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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal


The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

November/December 2010 $6.00 US

Job Profile

Realizing grand bronze entry doors page 45

Shop Talk

Get MIG instruction, page 22

Member Talk

A unique way to donate, page 41

Biz Side

Tips to help you stay afloat, page 56

METALfab 2011

Convention Guide, page 29



November/December 2010 Vol. 51, No. 6

A stone and steel door weighing 1 ton opens with a gentle wind. See article on page 52.

Tips & Tactics

Member Talk

Metal spinning to the rescue...14 Specs for lighting fixtures pose a fabrication challenge. 5 Top Job submission tips.........18

Job Profiles

Shop Talk 21st Century MIG instruction...22 Airgas Mid South offers welding class for NOMMA members. By Jeff Fogel METALfab 2011 Convention Guide..........................29 Check out this year’s program details and join us in New Orleans. Shop Tours........................................37 Join us as we visit a lighting firm, ornamental shop, and structural steel fabricator. By Todd Daniel President’s Letter........... 6

Treat your employees as you’d like to be treated.

A fabricator who likes to blacksmith...................................41 Paul DiFrancesco donates his passion for forging to benefit NEF auctions. By Don Plummer

Realizing grand bronze entry doors.......................45 International Creative Metal Inc. wins a gold award and more. By Rachel Bailey Custom forged organic handrail.............................49 A power hammer helped Falling Hammer’s customers save money. By Cassandra Covill and Peter Thatcher Swarz-Burt Gentle wind......................................52 A breeze opens a 1-ton door on a single axis hinge below the ground. By Louis Nop

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

Don’t overlooks the details of good customer service.

Metal rail outshines wood........54 This before and after story shows what a difference metal can make. By Jim Avery Biz Side 10 Tips for financial survival....56 Strategic use of resources can help fab shops float. By Doug Bracken Leasing employees can lighten workload...................59 See if co-employment offers a solution for you.. By William Lynott What’s Hot! Business Briefs...............................65 Events..................................................67 Chapters............................................69 New Products..................................70 Nationwide suppliers..................63 New members.................................64

NEF Chair Letter............ 12

A pledge from NEF and more METALfab education.

Metal Moment............... 74

Get inspiration from iron restoration.

About the cover: NOMMA member International Creative Metal of Woodside, NY won a Top Job Gold Award for these grand bronze entry doors adorning St. Vartan Cathedral in NYC. See article on page 45. November/December 2010 n Fabricator


NOMMA O fficers President Bruce Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA

President-Elect James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS Immediate Past President Bob Foust III Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio Kansas City, KS


Dedicated to the success of our members and industry.

President’s Letter

Treating employees with respect

Executive Director, Editor J. Todd Daniel

Managing Editor Rachel Bailey

Meetings & Exposition Manager; NEF Executive Director Martha Pennington

Departments Editor Lisa Bakewell

Several of us went to lunch after call from an ex employee. I our most recent NOMMA board hired him out of high school, meeting in Chicago. After lunch and he left our shop 26 years we discussed different jobs we ago. He has gone on to other had installed over the years. All endeavors and moved out East, of us seemed to have a story of but he still has a small shop in an elderly lady that for some his garage. He was having some varying reason needed a small problems repairing something step railing. Many of us had built Bruce Boyler, for a friend of his and needed and installed the railing and, for Boyler’s some advice. I wasn’t totally Ornamental various reasons, not billed the surprised. He typically calls Iron Inc., is client. All of us had received a me every year or two. It always president letter of thanks, and in one case of NOMMA. starts with a problem and ends the letter contained a check for an hour later after we have disthe amount she could afford. cussed our families, with how Apparently we all got the memo: hard it is to find good help, and his “In business as in life, treat others as great appreciation for the opportunity you would like to be treated yourself.” we gave him in life. However, we have all seen those that When I think back on the many didn’t get the memo and took advanemployees that we have had over the tage of their customers and even their years, it is gratifying to see some of the employees. Yes, this memo applies to results. Many will stop by when they employees as well. are in town and others when they have something to repair. One married our If it’s not a good fit, let them go baby sitter, after my wife and I set them We have all seen employers that up on a blind date. A couple of them treat their employees as a disposable are electricians, and some work for commodity. Many forget that employcompanies that are now our customers. ees are a key to our success. Instead It is sometimes hard to rememthey feel being an employer gives them ber in the heat of battle that we are the right to belittle and berate. as much teachers as we are business Employees may drive us crazy from people. Many of our best employees time to time. A few seem to forget over the years were young kids with the rules or even what you told them a good attitude and a desire to learn ten minutes ago. Some may even take metalworking. As their life circumadvantage of you. If it’s not a good fit, stances change they move on, but they send them on their way. That is what take with them all of the life lessons you would want them to do. Otherthat you have taught them. It is easy wise, treat employees as you’d like to forget that, but nice to be reminded them to treat you, with respect, espeonce in awhile. cially since one day they may no lonI always said that I should have ger work for you—but alongside you— written a book featuring all of our emas fellow NOMMA members owning ployees and their stories, but now there their own shops. They may even beare too many to remember. It’s too bad; come customers. it would have been a best seller.

Layout Editor Robin Sherman

Being a mentor is rewarding

Vice President/ Treasurer Will Keeler Keeler Iron Works Memphis, TN

F abricator D i rectors Ray Michael R & F Metals Inc. Clinton, MD

Greg Terrill Division 5 Metalworks Kalamazoo, MI

J.R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX

Todd Kinnikin Eureka Forge, Pacific, MO

Mark O’Malley O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. Yorkville, IL

Mark Koneke Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Jackson, WI

S u ppli er D i rectors 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 E ducation F ou n dation O fficers Chair T rustees Roger Carlsen Ephraim Forge Inc. Frankfort, IL

Vice Chair Christopher Maitner Christopher Metal Fabricating Grand Rapids, MI Treasurer Mike Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA

Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works Nichols, SC Heidi Bischmann The Wagner Companies Milwaukee, WI James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS Lynn Parquette Mueller Orn. Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL

NOMMA C hapters Florida Chapter Britt Gordy, President Liberty Aluminum Co. Fort Myers, FL (239) 369-3000

Northeast Chapter Keith Majka, President Majka Railing Co. Inc. Paterson, NJ (973) 247-7603

Gulf Coast Chapter Scott Colson, President Iron Innovations Inc. Clinton, MS (866) 924-0640

Upper Midwest Chapter Mark Koenke, President Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Richfield, WI (262) 677-2530

NOMMA S taff

Member Care & Operations Manager Liz Johnson


This was all brought to mind the other night when I received a phone Fabricator n November/December 2010

November/December 2010 n Fabricator


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 8,000 fabricators For information, call Jim Gorzek, Ph: (815) 227-8269. Email: Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads 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: 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 at METALfab, NOMMA’s annual convention and trade show. For more information, contact Martha Pennington at (888) 516-8585, ext. 104, or Subscriptions Subscription questions? Call (888) 516-8585. Send subscription address changes to: Fabricator Subscriptions, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Fax: (888) 5168585, or E-mail: 1-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30 2-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $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. © 2010 National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association 8


How to reach us

Executive Director’s Letter

It’s all in the details My worst customer service expe-


rience was several years ago We all know that first imwhen I started getting notices pressions are important, but from a nationwide movie rental what’s REALLY important are company, which said I had not the small details that create returned a video. Well, that’s not your customers’ overall experisurprising since my children ence. The name of the game had been known to rent videos is for your customer to easily Todd Daniel in my name. and smoothly get what he or So, I asked my daughters and is executive she needs in a timely manner. director of searched the house, and came up NOMMA. If you meet that objective, clean. More notices came, and you win! they got nastier and nastier, and then the phone messages started. Systems in place? The funny thing is that the Now is the best time to get name of the video was not menready for the next customer. tioned on the correspondence. When I Make sure your phone message system went to the store, they were unable to is clear and that the voice mail directell me the name of the missing movie. tory is current. Make sure there is alAmazingly, they were accusing me of ways a “backup” employee available in not returning one of their videos, but case someone hits “0” and your recepthey could not tell me which video I altionist is away. Check to ensure that legedly had. Not surprisingly, the comcritical information is on your website pany filed for bankruptcy last month. and easily accessible. Provide a map to your business, showroom hours, and a Lesson learned list of contacts. This is just one case I’ve seen of a Finally, train your entire staff on giant company that became so lost the importance of putting the customin its “systems” and bureaucracy that er first and providing what they need they could not make a simple, logiin a hurry. cal connection for the customer. I can give example after example of similar Success! experiences, where restaurant servers Losing a customer is often a cumuare more focused on their chores and lative action. If the “details” are conignore customers, or voice mail syssistently missing or wrong, he or she is tems that send me on a lost journey. going to have a negative feeling about The point is, you can have the your company, even if they can’t cite greatest company in the world, with any one particular incident. the greatest “systems” in place, but if My rule of thumb is, always put the point-of-contact with the customyourself in the customers’ shoes and er fails, everything else fails. ask, “Does this make sense to me?” and “Is this how I would like to be Take the test treated?” If you enjoy being a customYou’ve probably heard this idea er of your own company, then you’ve before, but have you ever tried it? really hit the goal. Pretend you are a customer and look at your company from their vantage point. Examine your phone system, website, correspondence, and the way your staff interacts with customers. Is your business “user friendly?” Fabricator n November/December 2010

November/December 2010 n Fabricator



The NOMMA Network NEF webinar series — another great benefit One of the exciting new benefits introduced by the NOMMA Education Foundation this year is the NEF Webinar Series, which is a monthly 60-minute webinar that covers a variety of topics. Launched in January, the webinars have featured subjects ranging from building codes to business issues. The webinars are a free NOMMA member benefit and $49 for nonmembers. To join a webinar is easy. Upcoming sessions are advertised on the website, ListServ, and NOMMA’s email newsletter. To register, simply click on the provided link. Once registered, the system emails you log-in instructions and reminder notices. To participate in a webinar you need a computer, high-speed Internet connection, and a phone. Or, you can save long distance charges by using the voice-over-Internet option. In a typical session, the presenter will show PowerPoint slides on the screen and discuss a topic. At any

2010 NEF Webinar Series The following is a sampling of webinars we’ve conducted this year: n Code Changes & Trends n Driveway Gate Certification n Intro to AutoCAD n Creating A Winning Website n Social Media n Myth of the Ladder Effect n Stair Codes n Making a Video n New Member’s Only Area n Stair Codes n Performance & Payment Bonds n Hiring & Retaining Top Employees n Generating New Business

time, you can submit a question via the chat feature, or you can even have private chat conversations with other attendees. Typically, toward the end of the presentation the mute feature is removed and attendees may ask questions. Attendance is limited to 25 people, and we occasionally have sellouts. It’s always good to register early. Webinars are held on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. EST. At the request of members, we are now recording the webinars and making them available for review at any time. They can be downloaded from the “Tutorials” section of the Member’s Only Area. When a presenter provides handouts, we upload them to this area as well. To see a list of upcoming webinars, check on the main NOMMA website. Also, we are always looking for ideas and presenters. If you have a suggestion for a future webinar, please contact NEF Executive Director Martha Pennington (martha@, 888-516-8585, ext. 104). — Todd Daniel NOMMA Executive Director

Call for NOMMA directors and award nominees The NOMMA Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for the 2011-2012 slate, both for fabricator and supplier directors. Serving on the NOMMA Board of Directors is a great way to “give back” to your industry. Are you interested in running for a director position or know someone who would make an excellent candidate? If so, please submit the following information: n Nominee’s name and company (you may nominate yourself). n Short description of qualifications, achievements, etc. As a NOMMA director you will have a role in developing the association’s ongoing roadmap and ensuring 10

that we stay on course. An important requirement to serving on the Board is that you must be able to attend Board meetings, which are held three times a year. In addition, there are occasional phone conferences, online votes, and other functions that will require your attention. Call for Award Nominations: Julius Blum & Frank Kozik Awards

The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for two of NOMMA’s most prestigious awards: n Frank A. Kozik Volunteer Service Award. This is an award for outstanding volunteerism. It is given to

a NOMMA member who continually serves both the industry and others year after year. Its namesake, Frank A. Kozik, set a great example by continuing to contribute to NOMMA even after he was off the Board. n Julius Blum Award. This award is for any person or organization that makes outstanding contributions to the industry. The award is bestowed to those who have used their gifts and talents to promote and advance the industry. Please send nominations for both directors and awards by Dec. 15 to:

Robert A. Foust III, Bob’s Ornamental Iron Studio. (800) 459-9236; fax: (913) 236-5320;

Fabricator n November/December 2010

News & events around the NOMMA Network Shop certification team holds work session in Birmingham NOMMA’s shop accreditation and certification program took a major step forward in mid-September, when the Shop Certification Task Force held a half-day meeting in Birmingham, AL. Lawler Foundry Corp., a long-time NOMMA supplier member, served as the gracious host during the event. During the meeting, members completed the second draft of a shop accreditation program. The next steps will be to finalize the requirements and then begin working on a curriculum. This text will serve as a study guide for taking the accreditation exam. Members attending the meeting: Henry Wheeler, chair, Ray White, Stacey Lawler Taylor, Charles Perez, Todd Daniel, and James Minter Jr. The group is also visiting chapters to educate the membership on the program, and there will also be a presentation at METALfab 2011.

The Shop Certification Task Force held their second face-toface meeting in Birmingham, AL. The host was Lawler Foundry Corp. The group created a second draft of their proposed accreditation program.

NAAMM-NOMMA manual project is relaunched After a lull during 2009 the NAAMM-NOMMA Metal Stair & Rail Manual (MSRM) Task Force is back in action. The team, which is made up of NOMMA and NAAMM members, has resumed meetings and is planning a two-day work session in Chicago in December.

Started in 2008, the goal of the project is to update and merge three industry manuals — the NAAMM Metal Stairs Manual, NAAMM Pipe Railing Systems Manual, and the NOMMA Metal Rail Manual. At this time, NOMMA members with detailing skills are needed. If you can help, contact Todd Daniel (todd@, 888-516-8585, ext. 102).

NEF News: Items requested for METALfab 2011 auction The call is out for auction items, which will be sold at the METALfab 2011 NEF Auction. All proceeds support the foundation’s goals of industry education and research. Donation items can be virtually anything, including metal artwork, tools, jewelry, paintings, clothing, electronics, and even spare shop equipment and supplies.

The NOMMA Auction Committee is also challenging all chapters to craft donation items at their upcoming meetings. This is a tradition started by the Upper Midwest Chapter, which holds an annual workday to create auction items. The auction takes place on Thursday night, March 17, during METALfab, which will be during our St. Patrick’s Day theme party. There will be both a silent and live auction. Last year the annual auction enjoyed one of its best years ever with more than $24,000 raised. The committee is wanting to do even better in 2011! To donate, you can download a form from the METALfab section of the NOMMA website. Or, call Auction items from last year. The 2010 auction was one the NOMMA office at (888) of the best ever, with donations ranging from artwork 516-8585, ext. 101. to equipment and supplies.

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Carl Grainger appointed to NEF board Carl Grainger of Grainger Metal works has been appointed as a trustee to the NOMMA Education Foundation. He is best known as auction Carl Grainger is chair, and he has known for his role been a presenter at as auction chair. METALfab conferences. Carl is passionate about education and has attended various craft schools where he has learned blacksmithing skills. He is also proficient in AutoCAD and design. An active ABANA member as well, Carl is well known and respected in the blacksmithing community. In 1998 he was chosen as one of six blacksmiths to create a memorial grille for the late master blacksmith Francis Whitaker.



NOMMA Educational Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

NEF leadership pledges transparency At times transparency can be desirable and other

METALfab update

times not so desirable. METALfab is not far away and I hope that you The tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” can athave made your reservations early. The education test to a case where transparency is to be avoided. classes are mostly in place at this time and we are However, transparency is desirable when it comes to considering video taping a few of these presentations our governing bodies, from Congress down to our for future use. We are looking at the costs involved local city or village councils. Too many times the and will let you know shortly. people who are leading us fail to tell us where and Three more demo classes on the show floor have Update from how they are leading us. been booked. In addition to the non-ferrous grindNEF Chair Both your NEF Board of Trustees and the ing and finishing demo class by American FabricatRoger Carlsen, NOMMA Board of Directors are dedicated to being Supply, the new additions are: Metabo — stainless Ephraim ing very clear as to where we are going but also the steel finishing, FabCAD — ornamental detailing tips Forge Inc. means as to how we will arrive there. and tricks, and King Architectural — paint finishes Mid-October, the two boards met both separately and patinas with Gilder’s Paste. and together to foster this idea of transparency. The There are still more in the demo classes waiting informal joint meeting was the first of its kind. It was to be finalized. Check the METALfab website www. determined that a face-to-face between for more information. the two boards would be extremely helpful Auction: Donate or to keep the channels volunteer of communication open and flowing. Plans for the aucIt’s true that a lot tion are proceeding of information can ahead at full speed; be, and should be, please contact Heidi exchanged through Bischmann if you The NEF Board of Trustees met in mid-October in Chicago, and were joined by phone meetings and two NOMMA board members. Left to right, Lynn Parquette, NEF Trustee; Bruce would like to volunBoyler, NOMMA president; Will Keeler, NOMMA vice president/treasurer; Mike written communiteer or donate an item. Boyler, NEF treasurer; Heidi Bischmann, NEF trustee; Roger Carlsen, NEF chair; qués, but the most Something new at James Minter, NOMMA president-elect and a NEF trustee, and Martha Pennington, productive means METALfab this year NEF executive director. is when we all sit is a Donor Thank You around the table together and talk. Party on Friday March 18, 2011. Become a donor and get invited! Board discussion topics For donor information contact Martha Pennington, At the formal NEF Board of Trustees meeting the follow(888) 516-8585 x 104 or ing was discussed and accepted: More than once I have been asked: “What does NEF do that would make me want to contribute to further fundn The NEF Strategic Plan was revised and accepted. ing the foundation?” In my next column I will address that n Updated policies concerning conflict of interest and a NEF investment policy were discussed and accepted by the question…be careful what you ask for. Board of Trustees. n It was with regret Stacey Lawler Taylor’s resignation from the Board of Trustees was accepted. n In further action the board of trustees nominated Carl Grainger to fill the rest of her term. New initiatives and programs for NEF that are still in the formative stage were discussed and will be finalized at a later date. I will provide more information in future columns. 12

Fabricator n November/December 2010

Tips& Tactics n


Huge, smooth aluminum bowls for custom designed lighting fixtures pose a fabrication challenge When Camman Industries, a

Solution Acme’s 140-inch diameter metal spinning lathe

custom lighting manufacturer out of Derry, PA, was called upon to design chandelier lighting fixtures “We saw that Acme for the new Community Metal Spinning had the United Methodist Church necessary large metal in Plano, TX, the firm spinning, in-house tool partnered with Acme Metbuilding and polishing al Spinning to fabricate the equipment,” said Mears. bowl structure. “An added plus was their Acme Metal Spinning experience fabricating very is one of the largest metal large lighting chandeliers. spinning manufacturers in “We supplied CAD the country and is based drawings and they made out of Minneapolis, MN. a proposal that fit our Eight sanctuary chandelier light fixtures installed at the Community United Methodist Church in Plano, TX feature 93-inch diameter bowls Design of the eight needs. We and our customfabricated by Acme Metal Spinning. chandeliers called for a er were very pleased with 93-inch diameter bowl centered in their performance and the quality of a tubular steel structure. Six incanthe bowls.” descent downward facing lights were mounted around the perimeter of Process How Acme helped Camman each chandelier. fabricate bowls on time

To fabricate the chandelier bowl, Acme first designed and produced a laminated wood tooling pattern. The design was challenging; the This is a standard process used in bowl had to be fabricated from a sin- Acme has metal spinning capabilities up to the metal spinning industry to gle square sheet of aluminum to meet 140 inches in diameter for fabricating one-piece, produce tooling. What made this seamless parts with a high quality finish. design and esthetic requirements. particular part and the tooling for it Welding multiple smaller aluminum panels to form the unique was its large size. bowl with seams and other uneven features showing wasn’t Acme designed the tooling on its CAD system. The lamiallowed in the design. The requirement of fabricating the nated wood structure was constructed and assembled with bowl from a 96-inch square .125-inch thick aluminum sheet everyday woodworking tools and then machined to size on restricted the available process options for metal spinning. a 140-inch diameter lathe. Because of its size, two workers “We have complete in house metal spinning capabilities, were required to move and position the tooling fixture using but this project called for much larger diameter equipment a forklift and overhead cranes. than what we have,” said Brian Mears, engineer for Camman Once complete, the tooling was mounted on Acme’s Industries. 140-inch capacity Lieco spinning machine, one of the larg-

Problem Meeting design specifications of 93-inch aluminum bowls


Fabricator would like to publish your step-by-step tutorial or problem/solution case study. Please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585 or e-mail: 14

Fabricator n November/December 2010

Perfectly contoured bowl surfaces, left, provided by Acme Metal Spinning were important to the esthetics of these chandelier fixtures. When installed, right, the lighting fixtures provide a variety of lighting effects in the church sanctuary.

est machines of this type in the United States. The spinning process combines rotation and force. Roller-like tools are pressed against the whirling aluminum blank as it turns on the lathe, flowing and forming the material around the wooden tooling pattern that was cut and formed in the shape


of the finished part. Finally, each shaped part was polished in preparation for a painting application made by Camman prior to assembly and installation. Eight of the 93-inch diameter bowls were fabricated by Acme in less than eight weeks, including the tool build, spinning, and polishing operations.

Thanks to Camman Industries and Acme Metal Spinning for sending in this tip. Contact Camman Industries at: or call (724) 539-7670. Or contact Acme Metal Spinning at: www. or call (763) 788-9051.

Fabricator n November/December 2010

November/December 2010 n Fabricator


Tips& Tactics n Entering Top Job contest? Think it through carefully. 5 Tips to make the most of your submissions

1 Participate!

“First and foremost, participate in Top Job and the Top Job review, no matter what,” says Cathy Vequist of Royal Iron Creations. “If you haven’t participated previously, perhaps it is because you don’t think your work will win. Most work does not win! However, participating makes you review the submissions more diligently, and usually leads you to sitting in on the reviews (where people discuss their applications — how it was done — and answer questions), which is an education in itself. The process will help your company improve, and your projects will become more Top Job competitive. And when the day comes that you do win, the thrill is fabulous!” To enter the Top Job contest you must be a NOMMA member. To join NOMMA and to access a Top Job entry application, go to or call (888) 516-8585, ext 101 or email:

2 Pick the most appropriate jobs

“There are two types of Top Job entries,” says Bruce Boyler, NOMMA President and Past Top Job Chair. “There is the kind that we decide to submit when the deadline for entry approaches. With these we take the time to review the jobs that we have done over the last year and try to visualize which one or two will do well as a Top Job entry. This type can be successful with some careful thought. “The other is the job that you salivate over the moment that you first

see the plans,” says Boyler. “This may be the easiest to submit because you spend extra time from the beginning on both design and finish. You probably take progress pictures and maybe have hired a professional photographer to take final pictures for your portfolio. This kind of job also probably fits the Top Job stereotype of not being a profitable job, but it is rewarding when complete.” Vequist of Royal Iron Creations suggests entering the unusual jobs — design-wise or other — that made you stretch your capabilities to new limits, solve a problem in a creative way, or experiment with new materials, finishes, etc.

3 Study contest categories

Even though you can only enter one job in each category, consider all of the jobs you deem worthy. You may be able to submit them all into separate categories. For example, if you have two candidates for Unusual Ornamental Fabrication, perhaps one would fit better under the Furniture and Accessory Fabrication category (or Furniture and Accessory Fabrication — Forged). “Even if you only have one job to enter, consider the category that would be best for it,” says Boyler. “Many times I’ve seen an entry that could have been more successful in another category.” The Top Job chair only moves entries to another category if they are entered in a blatantly wrong category. Often, this means that a shop

entered more than one entry for the same category. At that point, the chair gives the entrant the option to decide which one to submit or which one may work in another category.

4 Make the most of pictures

Probably the most important aspect is presentation of the job via photography. “Years ago I would have recommended that you have a professional photographer take the pictures, or that you take a photography class,” says Boyler. “Although it is probably still a good idea to take a class, it has become a lot easier to take good pictures with digital photography. Not only can you take a lot more pictures but you can review them on site. They can be cropped, Photoshopped, and sized later.” “Whether you hire someone or take them yourself, always keep in mind the background and surroundings. Even if you have good pictures of the job when it was installed, it may be worthwhile to go back and take more pictures after the surroundings are complete. In most cases the owner is happy to oblige, knowing that you think their project is worthy of a national competition. Try to avoid Christmas decorations and snow unless you plan to use it as a background to heighten your work. You are required to submit two pictures and can submit a third for clarity. “I don’t ever recall rejecting a third picture as not necessary, so go ahead


Fabricator would like to publish your tips and tactics. Please contact the Editor at (888) 516-8585 or e-mail: 18

Fabricator n November/December 2010

and submit three,” says Boyler. The first picture should capture the overall job, and the second detail: a special finish or a perfect joint. Pictures need to draw the voter’s attention so that he looks at all of your photographs, reads your description, and hopefully remembers your job when voting. If you are taking pictures yourself, take Cathy Vequist’s advice and make sure they are in focus, have enough light/exposure, and are printed on good quality photo paper. Have at least one image show how a particularly challenging problem was addressed. Pay attention to the weather too. Chris Holt of Steel Welding warns that while a beautiful sunny day with blue sky may seem like the perfect day to take photographs of your work, it is not. A cloudy, overcast day is best because less shadows are cast. Holt suggests taking detail shots of your work in your shop before installation or delivery. “This way you can get into position to see the detail at its best advantage,” she says. “You will


Have at least one image show how a particularly

challenging problem was addressed. be more relaxed and have the time to take as many photos as it takes to get a good one!” Also, if you plan to take pictures of a project after installation or delivery, ask the owner if you can come back to photograph on another date. “When you return to your shop, look at the first shots you took and critique them,” says Holt. When you return to photograph again, have notes on your print outs and use them as a guide for the even better photographs you plan to shoot now.”

5 Describe your work well

“The description should be informative and to the point,” says Boyler. “There are hundreds of entries to read, and time is always at a premium when

voting. Although voters may remember that a client’s house was a million square feet, you want them to remember your work. Any special materials or techniques are important to set your entry apart from the norm.” “But don’t embellish,” warns Boyler. “The voters are informed enough to be turned off by the fact that you say you produced a set of hand forged double drive gates in six hours.” “Describe what was unusual,” adds Vequist. “The photos are great, but they don’t always show why it was such a complicated job to do.” “Most of all, take time to think through your entry,” says Boyler. “Just like when you produced the job, proper planning and execution will make it a winner.” Thanks to Bruce Boyler, Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc., Bettendorf, IA; Cathy Vequist, Royal Iron Creations, West Palm Beach, FL; and Chris Holt, Steel Welding, Freedom, PA, for sending in these tips.

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Airgas Mid South offers a 3½-day Gas Metal Arc Welding course at their Tulsa-based facility, suitable even for advanced welders.

Shop Talk

21st Century MIG instruction Because a lot can hang on a single weld, Airgas Mid South is normalizing welding instruction.

By Jeff Fogel Airgas Mid South is a company on a mission. It is determined not only to make sure you get the most out of its products, but to make sure you get the most out of your welding. To that end, they have been running a welding class for customers. Now entering its third year, the Tulsa-based class, called Gas Metal Arc Welding 201, has been opened to NOMMA members. I know what you’re thinking: “OK, another welding class. Alert the media.” The funny thing is, this class is newsworthy, especially when you consider the inertial culture of MIG welding and its instruction in this country. The course, with its innovative method of instruction, breaks free from what Joe Bagnaro describes as the tribal culture of welding. Since its inception in 1948, MIG has been pretty much firmly seized in the iron glove of business as usual. What became an accepted welding practice years ago, right or wrong, becomes entrenched as the way we’ve always done it. Over time, this leads to the misconception that welding is an art. Bill Meredith presents the thought in every class that “welding is not an art,… it’s a science, and a complex one at that! He also likes to pose the ques22

tion: “How come we don’t look at adding metal (welding) as precisely as we do when removing it (machining)?” While this system of doing it the way we’ve always done it seems to keep things simple, it raises a nagging suspicion that all may not be right in MIGdom. Perhaps it’s occurred to you, as you lean against an ornate iron balcony rail, 17 stories up; or hunker down, 20 feet up, in a welded tree stand; not to mention the welded gooseneck that holds the RV containing the wife, kids, pets, and Aunt Millie. I know, I know, this is code welding. But there’s no question, a lot can hang on a single weld. Maybe a change in the way MIG is taught is in order, if for nothing more than peace of mind. As Joe Bagnaro puts it, “a good weld can help you sleep better.” Airgas Mid South’s class goes beyond the technicalities of welding. Bill’s message comes through loud and clear: “If we don’t break from the tribal culture in our shops and resist ways to do it better, we will not survive. We will have lost our competitive edge in too many market segments. We must get serious about getting it right the first time, every time an arc is struck. The mindset that deals with spatter as something to grind off, or to look the other way as ¼ inch joint gaps

For your information



After attending Airgas Mid South’s GMAW 201 class, Duane Seaver of NOMMA member shop VanVoorthuysen Iron Works decided his shop could do more with their present setup, rather than switch to TIG. n Ricky Clark of NOMMA member shop Iron Innovations, Clinton, MS, was humbled after taking the class, even with 12 years of MIG experience. n


Airgas Mid South Joe Bagnaro, Process Specialist Group Leader (888) 424-7427 Bill Meredith, Process Engineer (918) 852-7043 About the Author Jeff Fogel began writing as a journalist with the New York Daily News. He has been a copywriter and associate creative director for Ogilvy & Mather. Jeff lives in New Hampshire where the weather’s bad, the skiing’s better, and blacksmithing’s a respectable way to keep warm.

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go by, is simply not acceptable!” The class philosophy can be distilled into a single driving objective; the gospel according to Joe is, “controlling inputs to control outputs.” Development of MIG through the years

To put the need for a class like Airgas Mid South’s program into perspective, it’s instructive to frame it in a historical context. Welding, as a means of joining metal, has been around for about 2,000 years, give or take a century or two. Back in the day, an oxygen-infused fire was used to literally melt pieces together. For the next thousand years little changed in concept. Eventually, the pipe, stuck into a firepot buried in sand, was replaced by proper bellows. The bellows were eventually replaced by an electric blower with a rheostat. And the sand was replaced by an actual forge. But the core method was frozen in time. If you’re still doing it this way, you’re either a blacksmith who desires a seamless weld, or Superman in a snit. For the rest of us, there’s the group of processes known as electric arc welding, the main one’s being Stick, developed around 1907, followed by Sub Arc in the late 1930s, TIG in 1942, MIG in 1948, and Flux Cored Arc Welding in 1957. Electric arc welding didn’t have an inherent protection against oxidation. This was overcome with the introduction of TIG welding using inert, or non- reactive gases such as argon and helium. They did the job of protecting the molten weld puddle from atmospheric contamination without affecting weld metal chemistry. MIG, or Metal Inert Gas welding, was initially developed for welding non-ferrous alloys, also using the inert gases, argon, and helium. Later, in 1953, the process was applied on steel using carbon dioxide (CO2), a reactive gas. Not long after, Oxygen (O2) was added to the mix. Since then, several variations of the process in the way of metal transfer modes have been developed, along with countless choices of shielding gas mixtures. So, now come the questions: n Which metal transfer variation of MIG are you using and why? n What shielding gas and wire diameter is being used and why? n What is your wire feed speed and voltage and why? n And, is any of that important? Airgas Mid South’s GMAW 201 provides a forum where just the facts are presented to answer these and other critical questions without the marketing hype that all too often leads to misapplication or less than optimum results. Airgas makes course available to NOMMA

It was in the spring of 2010, when NOMMA members gathered in Tulsa, OK. Several months before, former NOMMA president, Robert Foust, happened to run into Robert Sanders, Account Manager for Airgas Mid South, a regional company of Airgas Inc. Airgas is the country’s largest distributor of packaged gases, from medical gases to those used in the metal trades. They also supply safety products, refrigerants, specialty gases, and a passel of related MRO prod24

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Testimonials from NOMMA members ing making a switch to TIG, the class more than paid for Maximizing your MIG setup. itself. This is no small matter in today’s economy. Duane Seaver’s NOMMA member shop, VanVoorthuysen Iron Works, was actually considering changing to Even hotshots get humbled. TIG. But that was before Duane went to Tulsa. At the other end of the experience spectrum is Ricky Clark Describing himself as a ‘front office guy,’ at the Michiof NOMMA member shop Iron Innovations, in Clinton, gan based ornamental shop, Dwayne confessed to little MS. One of two welders in his class, welding experience. Ricky walked in with 12 years of MIG “I don’t consider myself a weldunder his belt. He walked out humbled. er,” he says, “so I had a different “Even hotshots were humbled,” says perspective.” Ricky, “I recommend it for anyone That perspective took on even more doing any kind of wire welding.” of a change in Tulsa. The fact is, the Airgas Mid South “The focus was on showing what NOMMA members toured Airgas Mid South facilities in Tulsa, OK at program is, in addition to its approach you could be doing to improve proMETALfab 2010. to practicality, a great leveler. If you ductivity; to reduce, rework, and know nothing about welding, come on in. With no premaintain better quality. This class was conceived notions, nor any ingrained habits, neophytes much better than your standard welding class. I definitely have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They are a started looking at things differently.” tabula rasa for MIG done right. If, on the other hand, you More to the point, it opened Duane’s eyes to the possihave years of experience and have been operating your bilities of MIG. He realized that they could be doing a lot welder on autopilot, you will, as Ricky says, be humbled. more with their present MIG setup. For a shop like VanVoorthuysen, which was considerAnd you will suddenly see the light. ucts. Needless to say, they are a major Fortune 500 player. Robert Foust and Robert Sanders, having run into each other, got to talking, and the next thing you know, NOMMA members found themselves over at the Airgas training facility in Tulsa during METALfab 2010. It began with a tour, which led to demonstrations including CNC plasma shape cutting, flame spray coating, and highend MIG stainless and aluminum welding to name a few. But what seemed to capture the group’s fancy was one presentation in particular, specifically, an overview of Airgas Mid South’s GMAW 201. Before the tour, Joe and Bill had led an education session at METALfab titled Quality Standards and the Hidden Costs of Welding, which sparked NOMMA members’ interest in the 201 training. The 201 training’s course objective, as described by Bill, “is designed to help those who are responsible for welding identify and quantify weld quality standards, develop welding procedures that meet those standards and train welders, operators, supervisors, and management on their application. Emphasis is on increasing weld 26

productivity and decreasing weld cost through the application of tight quality standards.” Thus, the focus of the class is on doing a weld right the first time. As so often happens when people see and recognize a good thing, an instant demand was created, which led to Airgas Mid South opening the course to NOMMA members. Since then, there has been a growing interest in the course, and NOMMA members from Michigan to Mississippi have enrolled. And all of them have given it rave reviews. GMAW 201 course overview

The Airgas Mid South GMAW 201 is actually an outgrowth of Airgas’ original class, Cutting and Welding 101. After schooling about 4,500 people of all stripes in the art of welding, GMAW 201 was born. It should be noted, however, that while 201 implies a more advanced curriculum, both courses were designed for all levels of welding experience. The 201 designation is used only to distinguish the two classes: one of which is for Airgas employees while the newer one is for customers and NOMMA members. This class was the brainchild of

Terry Byrd, national welding product manager for Airgas Inc. “We had a multitude of backgrounds and levels within Airgas. So I had this idea to demystify the process of welding,” explains Byrd. The course was designed around sales associates, customer service people, and managerial types. It was a two-day, intense experience, about 70 percent hands on, and 30 percent in classroom. The accompanying book was about three inches thick. The class begins at the beginning — with oxy-fuel — specifically, lighting a torch. “You have to remember, a lot of these people had never held a torch before. We showed them the correct way to light one, and they’d step back and say ‘whoa,’ ” recalls Byrd. From there, the course winds its way forward through Oxy Fuel welding, brazing, and cutting applications, Stick, MIG, TIG, and plasma cutting and gouging. Associates take a 100-question online quiz before and after the class in order to provide feedback for improvement. So who goes to this class? “We’ve had company owners, presidents, CFOs, quality assurance people, weldFabricator n November/December 2010

ing instructors, plant and operations managers, manufacturing engineers, and welders,” says Bill Meredith, who is, himself, a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), the developer of the course, and the class room instructor. During the 3½-day class, about half of which is spent in the lab, the students develop welding procedures on 14 weld joints with quick change ability to choose between eight shielding gases and five wire diameters. Each procedure must pass a set of standards. “That’s where the fun really begins,” says Bill. They discover on their own what the different metal transfer modes, gases, and wire diameters can do and NOT do. While the emphasis is on mild steel welding, the last day addresses the customer’s own applications and other metals, including stainless steel and aluminum. But what about someone who’s been welding for say, 30 years? “Especially a guy who’s been welding for 30 years,” says Joe. People have called their shop from class to say, “Don’t

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weld anything until I get back.” The class emphasizes MIG on steel welding, which at first blush may seem self-limiting, until you realize just how versatile MIG actually is, when done correctly. For instance, there’s a pervasive prejudice that only TIG can produce a spatter free weld. And as Joe aptly points out, “ornamental people don’t like spatter. But as people who have attended the class discover, MIG doesn’t necessarily, nor should it, produce spatter.” As Bill points out in class, “the process is capable of virtually no spatter. So, if you’re getting it, something is wrong.” Don’t fall into the trap that assumes spatter is a necessary evil. Look for why it’s occurring, and fix it. How to sign up

Since right about now you’re wondering how to sign up for the class, here’s some basic information to get you started. Although there’s no webpage thus far, (Bill’s working on it) for the schedule and other details you can contact

Bill directly (he won’t mind a bit) at Contact Joe Bagnaro at The cost for the 3½-day course is $695.00, which includes classroom materials, the course book, lunch every day except for the last ½ day, two dinners, and breakfast. Airgas doesn’t make any money on it — remember that thing about them being on a mission? It’s true. They want everyone in your shop who has an influence on welding operations to be on the leading edge of productivity increases, quality improvements, and cost reductions. They want American metal fabrication and manufacturing to be the world-wide leader it once was, and they want it with a passion that is infectious. The venue is at the Airgas facility in Tulsa, OK. While there’s been talk about expanding to other locations to meet the growing demand for the course, it remains, just talk. But you never know. The class is held once a month, and the next one is November 30. My guess is, it’ll fill up fast.



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President’s Invitation METALfab, the convention and trade show for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry, is one of the most important events on the NOMMA calendar. As a young man I was able to start attending METALfab and gained knowledge, friends, and a great deal of respect for NOMMA and the people who made it grow. Later, when my brothers and I bought the business from our father, we continued Bruce Boyler to stay involved with NOMMA and learned new is president skills as owners. METALfab was a major part of this of NOMMA. development. In these uncertain times it is good to remember to work hard, change with the trends, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, and continue to learn. This is why it is so important to attend METALfab 2011 in New Orleans, LA, March 16–19. The education sessions and trade show have been expanded, Top Job continues to grow, and the NEF auction will be on St. Patrick’s day. I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans. Bruce Boyler NOMMA President Convention Committee Chair Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc.

NEF Chair’s Invitation

Roger Carlsen is chair of the NOMMA Education Foundation.


To plan the education program for METALfab 2011, I went to you, the members of NOMMA. Every topic in the education program came from a NOMMA member request. Last year I started with the challenge to the membership that the education sessions are for you, so tell us what you want ... and here it is. Please make sure to sign up early for the first ever METALfab education program designed by you for you. Roger Carlsen NOMMA Education Foundation Chair Convention Education Chair Ephraim Forge Inc.

Keynote Presentation

‘Winning through life by hitting your goals’ Jon P. McGraw, Alloy Casting Co. Inc.

Jon P. McGraw of Alloy Casting will give the keynote address on self motivating techniques for achieving a more rewarding personal and business life. With the use of humor and baseball stories, Jon will look at the approach of setting goals, maintaining focus, and being persistent as we go through life’s many successes and failures. The address will outline steps you can do on Day 1 to start the rewarding process. Jon is a long-time NOMMA member and a regular presenter at chapter meetings. He also regularly writes for O&MM Fabricator magazine.

Jon McGraw

Fabricator n November/December 2010

Education Renovation of the Statue of Liberty

Rich Blatman and Dan Bellware (SRS Inc.) share a slide show on the renovation of America’s most revered icon. This virtually sacred edifice presented many challenges, especially due to the super fast pace that was demanded. The two entwined circular stairs that are extremely steep, narrow, and irregular, are in a very confined area, with many twists and turns. This job required several different types of railing. All personnel, materials, and tools were transported to the island by boat. Under these difficult conditions, almost 500 lineal feet of stainless steel railing was engineered, field measured, fabricated, polished to a mirror finish and installed, completed in six weeks.

Tales from the Trenches

“We won a Top Job gold on that stair case, why did we lose so much money on it (or, where did we go wrong)?” “Architects

Schedule for METALfab 2011 Wednesday March 16

8:00 AM 8:15 AM 8:30 AM 8:45 AM 9:00 AM 9:15 AM 9:30 AM 9:45 AM 10:00 AM 10:15 AM 10:30 AM 10:45 AM 11:00 AM 11:15 AM 11:30 AM 11:45 AM 12:00 PM 12:15 PM 12:30 PM 12:45 PM 1:00 PM 1:15 PM 1:30 PM 1:45 PM 2:00 PM 2:15 PM 2:30 PM 2:45 PM 3:00 PM 3:15 PM 3:30 PM 3:45 PM 4:00 PM 4:15 PM 4:30 PM 4:45 PM 5:00 PM 5:15 PM 5:30 PM 5:45 PM 6:00 PM 6:15 PM 6:30 PM 6:45 PM 7:00 PM 7:15 PM 7:30 PM 7:45 PM 8:00 PM 8:15 PM 8:30 PM 8:45 PM 9:00 PM 9:15 PM 9:30 PM 9:45 PM 10:00PM



March 17

March 18

Opening Breakfast & Business Meeting Trade Show Open Continental breakfast on the show floor Trade Show


Classes & Demos on Show Floor


(or designers, or engineers or...) what WERE they thinking?” “I had a client that came into the shop and said, ‘I don’t care what it costs, I want YOU to do it.’” “I had this unbelievable client from heaven/hell.” J.R. Molina and Tony Martinez (Big D Metalworks) will moderate a group discussion on “Tales from the Trenches.” Come to this session, listen to, and share your experiences that verge on the surreal in the wonderful world of NOMMA.

Finding Opportunities in Difficult Times

The current economic climate is proving to be a challenge for all of us. However, so much of how we react to a situation or circumstances is predicated on whether we see things as they are or if we see them as they can be. As John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address to the nation, “Some people see things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask why not.” Many times we only see an opportunity when it comes giftwrapped in a box with a big sticker on it that says “opportunity inside.” Saturday The fact is that opportunities sometimes March 19 come cleverly disguised as conflicts, problems, or even hard economic times. We just have to make slight adjustments to how we perceive things to recognize those opportunities. Join Allyn Moseley (Heirloom Stair & Iron) for this important session and to Optional Spouse learn about the tools you need to make Event those perceptive adjustments so you can Flavors begin to manipulate negative circumstances of the to your own advantage. French

Quarter (Requires additional ticket)

Shop Tours

Doug Bracken (Wiemann Metalcraft) will lead you in a discussion that will focus on the essential methods for finding, hiring, training and retaining quality employees for your metal fabrication business for both shop and office. The importance and roles of workplace culture, safety, employee management, training and discipline in this on-going process will all be covered.

Top Job Voting

First Time Attendee Orientation

How to Find, Hire and Keep Good Employees

Top Job Jamboree

The Ironwork of Historic New Orleans Trade Show Grand Opening Reception Theme Dinner & NEF Auctions

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Awards Banquet

Take an informative photographic tour of the historic metalwork of old New Orleans from a metal fabricators perspective. During this presentation, led by Doug Bracken (Wiemann Metalcraft), we will discuss different architectural styles and the cast and wrought iron designs that complement them. We will also discuss metal finishes and how best to replicate and repair work of similar design and style. 31

Education Grand Stairs

See a slide show of the design and fabrication challenges of a monumental stairway built by Paul Di Francesco (Lightning Forge) onsite and get a ‘fingers on’ demo of a miniature stair and jigging system that is built on a tabletop in the class, Barbie sized. Discuss the math, layout, and thought process involved in bidding, presenting, and doing a project that may be beyond what you would normally take on.

60 Minute Strategic Plan

Tony Leto (The Wagner Companies) will introduce participants to John E. Johnson’s “60 Minute Strategic Plan.®” Using a unique format, the “60 Minute Strategic Plan” advances you, step by step, collecting and connecting information: Building comprehension, creating insight, and ending up as a completed game plan for any strategic issue. Attendees will select a strategic issue specific to their own business and begin a first draft of a strategic plan for that issue.


Tap into the power of NOMMA by accessing our online resources and other services. In this session, Todd Daniel (NOMMA) covers your member benefits, including the extensive member’s only area, awards contest, Vendor Discount Program, and more. Ideal for new and prospective members.

NEF Live/Silent Auctions Without a doubt, the NEF Auction has become one of the most anticipated events held each year at the METALfab Convention and Expo. With the generous help of over 100 donors, bidders, and auction volunteers, last year’s auction raised over $24,000 to support the educational and research work of the NOMMA Education Foundation! All proceeds help the Foundation to provide quality education for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry through continuing education programs, video productions, educational publications; as well as supporting special projects important to the industry. Make A Difference! Get Involved! • Plan now to attend the St. Patrick’s Day Party (Theme Dinner) & Auction on Thursday, March 17 • Volunteer for the Auction Committee. Contact: Heidi Bischmann, • Make a tax-deductible contribution of an auction item – see donation form at www. For more information, visit or call the NOMMA office at (888) 516-8585, ext. 101. Thank you, – Heidi Bischmann NEF Auction Chair 32

Panel Infills: Woven wire and grating.

This presentation by Harrison Horan (Banker Wire) and Don Nelson (Barnett Bates Corp.) covers the manufacture, types of, and unique uses of woven wire, grating, and decking. Both Harrison and Don have had years of experience in their respective fields. The presentation will be PowerPoint based with many slides showing the uses of various infill materials. Find out how these materials are manufactured and how to fit them into your unique needs.

Doing it smALL!

Small companies have the challenge of keeping up with all aspects of the business world. Engineering, purchasing, scheduling, and installation might all fall under one person’s responsibility. Advertising, marketing, design, and customer relations can be directed to another employee. John Steel and Chris Holt (Steel Welding) will share their experiences and offer tips and suggestions on how to deal with just this situation. This session will include how this business approaches the benefits of being a small, yet being able to fully compete and thrive in the marketplace. All ideas shared may not work for your business, however, there will be suggestions that will help you look at your business plan in a new way. Steel Welding will even share some “seemed like a good idea at the time” experiences!

ListServ Live

Join Roger Carlsen (Ephraim Forge Inc.) and Todd Kinnikin (Eureka Forge) for your annual opportunity for NOMMA members that participate in the ListServ discussions to meet each other and continue the discussion in person. This is a chance for those who do not currently participate to find out what they are missing.


Wagner Grant Program The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) is pleased to offer The Wagner Companies METALfab 2011 Grant program. For the third consecutive year, The Wagner Companies in Milwaukee, WI has generously donated $5,000 for the grant program. Recipients will receive funding to cover METALfab 2011 registration, lodging, and a $400 travel expense. To download an application form, visit Deadline to apply is January 10, 2011.

A thanks to our METALfab Sponsors:

Sponsors as of 9/6/2010


Industrial Coverage Corp. The Wagner Companies


Lawler Foundry Corp.


Colorado Waterjet Co. D.J.A. Imports Ltd. Innovative Hinge Products Inc. Fabricator n November/December 2010

Education Code Update

Receive an update from NOMMA’s Code Advisory Council. Attendees will also receive a briefing on the latest news and projects of the Technical Affairs Division. In addition this session provides an opportunity to get answers to all your code related questions.

Employee Safety Plan

Join Joe Romeo (Industrial Coverage Corp.) for a discussion about employee safety and ideas for you company to create a safety plan that employees will be excited to follow. Learn about rewarding employees for working safe and how to enforce your plan. You will also receive a copy of the safety manual template to help you develop your own manual. This item alone is worth the trip to METALfab.

Video Shop Tours

James Minter, (Imagine Ironworks) Video Shop Tour Coordinator, has planned a wonderful multimedia tour of member shops with emphasis on managing workflow from materials delivery to getting the job out the door. This session provides great ideas that you can incorporate in your shop.

Shop Tours

The shop tours for 2011 are very exciting. New Orleans offers some very interesting shops. Shop tour coordinators Will Keeler (Keeler Iron Works) and James Minter (Imagine Ironworks) are planning a great tour for attendees. As the shops for the tour are selected they will be updated on the NOMMA website:

Demos/Classes on Trade Show Floor During show hours on Thursday, March 17, there will be demonstrations and classes on the trade show floor.


Top Job Competition

The annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest provides energy and excitement throughout convention week. During gallery hours NOMMA member companies will be given the opportunity to cast their ballot for the best jobs of the year. Once voting ends the action continues during the Top Job Jamboree, where images are flashed on a screen and entrants describe their outstanding work. On Saturday, the excitement is in the air as the contest winners are announced during the Awards Banquet. The grand finale is the presentation of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is given to one gold award winner that shows exceptional craftsmanship. November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Grinding, Polishing, and Finishing Demo

Join Chris LePore (American Fabricator Supply Co.) on the show floor for a demo on hand power tools and abrasives available for grinding, polishing, and finishing steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and brass. He will also demonstrate tools designed for linear, pipe polishing, and weld removal on different structural shapes and the most productive way to accomplish the desired finish.

Additional classes will be announced later. Check for class/demo updates.

For a list of exhibitors visit metalfab

Hotel Information

The Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center, 859 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA is the host hotel for METALfab 2011. This hotel is located across from the Morial Convention Center and within walking distance of the French Quarter. Attendees can walk across the street to attend to meetings and the trade show without riding a shuttle bus.

Room Rate: $169 – 1 King/ 2 Double - $20 each additional person Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes in effect at the time of check out.

Two ways to Make Your Reservation: • Go to metalfab and use the link to make your reservation. • Call (800) 305-6342 - When making reservations you should ask for National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association or NOMMA block. Attendees have 72 hrs. before their arrival date to cancel their reservation to avoid a one night room and tax charge. A credit card is needed to guarantee your reservation. The NOMMA room block will be released on February 22, 2011, or when the block sells out, whichever happens first. Please make your reservation early!


Special Events Wednesday, March 16

Saturday, March 19

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for first time attendees to meet the leadership of NOMMA/NEF and to learn more about the events at METALfab 2011. This event is not just for first time attendees – anyone who has questions and would like an overview of the events may attend.

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. After a day of fabulous shop tours the final event for METALfab 2011 will be the Annual Awards Banquet. During this time, the new officers and directors are installed, special recognition is given to outstanding NOMMA members, and the Top Job Awards winners are announced. The grand finale of the evening is the awarding of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is chosen from the gold level award winners.

First Time Attendee Orientation

Trade Show Grand Opening & Reception

5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. For 2011 we have returned to a full size trade show so we are celebrating with an exciting Grand Opening. This is your first opportunity to visit with the exhibitors at the trade show, learning more about the products and services they provide to the industry. Go to for a list of the exhibitors for the 2011 trade show. Thursday, March 17

Recognition Breakfast & Annual Membership Business Meeting

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Join the NOMMA Board of Directors for a delicious continental breakfast. This is the membership’s opportunity to participate in the annual membership business meeting where officers and directors are elected, committee reports are submitted, and special recognitions are given. Also, as a special treat for attendees, Jon McGraw of Alloy Castings will give the keynote address.

Trade Show Open All Day/Lunch on the Show Floor

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. On Thursday you will have the opportunity to visit with exhibitors from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. and enjoy lunch. There will also be demos in the machinery tent outside the hotel front entrance.

Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Best Party Town in the USA

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. What a great opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy delicious food and an opportunity to bid on outstanding auction items while you listen to fabulous sounds of the Nobles and PARTY. For those of you who attended METALfab 2005 this was the outstanding band that we had for the theme dinner. Special contests with fun prizes will be announced later so be sure to check for more information. NEF Auctions - The silent and live auctions will be held during this event. Be sure to bring your wallet so you can take home some of the wonderful items donated to benefit the NOMMA Education Foundation. 34

Annual Awards Banquet

Spouse Events Thursday, March 17

Flavors of the French Quarter

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * New Orleans’ French Quarter is so unique that it has been sanctioned and preserved by the National Historic Trust. The oldest sector of the city of New Orleans, the “Vieux Carre” is still called by its French name, although its architecture is Spanish. Today, it offers an exciting vision of the historic greatness of New Orleans with its narrow streets, eighteenth and nineteenth century French and Spanish architecture, the oldest Cathedral and apartment buildings in America. After the walking tour you will go to the New Orleans School of Cooking where you will meet one of the vivacious chefs who will lead you through the secret steps in creating our world-famous Creole and Cajun cuisine. You will observe the preparation of classic dishes such as Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bananas Foster and Pralines. And, of course, copies of the step-by-step recipes are handed out for all to take home. A hearty tasting of all the wonderful dishes created during the class is served, so be sure to bring your appetite! Motor coach transportation to and from the walking tour will be provided. *This event requires an additional ticket to be purchased - $65. This event is not part of the regularly scheduled events included in the full or one day registration.

Posies Presto!

Flower arrangements may seem something you might like someone else to do for you but there are occasions we need to quickly put something together unexpectedly. Sit back and watch as Chris Holt (Master Gardener with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and fabricator at Steel) shows you how to make some simple but effective arrangements from your garden or with a few flowers from a local grocery store. These arrangements look exciting and are easy to make. You will be surprised how professional you will look the next time you put together a floral display. Economical centerpiece Ideas for fund raiser events will also be shared. The next time you are on a committee back home, you will have suggestions for your group, church, or organization. Gardening tips will also be interspersed throughout the presentation, bring a notebook! There is no additional charge for this event. Fabricator n November/December 2010

METALfab 2011 Attendee Registration Form New Orleans, LA, March 16 - 19

Register for METALfab 2011 in four easy steps. Please fill out a separate form for each full or one day registration. Guest or optional event tickets may be added to appropriate full or one day registrant. See the Convention Guide or for course and event descriptions. Prices below expire February 22, 2011. After 2/22/2011 an late fee of $100 will be added to your registration.

Step 1: Registration Options – choose your registration type Full Registration – includes all scheduled events – education, trade show, & special events. $395

 NOMMA Member Full Registration

$607  “Become a NOMMA Member” Full Registration This registration includes a one year Fabricator membership in NOMMA. Go to for more information on NOMMA membership. One Day Registration – includes all events for the specific day – education, trade show, special events $195

NOMMA Member One Day Registration

Thursday, March 17

 Friday, March 18

 Saturday, March 19 (no trade show)

$407 “Become a NOMMA Member” One Day Registration This registration includes a one year Fabricator membership in NOMMA. Go to for more information on NOMMA membership.

 Thursday, March 17

 Friday, March 18

 Saturday, March 19 (no trade show)

Trade Show Only Registration – includes FREE access to the trade show floor.**  Wednesday, March 16 – 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Thursday, March 17 – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Friday, March 18 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Spouse Registration – attendees accompanying a full, or one day registrant who is purchasing spouse or guest tickets. There is no charge for this registration except for the price of the tickets. These events are included in Full and appropriate One Day registrations. We do not offer a children’s rate for these events. Please provide a name so that we can prepare a badge in advance. Event descriptions and times can be found in the METALfab Convention Guide or . These events are not available to trade show only registrants.

$35 Welcome Reception (3/16/10)

Name for badge____________________________________

$35 Opening Breakfast (3/17/10)

Name for badge____________________________________

$105 Theme Dinner (3/17/10)

Name for badge____________________________________

 $65 Flavors of the French Quarter (3/18/10) Name for badge____________________________________ Optional Spouse Event – see convention guide for description and times 

$45 Shop Tours (3/19/10)

Name for badge____________________________________

$55 Awards Banquet (3/19/10)

Name for badge____________________________________

Step 2: Payment Method – select payment type for full and one day registrations Check (payable to NOMMA in U.S. dollars on U.S. bank) Check #_____________ American Express MasterCard VISA Discover Card #________________________________________________________Exp. Date__________________ Name on card__________________________________________________Card CVV_________________ Signature_______________________________________________________________________________

Please fill out a separate form for each full or one day registrant – duplicate as needed. November/December 2010 n Fabricator

 Continue on back


Step 3: Tell Us About Yourself Name:________________________________________________________ Company ______________________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________________ City: __________________________________________________________________ State: __________Zip:_________________Country:____________________________


Please check the appropriate ribbons for inclusion in your registration packet: New Member First Time Attendee Fabricator Member NW Supplier Member Regional Supplier Member Local Supplier Member Affiliate Member Committee Chair

Committee Member Chapter President Chapter Member NEF Contributor Gold Member-20+ years Past President BOD  Officer NEF Trustee Officer Speaker/Presenter

Phone:_____________________________Fax:__________________________ On-site Emergency Contact Number:_________________________________________ Person to contact in case of emergency:________________________________ Step 4: Attendee Profile - tell us about your business

This portion of the registration must be completed for processing.  Check here if you are not involved in the business. If you are not involved in the business this is all of the information needed. Thank you . List three (3) products you hope to purchase from contacts at METALfab 2010:

___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 1)Primary type of business:  Fabricator  General Supplier  Contractor Other_________________

2) Annual Gross Sales:  Below $1 million  $1 - $2.5 million  $2.5 - $5 million  Over $5 million

3) Your role in purchasing  Final Say  Recommend  Specify

4) Job description:  Owner  Manager/Foreman  Other____________

Additional Information Registration – Registrants will be able to pick up their packets at the METALfab/NOMMA registration desk in the Morial Convention Center – inside Hall G – Wednesday, March 16, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. **Attendees on the trade show floor must be 16 years of age or older for insurance purposes. Children under the age of 16 will not be allowed on the trade show floor. Trade Show Only registration does not include any other scheduled events. Cancellations – If received in writing prior to March 7, 2011, we will be happy to refund your registration fee less a 15% administrative fee. Understandably fees cannot be refunded for registrations cancelled after that date. Registrations are nontransferable without the written permission of NOMMA. Cameras – Photography and videotaping are not permitted on the show floor, education sessions, or Top Job Gallery. Emergency Contact – We would like to have contact name and phone number in case of an emergency. This person would be contacted only in the event that you were unable to contact them yourself.

Return to: METALfab 2011 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, # 311 Fayetteville, GA 30214 Fax: (888) 516-8585


Questions? Call (888) 516-8585 extension 101 or email For updated information go to Online Registration is available on the NOMMA website

Fabricator n November/December 2010

Shop Tours Get ready to roll Saturday morning! We’re taking you to several exciting shops.

Shop tours begin Saturday, March 19 at 9 a.m. Tours typically feature mini demos and refreshments. The following are shops lined up for tours as of October 31, 2010:

Boes Iron Works Inc.

Boes Iron Works Inc., located in the heart of New Orleans, is a full-service ornamental fabricator that also provides erection and crane rental services. Whether it’s stairs, rails, gates, restoration, or a large erection job, the company is equipped to handle any challenge.

Bevolo Electric Gas & Lights

A fourth generation business, Bevolo Electric Gas & Lights is probably best known for crafting the Original French Quarter light. The company produces a line of high-end copper lighting and brackets that can be seen on homes and businesses around the world. The fixtures feature a unique riveting and finishing process. During the Bevolo visit, attendees will be treated to a forging demo.

Manufab Inc.

Manufab Inc. of Kenner, LA is a state-of-the-art shop that specializes in custom steel fabrication and architectural and miscellaneous metals. This shop visit was a big hit when we visited the facility during METALfab 2005.

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Fabricator n November/December 2010

Member Talk

A fabricator who likes to blacksmith n

Find out how Paul DiFrancesco got started auctioning himself to support NEF, and what he made for last year’s highest bidder.

For your information


What you’ll learn n How one man lends his talent to help support NOMMA. n A little about electroplating leaves. n A blacksmithing influence in fabrication. CO NTAC T

Paul DiFrancesco Lightning Forge 4757 South Plum St. Murray, UT 84123 Ph: (801) 268-1838 Fax: (801) 713-0014 About the author Don Plummer wrote books, articles and training programs for management practices in private industry. An evolving interest in metalworking led him to begin also writing in this area. He has authored numerous articles and several books including Colonial Wrought Iron — the Sorber Collection, Boone Wrought Iron, and Christopher T. Ray — An Artist and Sculptor of the Wissahickon Valley.

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Copper Leaf Lamp. The 11" diameter base of the lamp is hammer textured to simulate roots. Paul fabricated the shade from light copper sheet. Thin leaves of translucent mica provide for the shade filler, which is accented with copper plated aspen shaped leaves.

By Don Plummer When the hammer finally dropped for the

last bid at a METALfab a few years back, Paul DiFrancesco had been sold for $1,600! Quite a bit of money to pay for an old man. Even if he is a good blacksmithing fabricator or fabricating blacksmith. Now what do you do with him? As it so happens, you really can’t do anything with him at this event. Paul had been making donations at METALfab for many years and in a most unusual way. He allows himself to be auctioned off, and then he will make something for the high bidder. This novel approach to contribution re- Mary Majka of Majka Railing was the highest bidder at the sulted from Paul being induced to make a NEF auction at METALfab for contribution of some hand-made item by a custom made item by Paul Jim Wallace, then director of the National DiFrancesco of Lightning Forge. Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis. “Wally” can be very persuasive, and he convinced Paul to make something for an upcoming auction. When Paul showed up at the annual event, unfortunately unable to have made his promised item, Jim put him on the auction block and sold him for $600. Paul delivered a finished product the next year. In this first instance it was a table lamp with folded copper shade with piercings. Something of a tradition was now set and for the ensuing years Paul would stand before a crowd and be auctioned, like a prized heifer, with the promise to make something. Something of his choosing and something he can carry. It would not be an 18-foot driveway gate, but it will be something quite nice. This 41

novel approach to volunteering and contribution has helped raise a significant amount of money for NOMMA. Over the years Paul has made some very nice gifts. Notably copper boxes with hand forged hinges, latches and fittings, woven sewing basket, candy chafing dish in copper with forged handles, hanging wall mirrors, lamps, a table, and even once, a book. Whenever possible, Paul likes to incorporate some copper in his work. It provides a splendid contrast with the

black iron. He also uses only pieces of material that he has left over from his gates, railings, tables, lights, or other projects. He feels he owes the bidder a bit of himself, and this helps make that happen. What he made this year: Lamp with copper plated leaves Paul framed this mirror with 1" half oval on 1½" x 1/8" brass on 2" x ¼" flat bar that he rivited together.

At the most recent METALfab 2010 in Tulsa, OK Paul presented last year’s high bidder a table lamp. This went to Mary Majka of Majka Railing in Paterson, NJ. This beautiful lamp involves forging and fabrication. Of note are some delicate copper plated leaves attached to the lamp shade. The base of the lamp is 11 inches in diameter with hammer textured simulated roots. The stem is 11/2-inch pipe that has also received some texturing and patination. The shade is fabricated from light copper sheet and attached to the stem. Thin leaves of translucent mica provided for the shade filler. Apropos to an aspen tree, Paul carved Mary and her late husband’s initials into a heart on the trunk. The process of making copper-plated leaves involves some complexity. Paul does not do this himself but the process is one of electroplating. Typically, the leaf stem is wrapped in a fine 26g iron wire and becomes the cathode for plating. Since the leaf is non-conductive, it must first be painted on both sides with a silver paint. Then it is immersed in an electrolyte solution and an appropriate electric current supplied. This will cause the copper electrons to flow from an anode to the leaf (cathode) and eventually deposit a layer of pure copper on the leaf. The result is a lovely, shiny leaf with enough substance and wire base to permit it being brazed to copper or steel. The leaves for this lamp were approximately aspen shaped and about halfdollar sized. Paul brazed these to the copper shade with phosphor copper. Why he does it: Because he’s asked, and it feels good

When asked why he was willing to take this time, effort, and expense to make these donations Paul was initially stumped. He thought about it for quite some time before finally 42

Fabricator n November/December 2010

coming to some conclusions. Undoubtedly, he decided, ego plays a considerable role. “I like the attention of being on stage and a bigger frog in the pond. I’m also rather pleased and proud that folks are willing to pay some significant money for me — or more properly, the items I make. “I also like doing it for the simplest of reasons: because I am asked. When someone asks, ‘will you help us out by doing this for me?’ I am pleased to respond, especially if it is a worthy cause, and I can fit it in. “It also pleases me that the recipients and organizations responsible have been very grateful, and they make that known to me with their often profuse thanks. “Lastly I saw myself becoming part of what might be a tradition that would be carried on for many years. I doubt this will be the case, but I saw myself in that role.” Many of us make various levels of contribution and volunteering and

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

wonder why we do it. Nice to have one man’s intentions clearly stated. What he usually does: Fabrication accented with blacksmithing

Basket Lamp. Paul made the neck of the lamp out of bark textured ¾" pipe with forged leaves on a ¼" round plate base. He formed the shade by overlapping four petals each of copper and aluminum.

You might note from the donated items above that a good portion of Paul’s activities are blacksmithing related. Although the bulk of his work is certainly fabricating he incorporates some forging whenever possible. He has long been a practitioner and avid supporter to the blacksmithing community. He regularly hosts the Bonneville Forge Council annual conference at his Lightning Forge in Murray, UT, and he always assures the best available demonstrators are brought in for the event. He has also brought in demonstrators for less formal events and hosted various workshops. Paul is also a bit of a power hammer enthusiast and has FOUR of his own at the shop, in addition to buying and selling them on occasion. Lightning Forge grew out of a 1,000 square-foot garage in the 1990s to a


projects that keep things 50-foot by 75-foot, 3,750 going. While admittedly square foot shop in 2003. they work mainly in steel Mainly by dent of hard they are also as Paul says work by Paul and his son. “conversant in aluminum, There is a solid concrete stainless, copper and wall on one side and the bronze.” rest is a metals building. His business has five Perhaps the most inemployees, Paul, his son, dispensable item in the and three others. Paul is shop is a 5-ton traveling managing to keep them crane. It would be a rare all busy in a somewhat day indeed, when it was difficult time. not used. It is 14 feet unTheir current backder the hook and 20 feet log is about two to three of ceiling height. Apropos to aspen trees near Murray, UT, Paul carved Mary and her late months, but in better Paul has always read- husband’s initials into a heart on the trunk. Now the lamp resides in her home. times six months to a ily invested in good year was more the case. But there is will earn an honest buck. Their focus equipment. He considers such investlittle doubt that Paul’s generous nature is largely products for the domestic ment to be a cornerstone of a sucand most admirable communication home. They do not do a lot of industrial cessful shop. Paul likes to think of skills will assure a long and successful work. The shop also produces stairs, his shop as the “best equipped small future for his Lightning Forge. shop around. Having good equipment steel decks, pontoon boat structures, Paul closes with some great blackpot racks, motorcycle parts, and etc., is a lot cheaper than having more smith-inspired words: “Loan a man a etc., etc. Once every blue moon or so, employees.” tool and you may never see it again . . . they get a large job that will consume The bulk of the shop’s work is railteach a man to make tools and you most of the shop for a year or more. ings, fences and gates. But they are willhave a new source of tools.” But usually it is a stream of smaller ing to undertake most anything that


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Job Profile

Realizing grand bronze entry doors NOMMA member International Creative Metal Inc. used relief sculpture to portray an important story for St. Vartan Cathedral in NYC. n

By Rachel Bailey

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral was built in the 1960s by survivors of the Armenian Genocide. NOMMA member International Creative Metal Inc. helped to complete the builders’ original plans. November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Sometimes the significance of an event doesn’t register immediately, particularly when the significance is outside of one’s cultural paradigm. For many of us, the fabrication of a set of bronze doors for St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City by NOMMA member firm International Creative Metal Inc. is important because the doors demonstrate the exceptional beauty and craftsmanship of our industry. And for this, ICM won the gold award in the Gate/Doors category in NOMMA’s 2010 Top Job Contest. But for ICM owner, Setrak Agonian, the honor of being chosen to fabricate these entry doors for his beloved church and then to witness their unveiling runs deeper. “I never thought and dreamed in my life, as an Armenian Genocide survivor’s son, I would be honored and privileged with the commission to create and fabricate bronze doors for the cathedral of the Diocese of the Armenian Church 45

of America with the relief of the story of how the first Christian nation in the world was born,” says Setrak. Indeed many of us may not even realize that Armenia was the first Christian country in the world, so claimed in 301 AD., let alone the unspeakable, and greatly under recognized genocide that took place in the earlier part of the 20th century. The Cathedral, which serves as a church for Armenian Americans, was built in the 1960s by survivors of After completing the bronze casting, ICM welded the relief panels with silicone bronze wires to the frame of the doors and the transom frame. They then carefully grinded and refinished the welds with a special texture, and used a CNC horizontal milling machine on the entire frame and casting. Final refinishing with patinas enhance the different textures of the bronze surface.

the Armenian Genocide. Construction ended in 1968, but due to budget constraints, part of the original design, its grand bronze entry doors, was left unrealized until now. “When our cathedral was constructed in the 1960s the bronze doors were an original design element,” says the Armenian Diocese’s Communications Director Christopher H. Zakian. “However, as the day of completion approached a lot of design elements were taken down a notch, so wooden doors were put in place. In the 1970s a group of lay people who tend to the Cathedral decided to take up this project again and see it realized. Then a few years ago, a generous family made a large donation that would allow the doors project to move forward, at last, to realization. “Setrak Agonian is a member of our church and our community — very prominent, very generous, and well known. And he’s wonderful to be around and to have as part of our community. He’s done a number of other projects, Armenian and otherwise, that the members of the art committee at the Cathedral were aware of, and so they went to him for advice and consultation. “There are very few people that a church would feel confident to work with on a project like this. It’s not a design on an apartment building,” says Zakian. “We trusted that Setrak would get the spiritual aspect right as well as the technical.” Design

The art committee at the cathedral conceived a design which depicts, in three-dimensional sculpted relief, the birth of Armenia as the first Christian country in 301 AD. The story goes that the king of Armenia at that time was seized with madness for persecuting Christians who were believed to threaten the integrity of the then pagan country. The queen, however, who already had a spiritual orientation toward Christianity believed that a Christian holy man, St. Gregory the Illuminator who’d been in prison for 13 years, could heal the king. St. Gregory was released, and when the king’s sanity returned St. Gregory baptized him. 46

Fabricator n November/December 2010

The doors show the baptism with the Armenian queen behind the two men, looking on. The transom above the portal bears the image of Christ with an inscription that honors the date of the cathedral’s consecration — April 28, 1968 — by His Holiness Vasken I. “The panels of the doors are outstanding in their naturalism and realism but also correspond with the art deco design of similar stories carved in stone in the upper portion, above the doors, on the building’s face,” says Setrak. When the art committee, comprised of the Dean of the Cathedral Father Mardiros Chevian, Father Garabed Kochakian, Yefkin Megherian, Setrak Agonian, and Michael Haratunian with his guidance for engineering, conceived the artwork and submitted the design for the doors to ICM, the firm’s graphic artist Deanna Knauth executed the final design for the sample model. The firm then hired a famous Armenian sculptor maestro Rafael Petrossyan and his helper Albert Arakelian who sculpted the plastiline material on a wooden base. It was 22 inches wide by 38½ inches in height. With approval from the cathedral’s art committee, the artists then started working on a wooden base template of the doors in actual size with plastiline material. The sculpture was created following the artistic rendering with images of actual reliefs to accommodate the scenes and their extensive detail. After final approval of the sculpture, a foundry prepared a wax mold for the bronze casting. The bronze casting was divided and composed of six sections; each leaf was three sections. ICM has used many different foundries depending on the type of projects they have, explains Setrak. Some art foundries do sand castings, some do wax castings, or ceramic. For this particular project, because of the size of the doors, ICM chose the Elliot Gantz Fine Art Casting Foundry for their outstanding quality in casting and refinishing. “For this project, working with Mr. Elliot Gantz and his lovely wife, sculpNovember/December 2010 n Fabricator

tor, Winifred Dewitt, was an honor and a privilege.” Frame fabrication and installation

The bronze doors consist of the following: a three-sided outer frame with vertical members supported by walls and by framing connected to the existing door frame’s stainless steel construction; and a horizontal top member supported by two vertical members. The structure of the door was designed by one of the best moving motion structure engineers in the country, Olaf Soot, says Setrak, with the help of the original strucThe cast bronze entry doors depict a scene symbolic of the birth of Armenia as the first Christian country in 301 AD. The scene shows the baptism of the Armenian King by St. Gregory the Illuminator.


tural engineer of the cathedral building, Andy Ouzoonian. ICM fabricated one stainless steel frame for each door leaf, approximately 134 inches high and 48 inches wide. These are supported by two ball bearing hinges from the outer frame, interfacing with the respective outer frame’s vertical members. One rixson closer was used for each door leaf, mounted above the finished floor level on the side of each outer frame vertical member and housed inside a decorative bronze enclosure. One panic bar was also mounted to the inside face of each door leaf engaging either a top or bottom socket for latching the doors at closed and open positions. After the bronze casting was completed the relief panels were welded with silicone bronze wires. The two bronze leafs and one transom were then attached to the stainless steel frame of the doors and the transom frame. The welding and art work were carefully grinded and refinished with a special texture. The entire frame with the casting was preciously machined

Left to right, NOMMA Immediate Past President Bob Foust Jr., ICM’s Setrak Agonian, and NEF Chair Roger Carlsen. Setrak Agonian presented the NOMMA Education Foundation with a check for $2,000 at METALfab 2010 in Tulsa, OK.

with a CNC horizontal milling machine. The back portion of the frame was closed with a 1/8 inch bronze cladding and oxidized to a dark brown bronze color. The entire door was refinished with patinas to enhance the different textures of the bronze surface. For installation, a crane lifted the door leafs up from the street level and ICM attached them to the embedded door frame. Fabrication and completion of this job took 180 days of work.

In addition to the significance of the doors’ artistic rendering, and the cathedral itself, is the fact that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg assisted in unveiling the doors, on May 31, 2009. He did so shortly after marching in the Salute to Israel Parade, which took place on the same day. For Setrak, it was a great honor indeed. “For New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg to attend and unveil the opening ceremony of the cathedral doors after coming back from attending the Israeli day parade was a stamp of how great a Mayor he is,” says Setrak. “That was a great honor to Armenian people all over the world. For me it was a dream come true and made me very proud to be an American and a New Yorker.” And for NOMMA, to count Setrak Agonian and International Creative Metal Inc. as a member and to see the work of our industry receive such notable recognition is also a great honor. After winning the Top Job gold award at METALfab 2010 in Tulsa, OK, Setrak presented the NOMMA Education Foundation with a check for $2,000 to support NEF’s goal of advancing the education of NOMMA members. We are thankful for that too.

For your information


The Mayor of New York was present at the unveiling of these bronze entry doors for St. Vartans Armenian Cathedral in New York City. n The doors won the gold award for the Gates/Doors category in the 2010 Top Job contest. n At METALfab 2010 International Creative Metal Inc. donated $2,000 to the NOMMA Education Foundation. n


Setrak Agonian International Creative Metal Inc. 37-28 61st St. Woodside, NY 11377-2538 Phone: (718) 899-7306 Fax: (718) 565-0854 48

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Job Profile

Custom forged organic handrail n

Fortunately code did not require a guardrail for this entryway to a client’s new home, giving Falling Hammer more creative freedom with their organic woodland design.

Falling Hammer found several ways to keep their customers’ price tag down while keeping the high-end quality up.

By Cassandra Covill and Peter Thatcher Swarz-Burt

For your information


This job came to us from a couple in

Fairfield, CT who had seen some of our forged organic tables on our website. Their house is located in an area of patchy woodlands, and they wanted to reflect their surroundings in the entryway to their new home. We appreciated that code did not require a full railing since it is exceedingly difficult to create a fully organic railing that matches 4-inch code restrictions without it becoming a veritable tangle of branches and leaves. Going with a handrail design allowed us the open space to make the details of our trees more interesting and realistic while keeping the price tag within the customers’ budget. One factor that complicated the design process was the homeowners’ desire to run LED strips along the bottom of the cap, which necessitated that the bottom of the cap remain hollow and unobstructed along its entire length. It

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Job: Grove of Oaks Handrail in Fairfield, CT. Installed November 2009.

also meant that the post at the bottom end of each rail needed to be hollow, so the two front posts were forged down hot from 1¼-inch tube to match the 1¼-inch solid posts elsewhere. The ends of the tube posts were capped to avoid filling with cement during installation. After installation we drilled into the side of the step with a 1-inch core bit to remove the bottom of the post and provide a conduit for the wiring. All of the trunks and branches were tapered hot under our Say-Mak air hammer. The bark texturing was performed cold under custom dies on the same hammer, and once textured, the

Suppliers of note: n Tapering and texturing: Say-Mak 50 kg hammer, 110 lb ram weight n Preventing rust: RUST-OLEUM® Industrial Speedy-Dry Acrylic Enamel Primer n Weathering and Highlighting: Gilders Paste Celtic Bronze n Setting posts: Rockite CO NTAC T

Peter Thatcher Swarz-Burt Falling Hammer Productions LLC 28 Main Street Oakville, CT 06779 Phone: (203) 597-1114 Fax: (203) 597-1114


pieces were heated again and bent to random organic shapes. The branches and trunks were then fitted together, MIG welded, and the welds ground and re-textured with a crosspeen hammer. The cap rail was fabricated from three pieces of our own bark-textured 他-inch round stock; the pieces were welded in a jig to ensure that the appropriate width of channel was left in the underside to accept the LED strip. The oak leaves were designed in-house, but we sent them out to be laser cut from 16-gauge sheet in the interest of speed and cost. The leaves were then textured under another set of custom dies. We would have preferred to vein all of the leaves rather than simply texture them, but the budget simply did not allow that level of detail. As it was, the textured surface accepted the eventual finish very well and provided a look far superior to simple sheet metal at an only slightly increased cost. The acorns were hot-forged from 他-inch round stock under yet another set of custom dies. These dies allowed us to turn out excellent looking acorns in a single heat, and again the cost savings were greatly appreciated by the customers. The slightly rough and faceted finish on the acorns ensured that it was clear they were forged rather than cast while at the same time making them more suitable for the finish that the customers wanted. Once the railings had been fabricated into six, 8-foot panels we began the finishing process. We recently switched to using waterborne RUST-OLEUM速 Industrial Speedy-Dry Acrylic Enamel Primer and have been very pleased with the results. The first coat sprayed was a zinc phosphate primer, and we followed this with two coats of a dark greenishbrown that is quite hideous. So much so, in fact, that when we arrived on site with the panels it took some time convincing the customers that this was actually the right color and that they would love it once completed. We drilled 2-inch cores 4 inches deep to set all of the posts, and then we poured them solid with Rockite once they were all aligned and clamped. Once the cement was solid, we began TIG welding the panels together, again making sure to leave the channel for the LED strip. The welds were ground and textured with a cross-peen, then all joints were hand painted with the same coating that the rest of the railing had received. At this point we also touchedup any scuffs that had occurred during transport. Once the paint was dry it was time to apply the Gilders Paste Celtic Bronze, which, combined with the nasty greenbrown undercoat, served to create an excellent illusion of weathered and highlighted bronze. The accents of the Gilders Paste truly brought the railings to life and allowed for our long hours of making sure that every inch was textured to really pay off. Without the texture the Gilders Paste the finish would have been much less effective and the overall look would have been much less interesting. We then topcoated with a satin-finish exterior grade varnish to insure the long life of the Gilders Paste. In the end we spent roughly 100 hours making and installing these railings, which have made excellent advertising on our website and impressed both the customers and the builder. 50

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4 reasons to use waterborn paint The waterborn paint proved itself many times during this project and is worth looking into for those unhappy with their current coatings.

Branch sample, far left. Falling Hammer tapered hot all of the trunks and branches under their SayMak air hammer and then textured the bark cold under custom dies. Acorns, left. The fabricator hotforged the acorns from ¾" round stock under a set of custom dies in a single heat.

1 It is readily available in a number of colors.


Since it lacks a volatile thinner it does not require hazardous shipping and does not create a cloud of deadly and explosive fumes during application.


Any drips on site clean up with a little water and a sponge. This was a major source of happiness for us.


The fact that once dry it is rated for serious chemical exposure is just icing on the cake.

Gilders Paste, above. The finish on the rail consists of a sprayed zinc phosphate primer, followed by two coats of a dark greenish-brown waterborn paint. Once the paint was dry Falling Hammer applied Celtic Bronze Gilders Paste to give the appearance of weathered and highlighted bronze. Leaf, left. Even without a vein, the oak leaves, which were designed in-house, and finished with Gilders Paste, turned out even better than expected.

November/December 2010 n Fabricator


Job Profile

Gentle wind n

Just a gentle wind opens this 1-ton Panton stone and steel door-to-theimagination, fabricated and engineered by Nop’s MetalWorks.

By Louis Nop

Nop’s MetalWorks spent over 100 hours fabricating, pinning the rock to the steel, and finishing before trying to open the door. Hammered rivets, right, give it a medieval or gothic look.

Fabricating challenges included managing the sheer weight of the stone, calculating balance, getting such a heavy door to open, and making it look aesthetically pleasing


Is there a practical reason for this door? Is it necessary? This door takes the raw materials of stone and steel and creates a portal to the imagination. The author C.S. Lewis captured the idea of magic in the natural world and his books inspired the title of this piece: The Door to Narnia. I’ve always thought that stone and steel are an intriguing combination of material. A while back, I was working next to a quarry I’d never seen before, so I walked through it and saw these large slabs of rock. I noticed one beautiful stone that was uncut and happened to look like the shape of the state of Vermont and began to wonder what I could build with it. It was almost begging to become something! I decided on a door for a number of reasons: first, I’d never seen one, and second, I liked the technical challenge and knew that the stone and steel would work together in that context. The Nop’s MetalWorks team really enjoyed this project because the door presented many challenges. The sheer weight of the stone, calculation of the balance, and getting such a heavy door to open as well as look aesthetically pleasing were all factors that had to be considered. The greatest challenge, however, was in not actually knowing if our idea would work. Would the door open? There was no way to test our theory until the door was complete. Knowing that the stone needed to be supported by a steel framework, but not wanting the steel to overpower the beauty of the natural rock, we decided to make the rock the focal point and minimize the steel. At this point, I gave Jackie Davidson, the anchor of our design team, different ideas that would work from an engineering perspective, and from those discussions came our design. We decided to go for a medieval, gothic look and that a door jamb would be necessary for visual balance to give a specific spot for the closed position. After pinning the door and the jamb, Bernie Stuber, our blacksmith from East Germany, forged horizontal flat bars and devised a way to give the rivet heads just the right look. Using a crane for this job was necessary. Moving literally over a ton of steel and stone without a crack developing in the rock is a delicate process. Kevin Messer, our crane operator, specializes in this type of precision work. Fabricator n November/December 2010

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

For your information


The crucial part of the installation was getting the structure level so that the door wouldn’t wander or tend to go one direc­tion or another. We opted not to put a latch on it, figuring the door would be difficult to open anyway. To our surprise and despite its heft, the door opens effortlessly. In fact, over a period of days after the door was installed, the door was open at different degrees. I actually closed the door on several evenings, only to find it open in the morning, and not always in the same position. We finally realized that no one was playing a trick. The door was being blown open by the wind.

The door stands 9' x 4' and is comprised of one uncut piece of Panton stone. The door hangs on a single axis hinge below the ground. n The use of mild steel flat bar stock as a means to pin the rock provides strength structurally and visually. n The door’s design, fabrication, and function were all conceived by the fabricator. n Without standards to follow, the biggest challenge was in not knowing if it would work. n n


Louis Nop, Nop’s MetalWorks, 4165 Rt. 7, S. Middlebury, VT 05753 Phone: (802) 388-3043, Fax: (802) 388-3043,


Before and after. One of the biggest challenges of this job was that the original wood rail had to remain in place until installation day, making a dry fit difficult.

Job Profile

Metal rail outshines wood n

Avery Railing & Metal Arts Studio overcame several challenges replacing an interior wood railing with their metalwork, but it was worth it! By Jim Avery I am not always sure how I get some of

For your information


Lessons learned n Sometimes it’s cheaper to charge more for the custom color first rather than have to pay the powder coater twice to get it right. n Long-time friendships come in handy on installation day, especially when installation has to happen twice. CO NTAC T

Jim Avery Avery Railing & Metal Arts Studio 168 East 10th St. Dubuque, IA 52001 Phone: (563) 582-2662 Fax: (563) 582-2262 54

the jobs I get. It must be mostly by word of mouth since I do little or no advertising. This customer, I believe, had seen another house I completed that was a pretty big job. Evidently she was impressed with it enough to have her existing interior wood railing replaced with my metal work. The owners had a design concept that came from a small (11/2" square) grainy magazine picture. From that inspiration came our final design. It was obvious we had to make several changes to meet the 4-inch code requirements. This is always a challenge with larger design panels. A sample section was made and approved by the customer with a small change to the center diamond insert using a 3/8-inch twisted bar instead of squiggle tails. This final interior railing design is comprised of overlapping framed scroll design panels made from hot rolled steel that we almost completely cold formed. We made scrolls from mostly ½-inch square bar and some of

the smaller ones from 3/8-inch square bar. We custom developed some of the tooling to form this job; we revived some tooling from a previous job, and the rest of it we used is just your typical ornamental tooling. The bottom volute shape was dictated by a pattern made from an-offthe-shelf wood railcap component. The top plate was drilled and countersunk for standard off-the-shelf wood cap railing, which was to be installed by others. Mounting was done by a screwed down flange that had a solid bar that slid into the post and tightened down with set screws. We slid a cast shoe onto the post before sliding it over the mounting flange bracket. Then after the set screws were tightened, we epoxied them in place. Again, this job replaced a wood baluster type railing. We had to leave the original railing in place during fabrication of the new one since they were living in the house with small children. Normally we do a complete dry fit before we send it off to the powder coaters, which was a little Fabricator n November/December 2010

more difficult to do with the original wood railing still in place. We ended up setting it in as close as we could, and then we checked to make sure everything was offset the same for each section. In addition, we had to line up the new posts exactly with the old posts because they were inset into the floor. After fabrication was complete, we sent it out to be powder coated, and then, for the safety of their young children, we installed the railing while the customer was on vacation. When they returned I got a call from her telling me how she loved it and it was the nicest thing in the house, but the color came out wrong. The problem was she wanted a color with texture like the copper vein powder coat but with more of a bronze color. After discussions with the powder coater we thought we could use a Spartin Bronze on top of a copper vein. But that flattened out the texture and muddied up the bronze color. In hindsight we should have just ordered the custom

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

The fabricator created this 4" code compliant design from a thumbnail magazine image. The bottom volute shape is from a pattern of an off-the-shelf wood railcap component.

color we ended up using instead of trying to save the customer a few dollars with standard colors. To get it right, we removed it again, ordering a different color, then recoated and reinstalled it. The powder coater got the job turned around in one day. This extra was covered by the customer, and they were happy with the final result. We’d made the top straight section in one 14-foot length, which was a little more than awkward to negotiate through their front door, around a corner up the steps into a bedroom, then down the hallway to the stairs. Luckily we had enough room by swinging in and out of the living room, hallways, and bedrooms to get it into place. Five of us handled this, friends Dave Frommelt, George Henley, my dad, Bud Avery, and myself with my better half, Rhonda Dunbar, directing. It was not any easier the second time either; the top section weighed in at 220 pounds. Total fabrication took about 150 hours.


Biz Side

10 tips for  financial


Partnering with domestic metal manufacturers is just one piece of advice Bracken gives to help NOMMA members stay afloat.

By Doug Bracken The NOMMA family is tied closely to the U.S. construction

week but NOW. The residential market may not be back for months or even a year or two, so now is the time to change our business strategy. Get the principals together today and discuss your options and ideas.

market, particularly the residential construction market which at the current time does not exist for all intents and purposes, in most parts of the country. Neither NOMMA, nor its members have ever had to endure such an economic challenge as that which we continue to endure today, despite what the official line is. I cannot help but laugh at the administration’s efforts to help small business by extend- n If you can’t change your ing tax cuts. Any of us would be glad to pay environment, change your perspective. taxes, but instead most of us are struggling to Expand your offerings to n find a project where we can break even. job shop work and pick-up As I have unscientifically polled my coland delivery services for leagues and acquaintances from coast to coast, other shops that aren’t as I find the results largely the same: a few fortuwell as equipped. nate peers with some institutional or governn Take advantage of the curment work, and even fewer with some residenrent, and perhaps temporary, increase in domestic tial business. The rest of us are suffering from metal manufacturing. Let lack of any real work, the most competitive them contract your services. bidding environment any of us have ever seen, a lack of backlog, and worst of all, no end in About the Author sight! Doug Bracken is president of Now, before I sound too much like the NOMMA member firms Wieevening news I have some suggestions to help mann Metalcraft and Heritage Cast Iron USA. He previease the pain.

For your information


1 Adapt now!

First, if we are to survive we must adapt and adapt NOW! Not tomorrow, or next 56

ously served as president of NOMMA and is a current member of Fabricator’s editorial advisory council.

2 Cut your costs

Look at your accounts payable and start cutting. From cutting out overtime to cell phones, from unused vehicles and equipment to janitorial supplies, from insurance to renegotiating rent on your building, you must cut costs! Hopefully this will prevent the need to cut health insurance or lay off staff.

3 Use your broad knowledge

The average NOMMA member has skills which businesses in other metalworking trades do not. We are generalists! We must capitalize on our broad knowledge of construction and installation and our tooling to execute the same. Call on your favorite GC’s to let them know that you will drill holes in concrete and bend re-bar, perform on site welding as well as make beautiful railings!

4 Partner with domestic metal manufacturers

Currently, there seems to be an up-tick in domestic metal manufacturing, particularly in oil and gas, heat exchangers, light and utility poles, wind farm, and hundreds more. Fabricator n November/December 2010

Some of this is driven by stimulus money, and some is driven by normal market forces. Currently, domestic manufacturers are hiring through TEMP labor services, NOT on to their payrolls. TEMP labor firms are recording record breaking revenues right now. That means simply that these manufacturers will outsource and hire temps before they add payroll, just to make sure that they are not hit if the economy and their clients suddenly retract. This equals opportunity for job shops!

5 Add pick-up, delivery

Many of us have specialized trucks and can pick up and deliver products as well as offer mobile welding and repair. Utilize this asset to attract new clients who need welding or finishing services but lack the driver support or mobile equipment.

6 Network

Where do you find these niche opportunities? Start with your existing relationships, your banker (who


can give you a good reference and the names to call on), your accountant (who can tell you who has been busy), your welding gas supplier (who knows everyone who works in metal and who is busy), your temp to hire professional (who is in the face of your next new client every day), your neighbors in the industrial park, and your friends and colleagues within NOMMA of course.

7 Get the work that is out there

The work is there. Chances are the prices are not as good as you are used to, but it will only come to those who pursue it. It will not come to you.

8 Price job shop work right

Job shop work can price lower than custom! Why? Because it often requires little in the way of overhead to manage. Don’t price yourself out of the next job shop opportunity because you ask for too much money. How nice is it to pick up parts to weld which have no need for a salesman to spend countless hours with a client sketching away

hoping to land a project? Sure, it may not be art, but it may allow you to pay the rent until art comes back.

9 Expand into new markets

Expand into new markets such as awnings, stainless, glass railings, and more. The learning curve is painful, even daunting, but it may allow you to hang on a little while longer until things improve. And, when things do improve, you business will be poised to expand with new products.

10 Don’t wait!

You cannot afford to wait to start pursuing new opportunities. There is no doubt that the shops that remain after the Great Recession will be stronger and more flexible and adaptable than ever before. Why? Because they have to be in order to survive. Those who sit and wait better have plenty in their savings account to see them through. Be bold, be inventive, be courageous, and remember that necessity is the mother of invention. Survival is a necessity, so it is time to invent!

Fabricator n November/December 2010

Biz Side

Leasing employees can lighten workload Chances are that you still remember the administrative burden and paperwork shock that resulted when you hired your first employee. Payroll management, withholding taxes, and additional accounting and reporting responsibilities were a nightmare. More onerous was risk management including human resource laws and workmen’s compensation. Even with only one employee, these responsibilities can be a distraction from the core business of developing sales and controlling expenses. For some shop owners, co-employment (employee leasing) has proven to be a workable solution. Scott Colson, Iron Innovations Inc., Clinton, MS., whose business has been using co-employment for about 10 years, agrees. “I wouldn’t handle my employment any other way,” he says. Whether you have a large staff or are just thinking about hiring your first employee, you should know how employee leasing might help you focus on running your business.

How does co-employment work?

First, an employee leasing company is not a temporary staffing agency or a simple payroll service. A temporary staffing service hires November/December 2010 n Fabricator

their own employees and assigns them to clients as supplements to the client’s work force to compensate for such things as employee absences, temporary shortages, or seasonal workloads. Traditionally, these temporary workers are a small portion of the client’s work force. They remain employees of the staffing service. An employee leasing company becomes a co-employer of all or part of a client’s workforce. Employee leasing companies, more correctly known as Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), serve as co-employers with their clients. The PEO assumes such administrative responsibilities as payroll management, health care benefits and retirement plans, disability insurance, workers’ compensation coverage and claim resolution, assistance with termination, and supervisory training. You, as co-employer retain full hiring/firing authority, day-to-day management of your employees, and the normal operation of your business. You schedule employees’ time, assign work duties, and maintain the same personal relationship that you would under a conventional arrangement. In other words, for a fee, the PEO assumes responsibility and liability for the business aspects of employment such as risk management, personnel manage-

For your information


By William J. Lynott

What you’ll learn n How co-employment works. n How much it costs. n What it covers. n When it isn’t a good fit. n Why it make sense for small business owners. 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. 59

ment, human resource compliance, and payroll and employee tax compliance (workers’ compensation). You, as the client employer retain responsibility and authority for on-site management of your employees’ work responsibilities. How can it help your business?

“You may not have the time and the necessary interviewing skills to recruit employees,” says Bob Kustka, president of CHR Partners, Human Relations consultants. “Even hiring a

sales clerk can be a time-consuming job, and hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake. The right PEO will have the necessary recruiting and assessment experience to take that responsibility off your hands.” Of course, you may continue to do your own interviewing and hiring of new personnel. “I know that our PEO could do this for us, but we prefer to do our interviewing and hiring inhouse,” says Henry Wheeler, Wheeler Ornamental Metals, Dothan, AL. “The specific qualifications we need in our

business would make it impractical for someone else to do our interviewing and hiring.” Once you enter into a co-employment agreement with a PEO for one or more employees, that firm will take over the full responsibility of payroll administration, including preparation and timely delivery of payroll checks. Most PEOs allow employees to choose between direct deposit and delivery of a paper check on payday. They will do all of the computations and make the payments of state and federal payroll taxes, even provide a full slate of healthcare and other employee benefits. Terminating an employee is one of the most dreaded tasks for many business owners. When the employee is part of a lease arrangement, some leasing companies will handle that difficult responsibility, or work with you to make certain that all applicable human resource laws are carefully observed. According to Jasen A. Burcham, national sales director of PML Worldwide, one of the country’s oldest PEOs, their sheer size gives them the advantage of buying power not available to smaller employers. “This is especially true in areas such as worker’s compensation and health insurance,” he says. “We employ professionals in these specialties and they are able to administer benefits more skillfully and negotiate better deals than small employers would be able to do on their own.” “The ability of our PEO to handle workman’s comp for our out-of-state business was the main reason we looked to employee leasing in the first place,” says Wheeler What’s in it for your employees?

While benefits to employees will vary somewhat among PEOs, most will provide a benefit package superior to what can be offered by the typical small business owner (even the owners can enjoy the advantages of a strong benefit package if they choose to do so). The PEO takes responsibility for timely and accurate payroll delivery and the provision of such employee benefits as health insurance, retirement programs, even stand-alone dental and vision plans. In short, your workers gain benefits similar to those they 60

Fabricator n November/December 2010

How to find a professional employee organization “Business owners who want to offer a good benefit package to their employees while enjoying professional risk management should investigate the advantages of co-employment,” says Edie Clark, Director of Public Relations, National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). For more information on finding and selecting a PEO, visit:

Employee Leasing — Guide to state specific requirements Employee leasing reporting requirements relative to worker’s compensation differ among the states. To find out how, log on to www.nccicom. Then click on Industry Information/ Professional Employer Organizations/PEO State Guide. would have as employees of a large corporation while enjoying the advantages of working for a local business. “Our co-employment arrangement has allowed us to provide our employees with a package of benefits that we could not have afforded on our own,” says Colson, “and our costs for

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

workman’s compensations are lower because our PEO is part of a huge network. In addition, they provide a human resources manual that is a big help in working with our employees.” “That’s the great benefit of leasing,” says Megan Jones, Celebration Party Rentals, Flemington, NJ. “HR laws are

complex, and keeping up is a tough job. With the help of our PEO and the HR manual they provide, I’ve learned things I never would have known about.” What are the disadvantages?

“I can’t think of any major disadvantages,” says Colson. “We write one


check every two weeks and everything is taken care of for us.” Wheeler agrees. “I love this arrangement,” he says. “I wouldn’t do it any other way. In my small company, I’d have to hire a full-time secretary if I wasn’t using a PEO.” Still, it’s important to understand that there is a cost to leasing employees. The leasing company serves as your human resources department, fulfilling all of the responsibilities that you would have to shoulder and pay for if you were doing the work yourself. Thus, the cost for this service will be re-


flected in the fee charged by the PEO.” Most PEOs set their fees as a percentage of the payroll they administer. “This is a legitimate charge when you take into consideration the amount of work and expense taken over by the leasing company,” says Colson. “Charges among PEOs will vary,” says Burcham. “That’s why it’s important to shop carefully if you are considering leasing. One of the biggest factors being the risk involved. Obviously, some occupations, roofing or construction for example, present greater risks than sales or clerical employees. The

greater the risk factor for such things as worker’s compensation, the higher the markup for leasing. Also, the employer’s history of worker’s compensation cases will affect the markup.” Burcham describes his firm as conservative. “We’re not interested in the riskier occupations,” he says. “That way we are able to keep our fees on the low side. I would describe office and retail employees as one of the sweet spots in leasing because of the low risk they represent. Thus, the relatively low cost of leasing.” If a business were to use both its own as well as leased employees at the same time, two different sets of employee benefits would be involved. “This could lead to distracting discussions among the employees about who is getting the better deal,” says Burcham. “There are definite differences among PEOs,” says Debbie Vandenberg, practice manager for Edward Domina, DDS, Orland Park IL. “We worked briefly with two other companies before we finally settled on the one we use now. The first two required us to do too much paperwork and were more expensive than our present company is. That’s why I suggest that anyone considering co-employment should shop carefully and review the contract thoroughly before signing up.” Of course, no one knows the work culture and environment of your metalworking business as well as you do. One of the things you have to be careful about in working with a PEO is that you don’t allow the impression that there is a middleman between you and your employees. “That hasn’t been a problem for us,” says Wheeler. “Our employees seem quite happy with the arrangement. I believe it’s because we take great pains to make sure that we keep the lines of communication open between management and employees and don’t rely on someone else to do that for us.” Co-employment obviously won’t be right for every shop owner. However, the degree of satisfaction evident with the clients interviewed for this article suggests that it is an alternative worth investigating by the owner of any metalworking business, large or small. Fabricator n November/December 2010


Nationwide Supplier Members Accurate Manufactured Products Group Inc. (317) 472-9000 Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (866) 252-4628 Alku Group of Companies (800) 465-7143 Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858 Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (800) 527-1318 American Punch Co. (800) 243-1492 American Security Products (310) 324-1680 Ameristar Fence Products (888) 333-3422 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (800) 784-7444 Artist Supplies & Products (800) 825-0029 Artistic Ornamental Supply (305) 836-0192 Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143 Banker Wire (800) 523-6772 Barnett Bates Corp. (800) 541-3912 Bavarian Iron Works Co. (800) 522-4766 BFT U.S. Inc. (877) 995-8155 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348 Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (800) 526-6293 Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC (856) 205-1279 Byan Systems Inc. (800) 223-2926 The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961 Cadd Connection (541) 967-7954 Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948 Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271 Century Group Inc. (800) 527-5232 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402 Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404

Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (800) 716-0888 D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871 DAC Industries Inc. (800) 888-9768 Dashmesh Ornamentals 011919878447477 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 Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC (847) 636-1233 EPi (262) 786-9330 ETemplate Systems (919) 676-2244 EURO-FER SPA 011390445440033 FabCad Inc. (866) 427-2454 Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products) (800) 888-2418 Gates That Open LLC (GTO) (800) 543-4283 Genova Imports LLC (972) 395-8199 Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (800) 663-6356 Glasswerks LA Inc. (800) 350-4527 The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549 Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227 Hayn Enterprises LLC (800) 346-4296 Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700 Hendrick Mfg., Perforated Metals Div. (800) 225-7373 Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (800) 242-9872 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (800) 371-4404 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427 Iron World Mfg. (866) 310-2747 ITW Ransburg (800) 233-3366 King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals, CA (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals, MD (800) 542-2379 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225 Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (800) 221-5579 Locinox USA (877) 562-4669 Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537 Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510 McKey Perforating (800) 345-7373 Metabo Corp. (281) 948-2823 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 NC Tool Co. (800) 446-6498 New Metals Inc. (888) 639-6382 Ohio Gratings Inc. (800) 321-9800

Overseas Supply Inc. (866) 985-9885 P & J Mfg. Co. (419) 227-8742 Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 ProCounsel (866) 289-7833 Q-Railing USA Co. (714) 259-1372 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (800) 841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (800) 745-4107 Scotchman Industries Inc. (800) 843-8844 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Shaped Steel Inc. (816) 781-5717 Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 South Camden Iron Works Inc. (800) 962-1029 Stairways Inc. (800) 231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245 Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 TACO Metals (800) 653-8568 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (800) 392-3655 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463 West Tennessee Ornamental Door (866) 790-3667



New Members We are pleased to introduce our newest members. We encourage our new member firms to “jump in and get involved.” New NOMMA Members as of October 15, 2010. *Asterisk denotes returning member. Alumina Railing & Custom Iron Works Inc.* Cleves, OH Kimberly Bunnell Fabricator Artist Supplies & Products* Elm Grove, WI David Wareham Nationwide Supplier Ashlynd Waterjet Ind. Easley, SC Brandon Jayne Fabricator Bedford Iron Works* Bedford Hills, NY Phil Thomas Fabricator Harbor Ornamental Inc.* Torrance, CA Daniel Reynoso Fabricator Hiseco Allied* Honolulu, HI Frank Vyvoda Fabricator Ironco Enterprises* Phoenix, AZ Joe Banks Fabricator MJ-Hick Inc.* West Branch, MI Mark Hickey Fabricator Sender Ornamental Iron Works* Johnstown, PA Wilfried Sender Fabricator MJ Snyder Ironworks* Marshall, IL Mark Snyder Fabricator Zimmermann & Hughes Landmark Designs Inc.* Hawley, PA Chris Hughes Fabricator



Be Proud!

Enter Your Outstanding Work In NOMMA’s Annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition Contest is open to all NOMMA members Contest Information Deadline: December 17, 2010 Late Deadline: January 7, 2011* Entry details: Entrants enter by submitting 1-3 photos of their work plus a 160-word description. During the annual METALfab event, all images are displayed in a gallery and each NOMMA member firm is allowed one vote. Results are announced during the METALfab banquet.

Receive Valuable Recognition For Your Work Complete rules are available in the NOMMA Member’s Only area, and will be mailed to the membership in October. You must be a NOMMA member to enter. Benefits: Winners receive recognition during METALfab, on the NOMMA website, and in Fabricator magazine. Plus, we also send press releases to newspapers in your area. For info, call 888-516-8585, ext. 101. Email:

Fabricator n November/December 2010

What’s Hot? n Business Briefs Specifying molybdenum for Chicago’s new skyline The trace element molybdenum is becoming a popular addition to specifications for new buildings with stainless steel exteriors in Chicago, according to the International Molybdenum Association. The stainless steel and glass exterior of the new 96-story Trump Tower is an example. Although, stainless steel has been the material of choice for elegant, modern building exteriors for many years, salt has been found on some of the city’s skyscrapers as high as the 50th floor, making Chicago’s environment as corrosive as many coastal locations. To make the type 316 stainless steel more resistant to Chicago’s corrosive de-icing salts, the Trump Tower’s architects, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), specified the addition of molybdenum. While properly specified uncoated stainless steel in certain environmental conditions can provide hundreds of years of service without the need for replacement, the architects believe that adding molybdenum will extend the luster of the building’s exterior even longer. Contact International Molybdenum Association; +44(0) 208-87115880; Industry supplier holds gate design challenge Industry Ornamental Iron Inc. (IOI) is planning to attend NOMMA’s METALfab show in March 2011 as an exhibitor, and they would like to challenge NOMMA

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

Industry News & More

New ADAAG addresses graspability Final regulations revising ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADAAG), was signed July 23 by Attorney General Eric Holder. The official text was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010. The new ADAAG takes effect March 15, 2011. Compliance was permitted as early as September 15, but is not required until March 15, 2012. The revised regulations amend the Title II regulation (28 C.F.R. Part 35) and the Title III regulation (28 C.F.R. Part 36). Appendix A, to each regulation, includes a section-by-section analysis of the rule and responses to public comments on the proposed rule. Appendix B, to the Title III regulation, discusses major changes in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. It also responds to public comments received on the proposed rules.

Most concerning to our industry was the issue of graspability, which has been addressed in the new standards to account for pipe sizes. The 1991 ADAAG required a 1¼ inch to 1½ OD handrail (with an absolute dimension of 1½ inches from the wall). Despite clarifications issued by the Access Board that pipe sizes were acceptable, many conflicts occurred over the years due to strict adherence to the original wording. And now of course, even though the adjustment for pipe sizes applies at the federal level, you must still check with your local and state code to see if they have aligned with the new federal code. Of particular concern is still Texas because its state code is even more restrictive than the federal code. Contact ADA; (800) 514-0301;

OSHA’s new cranes and derricks standard may affect you OSHA recently passed the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard (CFR Subpart CC–1926.1400). With the exception of the Operator Certification requirements (and a few others), the rule becomes effective November 8, 2010. The new rule is designed to prevent leading causes of fatalities, including electrocution, crushed-by/ struck-by hazards during assembly/ disassembly, collapse, and overturn. The requirements for operators of cranes and derricks are fairly complicated due to the various certification and training options. Basically, though, the standard allows for two main options: 1) certification by an accredited testing organization or 2) an audited employer program.

Although cranes and related equipment that are permanently installed in fabrication shops would fall under the General Industry standards (Part 1910), not Construction (Part 1926) of this standard, personnel involved in the set up, use, and various aspects of this new standard will affect operation of cranes. Contractors involved in contracting with crane operators and crane providers will need to be aware of the provisions for the controlling entity including responsibilities for ground conditions during crane setup. The text of the final and full rule with preamble can be found on the OSHA website. Contact OSHA; (800) 321-OSHA; 65

What’s Hot? n 50 dealers attend Encon seminar Encon Electronics hosted a technical seminar with gate operator manufacturer Viking Access Systems at their training site in Hayward, CA July 28. Over 50 dealers attended the hands-on workshop led by Viking Chief Engineer Daniel Perez. Perez began the seminar by fielding issues from the group Encon hosted another well-attended gate operator and then offering on-the-spot seminar this summer. solutions. According to Encon’s General ManHe also discussed installation ager Jeff Harris, seminars with cuttingand troubleshooting tips and outlined new products such as the new R-6 edge manufacturers like Viking represent the type of quality training and residential swing gate operator and the service that Encon strives to provide Viking Blue technology. Perez concluded the seminar by acits customers. knowledging Encon and its dedication Contact Encon Electronics; (800) to service and training. 782-5598;


Business News

Business Briefs members to submit entrance gate designs, which take high caliber blacksmithing abilities, for fabrication. They are calling the challenge the IOI CHALLENGE, and if they choose your gate design as the winner, the gate belongs to you at the end of the show. When designing your gate, keep in mind that the entrance gate can be no longer than 200 inches with a center height of 100 inches, and it cannot weigh over 1,500 lbs. Contact Todd Jackson, IOI Inc.; (800) 915-6011; www.industryiron. com.

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Business News

Events The Metal Museum announces class offerings for 2010–2011 November 2010–May 2011 The Metal Museum offers various educational programs ranging from public demonstrations, and middle and high school programs, to blacksmithing and casting. Metalsmithing and foundry classes are taught onsite, and classes start at beginner levels and go to advanced specialized sessions. The Metal Museum offers discount rates to its members, and class sizes are limited. Contact The Metal Museum; (877) 881-2326; www.metalmuseum. org.

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What’s Hot? n CML USA Inc. new Ercolina website has more rich content and is designed to CML USA Inc., greatly improve the the manufacturer of customer’s on-line Ercolina tube, pipe, experience. and profile bendProduct pages ing, and metalworkhighlight a brief overing machinery has view of the model, a launched its new listing of its key feawebsite (www. tures, and a link to CML USA’s new home page. relevant downloadAccording to able information. CML USA, the new site embodies ErA new “Applications” section was colina’s forward-thinking vision and also created as one of six core navicommitment to the growing needs of gation items at the top of each page, its customers by offering rich content giving visitors a visual sampling of the (provided by knowledgeable staff), diverse uses of Ercolina tube and pipe direct access to product information, benders. intuitive navigation, video demonstraContact CML USA Inc.; (563) 391tions, and downloadable literature. 7700; The new site is easy to navigate


What’s Hot? n Marino named new CEO of The Cable Connection Louis “Lou” Marino is the development and expansion. new chief executive officer of “With regard to the next levThe Cable Connection, a Carel,” says Kechely, “we are speakson City, NV, manufacturer of ing about sales growth through wire rope assemblies and the deeper penetration of our existUltra-tec® cable railing system. ing markets — with existing and Marino has been with The new product lines — and expanCable Connection since April sion into other markets — geoLou Marino 2010, joining after five years graphically and types.” will focus on as COO of Ameristar Fence Marino’s responsibilities will opertations. include the domestic and interProducts, Tulsa, OK. national operations of the business, Previously, Marino spent four years while Kechely will devote his efforts to as vice president of operations for the product and process development — electronic products division of Pollakand overall strategic planning. Stoneridge Corp. Contact The Cable Connection; Mike Kechely, The Cable Connec(800) 851-2961; www. tion chairman and president, said the company is moving to the next level in


Business News

Events SMA fall education meeting November 19–21, 2010 The SMA will hold their Fall Education Conference in Baltimore. Program highlights include Stair Design Certification Program Presentation, adhesive technology: matching the glue and method, Structural Design Requirements of Guards, Structural Properties of Typical Balustrade Components, installed sales, and In-House or Subcontract. Registration includes all fees, program materials, and meals except Saturday’s dinner. Contact Stairway Manufacturers’ Association; (877) 500-5759; www.

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Chapter Briefs Chesapeake Bay Group September 11, 2010 NOMMA’s newest chapter, the Chesapeake Bay Network Group, held its first meeting in September. Patty Koppers of Koppers Fabrication Inc. was named president. Attendees saw an AutoCAD demo by NOMMA’s Dave Filippi of FabCAD Inc. NOMMA member firm Action Fabricators & Erectors Inc., of Hyattsville, MD, won a free professional photography session of their work to use for promotional purposes. Contact Patty Koppers, Koppers Fabricators Inc., Forestville, MD, (301) 420-6080; redcardinal50@aol. com. Northeast Chapter November 6, 2010 NOMMA’s Northeast Chapter met at M. Cohen & Sons aka The Iron Shop in Broomall, PA. The meeting featured a facility tour and a demo of laser and water jet techniques using intricate design-work with hand forged items to produce a modern twist. Chris Tierney, formerly of Samuel Yellin Metalworks, led the demonstration. Contact Keith Majka, Majka Railing Co. Inc., Paterson, NJ, (973) 2477603,

Gulf Coast Network Group gets ready for METALfab On October 9, 30 members of NOMMA’s Gulf Coast Network met at NOMMA member shop Metal Head Inc. The group enjoyed plenty of Cajun cooking supplied by hosts Randy and Monique LeBlanc. After hearing updates about METALfab 2011 and NOMMA’s accreditation committee, the group enjoyed a presentation by Jon McGraw of Alloy Castings on the use of aluminum castings, marine grade aluminum, and bendable

castings. Then Randy led a discussion about productivity in the field and how proper preparation before leaving the shop saves time and money on the jobsite. As a final activity, the group auctioned a beautiful NOMMA logo hand made by Randy with proceeds benefitting the NOMMA Education Foundation. Contact Scott Colson, Iron Innovations Inc., Clinton, MS, (866) 9240640;

Upper Midwest Chapter discusses accreditation The Upper Midwest Chapter met on October 2, at Mittler Brothers in Wright City, MO. James Minter of Imagine Ironworks and Roger Carlsen of Ephraim Forge spoke about NOMMA’s accreditation committee and the progress of each of their teams. James leads the shop accreditation focus, while Roger leads the individual focus. A status update, during a Q&A session, will be given at METALfab 2011.

Mike Mittler led the group on a tour of his shop and demonstrated several products while Paul Mittler prepared lunch, during which the group watched shop tours from METALfab 2008 in Long Beach, CA. Next meeting: January 8, 2011, Mueller Ornamental Iron in Elk Grove Village, IL. Contact Mark Koenke, Germantown Iron & Steel Corp., Richfield, WI, (262) 677-2530;

Florida Chapter November 13, 2010 The Florida Chapter, meeting at Hot Shot Welding in Largo, FL, saw several Hot Shot Welding projects and smoked a whole hog and gator tail for the group’s lunch. The group also enjoyed musical entertainment by Jimmy Griswold and his band. Contact Britt Gordy, Liberty Aluminum Co., Fort Myers, FL, (239) 369-3000; www.

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What’s Hot? n Alloy color matching kits and two new alloys MAC Metals

Architectural Alloy Color Kits are available free to qualified users from MAC Metals. The kits include samples of up to three alloys in polished and natural mill finishes that users or specifiers can use for new projects or as a reference. Because MAC Metals extrusions are commonly combined with other forms of copper alloys, the Architectural Alloy Color Kits will provide color-matching confirmation. Alloy samples are available for any of the alloys manufactured by MAC Metals. Color choices include Architectural Bronze; Free Cutting Brass; Muntz Metal; Naval Brass; Nickel Silver; Brown Nickel Silver; Manganese Bronze; as well as their two new proprietary alloys, Commercial Redd Metal and Rose Redd Metal. Mac Metals added these two new


proprietary alloys to its collection of copper alloys to provide architects and fabricators with extruded components that more closely match the color of Commercial Bronze or Commercial Copper, and other high copper alloys. Commercial Redd Metal has a pink/gold tone and matches Commercial Bronze but is also suitable as a stand-alone product or to provide contrast against other copper alloys such as architectural bronze or nickel silver. Rose Redd Metal is a darker red color, almost a match for copper sheet. Since the copper content of the alloy is under 60 percent, Rose Redd is also a more economical choice over Commercial Copper and other high copper alloys. Contact MAC Metals; (630) 3032222; New system, multi media primer Carell Corporation Carell has introduced the latest technology in Automated Vertical Tank Production Systems by IMCAR. Key advantages to this system include a reduction in labor costs, shop space requirements, and material handling time by using coil stock material. Tanks can be produced in-shop and or

in the field at the installation site. Carell has also created an introductory Multi-Media primer about the new Automatic Tank Production System. This Multi-media show demonstrates how the new system creates dramatic savings in time and labor costs and how its modular design allows you to add components as your tank building requirements evolve. Contact Carell Corporation; (251) 937-0948; New photoelectric eye MMTC Inc.

MMTC Inc., a supplier of a full line of commercial and residential access controls and accessories, announces the addition of a new photoelectric system designed for commercial and industrial applications. The new FRABA OPTOEYE Universal Photoelectric System is UL 325/2010 and ISO 9001 certified, and its sensors are sealed with polyurethane resin rendering them completely unaffected by dust, moisture, or adverse weather conditions. The 70

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OPTOEYE system carries both a NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X rating and has a sensing distance of 45 feet. Contact MMTC Inc.; (800) 9426682; Wagner starts carrying Linox line The Wagner Companies

Wagner announces that it is now the North American distributor for Linox Architectural Glass Systems. Linox Technology, which aims to be recognized as the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of architectural stainless steel fittings for frameless glass systems, offers fittings for canopies, balustrades, facades, pool fencing, frameless sliding doors, and other interior and exterior systems. Contact The Wagner Companies; (319) 795-5810;

swaged assembly that is then attached directly to a pre-threaded hole on a horizontal rail. Wagner can provide pre-drilled and tapped material per your specifications as well as pre-swage cables per your dimensions. Contact The Wagner Companies; (888) 243-6914; www. New cast products use old technique Heritage Cast Iron USA Heritage Cast Iron USA offers a variety of fully detailed, cast iron driveway gates, fencing, and pedestrian gates based on original Victorian designs and cast using the same 19th century foundry techniques. Gates and posts require no fabrication, are ready to ship and install, and shipping is free (includes crate, insurance, and dock-to-dock transport on common carrier, for one pair of gates and posts, anywhere in the lower 48 states). Finished in a black, rust-inhibitive universal primer, the pieces should be painted after installation.

Contact Heritage Cast Iron USA; (877) 855-4766; www. Battery powered hole puncher Hougen Manufacturing, Inc. Hougen Manufacturing announces their new battery-powered HougenOgura Punch-Pro Electro-hydraulic portable hole puncher for on-site operation where electric power may not be available or readily accessible. Suited for electric hand-held twist drill applications, the 76000 model weighs just 16.5 lbs. and packs enough

Cable railing tensioner The Wagner Companies The Wagner Companies’ new cable railing tensioner allows for quick assembly and installation of vertical cable systems. The new Hex Head Tensioner provides an economical alternative when installing vertical cable assemblies, and a standard Ferrule is used as a cable stop to create a preNovember/December 2010 n Fabricator


What’s Hot? n

power to generate 8.5 tons punching force. It can punch round or oblong holes up to ⁄-inch diameter in ⁄inch mild steel and ⁄-inch holes in ⁄-inch stainless steel in seconds. Its throat depth is 1.02 inch, and it can punch flat bar, angle, or channel stock. Contact Hougen Manufacturing Inc.; (810) 635-7111;



TIG welding instructional DVD Miller Electric Mfg. Co. New from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. comes Ron Covell’s “Advanced TIG Welding” DVD video, which features how-to tips and instruction developed for hobbyists and home fabricators. The program is a follow-up to his “TIG Welding Basics” DVD. Viewers can benefit from guidelines for using pulse and waveform adjustments that many new TIG machines have, along with advice on machine setup, joint preparation, and weld finishing. Contact Miller Electric Mfg. Co., (800) 426-4553; New quick wheel change angle grinder Metabo Corporation Metabo Corporation introduces the WP11-125 Quick 5” Angle Grinder with an ergonomic non-locking

paddle switch, making it safer and more comfortable to use. Designed for cutting and grinding metal and concrete, Metabo’s new angle grinder features a long-lasting 9.6 A motor with 1,100 watts of power, 26.9 inchlbs of torque, and a no-load speed of 10,000 rpm. The toolless wheel change system should make changing wheels safe and easy, while increasing operator efficiency. Contact Metabo Corporation; (800) 638-2264;

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Advertiser’s Index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine Pg Company*


 Pg Company*


2......Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc.....................


3......METALfab Trade Show Ticket.............................

48...Weaver’s Iron Works.......................

4......The Wagner

50...Julius Blum & Co.

7......Lawler Foundry

53...CompLex Industries

9......Hebo - Stratford

55...Tri-State Shearing & Bending................................(718) 485-2200


15....FabCAD Inc..............................................................

58...Blue Moon Press....................................

16....Big Blu Hammer Mfg.

60...Colorado Waterjet


60...Eberl Iron Works

19....Feeney Architectural..........................................

61....NC Tool Co.


61....Jesco Industries Inc......................................

21...D & D Technologies (USA) Inc....................

62...Blacksmiths Depot...........................

23...Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co.....................

62...The G-S Co..................................................................

24...The Cable Connection................

66...Pat Mooney

25...Architectural Iron

66...Hougen Mfg. Inc..................................................


67...Lindblade Metal

28...D.J.A. Imports Ltd...........................................

67...Universal Entry Systems Inc...................................(800) 837-4283

37...Scotchman Industries...................................

68...R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine

38...Apollo Gate

68...Traditional Building.......................

39...Apollo Gate



70....International Gate

42...Sumter Coatings

71....Rogers Mfg. Co..........................................................(940) 325-7806

43...Carell Corp.........................................................

43...Eagle Bending Machines.....

72....John C. Campbell Folk

44...TACO Metals Inc..............................................

75....King Architectural Metals............................


76....The Iron

Contact your O&MM Fabricator sales representative Sales Manager Jim Gorzek Direct 815.227.8269 Mobile 815.985.4089 Fax 815.484.7730 jimg@

AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, ID, KS, LA, MO, MS, MT, NE, ND, NM, NV, OR, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WY Tony Arnone Direct 815.227.8263 Toll Free 888.394.4362 Fax 815.484.7758 tony@

November/December 2010 n Fabricator

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT Sean Smith Direct 815.227.8265 Toll Free 888.394.4362 Fax 815.484.7760 seans@

FL, GA, IN, KY, NC, OH, SC, VA, WV Michael J. Lacny Direct 815.227.8264 Toll Free 888.394.4362 Fax 815.484.7749 mikel@

IA, IL, MN, WI, Canada Amy Hudson Direct 815.227.8237 Toll Free 888.394.4362 Fax 815.484.7777 amyh@



Metal Moment

Book Review

Inspiration from ironwork and restoration A Heritage in Iron, 2nd Ed. Rafael Routson. Reprinted by BlueMoon Press with permission from Double Shoe Publishing Co. These days, hope of any market growth in construction is helpful. So here’s some: According to a July 2010 article in Construction Executive, historic preservation is a “future growth industry” due to tax credits and its close tie to the green movement, where repurposing or refurbishing old material is preferred to dumping it into to landfills. With this in mind we dedicate this issue’s Metal Moment to an excerpt from A Heritage in Iron, an award winning book about the ironwork forged as part of a restoration project in the American West. Its second edition was recently printed by BlueMoon Press. The book’s gorgeous, instructive, and heartwarming account of the restoration of two Colorado cattle ranches and their history may rekindle the faith you had when you started your metalwork business as it reminds you of the enduring spirit of American pioneers. Featuring the work of Francis Whitaker and his students: Howard McCall, Glenn Gilmore, Bob Bergman, Terry Suthers, Dieter Weigang, Dennis Novinski, Lucas Suthers, Mike Bone, Rod Picket, Marty Moews, Warren Gibbs, John and Rob Thompson, and Linda Rosi, the book provides useful information on restoration forging and on the opportunities collaboration can bring about. Hopefully it’ll also encourage you to scope out preservation projects that may include restoration of metalwork. The following excerpt from pages 88 and 89 describes the stall doors and hinges at Centennial Ranch. They were forged by the project’s lead blacksmith, Howard McCall of Stoneywall Forge, Greenville, SC, and Marty Moews of Buffalo Forge, Ridgeway, CO: Stall doors. Howard spent six weeks in Colorado in fall of 1995, when cold air had already settled or the winter. He worked with Marty in Marty’s shop to direct and help with the stall doors. They forged and hammered and welded the angle iron frames. They mounted the stall 74

doors on rollers, so that they could slide open. These doors provide a striking accent in the big barn: black, angle iron frames, with window insets of twisted bars. An internal frame allows the top of the door to hinge open. The outside frame Marty made out of angle iron riveted to hangers that sit over the rollers and track. He made the window of the upper stall doors, or Dutch doors, out of square bar stock set in a grill pattern, the bars alternately twisted and set on the diamond, alternate bars have twists in opposite directions to give subtle shape of the chevron across the window. The hinge butt is riveted to the frame for support, and fastens to the intermediate bars with rivets along the length of the hinge, ending in the circle star. Hinges. Marty cut the long strap hinges out of a quarter-inch by four-inch steel plate with a band saw. On the butt of the hinge, he ground an angle and then placed the steel under the propane blast. When the metal glowed bright orange, he laid the tapered end down over the anvil and rolled the barrel. With another heat, he flipped the hinge and hammered on the shoulder of the roll, drawing metal towards him in a curl like cinnamon bark. He hammered a drift pin down the center to establish correct diameter, half-inch for these hinges, so they would be stout enough to handle the heavy plank doors. He drilled the hole perfectly round to house the pin, and then forged the matching butt that attaches to the door frame. The pin and barrel fit snuggly, and he had to hammer them together, rotating one slowly, and then pound them apart to carefully file the touching surfaces flat. The finished hinges operate so smoothly they can be pushed open with one finger. Hinge (middle). The bars of the stall doors are twisted in opposite directions from the center to form a chevron pattern. A machined hinge pin inside the forged and drilled barrel enables the hinge to rotate easily. Star Inset (bottom). Marty Moews forged the hinges on the Centennial barn doors. The star on the end is chiseled and chased into the hot metal and the background textured with a punch. Fabricator n November/December 2010


Fabricator n November/December 2010

2010 11 fab  
2010 11 fab