Series Patterned ...........................................M4x (Specify) CHEMICAL Cleaned only......................................C10 Series Matte Dipped ..................................... Bright Dipped..................................... Conversion Coatings.........................C50 Series
X X X X X
X X X
5) COATINGS (see (see Applied AppliedCoatings, Coatings,Chapter AMP 505) Organic: Air Dry .................................060 Series Thermo-set ................................070 Series Chemical Cure ..........................080 Series Vitreous.............................................. Laminated ..........................................L90 Series Metallic ..............................................
X X X X X X
Relative Costs (on flat surfaces)
base medium to high low to medium medium 1 low to medium 2
base or low 2 base or low 2 base or low medium to high
low to medium low to medium low to medium high medium to high medium to high
The term PROCESSOR, as used here, refers to a "middleman" between the mill and the fabricator, who applies coatings, textures or other finishes to metal bulk form, generally cut sheet or strip or coil stock. FABRICATOR refers to the producer of stock metal shapes or the manufacturer of the end-use product. He either provides the final finish or sends the fabricated product to a finisher who does this work. The FINISHER does not usually fabricate products but provides finishes, as specified, to products fabricated by others. The RELATIVE COSTS indicated are necessarily approximate, for general guidance only. Exact costs vary considerably with quantity, type of product, method of application, quality of work, and other influences, and should always be verified. 1 Certain embossed patterns, because of their stiffening effect, permit the use of thinner metal; and this saving can, in some cases, offset their cost. In other cases, patterned finishes involve extra costs. 2 Pricing practice for these finishes varies with different prime producers. Source: NAAMM-NOMMA Metal Finishes Manual
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importance. If you remove the tarnish with an acid cleaner, make sure you use a neutralizing solution like baking soda before applying a lacquer finish. Less messy is an EZ Prep Neutralizer with water. Old lacquer coatings can generally be removed with solvents like xylene, denatured alcohol, acetone, or lacquer thinner. When rubbing metal surfaces with a cleaner or an abrasive pad like 3M’s #9650 General Purpose Rubbing Pad, never use a circular motion. Always rub with the grain of the metal. Otherwise, you create a swirling pattern on the metal that is difficult to remove. Air-drying clear lacquers are primarily film forming polymers dissolved in a liquid solvent. Incralac™, developed by the International Copper Research Organization, contains 15% Acryloid 44 solids, plus benzotriazole for corrosion resistance and an ultra-violet stabilizer. The solvent is xylene. The cure time recommended is a minimum of 2 to 3 days; 7 days is preferred. Because Incralac™ has VOCs of 522 grams per liter, it’s necessary to apply by spraying in a well ventilated area with the operator wearing a MESA/ NIOSH Fabricator
This Venetial bracket is a brass casting with a chemically applied bronze tone.
Photo courtesy of Hans Liebscher
approved self-contained breathing apparatus. The health hazards associated with volatile organic solvents like xylene led to the development of water based Incralac™ as well. The water base is not suited for coating surfaces with a patina. On the plus side, the water base formula produces a harder finish, which can be removed with vinyl pyrrolidene (aka n. methyl pyrrolidine). Incralac™ can be applied either by brush or spray. Three or four coats is recommended, allowing 15 minutes between coats. It dries hard in an hour, although the cure time is two-to-three days. Pricing information is available at TalasOnline.com or by calling Seagrave Coating Corp. in New Jersey, (201) 933-1000. Permalac Labs in Philadelphia has
TABLE 2-2 – SUMMARY OF STANDARD DESIGNATIONS FOR COPPER ALLOY FINISHES In this listing, those finishes printed in boldface type are the ones most frequently used for general architectural work; those marked * are commonly used for hardware items.
MECHANICAL FINISHES (M) As Fabricated
M20 – Unspecified M21 – Smooth specular* M22 – Specular* M2x – Other (to be specified)
M10 – Unspecified M11 – Specular as
fabricated M12 – Matte finish as fabricated M1x – Other (to be specified)
M30 – Unspecified M31 – Fine satin* M32 – Medium Satin M33 – Coarse satin M34 – Hand rubbed M35 – Brushed M36 – Uniform M3x – Other (to be specified)
M40 – Unspecified M41 – (Unassigned) M42 – Fine matte* M43 – Medium matte M44 – Coarse matte M45 – Fine shot blast M46 – Medium shot blast M47 – Coarse shot blast M4x – Other (to be specified)
CHEMICAL FINISHES (C) Non Etched Cleaned
C10 – Unspecified C11 – Degreased C12 – Cleaned C1x – Other (to be specified)
C50 – Ammonium chloride C51 – Cuprous chloridehydrochloric acid C52 – Ammonium sulfate C53 – Carbonate C54 – Oxide C55 – Sulfide* C56 – Selenide C5x – Other (to be specified)
(patina) (patina) (patina) (patina) (statuary) (statuary) (statuary)
COATINGS – CLEAR ORGANIC (O) Air Dry (Gen'l arch'l work)
O60 – Unspecified O6x – Other (to be specified) COATINGS – LAMINATED (L)
O70 – Unspecified O7x – Other (to be specified) L90 – Unspecified L91 – Clear Polyvinyl Fluoride L9x – Other (to be specified)
O80 – Unspecified O8x – Other (to be specified)
COATINGS – VITREOUS and METALLIC Since the use of these finishes in architectural work is rather infrequent, it is recommended that they be specified in full rather than being identified by number. COATINGS – OILS AND WAXES These applied coatings are primarily used for maintenance purposes on site. Because of the broad range of materials in common use, it is recommended that, where desired, such coatings be specified in full. Source: NAAMM-NOMMA Metal Finishes Manual
The two photos at upper and lower left show intermediate stages of chemical patination applied to Alloy C4600 for a “custom” tabletop. The photo below right is a close-up of the final finish, which received a light wax coating.
Photos courtesy of Larry Peters, Copper Development Association.
come up with a new formula that limits the VOCs to 170 grams per liter. They call this product Permalac EF, meaning environmental friendly. We don’t know anything about the chemistry of this product, information the manufacturer considers proprietary. The regular Permalac spray uses a toluene solvent and air dries to the touch in less than 5 minutes. For maximum protection the company recommends a thickness of 0.5 to 0.75 mils (ASTM D1400). There are numerous polymers used for clear coatings, but only a few are suitable for outdoors. All of them are expensive. The thermosetting polymers have the best resistance to heat 22
and abrasion. A chelating agent such as benzotriazole protects the surfaces under the coating from tarnishing. The thermosetting polymers are not easily stripped for refinishing, which is a consideration when deciding what coating to use. One of the problems with acrylic coatings is the undercutting by nicks and scratches. When Keystone Metals in Pittsburgh had such a problem with a bronze handrail, they removed the acrylic coating and applied a beeswax spray. Brian Metzker’s beeswax aerosol, sold by his company, World Class Promotions, in Pittsburgh, has been
cited by House Beautiful magazine as the best furniture polish. Beeswax has been so effective on protecting metal that Beau Ralphs, owner of Premier Copper Products in Phoenix, AZ, is marketing his own private labeled beeswax for customers’ copper lined sinks. In deciding whether or not a particular coating is suitable for the service conditions, the following questions should be asked: Is the coating going to be indoors or outside? Is the atmosphere dry or humid? Fabricator
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As customized fabricators, most NOMMA members lack the volume to attract manufacturers of clear coatings. Their marketing is geared to OEM (original equipment manufacturers) accounts, where the volume lies. With some exceptions availability of these coatings are often limited to five-gallon sizes and larger. Seagrave Coatings Corporation in Carlstadt, NJ, produces both air-drying, modified acrylic lacquer called Syncrylac™ and a thermoset epoxy sold under the trademark Durachem™. Thermoset epoxy coatings withstand wear and abrasion better than the acrylic, but the cure time of 10 minutes at 325°F to 350°F, depending upon the metal thickness, doesn’t make it applicable to large, on-site assemblies. Fluoropolymer lacquers offer the best outdoor durability with an excellent hardness to flexibility ratio… that according to the Copper Research Organization. Sandstrom Products Corp. in Port Byron, IL, produces such a lacquer, one they call Fever™. They say it will last 20 to 50 years, even with handling. On the down side, it’s a two-part mix with a pot-life of four hours. It is sold in qualities of 8 to 40 gallons, and the last price we found a year ago was $360 a gallon. The product is currently used to protect stainless steel escalator panels. One of the film coatings addressed in the Metal Finishes Manual is a laminate of clear polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) used on copper sheet. The film is roll bonded with an adhesive that will protect the subsurface for about 20 years. The code specification for clear laminated polyvinyl fluoride film is L91. Coatings of oils and waxes are generally used for maintenance purposes and should be specified in full. We’ve already mentioned the use of beeswax spray. Carnauba wax is another. Poor preparation prior to coating is one of the main reasons coatings fail. Surfaces must be clean, dry, and free of dirt, grease, silicones, release agents, wax, loose or peeling paint, oil, and other contaminants. Spray operators and those mixing lacquers with xylene and toluene thinners should wear MESA/NIOSH approved self-contained breathing equipment. Photos on pages 15 and 21 were provided by Hans Liebscher, Hans Liebscher Custom Copper Works and Fabricator
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After its founding in 1958, one of the first major moves of the National Ornamental Iron Manufacturers Association was to acquire a trade magazine for the industry. In January 1959, the premiere issue was sent to 5,300 fabricators across the U.S. ■
In January 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower
was president, Alaska became a state, and “Bozo the Clown” premiered on TV. It was also the month when Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator was born. What is interesting about Fabricator is that it’s actually a continuation of two earlier publications. In 1957, ornamental fabricators around the U.S. gathered for their second national conference in Memphis, TN. Hosting the event was Tennessee Fabricating Co. To publicize the event, a tabloid-size newspaper was mailed to the industry, titled Ornamental Iron News. In addition to containing convention promos, the publication featured news articles, sales tips, editorials, a sports quiz, and even humor. That same year, a prestigious and timehonored magazine called American Iron-
smith had shrunk to 12 pages and quietly ceased publication, after being in print for 59 years. The magazine was published by The National Blacksmith & Weldors Association, which remains active primarily in the north-central U.S. A year later, in 1958, ornamental metal fabricators met for their third annual conference, and on January 25 they chartered a new organization called the National Ornamental Iron Manufacturers Association (NOIMA), and thus our association was born. One of the association’s first orders of business was to acquire the old American Ironsmith and rename it National Ornamental Iron Fabricator. According to old minutes, NOIMA acquired the magazine by paying off a printing debt. In the premiere issue of Fabricator, a statement said, “It has long been a dream of fabricators to have their own magazine, a magazine that would be concerned only with problems and news
For your information
By Todd Daniel NOMMA Communications Mgr.
What: January 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of Fabricator magazine. But if you count the magazine’s predecessor, American Ironsmith, this year is actually the magazine’s 111th anniversary. About: Since it’s first issue in January 1959, Fabricator has stayed true to its mission, which is twofold: To provide the industry with a quality trade magazine, and to serve as a “calling card” and membership tool for the association.
Fabricator January/February 2009
the magazine, which is stated in the first that specifically relates to ornamental iron. issue, is that “the association is publishing The value of a publication such as this can’t the magazine for the benefit of all ornamenbe overemphasized.” The initial launch pubtal iron fabricators, both members and nonlication went to 5,300 ornamental metal fabmembers.” ricators throughout the U.S. Fabricator has always been known for What is amazing about Fabricator is its interesting articles. For example, an artihow close it has kept to its mission since the cle published in January 1961 tells about a very first issue. Borrowing on ideas from Florida fabricator who diversified his busiboth Ornamental Iron News and American ness by creating tracks for archery targets. Ironsmith, Fabricator magazine became the Using a cable system, the target was rolled official organ of NOIMA, and was used to back to the shooters so that they could easpromote conventions, encourage memberily retrieve their arrows. In ship, and educate the indusFabricator humor 1960 the magazine pubtry. After 50 years, the lished a picture of format remains virtually unEarly editions of Fabricator NOMMA president Frank touched and articles still even included jokes. The Kozik, along with an 8cover business issues, memfollowing is a little 1960s point buck he had shot on ber spotlights, industry industry humor: a recent hunt. The caption trends, and association “Pull over, mister,” said the claimed it was one of the news. In the early days, the traffic officer. “You haven’t largest deer to ever be mass magazine mailings to any tail light.” The motorist taken out of the Pocono the industry played a key got out of for a look and was Mountain area. role in the success of speechless with dismay. “Oh, it isn’t that bad,” said the Business articles have alNOIMA’s early conventions officer. And the motorist ways been a magazine stain Atlanta, New Orleans, quavered: “It isn’t the tail ple, and in 1963 Fabricator Birmingham, Chicago, light that bothers me, but featured articles on profit Miami Beach, and Las what became of my trailer.” and taxes. In fact, an issue Vegas. A primary tenet of
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from 1963 is similar to recent magazines, with articles on zinc paints, the debate over using plastics, using liquid adhesives instead of screws, and welding with lasers. A quote from the laser article says, “Will the welder of the future be a laser? Development engineers say maybe ‘yes’ if they can overcome several problems that limit the application now, such as its tendency to vaporize the workpiece.” Yet another article told how to buy surplus equipment from the government. Other features in the early 1960s included the Dodge construction report, the Top Job Gallery, and a Washington news column. Fabricator grows
In 1962 a subscription was $4 a year and annual membership dues were $25. Already, the magazine was growing and was a healthy 20 pages in size. A special thanks goes to the early advertisers that helped to cover the publishing expenses. Some of the original advertisers included Julius Blum & Co. Inc., Lawler Foundry Corp., Tennessee Fabricating Co., and R.J. Cunningham Designs, which sold a
four-volume set of idea books. Other ads featured the Hossfeld Universal Iron Bender and the Bantum Ironworker. During the same year, the maga-
zine went through the first of many redesigns. The improved Fabricator of 1962 included several enhancements, such as the addition of a new products section, and the addition of job pro-
Early issues of Fabricator covered a wide variety of topics. TOP RIGHT: These archery tracks, featured in the Jan./Feb. 1961 issue, were developed by a fabricator as a sideline. One of the benefits of this system is that you don’t have to constantly retreive your arrows — the target simply comes back to you. RIGHT: Frank Kozik, one of NOMMA’s first presidents, was featured in the Jan./Feb. 1960 edition after he shot an 8-point buck. The animal was reportedly “one of the largest deer to ever be taken out of the Pocono Mountains.” Frank is shown with his 15year-old son, Paul. In addition to serving as a past president, Mr. Kozik also has an award named after him, the Frank A. Kozik Volunteer Service Award.
Join NOMMA Today! Three more reasons to join NOMMA: As a member you can take advantage of our electronic services tNOMMA ListServ - A discussion forum where you can post questions and receive quick answers from your peers.
RIGHT: Participate in ongoing dis-
cussions on business issues and fabrication by joining the NOMMA ListServ. As a member, you also have access to all past discussions, going back to January 2001!
AS A NOMMA MEMBER YOU RECEIVE
tNOMMA Newswire - A bimonthly email newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on NOMMA activities, technical issues, and industry news. tNOMMA Members Area - Members receive access to our “members only” area on the NOMMA website. This area contains our popular Knowledge Base, back issues of Fabricator and other publications, and various member services.
THESE THREE ELECTRONIC BENEFITS.
TOP: In the Members Area you’ll find support
areas for building codes, ADA, and driveway gates. Plus you can download back issues of Fabricator, Fabricator’s Journal, and TechNotes — a gold mine of information! RIGHT: Your membership also includes a subscription to NOMMA Newswire, our bimonthly email newsletter.
For a complete list of member benefits, visit www.nomma.org and click “Join” January/February 2009 Fabricator
files. Of particular interest was a new feature on design that was going to include drawings from R.J. Cunningham. As Fabricator entered the mid1960s, the magazine continued its strong emphasis on business, and featured articles like, “The Fine Art of Keeping Customers” and “Smooth Selling.” One article published in the mid 1960s talked about the competition from other mediums. According to NOMMA’s executive director Jack Burk, “All of us must be alert and not let the plastic or concrete industries take our share of the market.” Sadly, it was around this time when both NOMMA and the magazine hit hard times, and Fabricator started coming out erratically. In September 1967 an effort was made to re-launch the magazine, and oddly, it was renumbered as Volume 1, Issue 1. Despite the effort to boost the magazine, it still came out intermittently or late for several years. Nevertheless, more advertisers were coming on board and the magazine had grown
Meet Fabricator’s predecessor As Fabricator celebrates its 50th birthday during 2009, we’d like to pay tribute to the magazine’s predecessor — American Ironsmith, which was printed from 1898 to 1957. The publication was published by The National Blacksmith & Weldors Association, and it was known as “the oldest metalsmith publication in the world.” In 1959, the magazine was acquired by a brand new organization called the National Ornamental Iron Manufacturers Association (NOIMA), which renamed it National Ornamental Iron Fabricator. During the next decade, NOIMA became NOMMA and the magazine was given yet a new name — Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator. Thus, for 111 years the magazine — in its variAmerican Ironsmith was the predous forms — has faithfully served the ornaecessor of Fabricator magazine. mental metalworking industry. to 48 pages. A particularly noteworthy article published during this time discussed the merits of merging with the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM). According to the article, such a merger would be “an important step toward
greater strength through unity.” The idea was eventually rejected by NOMMA’s past presidents and board members, who stated that the industry was “better served by specialized trade
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One of the features of the early Fabricators was a Washington report. This column talks about President-elect Kennedy’s plans “to get America moving.” Fabricator January/February 2009
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Includes: s Customized CAD system powered by AutoDeskÂŽ s Contains AutoRailâ„˘ automatic railing, fence and gate drawing system s OrnaCADÂŽ Design Library (13,000 parts from 10 suppliers) s Rail Calculator (spreadsheet layout program) s On-line training movies s Free technical support
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FABCADÂŽ CLASSIC s All items in the Premium package except for AutoRailâ„˘, the automated drawing program. (See details about AutoRail below.) Recommended system requirements: Microsoft Vista XP and 2000; 512 MB ram; 900 MB disk space; Pentium IV 800mh; 1024 x 768 VGA; Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
System requirements: AutoCAD 2004+
s Architectural Iron Designs s Texas Metal Industries s Lawler Foundry s Alloy Castings s House of Forgings s Rik-Fer USA s Indital USA s King Architectural Metals s DJA Imports s Triebenbacher
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&OR UP TO DATE PRICING AND OTHER INFORMATION VISIT US AT
www.fabcad.com or call 1-866-427-2454 (toll free) January/February 2009 Fabricator
Your craft has a colorful history Ornamental metalwork dates back to early Biblical times Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the May/June 1962 edition of Fabricator. It sheds some interesting light on our craft, so we thought we’d share it. Author Unknown The history of ornamental iron and its usage
dates back to the early Biblical days, before the period of the Crusaders. But the first significant period of ornamental iron was during the days of the Spanish and Roman wars where ornamental ironwork was incorporated for grills on doors and windows for protection against the enemy and for beauty. Then various types of architecture sprang up, utilizing ornamental iron in a definite, planned Early metalwork was used way. to protect buildings. In the 1400’s a lot of interior rails and gates were built and utilized by castle and palace owners. In those days the fabricators and designers were called “smiths.” These smiths actually designed the ornamental iron themselves. And, the work was exquisite. Of course, most of it still exists, proving the permanency of ornamental iron. The gates on England's Buckingham Palace played an interesting role in the history of ornamental iron. The Royalty of England hired two young smiths to come live at the Palace for the purpose of spending the rest of their lives building a set of gates. It took the two of them 20 years to complete the gate that opens to Buckingham Palace. Italy is responsible for making the most progress with cast iron. In those days the castings were bulky and rough in detail, but the designs were beautiful and are still copied today. Castings first came to America as ballast on boats. So many of these castings were unloaded at New Orleans and were used on buildings. Certainly, New Orleans is a landmark showing the popularity of ornamental iron in those days. But the best example of this is the Pontalba Building. The Pontalba Building is the oldest apartment building in the United States today. It was built for the Duchess Pontalba by her father. The Pontalba pattern that is available today was designed by the Duchess. Unfortunately, ornamental iron just about disappeared as a unique building material for a hundred years, between 1850 and 1950. The art was almost lost. And then in the early 1940’s a little ironwork began to appear again. And once again it came into its own and with great influence. For more ornamental iron has been made, sold, and used since World War II than was made in the entire history of ornamental iron all over the world before the war. Not only did ironwork get its introduction to the United States through New Orleans, it was presented through the New England states, the Virginias, and the states just north of the Mexican border. Spain shipped ornamental iron to Mexico, but theirs was called wirework. This delicate grillework was very fine and intricate. So the history of ornamental iron in this country relates to the influence of the house markers, weather vanes and accessories from England, delicate patterns from Spain, and more massive designs from Italy.
organizations, each working in its own specialized field, but all collaborating for the common good.” Good years return
In 1972 the magazine entered a new era of stability and growth with the hiring of Blanche Blackwell, who had a background in publishing. The 1970s can be described as the “decade of chapters” for NOMMA, and various chapters sprang up around the country. Coinciding with this trend, Fabricator expanded its coverage of chapter activities. The 1970s were also a time when NOMMA hosted some foreign study trips, including a tour of Spain and Portugal, which were featured in the magazine. Blanche also served as NOMMA’s executive secretary, and then later as executive director. As her association duties increased, she hired additional employees to assist with the magazine. One of those employees was Barbara Cook, who was hired in July 1986 as an editorial associate. The following year she was promoted to editor. During Barbara’s term as editor, the magazine featured its first four-color cover in March 1987. Barbara was also responsible for converting the magazine’s production to desktop publishing. Following Barbara’s promotion to executive director in the late 1980s, she hired other individuals to assist with the magazine. In 1991, Todd Daniel was hired and served as editor for 14 years. For the next decade, the magazine continued to grow and prosper, and it hit a record 104 pages in January 2000. A more recent milestone for the magazine was in 2003, when Fabricator was professionally redesigned by a consultant and was converted to 100 percent digital. With the new technology, the magazine now bypasses the traditional camera room and goes directly from NOMMA’s computers to printing plates. Currently, under the editorship of Helen Kelley, the magazine continues to improve in terms of feature article quality. For 50 years Fabricator has remained committed to serving not only Fabricator January/February 2009
NOMMA, but also the entire industry. Unlike most trade magazines that merely inform and educate, Fabricator has always had an additional objective, which is to inspire. The inspiration comes from our Top Job galleries, outstanding job profiles, and member spotlights. The ornamental metalworking industry dates back two thousands years, and our hope is that Fabricator will remain the premiere publication for this very special industry and craft for many years to come. In conclusion, William N. Wilson, who served as NOMMA’s executive
Unlike most trade magazines
that merely inform and educate, Fabricator has always had an additional objective, which is to inspire. secretary in the mid 1960s, wrote a thoughtful article on the future of ornamental metalwork. In the article, he states, “The place of architectural metals in the architect’s repertoire has never been seriously challenged. The vogue or fad of the moment for substitute materials will quickly pass, and
these substitute materials will find a rightful place in the architect’s repertoire; their coldness, their synthetic qualities seem ultimately unable to meet the growing need for more truly expressive materials, the need for a warmth and richness that only metal can provide.” A thanks to Mel Peterson of Scranton Craftsmen Inc. for donating his personal collection of magazines and other materials to the NOMMA office. Some of the material he provided was used for this article.
Fabricate Your Own Architectural Components Hebo invented the modern wrought iron machine and is the worldwide leader in this field. For decorative iron operations including scroll bending, forging, embossing, hammered tube, belly pickets, twisting, texturing. For all applications including steel, aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.
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