Page 1

In memory of Ernest Wiemann (1910 - 2010), page 36

Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal


The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

March/April 2010 $6.00 US

Shop Talk

Expand your office space! page 15

Shop Talk

Expanding into preservation, page 22

Job Profiles

Taking the LEED in fabrication, page 44

Biz Side

Avoid seven deadly errors, page 57

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March/April 2010


Vol. 51, No. 2

A lifelike metal tree now adorns a Las Vegas clothing store, p. 49

Case Study NOMMA fabricator member benefits from automated stop system........................................................ 12 A NOMMA fabricator increases efficiency by installing an automated stop system. Shop Talk Three great reasons to improve and expand office space............ 15 Any construction project is challenging, especially when it’s your own. But the rewards of a bigger, newer facility are worth it. By Peter Hildebrandt Expanding into historic preservation market...................... 22 A little investigative research may help fabricators find funding for historic projects. By Peter Hildebrandt

President’s Letter.............6 NOMMA’s past leaders set the standard for the future

Job Profiles

Member Talk You can’t win if you don’t play................................................. 30 Dedicated volunteer Tom Zuzik Jr. represents NOMMA’s positions on code affecting the industry. By Chelsie Butler Remembering Ernest Wiemann................................ 36 Fabricator magazine remembers one of its most influential and dynamic leaders. By Todd Daniel Job Profiles Taking the LEED in metal fabrication.......44 NOMMA members share their exerience in meeting green building requirements. By Sheila Phinazee

Exec. Director’s Letter..8 The spirit of volunteerism

Mimicking nature brings metal tree to life................................................ 49 A NOMMA firm fabricates a steel tree for a Las Vegas clothing store. By Mike Boyer Biz Side Stressed ... and doing it all by yourself. .................................................... 54 Give your business a boost by getting it the professional help it deserves. By Mark E. Battersby Avoid the deadly seven............... 57 Free your business from eternal misdirection. By William J. Lynott What’s Hot! Nationwide Suppliers............62 New Members.........................63 NEF............................................64 What’s Hot...............................66

NOMMA News..................10 NEF launches online video tutorial project

Perspectives....................... 74 Strategic alliance or joint venture?

Cover photo: NOMMA member Big D Metalworks of Dallas, TX has transformed their new office space into a showcase to present samples of their work and to show their awards.

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

Managing Editor Rachel Squires Bailey

Meetings & Exposition Manager Martha Pennington

Layout Editor Robin Sherman


Dedicated to the success of our members and industry.

President’s Letter

NOMMA’s past leaders set the standard for the future Recently I/we suffered three great

losses. Three tremendously talented, artistic, intelligent, powerful, yet soft spoken gentlemen. I had the honor of meeting Ernest Wiemann one time for just a few minutes and in that short time I could feel and see the beginnings of my father’s passion and drive into artistic iron. In a very real way, Ernie’s ironwork pushed our small iron shop into what we have become today. Ernie’s numerous awards drove my dad and uncle to higher expectations from themselves and to new heights. My dad spoke very fondly of Ernie and relished every opportunity to see him. Although I never had the pleasure and/or honor of meeting Richard Boyler, I have had the great pleasure of working with his two sons, Mike and Bruce Boyler. As many of you know, they both have and continue to be leaders in NOMMA, with Mike a past president and current NEF Trustee and Bruce the next NOMMA President and current President-Elect. I can see and know from experience that they have learned so much from their father and continue to pass on his knowledge to all of us each and every day. My father, Bob Foust Jr. passed away in January at the young age of 64. Too young, too much to still do. In February my family held a celebration of life for my dad, family, and friends. I’ll tell you, I was not looking forward to this at all. I felt like I didn’t need it and I was ready to move on. I was wrong. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many friends came to say goodbye, tell a story, and laugh. I was surprised. Not by the amount of people, I knew my dad had many friends. I was surprised

at the party it turned out to be. I bet those of you that knew my dad aren’t surprised at all. I would like to thank all the NOMMA families and friends for your cards and calls. Your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement have helped my family get through this difficult time. This is my final President’s Letter for the Fabricator as my Bob Foust III is year as President president of NOMMA. of this great organization comes to an end. I feel like I/we have continued NOMMA’s progression and have an encouraging future. I had big shoes to fill when I took the oath as the many presidents before me also did. Today, I can tell you we are growing, we are stronger, and we are together. Are we doing things different than we have in the past? Maybe a little. But so did Terry Barrett, Doug Bracken, Chris Connelly, Curt and Bruce Witter, and Dave Filippi just to name a few. And so will Bruce Boyler, James Minter Jr., and Will Keeler. In past letters, I have spoken about the value of NOMMA. Lately, the value of NOMMA has shined on my family. Let it shine on yours. Your NOMMA Board is listening.

Member Care & Operations Manager Liz Johnson 6

Fabricator n March/April 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

2010 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

The spirit of volunteerism As NOMMA has gone through a nearly

two-year strategic planning process, I’ve gained the greatest admiration and respect for our association’s leadership. Since the summer of 2008 your NOMMA board has held a series of strategic planning meetings that have required extra travel, additional time away from family and business, and many hours of long, hard work. One thing that you may not know is that our board members travel to board and planning meetings at their own expense. They set a great example for all of us. Last October the NOMMA board took the strategic planning process to the next level by creating five task force teams that were charged with addressing priority areas. That’s when the work REALLY began. Since last fall your board, along with other NOMMA volunteers, have participated in online work sessions and numerous phone meetings. While two of the task forces are close to completing their assignments it’s likely that others will be formed as NOMMA continually works to better identify and meet member needs. In several of our task forces we have a mix of board members, longtime leaders, and new volunteers. It’s wonderful to see everyone working in tandem for the greater good of our association and industry. Technical Affairs

Our technical affairs volunteers are amazing, and some individuals have spent years working on issues like driveway gate safety, ADA, and building codes. In the building code arena, NOMMA has become far more than an association that simply rushes to a code hearing when a troublesome code comes up. Instead, we now work collaboratively with the ICC’s Code Technology Committee and other associations to create building codes that improve safety for our customers while remaining sensitive to the needs of our

industry. This spirit of cooperation with the ICC and fellow organizations has earned NOMMA great respect and recognition in the industry, and it is made possible by the dedication and time given by our volunteers. Last year I learned that one of our technical volunteers uses his personal vacation time to attend code meetings and hearings — I was touched by that. NEF

You’ll also find a group of amazing trustees Todd Daniel is executive director of and volunteers NOMMA. who serve the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF). The NEF trustees also attend meetings at their own expense, and throughout the year they are busy with phone meetings and exchanging emails, continually working on new videos, continuing education programs, and other projects. Most recently, they unveiled a video tutorial series where volunteers will be used to create short tutorials. Chapter Officers

The work of chapter leaders is sometimes overlooked, yet they are some of NOMMA’s hardest working volunteers. For each meeting, they have to manage the many details behind a successful meeting, which includes publicity, arranging food and speakers, securing meeting sites, and handling dozens of other items. Of course, the best way to thank a chapter volunteer is to attend meetings, and I encourage you to participate in chapter events to not only show support, but to help with your professional development as well.

Fabricator n March/April 2010

NEF now offering webinars and video tutorials The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) is following the latest technology trends by now offering online webinars and video tutorials. Working in conjunction with NOMMA, the bi-monthly webinars have taken place since January. The 60-minute presentations are free to members and $49 for non-members. Past webinars have covered everything from building codes to web sites. Starting in March, the webinars are now being stored online. They can be accessed by clicking on “Tutorials” in the Member’s Only Area. NEF has also produced its first prototype video tutorial titled, “How to Darken Copper Using a Liver of Sulfur Solution.” The approximately 7-minute video is filmed in highdefinition and takes viewers through the steps of chemically darkening a

copper medallion. All tutorials will be available in the “Tutorial” section of the Member’s Only area. In addition to videos, two text tutorials are already available, titled, “Punching A Square Hole,” and “Field Measuring 101.” NEF is currently looking for NOMMA members to produce basic video tutorials. NEF will provide the camcorder and sound equipment, and will handle all editing. If you are interested in producing a 5-7 minute education video, please contact NEF Chairperson Roger Carlsen (; 815-4645656).

Letters are welcomed and encouraged. Send to: Mail: Letters to the Editor, c/o Fabricator, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214. E-mail: Fax: (888) 516-8585.

NEF recently unveiled its first online prototype video, which was produced by NEF Chair Roger Carlsen.

Past webinars are now stored online. They can be accessed by clicking on the “Tutorials” button in the Member’s Only area.



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Fabricator n March/April 2010

In Memoriam

NOMMA remembers long-time member Bob Foust Jr.

Robert A. Foust Jr., 64, of Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio, Kansas City, KS, died January 19. A long-time NOMMA member, Mr. Foust was a former Top Job Committee chair and a regular presenter at past NOMMA conventions. He was the father of NOMMA’s current president, Robert Foust III. Mr. Foust will be remembered for his passion, professionalism, gentle demeanor, and genuineness. According to long-time friend and colleague Michael Boyler, “Bob was a dedicated member of NOMMA and was an important part of the development of the NOMMA family. He was a great craftsman and designer who would volunteer and demonstrate his knowledge and abilities for any NOMMA need. His artistic ability to produce design and approval renderings was amazing. He had a certain quiet sophistication which served him well in business and in life.” In the mid 1990s he served as Top

Brothers Jim and Bob Foust show their Top Job awards at the 1984 convention.

Job Chair. In those days the contest was not automated, and Bob and his committee spent long and late hours tallying votes. His firm, Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio, is one of NOMMA’s most distinguished members and has

completed commissions both locally and as far away as the Bahamas. Mr. Foust is survived by his wife, Victoria Foust; two sons, Robert Allen III and Michael Foust; one brother, James A. Foust, and three grandchildren.

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Fabricator n March/April 2010


Case Study

NOMMA fabricator member benefits from automated stop system n

After seeing a TigerStop demo at a recent Florida NOMMA chapter meeting, Tom Sterling of West Gate Sheet Metal Inc. was sold.

Upon first using TigerStop, fabricators must follow a few steps to calibrate the system. 12

West Gate Sheet Metal Inc., established in 1947, is a high quality sheet

metal job shop in Riviera Beach, FL that takes pride in innovation and meeting the needs of industrial, residential, artistic, and commercial customers. During the NOMMA chapter meeting in West Palm Beach, FL last fall, Tom Sterling, President of West Gate Sheet Metal Inc., had the opportunity to see a TigerStop demonstration and knew immediately he had to have one. TigerStop is a replacement for manual stop systems on almost any machine that is currently equipped with a manual positioning stop or needs a stop system, according to the manufacturer. Recognizing the benefits TigerStop could offer NOMMA members, Folker Krebs of Ocean Machinery arranged to provide TigerStop demonstrations right from his shop’s demo truck. Ocean Machinery, established in 1980 and based out of South Florida, represents a vast array of metal fabricating machinery manufacturers and brands, enjoys a stellar global reputation, and is a proud authorized TigerStop dealer. Upon seeing the TigerStop demonstration by Mr. Krebs, Tom Sterling knew that installing a TigerStop on his current cold saw operation would give his shop more productivity per hour. Prior to the TigerStop installation, West Gate Sheet Metal’s cold saw workstation used a manual stop which required measuring by hand and cutting to a mark. Not only did these tedious manual steps take time, the margin for error was high. Some mistakes had to be reworked at other stations and some mistakes had to be trashed all together. “West Gate Sheet Metal Inc. provides all kinds of miscellaneous metal work for our customers,” says Sterling, “and the TigerStop gives us the ability to respond quickly to a variety of customer needs while providing the quality that gets noticed.” Fabricator n March/April 2010

Hi-Performance Gate Hardware


Hi-Performance Gate Hardware

Fabricator n March/April 2010


TigerStop has provided West Gate Sheet Metal with better quality output, time savings that translate to cost savings, and the ability to quote jobs more accurately and competitively. “We started saving time right off the bat,” says Sterling. “We can enter cut lists right into the TigerStop to save even more time, making it really fast to cut up a 20-footer. The accuracy is great, and we get nothing but good comments from the guys in the shop. It’s simple to use and easy to set up!” With the help of a manual and Quick Start cards, West Gate Sheet Metal was able to set up the TigerStop on their cold saw and use it in less than a day. To save even more time, the guys in the shop at West Gate Sheet Metal enter cut lists right into the TigerStop, making it really fast to cut up a 20-footer. With accuracy to +/- 0.004” TigerStop is a single axis linear positioning system designed to improve yields, eliminate rework, and increase productivity.

Set-up and training

It took West Gate Sheet Metal less than a day to set up the TigerStop on their cold saw and less than that to read the manual and use the Quick Start cards to begin operating it. TigerStop sits on a flat, sturdy surface (or TigerStop table) that mounts level directly to the saw stand. When it’s powered up for the first time, there are a few steps that must be taken to calibrate it correctly; then it’s as easy as pushing a button and watching the TigerStop move to that exact position. TigerStop company profile

Ocean Machinery demo truck. Ocean Machinery represents a vast array of metal fabricating machinery manufacturers and brands and is an authorized TigerStop dealer out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

For your information


What: TigerStop is a replacement for manual stop systems on most machines currently equipped with manual positioning stops or that need a stop system. Equipment Manufacturer: TigerStop, visit or call Larry at (360) 448-6157. NOMMA Fabricator who uses it: West Gate Sheet Metal Inc., visit or call (561) 845-2440. NOMMA Supplier who offers it: Ocean Machinery, visit www.oceanmachinery. com or call (800) 286-3624.



NOMMA Fabricator member Tom Sterling West Gate Sheet Metal 1199 Old Dixie Hwy. Riviera Beach, FL 33404-7327 Ph: (561) 845-2440 Fax: (561) 845-2495 Email: Web: NOMMA Local Supplier Member Hunter Fry Ocean Machinery Inc. 6720 Northwest 15th Way Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: (800) 286-3624 Fax: (954) 956-3199 Email: Web:

n TigerStop was founded in a garage as Precision Automation Inc. in 1994 and has deep roots in manufacturing, woodworking, and metalworking. n TigerStop occupies two plants, one in Vancouver, WA and the other in Wierden, Netherlands. n Today, over 20,000 TigerStop units are out in manufacturing plants all over the world.

TigerStop benefits n A TigerStop is a single axis linear positioning system designed to improve yields, eliminate rework, increase productivity, is accurate to +/- 0.004˝ and requires no set up time. n TigerStop provides out-of-thebox automation for almost any machine including saws, punch presses, benders, ironworkers, and more. n TigerStop also provides software solutions such as Optimization and Workflow Manager (downloading your design software to TigerStop) and fully automated defecting systems. Fabricator n March/April 2010

Shop Talk

Welcome. . .

to 3 great reasons to improve and expand office space n

Any construction project is challenging, especially when it’s your own. But the rewards of a bigger, newer facility are worth it.

Fabricator n March/April 2010

By Peter Hildebrandt Big D Metalworks is an award-winning Dallas company

specializing in high-end commercial monumental stairway and architectural metalwork. With a history stretching back to 1981, two years as recipients of the Mitch Heitler Award, several NOMMA Top Job awards, and over 50 major awards for quality, the company developed a strong need to feel good about its work environment too. Big D has known for some time that their offices were cramped and a bit grimy from years of being adjacent to their busy metal shop environment. About five years ago, Big D started looking at what they could do to improve their office space, expand their manufacturing facility, and showcase more of their monumental and glass stair work. Based on the land they had at the time, they decided they couldn’t expand both the manufacturing area and the office section, according to J.R. Molina, project manager and design manager. As a result, they made the decision to purchase a 15

For your information

Shop drawings. Big D’s uniquely designed and complex projects often require sophisticated modeling and analysis, making their partnership with GLO Designs a good fit.


Before: Cramped and grimy office space with lots of distractions. After: Happier employees with greater motivation to do more work and plenty of room to bring more folks on. Before: Outdated and drafty facilities. After: Greater savings on utility bills. Before: Lots of great award winning work. After: More room to display it to existing and potential customers.

More office space. J.R. Molina has noticed that his employees get along a lot better and get a lot more work done in their new, more spacious work environment.


Curt Witter Big D Metalworks 2002 Quincy St. Dallas, TX 75212-5533 Ph: (800) 299-9767 Fax: (214) 638-2241 Email: Web:

Now we have the space to bring on the people necessary to grow the company.” “This has streamlined our operation considerably,” says Bob Gross, sales manager for Big D Metalworks. “We laid out the space based on input from our other team members, incorporating many of their ideas. We now have ample storage and even a small kitchen.”

More modern conference room. Big D used input from all of it stakeholders to build a modern office facility that can further enable their business to grow.

2 Updated facilities means greater energy efficiency

piece of property right across the street and then held on to it for several years. Two years ago, they started the design process, putting together all the documents needed to determine what the end result of such an office expansion would be.

1 More elbow room lets you get more work done

Big D has now doubled their office space and gained a second floor that will eventually become their drafting 16

department. The old offices will eventually be removed to make way for future plant expansions. “We went from a very confined environment with very little room to work, and many distractions, to a setting with lots of space,” adds Molina. “Not only is this going to give us more room in our drafting department upstairs, it will allow us to bring on more employees, especially in our design and project management area.

In order to get into their new facilities, Big D had to pass an energy code inspection. The decision was made to double-insulate the building and to install special windows and doors with the latest in insulation technology. In the end, they far exceeded the state requirements for energy efficiency, according to Gross. “We can tell this has made a real difference. Even on the coldest days we set the thermostat at 70 yet the heat hardly ever comes on,” says Molina. “The extra effort with insulation has Fabricator n March/April 2010

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“There is also much less dirt, grime, and grit from working close to a metal shop which had really built up over the years in our other office. Now we come into a nice clean office, and it’s definitely making a difference.”

Mitch Heitler Awards. Now Big D has plenty of space to display their many Top Job Awards including their two Mitch Heitler Awards, which they won in 2000 and 2001.

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really been a plus for us.” “The one thing we have noticed is that this has made a big difference in everybody being able to work together much better now,” adds Molina. “There is also much less dirt, grime, and grit from working close to a metal shop which had really built up over the years in our other office. Now we come into a nice clean office, and it’s definitely making a difference.”

3 Expanded space showcases

more of your monumental work

The 390 is also ideal for swinging garage and custom carriage-style doors.

The Model 390 low voltage electromechanical swing operator was designed primarily to accommodate large pillar installations.

Model 390 swing gate installation.

The new office lobby has a 24-foot ceiling. A helical staircase provides access to the second floor and showcases a special railing system that will display several of their complex designs. The infill panels will be removable so they can change them from time to time. The designs built by Big D are structurally complex, as you can see on

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their website’s showcase. Glass stairs (treads, risers, and railing system) are held fast with custom fabricated steel stringers which incorporate a setting pocket to mount glass rails. On one project, a stairway was fabricated from a rectangular tube shape and includes glass guardrail, risers, and flooring. Still another project involved handrails at a private residence, made of a combination of hand-forged and cast brass with a bead blasted acid etch finish. To ascertain proper life safety requirements and precision in the prediction of such product performance, Big D formed an association with GLO Designs 15 years ago. The management of GLO Designs has accumulated over 28 years of structural engineering experience pertaining to the utilization of leadingedge computer analysis technology in solving painstaking structural issues. Their uniquely designed projects require sophisticated three-dimensional modeling and analysis techniques to determine stresses, deflections, and reactions that must be distributed into


Keeping people safe is a primary concern when considering critical loads, unbalanced loads and connection designs; the utilization of sophisticated computer modeling makes an architect’s dream a reality. the main structure. Monumental stairs may only be attached at floor levels or have treads without any visible risers, all of which require special design considerations. Keeping people safe is a primary concern when considering critical loads, unbalanced loads and connection designs; the utilization of sophisticated computer modeling makes an architect’s dream a reality. Custom work done through the partnership of Big D and GLO is approached with the same precision and includes projects involving canopies, railings, guardrails, and

decorative metalwork. As with stairs, safety and performance are considered critical. Snow, live and impact loads, in addition to wind and seismic loads, are analyzed to assure product reliability. Mounting connections interfacing with floors, foundations, wall, and roof materials are considered during the design to provide the owner and architect a quality engineered product. Because of their desire to provide unequaled value for their customers, and with public safety foremost in their minds, GLO Designs has found their association with Big D Metalworks to be a good fit. Together, they feel they can assure the architect and engineer a quality product built with precision. And now, the main lobby of Big D’s new office is also a showcase for the structurally engineered stair and railing work Big D Metalworks and GLO Designs are known to provide. One of the many dazzling staircases, now installed in their new lobby, is an eye-catcher for anyone lucky enough to stop in for a visit.

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Shop Talk

Expanding into historic preservation market n

Manhattan bridge. The restoration of this mighty New York City span included work on four pedestrian canopies along the walkway. Allen Architectural Metals Inc., Talladega, AL, was responsible for the castings certification and fabrication of all components.

For your information


What: Find funding for preservation projects involving metalwork. Where to look: n Insurance companies covering historic buildings

n Maintenance departments of historical buildings

n National Park Service (tax incen-


n Preservation Directory:

n National Trust for Historic


n Historic New England:

n State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) (unique for each state)

n Arts and Cultural Offices (for states and cities)

n American Lighthouse Foundation:

n Chicora Foundation: www.chicora. org


A little investigative research may help fabricators find funding for historic preservation projects and create a new revenue stream for their shop.

By Peter Hildebrandt For those interested in finding funding

for your work in preserving and restoring the past, the operative word is research. Funding is out there for historic preservation involving metalwork. You might just need to walk through several Internet gates to discover it. As one NOMMA member mentions, it may even be in places you don’t think to consider. NOMMA member John Allen of Allen Architectural Metals Inc., is especially active in historic preservation metalwork. Allen cites a number of possible places to consider for funding. For example, insurance claims made by the owner of an historic building or structure may be something easily overlooked. But, if an insurance company will be paying for the repair of a damaged structure, some of this repair work may include the repairing or reconstruction of metalwork. Damage can come from storms, tree limbs, or even a car or truck driver who damages an old metal lamp pole that subsequently needs to be repaired.

Allen also suggests metalworkers keep a lookout for historical society fundraisers. Funds raised may be slated from a repair or restoration project including metalwork. As with others mentioned here, Allen says to contact state historic offices, (some are given the term “commission” and others are not, but they are similar in what they do). An indirect source of funding may be obtained through various tax credits once a structure is given landmark status. These credits vary from around 15 percent up to 20 percent depending upon the states involved. It may be helpful, as well, to simply find old historic buildings. In a number of cities these buildings are now mandated to have restoration work done to meet specified safety codes. Much of Allen’s work in places such as New York City deals with such restoration. As buildings age, their metalwork must be updated and made safe to retain historic integrity and in turn retain the value of the property. Allen suggests that those interested check with a particular building’s maintenance department to find out if any of Fabricator n March/April 2010

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Private residence driveway arch. After extensive oxidation as well as destruction by numerous delivery trucks, this 11’ 6” tall by 19’ 6” wide driveway arch was removed, sandblasted, and restored for a private residence. Builders Ironworks, Crete, IL, used forging techniques to fabricate new acanthus husks, scroll elements, rosettes, finials, and base ornaments where appropriate.

the building’s metalwork is slated to be updated. Grants and funding sources

Tim Cannan, president of Preservation Directory ( has done a page on his website just for grants and funding sources. He considers his website a

great place to access a lot of the information available out there. At the moment there is not a lot of funding for private projects, though there is for non-profits, according to Cannan. “I am still trying to seek out the private funding sources and will continually add them to this page, updating it quite a bit. I have a

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network of 20,000 individuals, most of who work for historical societies. But there is a lot of money available to you if you are part of a non-profit or are representing one,” says Cannan. One of the first steps is to contact your state’s historic preservation office. Each state is required to have an office, and they are the ones who manage the national register on behalf of the National Park Service. These state offices have the information available about specific funding for your state. Each one is a little different and the tax incentives vary depending on the laws in each state. “The general rule is to go to your state first to see what their rules are,” adds Cannan. “The National Historic Trust has created a PDF that goes state by state describing how things work in each state. This can be printed out and kept as a resource directory if desired. The website has metalworkers and restoration groups included. Each state historic preservation office (SHPO) is funded by the National Park Service, but is run by the states. In addition to press releases, the site has job openings in historic preservation listed and a library of policy documents, including the Historic Preservation Act and the Antiquities Act. “My intention was to bring all this material from many different places together in one central place so that if you are looking for something — much of it regarding funding sources — it is probably on our website,” says Cannan. “You may have to poke around a bit or you are welcome to give me a call. I’m always on the lookout for that ‘diamond in the rough’, a grant source funding a whole slew of different things, including historic metalwork. You may have to look around a bit, do your research and then give the organization a call. Fabricator n March/April 2010

City gates, originally made in 1932, were altered at least three times over the years and were in poor condition by 1998. Extensive archival research helped fabricator M. Cohen & Sons, Broomall, PA, determine the original designs and a better understanding of how the gates might be modified to meet current needs while remaining true to the original design intent.

The key is to start with your own SHPO.” Cannan’s website is funded through advertisements for historic real estate such as historic homes. They have a business directory of preservation professionals such as consultants and restoration professionals as well as a historic lodging directory. Historical Architect Paul Holtz, who also serves as co-director of the grants division of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, sees challenges for metalworkers approaching his agency as there isn’t a whole lot of funding for projects currently. But, he makes the suggestion to also try state and city arts and cultural offices. “These may be sources which are easily overlooked,” says Holtz. “But, they don’t have some of the constraints we have, yet they may even have more funding for projects than us, even for metalworking. In our region, I would also have those interested try Historic New England (, formerly the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, or SPNEA). This was founded in 1910 to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the New England region. Based in Boston, but with museums and branches throughout New England, Historic New England is a national leader in preservation and maintenance of historic properties and may have some information or contacts that can assist you.” Holtz adds that the National Trust for Historic Preservation operates branches in every region of the country to provide leadership, education, and resources to preservationists across America. Their website provides additional information on regional activities and ongoing preservation efforts: Fabricator n March/April 2010

Lighthouse preservation

Lighthouse foundations and preservation groups are a strong possibility for preservation projects involving metalwork, after all, their lantern rooms with all the fixtures were exclusively constructed of metal.

Anyone looking for funding can do some research to find foundations involved in historic preservation which will give to that type of project, according to the American Lighthouse Foundation. Every foundation will have a funding guideline. This includes the kinds of projects they support and


then how to go about submitting a request. Sometimes it’s easy to find this out without getting into too much depth. American Lighthouse assists other organizations that are caretakers for lighthouses by giving them pointers or recommendations as much as possible. They are caretakers for 23 different projects; many of these are in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, as these are still federally-owned. American Lighthouse takes over the historic preservation since the Coast tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 9:44 AM Guard does not receive funding for this. They then open them up to the public. Sometimes there are bids for the work; other times American Lighthouse has worked with particular individuals on a project and they make them aware that they are going to be doing a similar project somewhere else. American Lighthouse tends to look for such craftsmen as metalworkers who have the most experience in this type of work. AD “This is not the typical type of

Historic gates. Flaherty Iron Works Inc., Alexandria, VA, completed this gate restoration project for an historic mansion which included two sets of gate entrances originally fabricated in the 1950s. Each gate is 15’ tall with each leaf at 7’ wide and weighing 1100 lbs.

Page 1

metalwork as that done on homes,” anything could have an adverse effect.” says Bob Trapani, American Light“On one recent project we did, the house Foundation director. “The metal Sandy Neck Lighthouse at Cape Cod, is different. The elements have done the lighthouse no longer had a lantern things to it. Sometimes we can’t save room. The U.S. Coast Guard had something, and we need to replicate it. removed it and had decommissioned We have to adhere to the Department the structure. We have an historic of the Interior standards of preservapreservation easement allowing us to tion and any plan we do has to be do a fundraiser in order to place a new reviewed by a state historic preservalantern room on top. This was PROOF 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2 tion office;-they are looking to see if replicated using molds from Great

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Grille restoration. The only thing holding this grille’s repoussé leaf-work and rosettes together was paint before Bighorn Forge, Kewaskum, WI, restored it. Originally fabricated in 1895, the grille measures 66” by 99”.

Lakes lighthouses, and new metal work was created to construct the lantern room,” says Trapani. The sites this group directly manages are found all over New England, but they’re also looking into the possibility of doing direct management projects outside of the region. They offer assistance nationwide, have a national membership, and work with all sorts of non-profits all over the country. “We are a resource with 15 years of experience and background,” adds Trapani. “And lantern rooms are all metal, so we do have a need for metalwork, something NOMMA members may be interested to know.” Cemetery preservation

Based out of Columbia, SC, Chicora Foundation (www.chicora. org) is a 30-year-old public non-profit organization involved in heritage preservation, research, and education. They are stone and object conservators involved with the treatment and repair of stone and iron items, especially the iron in cemetery fences. From their standpoint, cemetery fences are primarily from the 19th century and constructed of cast iron, very popular during the Victorian period, and something quite easy to damage during the repair process. Cemetery preservation ironwork projects are comprised of mild steel, hairpin, bow and hairpin, and a variety of ornate fences as well as woven. Chicora is a non-endowed foundation operating on contracts, grants, and donations, as most non-profit organizations do. The organization is always on the lookout for funding, but they are also often contacted by families or cemeteries interested in having repair work done to broken stones or damaged fences. They are also contacted for assessments dealing with long-term care of such facilities which are prioritized and cost-evaluated to see what fundraising efforts must be undertaken. “For cemetery preservation you’re not talking about something that has a lot of money out there for this purpose,” admits Mike Trinkley, director of Chicora. “Overall, society looks at this Fabricator n March/April 2010

as an issue of ‘people are responsible for maintaining their own graves, if the family doesn’t care why on earth should society in general?’” This may be a valid point; however, Trinkley explains that cemeteries are more than sacred sites. They’re also

genealogical storehouses of a town’s history when nothing else is known about it. Much is encapsulated in the people that are buried in the local cemetery. Cemeteries are also green spaces, in urban areas one of the few places left that are not asphalt and concrete or built on, exhibiting remarkable biological diversity. They are artistic gardens or museums, far more than just repositories for the dead. Cities or caregivers successful in fund-raising typically have taken that to heart and explore how their cemetery can use its history for fund-raising: what is unique about it, how it can participate in heritage tourism, or how it can be developed for educational programs for school groups. Much of the funding is not coming from a foundation that funds cemetery





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preservation. Those don’t exist, according to Trinkley. The funding is really more related to maintaining that property so that it can be useful in the broader community sense. There is no “easy” money for cemetery funding, even in good economic times. Typically it is tight. A lot of the time it goes back to who is supposed to be caring for the property, whether that is a church or the city. Those charged with that responsibility must carry through with it. However, if a cemetery is allowed to deteriorate, everyone’s property values decline to include all that is adjacent to the historic cemetery. This lack of taking responsibility may be termed demolition through neglect, not the direct tearing down of a cemetery but instead that of simply ignoring it and letting it fall down, according to Trinkley. Trinkley notices that most emphasis is placed on the more famous sites for which preservation is not that hard. It is the lesser-known, humbler sites — though equally as historically valuable — that are denied comprehensive care. “This is a particularly important issue in terms of ironwork. We stress to caregivers that, yes, Mike Trinkley: ironwork can be terribly Most emphasis expensive. But, if you simply maintain it, simply is placed on the paint it; much of your more famous sites maintenance will take care for which preserof itself. However, if vation is not that allowed to lapse into lack of care without routine hard. It is the lessermaintenance that’s when known, humbler sites serious damage occurs and major problems arise,” says — though equally as Trinkley. historically valuable — “I stress that just that are denied comprebecause you can weld hensive care. doesn’t mean you are qualified to repair a fence,” says Trinkley. “The key to good repairs is to understand the fence. Slip joints were placed in the fence for a reason; they shouldn’t be replaced by something stationary.” “Too frequently we find abysmal workmanship; someone in the city with minimal ability comes out and slaps scraps of metal on a fence, doesn’t grind the welds down, and doesn’t insure it’s a continuous weld so it doesn’t hold water. They’re not sensitive to the historical fabric. Such repair must take into consideration that this is a piece of art as well as an object. Don’t change what was there originally just for expediency,” says Trinkley. “It would be great if NOMMA formed an advocacy group to remind members that such work is involved with the historic fabric out there; don’t cut and piece it to make things work or look better. Correct the real underlying problem. Cheap solutions generally do more harm than good. Often, if done wrong it then costs even more to undo the damage.” Trinkley suggests NOMMA members inspect their local historic cemeteries and then ask the local leaders or caregivers of the cemetery why these things are not being cared for and point out its importance to the city’s history. Fabricator n March/April 2010

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Member Talk

You can’t win if you don’t play n


Dedicated volunteer Tom Zuzik Jr. represents NOMMA’s positions on codes affecting the industry.

By Chelsie Butler At his day job, Tom Zuzik is the vice president of

sales and design for his family-owned business, Artistic Railings, in Garfield, NJ, which is a huge undertaking all on its own. Another important role he assumes in his spare time, or rather, creates time for, is serving as NOMMA’s representative on the Code Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC was created by the NOMMA Board to make recommendations on code positions. In 2008, Zuzik won the Frank A. Kozik Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. This past fall, he spent 10 days at the International Code Council (ICC) hearings and dedicated countless hours reading and preparing, as well as networking with industry representatives. “Railings and stairs, among other things, are governed by many codes,” says Zuzik. “NOMMA’s technical team stands up for the organization to make Fabricator n March/April 2010

Fabricator n March/April 2010


sure we are being treated fairly and to make sure no offbeat codes are making it through.”

For your information

How did he get involved in NOMMA and the CAC?

Who: Tom


Zuzik is vice New Jersey, the state in president of which his ornamental railing sales and business operates, has had one design for of the longest legacies of his familystatewide building codes in the owned business, Artistic country. Railings, Garfield, NJ. In 1993, New Jersey adopted the Building Officials What: Zuzik is NOMMA’s lead code representative, and Code Administrators a member of the Code International Inc., (BOCA) Advisory Council (CAC), building code, which stated and 2008 recipient of the that a railing design could not Frank A. Kozik Award for Outstanding Volunteer have a “Ladder Effect.” This Service. meant it could not be considered “climbable.” The code had Why: After the Ladder Effect nearly put their shop a profound effect on the out of business, Zuzik and ornamental railing industry in his father and brother New Jersey and required many made a commitment to years of dedication and hard stay on top of all the codes as long as they can. work to eliminate. “We eventually were able to How: To get on NOMMA’s get this removed in New Jersey, Technical Affair’s Team, call NOMMA’s Executive Direcbut I knew I needed to be tor Todd Daniel at (888) involved on the national level 516-8585, ext. 102. because our state was eventually going to adopt the national Zuzik’s Motto: “Why let other people tell us how to codes,” said Zuzik. run our business?” NOMMA began its code advocacy work in 1997. Zuzik CONTACT became involved in 1999 when its chairman was Tony Leto, Tom Zuzik, Jr. vice president of sales and Artistic Railings Inc. marketing for The Wagner 500 River Dr. Companies in Butler, WI. Garfield, NJ 07026-3220 “What I was doing locally Ph: (973) 772-8540 was also being used nationally, Fax: (973) 772-4395 so I kind of slid in,” said Zuzik. Email: The two volunteers were Web: also joined by Gene Garrett, who previously served on NOMMA’s board of directors as a supplier representative. All three were working to remove the “Ladder Effect.” After a decade of work and over $100,000 in research funds, the issue received a major resolution in May 2008 when the ICC’s Code Technology Committee voted to take “no further action.” “I am one of Tom’s biggest fans,” said Leto. “His breadth of the industry’s code knowledge is encyclopedic and has been instrumental in NOMMA’s success in the past 10 years.” Having now been with NOMMA’s technical team for 11 years, Zuzik’s role has become even more dedicated and detailed. During the ICC Fall Code Hearings last October 32

Fabricator n March/April 2010

and November, he represented NOMMA on its positions on 26 different proposals, 15 of which were supported and four of which were supported with modification, or was withdrawn by the proponent. Perhaps the most important success was with RB52, a proposal suggesting that the space between balusters and infill be reduced from four inches (which has been the norm for the last 10-12 years) to two inches. According to Zuzik, it was voted down based on testimony and the non-technical merit of the proposal. The committee is waiting to see if any public comment will be submitted on RB52 that will have to be addressed at the ICC Final Action Hearings in May in Dallas. Another issue that may be up for discussion is the radius requirement in tread and riser configurations. What drives Zuzik to continue to volunteer after 11 years on the CAC?

“Our industry was so negatively affected by the ‘ladder effect,’ that our family business made a commitment to stay on top of all of the codes as long as we can,” he said. “We would probably be out of business had this not been reversed.” Although a heart attack in 2002 slowed him down until September 2008, for several years, Zuzik has dedicated, on average, 45 business days out of his office to code hearings and meetings. His father’s and brother’s workloads ramp up during these times. In a word, Zuzik could use some help in this endeavor, meaning more NOMMA members to volunteer their time on the codes and at the hearings. Volunteering comes with its benefits, one of which is the education that comes along with it. “As we have gotten more involved, we have received more rewards,” he claims. “When we get involved in projects today, our clients look at our resume and see that we are not just a fabricator, we also understand building codes and know where and what the design issues are.” Zuzik’s motto is “why let other Fabricator n March/April 2010

As a leading member of NOMMA’s technical affairs division, Zuzik

people tell us how to run our business?” When asked what else he has gained from being on the CAC, Zuzik said he now has a healthy respect for the environment in which he works. “There was a time when I would look at building inspectors and think they were crazy, and now I can understand why certain people do certain things in the ornamental fabrication business and how problems are created,” he claims. “The knowledge I have gained from this has

helps NOMMA provide technical support to its members in the areas of codes, standards, and government regulation.



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Fabricator n March/April 2010

Taking Time To Relax. NOMMA’s Technical Affairs Team works to ensure that the industry is fairly represented with various government and nongovernment regulatory bodies. Pictured here is a group of NOMMA technical team representatives and local members, who took time out for a dinner social after the Detroit CTC meeting in 2005.

provided an understanding of what needs to be included in the codes each year and what does not.” The main benefit to volunteering, obviously, is that it’s an opportunity to have input on code decisions. Zuzik says if we are not in the mix of it at all times, a meaningless code can be adopted and stay for 10 years. “When I started, I never realized how long it took a code to come into play,” he said. “New York is now adopting 2010 building codes that are based on 2003 ICC codes. A lot of what we did in the early 2000’s is just trickling in now, so NOMMA needs to stay focused to overcome dated code approvals.” Rick Ralston, co-president and owner of Feeney Architectural Products in Portland, OR, joined the committee last year in an effort to learn the code requirements for the products he sells. Since the late 1980s, Ralston has supplied building materials to the residential and commercial marketplace, and being a committee volunteer has allowed him an inside view of code details, history, and politics, as well as the inner workings of the people involved. “It has been an awakening experience for me, and through this process, I am redesigning some of my products to better meet the intent of the code,” said Ralston. “I personally have a much better understanding of how the codes Fabricator n March/April 2010

are interpreted, and I am in awe of Tom’s knowledge. He is a great resource to our industry.” The ICC Final Action Hearings take place May 14–23 in Dallas, where the committee will vote on comments to the last round of code decisions. Any public comments on those codes were due on February 8, 2010. The codes are split up into those that have been challenged and those that have not. Obviously, those not challenged will be passed, but those that have been will require further discussion. This is where Zuzik and his fellow volunteers come in.

“I truly believe that every member at some point should volunteer for a stint on this committee,” said Zuzik. “What your company will gain in knowledge will far outweigh any detriment, tenfold.” When asked about his plans for the future, Zuzik said he plans to act as NOMMA’s code representative for as long as there is a technical team and as long as he has his family business. “My father will retire in a few years, and I plan to keep our company going,” he said. “I enjoy doing this and working on the codes, and the industry has a great need for it.” Go Tom!


Member Talk

In Memory of Ernest Wiemann An industry icon, Mr. Wiemann helped set the precedent for NOMMA’s culture of openness, sharing, and mentoring. n

Ernest Wiemann will be remembered



About Ernest Wiemann: Mr. Wiemann is the founder of Ernest Wiemann Ironworks, now called Wiemann Metalcraft, of Tulsa, OK. The company, which was founded in 1940, is internationally known for its high-end metalwork.

By Todd Daniel NOMMA Executive Director for many things, but he will likely be remembered the most for the parcels of knowledge he freely shared and the words of encouragement he regularly gave. Mr. Wiemann, an industry legend and long-time NOMMA leader, died January 30 at age 99. He was the founder of Ernest Wiemann Ironworks, now called Wiemann Metalcraft, which is a Tulsa, OK institution that is still going strong today.

For your information

Awards: Wiemann Metalcraft is one of just a few NOMMA members to win the Mitch Heitler Award twice — in 1998 and 1978. In addition, the firm has won over 160 Top Job awards, making it the most awarded firm in the industry. Honors: Mr. Wiemann received the Julius Blum Award in 1975 for his outstanding contributions to the industry. He has also received numerous other awards and recognitions over the years. The Wiemann shop, shown in April 1951. Fabricator n March/April 2010

His record of service to NOMMA is lengthy, and includes serving as president in 1979. During his years as a NOMMA volunteer, his two passions were the awards contest and membership, and he served as chair of both committees. He was the 1975 recipient of the Julius Blum Award, and in 1996 NOMMA renamed the awards contest to honor him — the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. During the early days of the awards contest, Ernest and his committee created the Top Job Gallery by setting tables on their ends and taping the entry photos to them. And during the Top Job Jamboree, where images are shown on a screen, one of the challenges was to keep the prints from burning from the heat of the opaque projector. In addition to his work with NOMMA, he was also one of 29 members who founded the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN in 1978. Even in his later years, and even after he sold his business in 1997, Ernest and his wife Dorothy regularly attended the NOMMA conventions. Most long-time convention attendees will remember Ernest for his fascinating stories, his sound bites of wisdom, and his inspiring pep talks at the Top Job Jamboree, which typically began with him saying, “Each year the work in the contest keeps getting better and better.” Many of NOMMA’s top craftspersons credit Ernest for giving them inspiration and insight. Jack Klahm of Klahm & Sons Inc., for

Mr. Wiemann always emphasized the importance of quality and details. Fabricator n March/April 2010

equipment, and technology. n Diversify and learn to produce a variety of product types. n Add extra touches to your work. This can make the difference between a customer who is “satisfied” with one who “absolutely loves” the work. A legacy

A recent picture of Ernest Wiemann.

instance, credits Ernest with some of the best advice he ever received: “Get in there and just learn how to do it.” Ernest was particularly known for his marketing skills and keen business sense. He had a solid grasp of design and proportion, and he had a special knack for pleasing customers. But it was more than just talent that made Ernest a great designer — he had a large collection of books in his office and spent a lot of time doing research. Valuable wisdom

The following are just some of the many tips that he regularly shared with others, and were printed in a 1988 Fabricator article: n Keep your showroom clean and attractive. n Keep your shop clean and orderly. n Always look professional when meeting with customers, and keep your vehicles clean and neat too. n Put your best into every project, whether it’s a set of fireplace tools or the driveway gate for a mansion. You will not only get return customers, but they will tell others about you as well. n Understand exactly what the customer wants, down to the smallest detail, and be a good listener. This keeps the customer happy and keeps you from having to do re-work. n Take the time to study the customer’s home and get a feel for their tastes before working on the actual design. n Continue learning every day, and stay up-to-date on new processes,

Mr. Wiemann’s work lives on not only throughout Tulsa, but also around the country. Some of his noted local commissions include the gates at the Philbrook and Gilcrease museums, and a gate for a high-end home in Tulsa, which was featured on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens. The company that he founded in 1940 is the recipient of over 160 Top Job awards and has received the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship twice — in 1978 and 1998. In addition to his many honors from NOMMA, he received the E.W. Marland Estate Commissioner’s Award for his work in recreating the ironwork of the legendary Samuel Yellin. The installation was for the Marland Mansion, a major landmark in Continued on page 40.




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Oklahoma. A favorite letter from a customer best summarized the level of excellence that Ernest continually sought and achieved. The letter read: “From initial planning to final touch-up paint, you have delivered everything promised. The finished product is extremely functional as well as beautiful. We have already received numerous compliments from neighbors and passersby. Again, thank you for a wonderful job.” Today, the company is owned and operated by the Bracken family, who purchased the firm in 1997. 05 G-S Co


10:41 AM

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Humble beginnings

A German immigrant, Ernest arrived on Ellis Island in 1928 with $25 in his pocket. He already had a sister living in Chicago, so he initially settled there. In his homeland he was already a licensed journeyman and trained as a machinist, and shortly after settling in America he was soon working as a tool and die maker. Mr. Wiemann’s ornamental career began when he and his first wife Hazel stopped in Tulsa, OK to visit family, while he was on his way to start a new job in California. Ernest liked the area so much that he sent a telegram to his new employer saying he would not be able to make it. During his first years in Tulsa, he worked for Texaco Oil Co., and began Ernest Wiemann Ironworks as a part-time venture to supplement his

income. Eventually, he left the refinery and opened a shop on South Main Street in Tulsa. After moving a couple more times, he ended up at East 11th Street, where the company grew and thrived for many years. Initially, things were hard during

the war years, but after World War II his business began to pick up and the company soon became nationally recognized for exceptional quality. The company eventually grew into a 20,000-square-foot design and production facility that could do

Words of wisdom passed to me from Ernest By Doug Bracken, Wiemann Metalcraft ☞ Always give your customers more than they expect. ☞ When dealing with really picky clients, leave an obvious flaw which will draw their eye and allow them to feel good that they caught an error and which can be easily fixed. Generally they will ignore the rest of the work after that. If somehow they miss the flaw, then point it out to them and fix it; this too will make them feel good. ☞ When planning an installation, ignore the weatherman. They are only right less than half the time and by the time you get where you are going it will have changed anyway! ☞ Always look your best and do your best, your reputation is the lifeblood of your business. Imagine two blacksmiths with equal skills bidding on the same job with similar pricing, except one is dressed properly (for business) and one is in dirty overalls looking like a blacksmith in the shop…which one is more likely to win the job and more importantly, which one is more likely to be able to sell the same job for a higher price? ☞ Build a great library, everything has already been done before so study and learn from it. ☞ You really aren’t any good until someone copies you! Instead of worrying about copyrights, trade on the fact that others are imitating your work. ☞ You win some and you lose some (i.e. some bids are better than others) but every one of our clients deserves a nice job. ☞ Be truthful with your clients about your progress on their work. It may be difficult sometimes but it is far better than the embarrassment you experience when they drop by unannounced! ☞ Be optimistic, look forward more than you look back and your life will be better for it.

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Mr. Wiemann was always good at marketing. In this promotional photo, he shows off “wrought iron bar equipment.”

Fabricator n March/April 2010

everything from machining to coppersmithing, as well as gold leaf and exotic finishes. Ernest is survived by his wife, Dorothy Wiemann; a son, Ernest

William Wiemann; two daughters, Carolyn Dyer and Margaret Sappington; four grandsons (three of whom formerly worked for Wiemann); four great-grandchildren; and three

great-great-grandchildren. One of his grandsons, Richard Dyer, now operates his own ornamental metalworking shop in Tulsa — Dyer’s Antique Forge.

Ernest shares a light moment with fellow NOMMA legend Bill Gasparrini.

Having fun at a beach party, circa 1976. All photos are from the NOMMA archives.

Winning a Top Job award during the 1975 convention in Atlanta, GA.

Showing off a t-shirt from the late Bill Merry at the 1995 convention.

Fabricator n March/April 2010

Receiving an award, some time in the 1970s.

Mr. Wiemann is shown with fellow NOMMA legends Sam Paresi and Henry Bills. 41

Fellow members remember Ernest Wiemann Ernest gives one of his many inspirational talks during the 1990s.

Ernest was truly a one of a kind and will be missed. During our first years of attending METALfab conventions, what truly amazed my brother and I was the open, free exchange of information that long-time members provided. At conventions, I can remember many occasions where I received suggestions from people like Leon York, Ernest Wiemann, Jack Klahm, Lloyd Hughes, Dave Filippi, and others in off-the-cuff conversations. At one particular conference in Nashville, my brother and I were talking to Bob Bergman at his booth. For some reason, we were talking about the amount of time wasted on doing proposals, waiting for accep-

tance, and then writing contracts. From out of nowhere, a voice says, “You’re crazy for writing proposals.” Stunned, I turned to see Ernest Wiemann who said, “Son, you never write a proposal, you only write contracts.” I said, “What?” Ernie continued, “Write a contract and thank them for choosing Artistic Railings. Let them know you look forward to working with them on this project.” I found this hard to believe but he said, “Do it, it works.” I was dumbfounded, but said, “Okay.” When I got back to the shop, we implemented this time-saving practice and it worked. Our closing rate increased and we started getting compliments on our proposals, which were now complete contracts—not to mention the time savings of not having to retype the proposals as contracts. Had that simple suggestion not been given as openly as it was, I don’t

know what I would be doing today. However, I can tell you it made me always want to try and help my fellow NOMMA members—having discovered that the more we helped fellow members, the more information was exchanged with us, and the more friends we made. Thomas B. Zuzik Jr. Artistic Railings Inc. It’s hard to remember exactly when I first met Ernie Wiemann. I think he was just always there! By bits and pieces is how he shared information. One of my favorite memories is when he shared a video of a gate for a client in another state, perhaps one of the Carolinas. It was a lot about style, with Ernie arriving at the client’s home and spending several days getting to know the client. And then Ernie designed a unique gate that inspired us all. And last, but not least, (I remember) Ernie making sure the client knew the value of this special gate. I would love to see this video again. We all hung onto every word as Ernie told the story! Ernest Wiemann was an inspiration to us all. He was an encourager to me. I will truly miss him. Jan Allen Smith Allen Iron Works & Supply Inc. Ernest Wiemann was truly a unique individual to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. I had the pleasure of knowing him for more than 25 years and always found him to be generous with his information and advice. Of my many memories of him two stand out. Many years ago, in San Diego, I approached Ernest at breakfast with a question about some copper doors he had entered in Top Job. Rather than


Fabricator n March/April 2010

tell me he would get back to me he invited me to join him and his wife Hazel. He proceeded to walk me through the process in question, complete with notes and diagrams. Later, when I had gone off to start my own business, Ernest called me to tell me I would do fine and to call him if I needed any help. It may seem like a small gesture but to someone with only an anvil and three hammers and no customers, it meant the world to me. I know how much he looked forward to showing off his beloved Tulsa to everyone in NOMMA. He left a wonderful legacy. I shall raise a glass of his favorite V.O. to him. Lloyd K. Hughes Lloyd K. Hughes Metalsmithing I remember at a convention a few years ago, Ernest gave a talk on “The Best of Ernest Wiemann.” He gave a slide presentation of his many past jobs, along with the stories behind them. However, every third picture was of Ernest with much younger, beautiful girls he had met as he traveled the globe. (I guess he would walk up and ask if he could take a picture with them <smile>. He explained in detail his humble beginnings as a structural shop to how he ended up mostly ornamental. One picture was of a table he made sitting in the hall of a nice residence. He stated that table had brought him several hundred thousand dollars of work, all because he had placed his company nametag under the top. He stopped his talk and shook his finger at the audience and said, “Label all your work; it’s the best advertising you can do!” We now label our work. Thank you Ernest for sharing your life and passion with us all. Breck Nelson Kelley Ornamental Iron LLC At one of his Top Job Jamboree talks he said, “When the day comes that I don’t win a Top Job award, I have done my job.” He always challenged us. When I first came to NOMMA as new fabricator 35 years ago, I never thought I would win a Top Job award but with inspiration from Fabricator n March/April 2010

him, Bill Merry, Cliff Brown, and many others, rookies like me were able to meet the challenge. Rest in peace, Ernie. David G. Filippi FabCAD Inc. I remember visiting Ernest in Tulsa around 1996 and he proudly gave me a tour of his shop. In one area, he had bins and bins of stamped ornaments that he had purchased from J.G. Braun in bulk many years before. As we walked through the aisles, he reached into some of the bins, grabbing some leaves and petals. By the time we had reached the end of the aisle, he had twisted and bent the pieces he picked up into a flower and handed it to me as a gift. He will be missed. Tony Leto The Wagner Companies If it were in my power to have a second father, Ernest would be it. Chris Maitner Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc. I didn’t get to know Ernie until a few years ago, long after he retired. Twice, Iona and I had the privilege of sitting with him and his lovely wife during the awards dinner. He was very attentive and interested in the awards. In 2007, I received a Top Job award and was proudly showing the medallion around our table. I said to Ernie, “I’ll bet that over the years you’ve gotten some of these.” I thought I heard him say, “Yes, over 40 of them,” and I was overwhelmed. Recently, after checking with Todd Daniel, he told me no, it was about 150 awards. There you have it — Ernie was not only a true gentleman, but also a fine craftsman with credentials to prove it. Dan Bellware SRS Inc. Ernest was president of NOMMA during our first convention (1979, Memphis). He made us feel so welcome. You had to enjoy just talking to him! We also were fortunate to have Ernie visit with us at our shop a few years later. He spent the day with us

and before leaving, told Jerry to charge what he was worth. Jerry took his advice, knowing that this man worked hard all of his life, as Jerry had, learning a lot by what we called “hard knocks.” My condolences go out to his family. Tycee Grice Jerry Grice Welding Inc. Ernest was always giving good advice. He advised all of us at a panel discussion at one of the conventions to always volunteer to donate some of your handiwork to your local church. It will spark discussion and you never know what will come of it. Simple advice and very wise. All the best to the Wiemann family. Stephen J. Engebregtsen The Wagner Companies It is with great sadness that I read of Mr. Wiemann’s passing. He was someone we all looked up to as an example of what was possible with hard work. He was already retired when I first met him a few years ago at a convention. He was approachable, friendly, and told some great stories. He will be missed by a generation of metalworkers. My condolences go out to his lovely wife and his family. Paul Montelbano Duke of Iron Inc. I worked for Mr. Wiemann in the early 1960’s. I learned so much from him. His shop was just around the corner from my church. I’m 67 years old and I’ve been a blacksmith since I was 14 years old. Raymond Liles Liles Welding Service Inc. One late evening at a convention I saw Ernest Wiemann telling a long story to Bob Resch of Princeton Welding Inc. Afterwards, I said to Bob, “But you’ve heard that story before.” Bob replied calmly, “That’s alright. I just like to hear him tell it.” Mr. Wiemann was a great story teller and it was through his stories that he shared much of his knowledge and inspired others. Todd Daniel NOMMA 43

The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC is the first hotel to receive the LEED Platinum rating in the United States. See story, page 47.

Job Profiles

Taking the LEED in metal fabrication NOMMA members share their experience in meeting green building requirements

By Sheila Phinazee How to handle LEED certified projects

recently came up on the NOMMA ListServ. Several members responded, but there were still some questions. Tim Lovell, Project Manager of Foreman Fabricators in St. Louis, MO, shares some of his experience meeting LEED requirements and gives advice to help fabricators navigate the details. Fabricator: In what type of LEED projects have you been involved? Lovell: Most recently, we completed a railing that was fabricated with steel posts, wood railings with stainless steel sleeves, and glass infill panels. I believe this building received a silver rating. 44

We were also involved in another steel and glass handrail LEED project the previous year, but I am unsure of the rating they were after. We have been involved in numerous LEED projects over the years from stainless steel corner guards to steel canopies. Fabricator: How did you get involved with these projects? Lovell: Most of the time, we get involved through a general bidding process. We have some general contractors that we work quite well with and they tend to gravitate towards us also. Fabricator: In light of all the other Continued on page 46

For your information



Who: Tim Lovell, Project Manager of Foreman Fabricators Inc. Ph: (314) 7711717; Web: What: Lovell shares his experience meeting LEED requirements. The LEED速 green building certification program is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for buildings designed, constructed and operated for improved environmental and human health performance, according to the U.S. Green Building Council ( Why: Lovell wants to help other fabricators navigate the details of LEED Certification and help them feel more comfortable taking on LEED projects. Tip: Take advantage of what they call the action plan and use it.

Fabricator n March/April 2010

LEED 101

earn, projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The breakdown for each category is as follows: Certified: 40-49 points Silver: 50-59 points Gold: 60-79 points Platinum: 80 points and above

Certification available for a variety of building types The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,™ was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2000. LEED certification offers third party validation of a project’s green features. LEED v3, the current version of the green building certification system, was launched April 27, 2009. LEED certification may be obtained for all types of buildings in all stages of a building lifecycle. There is a separate LEED rating system for Retail, another for Core and Shell, and yet another for New Construction and Major Renovations. Other separate LEED rating systems exist for Schools; Commercial Interiors; and Existing Buildings and Homes. Pilot testing is currently underway for a LEED system for Healthcare and one for Neighborhood Development.

local environmental concerns unique to the project’s region. There are 100 base points. These credits are weighted to reflect their potential impact on the environment. In addition to the 100 base points, there are six possible Innovation in Design points and four possible Regional Priority points, which brings the total possible points a project can achieve up to 110. To earn LEED certification, projects must meet specific prerequisites within each category. Based on the credits they

Whole-building approach

The goal of the LEED program is to “promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in these key areas”: n Sustainable Sites — minimizes a building’s impact on ecosystems and waterways. n Water Efficiency — encourages smarter water use, inside and out (i.e. sustainable landscaping). n Energy and Atmosphere — promotes energy strategies: efficient appliances, systems, and lighting. n Materials and Resources — supports reduction of material waste during construction and operation. n Indoor Environmental Quality — promotes strategies to improve indoor air, natural daylight access, and acoustics. n Innovation in Design — gives bonus points for projects that use new technologies and strategies to improve a building’s performance beyond what is required by other LEED credits. n Regional Priority — addresses Fabricator n March/April 2010

According to the USGBC, “This comprehensive approach is the reason LEED-certified buildings help reduce operating costs, make healthier and more productive occupants, and help conserve our natural resources.” To help encourage green building some state and local governments use targeted financial and structural incentives. Expedited review or permitting processes and density bonuses are examples of structural incentives. Financial incentives include tax credits, fee reduction waivers, and grants. More information is available at: The U.S. Green Building Council, Ph: (800) 795-1747; Web: Phone: (800) 285-3056

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Continued from page 44 requirements you have to follow, how have the LEED requirements been? No difference or more rigorous? Lovell: The LEED requirements themselves are more rigorous due to the high volume of paperwork and tracking materials. Fabricator: Many feel there is a lot of paperwork, what are your thoughts? Lovell: More paperwork is definitely true. It usually starts with an action plan and then numerous documents for the actual materials. It

can be overwhelming. Fabricator: Have you gotten good word of mouth leads or additional business by being involved in LEED projects? Lovell: I do feel customers are more comfortable working with us on these projects since we have the experience. We understand the paperwork that is required and have learned to prepare from the beginning to make the work flow smoothly. Fabricator: Any survival tips for other fabricators when it comes to

LEED projects? Lovell: I would just tell all to prepare well. It is difficult scrambling at the end to acquire the paperwork that would have been much easier to get at the beginning. You should take advantage of what they call the action plan and use it. Also, come up with a good plan and stick with it. If you spend a little more time upfront, it will more than pay off in the long run. You can also visit the USGBC website (www.usgbc. org) and familiarize yourself with what they are trying to accomplish.

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America’s greenest hotel Clark Steel Fabricators spiral staircase and handrail highlight the lobby The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC is the first hotel to receive the LEED Platinum rating in the United States for its design and construction. But, being green doesn’t mean giving up comfort; the hotel supports over 70 sustainable practices while still holding the AAA Four Diamond rating for luxury. “If you’d told me that we could build a luxury hotel and save 39 percent energy, I would have said maybe. If you’d told me that we could use 33 percent less water and still maintain the luxury, I would have said no way,” says Dennis Quaintance, owner and developer, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels. For example, the stylish, yet eco-friendly building not only uses energy from the 100 solar Project: panels on the roof to heat LEED Platinum Rating water, but its regenerative drive The Proximity Hotel for its Otis Gen2 elevator Greensboro, NC lowers net energy usage by Ph: (800) 379-8200 capturing the system’s energy Web: www.proximityhotel. and supplying it back into the com. hotel’s internal electrical grid. Owners: The Proximity Hotel Dennis Quaintance and features 147 guest rooms, a Mike Weaver together full-service restaurant, and own Quaintance-Weaver 5,000 square feet of conference Restaurants & Hotels in space. As a means of supportGreensboro, NC. The family of companies consists ing the local community, the of four restaurants and hotel makes use of nearby two hotels. resources, artists, and services. Ph: (336) 370-0966 Enter local metal fabricator, Web: Steve Clark. Fabricator: Clark’s business focuses on Clark Steel Fabricators Inc. primary structures, canopies, Walnut Cove, NC 27052 mezzanines, conventional Ph: (336) 595-WELD stairs, and erecting steel Fax: (336) 595-7022 structures for buildings. Web: Prior to working on the Proximity Hotel, Clark worked as a general contractor for the same project manager who later worked on the Proximity Hotel. The hotel project also included the construction of the restaurant, Print Works Bistro, so Clark began by working on the erection of the steel for the restaurant. “I told him, I’d do whatever he needed me to do,” says Clark. He and his team erected all the steel for the restaurant, the steel frame, and the steel that connects the restaurant to the hotel. Clark also did some steel work in the bathrooms of each room in the hotel, including the steel supports that hold up the vanity in each bathroom and other work that was covered up. The materials Clark used consisted of standard off-the-shelf items, round tubing,

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Proximity Hotel lobby and lower lobby. Clark Steel Fabricators of Walnut Cove, NC helped the owners of the Proximity Hotel receive a LEED Platinum Rating for the hotel’s design and construction. Using standard off-the-shelf items such as round tubing, metal rail bars, and solid gold plate, Clark Steel erected all the steel for the hotel’s restaurant and the steel that connects the restaurant to the hotel.

metal rail bars, and solid gold plate. Other work included installation of some pieces in the foyer such as cabinets and mirrors, the handrails in the lobby, and the impressive front desk which seems to float. Not to be missed, Clark’s team also completed the grand spiral staircases with handrail in the lobby. According to Clark, the biggest challenge to the Proximity project was installing the set of stairs. “The building’s opening was small, so we had to take the handrail off to get enough clearance. This resulted in us kind of “screwing” through the door way.” Before installation, Quaintance requested a change to the center column of the spiral staircase. “Dennis 48

was very hands-on. He was involved in the design process,” says Clark. Getting the staircase into the building was just half the battle, however. “When we went to stand the stairs, we couldn’t attach any type of anchoring system to their interior walls,” says Clark. “It would have been ideal to attach chain haul mounted to the ceiling so we could pick it up and stand the spiral stairs upright. We weren’t permitted to attach anything to the walls, so we had to develop a contraption and did a chain hoist after that in a way that wouldn’t damage the concrete on the columns.” Clark has a staff of seven in his 6,000-square foot shop. Equipment includes a large shear, 200 ton brake

press, C&C plasma cutters, hydraulic iron runners , welding machines, drill presses, several portable welding machines, pick-up trucks, and two cranes—one was used to erect the restaurant structure at the Proximity. Originally from Mississippi, Steve Clark began fabricating over 30 years ago. He got started building pipe, right out of high school and trade school. At one point, early in his career, he traveled quite a bit. Later Clark got married and settled down in the WinstonSalem area. “My wife wouldn’t have any of that business traveling around,” says Clark. He currently has projects in various parts of North Carolina, including downtown Winston Salem. Clark enjoyed working with Quaintance and the others on the team. In addition to the LEED Platinum rating, the Proximity Hotel was a successful project for Clark in many respects especially in light of the spiral staircase focal point. “These are actually the first set of spiral stairs I’ve ever built,” he says. Clark has done a few more since then, and undoubtedly more will follow. Fabricator n March/April 2010


Mimicking nature brings metal tree to life Upsurge Fabrication didn’t cut corners when it fabricated and finished a steel tree for a Las Vegas clothing store.

By Mike Boyer The commissioners of

this project brought us a unique challenge. Affliction Clothing is a California based blue jean and t-shirt company. Their clothing is driven with bold ornate graphics on distressed fabrics influenced by rock and roll, mixed martial arts, and elite athletes’ lifestyles. They’ve opened stores in Los Angeles, Miami, Moscow, and most recently at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. For the Vegas location, Mackenzie Interiors wanted a full-sized steel tree. The designer, Heather, proposed that the focal point of the store would be a gothic dark steel tree that extended throughout the store. The Upsurge Fabrication team decided to put a plan together. Our first objective was to find a real tree for reference. We contacted a local certified arborist and reviewed our options. Fabricator n March/April 2010

Installed Tree. The designer of this project wanted a gothic, dark steel tree to extend throughout a Las Vegas retail store.

Luckily, there was an ideal pepper tree scheduled to be removed that week. We coordinated the dismantling of the tree in sections, loaded our truck, and brought the tree to our yard. We then decided to create a sample section of a branch as part of the approval process. After the sample was approved, we decided to start designing the trunk. Modeling a real tree enables an organic process

We looked at quite a few pictures of trees and noticed that most trees grow in a spiral. So we considered, “If nature were to make a steel tree, how would it look?” Our resident artist, Mike Carroll, began to proceed with making paper patterns, cutting his basic shape with a plasma cutter, and laying out his steps. The modeling of the tree was a multi-step process, and typical of Mike, he had his conceptual proce-

For your information



Project: Entrance of the Affliction Clothing Retail Store at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. Biggest challenge: Coordinating UL approval for each individually wired light ornament with the lighting contractor and the inspector. Finish technique: Stippling, or dabbing the paintbrush onto the surface as opposed to long brush strokes, was used to produce a bark-like texture. Photographs: Edward Merkle CONTACT

Chris Remyn Upsurge Fabrication Inc. 15855 Chemical Ln. Huntington Beach, CA 92649 Ph: (714) 894-0700 Fax: (714) 890-1636 E-mail: Web:


Real Pepper Tree. Upsurge modeled their steel tree after a real pepper tree they located through a local certified arborist. The company brought the trunk of the metal tree to the site for a field fitting before fabricating its branches.

dures thought out in advance. Using oxy-acetylene torches, an assortment of planishing hammers, anvils, and custom fullers the basic forming began to take shape. Once the sheet metal parts were made, they were flipped and then Mike mapped out a series of organic lines using soap stone. These trails were to be used as guidelines for the next step. A rivet gun with custom tooling tips was used to model a bark-like

A rivet gun with custom tooling tips was used to model a bark-

like pattern from the inside of the form. The rivet tooling would leave a hard impression from the inside of the sheet metal.

pattern from the inside of the form. The rivet tooling would leave a hard impression from the inside of the sheet metal. The opposite side would leave a more desirable soft impression, a nice interpretation of bark, not necessarily literal, but still steel-like. Installation challenges affect fabrication

After the basic trunk was finished,

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This small detail allowed each light to be its own fixture,

UL approved, and individually wired to a single plug that could be plugged in.

we needed to start planning for the size and direction of the branches and how they would relate to the space. We loaded the truck and headed off to Las Vegas for a field fitting. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, coordination with the contractor and architect were crucial to the success of the installation of the tree. With the ceiling grid still open, we were able to create a ceiling plan of the location of ducts, vents, fire sprinklers, and security cameras. With this plan, we determined the location of the wood backing that we used for the termination points of our branches while avoiding any clearance issues during installation. Considering the 24-hour operation of the casino, a seamless install was considered throughout the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planning. Our next step was to create a layout in our yard and design the breakdown of the tree for an easy installation. We fabricated our branches and began to think about the lights that would hang from them. The lights would be 12-inch spheres of steel straps and chain. The chain would be draped around the branches of the tree and hang like ornaments. Small power boxes would be welded to the inside of the branches, where our connections would take place. This small detail allowed each light to be its own fixture, UL approved, and individually wired to a single plug that could be plugged in. If not, the whole tree would have to be UL approved. This information had to be coordinated with the lighting contractor and Fabricator n March/April 2010

Finish Texture. A rivet gun with custom tooling tips helped model a bark-like pattern in the treeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s metal forms, and then a stippling technique used in the finishing process created a bark-like texture. To allow a natural array of colors to shine through, Upsurge sprayed a black antique patina to the first coat of iron paint while it was still wet.


Individually Wired Lights. Rather than seek UL approval for the entire tree, Upsurge individually wired each UL approved light that hangs from the tree’s branches.

was iron and going into a high profile place such as Las Vegas, we decided to paint the tree. A single color out of a one gallon container, or a faux paint system, was not the route to be taken. Instead, we used iron paints, chemical patinas, dyes, and waxes. We started with a black rust

the inspector. This was one of the biggest hurdles for the tree project. Never skimp on a finish

Once the tree was fabricated, we could have sprayed a clear coat and been done with it; however, since it


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Tree Forms. Fabricator Mike Carroll used oxy-acetylene torches, an assortment of planishing hammers, anvils, and custom fullers to create the basic forms of the tree’s trunk and branches.

prohibitive base coat using a stippled technique giving us a bark like texture. (Stippling is the painting technique of dabbing the paintbrush onto the surface as opposed to long brush strokes.) After a 24-hour drying period, we proceeded with iron based paint as our color base coat, a rich warm grey. A second coat was applied wet, a sprayed black antique patina. The patina reacted with the iron paint causing an array of colors from dark black to light rust. After drying, we clear coated the whole tree with a flat lacquer. Thin coats are important, especially if the paint is water-based; the lacquer will burn through and eat away at the undercoat if the coats are too heavy. The clear coat offered two functions: it locked in the tone we were after, a warm rustic leathery look, and allowed us to glaze over the warm base coat. The glazing process could be a thin colored clear, or in our case, some Japanese brown dyes with red and black waxes. These dyes and waxes are traditional in

The clear coat offered two functions: 1) locked in the tone we were after, a warm rustic leathery look, and 2) allowed us to glaze over the warm base coat. Fabricator n March/April 2010

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Metal Master Fitting Among Ceiling. Upsurge worked with the project’s contractor and architect to ensure the tree and its branches fit in among the location of ducts, vents, fire sprinklers, and security cameras.

the metal casting and sculpture world. Most recipes were secretive. Some artists died with their recipes; their work would not be copied. Applied waxes give off a sheen that doesn’t look painted. But the waxes will streak and harden, so buffing is important. The clear coat creates another protective barrier so the waxes don’t eat through the lacquer. While buffing the waxes, we used microfiber rags and graphite powder to hit all the high points of all the blacksmith modeling. The recessed areas remained black, giving us some contrast. The tree then began taking on a life of its own. As laborious as the finishing sounds, we at Upsurge feel that the hard work behind the fabrication deserves the same intensity in the finish. We have found that the layers of color come through like a Renaissance painting, giving the finish a depth of warm and cool tints that nature reveals to the artistic eye. Upsurge artists have worked with patinas and custom finishes for 15 years, and we feel that it is an investment that pays. Over the years, we have developed signature finishes that have awarded us projects that we used to have to compete for. Fabricator n March/April 2010

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and doing it all by yourself n

Give your business a boost by getting it the professional help it deserves.

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Problem: To save money, fabrication shop owners try to make themselves experts in all areas of business operation. Implication: No one can excel at everything. Production suffers if the owner is also the lead fabricator but forgoes fabrication time to learn new accounting software. Solution: Outsource some of the professional services your business needs, and use the tips in this article to get the most for your money.


By Mark E. Battersby

help be found and at what cost?

Although few will admit to needing help

Take advantage of what’s out there

in any of the many aspects of running their metalworking operation or business, few within the ornamental and miscellaneous metals business are actually “jack-of-all-trades.” While most small business owners know their business inside and out, in general and in detail, there are highly technical matters of law, accounting, management, and marketing that are usually best handled by outside experts. Attorneys, accountants, and management and marketing advisers have specialized knowledge about niche areas that few can hope to duplicate. Reality often dictates the necessity of relying on others for assistance in unfamiliar areas, especially if that outside, independent advice is affordable. Where can this much-needed professional guidance, assistance or

Having access to legal, accounting, and other expertise is important to help any business survive and grow as rapidly or efficiently as possible. In addition to legal advice, accounting advice such as setting up the operation’s books, auditing, payroll services, taxes, and retirement planning might benefit the metalworking operation. Advisors, particularly in the following areas, might benefit your shop or business: n Insurance n Real estate n Banking n Security and/or collection services n Business planning n Business brokers and appraisers n Personnel services n Marketing/advertising n Printing n Public relations n Information technology/ Fabricator n March/April 2010

computers n Website development and hosting

These are just a few areas in which professional services are available to the average metalworking business. Some jobs, such as auditing financial statements to satisfy the requirements of lenders or investors, must be done by a professional with specific credentials. A certified public accountant (CPA) is a good example. More flexibility exists when looking for other credentialed professionals. The initials MBA after a person’s name suggest that, as a holder of a master’s of business administration degree, that person is well-trained. However, highly experienced people may be just as effective even if they lack the diploma and the initials. Evaluating the worth of credentials can be tricky. Get referrals from trusted sources

Referrals are the best way to get a new professional services provider. The best source of referrals is a business associate. Good referrals can also be obtained from other professionals. Ask your accountant for an attorney’s name and your attorney for an accountant’s name. Other service providers such as bankers, insurance, or real estate professionals are also good sources. Don’t forget to ask suppliers and customers. Remember, however, the first step to finding the right tax professional requires an inventory of what you and your fabricating shop or business actually need in the way of services and advice and, most importantly, how much you can afford to pay for that advice or service. It is also important to determine beforehand just how much of the work you and your business will do and how much of it will be done by the professional (or professionals). You might also find out how well-connected the professional and his or her firm are. CPAs, for instance, are often a valuable resource for metalworking businesses needing to borrow money or to raise capital from other sources.

adviser such as an attorney, tax preparer, CPA, or other licensed professional, credentials should always be checked. Most professionals are licensed to practice in one or more states so you are looking for a current professional license in your state. You also want to know if there are any outstanding complaints against this person, either by his professional organization or by previous clients. Checking on sanctions is also possible for many licensed professionals; this is easily accomplished via the Internet. The website for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be searched to see if a tax preparer has been disciplined or convicted of fraud by the IRS. And, there is also the website of the Better Business Bureau, to see if complaints have been filed against this professional. Taking the time to check out a prospective advisor thoroughly is a

good investment. Remember that you, as the owner of the ornamental or miscellaneous metals business, are responsible for complying with the laws, tax payments, and regulations. Getting bad advice does not excuse anyone from this responsibility. Shop for the right person

With referrals in hand, the shopping begins. Yes, shopping. You are not only looking for reliable, knowledgeable, and affordable professionals, you are looking or shopping for a professional who will compliment your efforts. Having an accountant who takes a different approach can sometimes be a good thing. A super-conservative shop or business owner may become more successful if exposed to the aggressive side of things. Naturally, no professional should pressure clients into doing anything

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they are not comfortable with. Let go of the relationship if it isn’t working

At the beginning of any professional relationship, general rules of thumb should be established in order to minimize the need to call the adviser too often. Discussing the kinds of issues the adviser does not want to handle or the adviser feels might be better handled in-house or by another professional, is part of the shopping process. However, if you begin working with an adviser only to later discover that you avoid calling him or her, or you don’t like this person, sever the relationship quickly. This is yet another reason not to work with friends or family; you don’t need personal relationships interfering with the business relationship. It is not necessary to provide reasons for severing the professional relationship, just be polite and firm. Control the price of advice you get

Fortunately, many professionals offer free first meetings for discussion of expectations, services needed and provided, extent of involvement by the professional and the portion of the work the fabricator expects to shoul-


Professional considerations Experience: Although it is not essential to find an expert with ornamental and miscellaneous metals operations or industry experience, do look for someone who specializes in small business problems. Understanding: Be sure the professional is willing to learn your business goals. You want someone to be a long-term partner. Ability to communicate: If a lawyer speaks in legalese or an accountant uses arcane financial terms without explanation, continue your search elsewhere. Reasonable fees: Attorneys, accountants, and other professionals may charge $75–$300 (or more) per hour, depending on the location, size, and prestige of the provider. Shop around for quotes. Beware, however, of comparing one provider with another on the basis of fees alone. The lowest hourly fee may not indicate the best value; an inexperienced professional may take twice as long to complete a project as an experienced — and slightly more expensive one — will.

der, time constraints and, above all, costs. It is not tacky to discuss fees before engaging the services of a professional although money should not be the sole criteria for selecting that professional. Keeping the cost of that muchneeded advice and guidance affordable begins when the professional is hired. An engagement letter, essentially a letter detailing the scope of the services to be performed and at what cost to the business, is the first step. For complex legal matters and other matters such as cutting property taxes, many professionals are often willing to work on a contingency basis. In other words, if they succeed, they receive a percentage of the proceeds — or savings — usually between 25 and 40 percent. If they fail, they may receive only out-of-pocket expenses. For those who anticipate a lot of routine questions or services on an on-going basis, one option is a monthly fee that entitles you to all the routine advice needed. Additional billing, if necessary, is usually done at a reduced hourly or project rate. Some attorneys and other professionals may suggest a flat fee for certain routine matters or projects, eliminating the uncertainty of the final cost. But, all these billing practices must be spelled out in the engagement letter. Before committing to any billing practice it may be a good time to attempt negotiating not only fees, but a prompt pay discount. Even a five percent discount on professional fees can produce substantial savings. Also, ask for an estimate of the cost of every matter. If more than one professional in a firm is to render services, the hourly rate for each should be spelled out, as well as which, if any, expenses the professional will be reimbursed for. The professional services marketplace is a buyers’ market now, so shop for a qualified and affordable professional. You are not looking for the one promising the lowest bill but rather a professional or firm that can best guide you and your metalworking business through these turbulent times. Fabricator n March/April 2010

Biz Side

Avoid the deadly seven Free your business from eternal misdirection. Face up to these common management mistakes.

By William J. Lynott Even in the best of times, life in the

metalworking business means dealing with a full measure of challenging decisions, any one of which can have a negative impact on your operation. Now, with today’s unstable and unpredictable business climate, even tiny management errors hold the potential for serious damage to your bottom line. Here are seven common and costly management mistakes along with advice from the experts on how to keep them from harming your business this year — and in the years to come:

1 Trying to do it all yourself

You’ve heard it said many times — if you want something done right, do it yourself. That’s a classic philosophy with an undeniable grain of poetic Fabricator n March/April 2010

truth. However, when it comes to running a complex business, too many owners and managers suffer from a dangerous overdose of do-it-yourself-itis. A failure to understand the importance and the necessity of delegating is one of the most common mistakes that hinder growth in small businesses, according to the experts interviewed for this story. “Just because you can complete a task, doesn't mean you should,” says management consultant Andrea Michalek. “Anything that is not a core-competency of your business should be outsourced. Without hiring any additional employees, it’s now possible to get the outside help you need at prices you can afford.” “Some business owners go broke saving money,” says consultant Wally Adamchik. “Rather than outsource their web design and maintenance, for

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Tip of the Day: Once you identify a disruptive or unproductive employee, take action. Postponing it can only lead to a more serious problem later on. Memorable quote: “Now, for the first time, I’m seeing signs that suggest business may be a little harder to come by. I may have to start thinking about putting together a real marketing program for the first time.” About the Author: Bill Lynott is a long-time business writer for Fabricator. Since 1957 he has written nearly 1,000 essays and columns and is the author of three books. In addition to his career as a writer, Bill also has an extensive background in management, consulting, and marketing.


example, they do it themselves, just because they can. Of course, this takes them away from high impact work like marketing. They are saving money doing their own web thing but they are losing money in the long run by doing it.” If you find yourself neglecting some of the basic responsibilities of your business such as marketing and customer relations, it’s probably time for you to put more trust in other people. Given a chance, many will surprise you with positive results.

2 Misunderstanding the true meaning of marketing


Many shop owners are so busy dealing with day-to-day operations that they never get around to putting Book ad Fab:Layout 1 12/17/07 5:42 PM Page 1 together a business-building marketing program. That’s a serious mistake. Marketing is a basic building block in the construction of any metalworking business. Yet, many owners shy away from all but the most obvious ways to promote their businesses. For some, their entire marketing program consists of an expensive ad in the Yellow Pages. f Hot of ss the Pre

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While advertising is an essential part of marketing, it is only that — a part. An effective marketing program requires much more than advertising. Marketing embraces all facets of your operation. To be an effective marketer, you must nurture and promote your business image, sell yourself as well as your business, and concentrate on making every customer a satisfied customer. There is no other way. Competitive prices alone won’t do it. A high degree of professional skills alone won’t do it. Marketing is a complex fabric woven of many threads. Shop owners should spend a reasonable part of their time learning what goes into the makeup of a complete marketing program. Too many small business owners stammer when asked, “So what do YOU do?” says Michalek. “Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are two cost-effective methods to grow any business. If you cannot succinctly express what you do and whom you serve, you’re shutting the door on your best source of new customers.” Until the recent economic crisis, some fabricators haven’t had to be concerned about marketing. NOMMA member Eric Cuper, Cuper Studios, Easton, PA has a small operation with only two employees. “Up to now, marketing hasn’t been a problem for us,” he says. “Now, for the first time, I’m seeing signs that suggest business may be a little harder to come by. I may have to start thinking about putting together a real marketing program for the first time.”

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of hiring friends or family

Many shop owners owe their success, at least in part, to an employee who is either a relative or a friend. When such a relationship works, it can work very well. Still, when it doesn’t work out, it can be disastrous. “You should use extreme care in bringing a friend or relative into your business,” says author and career Fabricator n March/April 2010

consultant Katharine Hansen. “If the relationship doesn’t work out, terminating it can be a serious problem.” Hansen tells of one business owner who hired her own sister. “Now she’d like to sell the business to go back to college teaching, but finds herself responsible for her sister’s employment. This is but one example of the kinds of unexpected traps that lie in wait for business owners who hire friends or family.”

serious problem later on. Cuper agrees in principle with the need to terminate a problem employee, but points out that it’s not always that easy in a very small operation. “If you have only two employees and you let one go, you’ve lost half of your work force,” he says. Cuper feels that in a situation like that, it’s important to make an extra effort to resolve the employee’s shortcomings before you take any drastic steps.

4 Failing to take action on unsatisfactory employees

Discharging an unpro­ ductive or disruptive employee is the sort of unpleasant task that most business owners dread. However, failing to take action when necessary can be a costly mistake. “Not firing a problem worker is one of the worst operating mistakes you can make,” says James Walsh author of Rightful Termination: Defensive Strategies for Hiring and Firing in the Lawsuit-Happy 90’s (Merritt Publishing 1997). “It keeps the problem worker around to create more trouble, making a bad situation worse. That’s not fair to you or to your other employees.” A single problem employee in a business with a dozen or more employees can represent a serious threat to productivity and profits; in a smaller operation, it can be deadly. “Failing to terminate a problem employee can result in added stress on other employees who may have to take on more work, and dissension among those who can’t understand why the employee is being kept,” says management consultant Linda Hanson. “All of this, in turn, can negatively affect the treatment of customers.” In short, once you identify a disruptive or unproductive employee, it’s best to face up to the unpleasant task of terminating the relationship. Postponing it can only lead to a more Fabricator n March/April 2010

5 Overlooking the Profitable management of cash flow calls for never allowing any of your money to lie idle. The worst place to

deposit your daily receipts is in a low-interest/no-interest checking account.

principles of profitable cash management

Making the sale is only the first part of a profitable business transaction. How you manage the revenue generated by your sales will have a great influence on how much of that money finds its way to your bottom line. Profitable management of cash flow calls for never allowing any of your money to lie idle. The worst place to deposit your daily receipts is in a low-interest/no-interest checking account.

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7 Neglecting to develop good hiring skills

Instead, open a money market account at your bank and have it linked to your checking account for telephone or online transfers. From that point on, deposit your daily receipts into the money market account where they will immediately start drawing interest. NEVER deposit receipts directly into your checking account. Keep a minimum balance in the checking account and transfer cash by phone or online only as needed to cover checks written. While money market account interest currently may be only slightly better than checking account interest, this is a temporary situation. Over the long term, the difference is likely to grow significantly. Worst money sin of all: leaving checks or cash lying around in a desk drawer until you can get to the bank. Using every cent of your money to make money is the smart way to

bolster business profits.

6 Denying the need to ask for outside help

“By their very nature, entrepreneurs are independent thinkers,” says management consultant Carl Robinson, Ph.D., Seattle, WA. “That’s why they are often reluctant to reach out to others for help in areas where their own experience may be lacking. I feel that any small business owner will benefit from forming a peer group made up of owners of non-competing local businesses. This is an excellent way for a business owner to benefit from a no-cost advisory board. In a successful peer group, everyone helps everyone else through the exchange of experience and ideas. “A good place to locate potential members of a peer group,” says Dr. Robinson, “is one of your local service

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“One of the most common mistakes small business owners make is hiring poorly,” says consulting psychologist Carl Robinson, Ph.D. “Most small business owners have never received any training in selection and assessment of people. As a result, they tend to fall victim to every ‘interview bias error’ known. “If you make a single poor hiring decision, especially if you have fewer than ten employees, you can be derailed big time.” Dr. Robinson suggests the following hiring tips: n Prepare interview questions in advance. Take notes so that you won’t forget what the candidates said. I guarantee that you will either forget what the first interviewee said or mix his responses with subsequent interview­ees if you don’t take notes. Ask each candidate the same questions so that you can compare answers and more accurately compare the candidates. n Don’t go too far too fast. Don’t make a hiring decision based on your first interview. Take your time. Compare candidates. n Make the candidates feel comfortable; they reveal more if they aren’t on guard. If you make the interviewees feel like they are being interrogated, you’ll learn how they respond to questioning under pressure. But, it’s unlikely they’ll tell you much about themselves if they are on the defensive. n You must sell the candidates on the job and you, but don’t talk more than 20 percent of the time. Let the candidates do most of the talking n Ask open-ended questions. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. There is of course, much more to the art of skillful hiring. Author Walsh, advises starting with what hiring experts call structured questions. “Ask them of every candidate and base your comparisons on their answers.” Fabricator n March/April 2010

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” Fabricator n March/April 2010



Nationwide Supplier Members A Cut Above Distributing (800) 444-2999 Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (503) 692-6010 Alku Group of Companies (905) 265-1093 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (972) 286-2368 American Punch Co. (216) 731-4501 Ameristar Fence Products (918) 835-0898 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (908) 757-2323 Architectural Metal Sales (925) 216-1004 Artistic Ornamental Supply (305) 836-0192 Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143 Banker Wire (262) 363-6126 Barnett Bates Corp. (815) 726-5223 Bavarian Iron Works Co. (800) 522-4766 BFT U.S. Inc. (561) 995-8155 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (800) 526-6293 Builders Fence Co. Inc. (800) 767-0367 Byan Systems Inc. (800) 223-2926 The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961 Cadd Connection (541) 967-7954 Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948 Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271 Century Group Inc (337) 527-5266 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402 CML USA Inc. (563) 391-7700 Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. 62

(714) 677-1300 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871 DAC Industries Inc. (616) 235-0140 Dashmesh Ornamentals (011) 91-987-844-7477 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 EPi (262) 786-9330 ETemplate Systems (919) 676-2244 EURO-FER SPA (011) 39-044-544-0033 FabCad Inc. (866) 427-2454 Feeney Architectural Products, CableRailâ&#x201E;˘ (800) 888-2418 Genova Imports LLC (972) 395-8199 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (604) 299-5264 Gerhard Glaser GmbH & Co. (011) 49-607-893-7137 Glasswerks LA Inc. (323) 789-7800 The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549 GTO Inc. (800) 543-4283 Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC (860) 257-0680 Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700 Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (570) 282-1010 Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700 Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710

Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (631) 736-7500 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (818) 729-3333 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427 Iron World Mfg. (301) 776-7448 ITW Ransburg (419) 470-2000 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co. Inc. (800) 4-JANSEN King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 Laser Precision Cutting (828) 658-0644 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (718) 894-1442 Locinox USA (877) 562-4669 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510 McKey Perforating (262) 786-2700 Metabo Corp. (281) 948-2823 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 NC Tool Co. (336) 674-5654 New Metals Inc. (956) 729-1184 Ohio Gratings Inc. (330) 477-6707 Overseas Supply Inc. (281) 776-9885 P & J Mfg. Co. (419) 227-8742

Paxton & Thau Artistic Supply (205) 290-2790 Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 ProCounsel (214) 741-3014 Q-Railing USA Co. (714) 259-1372 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (216) 291-2303 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (636) 225-5358 Scotchman Industries Inc. (605) 859-2542 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Shaped Steel Inc. (816) 781-5717 Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 South Camden Iron Works Inc. (856) 423-1107 Stair Service Inc. (800) 478-2477 Stairways Inc. (713) 680-3110 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245 Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 Taco Metals (800) 743-3803 Texas Metal Industries (972) 288-2333 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (832) 467-5400 Universal Entry Systems Inc. (800) 837-4283 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door (901) 346-0662

Fabricator n March/April 2010

Welcome New Members! We are pleased to introduce our newest members. We encourage our new member firms to â&#x20AC;&#x153;jump in and get involved!â&#x20AC;? New NOMMA Members as of March 12, 2010. * Asterisk denotes returning member. A.G. Welding* Houston, TX Guy Felton Fabricator

Genova Imports LLC Carrollton, TX Gene Garrett Nationwide Supplier

Metal Art Design LLC Tulsa, OK Susan Arrington Fabricator

Southwest Steel Henderson, NV Tom Morgan Fabricator

ADS Steel Svc. Ft. Worth, TX Keith Shaw Fabricator

Iron Masters Warren, MI Mike Petit Fabricator

Startup Steel LLC Pound Ridge, NY Cliff Startup Fabricator

Artistic Ornamental Supply Miami, FL Serafin Fernandez Nationwide Supplier

Iron World Mfg.* Laurel, MD Tony Thompson Nationwide Supplier

Morrow Ornamental Iron Inc.* Selma, AL Bo Morrow Fabricator

Auciello Iron Works Inc.* Hudson, MA Michael Auciello Fabricator B & E Ornamental Steel Pikeville, NC Bruce Kearney Fabricator Bower Welding Casper, WY Tom Bower Fabricator Celestial Ironworks Lawrence, KS Kelvin Schartz Fabricator Custom Iron Works Lubbock, TX Don Stroud Fabricator Dashmesh Ornamentals* Ludhiana, Punjab India Tarsem Singh Nationwide Supplier Eagle Machine & Welding Inc. Newark, OH Wade Ranck Fabricator

Ironesque Inc. Richland, WA Per Molvik Fabricator Ironwerx Tulsa, OK Keith Dixon Fabricator Jones Valley Iron Works* Birmingham, AL Ray White Fabricator K Three Welding Svc. Inc. Chicago, IL Michael Kuper Fabricator Kelly Iron Works Inc. Chester, PA Padraig Kelly Local Supplier L&L Ornamental Aluminum & Ironworks Inc. West Palm Beach, FL Leonardo Perez Fabricator

OMNI Erecting Svcs. Carrollton, TX Randal Johnson Regional Supplier Paul Smith Welding Spencer, WI Paul Smith Fabricator Premier Iron Works Meeker, OK Charles Towler Fabricator Railco Metalcraft Butler, NJ Wes Shelton Fabricator Raw Urth Designs Ft. Collins, CO Amy Sasick Fabricator Rio Grande Co. Denver, CO Dave Wenman Fabricator RIW Ornamental Metals Inc. Newport, KY Ilija Rokvic Fabricator

LMK Waterjet Kenilworth, NJ Herb Olbrich Local Supplier

S3 Inc. dba Old World Iron Oklahoma City, OK Todd Miller Fabricator

EPi New Berlin, WI Eric Olander Nationwide Supplier

Macuh Steel Products Inc. Augusta, GA Jason Keblish Fabricator

Future Fence Co. Warren, MI Rick Russel Fabricator

Metabo Corp. Katy, TX Larry Pecht Nationwide Supplier

South Camden Iron Works Inc. Mickleton, NJ Mitch Kowal Nationwide Supplier

Fabricator n March/April 2010

Tebbens Steel LLC Center Moriches, NY Tom Tebbens Fabricator Uber Iron Edmonton, AB Canada Andy Young Fabricator Vintage Iron Designs LLC Evansville, IN Derick Higginson Fabricator Weldtec Iron Works Inc. Lake Villa, IL David Holdsworth Fabricator Westside Welding Inc. Vero Beach, FL Michael Martin Fabricator Z & H Iron Works Hawley, PA Christopher Hughes Fabricator Ginny Von Elling Kansas City, KS Affiliate

Southern Style Iron Works Byron, GA Michael Bilderback Fabricator 63

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

A note from the chair

Now you can make a gift to honor a special member The old saying “…things come in threes...” has recently come to pass for NOMMA. Dick Boyler, Bob Foust Jr., and Ernest Weimann will certainly be missed amongst our membership. Their dedication and willingness to share with fellow members was a great legacy to leave behind. Just read the ListServ, you will see how much these men and their commitment to Roger Carlsen is chair of education was appreciated. the NOMMA Education I am not one to send flowers or Foundation. wreaths; instead I have always chosen to make contributions in the person’s name to a charitable organization or a not-for-profit cause. I was considering what I might do in light of our loss of three “pretty nice guys.” My first thought was: “What about making a donation to NEF, this would be a great way to honor the memory of these men.” When I inquired about the forms and particulars as to how I might do this, I found there was not a dedicated mechanism in place to do so. Well, that is no longer the case. We now have created a form that will acknowledge your NEF donation to the family/friends of the person who you would like to remember or honor. The contributions received for Dick Boyler, Bob Foust Jr., and Ernest Weimann, to honor their memory and their dedication to education in NOMMA, are certainly appreciated. These contributions have become a good starting point for a continuation of the opportunity to honor/ memorialize a friend, colleague, or a family member, with a donation to NEF. I am pleased to announce that this opportunity is now permanently in place. The forms can be accessed on the NOMMA website at

Video tutorial project

In the last Fabricator I had indicated that NEF was exploring the idea of enabling our members to become involved in an ongoing video tutorial project. Your NEF board of trustees has been hard at work to make this into a reality. A video tutorial is being produced on how to make a video tutorial in your own shop. We are also in the process of purchasing a couple of (lower cost) high definition

cameras that can be sent out and loaned to members to make these videos. The NOMMA office is working on a procedure to upload these tutorials to the NOMMA website. I see this project as having many benefits to our membership. If you have a forging procedure, a finishing technique, or special skill that you would like to share with the NOMMA membership this will enable you to do so. If you are thinking of buying a video camera to post your work on YouTube, Facebook, or your own website but want to try it out first, this program will afford you that opportunity. As more and more of the members use video cameras I can foresee a time when there would be a “how to” question asked on the ListServ and someone would post a brief video on the NOMMA site or YouTube as their response … a lot of great possibilities. METALfab 2011 education

In a moment of weakness, I agreed to be the chair of the education team for the 2011 METALfab in New Orleans. My goal is to make the education program for 2011 METALfab a program designed by and for the members. To that end, I am soliciting the input from each and every one of our members to make this YOUR METALfab. It is not too early to start our planning now; so, email, call, drop in for a visit, or even write me a letter and let me know what you would like to see at METALfab 2011. Trustee spotlight

When I first began writing this column, I indicated that I would be introducing the NOMMA membership to the NEF board of trustees. Continuing this series, I would like to introduce Trustee Chris Maitner. Chris is a past NOMMA president and former Top Job chair, and has served on other committees as well. To learn more, see the article at right.

Resources for Chapters Resources available for NOMMA chapters include: • DVD of video shop tours. • CD of Top Job images (have your own Jamboree!). • NEFERP (NEF Education Resource Program). For more information, contact NEF trustee James Minter Jr. (601-833-3000;


Fabricator n March/April 2010

Meet Trustee Christopher Maitner, Christopher Metal Fabricating Chris Maitner, president of Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI is currently seving as a NEF Trustee. Following Mike Boyler as Top Job Chair for three NEF trustee Chris years, he was Maitner elected as a member of the NOMMA board of directors, eventually serving as president in 2003. He has taught classes at convention and made two training videos on stair construction. As a member of the NOMMA delegation that visited France in 2001 he was wowed by the guild training system that is in place there for the building trades. Classroom study and hands on working shop experience are rotated during the multi-year program, resulting in a “masterpiece,” which is required for graduation. Since that eye

opening experience, he has desired to be part of a group dedicated to developing a solid “training/apprentice” program for the industry. Chris graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in vocational education in 1972. He was a member of the National Guard from 1969 through 1975 and this is how he stumbled into metalwork. Not knowing when he would be called for active duty training, he left college and took a job at a miscellaneous iron shop in 1970, sweeping floors, painting, and more than enough grinding to last a lifetime. It was there that he learned the commercial side of the trade, fabricating literally hundreds of stairs, rails, ladders, platforms, etc. But it was occasionally working on some ornamental “stuff ” with the “old master” (shop owner) that got him hooked. So, after graduating in 1972, he opted to stay working in the iron shop and forego teaching. In 1988 he founded Christopher

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Metal Fabricating, with he and his brother Larry as the entire workforce. When he received his first unsolicited complimentary copy of Fabricator magazine in 1991 he knew he needed to find out more. Attending their first convention in Lexington with his then crew of four in 1993 it was truly the setting of the hook. He has attended every convention since then either alone or with some of the crew. Between the education sessions, trade show, and networking (which is 20% social and 80% educational sharing) he feels his business can’t afford to miss one if at all possible. When not working Chris enjoys tennis, an occasional round of golf, and spends most of the time with his wife, Jodi, developing their gardens on their “heavenly little piece of dirt.” Advice? Don’t just join NOMMA, make it an active part of your life.The rewards are “priceless,” and for everything else there’s Mastercard.

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Industry News & More

ASA and ASA of New Mexico Defend New Mexico’s Anti-Indemnity Law


On Jan. 29, 2010, the American Subcontractors Association and ASA of New Mexico filed an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief arguing that a trial court decision that is contrary to 25 years of state law protecting parties from costly risk-shifting on construction projects should not be allowed to stand. “The trial court’s decision runs directly contrary to the prior case law and is contrary to the fundamental public policy,” ASA and ASANM said in their joint brief. ASA and ASANM urged the appeals court to “reverse the trial court decision as it ignores the clear direction from the Legislature and as it is contrary to the express public policy” of New Mexico. In the case, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. L.C.I.2, Inc., currently under review by the New Mexico Court of Appeals, general contractor L.C.I.2 argued that a subcontractor’s insurance carrier, Nationwide, should defend and indemnify it as an “additional insured” in a lawsuit filed by an injured employee of the subcontractor. At trial, Nationwide cited New Mexico’s anti-indemnity law (N.M. Statutes §56.7.1) in arguing that it had no “duty to defend” the general contractor because the injuries arose entirely from the general contractor’s acts and omissions. The employee sustained injuries on the jobsite and sought to recover damages from the general contractor for not implementing an adequate safety program. The trial court found that Nationwide did have a duty to defend the general contractor. ASA argued that the state’s anti-indemnity law used plain language and had a clear legislative intent “designed to reduce the number of injuries to construction workers by forcing those who lead and supervise construction projects to pay for the consequences of their own negligence using their own insurance and assets, rather than relying on their subcontractors to defend and indemnify them by way of hold harmless clauses and additional insured requirements.” Albuquerque law firm Calvert Menicucci, P.C., prepared the brief for ASA and ASANM. Contact: ASA, Ph: (703) 684-3450; Web:

Lincoln Appoints Richard J. Seif to Lead Global Product Development

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. has named Richard J. Seif, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Development. In this new role, Seif will be responsible for directing the company’s international product strategy and development, in addition to his current global marketing and automation strategy duties. Seif ’s previous title was Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Automaton. During his 39 years with Lincoln, he has held several key sales and executive management positions. Contact: Lincoln, Ph: (888) 532-8001; Web:


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Encon Launches Website

Encon Electronics has introduced its new site to customers who can now log into a dealer portal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once inside, users are able to create quotes, place orders, or Encon’s technical experts. Another section found on the site is called “Inside Joe’s Brain” which refers to industry veteran and Encon sales director, Joe Weber. Registered Encon dealers can click on this link to view product specifications, manuals, wiring diagrams, current and archive literature as well as Weber’s technical notes and installation recommendations. Contact: Encon, Ph: 800-782-5598; Web: 66

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2010 ABANA Conference and Call for Gallery Submissions

June 2-5, Memphis, TN The Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA) will be holding its 2010 conference in Memphis and will also host a gallery open to the public. The conference will be held at the AgriCenter International and will feature forging demos, an auction, and Memphis BBQ. The theme of the conference is “ABANA’s Greatest Hits” in keeping with Memphis’ musical heritage. Contact: ABANA, Ph: (703) 680-1632; Web:

New England Blacksmiths

Spring Meeting, May 14-16 The New England Blacksmiths’ weekend event, “Kick it up a Notch,” is a show-and-tell for all levels of smiths featuring Carl Close, David Court, and Peter Happny. The meeting will feature a Saturday forging contest and additional short programs. Contact Fred Mikkelsen at for a registration package. Contact: New England Blacksmiths, Web: www. ICC Final Action Hearings

May 14-23, Dallas, TX The spring ICC final action hearings take place at the Sheraton Dallas Downtown. Contact: ICC, Ph: (888) 422-7233; Web:

Ultra Series of Cutting Fluids DoALL DoALL Sawing Products’ Cutting Fluids Division is pleased to announce the launch of the Ultra Series of cutting fluids, including Kool-ALL Ultra®, Kleen-Kool Ultra®, and Power-Cut Ultra®. The new products are designed to be a concentrated form of existing products to give customers more coolant, less water, lower freight costs, and recyclable containers and liners that are also tamper resistant. The Ultra Series products are designed to allow long sump life, tramp oil rejection, and control of bacteria and mold growth. The products are intended for use with alloy steels like 300 series stainless steel and the emulsifiers mix with water. Contact: DoALL, Ph: (888) 362-5572.

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Chapters Attendees were greeted with a NOMMA banner, which proudly hangs in the O’Malley shop.

Upper Midwest Chapter enjoys a day of measuring demos and making auction items The NOMMA Upper Midwest Chapter meeting was held Saturday, January 30 at O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. in Yorkville, IL. There was a great turnout, with 45 people in attendance. Events of the day included a business meeting, and demos on cold weather installation, field measuring,and a demonstration of ETemplete Systems by Dave Randle a new NOMMA supplier member. Todd Daniel, NOMMA’s new executive director, was present, and he talked about METALfab 2010 and told about a special membership promotion. A Technical Affairs report was given by Steve Engebregtsen and a NEF report by Roger Carlsen and Heidi Bischmann. Mark Koenke, chapter president, modeled the new chapter shirt that is available for purchase. Following the demos and a delicious lunch, attendees got to work crafting items for the annual NEF benefit auction. Creative members designed and crafted candle holders, a pet bowl holder, and a shelf. As an added bonus, a car restoration company across the street was opened for tours. A thanks to Bob Baker for opening his shop to attendees. A special thanks also goes to the O’Malley shop for hosting the meeting, providing lunch, and to the O’Malley family for allowing chapter leaders to meet at their home the night before.

Forging an item for the NEF benefit auction.













Fabricator n March/April 2010

What’s Hot? n


Chapter officers applaud a guest speaker. Mark O’Malley leads a measuring demonstration using a laser system. right: Attendees enjoy the measuring presentation. During the program, dimensions were keyed into AutoCAD to create the measurements for a curved brick wall. top:

top right:

The next meeting of the Upper Midwest Chapter takes place May 22 at Division 5 Metalworks in Kalamazoo, MI.

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Metal Cleaners and Surface Conditioners

People Matthew Harris joins TigerStop as chief marketing officer

Matthew Harris has joined TigerStop LLC as chief marketing officer. In his role, he is responsible for all sales and marketing activities. Harris has an extensive background in international markets and has held management roles at GE, Netscape, Planar Systems, and most recently as vice president and general manager of FEI Co. He has an MBA from Stanford University and undergrad degrees from Cornell University. Contact: TigerStop, Ph: 360-2540661; Web:

Birchwood Casey To achieve uniform coating reactions and proper coating adhesion, Birchwood Casey offers metal cleaners and surface conditioners for different metals and finishing processes. Birchwood Casey presents Presto Kleen® HP heavy-duty powdered cleaner and Safe Scrub® ST biodegradable liquid cleaner. Both products are designed for medium to heavy duty soak tank cleaning of iron and steel parts. They mix with water and operate at temperatures of 120-180°F. All metal cleaners and surface conditioners from Birchwood Casey are designed for use in various process lines, such as black oxide, phosphatizing, and other metal coating systems. Contact: BirchwoodNOMMA Casey,quarter Ph: (952) 937-7931;

The nail-studded tree example: the Ferro 2000 Conference in Cloppenburg, Germany.

June 2-5

New 3-year warranty offered on machinery

Scotchman Industries Inc. Scotchman has extended the warranty on all their ironworkers, cold saws, and band saws to three years. Contact: Scotchman Industries vert chi 10.30.09 ad.qxd 10/28/2009 Inc., Ph: (800) 843-8844; Web: www.

See y a June 2


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Universal Heavy-Duty Lathes

KNUTH Machine Tools USA KNUTH Machine Tools USA offers the versatile and robust DL E Series universal lathes for handling heavy-duty fabrication and single part production. Featuring maximum stability and high accuracy, the DL E Series lathes is able to handle everything from rough to fine operations on a wide variety of materials. Equipped with a 5.1 inch spindle bore, up to a 79 inch swing and a 315 inch distance between centers, the DL E Series lathes feature a heavy, cast-iron base and machine bed with strong ribbing to minimize vibrations and improve stability. Designed with a balance of performance and functionality, these Knuth lathes come standard with a 30 horsepower motor to ensure high chip removal capacity along with induction hardened and

Contact: Knuth Machine Tools USA Inc., Ph: (866) 665-6884; Web: grounded guideways to maintain accuracy. Featuring a 3-axis position indicator, the DL E Series includes a glass scale on the compound resulting in increased productivity and valuable time savings. This easy-to-read display with convenient keyboard layout provide operator-specific features including default coordinates, calculator function as well as metric to inch measurement conversions. The Knuth DL E Series lathes are built with a joystick style control to handle X and Z axis rapid traverse for ease-of-use. They also feature a hand lever for tail stock adjustments and separate rapid feed motors for the X and Z axis.

3D Lift Planning Tool

ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. introduces the newest in its arsenal of lift-planning tools, increasing safety and improving productivity at the same time. The 3D Lift Plan Internetbased application, developed by A1A Software, is a true 3D lift-planning and crane selection application that will be available on all onboard crane computers in the ALL fleet. The accurate and precise 3D application allows the planning of complex, multiple-crane lifts, even including tower cranes. Contact: ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp., Ph: (216) 5246550; Web:

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Member News

Iron Age Architectural Metals Inc. hosts open house for interior designers Iron Age Architectural Metals, a NOMMA member, recently hosted an open house for interior designers. The open house included a presentation on the types of metals used in ornamental metalwork and their suitability for interior, exterior, and special environments. Iron Age Architectural Metals is a full-service supplier of ornamental metal components located in Orlando, FL. Contact: Iron Age Architectural Metals, Ph: (800) 299-5788; Web:

The Iron Age showroom served as the reception and meeting space for the event. right: Designers mingle and explore the facility. bottom right: Iron Age staff led tours and educated the designers on the various ornamental metal options available. top right:

TUBING BENDERS Hand Tube Bender Rolls:  1 1/2” Square Tubing  1 x 1 1/2” Rectangular Tubing  Flat Bar (1/2 x 1 1/2” & smaller)  Pipe & Tubing


Magnum Hand Tube Bender Rolls:


 2” Square Tubing 1 x 2” Rectangular Tubing Flat Bar (1/2 x 2” & smaller)  Pipe & Tubing Additional Rollers Available

1-800-200-4685 UNIQUE ROLLING SYSTEM Works with both hand tubing benders

Cap Rails



 Flat Bar (on edge hard way) R&D Hydraulics, Mfg. and Machine Co. 1431 West 5th St. Chico, CA 95928 72

Fabricator n March/April 2010

Advertiser’s index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine ... Pg 33 70 32 59 58 47 37 28 9 17 60 46 20 13 4 68 9 45 24 18 7 19 40 67 21 67 35 76 42 71 75 71 3 2 20

Company Website Architectural Iron Designs............. Artist-Blacksmith’ Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Blacksmiths Depot....................... Blue Julius Blum & Co. 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 DAC Industries Eagle Bending Eberl Iron Works Inc........................................ Encon Electronics............................ FAAC International............................................ FabCAD Feeney The G-S Hayn Enterprises Hebo - Stratford Gate......................... Hougen Mfg. International Gate The Iron Jansen Ornamental Supply Co........... Jesco Industries King Architectural Metals........................ Laser Precision Cutting................................. 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 March/April 2010

11 65 69 27 65 23 29 72 25 56 10 38 39 51 31 53 50 69 70 26 68 34 52 55

Marks USA........................................................ Pat Mooney NC Tool Co. National Bronze & National Custom Craft PLASMA CAM Inc........................................ R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine Regency Rogers Mfg. Sharpe Shop Shop Simsolve.............................................................. Stairways Sumter Coatings Inc.......................... TACO Metals Inc............................................ TigerStop LLC................................................... Traditional Building................... Tri-State Shearing & Bending...............................(718) 485-2200 Universal Entry Systems Inc...................................(800) 837-4283 Wagner Companies, The............ Weaver’s Iron Works..................... Yac Equipment & 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



Strategic alliance or joint venture? Consider collaboration as a way to get an edge over your competition, but first decide the method that’s best for you. By Ed Rigsbee, CSP You are looking to gain that competi-

tive edge over your competition. Many smart business leaders look to collaboration for expedient advantages. Might a mutually-beneficial relationship with another organization be in your future? If you answered in the affirmative, your next question will be, “Should I start a strategic alliance or a joint venture? This is a question that I’m frequently asked and the answer could be complicated. More than Just Words

Actually, there is a huge difference between a strategic alliances and joint ventures; culturally, operationally, strategically, and legally. A little bit of strategy and pre-planning can, and will, make a dramatic difference for your organization as your new collaboration is developed and implemented. Let’s get it right from the beginning. Strategic Alliance

Your reason for developing a strategic alliance relationship with one or more other companies is to take strategic advantage of their core strengths; proprietary processes, intellectual capital, research, market penetration, manufacturing and/or distribution capabilities, and a number of other reasons. You will share your core strengths with them too. You will have an open door relationship with another entity. You will mostly retain control. The length of agreement could have a sunset date or could be openended with regular performance reviews. However, you simply want to work with the other organizations on a contractual basis, and not as a legal partnership.


Joint Venture

Which Is Right for You?

Your reason for creating a joint venture is to take advantage of a fitting or convenient connection or overlap. A joint venture is a legal partnership between two or more entities. With a joint venture you will have something more than simple governance; you’ll have a completely new entity with a board, officers, and an executive team. Effectively, a joint venture is a completely new organization, but owned by the founding participants. The board of directors generally is constructed with representatives of the founding organizations. This new company will “do business” with the founding entities—usually as suppliers.

There are numerous reasons, benefits, and pitfalls available to you whichever path you select. The key is to have an understanding of both your and your partner’s long-term desires. You can jump into and out of a strategic alliance quickly but the joint venture takes much more time to start and could be difficult to end. The joint venture takes less necessary attention from stakeholders once launched because of its own leadership team. If you are not willing to devote your time and resources to the health and maintenance of your strategic alliance, perhaps the joint venture is the better path for you? If control is important to you, the strategic alliance would be the better course of action.

Important Differences

n Your strategic alliance is a contractual or handshake agreement while the joint venture is a legal partnership, LLC, or corporation. n Your strategic alliance summons the core strengths and differences of another organization to deliver value to your organization while the joint venture becomes a blending of cultures and creates a new organizational culture and path. n Your strategic alliance requires continued relationship maintenance while the joint venture has its own leadership team. n Your strategic alliance allows you to remain in control of your own company but the joint venture chooses its own direction; with the guidance of its board. n You can retain control of your proprietary creations while involved in a strategic alliance but in a joint venture, these creations are the property of the joint venture. If the joint venture fails, dividing the spoils can be a challenge.

Ed Rigsbee says what many people are thinking but afraid to say. He is the author of several hundred articles and a number of books on business topics. Ed travels internationally to share his business growth expertise through consulting, training, and keynote presentations. He has been an adjunct professor for two California universities, yet he prides himself, a practical business thought leader. Additionally, Ed’s avocation is serving as CEO & Executive Director for a non-profit public charity. You may contact Ed through

Fabricator n March/April 2010

in the tradition of innovative ideas, king architectural metals introduces a new component in fence design — extra-wide flat bar scrolls scaled for gates. now you have new time and money-saving options for your fabrication endeavor. see how king’s flat bar scrolls can add beauty and convenience to your next project.

New Large FLat Bar “C” & “s” sCroLLs iN 1”, 11/2” & 2” widths



Metal Spirals from $495

Oak Spirals from $2850

Victorian One Spirals from $4500

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Call for the FREE color Catalog

1-800-523-7427 Ask for Ext. FAB Proudly made in the U.S.A. since 1931

or visit our Web Site at

2010 03 fab  
2010 03 fab