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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal


The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

January/February 2010 $6.00 US

METALfab 2010: Get ready for the event of the year!

Shop Talk

Preserving metalwork of the past, page 12

Shop Talk

Get your shop AWS certified, page 20

p. 29

Biz Side

Battling skyrocketing state taxes, page 53


March 4–5

Join Us For

METALfab 2010 - Expo

Marriott Southern Hills - 1902 East 71st. St., Tulsa, OK 74136

For directions to the Marriott Southern Hills go to

TRADE SHOW HOURS Thursday, March 4 Friday, March 5

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Trade Show Grand Opening Reception 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Expo Open (Lunch 12:00 p.m. - 12:55 p.m.)

METALfab is the only expo for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Join the METALfab 2010 exhibitors for a display of their products and services. If you would like to participate in all the opportunities that METALfab offers (education program, social activities, expo etc.) visit for additional information about a full registration for METALfab 2010. Complete the information below for free admission to the METALfab 2010 Expo. If you have any questions call (888) 516-8585 x 101. You will not receive a confirmation for this free ticket – your badge will be ready for you at the METALfab registration desk in the lobby of the Marriott Southern Hills. METALfab 2010 is sponsored by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association.

FREE Ticket for METALfab 2010 Expo

List the products you hope to purchase at METALfab 2010:

Marriott Southern Hills

1) ________________________________________

1902 East 71st Street, Tulsa, OK 74316 Go to to register online. Or, complete this form and mail to: METALfab, 805 S. Glynn St., Ste 127, #311 Fax to (888) 516-8585 First Name _______________________________________________________ Last Name _______________________________________________________ Company ________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______ Zip ___________________ Country ____________________________ Phone _______________________ Email ____________________________ Fax_________________________

2) ________________________________________ 3) ________________________________________


Primary type of business: Fabricator General Supplier Contractor Other___________________


Annual gross sales: Below $1 million $1 - $2.5 million $2.5 - $5 million Over $5 million


Your role in purchasing: Final Say Recommend Specify


Job description: Owner Manager/Foreman Other_______________

Check here  if you are not involved in the business.

Children 12 years and under are not permitted on the show floor. Young people between the ages of 13 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


January/February 2010


Vol. 51, No. 1

Interior project at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, p. 42

Shop Talk

Job Profiles

Preserving metalwork of the past............................................... 12 Restoration is extremely rewarding, but it comes with unique challenges. By Peter Hildebrandt The welding certification advantage: What you need to know. .................................................... 20 American Welding Society certification can help you get on the short list for fabrication projects. By Lisa Bakewell Special Features Come join us for METALfab 2010................................... 29 It’s the world’s largest ornamental iron education expo and exchange. Shop tours. ............................................. 40 An outstanding shop tour is planned that will feature stops at Wiemann Metalcraft, Airgas, Iron Décor, and American Precision Prototyping. President’s Letter.............6 What do I value most about NOMMA?

Using high-tech to preserve a cemetery treasure, p. 48

Biz Side

Melted glass adds zest to metalwork.......42 Incorporating glass into metal projects is making a comeback. By Jeff Fogel Using hi-tech to honor past historic fencing .................. 48 Eagle Machine & Welding with 275 hours, AutoCAD, robotic plasma cam, and some on-the-job learning tacklets cemetery challenge. By Sheila Phinazee

How to cut your 2010 income tax bill. ....................................................... 56 Waiting until the last minute to start your planning can be costly. By William J. Lynott Business strategies for tough times............................................................ 59 A positive attitude and creative thinking are essential for getting through tough times. By Larry Bangs What’s Hot! NEF............................................62 Nationwide Suppliers............64 New Members.........................65

Biz Side How to battle skyrocketing state taxes............................................... 53 Several accounting defenses can help you when states, hungry for revenue, place a heavier load on your back. By Mark E. Battersby

Exec. Director’s Letter..8 The best hidden benefit

Biz Briefs.................................67 Literature & Media.................67 Chapters...................................68 Products...................................69 Advertiser’s Index..................73

NOMMA News..................10 New blogs available for the membership

Metal Moments............... 74 Moving forward and looking back

Cover photo: Get ready for an incredible convention. Features of METALfab 2010 include a packed education program, trade show, shop tours, social events, awards contest, and plenty of time for networking. For complete information, visit:

NOMMA Officers President Bob Foust III Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Kansas City, KS

Vice President/ Treasurer James Minter, Jr. 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. Bronx, NY

NOMMA Education Foundation Officers Chair Roger Carlsen Ephraim Forge Inc. Frankfort, IL Vice Chair Christopher Maitner Christopher Metal Fabricating

Treasurer Mike Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA

Trustees Stacey Lawler Taylor Lawler Foundry Corp. Birmingham, AL

James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS

Heidi Bischmann The Wagner Companies Milwaukee, WI

NOMMA Staff Executive Director & Editor J. Todd Daniel Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington Member Care & Operations Manager Liz Johnson 6

Associate Editor Sheila Phinazee Layout Editor Robin Sherman


Dedicated to the success of our members and industry.

President’s Letter

What do I value most about NOMMA? From portable welders and stair pans,

to business plans and payment schedules ... the NOMMA ListServ regales us with tales from our world. Similar to watching a movie, the ListServ gives us a fuller picture of our industry, as stories intersect with familiar places and events. The ListServ has a lot of experience and knowledge. And the ListServ has never been shy about sharing either. We read the stories, and we respect the advice. Sometimes, I wouldn’t mind if ListServ would just “shut-up” for a bit so that I could get some work done. But, all in all, I think this is the NOMMA member benefit that I value most. Recently I was on the phone with a couple of nameless members; let’s call the first one Ed Mack. Ed was one of the first people I met in NOMMA and is a long-time family friend. From time to time I ask for his advice, and sometimes I get it whether I ask for it or not. Ed, by the way, gave me the idea for this article. But let me say, whenever I get off the phone with Ed, no matter how long the call is, I’ve learned something and I’m a better person for it. My second benefactor, or compadre, is Terry Barrett. Terry and I joined the NOMMA Board of Directors at the same time, and we are from the same community, although we currently live in different parts of the country. Terry is the smartest, most level headed person I know. I play golf with Terry at every opportunity and not for the love of the game, but for the camaraderie we share, the commiserating we administer, and the transfer of knowledge I get from him. Someday he may want the favor returned and I hope I’m up for the task. Terry and Ed, like NOMMA, have many different “eccentricities” and probably different ways of doing business. But both have

the same goal. Maybe I value this most. I love going to METALfab each year, no matter the location. You never know what is going to happen. One minute you’re running along minding your own business and the next minute Todd Daniel is trying to unsuccessfully leap a bollard. METALfab is a time to show off our work, learn from the best in the industry, walk and talk with Bob Foust III is suppliers, look at president of NOMMA. the new stuff on the show floor, and just as important for me, relax. I wonder if I value this most? And so it is, I’ve decided. At the top of my value list is NOMMA. It’s ListServ, it’s Ed Mack, and it’s Terry Barrett. It’s METALfab. These relationships mean the world to me. They carry more than a monetary value, not to mention time and emotion. NOMMA’s value is tremendous, and it’s not always a value I can measure with dollars. Especially during this tough economy, what if we focused on the good we get out of things instead of what they cost us? What if we focused on value? If we could shift our focus away from our needs and wants and toward appreciation for what we have, that would be valuable. I challenge the membership to consider my first question, “What do I/ you value most?” What’s of good value to you? Think about it. Identify it, appreciate it, and talk about it. Your NOMMA Board is listening.

Fabricator n January/February 2010

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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 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311 Fayetteville, GA 30214

Editorial - We love articles!

Send story ideas, letters, press releases, and product news to: Fabricator at address above. Ph/Fax: (888) 516-8585. E-mail:

Advertise - Reach 8,500 fabricators

For information, call Martha Pennington, Ph: (888) 516-8585, ext. 104. Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads on CD to: Fabricator at address above. E-mail ads to: (max. 5 megs by e-mail). Or upload ads to our website where a downloadable media kit is available: www.

Membership - Join NOMMA!

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.

Exhibit in METALfab

Exhibit in METALfab, NOMMA’s annual convention and trade show. For more information, contact Martha Pennington at (888) 516-8585, ext. 104, or


Subscription questions? Call (888) 5168585. Send subscription address changes to: Fabricator Subscriptions, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Fax: (888) 516-8585, or E-mail: 1-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30 2-year: U.S., Canada, Mex­ic­ o — $50 1-year: all other countries — $44 2-year: 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.

NOMMA Buyer’s Guide

Published each December as a separate issue. Deadline for all advertising materials is October 31. For info, contact Todd Daniel at (888) 516-8585 or

2009 Editorial Advisory Council

Doug Bracken.............. Wiemann Metalcraft Nancy Hayden................ Tesko Enterprises Tom McDonough..... Master Metal Services Rob Rolves..........Foreman Fabricators Inc. 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. 8


How to reach us

Executive Director’s Letter

Members set an example When I was named executive director

one of the first things I did was follow a cue from NOMMA members — I started joining ListServs. Just like NOMMA serves the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry, there is also an association that serves executive directors, called the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). And just like the NOMMA ListServ, the ASAE ListServ is constantly sharing valuable information. Some of the participants on the ListServ are well-known consultants, and I can’t believe how much information they give away for free. On several occasions I’ve posted questions and received quick answers, and at the same time, I’ve answered a few questions from others. The amazing thing is I can see the camaraderie and networking that goes on in this forum. In effect, the ASAE ListServ is a community of friends and colleagues — just like the NOMMA ListServ. Chapters

The second thing I did after becoming executive director was get involved in my local association executive group, called the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE). Just like with a NOMMA chapter, gaining knowledge from the speaker or demonstrator is only PART of the experience — you get just as much or more knowledge from the networking and relationships you make with your colleagues. State & National

The third thing I learned from NOMMA members is the great value of attending the national meeting. This year, I am attending the state conference for GSAE, and one day I hope to attend the ASAE national meeting. Why? For years, I’ve observed how the METALfab convention and trade show has “opened the eyes” of our members, and helped them to grow profession-

ally. And just like with the local meetings, the best part of METALfab are those long talks in the late evenings. My plan is to follow the example of NOMMA fabricators, and learn all I can from my colleagues around the nation. Continuing Education

Over the years I’ve heard a few people say they “know everything” about our trade. When people say that, I always wonder Todd Daniel is why they are still executive director of NOMMA. working and not on the golf course. The fact is, it’s impossible to know everything. And the more you learn, the more doors you open to learn even more. The savviest fabricators I’ve observed are the ones who soak up all information like a sponge, fully knowing that what they learn may not benefit them now, but that it may be a lifesaver for the next job that comes in. A Different Perspective

Membership and active participation in your trade association should be thought of as an important part of your continuing education. Think of chapter participation and attending METALfab as a critical part of your job and personal growth. Would you want to be treated by a doctor who has never received continuing education? Think of how much more you can offer yourself, your business, and your clients by continually learning and growing as a professional. To the NOMMA members, I thank you for what you’ve taught me, and for the great example that you’ve given me to follow.

Fabricator n January/February 2010

NOMMA News: New blogs available for membership As part of NOMMA’s new Members Only Area, every member has been given a personal bio area, gallery, and blog. The blog in particular is a valuable benefit that allows fabricators to showcase their work and write about their experiences. For NOMMA supplier members, a blog is a great way to get close access to the membership. Suppli- NOMMA fabricators and suppliers are encouraged to use their blogs, personal profiles, and galleries. ers are encouraged to submit blog entries on new products, personnel your area? NOMMA has four regional additions, catalog releases etc. Blogs chapters that serve much of the can be viewed by clicking the “Blogs” country, but we still have large areas menu item. You can either view blogs that are unserved. The NOMMA from the “live feed” or from a Education Foundation has put member’s profile. For help in setting together a great package of resources up your blog, contact NOMMA’s to not only help chapters get started, Executive Director Todd Daniel but to also provide ongoing program (888-516-8585, ext. 102, todd@ support. In addition, some long-time leaders in the Upper Midwest Chapter have offered to serve as advisers. If NEF provides chapter support you would like to start a chapter, Interested in starting a chapter in please contact Todd Daniel. If you

would like to host an event in your area to gauge interest in a chapter, contact NEF Chair Roger Carlsen (815-464-5656; Buddies needed for METALfab

Do you enjoy meeting new people? If so, please consider becoming a “buddy” or mentor for METALfab 2010. As a buddy you will be paired with a first time attendee and serve as a friend and support person during the week. All buddies are asked to attend the Wednesday night welcome reception, where you will have the opportunity to become acquainted with your buddy. You can call your buddy before the conference to introduce yourself. This program is a great way to make new attendees feel comfortable and welcomed. To help, contact Martha Pennington (888-516-8585, ext. 104;

Join NOMMA Today! Two more reasons to join NOMMA: As a member you receive our member’s only publications: Fabricator’s Journal Features exclusive “how to” articles. TechNotes - Focuses on building codes, standards, and government regulations. These bulletins are now online only, and are available in the Members Area. All back issues are indexed and archived for easy reference.

or’s Fabricat


TechNot e


Easily find back issues with our new search engine.

Join online at: or call (888) 516-8585, ext. 101 10

Fabricator n January/February 2010

In Memoriam

NOMMA mourns loss of co-founder Richard K. Boyler

Richard Karl Boyler, 90, a NOMMA co-founder and father of Mike, Bruce, and Doug Boyler, died Friday, November 27, 2009. Mr. Boyler was born in 1918 in Davenport, IA. He graduated from Davenport High School Richard Boyler in 1936. He went on to attend the University of Iowa. He proudly served as a member of the United States Merchant Marines during World War II and was honorably discharged in December 1946. He married Isabelle Wells on March 4, 1950 at St. John’s Methodist Church in Davenport. Mr. Boyler assumed ownership of Boyler’s Blacksmith Shop in 1949, a business founded by his father in 1902, and retired as President of Boyler’s Ornamental Iron in 1983. His legacy is continued by his three sons.

Mr. Boyler was a founding member of the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) and attended the association’s organizational meetings in the late 1950s. He also served as president of the National Blacksmith and Welders Association. In addition, he was the founder and first president of Chapter 210 of the Iowa Blacksmith and Welder’s Association. He received the 1963 Blacksmith of the Year award presented by the IBWA. He was the first to receive the National Blacksmith and Welders President’s Award of Excellence in 1985. Mr. Boyler was an active member of his community. He was extremely proud of his association with the Village of East Davenport where he served as a board member as well as president of the Village Association. He also served on the board of the Bix Beiderbeck Memorial Jazz Society and was a charter member of the

Catfish Jazz Society. Mr. Boyler played the saxophone in many bands, including the CASI New Horizon Band, the Mohassan Grotto Dixie Band, and Men of Notes, as well as the Kaaba Shrine Brass Band and Noblemen. He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local #67. Mr. Boyler was a 50-year member of Davenport Lodge #37 AF & AM, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S.J., U.S.A., Kaaba Shrine and Mohassan Grotto. He is survived by his wife and soulmate, Isabelle, as well as their three sons, Michael (Ella), Bruce (Susan), and Douglas (Carol) Boyler. He was a loving grandfather to his eight grandchildren, David, Katherine, Julie, Stephen, Anne, Emily, Kali, and Kristin; and one great-granddaughter, Isabella. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Robert Boyler, Louis Boyler, and Helen Kroeger.

Join NOMMA Today! Latest Benefit: A New Website Just For Members Benefits of NOMMA’s new Members Only Website include: • Forums and ListServs for discussing building codes, CAD, gate operators, and more. • Back issues of Fabricator magazine, Fabricator’s Journal, and TechNotes, our technical bulletin. • Each member can create their own profile, write a blog, and upload images in their own gallery. • See sample video clips of NEF Education Videos. • COMING SOON: Educational Webinars Members can enter by visiting: And more good news ... now you can join NOMMA at 1/2 price. For the special discount code, visit our website at and click on “Join.”

For a complete list of member benefits, visit and click “Join” Fabricator n January/February 2010


Shop Talk

Preserving metalwork of the past n

Two projects by Allen Metalworks: Left, interior work at Trinity College in Hartford, and below, window at Low Library, Columbia University.

Restoration is extremely rewarding, but it comes with a set of challenges.

By Peter Hildebrandt Preservation of the historical record is

Allen Metalworks’ flexibility

John Allen, owner of Allen Metalworks, Talladega, AL, does a mixture of work. When the new federal ADA requirements came out, Allen worked on different requirements for safety and accessibility for public buildings. That work in turn involved replication work in many places but not really restoration because such requirements currently in place did not exist back then. Allen’s ability to make varied castings of all sorts of alloys gives his company flexibility in matching any existing materials in buildings, whether bronze or cast iron. This forms an important part of the core of their work. Inside Colorado’s ornate state capitol, the beautiful, intricate bronze stair system required access as part of 12

For your information


important, rewarding work. Aside from art and the written word, we also have the durable record left in crafted metals such as iron or bronze. Still, those who feel the pull of history and take special pride in wading into its currents have their work cut out for them, as several NOMMA members have discovered over the years.

Summary Restoration requires a variety of skills, including replication work and the repairing of cast iron. Resources The resources for restoration work are vast. For instance, the National Park Service provides a list of technical articles. Web: briefs/presbhom.htm

its life safety program. Allen’s company built eight stories of bronze railings weighing some 100,000 pounds of bronze. Casts had to be pulled off the original and recreations of the railings matched exactly. “Even though it still looks old, with historical material, it’s really just new,” adds Allen. “This challenged our craftsmen, matching something made back in 1890.”

Their restoration work usually involves material from no earlier than 1880 on. Façade maintenance or restoration now makes up the bulk of their work. Lower Manhattan contains hundreds of cast iron facade buildings that are historic landmarks. “Façade fastener systems often fail at these sites,” says Allen. “The original systems fail due to the mild steel used. All the armatures and fasteners attaching the cast iron cladding to the foundation of the building or structure have failed so you’ve got to remove the material, create a new anchorage system — in stainless or galvanized, preferably — and reattach either the replicas or restored castings that have been lead-abated as well and place them back on for the next one hundred years.” According to Allen, the building façade owners in New York City now have façade maintenance requirements that start next year. Inspectors will require building owners to maintain their buildings. NOMMA was the first organization he joined, back in 1998. As an added help with some of his work in restoration, Allen advertises with Traditional Building magazine. He finds it a good source of vendors and suppliers. He also attends the ATP trade show nationally, which has yielded results. The most interesting project Allen Fabricator n January/February 2010

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has done was restoration work on the escape module from the Saturn Rocket that took Neil Armstrong and his co-astronauts to the moon. “It’s not very often you put hands on something that’s been to moon and back. After we worked on it, it was returned to Huntsville Space Center in Alabama. It wasn’t a large job, just some generic replacement of metal simply so it could be displayed in the museum. But it was the original that orbited the moon. Just to put your hand on that was a thrill.”

“One of the things intriguing to me about

Inspiration in one-man operation

drawing or photo isn’t always good if you’re trying to replicate. In spite of such pitfalls, Carlsen enjoys restoration work. “One of the things intriguing to me about restoration work is how when all the rust and paint’s finally removed, then you see all the work of the old smith, whether it’s a master smith, a journeyman, or whoever was working on it. Once the actual facet is stripped naked in front of you, you get to see their work.” Such kinship came during restoration on an old lock mechanism for a door from the Southwest, Spain or Mexico. With the key missing long ago, the lock wasn’t functioning. Carlsen exposed alignment marks, mistakes, chisel marks, and demarcations hinting at the lock’s construction — a real eye opener for him. Once he had the lock in good condition, he started crafting a key. Traditionally this is how these were made, according to Carlsen. “The lock was made first and key made afterwards — not the other way around. I still remember the night I was working on the key,” explains Carlsen. “I filed the key late in my shop to get it to work in the lock and the first time I got the key to work I thought, ‘Wow, this is the first time this has been thrown, in who knows how many decades or centuries!’ It was certainly a primitive lock from perhaps the 19th or 18th century; it’s hard to say. A feeling struck me of working on something from long ago, something never having worked for perhaps centuries until I got the commission to restore it and have it operational in my

Roger Carlsen owns Ephraim Forge Inc. Frankfort, IL. He does forge work in his small, one-man shop. About one third of all the work he now does is restoration work. Blacksmithing started as a hobby in 1974. In 1978 it became a business. A lot of the work he’d been doing was replication work from medieval times up through the 20th Century, driven at times because there wasn’t enough material to complete a restoration job. Each process has its own issues, Carlsen says. In the case of his work on a home directly across from the Harriet Dean house in Springfield, IL, broken cast iron had to be restored. It had been broken and needed repairs. Carlsen had original pieces, some of these still coated with their original paint finish. For this National Historic Site project, everything had to be tediously photo-documented. “In contrast, on a job such as a homeowner’s gate, that person generally doesn’t care if I weld on the gate with an arch welder or do forges — as long as it looks right,” says Carlsen. Restorations can be fairly simple or complex depending upon the documentation required. In terms of replication work, one project involved grillwork for a building on the campus of Northwestern University. Two or three panels had gone completely missing and those needed to be reproduced. Fortunately, some of the original pieces were still on hand so the same techniques for construction could be followed. But, sometimes there’s not an original piece and working off a 14

restoration work is how when all the rust and paint’s finally removed, then you see all the work of the old smith . . .” Roger Carlsen Ephraim Forge Inc. Frankfort, IL

hands once again, just as the original craftsman had. Once all the paint and rust are removed you can almost feel what went through that smith’s mind, including how it was assembled and the sequencing of construction.” Carlsen is chair of the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF). For those going into this type of work he stresses the importance of research. When he first got into blacksmithing, he was learning this art by making old things and he was able to become quite familiar with what was a Colonial piece, an Old World object, or something from more recent times. He’s taught classes at a number of different schools, adding that this isn’t something that can be learned in a week. “Something else I would like to point out is that while restoring something we should be true to the restoration and true to the piece and its period,” adds Carlsen. “I think in today’s economy it would be tough to have a shop that does just restoration,” says Carlsen. “Part of my work is also sculptural or commissioned work for designers. The work runs a pretty broad spectrum. Carlsen worked on a recent collaboration with another shop in the area. They took the silver award in the restoration on NOMMA’s last Top Job Award. Through a network of people doing restoration work and woodworkers for whom Carlsen has done pieces for previously, he got a job helping restore the governor’s mansion in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Someone doing a larger part of the restoration needed some throw bolts for the hurricane shutters. Carlsen also worked on the Globe Theater in London. But, these were new gates. “I have a piece of my work on it and we did a lot of welding during the installation,” says Carlsen. “The gate was designed without any time period in mind.” “Restoration remains one of my favorite things because I like reading the story of the piece. It’s neat to think you worked on a piece that a master smith did, who has been dead for 150 to 200 years,” says Carlsen. “You are now continuing his work on, and are a part of it too.” Fabricator n January/February 2010

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Diversifying means restoration even the most minute techniques used establishing an effect or appearance of the end item. There is generally quite a long list of stakeholders in such a project from the end customer to a third party conservator or preservationist, to consultants, architects, or various general contractors. Meeting with them, informing them, consoling them, and satisfying them all at once is crucial. The project management can be an unexpected and daunting task.” Bowman finds each restoration project requires different skills, tools, equipment, processes, and challenges him to think innovatively, and communicate flawlessly. One project may be as easy as cleaning, refinishing, and reinstalling the work. Others have significant loss of components and materials, much of which is not commercially available. It is with those projects that he must fabricate some complex-shaped part or portion of the work that matches something.

Florissant Ornamental Iron Works Inc.

had its start in 1951 when a local blacksmith decided to take advantage of the post war construction boom for ornamental iron work. Some 15 years later, a relative purchased the business and diversified into commercial work stumbling into restoration. “Our region is very old with many fine examples of authentic period wrought and cast ornamental iron work,” says Florissant owner, Wayne Bowman. Many of the projects include the older schools and churches in the area, the old city cemeteries at the edge of St. Louis, as well as historic commercial and residential buildings in downtown St. Louis and St. Charles. Though they don’t actively market for it, this type of work still finds them. However, due to the economy, they are actively looking for more work in their area, though it remains a small percentage of the overall workload. “We find this is detailed work, with


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If he’s lucky, the portion of the work surviving will be a template. If not, he guesses at the dimensions, texture, or shape from a old photographs. “Of course, you must also become an expert in many metal cleaning and finishing methods. Sometimes onsite work is necessary which brings up many site issues. Often you can remove the work and repair and rework it as necessary and the cleaning can be performed offsite. But, you must protect the piece from the cleaning process and match the process to the structural integrity or presented texture that you are hired to protect. Cleaning and finishing is a wide subject that entire text books could be written about and can’t be covered here. But the NOMMA ListServ is a good way to study what others have done. It’s important to consider testing a process before using it on an important piece. Qualify the joinery of ironwork that may appear to have been welded during a previous attempt at preservation but may have been braised. Trying new things because they will be needed all along the journey — a new process, a new machine, or a new vendor (perhaps in a different state or country). “From the information we have, I think we may have performed more restoration work than any other local shop in our area. We are very proud of having fabricated and installed a large portion of the mausoleum fence at the historic Shaw’s Garden here in St. Louis, which matched very old, unique cast iron components. We have also performed work at the Old Cathedral which is the oldest Catholic Church west of the Mississippi,” says Bowman. “But, there are many projects that aren’t as notable such as one we just completed at the rear of an old office building in downtown St. Louis presently owned by a law firm who didn’t like to see their historic parking lot gates and window details continue to deteriorate.” Bowman searched Google for preservation/conservation groups with good reference materials and links. He likes the European Conservation Association, given the age and sheer amount of historic iron work there. Fabricator n January/February 2010

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Difference between preservaton and restoration




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area. They’ve been in business for 35 years with restoration projects interspersed throughout this time period. Most of the work they do is new construction. Historic preservation work forms about 10-15% of their business. The company feels it’s important to know the difference between preservation and restoration work. Restoring may mean different things to different clients. For instance, is the work to be done exactly as it was when the piece was originally made; are the same tools required to make the work as it was originally done or can some modern techniques or tools be used? Educating the client may be necessary and be the biggest challenge. Clarity of the goal of the project should be discussed and agreed upon. Budget restraints may mean there are differentiations between authentic restoration and fab shop Those looking procedures. Local codes and into this type of ordinances may prevent work using sandblasting or aggressive procedures. Steel Welding finds it important to check with ordinances regarding work hours using machines on site. A thorough knowledge of period working procedures, original methods, and styles for producing the work is also essential. Those looking into this type of work should have a keen interest in history and architecture. So-called deep pockets and knowledge of codes can be a great help as well. With the relatively recent call for lead safety there is also a need for a facility able to remediate lead paint or other harmful substances. And, then there’s always the bottom line to consider. “The projects in which we made a profit were of course the most enjoyable for us,” says Chris Holt, operations manager. “We’re currently involved with restoration of a public gate on a historically significant landmark. We are in the early stages of planning and finding monies, possibly through grants or gifts, to address the needed restoration. One of the most challenging projects they’ve done was a large cast iron widow walk. It was covered with tar and lead paint when they received it. The material arrived in a trunk of a small car in many small pieces. “The old ironwork system now has found new life as the border to a garden, a unique innovative application for an architectural design from a past era,” says Holt.

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Shop Talk

The welding certification advantage What you need to know n

American Welding Society certification can help get you on the short list for fabrication projects.

By Lisa Bakewell proper tools in this tough economy. To help you get a competitive edge, we offer this information on the Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF) and Certified Welder (CW) certifications from the American Welding Society (AWS). In this article, we’ll discuss what each type of certification means, the advantages of each and the steps and cost for certification. What is Certification for Welding Fabricators?

Certification programs for fabricators’ welding operations were designed to meet the industry’s rising demand for companies who can demonstrate that they have the resources, proce20

dures, and personnel necessary to apply a quality management system to the welding fabrication process, according to AWS. They also say that today’s customers have come to expect a quality assurance system that is well documented — and demonstrated —

For your information


NOMMA understands you need the

Certification steps 1. Read the QC7 Standard and its supplements (C, F or G). 2. Register for the test by contacting the Accredited Test Facility (ATF) representative nearest you. 3. Remember to take your QC7 Standard with you at the time of the test. 4. Pass the test, then the ATF will forward

and this assurance system is the foundation to delivering a qualitywelded product or service. Your customers want to be sure that you and your subcontractors are capable of welding products that meet specifications, and obtaining a certification for your welding operations is a way for you to make those assurances. In return, you’ll gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, because your customers will trust that your products are fabricated under a quality system. What is AWS?

Since 1919, AWS has set the highest standards for codes and other technical welding standards. It is also known worldwide for its certification pro your application, qualifications test record, and payment of $30 to the AWS. 5. Watch the mail for your AWS Certified Welder Wallet Card and renewal information after the AWS Certification Department processes your application. American Welding Society 550 NW LeJeune Road Miami, FL 33126 (800 or 305) 443-9353, Ext 448 Fax: (305) 443- 6445

Fabricator n January/February 2010

grams, such as the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) program. Many of its codes have become the standards adopted by states, manufacturers, and organizations when referring to welding practices, classifications, methods, guidelines, and design. What types of certification programs does AWS offer for welding fabricators?

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AWS provides welding certification programs for companies and individuals that use welding as a joining process. AWS has a Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF) program for companies and a Certified Welder (CW) program for individual welders. In addition, AWS also certifies welding inspectors, welding supervisors, educators, engineers, robotic arc welding technicians, radiographic Certification can interpreters, and other increase welding professionals worldwide.

your client’s confidence in you, minimize prequalification and help you get government work.

What are the advantages of Welding Certification?

Besides building customer confidence, there are other advantages to becoming an AWS Certified Welder (CW) or Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF). According to Phil Grimm, Chairman of the AWS Fabrication Committee, companies that receive CWF certification or individuals that become AWS Certified Welders (CW) through their Accredited Test Facilities (ATF) can expect to see the following: n Increased exposure and consideration during the bid phase of projects (especially for projects in the U.S.A., though international projects, such as Asia and South America, also seem to have increased fabrication needs); n Minimized prequalification and audits; n “Short listing” by customers searching for quality fabricators; n Limited liability exposure (because you established the Welding Procedure Specifications, welder qualification requirements, and have clearly stated inspection requirements for the project); n Controls already in place for base metals, filler metals, purchasing, receiving, inspection, and handling non-conformances; n Reduced nonconformances as a result of better-trained personnel in areas such as purchasing, receiving (material identification and material used), fitting (communication to welders on what to/how to weld), and welding (welders trained in quality means less rejection); and n An increased overall product quality and awareness (as a result of the required personnel training that must be implemented to achieve AWS-CWF status). Gale Schmidt, NOMMA member and president, owner

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commercial work, but we found that if we got certified, we had more opportunities in government work — especially when the economy went bad. “If you want to work, you have to find a place to do the work, and [with the government], there’s all kinds of stuff. They’re always building bridges and always making highways. Our work is mostly railings and fences.” and founder of A2 Fabrication Inc. (Portland, OR) adds: “Once you have certified welders, you can do government work, you can do city work, county work, and federal work, because they require welding certifications. You basically tell them what you’re certified in, which process you’re going to use to do the work, and, generally speaking, they just want you to be certified in the work that you’re doing.” “We are probably 90% public works projects,” she says, “We just kind of evolved into that. We were doing


What is a Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF)?

The CWF certification applies to your entire welding operation, not your individual welders. It shows your customers that your company: n Cares enough about what you do that you’re willing to invest necessary resources to put a quality management system into place for its welding operations; n Is willing to have someone else come in and look at what you are doing; and

n Is qualified and committed to fabricate the weldments to required specifications. As an AWS-CWF, you will be responsible for control of contract documents and procedures, material control, welding, inspection, and shipment. You’ll also be required to operate an internal quality control program, in accordance with a quality manual that meets the requirements of AWS B5.17, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Fabricators and AWS QC17, Specification for AWS Accreditation of the Certified Welding Fabricators. According to AWS, the AWS-CWF certification can be an affordable alternative or supplement to ISO-, AISC-, NADCAP-, or ASME-aligned quality systems. And, while it has been the certification of choice for some of the largest fabricators, CWF also offers an excellent pathway for small- and medium-sized facilities to be recognized among the elite group of the highest-quality welding fabricators.

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“A certified company’s customers

will have the assurance that it is an above-average fabricator, giving it a competitive advantage . . . .” Peter Howe Managing Director Certification Technical Operations American Welding Society

Why should I become a Certified Welding Fabricator?

The daily manufacturing operations of the welding fabricator is more consistent and traceable (should problems arise) when designed for the welding fabricator’s unique products, which is the key reason for becoming certified.


Peter Howe, Managing Director, Certification Technical Operations at AWS says that certification also tells your customer that you care about what you do, and you’re willing to invest the necessary resources for a quality management system. “It means that the company is willing to have someone else come and look at what they are doing,” he says.

“It also shows that the company is qualified and committed to fabricate the weldments to required specifications, which results in fewer nonconformances to the customer.” “A certified company’s customers will have the assurance that it is an above-average fabricator, giving it a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Fabricator n January/February 2010

“Once a fabricator is certified by AWS,” says Howe, “the engineer knows that the fabricator has a documented quality program and the understanding of AWS welding requirements. The engineer will [also] know that the fabricator reviews design documents and controls purchasing and receiving of base metals and filler metals throughout manufacturing operations.” “Most importantly, the Certified Welding Fabricator has qualified welding procedures, welders, and inspectors. AWS Certified Welding Fabricator provides greater assurance that the fabricator will comply to design requirements.” 6 steps to becoming a CWF?

For welding fabricators to obtain a CWF, a process has been defined in AWS QC17, Specification for AWS Accreditation of Certified Welding Fabricators for AWS Certified Welding Fabricator Program ( The steps include: 1. Getting the information. Download the forms and standards using the icons on this page. You will receive the application form, the B5.17 standard, the QC17 standard, and a manual and onsite audit checklist. Study all of the materials to become familiar with the program requirements. 2. Submitting the application and your quality manual. An assessor will be assigned by AWS to review your quality manual and work with you to improve it if necessary. 3. Scheduling your onsite audit. After your quality manual has been accepted, an assessor will contact you and arrange for a date for your onsite audit. The assessor will use the same onsite audit checklist that you have, so you will know what the assessor will be looking for. 4. Participating in onsite audit. The onsite audit will consist of an opening meeting, a review of your facility’s quality manual, an inspection and assessment of the facility itself, and a closing meeting to discuss any findings and concerns observed by the assessor. 5. Responding to outstanding actions. Your facility will have one month to respond to any outstanding actions to the satisfaction of the assessor and the AWS Certification Committee. 6. Completing all requirements. Upon successful completion of all requirements and satisfaction of all fees due, the facility will be accredited as an AWS Certified Welding Fabricator. This certification shall remain in effect for a period of three years, with annual self-audit renewals in the second and third year, after which the process repeats itself. How much time does it take to become a CWF?

The initial time requirement to complete the certification process depends on: n The length of time it takes to process the application; n Whether or not a quality manual is available that meets AWS standards (B5.17 and QC17); n The time required to get the quality manual to AWS standards; n A suitable time for the fabricator and the auditor to Fabricator n January/February 2010


schedule the audit; The benefit And, though the Onsite Audit normally takes one day, the post audit processing time depends on: n The number of findings and corrective actions that must be taken; n The time it takes the fabricator to correct the findings and submit these corrective action to the auditor; and n The time it takes the auditor to review and approve the corrective actions and approve the facility for certification. Typically, the total time required for the certification process ranges from three to six months.

of . . .

an AWS-CW credential . . . is that this assures the employer that the welder has been tested at an officially sanctioned testing facility and that a third party has reviewed and certified the qualification test(s)’

What does it cost to become a CWF?

For a CWF, the initial audit fee in North America is $600, and the initial on-site audit is $1700 plus the auditor’s travel expenses. Additional facilities cost a bit less, and the Third Year Recertification Audit Fee is about $2,000. For a complete listing of CWF fees for North America (USA, Canada,

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and Mexico) and International certifications, visit http:// certification/FAB/fees_061009.pdf. What is a Certified Welder (CW)?

The CW program is performance-based program; no prerequisite courses or certifications required, and it applies to individual welders, rather than your entire welding operation. The program tests procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries, and there is a provision to test a company-supplied or non-code welding specification. CW credentials are transferable and can be taken with you wherever you go. Why should I become a CW?

The benefit of having an AWS-CW credential as a welder, according to Howe, is that this assures the employer that the welder has been tested at an officially sanctioned testing facility (the ATF) and that a third party (AWS) has reviewed and certified the qualification test(s)’ validity. Although no Code in the USA requires “certification” (require only qualification, which can by done by the manufacturer himself), being an AWS-CW adds credibility to your credential. What are the steps to becoming a CW?

Individual welders can be certified AWS-CW to various processes and positions in the CW program and must undergo the qualification test at an AWS ATF (see AWS QC4) to a specific code or specification using a qualified Welding Procedure Specification (WPS). NOMMA member Gale Schmidt shares: “For every type of material that you’re welding and for every process that you’re using, you have to have a procedure.” “Once you have that procedure written, then you weld something doing it exactly like you wrote [it], and if it meets a certain criteria that a testing facility has to measure, then you can get certified on that one process.” And, that’s exactly what happens at the AWS ATF. During your scheduled appointment, you will deposit a sound weld that will be inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), and you will be tested on your ability to properly adhere to the Welding Procedure Specification, selected from available QC7 Supplements, which also includes fit-up, assembly, and positioning. The results of the qualification test are then submitted to AWS for review and approval, and if everything is in order, AWS will issue you a CW number and a card that states what you’re certified. If you fail the test, you may retest at any time, but AWS suggests that you discuss retesting with your AWS ATF representative, who will assist you in scheduling a new test date. You will learn if you passed the test immediately, but AWS will process your certification once they receive your application, test results, and $30 registration fee (typically, up to two weeks after your skill demonstration, but check with your selected AWS ATF for verification). Fabricator n January/February 2010

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According to AWS, you should receive your qualification card and supply of certification maintenance forms from the AWS Certification Department in four to six weeks. Your CW certification will remain valid as long as you submit your certification maintenance forms every six months and you can verify that you are still performing the same welding for which you originally tested. The AWS warns, though, that you must remember to send in your certification maintenance forms or your certification will lapse.

“For every type of

material that you’re welding and for every process that you’re using, you have to have a procedure.” NOMMA member Gale Schmidt

What does it cost to become a CW?

Schmidt says individual certifications in her area (Portland, OR) cost about $200 per certification.

For additional regional information, go to the AWS site list of ATFs ( auto/atf_listing_0923.pdf), or call AWS at (800) 443-WELD, ext. 273 to find the closest one to you and inquire about pricing. Note: The AWS Certified Welding Fabricator program is not intended to replace any product-specific company certification program. AWS certification does not indicate the suitability of a company’s welding quality assurance program to construct pressure vessels, bridges, or complex high-rise buildings.






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Convention Guide 29

Welcome to Tulsa, OK! A message from the president During METALfab 2009 and almost every day since, your staff and Board of Directors have spoken with exhibitors, past presidents, new and long-term fabricator members — the one overwhelming “point of view” is that we must not eliminate our yearly convention and trade show. We understand that more than ever, and we know that value is of great importance. That is why I am pleased that METALfab 2010 will be held in Tulsa, Bob Foust III is OK, for the first time in NOMMA hispresident of NOMMA. tory. Well, you asked for it, and now you have it: multi-tier education, hands-on training, and plenty of shop tours! I spent many days in Tulsa, and was amazed and surprised — amazed at what Tulsa has to offer and surprised to see that this mid-sized metropolis has a vibrant small town feel with big entertainment and many attractions. Why have we never been to Tulsa before? Doug Bracken and I visited with shop tour companies and met with local suppliers, and they are very excited about what NOMMA is bringing to Tulsa in March. My goal for METALfab 2010 is: to offer attendees the best education program in METALfab history, to provide new and exciting products for attendees to learn about, and to make the METALfab experience more affordable for attendees. These goals reflect NOMMA’s commitment to create meaningful benefits for the membership. I look forward to seeing you at METALfab 2010 – the World’s Largest Ornamental Iron Education Expo & Exchange

Bob Foust NOMMA President


Keynote Address

Surviving Hard Times: Are you a Butter Knife Or a Damascus Blade? By Breck Nelson

Breck Nelson, Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC The METALfab 2010 keynote talk will take a look at the challenges that many businesses are facing today. The current economy has caused businesses to be exposed to the “test of fire.” Is your company a butter knife or a Damascus blade? Be sure to attend this motivational talk to find out. Presented by an industry leader and NOMMA past president.

Fabricator n January/February 2010






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Schedule for METALfab 2010 Wednesday, March 3 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception/ First Time Attendee Orientation Thursday, March 4 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Opening Breakfast and Annual Membership Business Meeting w/ Keynote 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Education Sessions Running an Ornamental Iron Business Activity Based Costing Using CAD as a Management and Sales Tool Solid Modeling Paint Finishes and Patinas – Hands-on class** 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Education Sessions Running an Ornamental Iron Business Customer Relationship Management Using CAD To Create Demos/Shop Drawings Stair/Rail Measuring and Layout Air Hammer Tech & Forging – Demo class 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Education Sessions What is Your Business Worth? Guard and Hand Rail Engineering 101 Use/Install Cable Rail Systems Plasticine Clay Metal Fold Forming – Hands-on class**

3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Education Sessions Succession Planning Use/Install Glass Rail Systems Plasticine Clay Air Hammer Tech & Forging – Hands-on class** 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Expo Opening – Top Job Voting Friday, March 5 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Expo Open – Top Job Voting 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Education Sessions Blue Print Reading and Plan Take-Offs Use/Install Cable Rail Systems Video Shop Tours, Group 1 Paint Finishes and Patinas – Hands-on class** 9:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. Education Sessions Succession Planning Use/Install Glass Rail Systems Harness NOMMA’s Online Tools Air Hammer Tech & Forging – Hands-on class** 10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Education Sessions Stair/Rail Measuring and Layout Stress Management Technology Tools of the Field Metal Fold Forming – Demo class 12:00 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. Lunch with the exhibitors 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Education Sessions Code Update with Tech Affairs Committee Guard and Hand Rail Engineering 101 Harness NOMMA’s Online Tools Air Hammer Tech & Forging – Hands-on class** 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Education Sessions ADA Access Ramps Project Estimating for Railings Core Drilling and Anchor Attachments Video Shop Tours, Group 2 Metal Fold Forming – Demo class 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Top Job Jamboree 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Theme Dinner Saturday, March 6 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Shop Tours 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Awards Banquet


Fabricator n January/February 2010

Education Activity Based Costing—Understanding Your Shop’s True Cost Structure Dave Lechleitner, Exact-Job Boss Software Setting up your ERP system to correctly capture and allocate costs to jobs can be a daunting task. Join the experts in a no-nonsense session to discuss how the costing methodology employed by most shops falls short and does not accurately reflect the true cost of doing business. In this session, you will learn how to correctly allocate costs to jobs in the shop and how to set up your ERP system to correctly apply overhead costs to jobs. At the end of the session, you will understand how a shop adopting ABC will avoid costing and pricing mistakes that can cost a business profit that can never be recovered. Using CAD as a Management and Sales Tool Dave Filippi, FabCAD Inc. This class demonstrates how computer aided design (CAD) software can increase sales, production, and management’s productivity. Topics range from creating true life demo drawings to installation simulations. Using CAD to Create Demo & Shop Drawings Dave Filippi, FabCAD Inc. This is a demonstration of how CAD software can create eyecatching demonstration drawings and accurate shop drawings. Using digital prototyping, attendees will see how to place the fabricated item on a picture of the customer’s house. Also, there will be a demonstration of simulating a gate installation to reduce field time, as well as a discussion of what products and add-ons are available to help new users to start drawing work minutes after installing the program. Solid Modeling If you wonder how solid modeling CAD software can be used for design, this class is for you. Stairs, rails, fences, mechanical devices and sculptures are just a few of the projects where solid modeling (3D CAD) can help. Stress Management Will Keeler, Keeler Iron Works Managing stress is all about taking charge: Taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. This class will help you attain your ultimate goal: A balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, Fabricator n January/February 2010


Education and fun — plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Code Update Greg Terrill, Division 5 Metalworks; Rick Ralston, Feeney Architectural

Products; Todd Daniel, NOMMA Staff Receive an update from NOMMA’s Code Advisory Council. Attendees will also receive a briefing on the latest news and projects of the Technical Affairs Division, such as the NAAMM-

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NOMMA Metal Stair & Railing Manual. In addition, this session provides an opportunity to get answers to all your code related questions.

Technology Tools of the Field Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding and Fabricating By combining tools you may already own, Mark will share how his shop is using technology to improve accuracy in the field to produce quicker, more accurate layouts and build it right the first time. Field installation techniques will be discussed as well. Guard & Handrail (Railing) Engineering 101 David York, York Metal Fabricators Inc. This class covers the basics of how to calculate basic engineering for design, materials, attachments, and mountings. This session will also provide formulas and examples. Video Shop Tours and Shop Layout James Minter, Imagine Ironworks, Video Shop Tour Coordinator A multimedia tour of member shops with emphasis on managing workflow from materials delivery to getting the job out the door. This session provides great ideas that you can incorporate in your shop. Running an Ornamental Iron Business Breck Nelson and Joel Hoerr, Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC What insurances do you need? LLC or S-Corp? Leasing equipment vs. purchase? These and so many more questions will be answered from shop owners who have been there and experienced much of the same pains in starting and running an ornamental iron shop. Use/Install Cable Railing Tom Zuzik, Artistic Railings Inc. Fabricator n January/February 2010

Education This session covers product availability, structural concerns, how to estimate and quote, and code issues, as well as installation and fabrication.

Use/Install Glass Rail Systems Steve Engebregsten, The Wagner Companies This session focuses on wet glaze, dry glaze, glass infill, code issues, structural concerns, and base attachment. ADA Access Ramps Tony Leto, The Wagner Companies From design to materials and placement, this class covers all the points of working on ADA access ramps. Core Drilling vs. Anchor Attachments Find out what you need to know about grouts, anchors, and epoxies. This class will also cover drilling equipment and attaching posts in to exterior concrete, block, brick, stone, paver blocks, granite, and many other masonry mountings. We will deal with weather conditions, seasonal installation, and cover multiple manufacturers’ products. Harness NOMMA’s Online Tools Todd Daniel, NOMMA Staff Receive a tour of NOMMA’s brand new Member’s Only area. Learn about our forums, knowledge repository, blogs, ListServs, and more. We’ll even teach you how to Twitter! Stair/Rail Measuring and Layout JR Molina, Big D Metalworks Field measuring on any stair job can be difficult. There is more than one way to measure straight and curved stairs, and this class will cover different options. Many out-of-town jobs have to be measured and brought back to the shop for fabrication, which can create challenges for the staff at the shop to understand the measurements. This session will help you fool-proof Fabricator n January/February 2010

the process.

Succession Planning Curt Witter, Big D Metalworks The process of determining critical roles within the company, identifying and assessing possible successors, and providing them with the appropriate skills and experience for present and future opportunities is critical to the business owner’s exit strategy. Plasticine Clay George Bandarra, The Iron Hammer Bring your wooden mallet, plasticine clay, and learn basic forging and design principles. The clay is ideal for learning basic design and forging techniques. Customer Relationship Management & The Importance of Customer Loyalty Dave Lechleitner, Exact-Job Boss Software Understanding your customer is the key to surviving in the current business climate. But, many small manufacturers mistakenly believe that if the customer is satisfied they will order again. In today’s climate of heavy price com petitiveness and cut-throat competition, service to the customer and activities to build customer loyalty is the only way to ensure that your customer will come back to you again. Come to this session to understand how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has to move beyond just logging your customer’s last contact with

you to building an entire culture that is customer-centric and putting systems in place to ensure that happens.

Blueprint Reading and Plan Take-Offs Mark Koenke, Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. This class will help companies understand what they are looking at and what to look for, such as potential shortfalls. It also includes construction spec reading and CSI numbering. An open discussion will follow. Project Estimating for Railings (Guards and Handrails) Tom Zuzik, Artistic Railings Inc. This class looks at pricing by the foot and explain the pitfalls of using this method. For example, should a 20foot straight piece of railing on a concrete platform core drilled be priced the same as five pieces of railing on steps 4-foot long each? What is Your Business Worth? This class looks at business valuation, brokers, standard appraising, analyzing the financials, and what is included in the value of your business. Who should you hire to do this? Who can you go to for help? Shop Tours Saturday will be an amazing day of tours and exciting demos. Shop tour visits include Wiemann Metalcraft, Airgas, Iron Décor, and American 35

Education also include an orientation for first time attendees.

Thursday, March 4

Precision Prototyping. For more details see page 40 .

Hands-on/ Demo Classes for METALfab 2010 Hands-on classes require a full or one-day registration and an additional ticket (fee) $20 for each class (maximum of four tickets per registrant). The hands-on classes will be available on a first come, first served basis with a limit of 50 people per class, so register early! Transportation to these off-site classes will be provided by shuttle bus, which is included in the $20 ticket fee. Registrants for the hands-on classes are asked to bring their own protective eye wear and earplugs.

Paint Finishes and Patinas David Wareham, Gilders Paste Creating a patina is both a science and an art. In this session you’ll learn how to use chemicals to create a wide variety of finishes and textures. Discover how temperature and humidity both play a role in the final effect. The class will also cover the use of pigments and surface pre-treatments to create an even wider variety of coloration. Air Hammer Tech & Forging Wiemann Metalcraft 36

Learn the basics of free-hand forging using the air hammer and dies. This session will review various forging techniques and show you how to create simple elements, such as spear tips. The class will also cover tips for efficiency and improving speed.

Metal Fold Forming Paul DiFrancisco, Lightning Forge Fold forming is a system of metal forming developed between 1980 and the present, which is the concrete result of a conceptual approach to metalsmithing that emphasizes forming using the metal’s characteristics. It is about following what the metal likes to do. Rather than forcing form upon the material forms are to some extent derived from the natural tendencies of the plasticity, ductility and elasticity of the metal.

Special Events for METALfab 2010 Wednesday, March 3 Welcome Reception/ First Time Attendee Orientation 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. This event is a great way to kick off the week. Enjoy great food and beverage while visiting with friends and making new acquaintances. The reception will

Opening Breakfast & Annual Membership Business Meeting 7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Join us for a delicious continental breakfast. This is the membership’s opportunity to participate in the annual membership business meeting where officers and directors are elected, committee reports are submitted, and special recognitions are given. Also, as a special treat for attendees, past president Breck Nelson will be the keynote speaker. Expo Grand Opening & Reception 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. This is your first chance to visit exhibitors at the expo while learning more about the products and services. Go to for a list of the exhibitors at the 2010 Expo. Friday, March 5 Expo Open All Day/ Lunch on the Show Floor 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. On Friday, you will get to visit with exhibitors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy lunch. There will also be demos in the machinery tent outside the hotel front entrance. Theme Dinner/NEF Auction — “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Join the Wrought Iron Rockers, featuring blues harp legend George Bandarra for an exciting evening of classic hits from the 60s, 70s, and some 80s, along with some home grown R&B. While listening to the fabulous music of the Wrought Iron Rockers, enjoy the delicious food and an opportunity to bid Fabricator n January/February 2010

on outstanding auction items. The silent and live auctions will be held during this event. Be sure to bring your wallet so you can take home some of the wonderful items donated.

Saturday, March 6 Annual Awards Banquet 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. The final event is the Annual Awards Banquet. During this special time the

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Room rate: $99 plus applicable state and local taxes. To make reservations at the Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills for the 2010 Convention, call (866) 530-3760, and request the conference rate for National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association. Register online at: for the link to the hotel. Hotel registration deadline: February 9, 2010.

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new officers and directors are installed, special recognition is given to outstanding NOMMA members, and the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Awards winners are announced. The grand finale of the evening is the awarding of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is the top award chosen tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 9:44 from the gold award winners.


Top Job Competition The annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest provides energy and excitement throughout convention week. During gallery hours, NOMMA member companies will be given the opportunity to vote on their top three choices in 16 categories. Once voting ends the action continues during the Top Job Jamboree, where images are flashed on a screen and entrants describe their outstanding AD

work. On Saturday, the excitement is in the air as the contest winners are announced during the Awards Banquet. The grand finale is the presentation of the Page 1 Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is given to one gold award winner that shows exceptional craftsmanship. Photo credits: Scenery photos in this section are courtesy of the Tulsa Convention & Visitors PROOF Bureau. - 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2

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Job Profiles

Melted glass adds zest to metalwork n Incorporating melted glass into iron work is an old technique that has recently come back into style. Striking examples of this appeared at the New Hampshire League of Craftsmen annual exposition last year.

By Jeff Fogel

Which explains its rarity. It’s not that glass inlays have no appeal or customer demand; it’s just that no one wants to try it. A simple Google search will provide a good indication of the obscurity of this technique. Of course, people viewed the sound barrier in the same way until some intrepid pioneers took a chance and lead the way. Glass inlaying has a few such pioneers—people who have proven that while the glass won‘t explode, there may soon be an explosion of creativity in metalwork. Shawn Lovell (accent on the latter syllable) of Shawn Lovell Metalworks

For your information


I discovered the technique of inlaying glass in steel pretty much the way nearly all blacksmiths did; I read about it in Alex Bealer’s ubiquitous classic, The Art of Blacksmithing.1 And, I immediately reached the same conclusion as nearly every other blacksmith: It won’t work. Worse, it looks dangerous. I’ve got two, as of yet, undamaged eyes. Why not leave well enough alone? Ask anyone today about the technique. They’ll immediately begin wailing about differing coefficients of expansion. It’ll crack. Maybe explode. You’ll put an eye out, kid.

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Fabricator n January/February 2010

in Oakland, Calif., ran across glass inlays in (where else) Bealer’s book back in the early 1990s. Intrigued, she asked around and found nobody else was doing this type of work, citing the usual skepticisms involving coefficients of thermal expansion. Undeterred, Lovell began experimenting with bits of colored glass and mild steel. She started small, using an acetylene torch to fill holes the size of dimes with molten, colored glass. As she developed skill and confidence, she graduated to larger, quarter-sized inlays and more intricate designs. It wasn’t long before the experiments paid off. She was asked to create a gateway for an apartment building in Oakland. With the colorful glass inlays providing a striking contrast against the steel, the project got noticed. The next big project came soon after. The First Congregational Church of San Francisco commissioned her to do another gate, this time an interior piece for the entrance to the main sanctuary. The gate is a stylized tree with glass inlays to represent fruit. A fairly ambitious work, it stands nine feet tall and spans six feet. Her most recent piece is a whimsical bird’s nest bed. Also a stylized tree featuring colored glass to represent fruit, it differs in that the glass is adhered rather than inlaid. But, the process and effect is very similar to inlaying.

good a time (and excuse) as any to get one. While there are more than several ways to inlay glass, the process I’m going to describe is the one that Lovell uses, which obviously yields good results. The first step is preparing the metal. You can either drill or punch a hole for the glass. What’s the difference? Drilling is faster and produces a machined look. Drilling is also limited to a round shape. Punching takes some blacksmithing skills and is more time

consuming, but it yields an eye-pleasing subtle swell around the periphery of the hole. It also can be shaped by a drift. Once the hole is created, the metal is then heated in order to dampen the thermal shock when the glass is applied. The metal can be heated with a gas forge, a coal forge, or even a torch; it doesn’t matter. At this point a little knowledge of glass might be helpful. First of all, glass is not a solid. It’s what’s called a super-cooled liquid. This means it’s

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So what’s involved in making a glass inlay? It’s not technically complex although there are a few basic rules. The most basic of all is not to rush the process. The concept is the opposite of metal banging where you want to work as quickly as possible to get the most out of each heat. With glass, everything is done slowly. The other basic rule is cleanliness. Molten glass is gooey. Everything sticks to it, including soot, sand, dirt, insects, small animals, and children. It’s best to keep your work area clear of all these things. And, if you don’t have an air filter in your shop, now would be as Fabricator n January/February 2010


always moving, like any other liquid. So why can’t you see it moving? You can. You just have to wait a few hundred years. Go visit a building that’s at least that old and has glass windows. You’ll see that the glass is thicker at the bottom and has waviness about it. That’s because it’s been flowing, albeit glacially, all that time. What that means is that glass inlays are probably not as long term as metal by itself. Eventually there will be displacement of the inlays. But, as they say, a hundred years from now, who’ll know the difference? On a more practical note, it also means that the familiar jeremiad about differing coefficients of expansion contains more than a grain of truth. When a material is heated, the molecular bonds are, in a word, stretched. As the material cools, the bonds shrink back to their normal length. This is what produces the expansion and contraction cycle inherent to the heating and cooling process. The amount a material expands and contracts with this process is known as its coefficient of thermal expansion. It can be measured linearly, in terms of area, or in volume. Most engineers find it handiest to measure it in terms of linear expansion, typically in parts per million per degree of temperature. The temperature can be expressed in Kelvin, Celsius, or Fahrenheit. What’s the CTE of steel? That depends on the type of steel. Basic 400 series Stainless has a CTE of 17.3. Mild steel’s is 10.8. As for glass, that also depends. Like steel, there are different types of glass. There’s borosilicate, or ‘hard glass’, and there’s soda lime glass, or, soft glass. Hard glass has a smaller CTE—about 3.3; it’s more expensive and doesn’t come in as many colors as its cousin, soft glass. At 8.5, soft glass’s CTE is more in line with that of steel. It’s also less expensive and comes in a world of colors. All of which means that when materials of differing coefficients of expansion are mated, there’s going to be trouble. The good news is that proper technique can virtually eliminate that trouble. No matter what kind of glass or steel you use, both the heating and cooling of the process must be tightly controlled. To control the heating, you simply apply the torch gradually. To control the cooling, you anneal the piece. Lovell likes to use garden variety vermiculite for this. Once the inlay is formed, she inserts the metal and glass into a bucket of vermiculite for about a half an hour. This eliminates the problem of differing CTEs and its attendant danger of cracking. Having said all that, we can proceed to the next step: preparing the glass. Art glass comes in rods, called canes. With the metal at a red heat—about the same temperature for applying flux in forge welding—the end of the cane is then heated. It’s best to use a torch to heat the glass. Here is where Lovell’s first innovation in the process comes in. The original method of using a hand held torch was awkward. Now, she uses a propane torch attached to a stand. This frees up a hand to move the metal around. As the glass forms a molten globule at the end of the stick, she touches it to the rim of the hole. It sticks to the edge and gravity begins to do the rest. She rotates and tips the metal to get the best shape in the surface of the molten glass. Once the hole is filled, she simply snaps off the 44

Fabricator n January/February 2010

stick and inserts the piece into the vermiculite for annealing. And, voila, a glass inlay. When doing multiple inlays, she cautions against having them too close to one another which will cause cracking during the process. A little advance planning in the design usually takes care of this. Another way of attaching glass to steel is seen in Lovell’s Bird’s Nest bed. The piece is a stylized tree with fruit, but rather than set the colored glass as inlays, she attached them to the ends of the steel. This process of the glass application is very similar to inlaying, differing only in that the metal preparation is different. Instead of a creating a hole to receive the glass, the steel is drawn down (tapered) and jumped (enlarged) at its tip. The jumping increases the surface area for attachment. As with inlays, the metal is prepared by bringing it to a red heat. Then the end of the cane is heated slowly until it forms a globule of molten glass. But, instead of touching it to a hole in the steel, it is basically just stuck onto a tip of the steel. Again, tilting and rotating the metal will yield the desired shape in the glass. Projects with glass inlays can be finished in a number of ways although care has to be taken around the glass. In the case of Shawn’s church gate, she had it arc sprayed. Of course ordinary metal paints can be used as well. But, whatever finishing method you use, care must be taken to mask off the glass. The bottom line is that glass inlays are unique; and unique work gets noticed. And that gets commissions. Just ask Shawn Lovell. If you’d like to try your hand at some inlays you don’t have to necessarily be a blacksmith. Just stick to the basic rules. And, take your time.

The Art of Blacksmithing, Alex Bealer, Castle Books, 1976


Fabricator n January/February 2010


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Job Profile

Using hi-tech to honor past historic fencing restored Eagle Machine & Welding successfully tackled the cemetery project with the help of AutoCAD, a robotic plasma cam, and some on-thejob training.

By Sheila Phinazee Associate Editor After waiting many years, the Old

Colony Burying Ground board finally had the funding to restore an historic cemetery fence and commissioned NOMMA member, Wade Ranck of Eagle Machine and Welding, to do the work. Ranck and his team started the job May 26, 2009 when the cemetery board gave the OK to begin. The project took longer than he had expected. Nevertheless, it was good experience for Eagle Machine and Welding; Ranck says, “I enjoyed the project, we learned a lot from it.”

Ohio which consists of Case family members from the 1840’s, the Civil War era, is represented by the Old Colony Burying Ground board. One of the board members, who is also an Eagle Machine and Welding customer, told Ranck about the project. The cemetery board took four bids, but Ranck’s was the only one that offered to duplicate the original form. “I was the only one that told them I will restore and duplicate the original fence,” says Ranck. “The competition wanted to do looped and spiked fence, re-hang the original piece, and make a new gate. We submitted an AutoCAD drawing of what we would do.” Restoration challenges

Overcoming the competition

The Case Family Plot in Granville, 48

After many years of decay, the cemetery fencing needed a lot of work.

Left, the fence as it was found with two sides missing and the rest in poor shape. Right, the installed, renovated fence.

For your information



Summary A NOMMA member takes on a challenging restoration project. Memorable Quote “I’ve done restoration before, but never one like this. Only about one third of the fence was left.” Contact Wade and Kriste Ranck Eagle Machine & Welding Inc. 18 W. Walnut St., Newark, OH 43055, 740-345-5210

Fabricator n January/February 2010

“I’ve done restoration before, but never one like this. Only about one third of the fence was left.” The rest of the fencing had rusted away or had been lost over the years. Ranck has done cemetery fencing and several restoration jobs before, but never had to repair or duplicate to this level. The biggest challenge was finding the original footprint of the fence. “We had to do a lot of digging to find pieces of old post to get an approximate dimension for the fence. There was one original post, one good casting, and one good finial, but no gate,” says Ranck. They needed duplication, but did not know where to turn. After Ranck posted the question on the NOMMA ListServ, Michael Boyler of Boyler’s Ironworks in Bettendorf, Iowa connected Ranck with Kloppenborg Foundry in Davenport, Iowa who

‘I used my robotic

plasma cutting machine for the duplication. We drew every piece, every little casting — there were about seven different castings of the fence. We drew them all out in AutoCAD then cut them out of ¼" steel plate. For every foot of fencing, there were six pieces to be cut out.’

Wade Ranck Eagle Machine and Welding Macon, Ga.

Above, assembling the individual pieces to make a new fence section. Below, AutoCAD drawing of cemetery fence.

Fabricator n January/February 2010

cast the new tops and finials by duplicating the originals. “This was probably one of the most difficult parts. We wound up having the pieces cast out of aluminum because it was less expensive. The folks at Kloppenborg Foundry did a beautiful job on these pieces for us,” says Ranck. Technology comes in handy

Ranck put technology to use. He says, “I used my robotic plasma cutting machine for the duplication. We drew every piece, every little casting—there were about seven different castings of the fence. We drew them all out in AutoCAD then cut them out of ¼" steel plate. For every foot of fencing, there were six pieces to be cut out.” Ranck says, “We had over 1,000 little pieces that we cut. The finished product looked like the original, but it was out of flat plate, instead of cast iron.” The cemetery board wanted a less costly option than having every portion re-cast in patterns being made as in a true restoration. What remained of the original fence was about 21' on one side and 10' on another. They sandblasted and cleaned up what was left of the original fencing. They made three new rails, put in all new steel, and duplicated the other three sides. Ranck and his team duplicated the posts, and made a gate. Ranck says, “For finishing, we primed it and painted it.” Ranck learned a new technique for painting at an upper Midwest chapter meeting at MoFAB in Indianapolis. The process involves pumping paint over the project — flood painting. “I just set up a paint booth and pumped paint through a garden hose where we essentially poured paint all over all the pieces, saturating it, and allowed the paint to recycle back through,” says Ranck. “We used a couple coats of primer and a couple coats of glossy black paint. We wanted it to stand out in the cemetery, also as the 49

Square post top, right, and finial for top of post cap, left, had to be cast to replace the missing ones.

cemetery board requested; therefore we chose a glossy over a satin or matte finish.” The painting technique proved to be effective. “We don’t have a dip tank. Plus, there are so many corners and edging, it would have been a nightmare to spray paint. Instead using the flood painting process, we did the front, back, and side and flipped it over repeating the process twice.” When all was done, Eagle Machine and Welding had invested 275 man hours in the job. They gained a lot from the experience. “We used a several pieces of technology, the robotic plasma cam, AutoCAD, and using the NOMMA ListServ, contacts, and techniques we’ve learned. It was definitely helpful to have the network of the NOMMA people to help find the people that I needed.” Chapter meetings also were helpful, where I learned flood painting.” Business matters

Wade used body putty to smooth out the original castings so the new ones could be made.

Wade machining the new castings to fit.


Eagle Machine and Welding posts current projects on the website, even those in process. Ranck says, “We often tell our customers they can go online to see the process.” The cemetery board contact used the website to track the cemetery fence process, even while he was on vacation. He was even able to see the finished project before arriving back in town. “We change pictures basically weekly,” says Ranck. Darin, the office manager, maintains the website and keeps it up to date. The shop has four staff plus Ranck and his wife, Kriste, and occupies about 4000 square feet. After attending Utah Valley University, Ranck stayed in Utah to work, but a visit home to Ohio presented a new business opportunity for Ranck, Kriste, and their family. “I am originally from this part of Ohio. We came home for Christmas and this business was for sale, so we bought it,” says Ranck. The timing was right, in February of 1996; they were ready for the move — which turned out to be a good one. Ranck says, “We have tripled our business from what it was when I originally bought it. It was a welding shop for about 80 years.” Ranck Fabricator n January/February 2010

Wade flood priming, left, and painting, right, one of the restored sections.

At left, fabricating new posts with the new post caps and finials on top. At right, several of the assembled sections.

which apparently runs in the family. Ranck’s family has been in construction for years, but he recently found out he has ancestors that were train engineers and blacksmiths. While in Utah, he built overhead gantry crane control systems for the steel mill industry. While at this job, Ranck says he learned to weld from one of the “old timers.”


© 1/2010

became the fourth owner when he purchased the property which previously was a welding and blacksmithing shop. Ranck says, “I started ornamental ironwork when I bought the shop, because that is what I enjoy.” Ranck is a machinist by trade and has a degree in machine tool design. He has always enjoyed working with his hands,

800-624-9512  fax 205-595-0599 request our current trade catalog Fabricator n January/February 2010


Left, foreground, a restored section; right, newly created section.

Using social media marketing

About one half of Eagle Machine and Welding’s work is ornamental; about five percent of that is restoration. Ranck says, “Restoration customers that want to restore ironwork are few and far between. We’re pushing it more, and trying to get our name out more through the use of our website, Facebook, and Twitter. With today’s market you’ve got to get every edge you can.” They also go after contractors and designers. “I often do work for interior and exterior designers and landscape designers,” says Ranck. The designers he’s worked with found him by word of mouth from other contractors that they do work for. Some designers work with the same contractors as Ranck, and then hire him on their own.

er s v E t w u a c S e st mitr e t s Fa o 60º 0º t

Ranck bought a power hammer and is now learning blacksmithing, “as something new and fun to do.” Ranck started going to some of the NEF seminars with Roger Carlsen, also featured in this magazine issue. “I decided I could provide more services for people,” says Ranck. “Our shop is known for doing everything. We’ve done lawn mower decks, garden trellises, and odds and ends. Antique dealers have brought in things, like a sculpture of a giant crane, cast iron pots, pot metal items, old antiques, and modern stuff also. We use some of the blacksmithing skills for restoration and repairs. To fix it, you need to know how it was made, so we try to learn,” says Ranck. Like many craftsmen, Ranck enjoys variety. Although they have done some production work, like the defense contract they had making truss’s for Constantine wire for the military while in Iraq. They like variety. “We do a lot of hammered copper counter tops, for homes and care facilities,” says Ranck. “The funny thing is, I first got started by taking the job then learned how to do the work. I talked to Roger Carlsen one day at a chapter meeting, he got a piece of copper, and he showed me how to anneal the copper right there.” An avid Harley fan and rider, Ranck’s shop also fabricates custom motorcycle parts and custom parts for street rods. Where’d the shop’s name come from? Ranck earned his Eagle while in the scouts. He also rides Harleys and likes the Eagle logos that go along with that. “I have a friend that’s a graphic designer that put my logo together — it’s also on my trucks,” says Ranck. Learning from experience

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The Case Family Cemetery project was a good experience overall and developed a better understanding of the process for the whole team. Ranck says, “We learned it took a lot longer to cut out and clean that many components. There were a lot of pieces and parts, not your standard ornamental iron fence put together with pickets and rails.” They became skilled at short cuts besides the painting, like making a lot of jigs. “Once we figured out the spacing for the first one, we then made a jig around it which allowed the rest of the assemblies to go together much quicker. “The cemetery board really wanted something that looked like the original. It turned out really nice. Luckily we were the only ones that had the technology to do it,” says Ranck. Fabricator n January/February 2010

Biz Side

How to battle skyrocketing state taxes n

Plunging revenues are resulting in local

and state governments stepping up their pursuit of taxes and your ornamental and miscellaneous metals fabrication business may be the next target. State budgets that seem to flirt with disaster even in good times are now in dire straits, something with big implications for every fabricator, shop, and business. A small business based in New Mexico was recently asked about its business activity by Washington State. One salesperson in the state for a total of three days during a four-year period was enough to incur a Washington State income tax bill for the New Mexico business, at least according to the state’s tax authorities. Across state lines

Every fabricator faces an interesting challenge: What happens if you do business in more than one state? The state that the business calls home generally wants to tax every Fabricator n January/February 2010

dollar of income. Every other state where you do business wants to tax income earned in their state. Does that mean paying taxes on the same income twice? Fortunately, only rarely does anyone wind up paying tax on the same income twice. “Rarely” is the operational word because the way that states handle the problem is not uniform. In other words, if you do 45 percent of your business in state A and 55

For your information


By Mark E. Battersby

Summary State taxes can cost you 5 to 8 percent of your pre-tax income. Make double sure you are paying the least amount that is legally possible. About the Author Mark E. Battersby is a freelance writer based in Ardmore, PA. Mark’s features, columns and reports have appeared in leading trade magazines and professional journals since the early 1980s.

Several accounting defenses can help you when states, hungry for revenue, place a heavier load on your back.

percent in your home state of B, it doesn’t mean that 45 percent of your business’s income will be taxed in A and 55 percent in B. Depending on the rules in each state, the company may wind up paying slightly more or less. In fact, depending on the rules in each state the company could wind up paying state tax on less than 100 percent of its income. Paying state taxes on less than 100 percent of your income obviously depends on the states where business is conducted. It also takes a sharp pencil and a clear understanding of state tax laws. Unfortunately, not only are state laws every bit as confusing as our federal tax laws, there are 50 of them to try to understand. Nexus

Battles over the cross-border reach of state tax authorities are as old as the country. Although the Constitution leaves it to Congress to regulate interstate business, the states have long tested the constraints. The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, long ago ruled that a seller does not have to 53

collect sales taxes for a state unless it has a physical presence, or “Nexus,” in that state. Tax law changes in New York State attempt to finesse that ruling by attributing the in-state presence of Amazon’s New York affiliate sellers to Amazon. Earlier this year, Massachusetts’s tax authorities attempted to force the New Hampshire outlets of a tire retailer to collect Massachusetts sales tax from customers with Massachusetts plates on the novel ground that the New Hampshire-based dealer has Massachusetts outlets. In retaliation, lawmakers in sales tax-free New Hampshire are pushing a law to prevent New Hampshire retailers from collecting the tax for other states. Delaware recently took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to an Alabama law by a VF Corporation subsidiary. A 1984 Delaware law explicitly exempted intangible holding companies from its own corporate income tax. As a result, many companies parked patents and trademarks in Delaware subsidiaries, making nice work for Delaware lawyers and accountants. VF put the trademarks for its Lee and Wrangler jeans into a Delaware subsidiary, allowing its Alabama manufacturing unit to pay royalties to its Delaware subsidiary, thus reducing its taxable Alabama income. Today, Alabama and 20 other states have adopted so-called “add-back” statues. An Alabama subsidiary must add back to its profits any interest or royalty paid to a related corporation that is not itself subject to some other states’ income tax. Vvia la difference

When is a metalworking shop or business required to file a tax return in another state? Even that becomes a complicated question, one that depends on the rules in a particular state. Generally, if a metalworking business simply sends goods into a state and does not have employees working in that state, the business probably will not have to file income or sales tax returns in that state. 54

Real apportioning

Although, at least in theory, the formula appears simple,

not every state uses the same approach and, in practice, the rules are more complicated. Some states, for example, weigh one factor heavier than others. Until Washington State began sending its questionnaires and eventually tax bills to out-of-state businesses, a business sending independent sales reps into another state was usually able to avoid filing income tax returns. In fact, in the past, even a business with a sales office in a state, one which takes orders that have to be approved at another office out of state, have been exempted from filing income taxes in that state. Of course, once a metalworking business has a shop or other property located in a state or has employees in a state the operation must generally file tax returns and pay taxes. Not filing could result in penalties, interest, and a host of other tax problems.

The states have developed a more formal approach to dealing with corporations, partnerships, etc. Often referred to as the “Massachusetts formula” (where it was first introduced) it more commonly bears the descriptive title “three-factor formula” because it uses sales, property, and payroll of a business to apportion its income between states. Although the general theory is almost universal, some states modify the formula. The concept is simple. The metalworking business computes a percentage for sales based on its sales in state to the operation’s total sales. The same is done with property, and payroll. Add the percentages and divide by three. The result is the apportionment factor for the operation. Apply that factor to the metalworking business’s pretax income for the year (after making any required adjustments to the income for the rules in that state) and the result is the income reportable to the state. Although, at least in theory, the formula appears simple, not every state uses the same approach and, in practice, the rules are more complicated. Some states, for example, weigh one factor heavier than others. Separately accounting for state taxes

While most metalworking businesses take a general approach to apportion income, many states allow the use of “separate accounting.” Separate accounting is pretty much what it sounds like, a second set of books. The metalworking business computes its net income based on the income and expenses in the state. Unless the operation in the state is almost a separate entity, this generally is not easy. It can also be expensive. Overhead, salaries of employees who work in and Fabricator n January/February 2010

out of the state, expenses, overhead, must be allocated to those locations. However, despite the problems, the use of separate accounting can result in significant tax savings, especially if the operations in the state produce little or no income, and the state has a high tax rate. Those other state taxes

Many states impose a franchise tax as well as an income tax. The franchise tax is usually, based on the property used in the metals fabrication operation. Most states that have such a tax usually use the same factor for apportioning income to apportion the franchise tax. Obviously, not all income is subject to apportionment. Certain items of income, such as capital gains on the sale of property, are more properly allocated to the state in which the property is located. Of course, just because a metalworking business has sales in another state this does not always guarantee that it can apportion some of its

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Today, state income taxes can cost a metal-

working shop or business between five and eight percent — or more — of its pretax income. income to that state. Many states subscribe to a so-called “throwback rule.” The theory is, even if a company has sales in another state, if that state does not tax the income, the income belongs to the company’s home state. If for example, a company has catalog sales in 10 states but only has employees and property in state A. State A will not allow the company to apportion its income. A metalworking business owner or manager might keep in mind that in some cases it may make sense to establish a presence in a state just to allocate sales outside the fabrication operation’s home state. The higher the

home state’s tax rate, and the lower the tax rate in the other state, the more advantageous this strategy becomes. Beware

Plunging tax revenues now have more than 40 states facing budget shortfalls and as many as 10 states (including California, Florida, and New York) expect 2010 revenues to lag expenses by more than 20%. To fill these budget gaps (real and projected), more and more states are aggressively seeking more business tax revenues via taxes, stepped-up enforce­ment, interpreting “nexus,” more broadly, and proposing additional business levies. Today, state income taxes can cost a metalworking shop or business between five and eight percent of its pretax income. That is not an insignificant amount, regardless of the state of the economy. Beware, however, multistate taxation is tricky. Fortunately, planning and the assistance of a tax professional can save substantial tax dollars.


Biz Side

How to cut your 2010 income tax bill n

Waiting until the last minute to start your planning can be costly.

By William J. Lynott

tax return each year,” said Roni Deutch, tax attorney and author of The Tax Lady’s Guide to Beating the IRS. “Keep receipts for everything,” said Bridget Crawford, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Pace Law School. “The cost of office supplies and internet service are easy to track, but keep in mind the ‘minor’ expenses that keep your business going day-to-day.”

If you’re like many busy shop owners,

you don’t pay much attention to income taxes until the filing deadline looms. “That’s a mistake that can cost you,” said Public Accountant, Jay Blumenthal, Abington, Pa. “One of the most effective ways to pare your taxes to the legal minimum is to start your tax planning early and make it a year-long effort.” It’s only natural to devote most of your management time to developing income and reducing expenses, but it’s important to remember the effect that taxes have on those profit dollars. Here are some easy tax-planning tips that will help to maximize your after-tax dollars in 2010 and beyond.

Purchases financed by loans or credit cards

“Most of the time, financing purchases on your credit card is a bad idea,” said Deutch. “However, since the interest paid on business expenses is tax deductible, there are exceptions, especially toward the end of the year when you need to rack up a few more deductions. Simply

Organize your records now

Look for deductions that you may have missed last year

Many taxpayers miss out on important deductions by waiting until the last minute, say the pros. “I’m willing to bet that every taxpayer misses at least one deduction on their 56

For your information


“If you scramble at tax time looking for receipts and other records to pass along to your accountant, you’re probably missing out on some healthy deductions,” said Blumenthal. “By keeping your records up-todate, you’ll make your accountant’s job easier next April, and an easier job for your accountant means a savings on your tax preparation bill as well as your taxes.”

Summary Twelve tips for getting your taxes down

to the minimum. About the Author William J. Lynott is a longtime business writer for Fabricator. Based in Abington, PA, he is the author of three books and over 900 articles and essays. Web: Fabricator n January/February 2010

pay some business expenses or purchase some office supplies on your business credit card before December 31, 2010. You get the deduction on your 2010 tax return, but you don’t have to pay the bill until next year.”

securities instead of cash. You’ll receive a full fair market value deduction and pay no capital gains tax on the securities. Or, sell depreciated securities for the tax-deductible loss and then give the cash from the sale to charity.

Take advantage of Section 179

Most new business equipment can be depreciated over its useful life or expensed immediately under Internal Revenue Code Section 179. This provision of the law permits you to deduct the full cost of capital assets in the year of purchase. The current deduction limit is $250,000. “If your business is not taking advantage of the Section 179 deduction, you’re missing out,” said Deutch. Taking the 179 Deduction is easy for you or your accountant. Simply fill out Part one of IRS form 4562, available free from the IRS (www.irs. gov). Attach it to your tax return as you would any other additional form. Consider making any capital expenditures you’ve been planning before year-end in order to lower this year’s tax bill. Purchases made right up to December 31 2010 are eligible for the Section 179 tax deduction. Combine pleasure trips with some business

If you’re planning any pleasure trips this year, consider adding in a little business. Can you visit a metalworking shop owner or trade association in your destination city to discuss business techniques that may help to improve your management skills? When you travel away from home, you may deduct fares, meals, lodging, and incidental expenses (as long as they are not extravagant). The definition of “away from home” is any trip that takes enough time that the traveler could reasonably be expected to need sleep or rest. The definition of home is your regular place of business. When the primary purpose of the trip is business, you may deduct travel expenses even if you enjoyed some non-business Fabricator n January/February 2010

Consider changing your business structure

extracurricular activities. If more than 50 percent of the time you spend away from home is spent on pleasure, the cost of transportation will be disallowed. However, if more than 50 percent of your time is devoted to business, all travel expenses are deductible. Maximize your tax-deferred retirement account early

Make the maximum allowable deposits into your 401(k) or IRA account as early in the year as possible. This is universally regarded by financial experts as one of the most important tax-savings techniques. “When you’ve got a stack of bills, it’s easy to forget the person you should be paying first — yourself,” said Crawford. “I don’t mean a salary. I mean contributions to your retirement account, even if you can only manage $50 to $100 each month. And don’t wait until next year hoping that you’ll have extra cash; you want to ride that line of compounding interest as long as possible.” Will you make charitable contributions in 2010?

If you plan to make charitable contributions this year, consider donating long-term appreciated

Are you operating your business as a sole proprietor? “Many small-business owners operate as sole proprietors, unaware that net profit from a sole proprietorship is subject to self employment tax,” said Enrolled Agent Karla Dennis. “Self employment tax is comprised of social security tax and Medicare tax. The current social security tax rate is 12.4 percent and the Medicare rate is 2.9 percent. By switching to a corporation or a sub-chapter S corporation, a business owner could eliminate a great chunk of this tax.” Dennis pointed out that when switching to a corporation, the taxpayer must take an adequate salary



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and pay the appropriate employment taxes. “But, this will cost far less than exposing all net income to social security and Medicare taxes,” she said. “Medicare is taxed against all income and never caps out. The Social Security tax stops when your net income reaches $106,800.”

$3,000 forward every year until you use them up.

“Many small-business owners operate as sole proprietors, unaware that net profit from a sole proprietorship is subject to self employment tax.”

Balance investment gains and losses

Keep a close eye on your personal investments during the year. By selling appreciated assets and liquidating under-performing investments, you may match gains and losses to minimize your personal income taxes. If you have sufficient losses to offset your gains, you may deduct the losses on sales completed by December 31. Note, however, that the amount of capital losses that you can use to offset ordinary income is limited to $3,000. If your net loss totals more than $3,000, you may carry losses over 800-782-5598


Are you operating your business as a sole proprietor?

Enrolled Agent Karla Dennis.

Having a blessed event?

If you’re expecting the stork to visit your house this year, remember to obtain a social security number for babies born any time during 2010, right up to December 31. Put the newcomer on your personal tax return to receive the benefits of claiming the child as a dependent or claiming head of household status.




Saving for college?

If you’re facing college tuition expenses in the years ahead, a 529 College Savings Plan can help to build your college fund and save on taxes while you’re doing it. Offered by 49 states and the District of Columbia, 529 plans allow you to contribute as much as $250,000 to pay for children’s’ college. Contributions compound tax-free and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they are spent for higher education. There is no deduction on federal taxes for your contributions, but more than half the states offer a deduction on state income taxes. Value yourself

Many shop owners are good community members who donate some of their time and expertise to charities. “The cost of your time for those efforts is not deductible,” said Professor Crawford, “but any expenses associated with rendering the services are. So if you do any work for a non-profit, the cost of travel is deductible; so are photocopies, long distance phone calls, or office supplies directly related to the charitable service you render.” Keeping your annual contribution to Uncle Sam to the legal minimum is the smart way to increase your after-tax dollars. Getting an early start on the task and keeping tax reduction in your plans all year long is a basic requirement for solid business management.

Visit Encon at the AFA FenceTech for details. Booth 1509. 58

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Biz Side

Surviving the recession

Business strategies for tough times n

A positive attitude and creative thinking are essential for getting through tough times.

For your information


Summary First, take a hard look at how you market business. Second, take a lineby-line look at how you can increase efficiency and productivity.

About the Author Larry Bangs is a Management Consultant and Business Coach (Accredited Associate of The Institute for Independent Business). Bangs has been working with entrepreneurs, including family businesses, for 20 years, as well as fabricators in Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee and California. He was a featured speaker at the NOMMA convention in 1991. Bangs Business Coaching 240-863-3889

Fabricator n January/February 2010

By Larry Bangs Many economic indicators say the

recession has bottomed out and recovery is underway. That may be true in the “big picture.” It sure isn’t true for most of the small businesses I know. Small businesses have suffered a drop in business anywhere from 12% on the low end to 30% on the high end during 2009. If there is a recovery, not much of it has made it to the trades and metal fabricating specifically. Taking care of the “big boys” — the banks, auto industry, etc. — has yet to translate into tangible relief for us at the lower end of the food chain. According to a friend in the banking industry, that may not change soon. What can you do?

First on the list is to do your best to keep your attitude as positive as possible. It’s not easy to do, but it is vital. The trick is not to get stuck in a negative cycle of thinking and let it drag you down. Particularly for those who own and lead their businesses; your attitude

sets the tone for everyone else in the business. There is always opportunity out there, but it won’t show up on your doorstep asking for you. You need to look for it, recognize it, develop it, and change some of the ways you do things.

IDEA Use Your Friends — One of the great things about 1

NOMMA is the willingness of members to share what they know — not to mention making lifelong friendships along the way. If you don’t have other NOMMA members that you talk to on a regular basis, start doing it now. Find out what they are doing. It’s okay to commiserate a little, but keep the conversation on the “up” side. What’s working? Where are you finding new business? You may even want to organize your own small group and talk together on a regular basis.

IDEA Think “Outside the Box” — Get creative. Look around 2 at other work you could be


doing using the same equipment and skills you have now. If you’ve always done ornamental and there is a stronger market right now for commercial/structural, take a look. If you’ve specialized in high end design, one-of-a-kind creations and there is now a stronger demand for security, give it a chance. A few years ago, a client of mine who was running a chicken farm converted some of his unused hen houses into greenhouses for growing tropical plants. He is now one of the largest and most successful tropical plant wholesalers on the west coast.

IDEA Invest in Marketing and Sales — The rule of thumb 3

during down times is to strip away any and all expenses that don’t contribute directly to bringing in sales or making a profit. You’ve probably already done that. To the degree you have any flexibility in terms of shifting some of your expenses, put every dollar you can into marketing and sales. A hint: well over 50% of the advertising dollars spent in the U.S. today are spent for online advertising. You need a good website. It’s the first place people go now to check you out. And you can place very targeted ads and optimize your search engine attractiveness without spending big bucks. It takes someone who knows what they are doing and there are a lot of “pretenders” out there. Find someone you can trust and get serious about your online marketing.

What do you do to cultivate and nurture your customer relationships?

I don’t mean bombard them with calls or newsletters. I mean added value service. . . . Differentiate yourself by the level of service . . . you give to your customers. IDEA Your Best Customers Are Always the Ones You 4

Already Have — What do you do to cultivate and nurture your customer relationships? I don’t mean bombard them with calls or newsletters. I mean added value service.

Go back to them on your own, check the paint job, and touch it up. Respond instantly to the smallest request. Make sure they know you are going the extra mile every time you do something for them. A recent study indicated that up to 50% of those polled, under the right circumstances, would change their vendor even though they have been fully satisfied with them in the past. Everybody is feeling the price squeeze. If you are not taking care of your customers, there is someone else out there that would be happy to take them over. Differentiate yourself by the level of service and personal care you give to your customers.

IDEA Network, Network, and then Network Some More — 5

People do business with us because they know us and trust us. Someone they trust probably recommended you. If you haven’t already, you should be getting out seeing architects, designers, builders — the people in your community who have their fingers on the jobs that are coming through. And, don’t stop there. I know it can be a real pain to go to some kind of community function at night after a long day. But, you need to be visible and you need to be constantly making new friends and new connections. Right now, look for projects in your market connected with the “Stimulus” money. It’s coming out in stages mostly through state agencies. It is particularly pointed toward “greening up” existing buildings. You should also be thinking “green.” The demand for environmentally sustainable products and business practices is trending up quickly. More and more people are making their buying choices based on who among their vendors is the “greenest.” During down times, you focus on sales and you work smarter (online advertising) and harder (networking).

5186-F Longs Peak Road, Berthoud, CO 80513

Become more efficient

There are also things you can do to improve the efficiency and productiv60

Fabricator n January/February 2010

ity of your business that will help during difficult times.

IDEA Training and Professional Development — Get your 1

staff out learning new fabricating skills, new painting techniques, etc. Cross train them so you’ve got more flexibility and back up. This doesn’t have to cost. You can probably do the training yourself or perhaps buddy up with another NOMMA member in your area who has skills you don’t have. Employees feel much more valued when you2007 invest05 in them. This is 05 G-S g-s co:2007 a “win-win” proposition (actually something you should be doing all the time).

bundle. Check with the Service Corp of Retired Executives (CORE) or your local Chamber of Commerce. Toughest advice

If you are starting to take desperate measures and cut corners where you shouldn’t (such as not paying your quarterly payroll taxes), it is definitely time to get some help. I owned a business (sports flooring) that was not making it and I hung on for too long. My stubbornness cost me a lot, both in terms of stress and hard dollars. It’s pretty10:41 terribleAMto contemplate Co 4/5/07 Page 1 but it might be time to close up shop,

stop the “bleeding,” and find another way to get through the recession. During stressful times we tend to worry too much and stop doing things (like exercising and spending quality time with our families) that are really important in the bigger picture. It’s not worth risking your health or the most important relationships in your life. I’ve always liked the saying, “Do your best and let God take care of the rest.” Looking for a past article? Check out our archive of past issues in the Members Only Area.

IDEA Invest in Your Own Learning and Capabilities as a 2

Business Person and Leader — I highly recommend the work of Jim Collins and his two books: Good to Great and Built to Last. It’s solid, practical research and tools for making your business more proactive and even visionary. If you have not articulated a “Core Purpose” and “Core Values” for your business, you might be surprised at how powerful the exercise of articulating and following them can be. Particularly in this economy, being clear about what your strengths are and how to leverage them is vital. Find out about the “Hedgehog Concept” and how it may apply in your business. Look into the One Minute Manager series authored by Ken Blanchard. They are short, concise, and packed with practical advice for dealing with employees.

THE G-S COMPANY The Best Wire Mesh Products Available • Family owned & operated since 1928 • NOMMA member since 1976 • Exclusive manufacturer of: Sure-Guard™ • Tartan Weave™ Rod-Guard™ • Mesh-Guard™

IDEA Get a “Check Up” — Bring someone in from outside who 3

can take a look at the way you are running your business and provide suggestions for improvements. Particularly when you have been doing the same thing for a long time, it’s easy to get stuck in particular ways of doing things that just aren’t as efficient and productive as they could be. Sometimes you need a set of “outside eyes” to see what you cannot necessarily see from your perspective. This also does not need to cost a Fabricator n January/February 2010

Call us first for: Railing infill panels, partitions, window guards, stairway enclosures & detention equipment web: email:






7920 Stansbury Rd., Baltimore, MD 21222 Ph: (410) 284-9549 • Fx: (410) 282-6499. 61

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

A note from the chair

Sharing with Other Members Brings Benefits Cast your bread upon the waters . . .

I am aware of two phrases that follow “Cast your bread upon the waters…” One says, “…for you will find it many days after” (Eccl. 11:1). And, the other is “…and it shall return tenfold.” (I have no idea of its origin). Now, any of you who know me, know that I am not a very religious man; however, there are guiding principles in all of our lives Roger Carlsen is chair of that could find basis in old theology the NOMMA Education that we may, or may not, admit to. Foundation. When I think about either of the phrases, I interpret them to mean that whatever you give of your free will, will come back to you. Another more contemporary interpretation would be: “What goes around comes around.” As I understand these thoughts, it is not that we do something in order to get something in return, but rather we do something and it will ‘naturally’ return. And, I think of this with the ‘natural’ results of us NOMMA members sharing with each other and the benefits we may reap. I heard with great sadness of the recent passing of Dick Boyler. Dick was one of the founders of NOMMA. If it had not been for Dick, I would not be involved in NOMMA. Many years ago (more likely, decades) I had been contacted (as an Illinois Valley Blacksmiths Association member) by the Boyler family to do a blacksmithing demonstration in the old family smithy in Iowa for a local festival. The hospitality and warmth that Dick showed was repeated later on by his son Mike Boyler. Over the years the relationship with the family grew and became a friendship. I was just starting out in the ornamental aspect of ironwork and even though many miles separated us, I knew I could ask Mike for advice or a recommendation on how to do something and he would be more than willing to share what he knew— and this was way before the days of the Internet. Eventually, I was actually able to return some of the sharing with Mike from my little ‘specialized’ areas of blacksmithing. As time went on, I got to know another of Dick Boyler’s sons, Bruce. He also followed in his father’s footsteps of giving and sharing to NOMMA and individuals. Mike was the first Chairman of the NEF Board of Trustees, a foundation that is dedicated to education and the sharing of ideas. I now hold that position. My point is: from the roots of one man’s desire to share and help others, many branches have spread out to perpetuate this giving. When we share information and ideas with others, it cannot help but come back to us. The NOMMA ListServ is a prime example of this. Those 62

of you who have accessed the ListServ know the great value of this tool that NOMMA has made available to us and its foundation is the sharing of ideas. Usually when there is a question posted on the ListServ, it is a short matter of time before there are multiple responses. The NOMMA website has always been a great source for the dissemination of information to our industry and has recently experienced great new upgrades: • Todd Daniel, our new Executive Director, has recently led our first NOMMA webinar with plans for many more to take place in the near future. NEF is pleased to announce that it will fund the hosting cost for the webinars for the rest of the fiscal year. Also, be sure to check out the new and improved members’ only area. • NEF is working on the development of a tutorial that will be available to our membership to show how individuals can use digital video to make videos for reuse on their own websites or possibly even posting tutorials to the NOMMA website. • NEF is developing plans for new videos that will be available to our membership and should be ready for release in the near future. NOMMA Education Foundation Resource Program is still available to help local chapters by supplying a list of resource presenters and partial funding for a chapter meeting. And, finally, NEF is still accepting applications from chapters for funding of program presentations of their own choice for a local meeting. For information on any of the above NEF offerings, please contact any of the NEF trustees or the NOMMA office. In the previous issue, I began introducing NEF Trustees. We are here to serve you—our members— and we are open to hearing your ideas and suggestions for how we can serve you better.

Attention Chapters! Want to view some of the video shop tours from past METALfab conventions? These video shop tours can make a great chapter program. For more information, contact NEF trustee James Minter Jr. (601-833-3000;

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Meet Trustee Michael Boyler. Michael Boyler of Bettendorf, IA currently serves as NEF Trustee and Treasurer. He is President of Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc., running the company with his two brothers Bruce and Doug. They continue the legacy of their grandfather and father who founded and operated the company before them. Boyler’s Ornamental Michael Boyler Iron was founded in 1902 as a blacksmith shop and through the years has morphed into railings—specializing in hand forged and ornamental residential railings—to commercial pipe railings. Mike was introduced to NOMMA as a youngster, hearing about all the activities that went on during conventions from his father. He attended his first convention in Oklahoma City in 1977. After experiencing the NOMMA family and finding the source for education pointed at the very things he did every day, Mike has attended every convention he possibly could. Seeing a need for the Joint Finish Standards, Mike volunteered to serve on that committee. Once those standards had been published, he continued his involvement on the window guard standards task force. Along with this, Mike also helped with Top Job setup and teardown and became Top

Job Chair in 1993, serving two years before being selected as a member of the NOMMA Board of Directors in 1995. He served as President of NOMMA in 2001 and has served as a NEF trustee since it was established in 2001. Mike received the Julius Blum Award in 2004, the Frank A. Kozik Volunteer Service Award in 2006, and the Clifford Brown Award in 2007. Mike has always believed that the common denominator among everyone who joins NOMMA is education. “Education is the primary reason we all get together because it feeds the progression and success of our businesses.” Education of NOMMA members has been his goal from his initial work in the standards committee through his involvement today in the NOMMA Education Foundation. In 2001, Mike lead a fact finding mission along with two other NOMMA board members and the NOMMA executive director to France to learn about the guild system established there to educate new craftsmen for the metals trade. As a result of this trip, Boyler’s Ornamental Iron has hosted four trainees from the Compagnons du Devoir and has sent one of their employees to France for 18 months of priceless education experience. When not at the shop, Mike can be found at his cabin on a small lake in central Illinois, cruising on his rebuilt pontoon boat, or enjoying being in the middle of nature’s presence. His advice is simply, “Volunteer for everything you can in NOMMA. You will get back far more than you ever put in. The immersion will feed your metal worker’s soul.”

Call for Auction Items

Support NEF with a donation to the Live/Silent Auctions at METALfab 2010 in Tulsa, OK Dear Fabricator Readers: The NEF Auction has become one of the most anticipated events held each year at the METALfab Convention and Trade Show. Since its inception, this memorable, fun-filled event has raised more than $100,000 dollars to support the educational and research work of the NOMMA Education Foundation. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution for our Live and Silent Auctions to be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Auction Committee is requesting donations of auction items which may include: Metal sculpture, a garden gate, hand-forged furniture, books, artwork, or antiques; Non-metal items such as tools, gift baskets, gift certificates/ coupons, clothing, food/wine, presentation drawings, the use of a condo at the beach, or airline tickets; Specialized services to create a custom, one-of-a-kind item for the winning bidder; Or, be creative– the sky’s the limit! I challenge the NOMMA Chapters to follow the lead of the Upper Midwest Chapter and schedule a special work day to create at least one hand-crafted item. We anticipate hundreds of fabricators, suppliers, and guests will attend the METALfab 2010 Theme Dinner to view and bid on your auction donation. Your name and business will receive proper recognition before, during, and after the auction. With your help, we will have another successful auction! Every donated item will help the foundation to provide quality education for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry through continuing education programs, video productions, educational publications, as well as supporting special projects important to the industry. Fabricator Fabricator nn January/February January/February 2010 2010

If you wish to contribute an item(s) for this event, please complete the auction donation form available at For questions, call the NOMMA office at (888) 516-8585, ext. 101. Thank you for your help with the NEF Auction 2010!! Sincerely,

Heidi Bischmann NEF Board of Trustees, Auction Chair 6363


Nationwide Supplier Members A Cut Above Distributing (800) 444-2999 Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (866) 252-4628 Alku Group of Companies (800) 465-7143 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858 Allied Tube & Conduit (800) 882-5543 All-O-Matic (818) 678-1790 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (800) 527-1318 American Punch Co. (800) 243-1492 Ameristar Fence Products (888) 333-3422 Anyang USA (940) 627-4529 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (800) 784-7444 Architectural Metal Sales (925) 216-1004 Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143 Banker Wire (800) 523-6772 Barnett Bates Corp. (800) 541-3912 Bavarian Iron Works Co. (800) 522-4766 BFT U.S. Inc. (877) 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 Cadd Connection (541) 967-7954 Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948 Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271 Century Group Inc (800) 527-5232 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402 CML USA Inc. (563) 391-7700 Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404 64

Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (800) 716-0888 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871 DAC Industries Inc. (800) 888-9768 Decorative Iron (888) 380-9278 DKS, DoorKing Systems (800) 826-7493 Robert J. Donaldson Co. (856) 629-2737 Downey Glass Industries (954) 972-0026 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. (251) 937-0947 Eastern Metal Supply (800) 343-8154 Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC (847) 636-1233 ETemplate Systems (919) 676-2244 EURO-FER SPA (011) 39-044-544-0033 FabCad Inc. (866) 427-2454 Feeney Architectural Products, CableRail™ (800) 888-2418 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (800) 663-6356 Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. (011) 49-607-893-7137 Glasswerks LA Inc. (800) 350-4527 The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549 GTO Inc. (800) 543-4283 Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC (800) 346-4296 Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700 Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (800) 225-7373 Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700 Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (800) 242-9872 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (800) 371-4404

Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427 ITW Ransburg (800) 233-3366 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. (800) 4-JANSEN King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 Laser Precision Cutting (800) 514-8065 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (800) 221-5579 Locinox USA (877) 562-4669 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510 McKey Perforating (800) 345-7373 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 NC Tool Co. (800) 446-6498 New Metals Inc. (888) 639-6382 Ohio Gratings Inc. (800) 321-9800 Overseas Supply Inc. (866) 985-9885 P & J Mfg. Co. (419) 227-8742 Paxton & Thau Artistic Supply (866) 629-2790 Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 ProCounsel (866) 289-7833 Q-Railing USA Co. (714) 259-1372 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (800) 841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (800) 745-4107 Scotchman Industries Inc. (800) 843-8844 Fabricator n January/February 2010

SECO South (888) 535-SECO Shaped Steel Inc. (816) 781-5717 Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 Stair Service Inc. (800) 478-2477 Stairways Inc. (800) 231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245

Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Suhner Industrial Products Inc. (706) 235-8046 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 Taco Metals (800) 743-3803 Texas Metal Industries (800) 222-6033 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058

Welcome New Members! We are pleased to introduce our newest members. We encourage our new member firms to “jump in and get involved!” New NOMMA Members as of December 25, 2009. * Asterisk denotes returning member.

Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (800) 392-3655 Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door (866) 790-3667 North Florida Architectural Metals* Palatka, FL Mr. Eddie Gainey Fabricator Priestley Lightning Protection LLC Piermont, NH Mr. Will Priestley Fabricator R. Walsh Gate & Railing Pepin, WI Mr. Robert Walsh Fabricator

Bachtold Metal Works* Jacksonville, FL Mr. Ron Bachtold Fabricator

ETemplate Systems Raleigh, NC Mr. Nick Nichols Nationwide Supplier

Bay View Railing & Ornamental Inc. St. Francis, WI Mr. Chris Kowal Fabricator

F & F Aluminum & Iron Mfg. Inc. Miami, FL Mr. Fernando M. Ruiz Local Supplier

Bucks Fab & Iron LLC Sellersville, PA Mr. Bruce Craven Fabricator

Fencecorp Inc. Riverside, CA Mr. Dale Marriott Fabricator

Cadd Connection Albany, OR Mr. Lee Rodrigue Nationwide Supplier

Gelander Industries Inc.* Tavares, FL Mr. Kim Sechler Fabricator

Clark Welding & Mechanical Svc. La Grande, OR Mr. Dennis Clark Fabricator

Hernandez Iron Works LLC Lafayette, LA Mr. Jeff Hernandez Fabricator

Concept Steel Inc. Belmont, NC Mr. Michael Ryan Chapman Fabricator

Integrity Ironworks LLC Fort Mill, SC Mr. Aaron M. Giauque Fabricator

Crowley Contractors Ft. Mill, SC Mr. Eamonn Crowley Fabricator

Johnson’s Welding Svc. Raleigh, NC Mr. Jarvis Johnson Fabricator

Twisted Metal Blacksmithing & Fabrication Inc.* Las Vegas, NV Mr. Kevin Kelley Fabricator

D.B. Welding & Fab. Sarasota, FL Mr. David Brisson Fabricator

Mainer Iron Works Inc.* Fort Smith, AR Mr. Mark Mainer Fabricator

United Steel Inc. East Hartford, CT Mr. Keith Corneau Fabricator

Daigle Brothers Inc. Tomahawk, WI Mr. Matthew Lallemont Fabricator

Mike’s Ironworks & Ind. Svc. Inc. Oviedo, FL Mr. Sean Wethington Fabricator

Warren Rinehart* Panton, VT Mr. Warren Rinehart Fabricator

Douglas Granum Inc. Southworth, WA Mr. Douglas Granum Fabricator

Miller’s Custom Metals Inc.* Lake Worth, FL Mr. Johnny Miller Fabricator

Eileen Ruth Webb* San Pedro, CA Ms. Eileen R. Webb Fabricator

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Reich Metal Fabricators Inc. West Palm Beach, FL Mr. Jim Bailey Fabricator Sergey Sakirkin Blacksmith Salt Lake City, UT Mr. Sergey Sakirkin Fabricator Snyder Engineering Inc. Columbia, MO Mark A. Snyder, PE Fabricator Sunset Metalworks, a Div. of Sunset Transmission Inc. West Burlington, IA Mr. Kirk J. Beckman Fabricator


Join NOMMA Today!

Increase your knowledge • Network and learn from peers • Enhance your company’s exposure Join the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association and you’ll receive.... n Introductory Package - Upon joining you will receive a kit containing the Buyer’s Guide, logo slicks, and a sampling of our educational booklets and sales aids. n Technical support on issues related to codes and standards. n Email discussion forum - the perfect place to get your questions answered. n NOMMA Members Only Area - This area of our website contains technical support information on ADA, driveway gates, building codes, and more. n Access to TechNotes, our bimonthly technical bulletin and Fabricator’s Journal, our bimonthly “how to” publication. You’ll receive O&MM Fabricator as well. n Subscription to NOMMA Newswire, our monthly email newsletter. n Discounts to METALfab, our annual convention, continuing education programs, and other events. n Discounts to the training DVDs and various publications provided by the NOMMA Education Foundation. Membership Categories Please Check One: ☐ Fabricator $425 - Metal fabricating shops, blacksmiths, artists or other firms and individuals in the industry whose products or services are sold directly to the consumer or the consumer’s immediate agent or contractor. ☐ Nationwide Supplier $595 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services on a nationwide or international basis.

n Awards contest - A great way to get recognition for your work. n Insurance program - participate in the NOMMA-endorsed insurance progam. Enjoy competitive rates and a unique program customized for our industry. n Affiliation and recognition - As a member you are encouraged to display the NOMMA logo on your company stationery, sales literature, building, vehicles, etc.. n Industry support - Your dues advances the work of the NOMMA Technical Affairs Division, which represents industry interests with code bodies, government entities, and standards-setting organizations. This advocacy work is essential to ensure that our industry has a voice with organizations that impact our industry and livelihoods. n Member Locator - Obtain extra exposure with our online member locator. Our website receives over 15,000 visitors per month, including visits from architects, contractors, and consumers. n Chapters - If there is a chapter in your area you can enjoy local education, social activities, tours, and demos.

☐ Regional Supplier $465 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services only within a 500-mile radius. ☐ Local Supplier $375.00 - Firms that sell supplies, raw materials, equipment, machinery, or services only within a 150-mile radius. ☐ Affiliate $310 - Individuals, firms, & organizations which do not engage in the fabrication of ornamental or miscellaneous metal products and do not provide products or services to the industry but which have a

special interest in the industry.

Check on-line for our 1/2 price membe rship special.

Please note: n The membership year runs from July 1 to June 30. n Membership dues payments are not deductible as a charitable contribution, but may be deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense. n By signing this application, you agree to abide by NOMMA’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics upon acceptance. n Checks should be made payable to NOMMA.

☐ YES, I want to join today so that I can start enjoying the benefits of a NOMMA membership! Company Name____________________________________Your Name______________________________________ Address_________________________________________________________________________________________ City______________________________State_________Zip___________________Country_____________________ Phone________________________________Fax_____________________Sponsor (if any)______________________ E-mail______________________________________________Web_________________________________________ Company Specialty/Description_______________________________________________________________________ Signature___________________________________Payment Method ☐ Check ☐ VISA ☐ MC ☐ AMEX ☐ Discover Credit card #_______________________________________________________Exp_____/______CVV_____________ Exact name on card_____________________________________Signature___________________________________ Return to: NOMMA, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214 • Ph/Fax: (888) 516-8585

To join online, visit: - Then click on “Join” 66

Fabricator n January/February 2010

What’s Hot? n AGC Unveils Construction Recovery Plan as Construction Employment Declined in 324 Cities The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America unveiled a new plan designed to revive the hardest hit sector of the economy, the nation’s construction industry. The plan, “Build Now for the Future: A Blueprint for Economic Growth,” is designed to reverse predictions that construction activity will continue to shrink through 2010, crippling broader economic growth. The mix of new incentives, tax cuts, policy revisions, and infrastructure investments outlined in the plan are included to stem the dramatic decline in construction activity and employment taking place nationwide. AGC’s analysis of federal employment data found construction employment declined in 324 of 337 metropolitan areas between August 2008 and 2009. AGC unveiled the plan during a news conference at a stalled construction site in Sparks, Nev., a city that lost 35% of its construction work force. Contact: AGC, Ph: (800) 242-1767; Web:

Industry News & More

Literature & Media New Online Catalog

Lincoln Electric has introduced its new 2010 equipment catalog with a new look as well as an online Fast-Flip eBook version that is accessible on Lincoln’s website. The online catalog features book-like navigation. The new catalog showcases the company’s selection of power sources, welding consumables, accessories, automated solutions, and environmental systems. Contact: Lincoln, Ph: (888) 355-3213; Web:

Biz Briefs

Introducing Heritage Cast Iron USA Heritage Cast Iron USA supplies cast iron gates, fence, and railings in seven design collections. Made using the original late 19th century designs and techniques, these products are suitable for new construction, restoration, or re-generation project where traditional ornamental metalwork designs are required. Heritage Cast Iron USA products are stocked with most items available for immediate shipment. CAD files and trade discounts are available. The collection allows the use of integrated automation and intercom systems, and features pre-hung gates and modular designs of fence. All railings, gates, and posts are supplied primed and ready for application of the final coat after installation. The traditional Heritage Cast Iron USA range is made available in partnership by Wiemann Metalcraft & Bluestem Products. Contact: Heritage Cast Iron, Ph: (877) 855-4766 (IRON); Web: Fabricator n January/February 2010

FAAC Opens New West Coast Facility FAAC USA recently announced the opening of its new distribution facility in Fullerton, CA. Along with a fully stocked warehouse, the building will house a product installation and maintenance training area; complete repair/technical support department; and offices for sales and administrative staff. The FAAC USA headquarters in Cheyenne, WY has now been phased out and relocated to the newly-expanded FAAC facility in Jacksonville, FL. “These changes will allow FAAC to better service our customer and market needs on each coast,” says Dan Ollar, Western U.S. Sales Manager. “The Fullerton branch is timely because our western customer base has been growing rapidly for the past five years or more and this move will reduce shipping time and let us provide technical site visits in a more timely manner.” Contact: FAAC USA, Ph: (800) 221-8278; Web: 67

What’s Hot? n


Florida Chapter Fall Meeting Features Presentations, Demos, and Mini Vendor Show Perfect weather and a great attendance helped to make the Fall Florida Chapter meeting an excellent success. The daylong meeting took place Nov. 14 at the beautiful facility of Royal Iron Creations in West Palm Beach, FL. The well-organized meeting started off with a general business session, and then NOMMA Executive Director Todd Daniel took the stage to give a presentation on the new Members Only Area. Following this talk, host Terry Barrett gave a presentation on Royal Iron’s history, led a plant tour, and then gave a PowerPoint on 3D modeling and advanced measuring systems. In the back of the shop, vendors displayed their literature and products, and there were demos on grinding. In addition, there was even a mobile demo truck, provided by Ocean Machinery, that offered live machinery demos. Other demos included aluminum castings, bronze patina finishing, and forging. The catered lunch was delicious, and afterwards everyone enjoyed the “buck-in-a-bucket” door prize drawings. The meeting resulted in three new members for NOMMA, including one fabricator who joined onsite. Kudos to Terry Barrett, Cathy Vequist, and the Royal Iron staff for hosting this incredible meeting.

The Fall Florida Chapter meeting enjoyed an excellent turnout, including several guests.

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Fabricator n January/February 2010

What’s Hot? n



Swivel 20” Band Saw Scotchman introduces the new DS-20 double swivel 20” band saw. The product features a head that swivels 45º right and 60º left, hydraulic head lift, hydraulic powered vise clamping with variable vise pressure and remote control console. A complimentary coolant package is also included. Contact: Scotchman, Ph: (800) 8438844; Web: Band Saws

DoALL DoALL Sawing Products introduces the new StructurALL series of band saw. Some of the standard features throughout the family include a larger pentagonal base for better chip and fluid management; integrated fork-lift pockets for transporting the machine; and standard flood coolant-thru-the-guides system with optional mist. The series includes the 400S for straight or miter cuts in smaller quantities, the fully hydraulic 500DS, and the newly designed 500SNC for production cutting of a variety of structural materials. Contact: DoALL, Ph: (888) 362-5572; Web:


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

Call for Free Catalog - 800/446-6498

NC Tool Company Inc 6133 Hunt Road Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 336/674-5654 Fabricator n January/February 2010


What’s Hot? n


Vector Solo Guns and Ground Monitoring System

ITW ITW Ransburg now offers the electrostatic technology of the Vector Solo 85kV in waterborne or solvent as well as 65kV and air-assisted airless. The new family of cordless spray gun options provides portable solutions for various finishing operations. The cordless guns are portable and are designed to require less force for trigger pulls and minimize handle vibrations. ITW Ransburg is pleased to introduce the Ground Monitor System (GMS) to provide a non-contact method for detecting the presence of a ground path on non-metallic substrates. Since improper grounding may cause overspray, excess paint build-up, thin film build, or ruined parts, the ITW system is designed with an incorporated GMS. The system consists of a control unit, ground probe, low voltage cable, and meets the safety requirements of Federal Mutual (FM). Contact: ITW, Ph: (800) 909-6886; Web:

Vector Solo 85kV Waterborne

Vector S olo 65kV

Cantilever Gate System

Architectural Iron Designs Architectural Iron Designs Inc. is pleased to announce the introduction of a high quality cantilever gate system for sliding gates. The Comunello Cantilever gate system can be configured for complicated applications and also works for gates with large dimensions and weight. It is designed for higher weight capacity with a smaller overall gate length. The product is designed and made in Italy. Contact: Architectural Iron Designs, Ph: (800) 784-7444; Vector Solo Air- Web: www. Assisted Airless

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Association of North America, Inc. 70 Fabricator n January/February 2010

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What’s Hot? n


Mandrel Bender

CML USA Ercolina® Ercolina introduces the TM76® Top Mandrel Bender which has a bending capacity to 3” round tube and multiple profiles and is capable of bends to CLR as small as 1.5D. Model TM76 is designed for prototype or daily production and features USB for storage of bend programs, material library, and job information. The TM76 control is designed for access to manual and auto operating modes, system diagnostics, and multiple languages with an interactive touch screen displaying absolute (ABS) or incremental (INC) positioning with inch or metric readout. Contact: CML USA Ercolina, Ph: (563) 391-7700; Web:

Corrosion Inhibitors


Birchwood Casey offers a full line of eight different aqueous and solvent-based inhibitors and sealants to prevent rust and corrosion on all metal surfaces. Referencing a corrosion resistance comparison chart, users can select the rust preventative that will suit their needs. The different product formulations allow for variables such as the type of metal surface in question, term of protection needed, and conditions of exposure in handling, shipping, and storage. Contact: Birchwood Casey, Ph: (952) 937-7931; Web:

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Nishijimax Saws

Pat Mooney Pat Mooney Saws is the exclusive importer and sales/service agent for Nishijimax Cutoff Systems. The new Nishijimax NHC-SQA Plate Saws are available in two models. The NHC-850SQA is designed for traverse sawing of plate. The NHC-8310 is designed for sawing longitudinally. Both machines are fully automatic and plate is positioned and cut to an exact size by programming the NHC-SQA. Also available only from Pat Mooney, the new Nishijimax NHC230 CNC carbide cutoff system saw features a 9” bar stock capacity. The system is designed with a spindle drive system to achieve 25 - 70 RPM blade speeds. The NHC-230 Series is equipped with a hydraulic material clamping system with horizontal and vertical clamps. Contact: Pat Mooney Saws, Ph: (800) 323-7503; Web:

Waxed-based Finish

Gilders Paste Baroque Art Gilders Paste™ by Artist Supplies & Products LLC, is a wax based coloring medium designed with high concentrations of pigments to resist fading, tarnishing, water, and common chemical reagents. The Gilders Paste product line falls between dyes and paints as a controllable finish. It is developed for use without heating, masking, and acid washing or filling in surface detail with no dripping, chipping, or peeling. Baroque Art Gilders will be present at METALfab 2010 in Tulsa, OK and will be available for two scheduled classes and questions. Contact: Artist Supplies & Products LLC, Ph: (800) 825-0029, Web:


What’s Hot? n


Flex Boa Pipe Sander and Beveling & Deburring Machine

CS Unitec The LRP 1503 Air Boa pneumatic pipe sander from CS Unitec is for polishing hand rails, pipe, and tubing. This pneumatic model has a 1 HP motor, variablespeed of up to 28 ft./sec., and an air consumption of 20 CFM at 90 PSI. The sanding arm snakes up to 270˚ around the radius of the pipe. The operator rotates the Boa to achieve a full 360˚ finish and an additional side handle can be rotated 180˚ in narrow spaces such as handrails that are fixed close to walls. Sanding belts are available in grits of 80 to 220. Non-woven nylon sanding fleece is also available for polishing. The Rolei® PEF 500 from CS Unitec is a beveling and deburring machine designed for all metals from stainless steel to aluminum. Parts are beveled with cross grinding and no opposite burr. This machine has an adjustable beveling angle from 30º to 60º and adjustable land width from 0” to 3/8”. It is available with a 220-240V or 400-440V, 3-phase motor and operates at 2800 RPM. Contact: CS Unitech, Ph: (800) 700-5919; Web:

TIG Gas Lenses

Pre-wired Solar Power Packages Encon

Encon’s Esolar series kits are custom built and can be configured to supply power to a gate operator, telephone entry system, or designed to power a complete access control system. A two-wire installation connects commercial or residential access control systems to the unit. The units are pre-assembled at Encon and are available in eight different kits in 12 or 24 Volts DC from 60W to 320W. Contact: Encon Electronics, Ph: (800) 782-5598; Web: www.


Weldcraft Weldcraft offers multiple gas lens styles to improve TIG welding performance. Styles are available for air- and water-cooled TIG torches including: standard size, large diameter, and ‘stubby’ to fit TIG torches with 10N or 13N series front-end parts and to accommodate tungsten electrode diameters ranging from .020- to 5/32-inches. Each gas lens features screens that direct the shielding gas flow around the weld puddle to minimize weld defects. Contact: Weldcraft, Ph: (800) 752-7620; Web: www.weldcraft. com.

Fabricator n January/February 2010

Advertiser’s index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine ... Pg 68 47 15 70 55 25 40 21 55 57 18 22 27 60 37 19 13 31 22 41 58 7 23 61 19 17 40 61 76 51 26 75 51 2 33

Company Website Alloy Casting Co. Inc......................................... American Fence Assn... Architectural Iron Designs............. Artist-Blacksmith’s Atlas Metal Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Blacksmiths Depot....................... Julius Blum & Co. Inc.................................... CML USA Inc................................................ COLE-TUVE Inc................................................... The Cable Connection............. Carell Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co.................... Colorado Waterjet Co..................... CompLex Industries Custom Iron by Josh........... D & D Technologies (USA) Inc.................. D.J.A. Imports Eagle Bending Eberl Iron Works Inc........................................ Encon Electronics............................ FabCAD Feeney The G-S Hayn Enterprises Hebo - Stratford Gate......................... Hougen Mfg. International Gate The Iron Jansen Jesco Industries King Architectural Metals........................ Lawler Foundry Corp........................... Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Lindblade Metal Works.........

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

Advertise in Fabricator! The new media kit is out! Download a copy at fabricator. Consider Fabricator in your 2010 advertising plans. For info, contact Martha Pennington (, 888-5168585, ext. 104. Fabricator n January/February 2010

46 52 69 39 68 44 33 24 28 43 4 43 34 70 38 69 9 16

Marks USA........................................................ Pat Mooney NC Tool Company P & J Mfg. R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine Regency Rogers Mfg. Scotchman Industries............................... Sharpe Simsolve.............................................................. Stairways Steptoe & Wife Antiques Sumter Coatings Inc.......................... Traditional Building................... Tri-State Shearing & Bending...............................(718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc...................................(800) 837-4283 The Wagner Companies............ Weaver’s Iron Works..................... Companies in boldface are first-time advertisers.

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

Getting Duplicates? No Longer Wish To Receive Fabricator? Please help us reduce waste by reporting unneeded issues. To remove an issue from our list, simply fax the mailing label to: (888) 516-8585. Or, send an email to: You may also submit a drop request by visiting the “Fabricator” area of the NOMMA website. 73



Moving Forward and Looking Back Some people questioned the timing of our move, but already we are seeing great benefits. By Doug Bracken Wiemann Metalcraft As I write these words, I am reflecting on the last year, which in many regards, overshadows most of the last decade for our small business. The last 12 months have seen unprecedented changes in the world business climate, changes impacting our small, family-owned business along with almost everyone else on this planet. In addition, in 2009, we moved our business after 53 years in the same location. The move was both arduous and archeological. We found relics of several bygone eras everyday for several months. Fifty-three years is a long time for any business to survive, particularly a small family business. According to the Small Business Administration, only 50% of all small business start ups make it to their 4th anniversary! As if the challenges of day-to-day operating are not enough, adding the monumental job of moving presents risks that could spell disaster for a small business, if not properly planned and managed. This brings me to the core of my column for this month ... planning. The one thing that separates those in business who succeed from those who just break even or ultimately fail is almost always planning. Planning has two complementary components: strategic or long term planning and tactical or short term planning. In our case, the decision to relocate was a strategic decision, but to avoid foundering during the process we made tactical decisions every day to keep work moving safely while also packing up. Successful companies and non-profits rely on both types of planning day in and day out. Over 10 years ago, during a 74

scheduled board meeting, which was intended to look at short-term results and long-term goals, we agreed that despite lackluster short-term results, we had outgrown our manufacturing facility, though it had served us so well. The board agreed that if we were going to continue to evolve or expand our current line of business, we had to move; adding on for the seventh time was not an option! However, the very idea of moving from our long established place of business made many of our customers and even some of our employees question our ability to reason! In 2009, 10 years and two failed real estate contracts later, we found ourselves finally preparing to move. We hired a retired engineer, Bill, to help us get organized six months in advance and he set about the task of hiring contractors to inspect and repair the myriad of systems that needed to be improved or changed to meet our needs in the new facility. It was a full time job for several months, and meeting with him to discuss strategic and tactical decisions was also time consuming for management, but it had to be done. Strategic planning demanded that we occupy a new, larger more flexible space, and really darn good tactical planning was what made the move a successful part of our recent history. The move is now behind us and the promise of our new (at least, new to us) facility has just begun to reveal itself. Our accountant and business manager are no longer worried about counting the cash that used to reside in our reserve accounts, and most of the leaks in the slab and the roof at our new place have been addressed. But one thing is certain, we are not looking back. The move was a risk, but a well calculated one — one that ate up the

profits of what would have otherwise been a good financial year. Many people have questioned our move in light of the current economic trends and our cash outlay to achieve our goal, but the new location allows us opportunities to expand and change our business far beyond what our previous location would ever allow. It is that new ability to adapt that leaves me feeling more confident than ever that we made the right choice over “staying put.” And, with NOMMA planning their annual METALfab 2010 meeting right here in Tulsa, we will now be able to support the event in an extraordinary way, offering ample studio space for demonstrations and learning. Planning is no accident, and the results of good, careful, and conscientious planning will reward everyone who wants to avoid the SBA’s grim statistics on small business failure. Come see us and the results of our planning in March at METALfab, and let’s talk about how planning can help your business succeed even in the most difficult times.

Doug Bracken Doug Bracken is president of Wiemann Metalcraft, a former president of NOMMA, and a frequent contributor to Fabricator magazine and Traditional Building and Period Homes. He is a public speaker, consultant, and presenter, and welcomes your comments, suggestions, and questions at Doug@ Fabricator n January/February 2010

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