Vol. 50, No. 3 Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator
Feature An ultra-modern stair, supported by a monolithic stringer, wins Top Job bronze pg. 31
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ACCESS CONTROL SOLUTIONS For more than 60 years
May/June 2009 Vol. 50, No. 3
The Retirement Systems of Alabama’s headquarters is transformed by the work of Robinson Iron Corp.
Tips & Tactics
Pier pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 How to straighten a driveway entrance pier with a crew of two.
A stair with flair ................................31 A massive stair is suppported by a monolithic stringer.
By Chris Holt
Shop Talk Safety in the shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Two NOMMA members share their company’s safety practices. By Peter Hildebrandt
Manufactured tax breaks . . . . . . 64 The American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers some relief. By Mark E. Battersby
By Todd Daniel
Design in the details ....................37 Waterjet cut materials transform a utilitarian building. By W. Wayne Fuller
What’s Hot! Nationwide Suppliers . . . . . . . . . . . 70 New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Metalworking goes to college 24 Charleston’s American College of the Building Arts has a diverse curriculum.
Artistic forging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Eric Cuper relies on his knowledge of both old and new techniques.
By Tim Kelley
By Sheila Phinazee
People. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Chapter News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Of Special Interest Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 METALfab 2009 ..................................50 Revisiting the 51st annual convention in Long Beach, CA.
President’s Letter . . .6 Following the course that’s laid out for us.
Wagner Grant recipients ........61 The first recipients of a new grant relate their METALfab experiences..
Editor’s Letter . . . . . .8 The “go to” guy is indispensable.
New Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Reader Information 10 How do I compare my business performance?
Metal Moment . . . . 82 Aluminum gives this guitar a special sound.
Cover photo: An ultra-contemporary stainless steel stair crafted by StairCrafters Inc., Easley, SC, wins Top Job bronze. May/June 2009
Following the map Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA OFFICERS President Bob Foust, III Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Kansas City, KS
Vice President/ Treasurer James Minter Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS
President-Elect Bruce Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA
Immediate Past President Terry Barrett Royal Iron Creations West Palm Beach, FL
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
Ray Michael R & F Metals Inc. Clinton, MD
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.
Curt Witter Big D Metalworks
s I look out on the Queen Mary here in sunny Long Beach CA, I have to ask myself, “What just happened?” (And I’m not talking about the “Texas Vodka.”) I won’t bore you with the entire set of events that brought me here, but I will give you a bit of insight to why I’m here. When I came back to the family business in early 2003, brash, unweathered and all-knowing, my only real NOMMA experience and memories were from my childhood and the family vacations that we would take to the fantastic convention sites, like Anaheim, Orlando, and Kansas City. Then, in March 2003 it happened — I attended the Covington METALfab and a whole new world opened before me. Not only did I meet so many great people, most of whom will be friends for life, but I also learned more about my business in that week then the previous three months. I was truly energized. The following year in Sacramento, I experienced much of the same and something more. I realized then that NOMMA really matters to me and to many others like me. It mattered to my Dad and uncle and, therefore, they gave back. I felt it was my duty to do the same — to be more involved from the inside and to be a part of the process. That said, I still had no idea of how much time and effort our past and current boards put into keeping NOMMA’s foundation solid. I can’t go on without thanking many of the NOMMA leaders, like Doug Bracken, Curt Witter, Chris Connelly, and Breck Nelson, who steered me in this direction. I must also thank Terry Barrett, the current board, and entire staff for their tireless efforts towards NOMMA’s bold future. Thank you all! Now with the pleasantries safely behind me, let’s chat about this upcoming year. I hate to say it, but Terry had the hard part. My map has
been unfolded and all we need to do is follow its direction. In the March/April edition of Fabricator, Todd Daniel gave you the highlights of NOMMA’s strategic plan and shared with you our new core purpose and value. Our goals of being recognized as the “industry leader,” the “premier source” for industry knowledge is all within our grasp. But here’s the catch: we need your help, your involvement, and your ideas. Bob Foust is presiThis isn’t work for one president or dent of NOMMA. even one board; this is our plan for the future. We can’t let up — we must push forward and keep this plan on the forefront of the boards and members that follow us. My first year as your president will not be filled with promises of large membership gains or even free drinks at the hotel bar. But I do promise to steadfastly stay the course laid out by the board. Our task is to continue improving NOMMA. It’s that simple. Today, our challenges are real and they are many, and just one president cannot field this responsibility. Thankfully, I have several past presidents, an active board, and an empowered staff to help. Glenn Tecker, while instructing the board and staff during our February strategic planning meeting, said, “In every association the people get the governing they deserve.” Today, I am asking each of you to help us give you the association you deserve. We all share in this responsibility that history has placed in our hands. The future, our future — as the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association — depends on it. Thank you.
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Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator (ISSN 0191-5940), is the official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA).
O&MM Fabricator / NOMMA 1535 Pennsylvania Ave. McDonough, GA 30253
Send story ideas, letters, press releases, and product news to: Fabricator at address above. Ph: (888) 516-8585. Fax: (770) 2882006. E-mail: email@example.com.
For information, call Todd Daniel, Ph: (888) 516-8585, ext. 102. Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads on CD to: Fabricator at address above. E-mail ads to: firstname.lastname@example.org (max. 5 megs by e-mail). Or upload ads to our website where a downloadable media kit is available: www.nomma.org.
In addition to the magazine, enjoy more benefits as a NOMMA member. To join, call (888) 516-8585, ext. 101. For a list of benefits, see membership ad in this issue.
Classifieds may be placed on the NOMMA website at no charge. Visit www.nomma.org and click on “Career Center.”
Exhibit in METALfab, NOMMA’s annual convention and trade show. For more information, contact Martha Pennington at (888) 515-8585, ext. 104, or email@example.com.
Subscription questions? Call (888) 516-8585. Send subscription address changes to: Fabricator Subscriptions,1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. Fax: (770) 288-2006, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30; U.S., Canada, Mexico — $50; all other countries — $44; all other countries — $78.
Payment in U.S. dollars by check drawn on U.S. bank or money order. For NOMMA members, a year's subscription is a part of membership dues.
Published each December as a separate issue. Deadline for all advertising materials is October 31. For info, contact Todd Daniel at (888) 516-8585 or email@example.com.
For a quote, contact NOMMA at (888) 5168585 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in Fabricator are not necessarily those of the editors or NOMMA. Articles appearing in Fabricator may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of NOMMA. Circulation: 9,000.
How to reach us
The indispensable “go-to” guy s there someone you know you can always count on to resolve a difficult problem or help you out in a pinch? This dependable person is often called the “go-to” guy (or gal). As I write this, I’m missing out on attending the 2009 METALfab convention and thinking of my own go-to guys and gals. Even though I’m not there in person to meet new members, make photos, view the Top Job Entries, go on the Shop Tour, or attend the awards banquet and theme party this year, I do have a window on the METALfab world. I know I can count on fellow NOMMA staff members to answer my questions and paint a clear picture of it all with their words and photos. If I can’t be there...well, I have the next best thing! NOMMA members are also my goto people. Much of the content of this issue of Fabricator has been derived directly from ideas and topics in which you’ve expressed an interest. For example, in Shop Talk, writer Peter Hildebrandt fills you in on the topic of shop safety — two NOMMA member shops share with you their own safety practices — and some of the latest safety products on the market. Our Tips and Tactics feature addresses the struggle of straightening a listing driveway entrance pier and how to solve the problem, even with minimal manpower. (What could be more “go-to” than that?) Additionally, we have two very interesting Job Profiles on projects by NOMMA members — Staircrafters’ amazing stainless steel staircase (featured on the cover) and Robinson Iron’s innovative design for the Retirement Systems of Alabama headquarters, using waterjet cut materials. If you were unable to attend METALfab 2009 — or you were there, but you’d like to revisit it — our annu-
al convention report begins on p. 50. There, you’ll find photos; summaries of convention highlights such as the Trade Show, education sessions, and Shop Tour; a list of Top Job competition winners by category, and more. Speaking of Top Job, NOMMA’s very own go-to guy Todd Daniel has organized and posted all of this year’s contest entries online; you can view them (and more convention photos) at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomma/ We also want to tell you about the four NOMMA members who were the first to receive a new grant from The Wagner Companies and the NOMMA Education Helen Kelley is editor Foundation. The of Ornamental & recipients, chosen Miscellaneous Metal from a large field of Fabricator. applicants, were given a travel stipend, hotel accommodations, and registration to METALfab 2009. Read what they have to say about the grant and their convention experiences on p. 61. As always, Fabricator is here to serve you, NOMMA members. I encourage your input regarding the content of the magazine, ideas for article topics, and other suggestions. Go-to members who’d like to contribute articles are especially welcome. Just sayin’. See you next time!
NEW OPENINGS N O W
A V A I L A B L E.
We just added a couple of sharp new barrier operators to Apolloâ€™s professional lineup. So whether your entrance security requires a swing gate, slide gate or barrier arm, we can get the job done. And back it with a two-year warranty. SIGNO 4
Opens 14 ft. arm 90 degrees in three seconds ETL approved 110V AC with 24V DC motor
Opens 20 ft. arm 90 degrees in six seconds ETL approved 110V AC with 24V DC motor
Operates swing gates up to 16 ft. and 600 lbs.
Operates swing gates up to 16 ft. and 600 lbs.
Operates swing gates up to 16 ft. and 600 lbs.
Operates swing gates up to 16 ft. and 600 lbs.
Operates swing gates up to 20 ft. and 1,000 lbs.
Operates slide gates up to 20 ft. and 600 lbs.
3600ETL DUAL Operates swing gates up to 16 ft. and 600 lbs.
Operates slide gates up to 30 ft. and 1,000 lbs.
Operates gates up to 20 ft. and 600 lbs.
7300ET Operates gates up to 30 ft. and 1,000 lbs.
12902 Delivery Dr.
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Operates slide gates up to 30 ft. and 1,000 lbs.
Wireless Solar Stand-alone Runs on 12V DC Operates arms up to 16 ft.
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Reader Information The following are answers to commonly asked questions that are either submitted to the NOMMA office or ListServ discussion list. How does my company compare to others? Question: I am looking for data to compare my company’s performance with others in our industry. Where can I get this information? Answer: Try the Risk Management Association. Go to their website (www.rahq.org) and click on “Annual Statement Studies.” Note that you will need to know the NAICS for your business, which is 332323 if you are a ornamental and architectural metal fabricator. Clarification between gate class and certification exam Question: Do I have to take the gate operator class before taking the certification exam? W R IT E
Tell us what you think
Letters are welcomed and encouraged. Send to: Mail: Letters to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253. E-mail: email@example.com. Fax: (770) 288-2006. All letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.
Answer: No. This is a source of confusion. The Operator Installer School is offered annually by the American Fence Association at a facility in Tulsa, OK. The Gate Operator Installer Certification Exam is given at the end of the course by IDEA, the certifying organization. While taking the course would certainly be helpful, it is not required for certification, and there are other ways and places where you can take the exam. For extensive information on this topic, visit the NOMMA website and click on “Technical Affairs” and then “Gate Operators.” Online building code support Question: I am looking for building code information, but cannot find anything on the NOMMA website. Answer: The NOMMA website contains a building code support area for member’s only (you’ll need to log in). To access this area go to the NOMMA website (www.nomma.org), click on “Member’s Only Area,” then “My Membership,” and then “Building Codes.” One of the popular items in this section is the Code Comparison Guide, which can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet. Note that this guide only covers 2003 and prior codes. If you have a question on the 2006 codes, please contact Todd Daniel at the NOMMA office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Fabricator May/June 2009
Introducing the NOMMA Online Blog To facilitate communication with the membership and industry, NOMMA has launched a new blog. Similar to an online journal, a blog is a great way to provide regular updates and information. The NOMMA blog was launched prior to METALfab, and provided regular updates on convention activities. In addition to offering METALfab information, all NOMMA press releases, technical alerts, and NEF news will be posted to the blog. Members are encouraged to check the blog regularly to obtain the latest association news. Some of the information currently posted on the blog includes Top Job winners, volunteer award recipients, new officers, and convention news. One of the huge advantages of the blog is its powerful search engine. Now, all official NOMMA information will be posted in one place, and a guest can easily find the information by entering a search word or phrase. You can access the site by either entering the site address or subscribing to the RSS feeds. Most web
To visit or subscribe to the NOMMA blog, go to: http://nommaonline.blogspot.com browers and hand-held devices now support RSS technology. You can subscribe to the blog by clicking on the “Subscribe!” button and choosing a service. Two of the most popular RSS services are Google and Yahoo, and with a touch of a button the feeds can go straight to your browser.
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May/June 2009 Fabricator
Minimal manpower can still get the job done.
Straightening this fragile driveway entrance pier wasn’t as difficult as it might look.
By Chris Holt Steel Welding, Freedom, PA Editor’s note: Sometimes, a daunting task — especially a structural problem — can become manageable, using a little ingenuity. Here, author Chris Holt
tells you how a mere crew of two managed to straighten a driveway entrance pier. wo man team tethering a tottering pier to truck.”
Say that again five times — fast —
and you just might actually accomplish a job when the odds are against you. We’ve all been there.
You are scheduled to straighten a driveway entrance pier, the weather is
TE LL US !
If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered in Tips & Tactics, please let us know. For consideration, please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585, or E-mail email@example.com.
great, and the clients are anxious for you to begin work…but your brawny, tough workers are not available. We ran into this problem not long ago, and came up with a simple solution.
The pier was listing considerably and was somewhat fragile. The brick could easily chip.
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Cardboard angles from an appliance shipping box were used to pad the steel angle iron that supported the pier during repositioning.
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Next, the pier was wrapped with a “sling” attached to a cable.
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The cable and sling were attached using a two-ton comealong to the wheel of a heavy delivery van.
To solve this problem, we used cardboard angles from an appliance shipping box to pad the steel angle iron used to support the pier during repositioning. The cardboard protected the corners of the brick pier so that they were not stressed by the metal angle against the surface. With angle iron on the two back corners, we wrapped the pier with a sling and attached a cable using a two-ton come-a-long to the wheel of a heavy delivery van. (You can use the vehicle of your choice). Make sure you line up the wheel with the pier, crank the come-along and voila! To position the pier, we used a few hydraulic jacks to square up the pier with the low wall. John Steel reminded me at the beginning of the day, “We just have to be smarter than this brick pier!” And so we were!
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Visit TACOmetals.com for TACO’s Complete Railing Systems & Components Call: 800.743.3803 Fax: 727.576.1053 • info@TACOMetals.com
DDear ear NOMMA NOM MMA Members, Members, Thank yyou Thank o for ou for visiting our booth at at METALfab METALfab 2009 and help helping ing us officially launch Q-railingâ€™s Q-r - ailingâ€™s popular rrailing aailingg products pprroducts in into to the U.S. U.S. market. markket. W Wee appreciappr app eciaated ted all the the positive positive feedback feedback we we rreceived eceived about our rrange ange and and quality, quality, and ev even en got some soome great great ideas for for new pr odducts. products. If yyou ou have have not yet yet rreceived eceived our ccatalog, atalog, please giv givee us a ccall all aatt 714-259-1372 to to request requeest your your copy copy ttoday. oday. Th e New Q ualilit y!
SSincerely, incerelyy, Andre vvan Andre an Uitert Uitert PPresident resident QQ-railing -railing USA
Effective and protective — Safety practices for the shop
Safety in the shop comes down to simply getting into the habit and outfitting oneself before starting a work project.
A welder at Keeler Iron Works suits up for safety before prepping a splice joint on a 48” pipe column for a billboard going to Puerto Rico.
By Peter Hildebrandt ach day, some 2,000 workers in the U.S. injure their eyes to the extent that they need medical treatment, with one-third of these injuries requiring hospital emergency room visits, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days lost from work. Most of these injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.
Those objects could be metal slivers, wood chips, dust, or cement chips that are ejected by tools, wind blown, or fall from above a worker. Some of these objects, such as nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal penetrate the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision. Large objects may also hit the eye/face, or a worker may unintentionally run into an object causing blunt force trauma to the eyeball or eye socket. Other hazards to the eyes can come from welding or handling of chemicals.
Damage to our hearing — though no less critical to normal daily functioning — takes place on a much different timeline. Rarely will it ever result in anything like a trip to the hospital for an eye injury. But protecting ourselves can be easier than the ease with which an injury may occur; all it takes is getting into the daily habit of remembering our eyes and ears before starting work. Defending the eyes Steps can be easily taken to keep
TE LL US !
If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered in Shop Talk, please let us know. For consideration, please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585 ext. 103, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Mike Mazdra, Foreman Fabricators Inc., grinds with prescription safety glasses, face shield,
eye injuries to a minimum and to protect against ocular infection exposures by using personal protective eyewear such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full face respirators when any eye hazard exists. The eye protection selected for particular work situations depends upon the character and extent of the vulnerability, the circumstances of contact, any other protective equipment used, and personal vision needs. Eye safety should be individually fitted or be adjustable to offer proper coverage. It should be comfortable and permit adequate peripheral vision. In shops around the country, efforts are made to protect all body parts coming in contact with hazardous materials or work areas. Safety usually comes down to simply getting into the habit and outfitting oneself before starting a work project. In many cases, injuries happen simply when safety glasses or other protection is not in place. Keeping workers safe in the shop NOMMA member Foreman Fabricators Inc. in St. Louis, MO, requires their shop workers to use various safety equipment, including safety glasses, face shields, gloves, aprons, and ear plugs. Some of their employees wear steel toes on their footwear,
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while others do not, according to Rob Rolves, vice president. “They are not required, but we help with the shoe purchase if the worker wants them,” he explains. “We have also paid for prescription safety lenses to encourage that they’re worn as well.” Employees do not usually favor one brand of safety product over others; they tend to just choose something out of Grainger or other supply catalogs. Rolves says that “the test comes with the fact that keeping up with safety and safety supplies happens over long periods of time. But overall, we have few problems with the protection equipment itself, as the workers like to protect themselves, even with ear protection.” Foreman makes ear plugs available to employees, even though not all employees use them and they’re not required to wear them. The only workmen’s compensa- A Keeler Iron Works’ fitter wears gloves and protective face-gear to install a handrail on a tion injury Foreman Fabricators has curved monumental stair for a private school in Memphis, TN. had in more than 10 years was someone cutting the inside of their wrist on the corner of a stainless steel panel while wrapping it for shipping. Rolves says that the majority of minor injuries sustained are cuts from sheet metal edges, or the occasional pinch or scrape, but he warns that abrasive belts, used in the course of polishing, can pose a hazard. “An abrasive belt can easily grab a part and zing it across a room extremely fast,” he states. We sometimes use an extra person if a part is large, to help clamp the part down, or we put a stop onto a table to keep a part from moving. All of the other dangers are very much common sense, such as not putting one’s hand in a pinch point or touching a moving sander. Therefore, the awareness you have to have in such things as polishing operations is something we do teach.” Foreman Fabricators has made some guards for this equipment, especially the older machinery that didn’t come equipped. This move was spurred, in large part, by a surprise OSHA visit back in 1993. The guards, which are essentially frames with sheet metal or just sheet metal, keep workers’ hands from going into danger areas. Material racks can present another safety hazard in the shop. “Material racks have to be properly constructed and organized so that items are supported by the rack itself, rather than other stored items,” notes Rolves. “If the racks are done poorly, you could move a pipe and have a whole bunch of other items come rolling out at you.” Sometimes, the most basic practices are the most effective when it comes to safety. Rolves finds that one of the May/June 2009
“Injuries are unpredictable, but by using a combination of
protective gear, such as safety glasses with a face shield, grinding can be made even safer.” biggest helps for having a safe shop is simply keeping the shop clean and organized. “It’s easy to say and harder than heck to do,” he says. “Housekeeping can sometimes fall to the wayside in order to get a job done. Also, we tend to keep all kinds
of leftover materials, hoping to use it again some day (because it can be awfully expensive to buy and you only get a pittance when you scrap it). But those leftover parts are also hard to rack or store. And don’t forget proper lighting.
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“Even good lighting can be considered a safety factor. People need to be able to see what they’re doing or what they’re getting into,” offers Rolves. Implementing a PPE plan Keeler Iron Works in Memphis, TN has written their own personal protection equipment (PPE) plan to outline which of their workers need to be using the protective equipment, such as machine operators and welders. “Most of what we concentrate on is making sure that, for every operation, the hazards involved are outlined for the shop as well as what type of equipment is provided for the workers,” says Rob Hiller, plant manager. “This ranges from steel-toed boots and safety glasses to ear plugs and leather work gloves or welding jackets.” Keeler is more in the miscellaneous end of metal working, but can build virtually anything, from cranes to runways or railings. Hiller, who oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, notes that employee eye and ear safety is especially critical. “Among our biggest challenges is keeping eyes safe,” he says. “A simple puff of wind or something on the eyelashes when the glasses are removed can easily get into the eyes. As a result we might get one or two scratched corneas a year, when someone then rubs or scratches the eye. When heavy grinding is being done we try to encourage the combination of the safety shield and the safety glasses to minimize injuries. Eye safety is easy to monitor; you can stick your head out the door, hear a grinder, and see that equipment is being worn. Hearing protection is a bit tougher to monitor, but most everyone uses ear plugs instead of muffs as they are easier to use.” The company has its employees undergo annual audiograms to detect any significant hearing loss based on noise. “Our noise is intermittent, not an all day long pounding in the shop,” explains Hiller. “Though we concentrate on hearing and eye protection, thankfully, no one has ever been injured by any of the other things involved. But we do provide protecFabricator
tive equipment and make sure they use it.” Keeler purchases its safety equipment from the Grainger catalog as well as two welding supply companies. The company selects hearing protection that usually carries a noise reduction rating of up to 30 — meaning it reduces whatever decibel level the worker’s being exposed to by 30 decibels. “Safety is a big issue for us,” Hiller emphasizes. “We focus on it as much as we can and eliminate any of the hazards out there. Injuries are unpredictable, but by using a combination of protective gear, such as safety glasses with a face shield, grinding can be made even safer.” Hiller adds that the equipment helps significantly, but isn’t entirely foolproof. “All you can do is provide the PPE, and make sure your employees know how to use it correctly to reduce the risk of injury.” Hiller recalls his own safety wakeup call. “Mr. Keeler, who started this company in 1961, saw me doing some May/June 2009
New fit for hearing safety Hearing loss is one of the primary safety concerns in a metalworking shop. Brian Myers, 3M’s portfolio manager for hearing protection, says that “hearing loss is rarely ever the result of a traumatic incident, as is the case with eye and many other safety issues. Instead, hearing losses result from a simple prolonged exposure over years and years.” This is not the kind of hazard that is very motivational, according to Myers. The body typically gives us clues to remind us to protect ourselves. “The interesting thing I find in talking with people about excessive noise is that, though the body has lots of warning signs to tell you you’re hurting yourself when you do get something in your eye (it irritates, you tear up and you’ll probably have some redness), your hearing doesn’t give you any similar warnings. In fact, the threshold of pain for hearing is well beyond the level of noise that can actually do damage through prolonged exposure. Therefore, we have to take the initiative to protect our hearing over the long term.” The E-A-R ™ brand, recently purchased by 3M, now offers a product called “Push-Ins.” This product takes the place of the older foam plugs which can create hygienic concerns for workers and sometimes be more diffi-
cult to fit, according to Myers. As their name implies, Push-Ins are simply inserted as a push in-style ear plug. As with the roll-down ear plugs, once compressed, these will also fill up the ear canal. “Push-Ins takes the idea of a foam tip and leaves a stem on it. It doesn’t have to be rolled down. You simply take it up to your ear and push it into your ear canal,” Myers explains. “This is a nice combination in which you get the comfort and the levels of protection associated with foam ear plugs, yet the hygienic characteristics of being able to simply push it in without getting dirt, grime and grease on the surface of the foam.” Pushing the product into the ear makes it easy to fit as well. This is a newer technology. These hearing protection devices are available through industrial distributors such as W.W. Grainger and Air Gas and a number of other distributors who carry such products. Though E-A-R does not sell
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Many eye safety products, such as these (above and below) from 3M, come with vision enhancement features such as attached LED lights.
yard work and came out to tell me never to use the equipment I was operating without safety glasses on. That was over 20 years ago. You’ll never see me here without safety glasses on my face or a safety hat on,” he says. “I always want everyone to protect their eyes and ears – even for yard work at home. Once you start using hearing protection, even yard equipment starts to sound extremely loud.”
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“Push-in” style ear plugs make it easy to fit the individual’s ear canal. They provide protection, as well as being comfortable and more hygienic than the older foam ear plugs.
directly to consumers, anyone looking for their products can usually find them in such outlets as Home Depot, where the product is carried, though the packaging will look slightly different. E-A-R has also designed a special product that the U.S. Military picked up on after the Battle of Fallujah. This is a product that allows – when noise levels are relatively low – normal conversations and the ability to hear fairly clearly. But when loud spontaneous noises started, above 140 decibels, nothing actually moves, but the pressure generated by the sound blocks the orifice and the level of protection instantly jumps up.
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“Dealing with hearing protection in the U.S. Military has been quite an issue,” adds Myers. “In fact the loudest noises in the world are generated in military situations.” The eyes have it The 3M Company also offers a number of vision-enhancement products. One of those is a safety glasses product which includes LED lights attached to them. These allow workers to see better in low light conditions. Another product for vision safety is safety glasses with reader inserts contained in them for close-up work. “These two eye safety products are proving to be quite helpful for workers,” says Jim Gray, global eyewear portfolio manager for eye safety at Aearo. “We also have a combination of both of those products — glasses with both the LED lights and readers. It definitely helps with efficiency to have the extra lights right there on the workers’ glasses; these LED lights are easy to turn on and off, provide very bright light, and have a long battery life. The lights can be pivoted and pointed to exactly where they need to work.” Personal protective equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) evolves continually as users seek lighter weight products and those more comfortable to wear. One example of this is Magid E2 Disposable Earplugs, which are manufactured with soft polyurethane foam for superior protection and comfort, according to Matt Block, director of safety services for Magid Glove & Safety. Additionally, Magid’s Gemstone line of eye protection has 16 different models addressing a wide range of individual requirements, from small size safety glasses to safety glasses with reader lenses. Magid also offers eye protection with a flame resistant foam seal, for those applications requiring the highest level of protection from dust and flying particles. “Magid designs its products with Fabricator
the individual end user in mind,â€? adds Block. â€œConsequently, the company strives to offer workers of any company â€” small or large â€” high quality PPE at an affordable and competitive price with the primary goal of safeguarding them from workplace hazards.â€? When selecting PPE, products should be independently tested to meet the appropriate ANSI standards, appropriate for the hazard, fit properly, and comfortable for the wearer, according to Block. For example,
proper fitting ear plugs will create an airtight seal in the ear canal. And eye protection should fit very closely to the face and allow only the minimum amount of space between the face and the safety glass â€” reducing this gap will also reduce the potential for injury. â€œMany studies have been done on the impact PPE has in reducing injuries in the work place,â€? notes Block. â€œAlthough the results of these studies vary based on the type of personal protective equipment, the results
invariably show that a high percentage of injuries could have been prevented with proper personal protective equipment. For example, a Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that 60 percent of workers who suffered eye injures were not wearing eye protective equipment.â€? Unlike pest problems and taxes, when it comes to the health of both your eyes and ears, â€œif you ignore them, theyâ€™ll go away.â€? Letâ€™s face it, prevention works.
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Educated artisans: Metalworking goes to college
An historic Southern city provides a host of opportunities for students at the American College of the Building Arts.
Students learn both old world and modern metalworking techniques at ACBA in Charleston, SC.
Editor’s note: While not exactly a traditional Shop Talk feature, this article addresses what’s going on in the world of higher education with respect to the metalworking techniques and traditions being taught at a rather unusual college. n 1989, Hurricane Hugo left a devastating mark on Charleston, SC. One of America’s oldest and most historic cities, Charleston is full of old world charm, beauty, and a Low Country style that is uniquely its own. Thus, finding a way to repair and restore what Hugo damaged was vitally important. Fortunately, there were people in Charleston with a vision and a plan to restore what Hugo and other hurricanes had damaged.
Opportunity presents itself Today, that vision is being carried out through the efforts of The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) and, specifically, the students and faculty of the school’s architectural ironwork program. For anyone who has lived through the wrath of a major hurricane’s destruction, the present and future can look bleak. However, for ACBA and the students in its ironwork program, the devastation from Hugo and other storms has provided a world of opportunity over the past decade. In fact, one could liken it to being like a kid in a candy store. For where else could someone who wants to make a career in metalworking find a better setting than a four-year college
For your information
By Tim Kelley
The American College of the Building Arts began as the School of the Building Arts in 1998. After the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education licensed the School to begin recruiting in 2004, the name of the institution was changed to more accurately reflect its place in the American educational hierarchy. Today, the College operates its main campus (known as the Noisette Campus) from facilities on the former Charleston Naval Base. Charleston’s Old City Jail, also part of the campus, serves as an inspirational living laboratory and classroom for all ACBA students. Student internships are an important part of the ACBA curriculum. To find out how you can sponsor an intern, contact: American College of the Building Arts, Ph: (877) 283-5245; E-mail: admissions@ buildingartscollege.us Fabricator
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Charleston’s Old City Jail, an official "Save America's Treasures" project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is part of the American College of the Building Arts campus.
situated in the midst of an historic city overflowing with old and modern metal and iron work? Close ties to building preservation ACBA traces its roots back to 1998 when a small team, led by structural engineer John Paul Huguley, created the School of the Building Arts in Charleston. Inspired by the growing problem in building preservation that became evident after Hurricane Hugo a decade earlier, the School of the Building Arts was the answer to a lack of trained and
qualified craftsmen capable of helping the city recover and rebuild. In 2004, after the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education licensed the school, it changed its name to the American College of the Building Arts to more accurately reflect its place in our country’s educational hierarchy. Currently, ACBA’s campus includes the Charleston Old City Jail as well as its main facility – the Noisette Campus – located on the former Charleston Naval Base. Program structure ACBA is on its way to becoming a fully accredited fouryear college. In addition to learning a specific craft, such as architectural metal and ornamental ironworking, students must also complete an intensive liberal arts curriculum that includes English, math, science, architectural history, design, and business courses. ACBA also offers degrees in finish carpentry, masonry, timber framing, plaster work, and stone carving. The college strongly believes in teaching its students old world techniques and styles along with modern design skills utilizing today’s latest technology, and it has amassed a highly qualified and competent faculty. For instance, in the architectural metal program, overseen by Professors Jay Close and Lance Crowe, students spend their first two years focusing solely on traditional joinery skills such as mortis and tenon joints, collars, pass through joints, and rivet construction. Even more specifically, they spend a semester just learning how to work a forge and hammer metal. Learning how to properly work a coal-burning forge and hammering metal by hand seems very old world in 2009, but Jay strongly believes in his students mastering these time-honored techniques before they work with modern tools. “Never do a process on a power hammer that you haven’t mastered with hand tools,” he tells his pupils. “Understand the principles first.” Additionally, according to Jay, “it takes a certain amount of experience to know when the coal in the forge is at the right temperature. You have to spend time at the furnace to
Professors Lance Crowe (left) and Jay Close oversee ACBAâ€™s architectural metal and ornamental ironworking curriculum.
learn this. Itâ€™s also important to know the look of the flame and what the different colors indicate â€“ too hot, too cold, not enough air.â€? Forges at ACBAâ€™s shop facility for the freshman and sophomore years all use a metallurgical grade of bituminous coal. A fire is started with fresh or â€œgreenâ€? coal and it quickly purifies in the heat to become a cleaner burning fuel called â€œcokeâ€?. With a good bed of clean burning coke, the dayâ€™s work can begin. During their third and fourth years, students train in a more â€œup to dateâ€? facility with gas forges, rotary compressor, power hammer and stick, MIG and TIG welding equipment. Here they learn how to handle all manner of railings, curved and straight for both balconies and stairs. They con-
tinue to refine their hand-hammered work and blend it with a careful use of modern technology. All in all, the students graduate from the school not only prepared for employment in the metalworking industry, but they also have learned a comprehensive history of architectural styles. Different skills learned Jay teaches and supervises the first half of the architectural metal programâ€™s curriculum and Lance handles the last two years. Jay has a bachelorâ€™s of arts degree from the University of California and a masterâ€™s degree from The Victoria University of Manchester (Manchester, England). Lance earned a bachelorâ€™s of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and Brevet de Matrise (the equivalent of a masterâ€™s degree) from Franceâ€™s prestigious Association Ouvriere des Compagnons de Devoir. First-year students do a lot of hand sketching,â€? states Jay. â€œDrawing develops eye judgment and helps in problem solving. They donâ€™t become tool or technique dependent but can select among options. Weâ€™re attempting to train people who can operate in a leadership capacity.â€? Lance adds that heâ€™d like to get the degree program to the point where â€œestablished metal workers realize its value and seek out our graduates.â€?
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S-2 ABOVE: Students line up to practice traditional forging techniques. BELOW: Prof. Lance Crowe (left) points out some of the finer points of a curved railing design to students.
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Internships play vital role In addition to what students learn in school during their four years at ACBA, internships also play a vital role in their education. Three 8-to-10 week summer internships are required as part of the degree program. The faculty contacts businesses and shops around the country to line up the internships. Sometimes a business owner who believes in the value of the ACBA program will contact the College and offer to mentor one of the students. Students must put together a résumé and portfolio, and are frequently telephone interviewed for the
internship. The college encourages diverse internships. One student’s first internship was with a French company based in New Jersey that had once done restoration work on the Statue of Liberty. His second internship was in Charleston, where he worked for a fabrication shop Students spend a semester just learning how to work a forge doing high-end metal and hammer metal. work. Another soon-toartisan is able to forge, join, and weld graduate student also did diverse material to create unique objects of internships. Her first was in Iowa at a utility and beauty that enhance their large family run fabricaarchitectural surroundings. tion/blacksmith shop, where she got The American College of the “her baptism by fire in welding.” This Building Arts, and its architectural student’s second internship was with a metal program, is preparing students one-man business where she did a lot to not only meet, but exceed, these of interior furnishings. challenges. In today’s world, a skilled metal
Students come from all over the country to study at the ACBA for two reasons – the courses of study the school offers and teaches, and the fact that it is located in Charleston. With a plethora of historical buildings, and new construction blending in with the old, there’s no shortage of opportunities for students to get great hands-on experience that will turn them into qualified metal designers. And, it’s a win-win for the city. One would think the old iron works in Charleston would require constant repair and upkeep, but Lance says just the opposite is the truth. “It’s the modern stuff in Charleston that’s falling apart,” he explains. Over the last few years, ACBA students have helped restore ironwork adorning a gate at The Citadel, the famed military college in Charleston, as well as several intricate pieces adorning historic dwellings in the city. One thing students have to keep in mind when working on anything in Charleston is keeping today’s building code specs in mind, which can sometimes be hard to do when trying to integrate them with historic designs. According to Lance, these projects have provided students with invaluable learning experiences. “It’s important to learn how things are done the old-fashioned way; this is the foundation of the trade. Every building needs a firm foundation. With the proper foundation you can build what you want on top,” he says.
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A stair with a flair This stainless steel stair, crafted for an exclusive home in the Caribbean, won a bronze award in the 2009 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. ■
By Todd Daniel NOMMA Communications Mgr. The massive stair sits solidly on its monolithic stringer.
May/June 2009 Fabricator
creating a square plate to support the risers did not seem interesting, and the StairCrafters team wanted something with artistic flair. After giving the matter much thought, he sketched out an idea on a napkin at home. The design he came up with features a graceful curve and cut-out center space. Not only is the design more pleasing to the eye, but it also had an unexpected benefit — as light from the brightly lit room comes through the holes in the riser supports, it gently teases the human eye. The riser supports are made of 5/8” thick stainless steel plate and were water jet cut. The lighting, in fact, helps bring the entire stair to life. The client’s home is located near the water’s edge, and the different shades of blue from the water come in through the large windows and reflect whimsically on the shiny stainless metal. Another example of the project’s fine detail is the wood. Originally, maple wood treads were considered.
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n ultra contemporary stair, which is supported by a single, monolithic stringer, won a bronze award in the 2009 Ernest Wiemann Competition. Designed, fabricated, and installed by StairCrafters Inc. the massive stair contains 4,000 pounds of stainless steel, and is made from over 300 parts. Crafted for an exclusive home in the Caribbean, Paul Morey of StairCrafters said the client learned about the company from an article. According to Morey, the client contacted StairCrafters, they scheduled a meeting, and were then given creative license to design the stair. The owner, a successful businessman, was not familiar with construction, but had a clear idea of what he wanted. “We developed the specs and design from what he told us,” Morey said. Throughout the design phase, the design team considered how each detail would play into the overall look of the finished project. For instance, just
Project Stainless steel modern-style stair, featuring a curved, monolithic stringer. Method The assembly was electro-polished in a 5,000 amp acid batch. Fabricator StairCrafters Inc. About StairCrafters covers the full gamut of metal and wood stairs, for both residential and commercial. They handle the design, fabrication, and installation of all stair types, including monumental, circular, elliptical, flared, and spiral. CO NTAC T
StairCrafters Inc. 105 Beacon Hill Ct. Easley, SC 29640-8944 Ph: (864) 220-0630 Fax: (864) 220-0903 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.staircraftersinc.com
However, the owner has a lot of business interests in Africa and wanted an African flair to the project, so the StairCrafters team switched the wood from maple to wenge, a dark and dense wood from Africa. On the treads, the wood and stainless steel are combined in a clever design. Stainless steel inserts are recessed into the wenge wood on all four sides
to break up the thickness of the tread. To eliminate deflection, each tread has a 3/8” thick stainless steel sub-tread that matches the finish of the other components. The sub-treads were cut in the same shape as the wenge sections and then recessed into the wood, leaving a flush finish with a 1¼” reveal, which allows the wood to be seen from below. According to Paul, “The wood actually picks up strength from the metal and vice versa when it’s all sandwiched together.” Crafting the balustrades
For the double helical balustrade system, 2” x ½” flat bar was used for the vertical support stanchions, and 1½” x 3/8” flat bar was helically oriented. All balustrade parts are in stainless steel. The most striking feature of the stair is the giant stringer, which curves elegantly between the first and second
On the treads, the wood and stainless steel are combined in a clever design. Stainless steel inserts are recessed into the wenge wood on all four sides to break up the thickness of the tread. floor. The stringer is made of a tubular HSS (hollow structural section) stainless steel member with a 5/16” wall thickness. For the finish, the metal was brought to a #4 polished finish, and then the entire unit was electro-polished in a 5,000 amp acid bath. Finding a facility that could electropolish the stringer was initially a challenge. “We searched the country and found a company who could do it that was two miles from here,” Paul said. According to Paul, designing and fabricating the stringer was the most challenging part of the job. Much time was spent developing the weld mat and
The fabricator added creativity to the risers by giving them a curved shape with an opening in the center. The pieces were water jet cut out of 5/8” stainless steel plate.
Heavy bracing was required at the center and ends to eliminate deflection.
Installers assemble the stainless steel treads, which resemble the ribs of a fish. Once the electropolishing was applied it was necessary to handle all components with extreme care.
The sub-treads were cut in the same shape as the wood treads and then recessed into the treads. 32
Fabricator May/June 2009
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coming up with a way of creating the entire stair without field welds, except for what could be hidden by the floor or wall. Plus, the challenges of disassembling and reassembling in the field had to be kept in mind. Another stunning feature of the stair is how the stringer seamlessly glides into the floor and upper wall. To achieve this effect, the mounting plate was secured below the floor level and then covered with masonry. At the top end, the stringer is mounted behind the wall covering. Headed to the job site
For shipping, the entire structure was disassembled and carefully covered with shrinkwrap and moving blankets. “We couldn’t have one scratch,” Morey said. “Once the electro-polish is on, that’s it.” A crew of three was sent to do the installation, which took ap-
This rear view shows the massiveness of the single stainless steel stringer. The stringer section is hollow with a 5/16” wall thickness. The railings are supported by 2” x 1/2” flat bar vertical support stanchions and 11/2” x 3/8” flat bar.
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proximately three weeks. Standing back from a distance, the entire stair seems to swell and flow, almost as if it were a wave itself. Key to achieving this effect is the use of curves in every part of the design. For instance, even the treads are bowed backwards. “In all my designs I like to soften everything,” Morey said. “I like all corners to be soft. I wanted to get away from the hard corners, and when doing a stair of this magnitude you want everything to flow nicely.” A metalworker since childhood, you can see the passion and excitement in Morey as he talks about the stair. Morey is a second-generation metalsmith, and was already welding by age 9. At StairCrafters, Morey currently works in sales, engineering, and design. “I’ve always been fascinated by metalwork,” he said, and, in fact, some of his childhood metal projects are displayed in his office.
Proud NOMMA Member
StairCrafters was established in 1988 by Les Jayne, current president, and CEO, along with the company’s general manager, Brandon Jaye, who heads operations. From its 10,000 square foot facility in Easley, SC, stairs are created from the straight lines of contemporary glass and steel to themore traditional wood in a variety of wood species and popular wrought iron designs. Once recent project the company did in Highland’s NC was crafted from lunber that was reclaimed from an old barn in Pennsylvania. “We like to design stairs that are a little more interesting than just functional,” Morey says. Situated in a relatively rural and quiet section of South Carolina, the firm employs 13 shop workers and 7 field installers, plus several office personnel. The shop area is efficiently laid out and is able to accommodate metal and wood projects at the same time. A statement on the StairCrafters website summarizes the company’s mission: “To preserve our tradition Fabricator May/June 2009
A passion for stairs
NOMMA member StairCrafters Inc. of Easley, SC provides a full range of stair designs in both metal and wood. LEFT, CENTER, AND RIGHT: The company enjoys producing contemporary styles, but can also provide traditional styles as well as wood railings, for both residential and commercial projects.
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The design’s in the details Waterjet cut materials are the basis for a beautiful transformation.
he new corporate headquarters of The Retirement Systems of Alabama — a recent project for Robinson Iron Corp. of Alexander City, AL — represents the best in architecture and innovation. In this stellar design, a connecting parking deck’s top level is designed as a terrace to be used for special func-
tions. In order to allow natural light to reach lower levels the architects placed specially fabricated aluminum “lanterns” along the terrace’s axis. Waterjet cut grilles cover translucent glass panels in each assembly and are operable allowing them to be cleaned. A planter bed with low seating increases the lantern’s functionality while greening the space. All of the specially tapered and anodized aluminum panels that comprise the outer skin of these structures were manufac-
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Project A parking deck’s top level does double duty as a terrace for special events. Method Waterjet cutting CO NTAC T
Robinson Iron Corp. 1856 Robinson Rd., P.O. Box 1119 Alexander City, AL 35011-1119 Ph: (800) 824-2157 Web: www.robinsoniron.com 37
Each “lantern” covers a light well to the space below.
The fabricated structures loaded on Robinson’s truck for delivery.
A decorative waterjet cut Oculus located on axis with the terrace adds just the right focal point.
tured with the waterjet cutting technique. The parking deck is connected to the interior of the building with an over-scaled “bridge.” Waterjet cut materials enhance the specially cast column components used in the design. Robinson crews assisted in the placement of these large and impressive prefabricated trusses. A series of ramps with a stainless 38
steel handrail allow easy access to the building. What could have been a rather mundane feature of the building was made special through the use of waterjet cutting. Small custom brackets connect the tubular handrail to the posts and a decorative combination of polished and sandblasted textures give added interest to the railing. Many smaller waterjet details give
the complex a special quality. Inlaid bronze strips in the marble tile flooring and on the entrance railing enhance the overall effect. A decorative Oculus provides a focal point at the end of the parking deck terrace. With this easy and versatile medium architects and designers will continue to visualize using waterjet cut materials that delight the eye and surprise the mind. Fabricator
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Many smaller specialty fabrications such as this stainless steel gate add to the overall effect.
RIGHT: Handicapped access railing.
Custom cast bronze posts were used for both interior and exterior railings.
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Waterjet cutting of bronze strips allows for a precision fit into the marble flooring.
Partners on the Retirement Systems of Alabama corporate headquarters project included: Architect — PH&J Architects Inc. General contractors — Jim Parker Building Company Robinson Iron project managers — J. Scott Howell and Harry Slyhoff Robinson Iron’s business consists of 75 percent architectural work, and 25 percent home and garden projects. Of the architectural work, the percentage of new to restoration varies but usually it is about 40 percent new to 60 percent restoration.
View of bridge (left side of photo) from upper floors.
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History in the making Artistic forging in the historic Northeast makes way for the old and the new. ■
Photo by Breck Kent.
Eric Cuper, Cuper Studios LLL, is shown forging in his Easton, PA shop.
By Sheila Phinazee ometimes the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. This was the case for NOMMA member Eric Cuper of Cuper Studios LLC in Easton, PA when it came to his love for blacksmithing. “When I was a little kid, my father
was an historic blacksmith in NJ,” says Cuper. Early settlers of New Jersey, like those in other colonies in the New World, relied upon the local blacksmith for many of life’s basic necessities like tools, cooking utensils, farm equipment, and weapons. Today, Cuper and other modern
blacksmiths are also artists, often focusing more on ornamental metals or making functional pieces with a decorative flair. The passion for metalwork that began in childhood, carried on into adulthood as Cuper received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts, specializing in
Have your shop featured in Member Talk! Share what your company is doing, how you run it, and what’s been successful for you (or not) with fellow NOMMA members. If you’re interested in being the subject of a Member Talk feature, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. 42
“This sculpture is my personal favorite,” says Cuper. “It is the first forged sculpture that turned out exactly as I wanted it to.”
Blacksmithing. While in college, his father suggested he try blacksmithing. Cuper fell into it head over heels, starting out as an artist and sculptor, but switching to architectural metalwork after graduation. “When I got out of school, someone was willing to pay me $50 down on railings,” says Cuper. This was a big deal to an artistturned-contractor. It was Cuper’s first paid job as a contractor—referred by a friend. The same contact has continued to steer business toward Cuper over the years. In business since 2002, Cuper worked the first two years as a sole proprietor then later as Cuper Studios LLC. He has built his business, since day one, by referrals. “New clients come completely by word of mouth,” says Cuper. “I hand out business cards wherever I go, but have never advertised.” An interior design installer has been a great source of work getting out Cuper’s name. Also, a cabinetmaker friend who works for high-end clients in New York directs business his way. Right location and resources lead to success Most of Cuper’s clients are from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Although born and raised in New Jersey, Cuper relocated to Pennsylvania because of its lower cost of living. Cuper’s shop is 2200 sq. ft. with 16 ft. ceilings that come in handy. The location is a rented space where he can burn coal and work all night if the job requires it. “Some places I looked into had time limits, which is not uncommon for residential areas,” he says. Cuper’s equipment includes MIG and TIG welders, gas and coal forges
“New clients come
completely by word of mouth. I hand out business cards wherever I go, but have never advertised.” 44
This stainless steel spiral staircase was designed by Snyder Stairs. In this photo, Cuper is welding the two halves of the staircase together.
Photo by Phil Snyder.
with associated forging equipment, power hammers, various sheet metal equipment, and the usual assortment of fabrication equipment. When the work load demands it, Cuper has access to his landlord’s 8,000 sq. ft. space, equipped with shears and brakes, plus every tool to put in a lathe and milling machine. “I’m a quality freak, so I rarely subcontract,” he says. Cuper’s staff consists of himself and a full-time employee, plus two to four friends he can call when he needs extra help. The Cuper Studios Website features the shop’s architectural, functional, sculptural, reproduction, repair services, and wares. Cuper says, “If I had my druthers, I’d be a sculptor making anything I wanted to. But in terms of work, I have no preference as long as it is interesting.” One recent project, far from being boring, involved stainless steel—lots of it. “This past summer, we knocked out a two story stainless steel staircase. It was the largest stainless piece I’ve ever built,”
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This is Cuper’s first curved railing in Westfield, NJ. It was a modified staircase so the pitch and radius changed three times making it a challenging first curved rail. LEFT AND BELOW:
says Cuper. “It was a challenge because it was stainless steel and because of its size—30 ft. tall.” The shop’s 16 ft. ceilings were helpful for this particular project. “I made the staircase in halves. I built it vertically, and it was stable braced by the ceiling, due to the ceiling height,” he notes. This particular piece really stands out in the client’s grand room. The home is a “modernized” barn. Cuper says, “The staircase makes a statement when you enter the house. 46
It contrasts the raw wood and the slate interiors.” Another memorable project involved a residential 1850’s converted barn. The railing and components, including cap rails and a chandelier, were completely forged. “The client wanted a simple design.
The home’s décor has a colonial feel, with just a twist here or scroll there— it was very minimal,” says Cuper. “The piece was composed of mild steel with bee’s wax finish so you can see all the textures in the metal.” Currently, Cuper Studios is working on a project featuring 180 ft. of
“Talk to as many people as you can and ask a lot of questions
because there is a steep learning curve and you have to start somewhere.” Fabricator
interior railing that weighs 6,000 lbs. and consists mostly of 1” solid steel. Cuper says, “It is a large and daunting rail to install.” This particular job is almost complete; Cuper just has to add some brass hemispheres on the newel posts. Once completed, the railing will adorn a 22,000 sq. ft. home’s three staircases and open hallways. Cuper honored the homeowner’s wishes to see the mill scale, celebrating raw steel. The design works well with the home’s interior which has a great deal of exposed timber.
This staircase was built for the home of a general contractor whose wife wanted big posts and balusters with heavy forge marks and lots of details. The newels posts are solid 2-1/2” square and the balusters are 1” square.
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RIGHT: This is a sample of some of Cuper Studios’ forge work in a French Country style home in Beaver, PA.
This chandelier is in a 1850s Barn in Tewksbury, NJ. It is all hand forged and Cuper even turned the wood for the pulley system. It has completely hidden wiring that is braided into the rope used for raising and lowering the chandelier. Cuper used the existing hay crane tracks to attach his own hay crane with a system of forged pulleys and a hidden retractor for the wiring. “This allows the chandelier to remain lit while the height is adjusted which commercially available units are able to do,” says Cuper.
Membership has its rewards “My advice to newcomers: absolutely join NOMMA immediately, which I wish I’d done,” says Cuper. “Talk to as many people as you can and ask a lot of questions because there is a steep learning curve and you 48
have to start somewhere.” Cuper also mentions making sure to get a deposit and consider taking a small business class. “It was brutal figuring it out on my own,” he says. Similar to the old adage of there
being more than one way to skin a cat, Cuper has found over the years that there is more than one way to get a job done. “I’ve learned that there isn’t always one right answer; sometimes there are a lot of right answers,” says Cuper. Fabricator
LEFT: Historic thumb latches: The thumb latch reproductions are on top of drawings used to check dimensions.
THE G-S COMPANY
Cuper has found NOMMA and especially the ListServ to be helpful to his business. He’s been a member of NOMMA for two years now. “It is extremely helpful to post a question and get a lot of perspectives quickly,” Cuper says. “This saves you hours of time researching.” Diversity of work keeps things lively Cuper Studios often takes on Colonial, European, or reproduction work in other styles. “I’ve worked on a 225-year-old home restoration that was missing original hardware,” Cuper says. “I re-made thumb latches, hinges, etc. It is challenging to make a piece fit the original locations and make nail holes line up.” Still involved with the Arts, Cuper exhibits his work nationally and is in The Horn Collection of Contemporary Craft. Cuper stays busy with an assortment of projects. Other ventures have included diverse jobs such as making custom nickel-plated mirror frames, counter tops, chandeliers, and an interior metal portion of an ornamental fountain. As far as business goes, Cuper Studios enjoys having a wide range of work. Cuper says, “The variety is the fun part. I would go nuts just fabricating railings non-stop.”
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METALfab 2009: The week in review Fabricators from around the world gathered in Long Beach, CA for five days of learning, networking, and socializing. ■
Long Beach, CA, April 21-25, 2009— The National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) celebrated its 51st annual trade show and convention on the waterfront center of Southern California. As always, it was a week packed with educational opportunities, networking, sharing, and recognition of achievements. The Renaissance Long Beach, in the heart of the entertainment district, served as host hotel for the convention. METALfab’s main schedule kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with registration, followed by the Welcome Reception and First Time Attendee Celebration that evening. The following morning, convention attendees joined the NOMMA Board of Directors for breakfast, a presentation by keynote speaker Cynthia Paul, and the annual business meeting, which included the election of new 50
officers and directors, as well as special recognitions. After breakfast, the first of nonstop education sessions began for the week, and in the late afternoon, the trade show officially opened. This year’s education program included sessions by Cynthia Paul on how to build clientele and retain customers, how to find new work, and how to make a winning presentation. Additional sessions and workshops covered topics such as duties of a lead person, using NOMMA’s ListServ, technology and increased productivity, scheduling challenges and solutions, cost effective coating methods, driveway gate installation, and using CAD to create ornamental demo and shop drawings. The video shop tours, a multimedia tour of NOMMA member shops, was, once again, a popular session, and NOMMA’s Technical Affairs Committee delivered the latest code update.
Other highlights of the educational programming were the Top Job Jamboree, highlighting the entries in this year’s competition, and instructional hands-on demonstrations on the Trade Show floor: Dean Curfman on copper repoussé; Kevin Kelley on welding; and Todd Daniel on using NOMMA online. On Friday evening, everyone had the chance to relax and have fun at the theme dinner and auction. This year’s theme, “Hoorah for Hollywood,” enticed attendees to dress as their favorite movie stars or entertainers — Audrey Hepburn, Hugh Hefner, John Belushi, and Brad Pitt were among those spotted (and some of them in duplicate!). Everyone enjoyed dancing a variety of music — everything from jazz to classic rock — played by the great band. The week began winding down on Saturday morning, with the annual Fabricator
shop tour of Upsurge Fabrication Inc. in Huntington Beach, CA. The spotless shop featured snacks and drinks, music, a TV display, static displays, mini workstation demos, and guest vendors. That evening, the annual Awards Banquet took place, during which Bob Foust III, Bobâ€™s Ornamental Iron Studio, was installed as NOMMAâ€™s 41st president, along with the installation of new board members. A special
presentation recognized Top Job competition and special award winners. The grand finale of the night was the presentation of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which went to Eureka Forge. The winning entry was a hand-forged railing that featured Damascus steel leaves. All too soon, METALfab 2009 had come to an end, but as always, it was week of unrivaled opportunities and fun for our industry.
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2009 METALfab Trade Show RIGHT: METALfab attendees gather ‘round to watch Dave Filippi of FabCad Inc. demonstrate the power of CAD design in creating ornamental demo and shop drawings.
The annual Trade Show is always a very popular part of METALfab, and this year was no exception. The Trade Show offers a great opportunity for convention attendees to learn about the exhibitors’ products and services through displays and demonstrations. It’s also a time for networking, seeing old friends, and making new ones.
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Cynthia Paul conducts an education session on â€œBuilding Customer Loyalty: Keeping the Customers You Have.â€?
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The Education Program at every METALfab is designed specifically to address the needs and interests of fabricators and their shops. This year, convention attendees were treated to several presentations by Cynthia C. Paul, managing director of FMI Corporation. Cynthia delivered the keynote address, â€œWinning Work â€” Keeping Customers,â€? as well as education sessions entitled â€œBuilding Customer Loyalty: Keeping the Customers You Have,â€? â€œWinning New Work: Finding and Winning the Right Opportunity,â€? and â€œPresenting with Pizzazz: Winning at Client Presentations.â€? Additional education topics covered a broad range of topics, such as how to use NOMMAâ€™s ListServ, how to interpret codes, how to work smarter, dealing with change, duties of a lead person, scheduling, and more. There were also a Code Update by NOMMAâ€™s Technical Committee, live demonstrations on the Trade Show floor, and virtual multimedia tours of member shops that emphasized the ever-important concern of managing workflow. The 2009 Education Program sessions provided covention attendees the opportunity to ask questions, find solutions to problems, and learn new skills.
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Code Update class, led by Tony Leto and Tom Zuzik, Jr. Tony and Tom discussed the misconceptions surrounding the â€œclimbabilityâ€? issue. Fabricator
On Saturday morning, the last day of METALfab, NOMMA members pack onto buses for one of the conventions most popular events â€” the Shop Tour. This year, Upsurge Fabrication Inc., Huntington Beach, CA, graciously hosted the tour, giving attendees a first-class experience at their business. The spotless shop featured snacks and drinks, music, a TV display, static displays, mini workstation demos, and guest vendor displays. There were even a couple of antique motorcycles on display, which attracted a lot of interest!
ABOVE: Attendees look at Upsurgeâ€™s portfolio books during the Saturday morning Shop Tour. BELOW: Attendees admire one of two vintage motorcycles on display during the shop tour of Upsurge Fabrication.
Theme Party LEFT: John Belush in a toga? No, but a good time was had by all at “Hoorah for Hollywood.”
“Hef,” seen in the company of a “Bunny,” enjoys the evening’s events.
Do you dream of stardom? Friday night’s Theme Party, “Hoorah for Hollywood,” presented that special opportunity (at least for one evening) as convention-goers were encouraged to dress as their favorite movie star or character in a salute to California’s mecca for entertainers. Audrey Hepburn, Hugh Hefner, John Belushi and Brad Pitt were some of the “celebrities” seen enjoying fabulous food, a great band, and the chance to bid on outstanding silent auction items during the evening.
Often imitated, never duplicated!
RIGHT: Audrey Hepburn (right) with a fellow movie star.
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2009 Top Job Awards Open to all NOMMA members, the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition is an opportunity for shops to display their best work. Entrants provide photos and job descriptions for various categories of work; members peruse the entries in the Top Job gallery and cast their votes. Once the winners are determined, the Top Job committee reviews the gold winners in all of the categories and selects one job that merits additional recognition. This special job, considered the “best of the best,” receives the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence. All winners are recognized at the annual awards banquet on the last evening of METALfab. The 2009 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Winners are: Category A: Gates, Driveway GOLD: Aladdin Door & Gate Co. SILVER: A.Y.’s Designs in Iron BRONZE: Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC Category B: Gates, Driveway - Forged GOLD: Wrought Iron Art Ltd. SILVER: Mission Iron Shop BROZE: Allen Iron Works & Supply Inc. Category C: Interior Railings - Ferrous GOLD: Royal Iron Creations SILVER: Big Blu Hammer Mfg. BRONZE: Gulf Coast Metal Works Inc.
Bruce Boyler and James Minter review the entries and cast their votes in the Top Job contest.
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Category D: Interior Railings Nonferrous GOLD: DeAngelis Iron Work Inc. SILVER: M. Cohen & Sons Inc. BRONZE: Allen Architectural Metals Inc. Category E: Interior Railings - Forged GOLD: Eureka Forge SILVER: Wrought Iron Art Ltd. BRONZE: Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Category F: Exterior Railings & Fences GOLD: Darling's Blacksmithing SILVER: Colonial Iron Works Inc. BRONZE: Fine Architectural Metalsmiths May/June 2009
Category H: Furniture & Accessory Fabrication GOLD: Magnum Companies Inc. SILVER: Fine Architectural Metalsmiths BRONZE: Bob's Ornamental Iron Studio Category I: Furniture & Accessory Fabrication - Forged GOLD: Wrought Iron Art Ltd. SILVER: Steel Welding BRONZE: Virginia Architectural Metals Jon “Hag” Hagelmann (left), fabricator, and Mike Boyer, co-owner, of Upsurge Fabrication Inc. show off the company’s Top Job silver and gold awards.
Category G: Exterior Railings & Fences - Forged GOLD: Upsurge Fabrication Inc. SILVER: Metcalfe Roush Forge & Design BRONZE: Klahm & Sons Inc.
Category J: Gates/Doors GOLD: Wiemann Ironworks SILVER: Art's Work Unlimited BRONZE: Copper Iron Designs Inc. Category K: Gates/Doors - Forged GOLD: Royal Iron Creations SILVER: Upsurge Fabrication Inc. BRONZE: Metcalfe Roush Forge & Design
Category L: Stairs Complete GOLD: Big D Metalworks SILVER: Daniel Metals Inc. BRONZE: StairCrafters Inc. Category N: Unusual Ornamental Fabrication GOLD: Art's Work Unlimited SILVER: Wrought Iron Art Ltd. BRONZE: Daniel Metals Inc. Category O: Restoration GOLD: Allen Architectural Metals Inc. SILVER: Builders Ironworks Inc. BRONZE: Flaherty Iron Works Inc. Category P: Art/Sculpture GOLD: Artisan Metal Works Ltd. SILVER: Precision Custom Metals Inc. BRONZE: Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence: Eureka Forge
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RIGHT: The Frank A. Kozik Award Volunteer Service Award was presented to Doug Bracken of Wiemann Ironworks. The award is given to members who share an outstanding spirit of volunteerism. Doug was given the award not only for his many years of service to NOMMA, but also for his willingness to always help others. A long-time board member, Doug has held several positions with NOMMA, including president and Technical Committee Chair. He has attended code hearings and is a tireless promoter and advocate for the industry. LEFT:
The grand finale of the night was the presentation of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which went to Eureka Forge. The winning entry was a hand-forged railing that featured Damascus steel leaves.
The Awards Banquet, held on the last night of METALfab, is a celebration of NOMMA membersâ€™ achievements.
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2009 METALfab Exhibitors
All-O-Matic 818-678-1790 www.allomatic.net Gate operators, tilt upgate, hardware. Alloy Casting Co. 800-527-1318 www.alloynet.com Aluminum castings.
Architectural Metal Sales 925-216-1004 www.architecturalmetalsales.com Railing brackets, other architectural metal. Atlas Metal Sales 303-623-0143 www.atlasmetal.com Silicon bronze. BD Loops 714-890-1604 www.bdloops.com Inductance loops.
BFT US Inc. 561-995-8155 www.bft-usa.com Hydraulic gate operators - above and under ground.
Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. 828-437-5348 www.bigbluhammer.com Big Blu hammers, Ingersoll Rand air compressors.
Julius Blum & Co. Inc. 201-681-4847 www.juliusblum.com Stock components for architectural metal work. The Cable Connection 800-851-2961 www.ultra-tec.com Cable railing products.
Carell Corp. 251-937-0948 www.carellcorp.com Ornamental bar working machines, tube/pipe benders.
Carl Stahl DecorCable 800-444-6271 www.decorcable.com Custom cable and metallic assemblies, cable mesh, tension products.
Cleveland Steel Tool Co. 800-446-4402 www.clevelandsteeltool.com Ironworkers, portable punching, magbase drills and tooling.
CML USA Inc. Ercolina 563-391-7700 www.ercolina-usa.com Tube, pipe and profile bending & metalworking machinery.
Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. 503-722-7700 www.drivewaygates.com Hebo wrought iron machines.
Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. 604-273-6435 www.customironworks.com Wrought iron components.
ITW Ransburg 419-470-2000 www.itwransburg.com Electrostatic spray guns.
Colorado Waterjet Co. 970-532-5404 www.coloradowaterjet.com Waterjet shape cutting services.
D.J.A. Imports Ltd. 718-324-6871 www.djaimports.com Ornamental steel components, gate hardware, cantilever gate system. DoorKing Inc. 310-645-0023 www.doorking.com Access control equipment. Doringer Cold Saws 310-366-7766 www.doringer.com Steel cutting cold saws.
Eagle Access Control Systems Inc. 800-708-8848 www.eagleoperators.com Full line of commercial and residential gate operators.
Eagle Bending Machines Inc. 251-937-0947 www.eaglebendingmachines.com Bending machines.
Elite Architectural Metal Supply 847-636-1233 www.elitearchitecturalmetal.com Component parts.
FabCAD Inc. 804-862-8807 www.fabcad.com Ornamental design software & services. Feeney Inc. 800-888-2418 www.feeneyarchitectural.com CableRail™ cable assemblies, Design Rail™ aluminum railing, Sta-Lok rods & fittings.
Flynn & Enslow 800-733-3378 www.flynnenslow.com Woven wire cloth, screening, and related products. Hartford Standard Co. Inc. 270-298-3227 www.hartfordstandard.com Uniform line of heavy-duty square post caps, variety of metal alloys.
Hayn Enterprises LLC 800-346-4296 www.hayn.com Hayn lines stainless steel cable systems
Industrial Coverage Corp. 800-242-9872 www.industrialcoverage.com Insurance programs designed for NOMMA members.
Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. 626-442-0271 www.jansensupply.com Ornamental supply.
King Architectural Metals 214-876-0696 www.kingmetals.com Forgings, access controls, plasma designs.
Lavi Industries 661-219-3149 www.lavi.com Architectural metals, tubing & fittings.
Lawler Foundry Corp. 205-595-0596 www.lawlerfoundry.com Ornamental metal components & accessories. LiaoYang ShenZhou Hardware Co. Ltd 011-86-24-8-625-2829 firstname.lastname@example.org Hardware, casting iron, chain-link fence, and material etc.
Loyal Wrought Iron Co. Ltd. 011-86-208-523-9303 www.loyalirondoors.com Forged, handcrafted iron products: doors, windows, railings, gates, etc. Marks USA 631-225-5400 www.marksusa.com Ornamental locksets.
Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 636-745-7757 www.mittlerbros.com Upgraded ultimate tubing notcher. Multi Sales Inc. 800-421-3575 www.multisalesinc.com Gate automation, access control.
New Metals Inc. 888-639-6382 www.newmetals.com Expanded metal, perforated metal, ornamental iron components.
National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association – NOMMA; NOMMA Education Foundation – NEF; NOMMA Chapters 888-516-8585 www.nomma.org NOMMA is the industry’s trade association.The NOMMA Education Foundation is a charitable education foundation. National Ornamental Metal Museum 901-774-6380 www.metalmuseum.org Metal museum. Parker Ionics 734-326-7630 www.parkerionics.com Powder coating equipment & booths.
Q-Railing USA Co. 714-259-1372 www.q-railingusa.com Q-Railing, railing systems.
Regency Railings Inc. 214-742-9408 www.regencyrailings.com Forged iron railing components.
Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. 216-291-2303 email@example.com Rockite cement and kwixset exterior cement. Sharpe Products 262-754-0369 www.sharpeproducts.com Architectural handrail fittings, custom bending & railing services.
Simonian Bender 559-688-4766 www.simonianbender.com Material bender.
Sumter Coatings 803-481-3400 www.sumtercoatings.com Metal master brand paints & primers specifically for ornamental iron. Taurin Group USA 909-476-8007 www.tauringroupusa.com Roll bending machines.
The Wagner Companies 414-214-0444 www.wagnercompanies.com Handrail components and systems including Wagnerail, Lumenrail lighted rail, cable rail, glass rail, extrusions; pipe & tube; aluminum, brass bronze, stainless steel, steel. Weaver’s Iron Works 865-932-2636 www.weaversironworks.com Porta-bender.
First recipients attend METALfab courtesy of Wagner Grant our NOMMA members were the first to attend this year’s METALfab courtesy of a new grant. The Wagner Companies, partnering with the NOMMA Education Foundation, sponsored the program — The Wagner Companies METALfab Grant — which provided four grants to members of the industry who otherwise would not have been able to attend the convention. Criteria for grant selection were that applicants must be owners or employees of companies engaged in the fabrication of ornamental and miscellaneous metals, submit completed application forms by the deadline, and agree to provide a brief written description of the value of the experience after the convention. Hotel accommodations and the METALfab registration fee were provided as part of the grant. Recipients were also given a stipend toward their travel arrangements. The Wagner Companies METALfab 2009 Grant recipients included James Moseley, Heirloom Stair & Iron, Campobello, SC; Wade Ranck, Eagle Machine & Welding Inc., Newark, OH; Steve Stanley, Stanco Inc., Salem, OR; and Faran Van Zandt, Point of View Design, Eads, TN. All expressed appreciation for the opportunity. Faran Van Zandt’s application cited his heritage, along with the economic downturn, as a reason for desiring the grant. “As one of the few Native Americans working in the industry, I would greatly welcome the opportunity...the educational opportunities would benefit my craft, my art, and my career in ornamental metalworking.” Steve Stanley appreciated the knowledge he gained at METALfab 2009. “The educational classes were very helpful. I learned about new technologies available to make our business more efficient and, hopefully, more profitable,” he said.
Wade Ranck was grateful for the opportunity to network and gain new skills, saying,“I am so appreciative of the grant. It was great to meet new members, make new friends, and learn techniques.” James Moseley found value in learning from others, especially long-time NOMMA members. “As a young craftsmen and division manager for a company that prides itself in uniqueness and quality, it’s always a treat and inspiration to shake hands with the men and women who have successfully acquired this milestone,” he said. “The grant allowed me to do this and continue my education in this trade and lifelong learning process.” Thanks to The Wagner Companies for making this grant — which has already enriched the lives of its first recipients — possible.
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Jack Klahm presented with Clifford H. Brown award Jack Klahm is one of the industry’s most known presenters, and it’s not surprising at all to see him giving a demo at a METALfab convention or chapter meeting. He also helps with NEF projects and was the presenter for an education video on curved stairs. And when he’s not speaking or giving a demo at a METALfab event, you’ll likely find him in the hall helping a fellow member with a technical problem. To recognize Klahm’s outstanding contribution to industry education, he was awarded the Clifford H. Brown Award during the METALfab Awards Banquet on April 25. This is his second major award — in 2002 he was given the Frank A. Kozik Volunteer Service Award for outstanding volunteerism. The Clifford H. Brown Award is named after the late Cliff Brown, a past NOMMA president and tireless advocate of industry education. During his years with NOMMA, Brown wrote educational materials and set a positive precedent for learning.
Jack Klahm regularly gives demos at METALfab conventions and chapter meetings. LEFT: Giving a demo at the 2007 convention. RIGHT: Demonstrating techniques for texturing pipe.
Attendees have a great time at NEF benefit auction The NEF benefit auction, which took place during the Friday theme dinner, was a fun event and provided valuable funds for the foundation. Fantastic items were featured in this year’s auction, including beautiful sculpture, and tools and equipment from suppliers. The final results of the auction will be announced after expenses are paid. A thanks goes to our auctioneers for the evening — Roger Carlsen and Scott Colson. Both auctioneers did a great job of keeping the auction lively and getting great prices for goods. A “thank you” also goes to everyone else who helped with the auction, including the volunteers, donors, and buyers. Proceeds from the auction help support the educational and research mission of the NOMMA Education Foundation.
Fabricator May/June 2009
Join NOMMA today! Own or Manage an Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal Fab Shop? Then NOMMA is the organization for you! Tap into a goldmine of information by becoming a NOMMA member. Get quick access to information and resources by joining NOMMA. We oﬀer educational tools, discounts, networking opportunities, and more... O&MM Fabricator Magazine NOMMA’s glossy magazine oﬀers shop techniques, job proﬁles, business articles, and more.
Member Discounts Pay lower rates for our educational materials, sales aids, training videos, continuing education classes, and annual METALfab convention.
Members only Website Download technical bulletins and access information on ADA, building codes, driveway gates, etc.
Professional Resources Receive TechNotes, our bimonthly technical bulletin and Fabricator’s Journal, our members only “how to” publication.
Technical Support Get answers to your questions by posting them on the ListServ or contacting our staﬀ.
Best of all, a NOMMA membership is only $415* per year! That’s less than $1.14 a day for one of the smartest choices you’ll ever make.
NOMMA & NEF Provide First-Class Education For the Industry LEFT: The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) provides professional education sessions during our annual METALfab convention and trade show. TOP RIGHT: NEF Continuing Education programs are regularly held in the fall and prior to METALfab. RIGHT: A highlight of METALfab is the shop tours, which typically feature various mini demos.
Other Member Benefits: Awards Contest, Insurance Program, Chapter Membership✝, Member Locator, Introductory Package, and MORE ...
National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association 1535 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough, GA 30253 Call 888-516-8585, ext. 101 or visit www.nomma.org *For fabricator membership. Memberships are also available for suppliers.✝Chapter membership is only available in regions serviced by a chapter.
Recovering with manufactured tax breaks
The American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers some relief to business owners in the form of certain tax breaks.
By Mark E. Battersby he American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a nearly $800 billion stimulus package that became law earlier this year, included nearly $300 billion in potential tax savings. The businessrelated tax breaks in that bill included extensions of the bonus depreciation, boosted first year expensing write-offs and tax-deferred debt forgiveness income.
Cash infusions from losses The new Net Operating Loss (NOL) carryback rules in the Recovery Act may provide the greatest potential savings of all the business tax provisions in the new stimulus package. Under current law, NOLs are carried back to the two taxable years before the year the loss arises. A NOL may also be carried forward for the next 30 taxable years, after the year of loss. The Recovery Act gives businesses
the choice to carry NOLs from the 2008 tax year back three, four, or five years, generating a refund of taxes paid in those earlier years. Obviously, the extended NOL carryback provision has the potential for providing an immediate cash infusion to many troubled businesses. Faster, larger write-offs continued To help small businesses quickly recover the cost of newly acquired Fabricator
carried over for 2009.
equipment and other certain capital expenses, business taxpayers may choose to write-off the cost of these expenses, in lieu of recovering those costs over time through depreciation. The new Recovery Act extends the small business expensing (aka Section 179) write-off, increased temporarily as part of last fall’s EESA. For 2009, a business can write off up to $250,000 of the cost of newly acquired equipment. The $800,000 ceiling, beyond which the deduction is reduced, is also
A write-off bonus Bonus depreciation was introduced as a temporary measure to stimulate the economy following the 9/11 terrorist acts. Last year, lawmakers allowed businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures made in 2008 faster than the ordinary depreciation schedule would allow by permitting an immediate write-off equal to 50 percent of the cost of depreciable property such as equipment, tractors, wind turbines, solar panels, and computers acquired in 2008. The new rules extend for another year 50 percent bonus depreciation allowed for property with a recovery period of 10 years or longer. Unlike Code Section 179, expensing that is available for new or used property, bonus depreciation is available only for new property or equipment. Opting out As with any accelerated deprecia-
tion write-off, a large current depreciation deduction will result in smaller future deductions. Two situations in which a taxpayer might, for a tax year, consider making an election-out (optout) are when the operation: (a) has about-to-expire NOLs or (b) anticipates being in a higher tax bracket in future years. Under last fall’s Economic Stimulus Act, lawmakers temporarily allowed businesses to accelerate the recognition of a portion of their historic alternative minimum tax (AMT) or research and development (R&D) credits in lieu of claiming bonus depreciation. The Recovery Act extends this temporary benefit through 2009. Discounted wage payments for some new workers The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) rewards employers that hire member of “targeted groups” such as welfare recipients, the disabled, etc. Under current law, businesses can claim a WOTC equal to 40 percent of
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the first $6,000 of wages paid to employees of one of nine targeted groups. The Recovery Act extends the WOTC to include two new targeted groups: (1) unemployed veterans and (2) disconnected youth. COBRA: A snake in the woodpile The Recovery Act allows any individual involuntarily separated from employment between September 1, 2008, and January 1, 2010, to elect to pay 35 percent of his/her COBRA coverage and have it treated as paying the full amount. The former employer is, however, required to pay the remaining 65 percent and, in effect, reimbursed by crediting those amounts against income tax withholding and payroll taxes it is otherwise required to remit to the government.
This massive stimulus bill contains many new tax breaks and significant enhancements to existing deductions and credits.
The Recovery Act makes small business stock more attractive by increasing the amount of gain from the sale of small business stock held for five years or more that may be excluded from 50 percent to 75 percent for stock issued after the date of enactment of this legislation and before 2011.
Industrial development bonds Under current law, certain manufacturing facilities are eligible for taxexempt bond financing. The new law amends the definition of a manufacturing facility for the purposes of industrial development bond (IDB) financing to facilities used in the manufacturing or production of tangible
The new markets tax credit Among incentives offered to investors who invest in, or make loans to, small businesses located in lowincome communities is the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC). The NMTC is a credit for qualified equity investments made to acquire stock in a corporation, or a capital interest in a partnership, that is a qualified community development entity (CDE). The NMTC, through the CDE entity, funds investments (capital, equity or a loan to) any qualified low-income community business. The NMTC program has increased thanks to the Recovery Act’s allocation of $5 billion for 2008 and 2009. Qualified small business stock Ordinary deduction treatment is available to individual investors on the sale of stock or the bankruptcy of a company. Under the old rules, an individual investor could exclude 50 percent of any gain realized upon the sale or exchange of “qualified small business stock” held for more than five years. That means an incorporated business could create a unique type/class of stock, called Section 1244 stock, using as an incentive the fact that only part of the eventual gain is taxable income for the investor. May/June 2009
personal property. The Recovery Act also clarifies the physical components of a manufacturing facility qualifying as “ancillary” and therefore subjected to a 25 percent limitation on the amount of bond issuance used to build or reconstruct those components. Cancelled debt = income now deferred When debt is forgiven, taxable income usually results unless the metal fabricating business is insolvent or in bankruptcy. The new law allows some plants, shops and businesses to choose to recognize taxable income resulting from the cancellation of indebtedness over a five-year period beginning in 2014. Although all the debt discharge
income will eventually be recognized, the taxpayer benefits from the deferral of tax to later years. Some businesses would be allowed to recognize so-called “cancelation of debt income” (CODI) over 10 years (defer tax on CODI for the first four or five years and recognize this income ratably over the following five taxable years) for specified types of business debt repurchased by the business after December 31, 2008 and before January 1, 2011. The built-in gains of S corporations The stimulus bill temporarily shortens, from 10 to seven years, the holding period for assets subject to the built-in gains tax imposed after a regular “C” corporation elects to become
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an S corporation. This reduction applies to regular corporations that convert to S corporation in tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010. The built-in gains tax prevents an incorporated metal fabrication business from avoiding corporate level tax on the disposition of appreciated assets it acquired while a regular corporation by first converting to S status. However, it also discourages S conversions in situations in which the business may not otherwise survive under regular corporation rules. The new law will give shareholders more flexibility during the current economic crises. Investing in energy for a credit Under the tax rules, businesses can claim a 30 percent business energy tax credit for energy property placed in service, including fuel cell property, solar property, small wind energy property, and geothermal heat pump property. The Recovery Act eliminates the credit cap applicable to qualified small wind energy property. This is property that uses a qualifying small wind turbine (with a nameplate capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts) to generate electricity. It does not include any such property after 2016 and under the pre-Recovery Act tax rules the credit could not exceed $4,000 per year. This massive stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, contains many new tax breaks and significant enhancements to existing deductions and credits. The new law provides immediate relief to both individuals and businesses with most of the tax incentives retroactive to January 1, 2009 much of that tax relief will be concentrated within the next two years. While the overall size of the new law is massive, some provisions have been either pared back or eliminated after the political debate that raged. For the owner or manager of any business, professional advice is almost a necessity to ensure the operation will profit from the new Recovery Act.
â€œI designed and cut this bench from an actual EXWWHUĂ€\SKRWR0\ PDFKLQHSDLGIRU itself in 3 months PDNLQJSURGXFWVOLNHWKHVHÂ´ -Ken Garcia, PlasmaCAMÂŽ machine owner (coloradometalart.com)
Call for FREE demo video & catalog showing lots of amazing projects you can cut on this robotic machine. Â‡ID[ 32%R[Â‡&RORUDGR&LW\&2 ZZZSODVPDFDPFRP
NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members A Cut Above Distributing (800) 444-2999
Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271
Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (604) 299-5264
Alku Group of Companies (905) 265-1093
Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402
Glasswerks LA Inc. (323) 789-7800
Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (503) 692-6010
Classic Iron Supply (800) 367-2639
Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. (011) 49-607-893-7137
Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858
CML USA Inc. (563) 391-7700
The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549
All-O-Matic (818) 678-1790
CompLex Industries Inc. (901) 547-1198
Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227
Allied Tube & Conduit (708) 339-1610
Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (972) 286-2368
American Punch Co. (216) 731-4501
Ameristar Fence Products (918) 835-0898 Anyang USA (940) 627-4529
Apollo Gate Operators (210) 545-2900
Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (908) 757-2323 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 BFT U.S. Inc. (561) 995-8155
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
Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404
Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766
D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (714) 677-1300 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871
DAC Industries Inc. (616) 235-0140 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. (541) 485-4719
Feeney Architectural Products, CableRailâ„˘ (800) 888-2418
GTO Inc. (800) 543-4283
Hayn Enterprises LLC (860) 257-0680
Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700
Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (570) 282-1010 House of Forgings (281) 443-4848
Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988
Industrial Coverage Corp. (631) 736-7500
Industrial Metal Supply Co. (818) 729-3333
Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427
ITW Ransburg (419) 470-2000
Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. (800) 4-JANSEN King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 Laser Precision Cutting (828) 658-0644 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144
NOMMA Nationwide Supplier Members Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225
Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (718) 894-1442 Liberty Brass Turning Co. (718) 784-2911 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510 Marks U.S.A. (631) 225-5400 Master Halco (714) 385-0091
McKey Perforating (262) 786-2700
Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Frank Morrow Co. (401) 941-3900 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575
Mylen Stairs Inc. (914) 739-8486 NC Tool Co. (336) 674-5654
New Metals Inc. (956) 729-1184
Ohio Gratings Inc. (330) 477-6707
Overseas Supply Inc. (281) 776-9885
Paxton & Thau Artistic Supply (205) 290-2790 Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 ProCounsel (214) 741-3014
Q-Railing USA Co. (714) 259-1372 RedPup LLC (928) 422-1000
Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408
Riata Mfg. (915) 533-9929
TS Distributors Inc. (832) 467-5400
Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157
Vogel Tool & Die, Div. of TES Tube Equipment Inc. (630) 562-1400
Robertson Grating Products Inc. (877) 638-6365 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (216) 291-2303 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806
L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (636) 225-5358
Scotchman Industries Inc. (605) 859-2542 SECO South (888) 535-SECO
Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418
Stairways Inc. (713) 680-3110
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. (901) 725-1548
Texas Metal Industries (972) 427-9999
Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Triple-S Chemical Products (800) 862-5958
Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200
Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283
The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463
West Tennessee Ornamental Door (901) 346-0662 Xycorp Inc. (760) 323-0333
New NOMMA members As of April 17, 2009. Asterisk denotes returning members.
Hot Shot Welding Largo, FL Stephen Aretz Fabricator
Houston Fence Co. Inc.* Stafford, TX Thad Claytor Fabricator
Ironfire Design & Fabrication Kirkland, WA Tuan Mattler Fabricator
ISEC Inc. Englewood, CO Calvin Bills Fabricator
U.S. Pool Fence Co.* Glendale, AZ Scott Guthrie Fabricator
Biz Briefs . . . . . . . . . . .72 People . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Chapter News . . . . . . .74 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
Trends and opportunities for metalformers
Q-railing launches U.S. division
The 2009 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Sales and Marketing Report profiles the marketing campaigns and sales plans for 106 manufacturing companies. The report outlines the strategies metalforming companies use to market and sell their products and services. The report reveals that middle-market metalforming companies are successfully shifting their sales and marketing to become more diversified, with the best opportunities coming from defense/ordinance, aerospace, and health and medical markets, as they are expected to be the strongest markets through the next 12 months. In addition, metalforming companies project that 11 percent of their orders will come from new customers during the next 12 months, a 3 percent increase over the previous 12 months. Contact: PMA, Ph: (216) 901-8800; Web: www.pma.org.
Q-railing, the architectural railing system used by building contractors and metal fabricators throughout Europe, is now available for the U.S. market. Headquartered in Tustin, CA, Q-railing USA will make the company’s entire product line available to the U.S. market. Known for their high quality and low prices, Q-railing manufactures and distributes an extensive line of railing systems, including many unique items not available elsewhere. Customers can shop online at q-railingusa.com, by catalog, or in person at the company’s Tustin showroom. Q-railing maintains an extensive inventory to ensure that products are readily available for nationwide shipping. “Q-railing offers a new level of excellence in quality, functionality, and design,” explains Andre van Uitert, President. “After five years of increasing demand from American buyers, we felt the time was right to create a U.S. division. We’re very pleased with the positive response we’ve receiving from building contractors, metal fabricators, and others in the metal and glazing industries here.” Contact: Q-railing, Ph: (714) 259-1372; Web: www.q-railingusa.com.
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 • www.hougen.com 72
Literature . . . . . . . . . . .78 New Products . . . . . . .79 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . .81
Ohio Gratings provides steel and aluminum for Michigan bridge Ohio Gratings Inc. worked with county engineers to develop a lighter weight version of their riveted galvanized steel grating for the deteriorating Grosse Ile Bridge in Michigan. Aluminum plank was also provided for the sidewalks, met ADA specifications, and included a slip resistant aluminum surface. Ohio Gratings provided engineering and design support as well as project management. Contact: Ohio Gratings Inc., Ph: 800-321-9800; Web: www.ohiogratings.com. Fabricator
People Wagner Appoints Kettler as President, COO
The Wagner Companies has announced the appointment of Richard A. Kettler as President, Chief Operating Officer of their Milwaukee-based manufacturing and distribution operations. Previous president Robert A. Wagner will continue his affiliation with the company in the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Richard A. Kettler Rick Kettler joined The Wagner Companies in 2000 as Operations Manager. Since his arrival he has also held the roles of Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President. Prior to his association with Wagner, Rick held executive and management positions with Handy & Harman, NL Industries and Texas Instruments. A native of St. Louis, Rick has Robert A. Wagner a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Notre Dame. Contact: The Wagner Companies, Ph: (888) 243-6914; Web: www.wagnercompanies.com. Johnson succeeds Nosse as ICC-ES President
The International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) Board of Directors has selected Mark Johnson to serve as the ES President, following the announcement of John Nosse’s January 2010 retirement. Johnson assumed the ES President role in April, when Nosse moved to President Emeritus status. “These changes,” according to Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland, “will assure an effective transition for a very important organization. John has built an organization whose quality is without peer, and he remains a vital and revered resource for all of us.” “I’ve worked alongside Mark for many years,” Nosse said, “and as President Emeritus, I have the opportunity to support him in his transition to the ES presidency. We have developed a very effective working partnership, and I know Mark cares deeply about the success of ES. He respects the high quality of both our work and our staff. I am proud of what we have accomplished and know that the future is in good hands under Mark’s capable leadership.” Contact: ICC-ES, Ph: (888) ICC-SAFE; Web: www.icc-es.org. May/June 2009
Beautiful cable railings, indoors or outside. Ultra-tec® cable railing fittings are economical, easy to install and virtually maintenance free. Contact us today to learn how easy it is to fabricate a cable railing you and your customer will be proud of.
Distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada by:
Manufactured in the U.S. by:
CABLE RAILING SYSTEM
The Wagner Companies 888-243-6914 414-214-0450 fax
The Cable Connection 800-851-2961 775-885-2734 fax
Northeast Chapter holds back-to-back meetings The Northeast Chapter held meetings on April 4 in Paterson, NJ and May 2 in New Milford, CT. The program for the April meeting was an “Old Fashioned Hammer-In.” During the event, attendees received a hands-on demonstration on forging steel, bronze, and aluminum. Several guest blacksmiths were on hand to help participants. Hosting the meeting was Majka Railing Co. The May meeting was hosted by D.J.A. Imports Ltd. and was held at their facility in New Milford, CT. The event featured demos and presentations on machinery and chemical finishes, insurance compliance, and more. Guest vendors were on hand to share their expertise. A thanks goes to both Majka Railing and D.J.A. Imports for serving as hosts.
APRIL MEETING - TOP LEFT: A blacksmithing demo. BOTTOM LEFT: Chapter president Keith Majka leads the business meeting. MAY MEETING - TOP: Jax Chemical Co. displayed their finishing products. IMMEDIATELY ABOVE: Joe Pietrocola gives a presentation.
Fabricator May/June 2009
Upper Midwest Chapter to meet June 13 in St. Louis The Upper Midwest Chapter is holding their next meeting on June 13 at Foreman Fabricators Inc. in St. Louis, MO. Programs for the day include a presentation on Foreman Fabricators’ shop control software and a polishing demonstration. In addition, there will be a shop tour, lunch, and business meeting.
This year, Foreman Fabricators is celebrating their 50th anniversary. A long-time active member of NOMMA, the firm is proficient in fabricating items in stainless, aluminum, brass, steel, copper, bronze, zinc, and titanium. After the event, the chapter is holding their yearly social, which will consist of two events. From 4 p.m. to 5
p.m. there will be a walking tour of the historic Soulard neighborhood, which will focus on ornamental iron. The community is in one of the oldest parts of St. Louis and features homes dating to the mid 1800s. A dinner will take place after the tour and attendees will then visit the City Museum, which features many local artifacts and exhibits. Located adjacent to the museum is The Cabin The Upper Midwest Inn, which is a unique bar that is in Chapter was well represented during one of the city’s oldest buildings. METALfab 2009. For more information on the During the Friday chapter meeting and social, visit the theme dinner NOMMA website at members wore www.nomma.org. matching white For the fall, plans are to hold a and green baseball jerseys, which meeting at American Fabricator showed their supSupply in Elgin, IL. Details will be port for the chapter announced later. and NOMMA.
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Proven design Efficient-Reaches 2350 Degrees Versatile Portable Many Models Available
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NC Tool Company Inc 6133 Hunt Road Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 336/674-5654 May/June 2009 Fabricator
What’s Hot? Exhibition The New Steel V2 Exhibition
Through June 21, 2009 In June 2007, the Metal Museum presented an exhibition at the Society of North American Goldsmith’s Conference. The exhibition was initially intended to showcase modern metalwork, but jurors found it difficult to separate traditional techniques from contemporary forms. What resulted was The New Steel — an exploration of a favorite medium by 38 contemporary metalsmiths. The show was well received, but short — only open for three days. After two years, the Metal Museum has now invited all of the original participants to participate in this second, longer version. Contact: National Ornamental Metal Museum, Ph: (877) 881-2326; Web: www.metalmuseum.org.
sixth edition in conjunction with the AWS Weldmex and newly launched FABTECH Mexico. Joining them will be COATech, the only show for finishing and corrosion control in Mexico. Contact: PMA, Ph: (216) 901-8800; Web: www.metalform.com. 33rd Annual American Crafts Festival
June 13-14, 20-21, 2009 The American Concern for Artistry and Craftsmanship will hold the 33rd Annual American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY. Work must be original, handcrafted, and expertly executed, and the number of participants in each craft area will be limited. Applications will be reviewed and accepted until the show is filled. Contact: American Concern for Artistry and Craftsmanship, Ph: (973) 746-0091; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.craftsatlincoln.org.
June 2-4, 2009 The METALFORM Mexico exposition and educational conference, held at Cintermex in Monterrey, will host its
ge d E g y n i c t t a u r C
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August 7-8, 2009 The Saskatchewan Chapter of the Western Canadian Blacksmith Guild Western Canadian Blacksmiths Guild will
Direct Drive Saws Combine the speed of an abrasive saw, the precision of a cold saw and the versatility of a band saw. • • • • •
Precision Mitre Cuts - 0º to 60º 8” to 20” Cutting Capacities Pull Down or Hydraulic Cutting Systems ACCU-CUT Blade Guide System Small Footprint
www.patmooneysaws.com email@example.com 76
ABANA 15754 Widewater Drive Dumfries, VA 22025-1212 703-680-1632
Association of North America, Inc. Fabricator
host CanIron VII at Ness Creek, Sask featuring demonstrations and hands-on activities. Contact: CanIron, Web: www.abana.org.
presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be among the speakers. Contact: SMACNA, Ph: (703) 803-2998, Web: www.smacna.org.
The Blacksmith Camp
August 10-14, 2009 Instructor Adrian Legge, Herefordshire England The camp will include instruction geared to those with little or no experience up to more advanced skill levels. Legge has been blacksmithing for over 30 years and teaching for more than 20. His teaching and work experience include Cyprus, Poland, Kansas, Colorado, California, France and Canada. The camp will be held at Ness Creek, Saskatchewan. Contact: Ontario Blacksmiths, Ph: (306) 652-0897, Web: www.ontarioblacksmiths.ca. SMACNA 66th Annual Convention and Product Show
October 11-15, 2009 The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) will host a variety of educational and self-development sessions. Presented by industry experts, topics include construction, BIM, “green” construction, energy efficiency, LEED and sustainability. The convention will be held at Desert Springs JW Marriott Hotel & Spa, Palm Desert, CA and former Arkansas governor and
7th International Artist Blacksmith Festival
Ivano-Frankivsk, Western Ukraine May 8-10, 2009 The conference will feature the unveiling of the 2008’s joint project “Happiness Tree,” lectures, slide-shows of the prominent smiths of different countries and tourist activities. Contact: Olga Polubotko, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.abana.org. Appalachian Center for Craft seeks artisans
The Appalachian Center for Craft is seeking artists for solo or group exhibitions. The Center holds up to 20 exhibitions annually in its three exhibition galleries. A current exhibition calendar and a call for entries document are available on the Center’s website. Contact: Appalachian Center for Craft, Ph: (615) 5976801; Web: www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/.
TUBING BENDERS Hand Tube Bender Rolls: ! 1 1/2” Square Tubing ! 1 x 1 1/2” Rectangular Tubing ! Flat Bar (1/2 x 1 1/2” & smaller) ! Pipe & Tubing
Magnum Hand Tube Bender Rolls:
# 2” Square Tubing 1 x 2” Rectangular Tubing Flat Bar (1/2 x 2” & smaller) " Pipe & Tubing Additional Rollers Available
1-800-200-4685 UNIQUE ROLLING SYSTEM Works with both hand tubing benders
! Flat Bar (on edge hard way) R&D Hydraulics, Mfg. and Machine Co. 1431 West 5th St. Chico, CA 95928 www.rdhs.com May/June 2009
What’s Hot? Hardware catalog on CD-ROM
All Metric Small Parts This new hardware catalog contains eStore Interactive links to more than 5,400 100% RoHS compliant components. The catalog includes: handles, handwheels, cranks, grips, levers, knobs, latches, locks, catches, hinges, screws, washers, springs, keys, plungers, pins, leveling, and support feet. Also featured are 3-D CAD models available for download at the Website. Contact: All Metric Small Parts, Ph: (516) 302-0152; Web: www.allmetricsmallparts.com. New book released
From Fire to Form — Sculpture from the Modern Blacksmith and Metalsmith by Mathew S. Clarke features over 500 color photos of art work by today’s blacksmiths and met-
alsmiths. The book includes work by John Medwedeff, Nathan Blank, Tony Higdon, Erika Strecker and Zachary Noble. Ornamental vases, bowls, plates, and containers as well as functional gates, rails, furniture, and lighting are included. Contact: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Ph: (610) 593-1777, Web: www.schifferbooks.com. Brochure showcases fleet management
Hyster The Hyster Company’s brochure details the fleet management capabilities offered by Hyster FleetSmart. The brochure includes information on fleet technologies, telemetry solutions, and tips for lowering operating costs and improving productivity through an effective fleet management program.
We offer reliable custom craftsmanship
Contact: Hyster Company, Ph: (877) 638-6190; Web: www.hyster.com.
Testing opportunity Encon announces new GOIC testing date
Encon Electronics, one of a few locations established as an official Gate Operator Installer Certification (GOIC) test facility in the US, will host a GOIC Exam on Saturday, May 16, 2009 at their training facility in Hayward, CA. Additionally, a 1½ hours Q & A study review will be offered prior to testing. Contact: Encon Electronics, Ph: (800) 782-5598; Web: www.dooreducation.com. or www.enconelectronics.com.
John C. Campbell Folk School Join us for weeklong and weekend workshops! "LACKSMITHING s "LADESMITHING s 4OOLMAKING $ESIGN 0ROCESS s 2EPOUSSÏ and many more! Full service spinning and fabrication. Let us be part of your team. When you want quality, think of:
Fabricor Products, Inc. 22512 Curtiss Place, California City, CA 93505 (760) 373-8292 * Fax (760) 373-8732
email: email@example.com www.fabricorproducts.com Custom Fabrication to your Specification Serving Manufacturers 78
4O REQUEST A FREE CATALOG OR REGISTER FOR A CLASS
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Hydraulic arm, keypad, electromechanical arm, and solar kit
BFT U.S. Inc. BFT U.S. Inc. has released new models Phobos N BT and NL BT 24 V DC. The products are designed for gates up to 550 lbs. and 16.5 ft. and feature speed of 14 seconds for a 90 degree opening. Both models are UL/CSA 325 approved and have battery backup available. The LUX BT 24V DC hydraulic arm is designed for gates up to 660 lbs. and 10 ft. (a longer model will be available mid-2009). It has a linear encoder for setting limits and slow down in both directions. BGT’s T-BOX radio-controlled digital keypad works with all BFT rolling codes on-board or external receivers, uses 10 Channels (associated with code on the keyboard), 100 codes (four to seven figures each), and sensor-activated keyboard lighting in case of poor light. BFT’s joint BT 24V DC electromechanical articulated arm is made for gates up to 550 lbs. & 10 ft. Installation for this product is for large pillars and opens up to 125 degrees. It features a quick release handle with remote option. The new solar kit for 24V DC operators has batteries and solar panels sized according to customers’ needs in various geographical areas and required frequency of use. Contact: BFT USA, Ph: (877) 995 8155; Web: www.BFT-USA.com.
spindle is supported by precision needle bearings for long life. Angle can be easily adjustable from 0 to 90 degrees.
Contact: Phil Heck, Woodward-Fab, Ph: (810) 632-5419; Web: www.woodwardfab.com
Manufacturers of Quality Stainless Steel Hardware Hayn manufactures 316 grade stainless steel cable hardware in cable sizes from 1/16" to over 1" and rod hardware in sizes from 1/4" to 1-3/4" for your architectural and structural needs. Call today for more information and to submit your plans for a prompt quote.
Hayn Enterprises, LLC, Rocky Hill, CT USA 800.346.4296 www.hayn.com
Woodward-Fab The New Model WFN6 notcher uses standard hole saw blades to create weld fit-up saddles in tubing up to 3” diameter. Ideal for tube frames, roll bars and frame connectors. This heavy-duty tool is constructed from CNC machined 3/4” steel plate for maximum rigidity. The May/June 2009
The Triad tungsten grinder and accessories feature an industrial-grade motor with tungsten cutting and facing capabilities (up to 5/32-inch) for both orbital and handheld TIG welding applications. Contact: Weldcraft, Ph: (800)7527620; Web: www.weldcraft.com.
Weldcraft offers a line of tungsten electrodes and tungsten grinding products. Each tungsten electrode offers arc starting and arc stability, and is available in 7-inch industrystandard lengths in diameters of 0.40-, 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, and 5/32-inches.
Portable 45 ton ironworker
With 45-ton punching capacity, the Porta-Fab 45 is punches 1-1/8 through 1/2 material. The PortaFab comes standard with: 4-1/4 throat depth and a 3-in-1 combination tool consisting of a 3/8 x 6 flat bar shear, 3/4 rod shear, and a 3 x 3 x 5/16 angle shear. Contact: Scotchman, Ph: (800) 8438844; Web: www.scotchman.com. Smog-Hog® MSH mist collector
United Air Specialists Scotchman® Industries features the 110 V Porta-Fab 45 hydraulic ironworker.
United Air Specialists Inc. presents the MSH mist collector as the newest addition to the Smog-Hog line of electrostatic precipitators (ESP). Measuring 27” x 21” x 20”, the MSH motor produces air volume up to 500 CFM and is designed for mist collection applications such as metal drilling, CNC machining, screw machines, plastic extruding, and finishing. Contact: United Air Specialists Inc., Ph: (800)252-4647, Web: www.uasinc. com.
5186-F Longs Peak Road, Berthoud, CO 80513 Hydro-Jet Eco
Professional Quality Tools for the Blacksmith Wide Selection Spring Swages
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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 80
Knuth Machine Tools USA Inc. offers its Hydro-Jet Eco 0615 water-jet cutting system. The product is designed to be compact and cuts metal, glass, ceramic, stone, composites, rubber, foam, plastic, and other materials. A software package for PC control is included and the system features maximum speed of 160 inches per minute with a repeatability of 0.0007 inches per foot. Contact: Knuth, Ph: (866) 6656994; Web: www.knuth-usa.com. Fabricator
Advertiser’s index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine ... Pg. 66 13 9 52 22 76 77 25 55 80 54 33 73 78 10 3 80 47 7 39 68 4 45 10 61 29 17 78 30 49 35 79 41 72 49 84 79 66 83 58 11
Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Website Alloy Casting Co. Inc. . . . . . . . . .www.alloynet.com Anyang USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.anyangusa.net Apollo Gate Operators . . . . . . . .www.apollogate.com Architectural Iron Designs . . . . .www.archirondesigns.com Arteferro Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.arteferromiami.com Artist-Blacksmith's . . . . . . . . . . .www.abana.org Atlas Metal Sales . . . . . . . . . . . .www.atlasmetal.com BFT US Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.bft-usa.com Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. . . . . .www.bigbluhammmer.com Blacksmiths Depot . . . . . . . . . . .www.blacksmithsdepot.com Julius Blum & Co. Inc. . . . . . . . .www.juliusblum.com Byan Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.byan.com The Cable Connection . . . . . . . .www.thecableconnection.com John C. Campbell Folk School .www.folkschool.org Carell Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.carellcorp.com Chicago Metal Rolled Products .www.cmrp.com Colorado Waterjet Co. . . . . . . . .www.coloradowaterjet.com CompLex Industries Inc. . . . . . .www.complex-industries.com D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. .www.ddtechusa.com D.J.A. Imports Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . .www.djaimports.com DAC Industries Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .www.dacindustries.com DKS, DoorKing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.doorking.com Decorative Iron . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.decorativeiron.com Eagle Bending Machines . . . . . .www.eaglebendingmachines.com Eberl Iron Works Inc. . . . . . . . . .www.eberliron.com Encon Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . .www.enconelectronics.com FabCAD Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.fabcad.com Fabricor Products . . . . . . . . . . . .www.fabricorproducts.com Feeney Architectural . . . . . . . . . .www.cablerail.com The G-S Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.g-sco.com Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. . . .www.glaser-usa.com Hayn Enterprises LLC . . . . . . . . .www.hayn.com Hebo - Stratford Gate . . . . . . . .www.drivewaygates.com Hougen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.hougen.com International Gate Devices . . . .www.intlgate.com The Iron Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.theironshop.com Jansen Ornamental . . . . . . . . . .www.jansensupply.com Jesco Industries Inc. . . . . . . . . . .www.jescoonline.com King Architectural Metals . . . . . .www.kingmetals.com Laser Precision Cutting . . . . . . .www.laserprecisioncutting.com Lawler Foundry Corp. . . . . . . . . .www.lawlerfoundry.com
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Lawler Foundry Corp. . . . . . . . . .www.lawlerfoundry.com Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. .www.lewisbrass.com Lindblade Metal Works . . . . . . .www.lindblademetalworks.com Marks U.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.marksusa.com NC Tool Company Inc. . . . . . . . .www.nctoolco.com National Custom Craft Inc. . . . .www.nationalcustomcraft.com Olin Wrought Iron Line . . . . . . .www.olinwroughtiron.com P & J Mfg. Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.twistedbars.com PLASMA CAM Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .www.plasmacam.com Pat Mooney Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.patmooneysaws.com Paxton & Thou Artistic . . . . . . . .www.paxtonthau.com Production Machinery Inc. . . . . .www.promaco.com Q-Railing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.q-railingusa.com R & D Hydraulics. . . . . . . . . . . . .www.rdhs.com Regency Railings Inc. . . . . . . . . .www.regencyrailings.com Rod Iron Rod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-582-2226 Sharpe Products . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.sharpeproducts.com Simonian Bender . . . . . . . . . . . .www.simonianbender.com Simsolve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.simsolve.com Stairways Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.stairwaysinc.com Steptoe & Wife Antiques Ltd. . .www.steptoewife.com Striker Tool Co. (USA) Inc. . . . . .www.strikertools.com Sumter Coatings Inc. . . . . . . . . .www.sumtercoatings.com TACO Metals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.tacometals.com TS Distributors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .www.tsdistributors.com Texas Metal Industries . . . . . . . .www.txmetal.com Traditional Building . . . . . . . . . .www.traditional-building.com Tri-State Shearing & Bending . . .(718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc. . . .(800) 837-4283 Vogel Tool & Die Corp. . . . . . . . .www.vogeltool.com The Wagner Companies . . . . . .www.wagnercompanies.com Weaver's Iron Works . . . . . . . . . .www.weaversironworks.com Companies in bold are first-time advertisers.
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New meaning for “metal” music The Normandy guitar was born from a rocker’s love of classic guitars and the smooth, unique sound of aluminum streaming from the strings.
n 2007, Jim Normandy started Normandy Guitars, the company that would make the world’s first production aluminum archtop. After 15 prototypes, the Normandy guitar was created. The inspiration behind the Normandy guitar grew from Jim’s solid start as a professional bass player in the 90’s. Throughout the years, Jim stayed involved in the music industry as he focused on creating an innovative guitar with the sound and the design to be a frontrunner in the guitar market.
Smooth transitions strings up success Although the initial concepts focused around bass guitars, in 2005 Normandy Guitars switched to doing electric 6-string guitars to introduce them into the mainstream market. Because of various tonal qualities
and different grades of aluminum, it took time to get the right tone and sound until the specific design and the internal bracing was perfected. Now, with a patent pending since 2005, the final product is available for purchase and has gone from a dream to a solid contender in the guitar manufacturing world. The Normandy guitar is manufactured and hand-riveted in Salem, OR. It is now available in nine colors and three different and unique finishes: chrome, powder coat, and candy apple metal flake finish. Normandy Guitars ensures the quality by hand-picking every component. Each guitar takes several months to finish. Discoveries like making their own overwound pick-ups for a high output that mimic that 1950’s sound set them apart from the average wooden guitar. These quality components combined with the aluminum body
allow for an incredible sound with greater sustain. Vintage look draws new crowd The Normandy guitar pays homage to the classic Gibson and Gretsch, with a different material that allows notes to ring longer and clearer. Keeping costs low while maintaining quality has been a goal of Jim’s from day one. Normandy guitars cost between $2,000 and $3,000, which is less than most top tier, wooden body electric guitars. Jim’s focus on quality and his experience on stage could well lead Normandy Guitars into the coveted list of top 10 guitar manufacturers in the world. Normandy Guitars is well on its way with this revolutionary, lightweight aluminum guitar. Contact: Normandy Guitars, Ph: (503) 689-1998; Web: www.normandyguitars.com
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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 email@example.com. 82
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Published on Nov 13, 2012