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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

Job profile

The stunning work of Big Blu Hammer/ Oak Hill Iron Works pg. 34

Tips & Tactics

Stick electrodes, pg. 12

Shop Talk

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

April 22–24

Hall C – Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA - go to for directions and parking. Wednesday, April 22 Thursday, April 23 Friday, April 24


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 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 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 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 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_________________________

1)     2)    

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

3)    4)   

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

Biz Side

Job Profiles

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

Member Talk

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 

January/February 2009

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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:


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: (max. 5 megs by e-mail). Or upload ads to our website where a downloadable media kit is available:


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: 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:

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.

Buyer’s Guide

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


For a quote, contact NOMMA at (770) 2882004 or

Opinions expressed in Fabricator are not necessarily those of the editors or NOMMA. Articles appearing in Fabricator may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of NOMMA. Circulation: 9,000.


How to reach us

Editor’s Letter

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 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 

January/February 2009

Letters are welcomed and encouraged. Send to: Mail: Letters to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. E-mail: 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 (, 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 ( 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 ( • The schedule and trade show listing is being continually updated. For the latest information, visit the METALfab section of the NOMMA website (


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 *For fabricator membership. Memberships are also available for suppliers.✝Chapter membership is only available in regions serviced by a chapter.

Tips& Tactics 

Expert Advice

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 

January/February 2009

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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:

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January/February 2009

Shop Talk

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


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 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


January/February 2009

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,



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No. 6000-XBT

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;

$22.50 - 4+ sets $27.50 - each set

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 Architectural Metals, L. William Zahner, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

 Copper Development Association, Inc. (CDA), 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016;  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.

January/February 2009 


6˝ dia. base

© Jan 2009

 Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), 355 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017;

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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 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 

January/February 2009

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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






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 ..............................................


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 

January/February 2009

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 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.



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)

Directional Textured

Non-Directional Textured

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)

Conversion Coatings

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)

Thermoset (Hardware)

Chemical Cure

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

January/February 2009 



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 

January/February 2009






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Special Feature

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!


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.


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 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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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.

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Job Profile

It’s all in the details — A massive railing perfectly captures homeowner’s style A NOMMA member’s majestic hand-forged railing garners Top Job gold ■

ig Blu Hammer Mfg. is well known for its custom-designed contemporary ironwork and metal sculpture. So, it’s no surprise that the Morganton, NC-based company took home a 2008 Top Job gold award in the Interior Railings – Forged category for a beautiful, intricate railing that was created for a client’s large Southwestern-style home. Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this massive second home is used by the clients for entertaining, and is built lodge-style, including a great room. The job consisted of an interior railing, which needed to be massive in scale to complement the customer’s home; it would be hand-



forged in all aspects, from the posts and top cap to the rings and the rivets — even right down to the feathers. The home itself presented some unique challenges in the design and installation of the railing, according to Big Blu/Oak Hill Iron Works Inc. owner, artist, and blacksmith Dean Curfman. First, the railing — which was installed on a top tier balcony overlooking a great room — had to accommodate two or three different “L” turns. Second, there could be no welding done on the job site. And finally, the greatest challenge of all was the sheer magnitude of massive components that had to be forged in an exactness that balanced each other to complete the whole design. The railing consists of pierced

For your information

By Peter Hildebrandt

Project A 100 percent hand-forged interior railing. Fabricator Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Method Pierced forged openings, twisted tied endings, huge rivets, and every vertical piece worked under the hammer while hot. Approximate labor time 180 hours CO NTAC T

Dean Curfman Big Blu Hammer/Oak Hill Iron Works Inc. 3308 Frank Whisnant Rd. Morganton, NC 28655 Ph: (828) 437-5348 Web: Fabricator 

January/February 2009

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Every detail of this massive railing was hand-forged, from the posts and top cap to the rings and the rivets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even right down to the feathers. The railing consists of pierced forged openings, large upset posts, and huge rivets. Every piece was worked under the hammer while hot. All pieces were hand-sanded before being given a natural clear finish. All told, the approximate labor time amounted to a total of 180 hours.



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forged openings, large upset posts, and huge rivets. Every piece was worked under the hammer while hot. All pieces were hand-sanded before being given a natural clear finish. All told, the approximate labor time amounted to a total of 180 hours. Since circumstances dictated the absence of welding on the job site, the piece utilized hidden rivets that secured the railing’s corners together. In a design inspired by artistic creativity, the posts and hidden fasteners firmly secured the multiple panels and unique corners, blending in perfectly with the total concept. A masterpiece installation finalized Dean’s conception of the job as a whole. Customization and diversification are a winning combination This award-winning railing tells only a small part of Big Blu’s story. A quick glance at the company’s website gives the viewer a feeling for their overall outlook on metalworking, as


Since no welding was allowed on the job site, the railing employed “hidden rivets” that secured the corners together. Otherwise, bolts and screws were utilized at the floor and posts as necessary.

well. Each featured item could easily stand alone in an art exhibit, demonstrating the power of handcrafting skills. For example, trees spring out of iron gates, butterflies take flight from a

bench, or lily pads and cattails become a railing. One cleverly crafted bench leads the eye to a vision of a uniquely shaped mountain in the background. While Oak Hill Iron is primarily


January/February 2009

“Each home that I’ve done

has been a completely different concept. We’re not into taking one style and putting it into 25 homes.”

for clients looking for wrought iron railing, gates, fireplace tools or decorative iron sculpture for their homes or yards, it is also the parent company of Big Blu Hammer Manufacturing Co. ( Big Blu, which is growing steadily, manufactures pneumatic power hammers, quick change power hammer dies, and hand-forged hand hammers, as well as different cutting chisels, drifts, and different kinds of tools for the fabricator/blacksmith trade. With Oak Hill’s diversity in products, such as furniture, railings, sculpture (including public sculpture), and park benches, plus all of the Big Blu Hammer products, Dean finds that when one area goes into a downturn, another picks up. Nearly all power hammer and hand tool sales are obtained through the company’s upto-date website and magazine ads, while most custom-forged units and pieces come through word-of-mouth and referrals from satisfied customers. Every job that Oak Hill does is original custom work. “Each home that I’ve done has been a completely different concept. We’re not into taking one style and putting it into 25 homes,” explains Dean. “I talk with the client, do most of the drawings, and we go from there.” Each of Oak Hill’s custom designs begins with a meeting of the minds between client and artist. The artist must first get a feel for the client’s wishes, which is done by demonstrating usage of possible elements, a review of illustrations on a sketchpad, an on-site evaluation, and, finally, a discussion of what fits the décor of its destination. Then, an intricate largescale dimensional sketch is produced, reviewed, perhaps altered, and agreed upon. Next, Oak Hill’s team cuts and January/February 2009 


Big Blu/Oak Hill team members are shown installing a custom rail. This job won a bronze award in the Exterior Railings & Fences - Forged category of the 2008 Top Job contest.

forges the job’s components — small or large, intricately detailed or simple — all working in harmony to achieve artistic perfection. The maximum

amount of assembling and finishing is spent in the shop, in preparation for a minimum amount of time spent at the installation site. 39

Power Hammer School teaches modern blacksmithing techniques

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co., the tools side

of Oak Hill Iron Works’ business, offers hands-on classes that teach the skills necessary to be a successful blacksmith in today’s world. While the techniques used in “freehand” or “free form” power hammer forging are not rocket science, instruction, practice, and critique are required to become proficient with the power hammer. Big Blu’s Power Hammer School addresses the following techniques, taught by experts in the field:  Forging for production  Free-hand forging  Traditional forging The Power Hammer School offers local, remote, and custom classes and demonstrations. Contact: Power Hammer School, 3308 Frank Whisnant Rd., Morganton NC 28655, Ph: 828-4375348; Web: www. 40

Oak Hill Iron Works’ clientele come expecting hand-forged customized iron. Thus, everything is hand-forged — not just the posts and cap rail, but also the smallest of details, like intricate, limblike webbed cattails, flowers, leaves, or butterflies. This kind of attention to the finer points results in satisfied customers. The delicate designs of Oak Hill’s railings often belie their strength. Railings are necessary to protect people from injury on balconies, porches, and stairs, and all have their place and niche…but all railings are not created equal. The more intricate the railing’s design, the more forging work is required — and the more massive in nature it becomes, which determines the overall cost of the piece. The hand-forged customized rail stands apart in a class of its own. Oak Hill takes pride in building strictly original protective and decorative railings. Clients learn from their first consultation that the company will not recreate the ironwork for a neighbor. And while the promise of original, unique work appeals to the customer, this mode of operation also proves challenging because it forces Oak Hill to come up with a lot of different designs. Still, that challenge is what keeps the designs fresh. “This is what we live for,” Dean says. “If I had to do the same plan over and over again, I’d probably get tired of it. I don’t thrive on repetition very well.” From the ground up Dean grew up on a large, family operated dairy farm nestled among the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania, and the closest major source of supplies was about 50 miles away. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that distance instilled in him the ability to be innovative, to make do with or remake whatever was at hand. These skills came in handy in Dean’s varied career path, which included home construction and repair, followed by business training in operating a building supply center. It was during this period that he became interested in blacksmithing. Dean and his family relocated to Morganton, and engaged in industrial maintenance: fabrication, welding, Fabricator 

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An Oak Hill Iron Works team member is shown handsanding and prepping a job for clear finish.

This desk was customdesigned from a mixture of steel, copper, and 2”-thick white oak. Utilizing the art of repoussé, the copper that forms the tree trunk and limbs is pressed through the steel; all is attached to the riveted steel frame that not only showcases the artwork, but also forms the structure of the cabinet and drawers.

The piece won a bronze award in the 2008 Top Job competition’s Furniture & Accessory Fabrication-Forged category.

machine work, and electrical. Meanwhile, Dean’s blacksmith abilities grew and became increasingly artistic. A combination of customer demand for his artistic skills and the desire to be his own man led Dean to take the plunge and start his own full-time business. Thus, Oak Hill Iron Works was born — and has never stopped growing. Sharing the knowledge Over the last dozen years, Oak Hill Iron Works has become a team of 42

artistic, professional people, each bringing his or her unique skills into the mix and enhancing the team’s ability to complete the designs that come from the consultation of artist and client. Respect is demanded by and given to all team members for their individual knowledge and abilities. In the tools side of the business, Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. features the pneumatic Big Blu Hammer. They also forge hand hammers – 12 different types in all — in all different sizes, shapes and configurations.

Additionally, Big Blu manufactures hand tooling, including punches, fullering sets, and other types of tools. Through the years, Big Blu’s staff has also assembled seven different instructional DVDs on topics such as hand-hammering techniques, power hammering, and Damascus knife making, which are sold on the company’s website. Currently, four more instructional DVD’s are in production, to be available this spring. The company plans to produce additional videos each year. Fabricator 

January/February 2009

Dean says that it is rewarding to pass on this kind of technical knowhow to others. “We not only sell these hammers, but we use them ourselves and give instructional classes involving them, as well. Recently, we conducted a small school, on-site, teaching students how to use a power hammer,” he says. “We can teach someone what they want to know, whether it’s picket design, scrolls, or organic designs. We’ll also design a class around a client’s line of work and style, either at our shop or

at their workplace, and teach their workers with equipment familiar to them.” Teamwork, excellence, and a job well done A Top Job award is quite an honor to receive, especially from one’s peers who recognize the quality of the work and the intensity of producing such a work. Although Dean is the artist who fostered the initial concept of Oak Hill’s magnificent, award-winning railing, he is the first to acknowledge

that Oak Hill’s award-winning railing was the result of the combined contributions of many talented individuals. “The craftsmanship of our entire team, working in harmony, made it all possible,” he states. “This team is constantly multi-tasking in the endless variety of client projects that come their way.” When the final piece of a job is secured in place, Oak Hill team members gather their tools, give a few highfives, and then drive home, feeling a sense of pride in a “job well done.”

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Job Profile

A challenging metal yields award-winning results

A belly rail is only a small part of a large body of work completely crafted from Monel 400, a binary alloy. ■

oe and Jimmy Ponsler are brothers and vice-presidents of Wonderland Products Inc., located in Jacksonville, FL (Joe is also the general manager). They both began working in the shop founded by their grandfather, Robert L. Ponsler, Sr. (and later run by their father Robert L. (Bob, Jr.) at a very young age. “It was always expected that we would work in the shop,” says Jimmy of he and his brother. “And we were cheap labor — beginning at about age three,” he adds with a tongue-in-cheek chuckle. “We never had jobs elsewhere.” When asked if either of them had ever regretted their decision to become the third generation of Ponslers to run



the family business, Jimmy says absolutely not: “We have a passion for ironwork and the client sees and appreciates that. We are always satisfied with our work—but never complacent—because we know that the most important step we take is our next one.” Origins in playgrounds Wonderland Products (located in a 5,000 square-foot building with six employees) was originally known for the manufacturing of playground equipment. “When the company was founded in 1950,” says Ponsler, “we manufactured our own playground equipment — swing sets, monkey bars, seesaws, etc. — for approximately 10 years.”

For your information

By Lisa Bakewell

Project A curved belly rail made of Monel 400. Fabricator Wonderland Products Inc. Method Custom dies were used in the press brake to create flowing curvatures of the rail, which could then conform to the wooden template. CO NTAC T

Joe and Jimmy Ponsler Wonderland Products Inc. 5772 Lenox Ave. P.O. Box 6074 Jacksonville, FL 32236-6074 Ph: (904) 786-0144 Email: Fabricator 

January/February 2009

About Monel 400... Monel 400 is a binary alloy having the same pro-

portions of nickel and copper found naturally in nickel ore from the Sudbury, Ontario, Canada mines. Monel, a trademark of Special Metals Corporation (for a series of nickel alloys), is primarily composed of nickel (up to 67%) and copper, but also has some iron and other trace elements. Monel was created by David H. Browne, a chief metallurgist for International Nickel Company, and was named for the company president, Ambrose Monell. Monel was patented in 1906 under U.S. patent number 811,239. Properties Although Monel is typically much more expensive than stainless steel, it is particularly useful in a variety of applications because of its resistance to corrosion, steam, and high temperatures. It is also particularly resistant to hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids when they are de-aerated. Compared to steel, Monel is very difficult to machine as it work-hardens instantly with heat and does not harden into a constant matrix. It needs to be turned and worked at slow speeds and low feed rates, though it has good weldability and is of moderate to high strength. The alloy is slightly magnetic at room temperature, and has good mechanical properties from sub-zero temperatures up to about 480°C/ 896°F. Uses Monel alloy is widely used in the chemical, oil and marine industries. It has been used in applications such as piping systems, pump shafts, trolling wire, and strainer baskets. Some Monel alloys are completely non-magnetic and are used for anchor cable aboard minesweepers, housings for magnetic-field measurement equipment, and have applications in the oil drilling industry. In recreational boating, Monel wire is used to seize shackles for anchor rodes, and the alloy is used for water and fuel tanks. Other underwater applications include propeller shafts and keel bolts. Monel has also been used as the material for valve pistons in some higher quality musical instruments such as trumpets, tubas and French horn rotors. RotoSound, a guitar and bass string manufacturing company based in England, introduced the use of Monel for electric bass strings in Continued next page January/February 2009 


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“It was a privilege to work with such a fine metal and it’s unlikely to About Monel 400, continued

ever be used to this extent in an ornamental application ever again.”

1962. Numerous artists, including The Who, Sting, John Deacon, and John Paul Jones, have used these strings. Monel was also in use in the early 1930s by other musical string manufacturers, such as the Gibson Guitar Corporation — who continues to offer mandolin strings made with Monel in the Sam Bush signature set. Other uses for Monel include kitchen sinks and eyeglass frames. Additionally, the alloy was used for much of the exposed metal in the interior of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, located in Pennsylvania, and has been used as roofing material in buildings such as Penn Station.

From there, Wonderland Products ventured into light industrial blacksmithing before turning to the high-end residential work for which they’ve been known for the past 20 years. Today, Wonderland Products primarily creates one-of-a-kind gates, rails, and balconies for their residential customers and are known for their strong commitment to excellence, their demand for customer satisfaction, the quality of their work and their artistic ability. “Our reputation with our clients is quite special,” says Ponsler. “We pride ourselves on being able to capture their personalities and incorporate it into the ironwork. Every design is an original and every piece is truly one of a kind. [Our customers] know that we are making something for them — and only them.” It was one of these unique one-of-akind pieces that won a gold award in the 2008 Top Job competition (forged railings and fences category) for

Often imitated, never duplicated!

Wonderland Products. The piece, a curved belly rail, was commissioned by a new customer, and was completely created using Monel 400. Metal created challenges Monel 400, a binary alloy, has the same proportions of nickel (up to 67 percent) and copper that is found naturally in the nickel ore from the Sudbury, Ontario, Canada mines [see Sidebar, beginning p. 45]. It is an expensive material, but one that Wonderland Product’s customer learned about at his job site, a soft-drink company. Typically used in applications needing to withstand highly corrosive conditions, Monel 400 was used in the plant, and the customer really loved the look of it — and wanted it in his new home — affording Wonderland Products a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to work this alloy.





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Monel is slightly magnetic at room temperature, and has good mechanical properties from subzero temperatures up to about 480°C/ 896°F.

And, as it turns out, the winning belly rail was only a small sample of the total work done for the customer. Wonderland Products also created an additional 90 feet of railings, 75 forged spindles, palm frond and dolphin door pulls, five arched grills, three wall gates, front door grills, and one window grill, all made of Monel 400 — a total of about 12,850 pounds of it. The entire job took more than two years to complete. Though Ponsler and his crew were

excited to work with Monel 400, it was a little unnerving because they needed to understand the metal “on-the-fly.” “Heat doesn’t transfer very well [in Monel 400]. It’s consistent, though, and machined well,” says Ponsler. “The challenge was mainly the hardness of the material and the availability of it. Bar stock was simply not made in Monel 400, but, thankfully, our order was large enough that it merited a special mill run.” Once Wonderland Products had

the Monel on hand — and after the initial forging of the scrollwork — Ponsler and his crew used custom dies in the press brake to create what he calls the “gelatinous” (thick, substantial, flowing) curvatures of the rail, which could then conform to the wooden template. “Since we work extensively in silicon bronze,” he explains, “we have a lot of dies and tooling for making our own rivets, banding material, acorn nuts and like items.” But there was a problem. “The Monel 400 destroyed these dies after only a few could be made, and all tooling had to be remade in H-13 tool steel—a remarkable alloy,” he continues. Other challenges An understated challenge of the project for Wonderland Products, according to Ponsler, was the cap rail. Forged from 1½” round, it involved some creative die work. “Forging something that is commonly extruded is difficult enough, but when it’s a metal as hard as Monel, it’s even worse,” he says.

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January/February 2009

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After the scrollwork was forged, the individual components were further shaped in specially made dies for our pneumatic press and forged in various swage blocks before final fabrication. The final, award-winning piece measures approximately six feet in length and has two-foot returns. It weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. The finish is a black patina that’s been highlighted with Scotch-Brite and sealed with Renaissance wax.

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P.O. Box 6008 • Knoxville, TN 37914-6008 Fax: (865) 933-6800 • 50

Proud NOMMA Member

“Trying to forge sections as long as possible — to avoid splicing — was balanced by the ability to control an eight-foot long bar of Monel being dieforged under the power hammer.” Another issue that they encountered during the fabrication of the project was trying to create the shape and curves of the belly rail. “The main challenge of the belly rail was its ever-changing contours, going from concave to convex and back again, all the while on a compound radius,” states Ponsler. “The actual geometry of the piece was enough to make you scratch your head.” This goal was achieved, says Ponsler, with accurate field measurements, precise layouts, and foresight from the fabricator — his brother, Joe. “We made a full scale wooden template, which was impressive in its own right, and built the rail directly on it,” he explains. “After the scrollwork was forged, the individual components were further shaped in specially made dies for our pneumatic press and forged in various swage blocks before final fabrication.” It’s in the details The final, award-winning piece measures approximately six feet in length and has two-foot returns. It weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. The finish is a black patina that’s been highlighted with ScotchBrite and sealed with Renaissance wax. “[The piece] took on the identity of a sculpture, rather than a handrail,” says Ponsler, “but it was rewarding and we know that it will prevail for many years to come. [Monel’s] not only a beautiful metal, but—for all intents and purposes—it’s indestructible. Given the stock dimensions, mainly ½” x 1”, I couldn’t even imagine how many lifetimes it will last. “It was a privilege to work with such a fine metal and it’s unlikely to ever be used to this extent in an ornamental application ever again. [This was] truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we are proud to be a part of,” he added. Benefits of NOMMA Wonderland Products has been a Fabricator 

January/February 2009

proud member of NOMMA since 1974. “The reason that we’re members” says Ponsler, “is that we realize that many companies standing together — and speaking with one loud voice — is more easily heard, and we can focus our common goals to benefit the industry as a whole. “I don’t think that in any other trade someone would invite potential competition into their shop to see how they operate and be so willing to share information,” he continues. “But with NOMMA, shop tours are common. I think we realize that we are all in this boat together and for one company to succeed, the entire industry must rise to a higher level. Poor ironwork is bad for business, no matter who does it.”

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January/February 2009

Member Talk

Thumbs up to diversity in the workplace

A veteran fabricator — and weekend pilot — works in the spirit of Ellis Island with his dedicated, international staff.

By Sheila Phinazee OMMA member Dan Bellware, of SRS Inc. has been in the fabricating business for 40 years. He now focuses on high-end metal fabrication, but Bellware got his start as a marketing rep. After growing his business from the ground up, Bellware is pleased to see that SRS Inc. now consists of about 25 people, with 10 working in the office and around 14 people in the shop.


January/February 2009 


“We also pull in labor from the union for field work,” says Bellware. “I have built a staff of good people. Many have worked with me for over 20 years, some over 30 years.” Bellware employs a culturally mixed group of workers from all over the world. “It looks like a meeting of the UN General Assembly,” he states. Nationalities include Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Chinese, and Dominican Republic.

Some employees were able to receive their U.S. citizenship while working for SRS. Stainless steel beginnings Bellware formed the company, originally called StainRail Systems Inc., in 1968. At the time, he was also working in market development for the International Nickel Company (INCO), for whom he worked 17 years. Bellware started out by working part-time for his own company, but, 53

SRS Inc. employes about 25 people — 10 in the office and around 14 working in the shop. The company also pulls in union labor for field work. Many of SRS’s employees have been with the company longterm, some as many as 30+ years.

SRS employs a culturally mixed group of workers from all over the world. “It looks like a meeting of the UN General Assembly.”

in 1973, set up his shop to work fulltime and left INCO. While at INCO, Bellware worked to develop markets for stainless steel particularly marketing to municipalities and designers. “I saw the opportunity to develop a new market in stainless steel railing 54

for waste treatment plants. Before then, galvanized steel or aluminum was mainly used,” he says. Bellware realized the benefit of having a source, so he ended up calling on a lot of fabricators. “Fabricators were either afraid of stainless steel or were using it only for

high-end railings,” he explains. “They didn’t want me coming in and messing up their market.” Bellware’s message was that stainless steel could be fabricated competitively. He soon decided to start his own company by working as a broker and having rails fabricated by a furniFabricator 

January/February 2009

ture company in North Carolina and a swimming pool company in New Jersey. These companies were accustomed to fabricating a thousand pieces that were just alike — which doesn’t work well for construction. The fabricators he had worked earlier to convince to try stainless steel turned out to be his competitors and Bellware’s company couldn’t compete with labor rates in other parts of the country. “The rates in the South and the Midwest were less than rates in the Northeast,” he points out. In 1990, Bellware decided to keep the SRS on the logo and changed the name to simply SRS Inc. Now concentrating on work for high-end markets, he began creating whatever architects needed using stainless steel, bronze, or aluminum. Readers may remember Bellware’s stainless steel trellis for which SRS won a Top Job award as featured in the Sept./Oct. 2007 Fabricator. Bellware put his experience in stainless steel from INCO and education to use in building SRS. Bellware has a bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering from Ohio State University, and a master’s of Metallurgical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic (now a part of NYU). Today, Bellware continues to take pleasure in his work. “I enjoy providing a good job that the customer will be happy with,” he says. “I enjoy the hustle and bustle of getting the job done on time.” However, he also admits there are challenges. “This is a very high risk business. When you start the job, you look at the architect’s drawing and you know it won’t work and yet, you still must bid,” Bellware states. “Then you end up with a real fight to change detailed drawings so you can actually build something — and something the architect will be happy with. The bid is a lump sum price and you hope you can make money — it can become very difficult.” Bellware mentions the challenge of trying to satisfy the architect, the January/February 2009 


A few years ago, SRS had the honor of completing the renovation of railing inside the Statue of Liberty. In addition to the railing, SRS also installed some large bronze door grates that had to match the finish of the materials that were originally installed when the Statue was built. Transporting all of the materials and workers to the job on Ellis Island proved to be a major challenge of the job.


This private residence on the New Jersey shore showcases some of SRS’ fine work — a painted aluminum and glass railing, including serpentine, on each of the home’s decks.




January/February 2009

owner, and the inspector. But, over the years, he is undeterred, even helping a former employee, Sasha Reut, start his own business. Taking care of business Over the years, Bellware has focused on building a team and emphasizing teamwork. Another objective is creating quality work. His mantra for his employees is, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get the job done right the first time so that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never see it again after it goes out the door.â&#x20AC;? Bellware acknowledges the pressure of working under deadlines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We frequently work under real pressure in this business,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There can be a tendency to overlook mistakes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this is something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to contend with for 40 years. Nobody likes to do re-work.â&#x20AC;? Bellware has four children, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not planning on passing the SRS baton to them down the road. â&#x20AC;&#x153;None of them want anything to do with the business. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen Dad work too hard each day,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They all do their own thing.â&#x20AC;? Bellwareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughter, however, helps with his public relations work. Bellware has taken in a partner, Rich Blatman, who is from the glass industry, but is rapidly becoming a skilled ornamental metal fabricator, who will be able to take over the company in the future. The two met when SRS had did work with Blatmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company. Blatman got his start in the glass business, starting as a helper at 19. He learned over the years, working in every facet of the business â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from being a mechanicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s helper to working in management. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We did a lot of storefront as well as mirrors and shower doors, so even though it was aluminum not stainless, I was still familiar with metal work,â&#x20AC;? Blatman explains. However, what was new to Blatman was welding and finishing different metals (bronze and stainless steel) and dealing with railing codes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dan has taught me a lot and I have also learned a lot from our shop â&#x20AC;&#x201D; people whom I consider to be the best in the industry,â&#x20AC;? says Blatman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The main challenge is the same in just about January/February 2009 


SRSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s circular stair and balcony with stainless steel cladding, glass, and stainless railing graces Verizonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ.

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A stainless steel and glass rail, crafted by SRS, replaced a wooden picket rail at the Ray Catena Mercedes Dealership, Edison, NJ.

any industry and that is quality control.” Memorable jobs About three years ago, SRS had the


honor of completing the renovation of railing inside the Statue of Liberty. After being contacted by a local general contractor, SRS bid and won the contract. In addition to the railing,

SRS also installed some large bronze door grates that had to match the finish of the material that were originally installed when the Statue was built. Although it was one of SRS’s most interesting jobs, there were a number of challenges such as transporting materials. “There was a ‘temporary’ bridge (that is still there) that takes you into Ellis Island. Then a boat would take you to the Statue of Liberty,” says Bellware. “Also, homeland security was very much in view.” “It was a real challenging job because not only were we on a tight schedule, but all of the material, tools and men had to be transported to the island by boat after going through tight security,” adds Blatman. The Department of Parks also had policies that required SRS compliance. “We couldn’t take anything off the island. If you core drilled holes, you had to leave the plugs; you couldn’t get rid of them,” explains Bellware. Nevertheless, SRS was rewarded for all the hard work. After the job was completed, the owners of the companies involved and their workers were Fabricator 

January/February 2009

“Get the job done right the first time so that you’ll never see it

again after it goes out the door.”

all invited to a private barbeque at the base of the Statue, and a tour of the Statue. Another interesting job was a very high-end project that took SRS’s work overseas to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. “One of the most exciting jobs was for the InterContinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It was also the first major job I completed,” says Bellware. SRS crafted a four inch-diameter bronze rail mounted on top of glass that included a circular stair. “I had to go over to see it before it was installed,” says Bellware. “Fortunately I didn’t have to install it. Apparently, we did it all correctly because there were no complaints.” Bellware’s thrilling pastime Some NOMMA members have some pretty amazing avocations and hobbies. Dan Bellware has one. “My real passion in life is flying,” says Bellware. “I’ve been flying since the age of 18.” For 20 years, Bellware had been fly-

ing a Cessna 182 Skylane, which is a four-place, but he decided to really give himself a treat for his birthday. “For my 80th birthday, I bought a small sport plane, with state of the art instruments and lots of gadgets,” says Bellware. “It’s not quite as fast as the

Skylane, but it’s fast enough at 125 mph, very responsive and fun to fly.” He enjoys getting a group of pilots together to meet for lunch in exotic places like Martha’s Vineyard or Annapolis. Bellware also mentions that he belongs to an exclusive organization of about 600 members called the United Flying Octogenarians (UFO). Age is not a factor. “There are members in their 90s that are still flying,” he says.

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About SRS Inc. SATIN SHIELD is a DTM (direct-to-metal) offering:

SRS Inc. is a custom fabricator of high-end architectural metals and miscellaneous metals, with representatives in locations throughout the U.S. The company caters to high-end applications, utilizing demanding fabrication materials including stainless steel, brass/bronze, aluminum, architectural steel, and glass. SRS fabricates conventional stairs as well as curved glass rails.




Dan Bellware P.O. Box 4277 Metuchen, NJ08840 Ph: 732-548-6630 Web:

January/February 2009 


New Distributors are Welcome. Call Chet or Terry for More Information. 2410 Hwy. 15 South • Sumter, SC 29154

Terry Spatz Coleman

(803) 481-3400 • Toll Free: (888) 471-3400

National Sales Representative

(800) 589-5545 59

Special Feature

Paying tribute to Top Job There’s nothing we enjoy more than showcasing the fine work of NOMMA members. Here, we take a look back at some of the highlights from past Top Job competitions.

This custom interior stair rail was designed by Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio, Kansas City, KS. It features 1/2” sq. bar pickets, 1” x 1/2” flat bars, forged, tapered, and formed to complete the design. Each scroll is banded with 1/4” x 1/2” flat bar. Julius Blum #4441 cap rail was used to finish the top rail. The most difficult part of the project was making sure the sloped, curved rail and scroll end piece fit, due to the project being out of the company’s metropolitan area. The finish is a combination of oil based enamels to give it an aged look. Approx. labor and installation time: 225 hrs.

This Art Nouveau styled railing for a private residence was completely designed by the fabricator — Germantown Iron & Steel Corp., Richfield, WI — including the wood elements. The panels were cut from 3/4inch steel plate. Each of the 300+ purchased leaves was modified to lose the cookie cutter appearance, and the vines were cold formed into the panels. The rails were test fitted successfully without modification prior to powder coating satin black. Approximate labor time: 35 hours drafting, 112 hours fabricating, and 12 hours for installation.

This all stainless steel railing was fabricated by Wilson Railing & Metal Fab. Inc., Park City, IL. The center balls are mirror polished, and the rest of the rail has a 4B satin brush finish. The fabricator premeasured and pre-polished materials before taking them to the job site for installation. All staircases were templated using pre-polished materials, and all of the ball bearings were machined and then mirror polished. For the oval top handrail, the fabricator used a 2” .154 wall pipe, placed the tubing in their press brake, and then flattened the pipe. All rings, vertical bars, and football shapes were designed at the fabricator’s shop. 60

This driveway gate was crafted by Klahm & Sons Inc., Ocala, FL, for a local horse farm. The frame is 2” square tubing. The horses were water jet cut from ¼” plate. Each horse was cut individual and overlapped each other for additional strength. All materials are aluminum. The finish has a sprayed on rocker panel paint finish. Approx. labor time: 60 hrs. Fabricator 

January/February 2009

These stair and guardrails (approx. 45 linear feet) were fabricated by Cape Cod Fabrications, Falmouth, MA, using #304 stainless steel. All rails have a #4 brushed finish. All cables were machined, drilled, and tapped in a bridgeport at the precise angle required with ends of cables threaded into wood stringer on stairs. The wood handrail was blind fastened with dowels to integrate with metal handrail seamlessly. The fabricator collaborated with the architect to design project. Approx. labor time: 120 hrs.

For this entry canopy created by Design Metals, Gresham, OR, the customer wanted to have the look of a wing coming out of the face of the building. This has a 26’ x 4’ radius with a slope, top and bottom. For attachment to the building, 1/8” stainless steel with 1/4” rib supports were used. Finish 44 was handapplied because of the radius and slope. The job was installed using a crane to lift into ot place, then bolted and welded. Final finishing was done onsite.

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Kayne and Son 100 Daniel Ridge Road • Candler, NC 28715 U.S.A. Phone: 828 667-8868 Fax: 828 665-8303 Each panel of these doors designed by Allen Iron Works & Supply Inc., Birmingham, AL, was 4’ by 11’ and weighed approximately 300 lbs. The frame was 4” x 2”, and the waves at the top were plate steel. The grass was 2” x 2” x 3/16” angle, heated and formed. The fish were laser cut, textured, chiseled, and hand-painted. The bubbles were cut from different size pipes. The starfish was torch cut from 11/2” plate, and the crustaceans were formed by dropping welds, center punching, and shaping meticulously with a grinder. The copper plates behind the grass were acid-washed to portray an ocean and riveted to the door. The lower copper panels were textured and heated to portray sand on the ocean floor. Additional challenges included locating heavy-duty closers and weather-stripping. Approx. labor time: 484 hrs. January/February 2009 


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This “bird of paradise” window grille was commissioned for a private residence and fabricated by Eureka Forge, House Springs, MO. Inspired by a report that an art-nouveau style "bird of paradise" had once occupied the same masonry opening, the senior artisan in the fabricator's shop 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. The steel frame, scrollwork, and floral elements were hand-forged. Background trees were cut from plate, and the texture is the result of built-up weld metal hammered flat while still hot. The steel has a painted finish with hand-applied highlights. The largest challenge in the project was to combine the desired elements and finishes into a restricted space while maintaining a graceful and elegant overall look.

Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, designed this rail system as part of a complete remodel of a 140-yearold home on a lakefront. The "sunburst" patterns were made out of laser cut 3/8-thick steel plates. Each sunburst was formed from four individual laser cut pieces, hand bent and intertwined in kind of a Celtic weave. The finish was an oil rubbed bronze paint color. Approx. labor time: 134 hrs.


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web: email: 62

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Wiemann Ironworks, Tulsa, OK, fabricated this bi-parting driveway gate, which measures 19’ by 8’ overall. It is made entirely out of aluminum bar stock, tubing and plate. The frame is 2” square. The shamrock was water jet cut, the triangular support posts feature custom made hinges and are fabricated out of steel. All work is powder coated. Each leaf weighs 450 pounds and each post weighs 600 pounds. Approx. labor time: 400 hrs. Fabricator 

January/February 2009

LEFT: These aluminum exterior rails were designed by Art’s Work Unlimited, Miami, FL, for a waterfront home. The leaves were cut out of .125 sheets, then welded onto the stems. The helical top rail was rolled on a three-wheel roller. Since it was an asymmetrical curve, the rail had to be adjusted by hand. Once the rail and leaves were welded together, a pro-fit was done before finishing. The rail was finished in copper patina and a clear coat added to help protect it from the elements. Approx. labor time: 207 hrs.

This curved patio rail was designed by the client and fabricated by Flaherty Iron Works Inc., Alexandria, VA. The rail is all hot rolled steel, hand forged using a power hammer. The scrolls are 1/2”x 1” flat bar drawn down with button scrolls on the end. The support posts were 11/4” square. Pickets 3/4” with collars were used. The rail design included 11/4" balls and brass rosettes. The railing has a Cardinal Black powder coat finish. Approx. labor time: 232 hrs. ABOVE:

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Albany Spiral Staircase • Distinctive historic design • Modular components in 4 ft. & 5 ft. dia. • Rugged cast iron construction • Brass or steel handrail • Easy assembly • Complete catalog featuring this and other staircases 1 0 0 y e a r s b e h i n d t h e t i m e s™

These stairs, crafted by Bauer Fabrication Inc., Waterbury, CT, are part of two mirror image stairways serving three floors on the opposite ends of a riverfront office building. The tread/risers are brake formed 1/4” plate. The stringers and landing supports are 8” extra heavy channel. The guardrail panels are built of 3/8” x 2” flat and 3/8” round. The handrails are 11/4” pipe. The design was conceived by an architect, with many of the details conceived by the fabricator. The finish on stringers and landing support is prime paint to match the structural steel. The railings have a blue-gray topcoat. The guardrail panels were the largest portion of the job. Approx. labor time: 1,000 hrs. January/February 2009 



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

Donate your items to the METALfab 2009 NEF Auction It’s auction time! Help make this year’s live and silent auctions even more successful than last year, when NEF raised nearly $24,000.

Scenes from the METALfab 2008 auction in Memphis, TN

The NOMMA Education Foundation welcomes dona-

tions for the NEF Annual Benefit Auction, which takes place April 24 during METALfab 2009 in Long Beach, CA. Items can include metal sculpture, surplus material, spare equipment, books, or furniture. To make a donation, the first step is to download a form from the NOMMA website. Simply go to, click on “METALfab,” and then on “Auction.” Or, contact Liz Johnson at the NOMMA office (Ph: 888-516-8585, ext. 101, Email: If the donated item is unavailable or too large to display, a picture can be shown instead.

Proceeds from the auction help support the NOMMA Education Foundation, which provides the METALfab education program, continuing education, videos, and support for various technical projects. The purpose of NEF is to provide quality education for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry through continuing education programs, video productions, educational publications, and sales aids, along with supporting special projects important to the industry. With your donation of a product or service, you provide valuable support for the programs provided under this foundation.

NEF offers funding opportunity for hosting speakers Need a speaker for a chapter meet-

ing? Would you like to join up with nearby shops to host an education program? If the answer is “yes” to either question, then the new NEFERP program may be just what you need. A new outreach of the NOMMA Education Foundation, NEFERP stands for “NEF Educaton Resource Program.” The purpose of NEFERP is to serve as resource center for education seminars that can be presented at local chapter meetings or at member shops that do not have chapter affiliation. Under NEFERP, either a chapter or a group of two or more shops can January/February 2009  Fabricator

apply for a $500 grant. The grant must be used to offset the presenter and program, and can go toward travel, lodging, equipment shipping, supplies, and a speaker honorarium. Chapters and groups may apply for the grant once annually. NEF is creating a list of presenters who are willing to travel to deliver presentations. The actual booking of a speaker, however, must be handled directly between the individual and host. To apply for a grant, please visit the NOMMA website (www.nomma. org) and click on “Education Foundation” and then “NEFERP.” All applica-

Roger Carlsen of Ephraim Forge Inc. led a presentation during the spring 2008 meeting of the Gulf Coast Networking Group.

tions will be reviewed by a committee. There is a limited amount of money available, and grants will be awarded until the funds are used. 65

NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members New NOMMA members As of December 12, 2008. Asterisk denotes returning members.

AC Folding Gates Inc. Pomona, CA Kristina Simmons, Fabricator

Allied Tube & Conduit Harvey, IL Scott Young, Nationwide Supplier Artistic Ironworks Greenville, SC John Albert, Fabricator

Bedford Iron Works Bedford Hills, NY Phil Thomas, Fabricator

Daniel Metals Inc.* Birmingham, AL James Daniel, Fabricator Q-Railing USA Co. Los Angeles, CA Andre Van Uitert, Nationwide Supplier

Suhner Industrial Products Inc. Rome, GA Rickey Williams, Nationwide Supplier

TL Fabrications LP Sante Fe Springs, CA David Willson, Fabricator

Upsurge Fabrication Inc.* Huntington Beach, CA Chris Remyn, Fabricator

A Cut Above Distributing (800) 444-2999 Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (866) 252-4628 Alku Group of Companies (800) 465-7143 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858 Allied Tube & Conduit (800) 882-5543 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (800) 527-1318 American Punch Co. (800) 243-1492 Ameristar Fence Products (888) 333-3422 Apollo Gate Operators (800) 226-0178 Architectural Metal Sales (925) 216-1004 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 Co. (866) 532-5404 CompLex Industries Inc. (901) 547-1198 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (800) 716-0888 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871 DAC Industries Inc. (800) 888-9768 Decorative Iron (888) 380-9278 DKS, DoorKing Systems (800) 826-7493 Robert J. Donaldson Co. (856) 629-2737 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. (251) 937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply (800) 343-8154 Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC (847) 636-1233 Encon Electronics (800) 782-5598 EURO-FER SPA (011) 39-044-544-0033 Europa Stairways LLC (786) 845-9844 FabCad Inc. (800) 255-9032 FabTrol Systems Inc. (888) FAB-TROL Feeney Architectural Products, CableRailâ&#x201E;˘ (800) 888-2418 The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (800) 663-6356 Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. (011) 49-607-893-7137 Glasswerks LA Inc. (800) 350-4527 GTO Inc. (800) 543-4283

NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC (800) 346-4296 Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700 Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (800) 225-7373 House of Forgings (281) 443-4848 Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (800) 242-9872 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (800) 371-4404 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427 Iron World (301) 776-7448 ITW Ransburg (800) 233-3366 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. (800) 4-JANSEN King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 Laser Precision Cutting (800) 514-8065 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (800) 221-5579 Liberty Brass Turning Co. (800) 345-5939 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510

Marks U.S.A. (800) 526-0233 Master Halco (800) 883-8384 McKey Perforating (800) 345-7373 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Frank Morrow Co. (800) 556-7688 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 Mylen Stairs Inc. (877) 303-9422 NC Tool Co. (800) 446-6498 New Metals Inc. (888) 639-6382 Ohio Gratings Inc. (800) 321-9800 Overseas Supply Inc. (866) 985-9885 Paxton & Thau Artistic Supply (866) 629-2790 Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 Premium Home & Garden Co. Ltd. Xiamen (011) 86-592-588-7573 ProCounsel (866) 289-7833 Q-Railing USA Co. (310) 651-9984 RedPup LLC (928) 422-1000 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Riata Mfg. (915) 533-9929 Robertson Grating Products Inc. (877) 638-6365 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (800) 841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (800) 745-4107

Scotchman Industries Inc. (800) 843-8844 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 Stairways Inc. (800) 231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245 Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. (866) 290-1263 Suhner Industrial Products Inc. (706) 235-8046 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 Taco Metals (800) 743-3803 Taurin Group USA (909) 476-8007 Tennessee Fabricating Co. (800) 258-4766 Texas Metal Industries (800) 222-6033 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Triple-S Chemical Products (800) 862-5958 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (800) 392-3655 Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283 Vogel Tool & Die, Div. of TES Tube Equipment Inc. (800) 272-8946 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door (866) 790-3667 Xycorp Inc. (888) 745-0333

Biz Side

Business development — Storm clouds on the horizon The time to get ready for a potential storm is before it hits. That way, if the storm does come your way, you’ll be able to ride it out in warmth and safety — with a solid backlog and strong customer relationships. ■

Editor’s note: Cynthia Paul, a popular presenter at past METALfabs, will once again be a featured guest speaker at METALfab 2009. The following article was written several months ago when the economic forecast was less clear; however, Ms. Paul’s suggestions and tips on how to weather the storm are still very much applicable in today’s climate. alking out of the house on a beautiful spring morning, I am instantly surrounded by sunshine, flowers just starting to bloom, grass that’s turning from wintery brown to green and fresh air. A quick glance to the west reveals dark charcoal-gray storm clouds on the horizon. Living in the prairie of eastern Colorado, there are few things

W 68

between where I am and the clouds on the horizon some 30 to 40 miles away. The implication of approaching storm clouds starts a familiar sequence of events —get the cars under cover, gather up the animals, drag the potted plants in and start shutting the windows. Spring storms can either be a light sprinkle of rain or golf ball-size hail. There’s no need to rush around in panic, just a need to prepare for the potential storm. Mixed economic news Today’s economic news points to storm clouds on the horizon. I can’t tell you with certainty if the nonresidential markets need to prepare for a spring shower or hail; but I can tell you that the time to get ready is now. The residential market has been struggling for months. The subprime situation has impacted the credit markets —and consumers. The U.S. econ-

For your information

By Cynthia Paul FMI Corporation

Cynthia Paul is a managing director with FMI Corp., the nation’s largest provider of management consulting and investment banking to the worldwide construction industry. FMI’s management consulting practice provides a wide array of services, including strategy development, training and talent development, leadership and organizational development, compensation and rewards, marketing and related research, business development and project delivery improvement. Ms. Paul may be reached at (303) 398-7206 or via e-mail at Fabricator 

January/February 2009

Proposals are selling tools. They either get you a spot in the

interview schedule or get you passed over.

Devise additional keep-in-touch 1strategies.

When schedules are crazy busy, keeping in touch with customers is a challenge. Keeping in close contact tells customers that you value the work they provide, you are willing to make an investment in them, and gives them the reassurance that if something goes wrong, you will be there. Get creative about ways to stay in touch. Face-to-face meetings are wonderful, but neither you nor your contacts have the time to meet every day or week. Periodic phone calls, a note through the mail, an e-mail informing them of the status on the job, or meeting them at civic or social events, etc., all give customers the confidence that you and your organization value their business. Expand your contact list inside a key customer organization from one or two contacts to three, five, or more. That way, when January/February 2009 


2 Get close to existing customers.

Spend time getting candid feedback on how your company has performed

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Preparing your company Getting ready for a changing market means dusting off your go-to-market strategy, building your get-work machine and targeting the type of customers and projects you need to be successful. Here are some tips for getting ready:

one of your contacts leaves the organization, your relationship with the company stays strong and grows.

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omy is dependent upon consumer spending. The old adage is: When the U.S. consumer gets nervous, the economy gets a cold. Now is the time to ready your company for the potential of a softening market. Now is the time to get close to existing customers, meet new customers, and jazz up your selling efforts. For mid-size contractors whose backlog burn rate is faster, the second half of 2008 looks to be challenging. Most contractors are saying that they are eating through backlog at a rate that is faster than they are adding to it. But the news is still mixed on the economy.

on the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current and past projects. Brainstorm together about what lessons learned can be taken from past projects and invested into future ones, making the process smoother and more efficient for both of your organizations. Learn more about their pressures â&#x20AC;&#x201D;those they face in their business and those they are feeling from their customers and competitors. Use that knowledge to develop unique ways to continue to build value and drive customer loyalty.


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3 Revisit your key value propositions.

Why should a customer or potential customer pick you over another very good contractor? The answer to this question represents your value proposition. Value propositions need to keep pace with changing markets and improvements being made by competitors. Get a team of key operations, estimating, senior management, and business development together to critically revisit your value proposition and answer the following questions:  How unique is your value proposition compared to your very best competition?  Can you objectively prove it to the customer and prospective customers?  What can you offer to the customer that none of your other competitors offer?

staff ’s time so they can call on prospective customers. Have the business development staff estimate how they spend their time. Use the following time categories to get a clear picture of where the staff is currently investing time, and realign this time according to your go-to-market strategy. a.______% Servicing existing customers b.______% Writing proposals, participating in presentations and following up c.______% Putting out fires d.______% Internal meetings e.______% Doing research and getting ready to run sales calls f. ______% Calling on new customers


Get more feet on the street.

Nothing beats feet on the street for meeting and cementing new relationships. Investigate how much time your business development people are actually on the street meeting new customers. You do not have to add people to get more feet on the street. You just need to free up your current

5 Reinforce/reward customer service.

Customer service is what your field, project management, accounting, and administrative functions do to ensure that customers are getting everything they have been prom-

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Be a star at METALfab 2009! Think of how much you enjoy learning about your fellow NOMMA members and their work. They are just as curious about you! Volunteer to be a part of the Video Shop Tours at METALfab 2009. It’s easy to do, and it’s informative for all of NOMMA’s members. These virtual shop tours were a popular education session at this year’s convention in Memphis. For information on how you can participate, contact: James Minter Jr. Imagine Ironworks 1380 Highway 51 North Brookhaven, MS 39601 Ph: 601-833-3000 Email: imagineiroworks@ Fabricator 

January/February 2009

ised in your proposal or contract. Today’s customers are demanding, potentially unprepared or misinformed, sometimes short-sighted, and always concerned about getting the most they can from the investment they’re making. Give your people new strategies, skills, and tools to discover customer hot buttons, proactively solve problems, resolve people conflicts, build lasting relationships, ask good questions, and follow through on commitments. In a soft economy, customers will have more choices of which good contractor to use. Growing the customer satisfaction skills of your people will ensure that more customers continue to build with you regardless of market changes.

Re-examine customer contact 6points.

Cynthia Paul, a popular speaker at past METALfab conventions, will once again share her business insights and inspirations with NOMMA members at METALfab 2009.

Whose job is it anyway? Keeping in touch with customers and building lasting relationships is the responsibility of more than just your business development staff. Meet with estimating, project management, and field leaders to revisit their roles in delighting customers, maintaining relationships, and exploring additional work opportunities. It is too easy for these managers to let this responsibility fall onto your business development staff, when the reality is that these managers have more contact with existing customers on projects than your business development people. Make sure that they know how critical their role is. Create incentive and feedback systems to reward those team members that help you keep and win additional work with existing customers.

Analyze your collateral, point-ofsale and leave-behind tools. Could they use a face-lift? Do the project pictures represent your best and most current projects? Do they include your

Recharge your business development people.


Whether full-time or part-time, all business development personnel represent a critical link in your get-work chain. Giving them new skills, tools, and selling messages makes their jobs easier, increases the number of qualified leads to chase, and helps you close work. January/February 2009 


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Presentations are more than just another step in the process;

they are your best chance to sell who you are and why your team is the right one for the project. to and interface with senior executives. One of the hottest training topics for business development people is business skills. Being able to understand a customer’s economic model, implications of changing markets, economic forecasts, changing customer preferences, etc., gives business developers the tools they need to have meaningful conver-

 What would you think if you were the client?  Is the proposal uniquely crafted to that client?

sations with senior executives and build value for your company.

 Is your offering unique, attention-grabbing and compelling?

Increase the selling effectiveness of 8proposals.

 Does the proposal clearly show why your company is the best choice?

Proposals are selling tools. They either get you a spot in the interview schedule or get you passed over. Read two of your recent proposals —cover to cover:

If you can’t utter an emphatic “yes” to each of these questions, get working on your proposals!

Define customer contact expecta9tions.

Setting goals helps us achieve what we have set out to accomplish. The same can be said for creating specific targets regarding the frequency of meetings with existing, past and new customers. Create criteria to objectively evaluate which contacts warrant weekly, bi-weekly, month, quarterly, semi-annually and annual contact. Include a list for those contacts that only need contact via marketing communications. Develop a rating system to show which contacts represent the greatest opportunity for your company, and build the contact schedule. Measure staff members on how well they maintain the contacts, what opportunities are generated and how many projects are booked into backlog. Measure progress toward your goals. Give staff members feedback on what they are doing that works and where opportunities exist for improvement. Set realistic goals with a hint of “reach” in them, and you will keep your team focused.

10 Build robust go/no-go criteria.

Not every opportunity is a good one. There are more opportunities in your market than you can afford to chase. Proposals are selling tools. They either get you a spot in the interview schedule or get you passed over, even when markets are soft. Quantify what it costs you to chase



January/February 2009

a typical opportunity. This is where the vast majority of your marketing dollars are being spent — chasing opportunities. Focus your efforts on opportunities that you have a good chance of winning, have the potential for repeat work and fit your sweet spot. Build a robust go/no-go process. Do not waste time chasing customers who only use you as an estimating service to keep their favorite contractor honest. Use your resources wisely. Create a go/no-go that helps you identify which opportunities and customer groups in which to invest your time and resources.

Put more pizzazz into your presentations.


Presentations are more than beauty contests. Clients use them to determine who really understands their needs and who is right for the job. Presentation skills are critical for getting selected. Invest the time to pre-

pare for a presentation. Conduct a few dry-run presentations and get feedback on what is working and not working. Create a unique approach that will get you out in front of the competition. Tell the client that you are the right team for the job and that you are excited for the opportunity to work with their organization. Presentations are more than just another step in the process; they are your best chance to sell who you are and why your team is the right one for the project.

capture strategies to win 12keyCreatecustomers and opportunities. Capture plans are strategic business development plans targeted to win a specific customer or project opportunity. Think of it like a mini strategic plan on a specific opportunity. The capture plan is your road map to displace competition, build a new relationship and cement customer loyalty. Take the time to carefully identify

and plan for winning the right key opportunities in your marketplace. Storm clouds Seeing storm clouds on the horizon does not always guarantee that a storm is coming. It simply means that conditions are right for a storm to form and blow into our neighborhood. The storm may be short, long, or fail to materialize. While we cannot be 100 percent certain about what to expect, preparing your company for a potential storm will ensure that any potential damage is mitigated before it occurs. Use the list above to reinvigorate your “get-work” efforts. Get close to your best customers. Start spending more time with them now, before any significant change occurs in the marketplace. Help your people develop the skills they need to delight customers, build loyalty and keep them coming back for more.

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What’s Hot? Encon & Chamberlain host CDO seminar

Gate/door operator and access control distributor, Encon Electronics, collaborated with The Chamberlain Corporation for a recent commercial door operator (CDO) seminar at Encon’s training facility in Hayward, CA. This was the first technical CDO seminar Encon has hosted since the launch of its CDO product line in June 2008. Chamberlain’s CDO marketing and sales manager,

Inside Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . .74 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Chapter News . . . . . . .76

Literature . . . . . . . . . . .77 New Products . . . . . . .79 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . .81

Dan Dombkowski, presented to a full house of over 40 Encon dealers and also covered the new Chamberlain products of 2008. Contact: Encon, Ph: (800) 782-5598; Web:

ICC and FEMA disaster prevention and response agreement The International Code Council (ICC) and the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up to reduce the loss of life and property caused by natural disasters. Under the agreement, the Code Council will provide direct assistance to FEMA on a range of programs designed to reduce losses during natural disasters. FEMA will participate in the Council’s code development process, using its data to help develop future codes that increase public safety. Contact: ICC, Ph: (888) ICC-SAFE; Web:

Metalforming companies anticipate improved business According to the December 2008 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect business conditions to improve slightly, yet remain difficult during the next three months. When asked what the trend in general economic activity will be during the next three months, metalformers anticipate a slight improvement. Six percent of participants forecast an improvement in business (up from three percent in November), 31% predict activity will remain unchanged (up from 27% last month) and 63% reported that activity will decline (down from 70% in November). Metalforming companies also expect incoming orders to continue to improve slightly during the next three months. Fifty-nine percent of companies anticipate a decrease in orders (down from 67% in November), 30% expect no change (up from 24% the previous month) and 11% forecast an increase in orders (compared to nine percent in November). The number of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff continued to increase to 54% in December—up from 42% in November and at a substantially higher rate than December 2007, when only 18% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff. Contact: PMA, Ph: (216) 901-8800; Web: 74


January/February 2009

What’s Hot? 


FABTECH Mexico to co-locate with AWS Weldmex and METALFORM Mexico

Coming up FENCETECH and DECKTECH 2009

January 14-16, 2009 FENCETECH ‘09, the American Fence Association’s annual convention and trade exhibition, will take place alongside AFA’s DECKTECH trade show at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA. Contact: American Fence Association; Web: www. COATING WEST and COATING EAST 2009

March 2-3, 2009 and October 13-14, 2009 The Powder Coating Institute and the Chemical Coaters Association International have announced that they will hold two regional events in 2009 to reach targeted market segments and general industrial finishing markets. COATING WEST 2009 will be held on March 2 & 3 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, and COATING EAST 2009 is scheduled for October 13 & 14 at Gaylord Opryland, Nashville, TN. Contact: The Coating Show, Ph: (941) 373-1830; Web:

June 2-4, 2009 A new trade show. FABTECH Mexico, will join the established AWS Weldmex and METALFORM Mexico shows this year. The American Welding Society, Weldmex LLC, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers agreed to co-locate this event. The first combined exhibition will be held June 2-4, 2009, at the Cintermex exhibition center in Monterrey, Mexico. The location for the annual AWS Weldmex and FABTECH Mexico show alternates between Monterrey and Mexico City. Contact: American Welding Society, Ph: (800) 443-9353; Web:

Make plans now to attend

METALfab 2009!

Long Beach, CA • April 21-25, 2009 For details, visit TS Distributors - BJ Harrington 832-467-5406 NOMMA Fabricator - 1/4 page ad

ASA Business Convention & Forum

March 5-7, 2009 The three-day event for subcontractors, suppliers and service providers in the construction industry will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown, Nashville, TN. Educational workshops, committee meetings, networking events and social functions will be featured. Contact: ASA, Ph: (703) 684-3450; Web: Americas Glass Showcase

May 14-16, 2009 The annual trade show, convention, and golf tournament, sponsored by Americas Glass Association, will take place at South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa, South Las Vegas, NV. Contact: Americas Glass Association, Ph: (877) 275-2421; Web: Spring Crafts and Fine Art Faire

May 23-25, 2009 The seventh annual Spring Crafts and Fine Art Fair will be held at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Roselyn Harbor, NY. Applicants are asked to submit slides for juried selection for display. The festival will include entertainment, craft demonstrations, and refreshment concessions. Contact: American Concern for Artistry and Craftsmanship, Ph: (973) 746-091; Web: January/February 2009 


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Chapter News

What’s Hot? 

Upper Midwest Chapter to craft items for NEF auction The Upper Midwest Chapter is holding a workshop at their January 24 meeting in Yorkville, IL. The purpose of the meeting is to craft items for the upcoming NEF Benefit Auction, which will take place during METALfab 2009. The day of fun will begin with a business meeting at 10 a.m., followed by a shop tour. Afterwards, attendees will spend the next several hours crafting items. All chapter members are encouraged to attend. Please bring with you design ideas, personal safety gear and welding helmets, and any scrap items that you would like to incorporate into a work of art. O’Malley Welding and Fabricating Inc. is serving as host shop for the day, and will also be providing lunch. For complete information and a list of local motels, please visit the NOMMA website ( and download a flyer. If you can attend, please RSVP to Tina Tennikait (Ph: 618-259-4180, Email: In August, the chapter held a meeting at Mofab Inc. in Anderson, IN. Events for the day included a business meeting and a tour of nearby Dillon Pattern Works, which is a custom, nonferrous foundry. Attendees were also treated to a


presentation titled, “The Myth of the Ladder Effect & Other Guardrail Safety Issues,” which was provided by Tony Leto of The Wagner Companies.

Northeast Chapter enjoys blacksmithing demo The Northeast Chapter held their fall meeting on September 20 at Spirit Ironworks in Bayport, NY. Hosts for the day were siblings Rachel and Timothy Miller, who are accomplished artisans and blacksmiths. During the meeting, Rachel and Timothy gave an excellent blacksmithing demonstration. Lunch was provided by event sponsor Joe Romeo of Industrial Coverage Corp., Medford, NY.

Spirit Ironworks served as host shop for the Northeast Chapter’s fall meeting. Shown are brother-and-sister team Timothy Miller and Rachel Miller.

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What’s Hot? 


Going Green Guide

Commemorative book

PR News Going Green: Outstanding Green Business Practices includes a wide range of strategies for greening your business. The 200+ page guidebook includes profiles of blue chip companies, small organizations and start-ups that have transformed their businesses to be more environmentally responsible. The guidebook is tailored to communications, marketing and senior executives looking for a blueprint to communicate existing green efforts or to launch new initiatives. Many organizations of various sizes are profiled including GE, Nickelodeon, HP, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Broward County Library, and BASF. Contact: PR News, Ph: (888) 7075814; Web:

Klein In honor of its recent 150th anniversary, Klein Tools has released the book, Forging Endurance. The new book chronicles the Klein Tools story from the founding father and birth of the company to the present day. Authored by Kevin Wack, the 127-page, coffee-table book tells the story of the Klein Tools legacy beginning in 1857, when Mathias Klein operated a blacksmith shop in Chicago. A broken pair of cutting pliers was brought into the shop to be fixed, where Klein quickly forged a new piece. A few weeks later,

Klein produced a second half to fit the first. Those two halves represent the first pair of pliers produced in the United States. Linemen soon came from all over the city for repairs and ultimately, to acquire their first pair of “Kleins,” and with that, Klein Tools was born. Forging Endurance provides anecdotes of Klein Tools employees that journeyed to the United States in search of jobs that would improve their lives. It also chronicles family members, employees, customers and key contributors to the company’s success. Contact: Klein, Ph: (800) 553-4676; Web:



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What’s Hot?  STLE Learn what to do after the oil analysis to help reduce costs. The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) co-produced the Machinery Oil Analysis Methods, Automation & Benefits: A Guide for Maintenance Managers, Supervisors & Technicians, written by Larry A. Toms and Allison M. Toms. Manufacturing operations need reliable equipment to maintain delivery schedules and operate with efficiency. As it strives to give readers a better understanding of equipment lubrication, Machinery Oil Analysis examines each step in the sampling, testing and diagnostic process. The book also presents the latest advances in technology and instrumentation, including online sensors and their applications.

Contact: STLE, Ph: (847) 825 5536; Web:

Testing opportunity Gate operator installation certification

New metal building design guide

ICC The Seismic Design Guide for Metal Building Systems by the International Code Council (ICC) and lead author Robert E. Bachman, S.E, puts all metal building seismic and design requirements into one resource. The illustrated publication includes narratives about actual metal building systems, examples of realistic design situations, engineering diagrams and code commentary. It references the 2006 International Building Code, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures ASCE/SEI Standard 7-05. Contact: ICC, Ph: (888) ICC-SAFE; Web:

On February 28, 2009, Encon Electronics will administer the new gate operator installation certification exam. The Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) collaborated with the American Fence Association (AFA), and the Door and Access Systems (DASMA) to establish the certification. In addition to hosting the exam, which is open to other installation dealers, Encon will be offering a pre-test review on February 21, 2008. Contact: Encon, Ph: (800) 782-5598; Web:




Machinery Oil Analysis


1-1/8" 1-3/8"

WITH THE VERSATILE HMD904S SWIVEL BASE DRILL. It lets you line up precise center points quickly. Horizontally. Upside down. Or just vertically. Its swivel base makes hitting the mark so easy you’ll see productivity gains immediately along with more accurate holemaking. Like we’ve said... Get it close. Hit your mark. Lock it down. Drill.

800-426-7818 • 78


January/February 2009

What’s Hot? 


In-house blackening method and BC40 TRU TEMP® finishing system

CNC servo hydraulic press brake

Birchwood Casey Birchwood Casey’s new LUMICLAD™ black oxide process is designed to be a safe, in-house method for blackening aluminum forming a durable, satin black finish on all aluminum alloys. The LUMICLAD process utilizes a diptank procedure, without requiring the use of electrolytic chemicals to form the coating. The non-dimensional (1.5 micron) LUMICLAD finish is tightly adherent to the aluminum substrate with no rub-off, serving as a suitable alternative to black anodizing for different types of industrial tooling and machine components, large and small. Birchwood Casey’s BC40 TRU TEMP® finishing system operates at 200° F with a patented, two-stage oxidation. Contact: Birchwood Casey, Ph: (952) 937-7931; Web:

Comeq Comeq Inc. has expanded their line of PRIMELINE Press Brakes with the addition of the S-Series CNC Servo Hydraulic Press Brake. The S-Series machine offers .0004± repeatability and other options. These machines are available in sizes from 4’ x 40 tons to 20’ x 650 tons. Standard Equipment on the S-Series includes: an easily programmed Cybelec DNC-60 controller, a powered X-axis, Y1/Y2 axes, a tooling package consisting of a gooseneck punch & four way die and training at your location. Contact: Comeq Inc., Ph: (410) 933-8500; Web:

GoldenOpportunity Opportunity – - oonly nly frfrom om GLGLASER ASER - a–daivdiversity ersity of Aof rchArch- and R ing-Ring-Bending Bending MachiMachines nes at favoat rabfavourable le prices (disprices counts(up up to to 330 0%%) ) Golden and No. 6005 Arch- and Ring-Bending Machine GEBR 605

No. 6002 Arch- and RingBending Machine GBR 602

with extra Accesoires Pitch Arm and Special Plastic-Rolls, with 3 driven Bending-Rolls, continuously adjustable bending-speed, GPS 2 Controller. Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 60 x 10 mm, Circular Tube up to 쏗 60 x 2.9 mm.

Bending-shaft 쏗 30 mm, manually operated Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 40 x 8 mm, Circular Tube 쏗 33.7 mm.

No. 6003 Arch- and Ring-Bending Machine GEBR 603-K

No. 6004 Arch- and Ring-Bending Machine GEBR 604 2 Bending-speeds: 6 and 12 rpm, Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 60 x 10 mm, Circular Tube 60 x 2.9 mm.

Bending-shaft 쏗 30 mm, manually operated 2 Rolling-speeds, 6 and 12 rpm Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 50 x 10 mm, Circular Tube 쏗 42.4 mm.

No. 6076 Suitable for GEBR 645 Pitch Arm for Spiral Rolling

No. 6007 Arch- and Ring-Bending Machine GEBR 604-HD

No. 6450 Arch- and RingBending Machine GEBR 645 Bending-shaft 쏗 50 mm, Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 60 x 10 mm, Circular Tube 쏗 70 x 2 mm.

No. 6460 Arch- and RingBending Machine GEBR 606-HD with hydraulic cylindre 18 tons, Bending Performance: Flat bar upright 80 x 15 mm, Circular Tube up to 쏗 100 x 2,0 mm.

Quality by Performance

Gewerbegebiet · Am Brüchelsteg 6 · D-64823 Groß-Umstadt Phone +49(0) 60 78/9 37-0 · Fax 9 37-155 · Internet:




What’s Hot? 


Multi tools for thick turret punch presses

Mate Mate Precision Tooling introduces its Ultra® 3 station and 8 station Multi Tools for thick turret punch presses. These Multi Tools expand the capacity of a thick turret CNC press by allowing either 3 or 8 punch and die sets to be placed in a 3-1/2” D auto-index machine station. The new tools are designed for use with Mate’s Ultra TEC® punches, strippers and Slug Free® dies. Contact: Mate Precision Tooling, Ph: (800) 328-4492; Web: Saw blades

Amana Tool Amana presents additions to the industrial steel saw blade line of its A.G.E. brand. The five new blades include a range of diameters for


cutting through steel studs, sheets, rods, pipes, channels and rebar. A.G.E. blades are designed to be used only in lowRPM chop saws, such as Jepson and others, to cut all types of mild steel and feature unique tooth geometry, special carbide grade and chip-limiting steel support that prevents over feeding. The blades’ tips are designed to resist breakage and can be re-sharpened for increased value compared to abrasive cut-off wheels. Contact: Amana, Ph: (800) 445-0077; Web:

Product design and engineering services

GKS GKS Inspection Services, a global provider of dimensional inspection, 3D laser scanning and terrestrial scanning services, is now offering product design and engineering services. ts 3D non-contact and contact scanning services are used for reverse engineering, dimensional inspection and largescale measurement. Contact: GKS, Ph: (888) 457-7727; Web:


Proven design Efficient-Reaches 2350 Degrees Versatile Portable Many Models Available

ABANA PO Box 3425 Knoxville, TN 37927 865.546.7733

$UWLVW%ODFNVPLWK–V  Association of North America, Inc. 80

Call for Free Catalog - 800/446-6498

NC Tool Company Inc 6133 Hunt Road Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 336/674-5654 Fabricator 

January/February 2009

Advertiser’s index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine ... Pg. Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Website 78 57 80 74 16 61 61 45 37 24 38 13 70 43 7 35 23 48 38 71 20 31 4 62 79 33 78 63 84 72 73 83 17 2 76 25 27 80 9 76

Alloy Casting Co. Inc. . . . . . . . . Architectural Iron Designs . . . . ABANA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlas Metal Sales . . . . . . . . . . . Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. . . . . Blacksmiths Depot . . . . . . . . . . Blue Moon Press . . . . . . . . . . . Julius Blum & Co. Inc. . . . . . . . Byan Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Cable Connection . . . . . . . Carell Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chicago Metal Rolled Products Colorado Waterjet Co. . . . . . . . CompLex Industries Inc. . . . . . D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. D.J.A. Imports Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . DKS, DoorKing . . . . . . . . . . . . . Decorative Iron . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eagle Bending Machines . . . . . Eberl Iron Works Inc. . . . . . . . . Encon Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . FabCAD Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feeney Architectural . . . . . . . . . The G-S Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. . . Hebo - Stratford Gate . . . . . . . Hougen Mfg. Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . International Gate Devices . . . The Iron Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jansen Ornamental . . . . . . . . . Jesco Industries Inc. . . . . . . . . . King Architectural Metals . . . . . Lawler Foundry Corp. . . . . . . . . Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. Lindblade Metal Works . . . . . . Mac Metals Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marks U.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NC Tool Company Inc. . . . . . . . P & J Mfg. Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(419) 227-8742 Pat Mooney Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Attention Suppliers! Plug into the NOMMA Network Call (888) 516-8585, ext. 101

2010 Buyer’s Guide: Now is the Time To Advertise Attention advertisers: Don’t miss out on the 2010 NOMMA Buyer’s Guide. To place your ad, contact Todd Daniel (, 888-5168585, ext. 102). January/February 2009  Fabricator

NOMMA 2010 Buyer’s Guide

28 19 64 73 51 58 41 52 70 72 47 63 18 59 55 14 75 49 77 46 77 62 69 50 56

Paxton & Thou Artistic . . . . . . . Plasma Cam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Production Machinery Inc. . . . . R & D Hydraulics Mfg.. . . . . . . . Regency Railings . . . . . . . . . . . Rogers Mfg. Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . Salter Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharpe Products . . . . . . . . . . . . Simonian Bender . . . . . . . . . . . Simsolve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stairways Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. . Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. . . . . Sumter Coatings Inc. . . . . . . . . Sur-Fin Chemical Corp. . . . . . . TACO Metals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TS Distributors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . Texas Metal Industries . . . . . . . Traditional Building . . . . . . . . . Tri-State Shearing & Bending . . .(718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc. . . .(800) 837-4283 Vogel Tool & Die Corp. . . . . . . . The Wagner Companies . . . . . Weaver's Iron Works . . . . . . . . . YAC Equipment & Machinery .

Advertise in Fabricator!

Companies in bold are first-time advertisers.

Help us celebrate our 50th anniversary by placing an ad in Fabricator. For more info, download our new media kit at

As a supplier NOMMA offers many marketing opportunities to gain exposure for your company, including membership, advertising, exhibiting, and sponsorships.

Getting Duplicates? No Longer Wish To Receive Fabricator? Please help us reduce waste by reporting unneeded issues. To remove an issue from our list, simply fax the mailing label to: (770) 288-2006. Or, send an email to: You may also send a drop request by visiting the “Fabricator” area of the NOMMA website. 81

Metal Moment

An iron legend in time

One man’s sculpture is... well, it isn’t always appreciated. At first, anyway. By Helen K. Kelley Editor his is my personal Metal Moment. From the instant I first laid eyes on the Iron Horse as a college student, I was fascinated by it. Who made it? How old was it? And, most important, how on earth did it come to stand in the middle of a corn field on a rural Georgia highway? There were all sorts of stories and myths that circulated about the Iron Horse. Many a traveler on Highway 15 was startled by the strange equine-like figure that appeared to rise up out of a field in the early morning mist. The true story of the Iron Horse is this. In the mid-1950s, Abott Pattison was a visiting art professor from


Chicago at the University of Georgia. While there, one of Pattison’s goals was to create special sculpture and public symbols for the university campus. One of these — which, at the time, was done in the “new” art form of metal sculpture — was a two-ton horse, forged from hundreds of pieces of iron welded together. The horse was installed in front of one of the school’s dormitories. Now, many of the dorm’s residents and other students did not care for the Iron Horse, and they came up with their own creative plan to make their feelings clear. They painted their opinions on the horse, shoved some hay into its mouth, and threw manure on the ground behind it. Finally, they placed a mattress under the poor

horse and set it on fire. Naturally, Pattison was highly offended by the students’ discourteous actions and defensive of his creation. But University officials, fearing further incidents, removed the Iron Horse and sent it home with an employee who had property in a neighboring county. A few years later, retired horticulture professor L.C. Curtis gave the sculpture a permanent home on his farm in Greene County on Highway 15. Although the Iron Horse was put out to pasture 50 ago, it will never lose its allure for people like me. We’ll continue to pull over on the side of the highway and traipse out into the middle of a corn field to gaze and reflect upon a really cool work of art that was once so maligned.


Do you have an interesting Metal Moment of your own to share? Please let us know. For consideration, please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585, or E-mail 82


January/February 2009

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Metal Spiral

Oak Spiral

Victorian One Spiral

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Call for the FREE color Catalog

1-800-523-7427 Ask for Ext. FAB or visit our Web Site at

2009 01 fab  
2009 01 fab