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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal


The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

July / August 2011 $6.00 US

Shop Talk

Bending Outsource or not Tips & Tactics

Elaborate tower for historic clock, page 14

Member Talk

Sales and design traits mesh, page 35

Job Profile

This old fence (post), page 40

page 20 Biz Side

7 Sins of ineffective salespeople, page 50

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July / August 2011 Vol. 52, No. 4

Elegant Iron wins a Top Job Award for the restoration of the historic Carneal House fence, page 40.

NOMMA Network

Job Profile

Shop Talk

Plug into NOMMA................................ 10

What’s in your toolbox?.................. 28

NOMMA offers members some 20 benefits. Here we discuss 11 of the most useful and show you where to find them. By Todd Daniel

A metalsmith shares his experiences in obtaining tools that increased efficiency and improved the bottom line. By Carl Grainger Member Talk

Tips & Tactics Elaborate tower crafted to house historic clock..................... 14

A metalsmith, architect, and clock specialist collaborate on a 30-foot Victorian clock tower. By Steve Dykstra

Biz Side

Sales and design traits mesh...... 35

The brothers Kapukchyan at Universal Iron Doors prove that potentially uncomplementary/uncomplimentary forces aren’t necessarily bad for business. By Lisa Bakewell Job Profile

Bending: To source or not to source............................................ 20

This old fence (post).......................... 40

The frequency of outsourced bending jobs runs the gamut from most, to occasionally, to never. The rule of thumb: Big jobs go to big benders. By JeffFogel

Determination helps Elegant Iron overcome awkward fabricating techniques to preserve historic fence and win Top Job award. By Patrick Dalton

New NOMMA benefit: Member conference calls.

Owens Welding used powder coating and welded alloys, not mechanical fasteners, for Atlanta railing system. By Linda M. Erbele

7 Deadly sins of highly ineffective salespeople.................... 50

You can avoid these sales shortfalls by being more understanding of your customers’ needs. By Richard Farrell What’s Hot!

Shop Talk

President’s Letter........... 6

Using creativity for challenging clients...................... 46

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

Videos on demand is next NOMMA benefit.

Business Briefs................................. 58 People.................................................... 59 Events.................................................... 60 New Products..................................... 61 Nationwide suppliers..................... 56 New members.................................... 57

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

Metal Moment............... 66

Thank you to all our donors for their generous support.

7 ways to get your customers to say “wow.”

About the cover This curved stair, a Top Job winner for SRS Inc, Metuchen, NJ, features double steel plate stringers that are

clad with stainless steel, inside and out. For more about bending, see story on page 20. July / August 2011 n Fabricator


NOMMA O fficers President James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS

President-Elect Will Keeler Keeler Iron Works Memphis, TN

Vice President/ Treasurer J. R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX

Immediate Past President Bruce Boyler Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Inc. Bettendorf, IA

F abricator D i rectors Todd Kinnikin Eureka Forge Pacific, MO

Ray Michael R & F Metals Inc. Clinton, MD

Mark Koenke Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Jackson, WI

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

Keith Majka Majka Railing Co. Inc. Paterson, NJ

Greg Terrill Division 5 Metalworks Kalamazoo, MI

S u ppli er D i rectors Wayne Haas Cleveland Steel Tool Co. Cleveland, OH

Rick Ralston Feeney Inc. Eugene, OR

Gina Pietrocola D.J.A. Imports Ltd. Bronx, NY

NOMMA E ducation F ou n dation O fficers Chair 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

T rustees Heidi Bischmann The Wagner Companies Milwaukee, WI Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works Nichols, SC 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 Executive Director, Editor J. Todd Daniel Managing Editor Robin Sherman Sales Director Sherry Theien


Meetings & Exposition Manager; NEF Executive Director Martha Pennington Member Care & Operations Manager Liz Johnson


Dedicated to the success of our members and industry.

President’s Letter

New NOMMA benefit: Member conference calls Remember this 1968 song?

and effort to find and implement them. NOMMA recently began a series of Wednesday night, member-faciliated phone conference calls. These one-hour calls highlight business practices and opportunities that have NOMMA was celebrating its James Minter, Jr., made the facilitator’s businesses 10th anniversary that year when Imagine more sought after and relevant Ironworks, is Mary Hopkin released “Those president in this screwy economy. Were the Days,” a number one of NOMMA. We’ve heard from Allyn and hit song. Ben Moseley of Heirloom Stair; The tough times we are enSonya Roman of Outland Steel; during now make many of us long for Todd Kinnikin of Eureka Forge; and “the good old days.” I confess I yearn Art Ballard of Art’s Work Unlimited. for the successes of yesterday — 2007 These calls have helped those of us who especially. It was satisfying to watch participated learn that when the going sales volume and profits grow, and busi- gets tough, these tough small business ness was certainly a lot easier then. owners have figured out how to conNow, in 2011, business is no longer tinue their successes. so easy. Successes from the past are no Discussions have included how to help in selling jobs and paying our ven- win the sale, and then how to ensure dors and employees today. Many of you customer satisfaction and prompt payhave heard this before — the definiment. We’ve heard how to minimize tion of insanity is doing the same thing risk, and how to investigate new avover and over again while expecting a enues of business. different result. If you run your busiWhat’s the cost of this wonderful inness today in the same way you did four formation? Only an hour of time! That’s years ago, doesn’t that fall right into the a low price to pay for gleaning an idea insanity definition? that may change your business’ future. It’s time for a change! That’s a dirty And maybe a comment from you might word in life, especially business. “But help someone else. we’ve always done it that way” is a manRubbing shoulders with successtra that can put a small business into ful fellow NOMMA members is called a death spiral. We all know those who networking, and the ability to network have kept up their old ways, or worse with other business owners is a valuable yet, circled the wagons to attempt to tool in today’s business climate. Let’s keep out the recession. face it — 1968, or even 2007, is gone. Some of us, though, see a dip in the We can sing, “Those Were the Days” economy as an opportunity to branch until we are hoarse, and the good times out, to try new ideas, look for new infrom yesterday and yesteryear will still come venues, and attempt better busiremain long past. I can look back longness practices in these uncertain times. ingly at 2007, but that won’t help me sell New opportunities await those who a job or meet a payroll today. take on change. Plenty of resources and Consider joining us ideas are floating around that can help for the next Wednesour businesses do more than just surday evening phone vive, but you have to invest some time conference. Those were the days my friend We thought they’d never end We’d sing and dance forever and a day We’d live the life we choose We’d fight and never lose For we were young and sure to have our way.

Fabricator n July / August 2011

July / August 2011 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 Sherry Theien, Ph: (815) 282-6000. 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. Contact Sherry Theien at (815) 282-6000 or 2011 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. © 2011 National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association 8


How to reach us

Executive Director’s Letter

Next is videos on demand! In the past year, we’ve conducted

three membership surveys. The findings have helped us to know our members better. Of special interest were the survey results on member benefits. I learned the number one reason fabricators join and stay with NOMMA is information, both from our programs and networking. Here are the four top benefits as rated by NOMMA members:

Todd Daniel is executive director of NOMMA.

O&MM Fabricator magazine

We are proud of our industry trade magazine, which consistently ranks as a top benefit among members. Knowing that members value this tool, we are making a renewed commitment to fill the pages with the “hard takeaways” that you can put to use in your shop. Expect to see more “Shop Talk” articles, plus more pictures and profiles from our annual Top Job awards contest. NOMMA Member’s Forum (ListServ)

Coming in at number two is the amazing ListServ, also known as our “Problem-Solving Network.” This forum is busy throughout the day as members discuss problems and solutions to daily challenges. A sampling of recent topics include hinge pin assembly, anchoring solutions, and handrail dimensions. The list is also a great “where do I find it” forum. If you need to know a supplier source or a code requirement in a hurry, simply post it on the forum. Technical Affairs Division

Created in 2001, most members have come to see the great value of our Technical Affairs team, which includes some of NOMMA’s most dedicated volunteers. This group is best known for their 15 years of hard work and research on guard “climbability.” In addition to representing industry interests

with the code bodies, government agencies, and standardsetting organizations, NOMMA volunteers also provide technical support for members and architects. If you are a member and have a technical question, always feel free to contact the NOMMA office (888-516-8585, Knowledgebase

Ranking fourth in the survey is our powerful and evergrowing Knowledgebase. I define the “knowledgebase” as everything that is indexed in our member’sonly area. This information includes back issues of Fabricator magazine, our technical bulletins, and forum archives. In this area, you’ll also find information on building codes, ADA, and driveway gate standards. All total, NOMMA, in conjunction with the NOMMA Education Foundation, offers 19 benefits to members. Our newest benefit is the online streaming of the NEF Education Series videos. We are grateful to NEF for making this exciting and valuable set of videos available to the industry. Just prior to the video benefit coming online, we had begun our new evening conference call series, where members listen to tips from their colleagues and then discuss issues related to the “New Economy.” Currently, the NOMMA board has appointed a task force to review all programs, with the ultimate goal of making NOMMA more relevant to industry professionals. In phase II of this project, the task force will review proposed new benefits and make recommendations to the board. As always, your input is welcome. If you have an idea for a new member benefit, contact us at 888-516-8585, ext. 101, nommainfo

Fabricator n July / August 2011

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The NOMMA Network Plug into NOMMA: Our online resources are waiting for you! NOMMA is supercharged with great online resources for your business. The challenge is knowing where to locate everything. The following is a guide for finding some of our most useful resources. The more you plug into these tools, the more electrical juice you’ll get flowing into your shop. So, are you ready? Let’s get started! NOMMA Weekly News

The best way to get a bird’s eye view of NOMMA events and resources is to make sure you’re receiving “NOMMA Weekly News,” our online e-newsletter that typically comes out on Mondays. By default, the e-newsletter goes to the primary e-mail for each NOMMA shop, but we can send it to as many employee addresses as you’d like. If you’re not receiving our weekly bulletin, contact Liz Johnson, our member care and operations

Have a fabricating question or need to find something quickly? Post your question on the forum and you’re sure to get a quick answer. If you prefer not to receive all the e-mail, you can subscribe in digest form or you can view the conversations from the member’s area. ur best source kly News is yo NOMMA Wee activities with NOMMA for keeping up fits. and new bene

manager, at the NOMMA office (liz@, 888-516-8585, ext 101). NOMMA ListServ

Also known as the “NOMMA Problem Solving Network,” our online ListServ was ranked as a top member benefit in a recent survey. If you are not subscribed, we strongly encourage you to join this e-mail discussion group.

Just Out: NEF videos on demand Video on Demand is the newest benefit available to NOMMA members. Now, you can view the entire NEF Education Series online! These videos are ideal for improving your fabricating skills or training employees. Titles include: n “Straight Stair Railing” n “Almost the Last Word in Finishes” n “Curved Stair Rail Fabrication” n “Garden Gates” n “Straight Steel Stair Construction” n “Curved Stair Fabrication” n “Scroll Theory & Production” n “Fabricating, Forging, Annealing, Texturing and Coloring


Stainless Steel” n “Brazing, Soldering, TIG Welding Architectural Bronze, Nickel Silver, and Redd Metals” Thanks goes to the NOMMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees for making their entire collection available to NOMMA members at no charge. Thanks also goes to the NOMMA Board of Directors for funding the technology for the project. Nonmembers may purchase DVD versions of the videos through the NEF online store ( To access the videos, log-in from the main NOMMA website and follow the instructions in the member’s area.

Member’s Area

From the main NOMMA website, log into the member’s area to enter a world of information. Of greatest interest is the Knowledgebase, which indexes all past ListServ discussions, technical bulletins, blog entries, and past issues of Fabricator. Simply type what you’re looking for in the search window or click on the Knowledgebase menu item. For example, type in “patina” and you’ll find a range of articles and archived ListServ discussions. Free downloads

We’ve put nearly all of the NOMMA and NEF publications online, and they can be downloaded from the main home page. Get insurance manuals, technical bulletins, and our popular NAAMMNOMMA Finishes Manual, all with a click of a button. You can also get past issues of Fabricator and Fabricator’s Journal, which is our “how to” bulletin. NEF webinars

The NOMMA Education Foundation provides monthly webinars at no charge for members ($49 for nonmembers). Did you miss one? No problem. From the member’s area click on “Tutorials” and you can view the entire webinar and get the handouts. Webinars cover a wide range of business issues and building code topics. Technical resources

Past issues of our technical bulletin, Tech Notes, are available from the Fabricator n July / August 2011

member’s area. Just click on “Knowledgebase” and then go to “Tech Notes.” Bulletins cover ADA requirements, driveway gate standards, and NOMMA’s two ASTM testing standards: E894 and E935. Shortcuts for technical resources are on the member’s area home page. From there, get information on glass codes, or download a NAAMM manual or a DASMA driveway gate bulletin.

NEF, Carlsen to host demo day in Portland, Nov. 5 The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) is holding a demonstration event on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the shop of Madden Fabrication in Portland, OR. Presenter for the day is NEF Chair Roger Carlsen of Ephraim Forge Inc. A lunch will be provided, courtesy of NOMMA. A chapter exploratory meeting will also take place to determine interest in launching a new NOMMA chapter in the Pacific Northwest. These roundtable calls are a great way to share ideas and network with your peers around the country. For details on the next call, refer to the “NOMMA Weekly News” or visit the NOMMA website. Plans are to begin recording these sessions to create online “podcasts.”

Buyer’s Guide

Looking for equipment, parts, or services? Check out our online Buyer’s Guide. From the main NOMMA home page, click on “Buyer’s Guide” at the top and you’ll see our directory. From there, do a search for the item you need. Or, you can download an electronic version of the guide to keep as a handy reference for your shop. For instance, need a TIG welder? Simply enter “TIG” in the search field, and you’ll find four suppliers. Support — public area

Some resources are available on the main website ( From the main menu click on “Support” and download our ever-popular “Joint Finish Guidelines.” There are also a sampling of articles available to architects. And you’ll find one of Fabricator’s most all-time popular articles, “Working with Bronze Cap Rail.” Member resources

Okay, now go back to the member’s area and select “Member Resources” from the top menu. Here, you’ll find basic membership resources, such as NOMMA’s code of ethics and strategic plan. But you’ll also find some nice surprises, such as our “Vendor Discounts,” where you can enjoy some member-only specials, and our “Mentor Program,” where you can request to be paired up with a long-time member. And if you’re a supplier member, we have a section that’s just for you: an overview of all the ways you can maximize your NOMMA membership. July / August 2011 n Fabricator

The Members Area is loaded with technical info rmation and free downloa ds.

NOMMA roundtable calls

Formerly called the “NOMMA Conference Calls,” the evening phone sessions are a new NOMMA benefit. Each month a seasoned NOMMA member discusses a business topic and shares his or her personal experiences. After the main presentation, the call is then opened up for questions and a general discussion.

20 Member benefits

All total, NOMMA now offers 20 benefits to members, and we only covered a handful in this column. We encourage all members to get the most of their membership by taking advantage of online resources. If you are not a member, we encourage you to join NOMMA today. For information, visit the NOMMA website ( or contact the NOMMA office (nommainfo@, 888-516-8585, ext. 101).

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NOMMA Educational Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

Thank you to our donors The foundation of NEF is its donors. With-

out your generous support the foundation would not exist. Each year we like to list the people who make the NEF program of work possible through their generous support of the NOMMA Education Foundation. Since the inception of the chairman’s column, I have tried to keep you up to date with the foundation programs and issues NEF Donors

Rene & Dusty Adams Alloy Casting Atlantic Industrial & Mechanical Inc. Atlas Metal Sales Rachel Bailey Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights Heidi Bischmann Rich Blatman Mike Boyler Sue Boyler Builders Ironworks Inc. Capone Iron Corp. Roger & Judy Carlsen Colorado WaterJet Co. Complex Industries Darla Cooke Marie Demas Ebinger Iron Works Inc. Gary Eckhardt Sandy & Steve Engebregtsen Ephraim Forge Inc. Eureka Forge FabCAD Fence Crafters Inc. Flaherty Iron Works Mary Flaherty Foreman Fabricators Inc. Josh Guillory

Update from NEF Chair Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc.

Gulf Coast NOMMA Network Grainger Metal Works Grunau Metals Hallmark Iron Works Inc. Jeffrey Hartill Phil Heermance Imagine Ironworks Iron Decor Ironhaus Pam Jerden King Architectural Metals Jack & Rebecca Klahm Mark Koenke Koppers Fabricators Inc. Patty & Joseph Koppers Lawler Foundry Corp. Stanley Lawler Monique LeBlanc Lightning Forge Mac Metals Inc. Keith Majka Metabo Corporation Regina & John McLellan Sue Minter Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool JR Molina Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Rob Mueller

that I felt were important in helping you to understand the part that NEF plays. I want to thank everyone that took part in an NEF program this year and especially the volunteers and trustees that worked tirelessly to make the programs possible. Thank you all for your SUPPORT!

New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center Sally Nibbelink Nicks Metal Fabricating NOMMA Upper Midwest Chapter Northeast Chapter of NOMMA O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. Mark & Lisa O’Malley Daniel Ortega Bob Paxton Martha Pennington Charles & Carol Perez Bob & Joy Pool Post Road Iron Works Inc. Ed Powell Q-Railing Rick & Rhonda Ralston Joanne Robison Rob Rolves Joe Romeo Royal Iron Creations L.E. Sauer Machine Co. Saint-Gobain Abrasives Inc. Oleg Shyshkin Jan Allen Smith Specialty Iron Works SRS Inc. Steel Welding Sumter Coatings Inc.

Greg & Tina Tennikait The Metal Museum The Wagner Companies Triple D Sales Nancy Trosclair Upper Midwest Chapter Weaver’s Iron Works Weldon Welding Weldstar Henry Wheeler Julie Wories Thank you to the 2010– 2011 NOMMA Education Foundation Trustees for all their hard work and financial support. Mike Boyler Heidi Bischmann Carl Grainger Chris Maitner James Minter Lynn Parquette And a very special thank you to our executive director of NEF, Martha Pennington.


For more information on donating to the NOMMA Education Foundation Contact Martha Pennington, (888) 516-8585 x 104, 12

Fabricator n July / August 2011

What the NOMMA Education Foundation does for you . . . • Publications for NOMMA New Member Packets • DVD with Membership Renewal • Educational Videos • NEF Publications • METALfab Education Program • Scholarship and Grants • NEFERP-NEF Education Resource Program • Zi8 Video Education Program • NEF Auction

• Continuing Education Program • NEF Webinars • Education Support for NOMMA Chapters • Certification Continuing Education Support • Cliff Brown Award for Contributions to Industry Education • NEF Lawler Research Program

NEF is also continually researching and developing new programs to better serve the industry. NEF is 100% funded by industry donations. Invest in the future of your industry by investing in NEF. Please considering supporting NEF with a donation. For more information and to give, contact Martha Pennington, (888) 516-8585 x 104, The NOMMA Education Foundation is a charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. NEF, 805 S. Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214 • 888-516-8585 • Fax (888) 279-7994

July / August 2011 n Fabricator


Tips& Tactics n

Case Study

Elaborate tower crafted to house historic clock

the Victorian Clock Tower to house a giant E. Howard Company #3 Tower Clock. The new 10-foot x 10-foot, 30-foot tall tower would restore the capacity for historically correct, gravity-driven operation of the clock and evoke the highly ornamental architecture of its time. It would be permanently installed in the Foundation’s Eden Palais Pavillion.

A metalsmith, architect, and clock specialist collaborate on 30-foot Victorian clock tower. The Victorian tower was designed and

built to display a historic clock in the collection of the Sanfilippo Foundation, Barrington Hills, IL. Large mechanical gravity-driven clocks of this kind were impressive public symbols and instruments of civic order prevalent throughout Europe in the 14th–16th centuries. These huge, costly public clocks were often located in the town center, usually in the towers or turrets of large significant buildings for maximum audibility and visibility. The first tower clock in America was mounted in Boston in 1668. By the mid-19th century, tower clocks were mass-produced in the U.S. and installed in thousands of towns throughout the country in courthouses, churches, city halls, schools, and other private and public buildings. In the early 20th century, many of them were destroyed or discarded when the complex clockworks of gears, pulleys, and weights were replaced with electrically driven mechanisms. Few survive today

Today, few gravity tower clocks remain working in their original locations. Most of the surviving clocks of

Working together met challenges

The new 30-foot tall Victorian clock tower measured 10-foot by 30-foot tall evoked the highly ornamental architectcure of its earlier time.

this type were removed to be preserved in storage or display conditions where they sit idle without a tower or upper story cupola to allow the long drop required by the heavy weights necessary to drive them. Typically, the timekeeping machinery is anchored on a chassis lower in the building with a vertical drive shaft to operate the clock faces far above. Foundation Director Jasper Sanfillippo and his curators commissioned

The design concept for a new steel and cast iron tower was a collaboration between architect/designer Lee Pharr, Foundation curators, and Sanfillipo himself. Lee Badger was commissioned to bring the design into reality at his Anvil Works studio in Hedgesville, WV. Constructing the tower was more than a fabrication challenge. It was an exercise in creative collaboration, construction coordination, logistics, and metal working versatility. Badger was regularly in touch with the design collaborators to assure that the tower met its functional and aesthetic requirements. Curators worked out mechanical details and came to the Anvil Works shop to oversee the critical placement of internal catwalks, mechanism mounting plates, and supports. Badger and the architect/designer conferred often to adjust and adapt structural and ornamental details. Numerous fabrication processes

The greatest challenges during construction were managing a multitude of details and combining a diversity of metal fabrication processes.


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 July / August 2011

The ornate Victorian deThe Joseph Kavanagh sign required hand-forged Company, Baltimore, MD, pieces to coordinate with a fourth generation familyornamental castings and owned metal bending and structural steel. Different rolling business, provided castings were divided, rethe arcs of 4-inch x 4-inch combined, and assembled to x ½-inch square tube that fit the tower’s proportions form the tower’s arched and dimensions. Badger gables. The largest strucused a variety of cutting, tural arcs are 5 feet x 10 bending, forming, weldfeet. Kavanagh also bent ing, and joining techniques the smaller arcs and circles to achieve the necessary necessary to the clock towcombinations. Steel tube, er’s structural, functional, sheets, and plates formed and ornamental design. the structure. Decorative pressed steel The tower combines sheet used in the tower’s more than 14 tons of struc- Lee Badger with face frame. Each of the tower’s 10-foot x 10-foot frame capitals, cornices, and tural steel, ornamental cast- sections was completed individually, wiped clean with denatured moldings came from the ings, stampings, and hand- alchohol, pre-primed with high-build auto-body primer, and “finished” W.F. Norman Company’s with a protective working coat of satin black enamel. forged elements. It was 1909 “Hi-Art” catalog. The fabricated and assembled in company’s panels can be eight sections: porary storage racks outside his fastened to wood backings and sup1,800-square-foot shop to receive all ports, and many cornices and moldings n Three upper frames. the standard stock steel at one time ship with profiled wood blocks used n Four column assemblies. and save on shipping, delivery, and refor reinforcing hollow shapes and all n The base. Badger erected additional temceiving costs. seams where pieces join and overlap.

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Although the original design concept called for fluted columns, no cost effective way was found to cut flutes into 8-inch schedule 40 pipe, while maintaining structural integrity. Instead, 288 reeds cut from ¾-inch, half-round steel were plug welded on the pipe columns to achieve the desired effect. There was only one other significant departure from the original design concept. Historic hanging lanterns salvaged from a theater replaced the reproduction gas lamp lighting fixtures affixed to the tower’s mezzanine. Mountain State Machine Tool Inc., Kearneysville, WV, satisfied the specifications for some of the clock tower’s functional fittings. They collaborated closely with Badger in fabricating the weights that would power the clock and its chimes through a system of winding barrels and pulleys. Their mass would be adjusted by adding or removing lead shot. Badger fabricated cylindrical shot buckets from steel pipe, and Mountain State machined brass sheaths to take a high polish. Fabrication efficiency

To control and simplify the number of simultaneous fabrication and finishing processes going on in his shop, Badger contracted Luther Zimmerman, an artist-blacksmith from nearby Hagerstown, MD, for construction of ornamental railings and gates attached around the tower’s base. Fabricator n July / August 2011


Zimmerman is known in the After 10 months of area for his independent skill construction, the upper and ability to produce fine, frames, base, and column custom-forged work for hisassemblies were trucked toric preservation and restoto Illinois for assembly in ration purposes. the hangar-sized buildBadger engaged the riging where a concrete ging services of D & L Weld foundation was poured Inc., Martinsburg, WV, to with a rectangular pit to move the large structural accommodate the clock frames in and out of the Anmechanism’s six-foot-plus vil Works’ shop. pendulum. Fabrication of the upper The night before final frame joining the columns assembly in the Eden Palais with the clock face required Pavillion, the clock’s four structural welding on all six historic cast iron faces were sides. Badger began fabriTop Frame Structure. Fabrication of the upper frame joining the columns glazed with white opaque cation of this piece upside glass and fastened into with the clock face required structural welding on all six sides. down, and D & L took the their new steel rims. two-ton, 10-foot x 10-foot frame outauto-body primer, and “finished” with The next day, after positioning and doors to flip it over and replace it in a protective working coat of satin anchoring the base and columns, overthe shop for completion in its proper black enamel. head conditions in the interior space orientation. D & L stacked the completed secrequired a delicate dance with a PettiEach of the tower’s 10-foot x 10-foot tions outside, in front of the Anvil bone crane truck to set the upper secframe sections was completed indiWorks shop. The growing structure tions in place. This was the first, only, vidually, wiped clean with denatured drew press attention and the wonderand final time that all eight pieces of alchohol, pre-primed with high-build ment of casual passers-by. the tower were fitted and bolted to-

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Fabricator n July / August 2011

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gether into a single structure. Curators and mechanical restoration experts on the Foundation staff installed the historic clockworks, carefully arranging and placing the necessary pulleys and mechanical attachments. The restored timekeeping mechanism, in its green and gold painted chassis, was anchored to a polished hardwood floor, newly installed in the tower’s steel base. Operational fittings and adjustments took another year. A special:tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 9:44 ist on the Foundation staff designed and applied the elaborate painted and gilded finish. Equally ornate and unusual mechanical antiques surround the tower in its permanent setting, including the Eden Palais carousel, fairground and dance hall organs, several steam engines, and a locomotive. Thanks to Steve Dykstra at Anvil Works for contributing this article and photos.

Victorian Clock Tower Anvil Works 101 Potato Hill St. P.O. Box 1313 Hedgesville, WV 25427 304-754-3282 AM

Page 1 Collaborators, suppliers & subcontractors D & L Weld, Inc. 1055 Rock Cliff Dr. Martinsburg, WV 25401-3284 304-263-1149 Pharrmoores Studios 815 E Ridgewood St. Orlando, FL 32803 407-423-5424

The Joseph Kavanagh Company 8100 Lynhurst Rd. Baltimore MD 21222 410-388-8070 Mountain State Machine Tool Inc. 657 Industrial Blvd. Kearneysville, WV 25430 mountainstatemachinetool. com 304-725-2727

Orleans Ornamental Iron & Casting Distributors P.O Box 3327 New Orleans, LA 70177-3327 504-945-4466 Luther Zimmerman 10110 Old National Pike Hagerstown, MD 21740 301-797-4774

W. F. Norman Corporation 214 North Cedar St. P.O. Box 323 Nevada, MO 64772-2310 417-667-5552

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Circular staircase for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX. Chicago Metal Rolled Products curved 16 x 4 x ½ tubing into a helical shape to form the stair stringers.

Shop Talk


To source or not to source? n


The frequency of outsourced bending jobs runs the gamut from most, to occasionally, to never. The rule of thumb: Big jobs go to big benders.

By Jeff Fogel It doesn’t look much different than buildings you’ve

seen in industrial parks across the country. In fact, at a passing glance, you’d never guess that Chicago Metal Rolled Products’ Illinois facility houses the largest beam bender on the planet. It’s a behemoth capable of treating a 44-inch thick beam as though it were made of rubber, bending it into a parabolic curve, the hard way. Imagine a beam so massive that if you laid it longi­tudinally on edge, it would come up above the average person’s waist — a beam that a single foot of which weighs an astonishing 295 pounds. Now picture it being bent on its flat axis, like a horseshoe. That’s impressive. Equally impressive is the bending CMRP is doing on the other end of the spectrum, for the ornamental jobs. CMRP not only has the biggest beam bender in the world, it arguably has more bending machines than anyone else as well. That’s a lot of versatility for fabrication jobs. Much of CMRP’s work is architectural. In fact, circular staircases are their specialty. They make the stringers, which can be pipe, plate, or tube.

Fabricator n July / August 2011

The design in this complex rail represents native elements such as water, air, and grass. Bending the flatbar to match the stair’s radius was one of the most difficult parts of the job. Fabricator: Lipko Iron Work, Canton, GA.

The bending on this product was the most challenging part of the piece. Creating the final shape required every bending machine, heat, hydraulic jack and bending fork to get the final form. Then wehad to match it. Fabricator: Anderson Welding & Sons LLC, Oreland, PA.

Some of these architectural jobs are remarkably large and ornate. One, in particular, was a staircase for what George Wendt, president of CMRP, described as a high-end bowling alley where the food was “surprisingly good.” So was the architecture. The staircase was built to flare widely at the bottom for a dramatic effect. If you need to outsource a bending project, there are a handful of firms around the U.S. that specialize in this service, and can bend everything from pipe rails to massive girders. For a complete listing of bending providers, refer to the NOMMA Buyer’s Guide ( , click on “Buyer’s Guide”). Lady Liberty gets a makeover

Of course, not all fabrication shops outsource bending jobs. Many have the capability to do smaller scale jobs inhouse, such as SRS, Inc, Metuchen, NJ. SRS does a lot of work with stainless steel, on architectural railings and

July / August 2011 n Fabricator





Statue of Liberty steep double helix stairs. SRS chose to keep the bending job in house.

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such. Although they occasionally ship work out, the lion’s share of their projects are done right in the shop. One such job was the renovation of the staircase inside the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty was in dishabille. Because of the intricacy of the steep double helix stairs, SRS chose to keep the entire job in house, including the bending. Production Manager Ted Panasewicz recalls the job well. “It was extremely difficult — a double helix with severe bending. To compound the challenge, the radius of the staircase wasn’t true; even the diameter of the stringers changed from level to level.” Panasewicz’s shop had to determine a true radius, set up templates and jigs for the bending and fabrication, and then make the installation in the tight quarters of the monument.” Also, since the project was on an island, they had to co-ordinate with the ferry to ship the pieces out there. The island environment also dictated the choice of material, 316 alloy stainless steel, which would provide better protection against the marine atmosphere. The project, covered in detail in the November/ Decem­ber 2009 issue of Fabricator, compressed about seven months of work to a frenetic seven weeks to meet a July 4 opening. Big stringers and stainless steel

Construction Services, Inc, Decatur, AL, does some of the most interesting work you’ll see, as the staircase in Novartis’ headquarters in South Carolina attests to.

Fabricator n July / August 2011

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July / August 2011 n Fabricator

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Staircase made for Dannelly Field, a military base in Montgomery, AL. Construction Services made a single pipe stringer swell downward to a large landing at the base. Beneath the cast risers, which are bolted to the stringer, is a huge spinal column.

A massive five-foot plate, 2¼-inch thick, curves in a gentle spiral to form the single central stringer for the staircase. The treads, risers, and landings are all cantilevered from the 12-ton stringer, which also serves as the inside guardrail. The outside guardrails are half-inch glass buttressed by ¾-inch x 1-inch steel bars and machined stainless steel standoffs. The labor for the structure took more than 5,000 man-hours, much of which involved fabricating the stringer before sending it out for bending. For sheer creativity, you can’t beat the staircase Construction Services made for Dannelly Field, a military base in Montgomery, AL. A single pipe stringer swells downward to a large landing at the base. Beneath the cast risers, which are bolted to the stringer, is a huge spinal column. From what behemoth beast it support24

This elegant bronze and glass stair by M. Cohen and Sons is the main feature in a South Florida residence. The greatest challenge was matching the curve of the stair to the hard corner of the foyer and matching the spindles to the curve of the stair. The railing followed a stick technique installation.

ed, is only a matter for conjecture. But for virtually all other jobs, the bending is done in-house. “We have our own brakes and shears, and can generally handle up to ½-inch plate,” says Harry Knop, senior vice president for Construction Services. The only exceptions would be jobs involving heavy materials to be produced in quantity. “I don’t want to kill our guys with heavy stuff like that,” jokes Knop. “These places (larger bending shops) are set up for that (handling large quantities of heavy materials). The materials of choice at Construction Services are aluminum, brass, and stainless steel, typically 304 and 316 alloys. The 316 alloy is primarily used for jobs in coastal areas. When it comes in sheets, the stainless is generally finished and needs only some touching up. But Knop notes that it’s very hard to find prefinished stainless for stock of, say, ½ inch or even ¼ inch. Then there are those who do all their bending in-house. For Allen Cohen, president of M. Cohen and Sons, outsourcing is a rare event indeed. That is, he’s pretty sure they’ve outsourced a job — he just can’t recall when. Their jobs are equal parts of residential and commercial architectural projects. Working primarily with mild steel, they fabricate, forge, cut, and roll in-house with the stringers for their award-winning staircases bent right on premises at their Broomall, PA, shop. The stock for the job depends on, well, the job. Architects and designers may specify anything from bars to tubes. “It’s a potpourri, really,” says Cohen, “every job is a unique adventure and presents its own issues and problems. It’s what makes this business unique.” The work is unique, although there is definitely a pattern in the types of jobs. They’ve done staircases for nearly all the big fashion houses in New York City — from Christian Dior’s building on 57th and Fifth, to Gucci, Lacoste, and Diesel. The pattern is actually the result of the fashion houses tendency to use the same architect and general Fabricator n July / August 2011

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contractor, who in turn tend to favor the work Cohen’s shop does. Prognostications

The amount of bending jobs that are being outsourced runs the gamut from most, to occasionally, to never. But there is a standard operating procedure that is broadly based. The rule of thumb is big jobs go to big benders.

Everything else stays in house. So, it depends largely on the type of project. The economy has also played a role. Or as Richard Boyd, Construction Services’ engineering manager, aptly puts it: “The economy has been tough on everybody.” But one thing is apparent. There is not very much going overseas for several reasons:

1) Bending tends to be job specific in the ornamental industry. It is highly customized and low volume, which precludes picking through inventories. 2) Bending tends to be a collaborative1 effort between architect or designer, fabricator, and when needed, bending shop. This also tends to keep the circle tight and local.

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Construction Services, Inc. 1111 Cedar Lake Rd, SE Decatur, AL 35603-1455 256-355-7081 Fax 256-351-9145 SRS P.O. Box 4277 Metuchin, NJ 08840 732-548-6630 Fax 732-548-6885 For a complete list of companies that provide bending services, visit NOMMA’s Online Buyer’s Guide and see page 34. 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 advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Jeff now lives in New Hampshire where the weather’s bad, the skiing’s better, and blacksmithing’s a respectable way to keep warm.

Fabricator n July / August 2011

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Shop Talk

What’s in your toolbox? n

A metalsmith shares his experiences in obtaining tools that increased efficiency and improve the bottom line.

This chandelier won a bronze award in the 2011 Top Job awards contest. The chandelier has two tiers. The first tier is made of three, eight-foot diameter rings fabricated from aluminum plate that was designed using AutoCAD and cut with the CNC plasma.


Fabricator n July / August 2011

By Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works Owning your own metalworking busi-

ness can be fun, should be rewarding, could be challenging, and will require some equipment to help produce the work that will keep us green, as in “Cash is King Green.” I have a small shop and I remember taking a course on goals in 1994. The most important thing about goals is writing them down. My main goals were to have a computer and a power hammer. It took only one year to achieve my goals of having a computer and a Little Giant power hammer. After I wrote down my goals, I achieved many of them during that first year. But I am not here to write about goals or how to achieve your goals, even though setting goals can keep you focused to obtain whatever is needed to diversify. Although it has for me as you will see. I have been asked to write about my recent purchase of a CNC Plasma machine and how it has changed my business. The purchase has not changed my business, so much as added to it. In today’s economy, we need to become as diversified as our talents allow and owning the right equipment can assist with this. We really need to think of equipment as tools. If your four-inch grinder goes out in the morning, you are not going to file and sandpaper your welds because you do not have a grinder. No, you will go to the store of your choosing and buy a replacement.

joining NOMMA, I kept seeing FabCAD demonstrated at the METALfab conventions, but I struggled with the cost. I was only a two-man shop at the time. Purchasing FabCAD became another goal, and within a year, I made the purchase. David Filippi with FabCAD was like Robert — very patient — and he spent many hours teaching me AutoCAD. When I attended one of Dave’s classes through NOMThe cut circles for the chandelier are prepared for MA, I started “getting” it. Not final assembly. All parts were fabricated from aluminum. long after the class I was producing drawings for clients and then It took another two years before I shop drawings. The shop drawings purchased my Hebo equipment. I sold alone paid for the software tool. myself (Robert Rayson with Hebo Later, we added a plotter to the was persistently patient) when I broke toolbox, and now we are producing down the payment into an hourly rate full-scale drawings and have elimiof $11.25, based on 40 hours a week, nated drawing on our shop tables for four weeks a month. fabricating. Building the project right This tool would work without ever on the paper eliminated errors. This complaining, was always on time, change resulted in increased producwould stay late, and would even work tion, and an improved bottom line on the weekends for free if there was a naturally followed. pressing job. This piece of equipment was the hardest working, most proFrom outsource to in-house ductive employee in the shop. (I know Now that I’ve provided some backit is not an employee, but I hope you ground, I’ll get to the point of my can see my point.) article. Many of you reading this have parts cut using outside vendors. Our FabCAD hiked bottom line shop was sending parts out. I had a My most productive tool purchase project coming up that required aluto date was actually software. After minum parts to be cut to produce a

Invention of fabrication effiency

Old World craftsmen forged and filed their work, and it was the blacksmith that invented tools to help move forward in the production of their craft. Two of my favorite tools were invented by blacksmiths: vise grips locking clamps and the Hebo machinery. I fought investing in the Hebo machine for several years because it went against my training as a blacksmith, and then I began looking at the speed that these “tools” would allow me to produce my work. July / August 2011 n Fabricator

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rather large chandelier. I had a local shop cutting parts with their new CNC plasma machine. A CNC plasma machine was one of my future “wish list” goals, but not on my “got to get it list.” The other shop The Dynatorch softtold me how this machine ware has a shapes opened many doors for other library that most work. CNC machines come Research followed on with and some have CNC plasma machines, and drawing software as I discovered well. If you do not and The use AutoCAD or any more research I did, the more other drawing proI realized I had to move this grams, don’t worry. tool from my “wish list” to Vendors have several “got to get it list.” ready-to-cut drawI wanted an affordable ings available. Check machine with good feedback out these websites for from people in the fabrication ready-to-cut dxf files: business, not from “hobbyweekend-for-fun” people. I n, Jason looked at several makers of Henry does a great CNC machines; there are job. many good ones out there. I was impressed with Dyn www.signtorch. com, Gary DeWitt natorch in Paducah, KY. After has some terrific doing my homework, I went signs and art ready to the Dynatorch facility in to cut which you can Kentucky to see the machine. add to your shop’s And before making a purlist of things you can chase, I wanted to talk to the produce. people in charge. Use these drawIncidentally, Stearn’s Bank, ing files as tools and a lease-purchase finance right out of the box company that understands you can produce inthe needs of small shops like come with Jason and ours, had already given me Gary’s products. approval. They were even Remember, we familiar with the Dynatorch make money with brand. tools, and tools are To continue, I wanted needed to produce to buy the largest capacity products. single-phase plasma machine I could get (I do not have three-phase power in our shop). The Dynatorch folks were the best to talk with. Walt Tyler, who runs the Kentucky facility, is very knowledgeable. He wanted to understand what I wanted to cut and he helped me satisfy our shops needs. We choose a 5-foot x 10-foot downdraft system, and with hindsight being perfect, I would now go with a 6 x 12 system because the aluminum sheets come in 5 x 12, which was an oversight on my part. Since my initial purchase, I have added a 5 x 12. The Dynatorch team assisted with this and I am very pleased.

Using templates increases efficiency

Three-inch pipe extenders were added to the tiers, which also serves as chases for the wiring.


Fabricator n July / August 2011


The plasma machine is set up and ready for action. The more research I did, the more I realized I had to move this tool from my “wish list” to “got to get it list.”

The real benefits

Here is the beauty of this tool: Because of FabCAD, I started producing the [AutoCAD] “dxf ” file drawings necessary for [CNC machine] G code conversions for our parts. FabCAD and Dynatorch make a great combination for the toolbox. Now we are using the CNC plasma machine to produce tooling for our Hebo press machine. And here is the best part: If you divide the lease-purchase payment into an hourly cost based on 40 hours per week and four weeks per month I am paying $4.11 per hour for the machine. The consumables are a minor expense compared to all the parts they can produce. Now we make many parts for our own use, and every week we find new things to cut and produce in-house. We have made some cool commercial signs, which is a new avenue to pursue. We are also cutting parts for other shops. Award winner

The machine also helped produce a chandelier that won a bronze award in the 2011 Top Job awards contest. The chandelier has two tiers. The first tier is made of three eight-foot diameter rings fabricated from aluminum plate that was designed using AutoCAD and cut with the CNC plasma. Textured flat bar was produced by the Hebo machine and added as a decorative banding. These tiers hang from extenders mounted to 44-inch diameter escutcheons, which are bolted to the ceiling. They are also banded with the same textured material. They hide the wiring, which runs down through the extenders to three eight-foot fixtures and connect to each other with connector chases. The connector chases are banded with textured bar as well. From the center eight-foot diameter ring hangs a 13-foot diameter ring connected with another set of extenders. The length of the finished chandelier is nearly 52 feet, and from the top of the escutcheons to the bottom of the large ring is 61 inches. The chandelier has 28 lantern-style light fixtures. Jim Hubbard, an architect with Pegram Associates Inc, Myrtle Beach, SC, gave us the design concept to develop July / August 2011 n Fabricator


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Julius Blum & Co. Inc. is the nation’s largest supplier of architectural metal products. For complete information on all stock components, visit or email

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A CNC plasma cut sign. The tool allowed Grainger to broaden his market into commercial signage. Carl and Marti Grainger are shown, above right, with the 2011 Top Job award that was given for the chandelier project. The job received a bronze award in the Furniture & Accessory Fabrication category.












Encon Sales Manager,15 Years in the Industry


About the author Carl Grainger is a long-time, active NOMMA member. He is a trustee of the NOMMA Education Foundation and serves as an auctioneer during the NEF Annual Auction. About the company Drawing from more than 25 years of experience, Grainger Metal Works provides a full range of ornamental metal products, including railings, doors, gates, furniture, and miscellaneous objects. The firm uses both modern equipment and a coal forge and anvil to produce outstanding metal projects. CO NTAC T




It’s my job to make sure we offer the highest quality products on the market. Encon currently stocks over 70 manufacturers and we are constantly expanding our inventory to provide our dealers the latest equipment and technology.

For your information


into a working fixture. We designed and built the final version of the concept design, and an electrical company furnished and installed the wiring and light fixtures. The general contractor installed the chandelier with our on-site assistance. Here is another benefit of having FabCAD and the Dynatorch tools in-house. When we discovered inner supports were needed to help fabricate the structure, we quickly drew the parts and cut them within an hour instead of having to wait on another source to produce the parts, which would have held up production for several days. Take a new look at goals, think outside the box, rearrange your toolbox, and let’s diversify and offer our clients just a little bit more . . . to stay GREEN . . . excuse me, I mean “in the GREEN.”




Grainger Metal Works Carl Grainger 6261 Grainger Rd. Nichols, SC 29581-3316 (843) 392-7555 Fax (843) 392-7557








Special Thanks Robert Rayson: Dave Fillipi: Dynatorch and the entire gang, Walt, Leon, Mike, Greg, Russell, Marilyn: Jenny Wood: Jim Hubbard, AIA: www. Jason Henry: Gary DeWitt: CNCZone: Plasma Spider: Fabricator n July / August 2011

There were two, now there are three. Big Blu Hammer is proud to introduce the all new Blu Max 65. The Max 65 comes with the same control and power that larger Blu’s are known for while operating 90 psi. Blu Hammer models ship worldwide. July / at August 2011All n Big Fabricator

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Fabricator n July / August 2011

Member Talk

Sales and design traits mesh The brothers Kapukchyan at Universal Iron Doors prove that potentially uncomplementary/ uncomplimentary forces aren’t necessarily bad for business.

Atypical orders, such as the awning above, fulfill Marat Kapukchyan’s zest for creativity. Custom designs amount to about 20% of Universal Iron’s business.

July / August 2011 n Fabricator

By Lisa Bakewell Sam Kapukchyan, General Manager of

Universal Iron Doors, is all business — and that’s a good thing, because Sam is the perfect “yang” to his younger brother, Marat’s, “yin.” Marat, the owner of — and designer at — Universal Iron Doors, has proven, at times, to be a creative force that needs reigning in. “When somebody comes over and wants to buy [a stock door], it’s already a sold deal,” laughs Sam, “but Marat comes over and says, ‘Let’s cut this and put something over here.’ ” “I say, ‘Let him go, man. Just let him buy the door!’” “So, we don’t let him in the office anymore, because he wants to change the stock! He likes to be [too] creative [at times].” And that’s the beauty of the relationship between the brothers. Sam is the ultimate salesman, and Marat’s artistic ability and creative designs help to make Sam’s job easier — if he can keep him away from the office. Young company’s rich history

Universal Iron Doors is located in Sun Valley, CA, in an 8,000-square-foot rented building and has been in business for eight years. Though the company is relatively young, Marat and Sam have been in the business for decades, and they are the fifth generation of Kapukchyan blacksmiths. The American-based chapter of the Kapukchyan blacksmiths’ journey began

For your information



What you'll learn n A successful partnership can be formed with opposing personalities. n High- and low-tech strategies complement each other to make a company strong. n Even a “stock” piece can be a custom piece. n Expansion helps this company fight economic downturn . . . and helps keep its prices low. CO NTAC T

Sam Kapukchyan General Manager Universal Iron Doors 8404 San Fernando Road Sun Valley, CA 91352 818-771-1003 About the author Lisa Bakewell is a freelance writer in the Chicago area. Besides writing and editing for Fabricator, Lisa’s work can be seen in ALL YOU, Massage and Bodywork, Pulse, and in her local newspaper, The Herald News.


30 years ago when Sam and Marat’s The only real difference grandparents came to this country between the custom and from Armenia. To date, the Kapukchyan family has been in the ironworks stock doors is that most business for more than 100 years. of Universal Iron Doors’ Though Sam spent some of his career in the health industry, Marat has stock doors come from its always been interested in blacksmithfactory (of the same name) ing and started learning the trade as a boy. Today, Sam handles the sales and in China. managerial tasks for the business, and Ad_2011:Layout 1 2/7/11 runs 10:09 AM Page 1 Marat helps with installations, the back shop, and creates the designs.

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Custom and stock are synonymous

“[Marat is] very creative,” says Sam. So, it’s not surprising then to learn that his favorite part of the job is custom designing exquisite pieces for Universal’s discerning clients, which amounts to about 20% of the company’s business. Sam is quick to point out, though, that every door is custom — including their stock doors — and amounts to 80% of their sales. “Every door is made from scratch,” Sam says. “Everything is hand forged, including the stock doors.” And, according to Sam, there’s no difference in quality or customer satisfaction because each of Universal Iron Doors’ pieces is finished with a seven-step process, which includes zinc coating, sand blasting, primer, baking, painting, faux finishing, and, finally, clear coating. Using time-tested techniques and exceptional materials, Marat and Sam (as well as the subcontractors that work with them) pride themselves in their craftsmanship and the quality of their work. They are proud that all of their doors, railings, and gates are rigorously checked for perfection; all of their products are guaranteed with a seal of quality; all are delivered without deformities; and all — including the stock pieces — are works of art. They own the factory

The only real difference between the custom and stock doors is that most of Universal Iron Doors’ stock doors come from its factory (of the same name) in China. Each month, about 45 doors are shipped from China to the shop in California for immediate delivery. And, because they own their own factory, Sam says it allows Universal to offer great pricing. “Our prices are low,” Sam says. “We sell about 600 doors per year.” It’s because of their pricing, Sam maintains, that their business has not been impacted by the downturn in the economy. He says Universal’s continued growth is because they can offer such competitive pricing, and he says that their advertising helps a great deal. High-, low-tech advertising works

Universal Iron Doors advertises in high-end home magazines, as well as Fabricator n July / August 2011

“Every door is made from scratch,” says Sam Kapukchyan, General Manager of Universal Iron Doors, . “Everything is hand forged, including the stock doors.” Each of Universal Iron Doors’ pieces is finished with a sevenstep process, which includes zinc coating, sand blasting, primer, baking, painting, faux finishing, and, finally, clear coating.

on a billboard that, according to Sam, brings them a lot of business. The billboard, which sits prominently on a multi-lane thoroughfare, is seen by thousands of potential customers each day. The billboard features a photo, a starting price for their doors, a phone number, and a catchy website address ( It’s simple, to the point, and easy to read. Universal’s website offers extensive information about the company as well as an order form for its print catalog of stock doors (and an online version). Included in its catalog is the company’s own MICA Iron Doors brand, which offers quality iron doors (including garage doors) as well as gates, railings, lamps, other iron hardware, and specialty pieces (e.g., mailboxes and sculptures).

“We are known for our creativity,” says Sam. “It is well known that if people want something different, or they don’t have any idea what they want, they just show us their house — let’s say — and we create a door for them.” And that’s where Sam gets his satisfaction — from a job well done. “What I enjoy most,” he says “is to be with the people and present something that everyone is proud of.” Sam says his brother, too,v2 enjoys Artisan Ideas 2011 05 “creating it and making it amazing.”

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July / August 2011 n Fabricator

Competition piece shows detail

One of the pieces that Sam and Marat — as well as their clients — are highly satisfied with is a customdesigned door, which they submitted to NOMMA’s 2011 Ernest Weimann Top Job Competition. Though they didn’t win in their category, they are very proud of the piece and feel that it represents their creativity, uniqueness “A collection like no other. It will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to any blacksmith.” - The Anvil’s Ring “A wonderful source of ideas for designer, decorator and smith.” - AnvilFire Visit our website to see our large collection of metalworking books.

Creativity brings business

Besides advertising, Universal’s outstanding reputation in the Sun Valley area earns them a lot of repeat business from area builders and referrals from satisfied customers.

“He likes to go way off the border and try to make something that he can present to people.”

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Artisan 37

Beyond its typical ironwork pieces, Universal is happy to create unique sculptures, like this winged dinosaur, for their customers.

as a company, and their attention to detail. The double door, made of hand-forged wrought iron, measures approximately 13.5 feet x 19 feet and includes a transom and sidelights. Influenced by Italian wrought iron designs, this beautiful piece — featuring forged flowers and cast iron leaves — brings an ultra-elegant curb appeal to the Brentwood, CA, estate where it was installed. The materials used include 2-inch x 6-inch 1/8 gauge for


the jamb, 2-inch x 6-inch 14 gauge for the framing, ½-inch solid-square forging, heavy-duty removable foam weather stripping, dual-paned tempered glass, and foam insulation. Also, the dual-paned glass in the door is hinged for ventilation. Total fabrication time was 240 hours. Fabrication was not the test

Marat Kapukchyan with Custom Door. Marat is the creative genius behind Universal’s ironworks.

The most difficult challenge of this piece was not the fabrication process, according to Sam. It was the installation process. “It was difficult because it was off the street,” he said, “and we had to rent a crane.” The sheer weight — 5,000– 6,000 pounds — and location demanded it. To complete the installation, the door was set in place with the crane and the transom had to be lifted into place with a boom lift. The process took three days. “The most satisfying part of the job,” according to Sam, “was when we were finished, and we stood back, and everyone was saying, ‘Wow, wow!’ ”

Fabricator n July / August 2011 stands out amongst the crowd! Simple, but effective, this billboard is seen by thousands each day. Universal Iron Doors, left, is housed in an 8,000-square-foot facility

Universal in recycling video Proving, again, that “old and new” can co-exist, Universal Iron Doors strives to be a “green company” by using recycled iron to create their pieces. To date, about 40% of the iron that Universal uses is recycled. Because of their recycling efforts, Universal Iron Doors was highlighted in a short feature that explains how the company collects scrap iron, takes it to the scrapyard for recycling, has it returned to them in reformed bars, and then uses it to create new doors, railings, and other products. The video can be seen at

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Job Profile

This old fence (post) n

Determination helps Elegant Iron overcome awkward fabricating techniques to preserve historic fence and win Top Job award. By Patrick Dalton


Fabricator n July / August 2011

Carneal house fence after restoration, above. Note the replaced finial missing from the older photographs and the banner for one of the renovations many awards.

My company,

Carneal House circa 1940 with original fence, opposite page. An additional 150 linear feet was recast to accommodate the home’s recent renovation and landscape expansion. Below, the fence style was originally designed and cast in the 1850s and was no longer in production. In this photo finials were already missing from atop fence posts.

Elegant Iron Studios, W. Alexandria, OH, was honored to win the 2010 Silver Top Job award for historic restoration. We are a first-year NOMMA member, but have enjoyed Fabricator magazine and observed the organization for years. We look to many of our fellow members as sources of knowledge and inspiration. The success of our award-winning restoration project stems more from determination and our willingness to have custom castings reproduced than from artistic inspiration. More importantly, custom castings can be a good source for profit and will have the side benefit of increasing both your knowledge and reputation. In this article, I will explain the process we used for our project, and the history and technical aspects that lead to the restoration. July / August 2011 n Fabricator

In spring 2009, a general contractor who had renovated the historically significant Carneal House in Covington, KY, approached us. One of the founders of Covington, Thomas Carneal, built the circa-1815 home. In concept, the house is Georgian and highly influenced by the great Italian architect Andrea Palladio. William Wright Southgate purchased the house around 1835 and added a large rear wing.

Now the city’s oldest surviving home, the once grand structure had been empty for years and was, literally, falling down around itself. Typical of its riverfront location, the home was built on a hill and surrounded by an ornate cast iron fence atop a five-foot limestone retaining wall. Large portion of fence missing and broken

Only about half of the original fence remained. Some sections were missing entirely while others had broken castings. The construction of the fence itself was interesting to me while somewhat awkward. The cast posts had five parts: 1) a base, 2) main body, 3) decorative ring, 4) cap, and 5) acorn finial on a threaded rod. 41

They had been dethe Victorian tendensigned to stack over a cy to decorate older solid steel post and then Federalist or Georto be held in place by gian-style homes with the tension created by somewhat contradicthreading the finial into tory lavish cast iron a tapped hole in the top designs. of the post. Each individual cast panel was Winning the job fairly large with eight I remember seepanels creating a reing the business cards peating pattern through of many competitors each fence section. arrayed in the projThe pattern itself ect manager’s office. The original castings next to the new modified castings ready to be recast. was single-faced, side Every fabricator and backed-out, and crefencer in our area had ated a continuous pattern of interSome debate exists about the age been called to the job site. All had the locking arches with a star detail and a of the Carneal house fence. While the same story: The casting and the posts denser bottom band of similar arched main house was built in 1815 and the are unavailable. shapes. rear wing added in 1835, some local To complicate matters, the renovaThe individual castings had pins on historians date the fence closer to tion called for cutting garages into the the top and bottom and were sand1860. A local author noted in 1851 that hillside and connecting them underwiched between a solid flat bar on top the popularity of iron fence and railing ground to the original structure. This and angle iron on the bottom. The top increased substantially in the previous meant that in addition to the missing rail and bottom angle had rods prodecade, having been no local railing fence, they would need the fence made truding from each end that inserted man­ufacturers in 1840 but no fewer for the new angled limestone retaining into holes in the base and top of the than five shops with 77 employees by walls. The property owners, architect, cast post. 1850. This seems to correspond with and contractor were resigned to replace the missing fence with a mismatched design. “FabCAD® paid for itself within a month of purchase… It is easy to For many of us, the idea that our use even for someone like me who work will outlive us provides motivais not heavy into computers.” tion. When I see historic ironwork, I – TERRY PRICE, Quality Ornamental Iron, Kansas City, KS imagine the people who created it, and I feel an obligation to help their legacy endure. A contemporary fence for this GATE, RAIL AND FENCE DRAWING SOFTWARE AND SERVICES property was simply not an option. My proposal: Software Solutions Designed to: n Recast the fence pattern. • Increase sales using photo realistic demo drawings n Duplicate the posts throughout. to see our product • Quickly create high quality detailed drawings n Create two new castings to match demos and pricing • Speed up fabrication the slope of the retaining walls. • Improve fabrication accuracy I got the job. • Speed up installation For this project, I submitted quote • Simplify field measuring requests to many foundries. Only a few could accommodate large parts, Training Services: IF YOU CAN FAB IT, and many were unwilling or unable to • Online training movies create the molds I needed. Two of the YOU CAN CAD IT! • One-on-One live online training domestic foundries had done this reg• Toll free technical support • Live and recorded webinars ularly, producing some amazing work. • Payment plans available Unfortunately, the cost of domestic • 30-day demo version production of these castings made the Drawing Services: • Call for live demo cost of the project unworkable. Need a demo or shop drawing fast? We can help! Rather than abandon the idea, we contacted King Architectural Metals, Dallas, TX, a well-known source of quality cast iron and a developer of unique castings. Using their estab-




Fabricator n July / August 2011

METALfab 2011

A Special Group of Suppliers - METALfab 2011 Sponsors The sponsors for 2011 are a very special group of suppliers. In challenging economic times they are going the extra mile to help METALfab be an outstanding event. We appreciate their support! Platinum Sponsors Industrial Coverage Corporation 62 South Ocean Avenue Patchogue, NY 11772 Tel: (631) 736-7500 Toll Free: (800) 242-9872 Website: Industrial Coverage is the NOMMA endorsed insurance administrator. The Wagner Companies P.O. Box 423 Butler, WI 53007-0423 Tel: (414) 214-0444 Toll Free: (888) 243-6914 Website: Distributor and manufacturer of metal products – including handrail fittings and systems - for architectural and industrial applications. Its diverse product lines include railing products (elbows, handrail, fittings etc.) and services related to railings, such as bending, fabrication and polishing. Gold Sponsor King Architectural Metals 9611 East RL Thornton Dallas, TX 28787 Toll Free: (800) 542-2379 Website: King Architectural metals provides numerous products and services to the ornamental metal industry such as forgings, castings, access controls, stair, railing & fence components, plasma designs, etc. Lawler Foundry Corp. P.O. Box 320069 Birmingham, AL 35232 Tel: (205) 595-0596 Toll Free: (800) 624-951 Website: Lawler Foundry serves the fabricator and forger with high quality castings and forgings at popular prices. Silver Sponsors Julius Blum & Co. Inc. P.O. Box 816 Carlstadt, NJ 07072 (800) 526-6293 • (201) 438-4600 Website: Components for architectural metalwork, which are available in aluminum, bronze, stainless steel, and nickel-silver. Products include handrails, guardrails, brackets, tubing, bars and shapes.

July / August 2011 n Fabricator

Colorado Waterjet 5186 Longs Peak Road, Unit F Berthoud, CO 80513 Tel: (970) 532-5404 Toll Free: (866) 532-5404 Website: Colorado Waterjet Company is Colorado’s oldest, largest, and most experienced job shop specializing in abrasive waterjet shape cutting. Equipment includes a Dynamic WaterJet the most advanced waterjet available. D.J.A. Imports, Ltd. 1672 East 233rd Street Bronx, NY 10466 Tel: (718) 324-6871 Toll Free: (877) 773-2352 Website: Full service distributor specializing in ferrous and nonferrous metals such as ornamental steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and brass. Furthermore, they have gate and door hardware in solid steel and stainless, gate and door handles, furniture commercial furnishings, and machinery. Innovative Hinge Products Inc. 415 Jones Road Weatherford, TX 76088 Tel: (817) 598-4848 Website: Innovative Hinge Products provides high quality, cost effective hinge solutions for almost any door or gate. Bronze Sponsor Carell Corporation P. O. Box 850 Stapleton, AL 36578 Tel: (251) 937-0948 Website: Carell Corp. was founded to fill a need for tough, dependable machines capable of working day after day with minimum down time. Carell provides a range of models, options and tooling to match almost any budget. They also have an in-house machining shop for custom tooling. O.K. Foundry Co. Inc. 1005 Commerce Rd. Richmond, VA 23224 (888) 592-2240 Website: www. okfoundrycompany. com O.K. Foundry provides production, prototype and one-ofa-kind gray and ductile iron castings for engineering and architectural applications produced in a traditional jobbing foundry.


lished foundries was a good fit. I worked with them several years ago on a previous, much smaller casting project for which they reproduced a fan-shaped finial to restore a beautiful iron fence.

The ordering and casting process was straightforward. I first documented the dimensions and took photographs of all the parts. When doing a custom cast project, include a tape measure in the shots to help answer Castings creation questions that may arise process and smooth potential The task of creating slow-downs for your the angled castings went vendor. Also, be sure from being intuitive to to weigh the castings. The new garage required the angled castings. The new sections and retaining a little frustrating and While the charges for walls blended seamlessly with the original wall and fence. back again. molds and determining At the first look, the inch sheet metal, which preserved the if a foundry can accomjob seemed easy. We removed the right look of the backed-out side. modate the part is based on dimenand left part of the top arch and tilted The welding was done standard sion, the actual cost is typically based the lower part by lengthening and MIG with some TIG wash and grindon weight. You will need this informashortening the legs of the design. ing/polishing to remove porosity. tion at the beginning of the process. While we sacrificed the continuLikewise, the jagged holes in the post Any fabricator should expect a ity of the top, we maintained it at the were filled with a slug from our press lengthy turnaround time. Get a timebottom. and TIG welded with silicone-bronze. frame from your vendor, but expect to Understanding that we didn’t need Even though the weld was not textwait several months or more for the strength in the casting itself, we made book, without pre-heating or nickelcastings. The production for our castthe lengthened base and caps from 1/8filler material, the casting was strong. ings took about four-and-half months with close management. The tightest possible turnaround for production would likely be three or four months, but it will be problematic and not guaranteed. Many foundries in the U.S. shut down in the summer for a month or longer due to heat. Discuss the process in detail and plan for some delays. Our project was delayed by standard customs inspections and by a weeklong holiday shutdown at the foundry. So ship your originals as early as possible. We crated and packed ours to be freighted overseas. The last thing you want is a broken original. We elected to create a detailed photo, annotated to show measurements, quantities, and labels for each part. Remember, your project may involve many people and language barriers; anything to expedite, simplify, or clarify the project will benefit you. Challenges

n Alignment. Once the castings arrived in mid-January 2010, layout and fabrication was simple, but became tedious. The castings themselves caused a slowdown. The original castings didn’t 44

Fabricator n July / August 2011

lay flat on a fab table, and the recast magnified this a little. As we know, “a little” plus “a little” equals “a lot.” We had to grind the back of every casting considerably to get proper alignment. Cast iron is particularly nasty to grind. Our ordinarily tidy shop was covered in mounds of grinding dust everyday. n Section lengths. Another challenge was the requirement to post in exactly the same locations as the original. This required each section be made to slightly different lengths, which is by no means hard to do, just hard to accept. The predefined width of each casting meant that any difference in section length was made up by splitting the difference to the post on each end; the sections varied by inches. Newly recast post and new fence section Like many of NOMMA’s talafter installation. ented members, we are in the fine fit-and-finish business. In fact, the inconsistency bothered me enough to take what difference I could in tiny increments from each casting while still mating them. The original design also called for CO NTAC T each end of the top rail to be thickPatrick Dalton ened to accommodate the pin for the Elegant Iron Studios post. We accomplished this by weld3400 Preble Co Ln Rd S ing ½-inch square to ½-inch round to W. Alexandria, OH 45381 937-696-1010 ½-inch square and welding and grind937-696-1009 fax ing the faces smooth.

For your information


Only minor installation problems

The installation was straightforward with the only minor difficulty arising from the post location and method of attaching each section. The posts had been leaded in place and cut off or broken at some point so we ended up core drilling a mixture of metals and limestone. We used the original installation method of pinning the sections into the cast posts. This caused another inconvenience. We were only able to add the pin to one end of each section in shop and had to trim each to fit the “slope” created by the irregular cast posts being tensioned together. On the sloped retaining wall, we installed the angled sections by cutting the post base to the slope. The finite height of the casting and the increased July / August 2011 n Fabricator

take-out for the height of the top and bottom rail on the angle, thankfully, worked out well. The castings were ordered prior to the wall being built. The contractor’s site manager (who was skilled and a pleasure to work with), our talented lead fabricator, and I determined the eventual slope from a combination of the prints, math, and string on a hillside only partially excavated. Happily, we were within a degree of actual conditions. I’m very proud to have helped preserve the history of the property and to have been honored with a Top Job Award. The project received other accolades, including awards from the Cincinnati Historic Preservation Society, the city of Covington, and newspaper and Internet articles praising the work. We pride ourselves on fit-andfinish and technical expertise. To us, an ideal job is one that was measured, fabricated, and executed to perfection. The fact that we had to use awkward fabrication and installation techniques still bothers me a little, but is overshadowed by the recognition from our peers. Using the techniques and sources I’ve outlined, I hope that other pro­jects of historic value will be preserved and enhanced by our members and provide another means to increase their own recognition, skills, and profitability.


For your information


What you’ll learn n For a public setting, stainless eliminates 90% of the maintenance issues that arise, and it’s still beautiful. n Fabricating items from stock, rather than joining purchased components, allows you to monitor every aspect of the job. n Powder coating doesn’t eliminate rust, but it offers much better protection than primer and paint and can often be done for almost the same cost as primer and paint. CO NTAC T

Job Profile

Using creativity

for challenging clients By Linda M. Erbele


Owens Welding used powder coating and welded alloys, rather than mechanical fasteners, for Atlanta railing system.

Photo at top, Single line stainless steel handrail, along the steps of Clear Creek Park in Atlanta, as well as steel guardrail with aluminum caps, powder-coated Tex Black.


Creating a “return-to-nature in the heart of a

city” often requires man-made barriers for flow and safety. Atlantans are trying to turn an historic freight railroad right-of-way into a series of 22 parks to connect some 45 neighborhoods around the city. Called the “Beltline,” this ambitious $2.8 billion urban redevelopment project is being recognized internationally for its positive impact on the future quality of life in this sprawling metropolitan area. Clear Creek in the Historic Fourth Ward near the downtown area was one of the first parks to open. The park’s designers created a flood plain and retaining pond from an old industrial brown field that had been subject to flooding. Unlike many retention ponds that are fenced and locked, this one invites the public with an accessible path but protects with a delicate stainless steel railing to keep people from sliding into the water or falling from the granite walls.

Robert Owens Kevin Hill Owens Welding 2425 Helen Highway Cleveland, GA 30528 706-865-7982 Mark Crump Assistant Project Manager Brasfield and Gorrie 770-423-3611 Allen Eison Director of Operations Astra Group 770-992-9300 x108 Ron Marstall Riverwood International Charter School 404-557-7044 About the Author Linda Erbele has a telecommunications background and is a freelance writer specializing in business and lifestyle. She has written for a number of regional and national trade publications, both print and on-line.

Fabricator n July / August 2011

Above left, the ends of the stainless steel cable railing system, closeup view. Above right, stainless steel mullions, made of welded layers of stainless, support five acrylic panels and 270,000 pounds of water pressure thrust in the Dolphin Performance pool at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

“We were approached to bid the project by Astra Group,” says Robert Owens, president of Owens Welding, 90 miles north of Atlanta in Cleveland, GA. The plans specified railings or an equal. “Being the company we are, we wanted to give them a product that was our own. So we devised an ‘or equal to’ railing system that was fully accepted by the City of Atlanta.” Safety that blends

The project called for 3,050 feet of steel handrail, powder coated with aluminum caps. Another 680 feet of rail circles the pond and 760 feet of singleline stainless steel rail runs along the various steps and ramps throughout the park. Designers selected stainless steel with stainless cable to minimize the effect of handrail. They were looking for something that would be less obtrusive than most safety barriers. “The stainless steel handrails are comprised of vertical and horizontal pipe,” explains Allen Eison, Astra’s director of operations. “They’re tied together by an elbow that is fabricated and polished by hand to get a mirror finish.” It creates a fittingly shiny and delicate necklace for Clear Creek’s pond at the Historic Fourth Ward Park. July / August 2011 n Fabricator

“We were able to achieve the look and durability they wanted by custom building the stainless steel fittings and the post system. The cables and escutcheon plates were the only direct-purchase components on the rail system,” says Kevin Hill, administrator for Owens Welding. Depending on what a customer needs, the shop fabricates as much as possible from stock, rather than buying components

and putting them together. “The fittings themselves are stainless steel through out. There’s no plating at all and no adhesive was used. They are fully welded to the posts and top handrail. The inside handrails on the cable railing sections are joined welds — there are no internal splices or seams. The inside handrail is one continuous piece of stainless steel,” says Hill. Phone: (800) 285-3056

Fax: (716) 854-1184





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The company then polished the elbows from mill finish to mirror finish. Owens built the black barrier rails along the granite walls, which are steel with a decorative aluminum cap. They are powder coated a textured black. Art background melded into metal

A native of the little town that serves as the Gateway to the north The iconic iron gate at Owens Welding, above, whose centerpiece is ideas and vision of clients a rea six-foot tall rainbow trout dramatically rising to a fly. Georgia Mountains, ality. “People can come to us as Robert Owens founded The eight-foot diameter globe, below, comprised of black steel rods, opposed to others and not know the company in 1987, what they want for an arbor, gate, accurately depicts the continents and serves as a teaching tool and an entrance sculpture for Riverwood International Charter School working out of a shop or trellis — and we create it for north of Atlanta. adjacent to his home. them,” says Hill. “I started the business The company uses a CNC because I have always (computer numerically conhad an interest in mettrolled) plasma cutter, which als,” says Owens. “I also can cut a design that has been love a challenge, and scanned into the computer, out of metal work, especially materials as hard as carbon steel. welding and fabrication, Hill describes the plasma as a are quite a challenge.” “dumbed-down laser.” It electriAt the time, the incally charges compressed air credustry had few people, ating an arc that melts metal and and Owens was able to forces its way through the metal. fabricate what customers wanted. “We like being Making it last known as the company “We’re not just steel,” says Hill. that will do the jobs that “We do aluminum, brass, copper, others either can’t do or stainless steel, and most anything will not do.” else. We’re well versed in all the Fifteen years later, alloys, ferrous and non-ferrous. he moved the business, Our work is easy to pick out from which varies from 9–16 ‘pre-bought’ by the quality of the employees, to a largmaterials and the connections. er location on a state Other stuff is riveted or bolted or highway. screwed. Ours is welded, unless Owens created an iconic iron gate that effectively with her welding skills. specified by the architect. whose centerpiece is a six-foot tall Over the years, Owens Welding has “Another thing that separates our rainbow trout dramatically rising to a created gates, rails, fireplace screens, work is the powder coat we put on our fly. Owens’ wife, Jean, and his father, and other decorative items for the products, rather than just paint. EvBob Owens, who directed the art prohigh-end houses of many who build erything deteriorates, but the powder gram for a number of years at North second-homes or retirement cabins coat deters it longer and gives it color Georgia College and State University, in the mountains and lakes of North as well.” Dahlonega, GA, designed it. Georgia. Powder coat is achieved by sprayAn artist himself, specializing in The company’s work also can be ing a fine powder in the desired color pottery, Bob also taught at Truett Mcseen in various franchise restaurants on the metal. It is held on by an elecConnell College, Cleveland, GA, and in the region, including TGI Fridays, trical charge, then the item is wheeled Piedmont College, Demorest, GA. RobIHOP, and Uncle Julios. into a large oven, and the finish is then ert’s wife Jean, an artist too, combines Owens’ specializes in making the baked on, similar to a car coating. 48

Fabricator n July / August 2011

“A lot of people don’t work with powder coat because they don’t understand it and because of its cost,” says Hill. “We work with two sub-contractors with ovens. We do a lot of volume, so we’re able to get good pricing on it. It gives the customer a better product for their money.” Owens also fabricated the railing and mullions for the Georgia Aquarium’s new Dolphin exhibit, which opened this year in downtown Atlanta. “Those mullions are pretty impressive,” says Mark Crump, assistant project manager with general contractor Brasfield and Gorrie, Kennesaw, GA. Because of corrosion issues related to the salt water environment, the project required marine grade 316 L stainless steel. Owens welded solid stainless plates together; one on top of another, to make each mullion, then polished the welds to 180 grit to blend them, making them appear to be a solid piece of stainless. The five vertical pieces had to be embedded in the concrete early in the construction process. The acrylic sides of the pool were then dropped into place. “That’s what’s holding in all the water for the dolphin tank,” says Crump.

money we had.” The globe is made of round solid rods, formed into a metal cage around a center post and coated in a copper vein powder coat. The continents were cut out of steel plates and then shaped to the globe. The shop used a real globe to put the continents in place. “It’s not just aesthetically pleasing,” says Hill. “It’s scale accurate.” When it was finished, the globe was loaded onto a flat bed and delivered to the school. Owens Welding installed it in the garden and outdoor teaching area, and created a drain for the rock wall that looks like a compass rose. “I had always wanted to build a globe and this afforded us the opportunity,” says Owens. “As well it allowed us to work with the extraordinary faculty and students at Riverwood.”

Marstall brought some of his art students to watch the sculpture-making process and learn a little about the business of art. The school was happy with the work and the globe never fails to impress visitors. “They were there at the dedication, even though they’re an hour and a half away,” says Marstall. This year the school has asked for four benches for visitors to sit on in each direction of the globe. They will be identical except for the design on the back rest, which will feature a different view of the world on each. “I feel like a lot of people want utilitarian stuff, but Owens Welding really liked the artistic slant, the creative side,” says Marstall. “They like the challenge of figuring out how it can be done.”

An Earth of steel

Several years ago, Owens Welding created the world — a globe, that is, for Riverwood International Charter School, near Atlanta. The school wanted a three-dimensional earth, eight feet in diameter to greet people at the front of the school and place emphasis on its international baccalaureate. “When I first started looking, I contacted artists and sculptors,” says Ron Marstall, the art teacher in charge of the project for the school. “I’m an artist myself and I know how these guys can be.” Marstall has a vacation home in North Georgia, and the beautifully designed gate at the front of Owens Welding drew him there. “They were very accommodating and great to work with. I showed them our design, and they told me what they were thinking. They were able to work with our idea and how much July / August 2011 n Fabricator


 Biz Side

7 Deadly sins of highly ineffective salespeople You can avoid these sales shortfalls by being more understanding of your customers’ needs.

By Richard Farrell

The seven deadly sins are: n Pride n Anger n Envy n Greed n Gluttony n Sloth n Lust

Adapting these objectionable traits for sales people might generate these: n Control n Lack of personal responsibility n Narcissism n Need for approval n Over-selling n Too much emotion n Undo excess (time, information, persistence) When taken to extremes these traits are even more problemtic. I chose these transgressions because they are non-intuitive, contrary, and controversial. I could have shown a typical list including too much talking, not listening, or no sales process, but they are pedestrian and predictable.


Savvy salespeople know that the way you gain control is to give it up. When we are too controlling in the sales process, we end up being con50

trolled by the control we seek. Seeking pared to deal with people with differing control becomes counter-productive. points of view (diversity).” The average salesperson tries too — Susan Campbell, hard; the exceptional salesperson author and business coach doesn’t. Selective effort attracts customers; over-the-board effort and conThe non-selling posture. I like to trol detracts. Salespeople who learn to refer to giving up control as the nonadopt this posture become lazy. selling posture: Nothing to prove, We think we are in control of a nothing to disprove. It is non-dogmatsales call, but we really ic and non-authoritative. aren’t. We think we know It allows customers the what is best for our cusauthority, the control, and tomers, but we don’t. We the independence to seek think we can accurately their own answers and interpret their lack of reconclusions independent About the Author sponse, but we can’t. The of the salesperson’s selling Richard Farrell good news is that once we is President agenda. of Tangent realize all this, the mysIn sales, it is imperaKnowledge tery of selling is greatly tive that we give up conSystems, a diminished. trol and temper our own national sales We confuse giving need to be recognized development up control for weakness and validated, stand out, and training firm based in and seizing control for and heard and listened to Chicago. He is the author of the strength. Actually the so that we don’t compete upcoming book Selling inverse is true. with and overshadow our has Nothing to do with customer’s same needs. Selling. He trains and “When you accept that Let customer be speaks around the world there is no effective way in control. Nothing and has authored many to control what another strengthens your customarticles. thinks, and that all er’s sense of self and beHe can be reached at: 773-404-7915; rfarrell@ attempts at such control ing in control than being; simply introduce static right. Customers have a into your communication, www.tangentknowledge. strong need to make you com. then you are better prewrong when they don’t

For your information



Fabricator n July / August 2011

 feel in control or feel they are right. So the purpose of the non-selling posture is to get your customer to change their ego-state to a less demanding and inflexible posture. Customers are far more willing to be open and frank, and share the truth with you, if they believe they are in control. The non-selling posture works well because it asks so little in return. Learn what is best for the customer. The non-selling posture takes the position that you don’t know what is best for your customer. Given this, you’ll spend a lot of time, care, empathy, and focus on trying to find out. The better you get at selling this way, the less you appear to be selling. Average salespeople use their ego to sell, and it gets them only average results. The ultimate journey to giving up control is giving your customer permission and, in some cases, encouragement to say “no.”

“No, the word you have been trained to fear, is, in fact, the word that will change your life for the better, forever.” — Jim Camp, author, No, the only Negotiating System You Need for Work & Home Back off extreme optimism. The more enthusiastic, positive, best foot forward, optimistic and, yes, subjective you are, the more vulnerable you are to getting “yes’d to death.” Traditional selling is unfortunately fear-based selling, eternal optimism run amok. A non-selling posture invites “no” as an outcome. The nonselling posture and giving up control is built on a foundation of good business, not rampaging emotions, wild assumptions, and unrealistic expectations. If you can’t get a customer to commit to “yes,” see if you can get them to commit to say “no.”

Lack of personal responsibility Salespeople who don’t take personal responsibility for their results don’t grow. Period. The beauty of not taking personal responsibility is that you don’t have to change, and you get the pleasure of pointing the finger. The more you justify your failures and point the finger, the more you

July / August 2011 n Fabricator

hold on to them, and the more you will recycle them. Taking responsibility empowers us. Denying responsibility will disempower us. Taking responsibility allows you to not take things personally. The liberation you feel when you take 100% responsibility for rejection is because our negative thoughts put the blame elsewhere. Since our own self-worth only comes from the internal, blaming outside circumstances is giving up responsibility. As inspirational book author Paul Ferrini states, our merit is the cause of everything it feels and thinks. Our mind therefore is the only thing we can legitimately blame.


Narcissistic salespeople are selfcentered, and company and productcentered. They lack self-awareness. They believe that enthusiasm is important in a sales call, a fatal flaw. You can’t be self-centered with enthusiasm and also be customer-centric and get to the core of your customer’s business. It’s totally out of context.

Need for Approval

The classic portrayal of a salesperson is someone who wants people to like them. The problem is this: Most salespeople take this to an extreme. If they challenge customers, they risk losing approval. They avoid asking tough questions that will get them the truth and more information about the customers’ needs.


Selling often the opposite effect of repelling the customer. The harder you sell, the harder it is to sell. Selling has nothing to do with selling; selling has everything to do with asking thoughtprovoking questions and honoring your customer with incisive listening. Selling via features and benefits is the biggest offender of poor selling. Most salespeople covet their valueadd features and benefits as well as their value proposition as if they were the Holy Grail. Actually value propositions are inherently valueless. The feature-and-benefit style no longer

works. It is tried, but no longer true. Value-added selling, rooted in old economic conditions from some unimaginable distant epoch of 5–10 years ago, is artificial and until recently withstood the test of time homogenizes your offering. It is roll-the-dice selling. You cross your fingers and show up. It is driven by the love to talk and the fear to listen. It is jargon on crack. This premature presentation syndrome is typified by ready, fire, and then aim. Shoot and ask questions later. You are simply unleashing the product hammer.

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see everything [problem] as a nail.” — Abraham Maslow, psychologist

Salespeople operate under the quaint notion that it is their God-given right to sell their features and benefits. Since it states in the Sales Constitution that all products are not created equal, it is your solemn right and salesperson duty to show customers the correct way to the Promised Land. The irony is that all companies sell the same way, sanitizing their offering by using common standards that multiple vendors can easily meet. In the end, salespeople’s self-indulgent presentations reflect mostly the lowest common denominator for being considered or just staying in business. It is truly a zero-sum game. The knowledge-based economy values a salesperson, not on what they know about their product, but on what they learn about their customers’ business. Leading with your product information and solutions is now looked upon with suspicion. Ironically, the reason we do not change is because we would feel so guilty at how easy it is by not selling — it would grate against our Puritan work ethic. We would feel so cheated and shortchanged by patiently sitting back, listening, observing, questioning, and letting the customer proactively do all the selling about why or why they would not be open to changing. What would you do if you no longer had to be in charge? We take the path of most resistance because we feel in control, we hate to listen, we are self-


absorbed, and we love to convince and persuade, even when it is not necessary. As soon as salespeople conclude that they have nothing inherently special or unique to sell, that is when they will truly differentiate themselves from the competition and not rely on a flawed style of selling, such as features and benefits selling. We should no longer treat our product as if it were the means to an end. Our product and its attributes are simply a vehicle to help us build trust and respect by learning about our customer’s business.

Too much emotion

Salespeople who can’t control their emotions lose perspective in a sales call. They lose objectivity and patience. They can’t determine if they have a qualified customer. Emotional involvement causes them to not listen, and they miss critical information. Salespeople who are emotionally invested in a deal tend to be overly persistent, waste time, and crash and burn when they get negative information. Keep in mind, the salesperson that is the least emotionally invested in the outcome of a sale will consistently outsell the salesperson who is the most enthusiastic and gung-ho. Salespeople who aren’t emotionally invested in the sales interaction are neutral, unbiased, and aren’t afraid to hear “no” — they actually encourage it in some cases. They sell with a busi-


ness strategy and build a business case for change, not a product case. They have a quiet confidence instead of an overly emotional posture, so they minimize all the typical static of selftalk: “I wonder when they’ll make up their mind; what if I don’t make this sale; what am I going to spend my commission check on; what am I going to do if they want to think it over?”

Undo excess

Persistence, time, and information overload represent sins of excess. Any positive action taken to an extreme produces the opposite effect. The antidote for the sin of excess: Less is more. Persistence. Many salespeople believe a salesperson never quits. Actually, the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional gives up early, easily, and effortlessly on losing causes. Too many salespeople use persistence as a tool to mask poor selling skills and strategies. Raw, indiscriminate persistence doesn’t work like it used to work in the information economy because of the technological barriers. How can you be effective and also be persistent with customers who hide behind email, national do-not-call lists, voicemail, caller ID, and an electronic secretary that has callers announce their name? Persistence must be targeted to be effective. Many salespeople are very persistent with customers who have no

money, no authority, no budget, and no problems but are more than happy to lead gullible salespeople astray. The harder you pursue, the more you try to control. And the less your customer feels in control, the more they feel compelled to push you away. “The salesman who knows when to walk away, lives to sell another day.” — John Klymsryn, author, How To Sell To A Jerk. Customers generally have stronger resistance than salespeople have stamina. “Decision makers vote with their bodies. If they don’t return your phone calls, or get back to you when they promise to, they’re trying to tell you something. Their bodies are voting no. So-called persistence is nothing more than a desperate need to find out what’s going on and to be in control when all evidence tells you that nothing is going on.” — Bill Brooks, sales coach Time. The sin of excess also applies to wasteful allocation of time. We spend too much time with the wrong opportunities. Ever-shortening product life cycles due to rapid technological advancements are causing so many products and services to quickly become a commodity. Our warp speed economy makes time more important. But time is a depreciating asset that is non-recoverable. Moreover, time is money. You should discriminate to whom, when, and under what circumstances you allocate it. Not only do we have to manage spending time on the right people, we have to work to shorten the length of time to sell to people. Equally important is the time it takes to lose deals. Too often salespeople operate under the belief that “my time isn’t as valuable as yours.” They would rather patiently wait for the occasional bones or crumbs that customers throw their way than go out and look for better opportunities. Customers receive this unintended message, and they have no problem Fabricator n July / August 2011

having you go on fools’ errands. Many salespeople would rather chase opportunities in the face of insurmountable odds and face inevitable failure than to prospect for new business. A lot of misdirected use of time is simply avoidance activity. There will always be more opportunities to invest in than there are time and resources. Therefore, salespeople should be selective with their time. Time kills all deals, and shortening the selling cycle is critical to managing time. The longer deals sit, the greater the chance they will go south. 2007 05 g-s co:2007 05 G-S Salespeople often operate under the opposite assumption, a false sense of security: If they outlast the competition, show the customer they care, and are assertive, they will ultimately prevail. This is not true. Professional salespeople are good at qualifying their opportunities and cutting their losses when they are operating under nonoptimal conditions. They know there are only two winners in a competitive selling situation: the salesperson who was awarded the deal and the salesperson who lost early and saved time. Selling today is more about sifting, sorting, and selecting opportunities that have the greatest likelihood of closing, rather than always trying to sell, convince, persuade, and cajole. Salespeople who take on a business owner mentality see acquisition costs as overhead that need to be protected. Unfortunately, 80% of what salespeople are spending their time on has a low value. Working in this way is a waste of your time and is not consistent with a business owner’s mentality. Time should also be viewed as an inventory control system. A business owner who looks at inventory has one thing in mind: Turn it as quickly as possible because time is money. A salesperson with a business owner mentality sees their sales pipeline in the same way. They must move their customers quickly and profitably through their pipeline while at the same time keep them comfortable with no pressure. A poor inventory control system in sales is a surplus in the pipeline of accounts that aren’t viable, closeable, and moving in a timely fashion. Time-oriented salespeople July / August 2011 n Fabricator

know that the longer it takes to sell to customers, the less time and money they have to invest elsewhere. “Time becomes your enemy because it downgrades the value of your proposals, the likelihood that priorities will shift and the money your customers can save or gain by your proposal.” — Jim Holden, sales trainer and speaker Misallocation and overloading of information. The last sin of excess is misallocation of information. SalesCo 4/5/07 10:41 AM Page 1 people give too much too soon without consideration of the cost. Information is your intellectual capital. Salespeople with a business owner mentality plays their cards close, protecting their information, and dispense with it sparingly. As John Hirth, sales trainer, speaker, consultant, and president of Selling Dynamics, says, “What you know can hurt you.” The problem with all of our precious and hard-won information is that there is an over-tendency to want to give it out early, often, and prematurely, resulting in salespeople being reduced to “free consultants.” To minimize free consulting, guard your asset of information. You allocate your information when your customer is in a position to make decisions. Your information represents your leverage and control points in the sales cycle. In the past, salespeople’s value was

firmly established by the information they brought to the table. Now the information economy makes information freely and widely accessible and neutralizes or marginalizes salespeople’s value proposition. Salespeople’s mandate now should be to get information, not give it. This completely changes the dynamics of a typical sales call. You are now paid and rewarded for your questions, not your answers. No longer can you afford to build a product case; you have to build a business case that is heavily influenced by your ability to garner important, privileged information from your customer. Selling is more about what you don’t know versus what you do know. The customer’s information carries the most weight. Yet, because salespeople act as if their information is king, they invariably overplay their hand. This diminishes the importance and dignity of their customer. Conclusion

The sevens sins of highly ineffective salespeople represent mindsets and strategies that are flawed and put salespeople at a severe disadvantage. These transgressions put too much focus on the wrong party: the salesperson and their product. To be more effective salespeople need to give up the hope of controlling the sales process and spend more time understanding the customer.

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NOMMA and Industrial Coverage Hammer


What’s Hot? n Single, multifamily residential improvement spending falls 1% year-over-year Construction spending fell for the sixth straight month in May, touching an 11-year low, as shrinking public outlays and residential construction swamped a rise in private nonresidential work, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reported in an analysis of new Census Bureau data. The AGCA said spending would stay uneven. Public construction spending skidded 12% in the past eight months as state and local budget cuts have outweighed federal spending on stimulus and military realignment projects. An upturn in private apartment activity has yet to show. Construction spending declined 0.6% from April to May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, putting the May rate at $753 billion, down 7.1% from a year ago, down 38% from the record high in March 2006. Private nonresidential spending increased 1.2% from April to May but fell 5.1% compared with May 2010. Private residential spending was off 2.1% for the month, 6.6% year-over-year. Public spending dropped 0.8% and 9.3%, respectively. The largest residential category is currently improvements to existing single- and multifamily properties. These expenditures fell 3.8% for the month, 1.0% year-overyear, he said. New single-family construction sank 0.3% and 11.9%, respectively. New multi-family construction dropped 2.1% and 6.8%. Market-rate apartment construction is expected to pickup.


Industry News

FMA: Economic slowdown temporary A manufacturing industry economist says that although the gloom and doom brigade has been out in force recently, we are not seeing not the start of another breakdown in the economy. Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA), asserts that this “downturn” is just a blip, citing in FMA’s Fabrinomics three reasons why it won’t last. 1) Short-term surge in inflation. “Perhaps the most important factor is the unexpected surge in inflation that occurred at the start of the year,” Kuehl says. “The emergence of the ‘Arab Spring’ took the world by surprise. Within days the price per barrel of oil had thrust ahead by almost $20, and the price of gas jumped by 70 cents.” Kuehl says the price of oil may be heading down soon, and gas prices have already eased. More important, the inflation threat is not yet manifesting in a way that will shift consumer behavior permanently. 2) The Japanese earthquake ef-

fect. After the Japanese earthquake, “the flow of parts and supplies for the world was interrupted and many manufacturers felt the pinch,” Kuehl says. “The Japanese are already starting to recover, most of those parts will be flowing soon, and by the end of the year there will be a return to some semblance of normal.” 3) Improvements in banks, credit, industry. Some of the conditions that led to the expansion of the recession are now fading, says Kuehl. Banks and corporations have more money on hand than they have had in years. “The need to spend that money is not pressing as yet, but if the competition starts to move or there appears to be more demand, they will start to less loose that cash, and the economy will be stimulated again.” Kuehl also says that is it likely export demand will return. “The big drop has been in inventory build, and until the consumer gets more aggressive there will not be a drawdown sufficient to provide much impetus for the manufacturer. “As in most other recoveries, the consumer will hold the key.”

Torchmate offers classes to schools Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems is offering robotic metal-cutting machinery to shop classes in schools across the country. “Training on a Torchmate machine builds both students’ design skills and their application of those skills into actual fabrication,” says Joe Hoffman, Torchmate sales manager. In addition to metal cutting, Torchmate machines can also be used for intricate wood-working, routing, plasma cutting, vinyl sign making, and drill-

ing. Each machine has such features as repeatability, integration with CAD and CAM software, and USB port compatibility, so students can learn CAD and CAM design and see the completion of their design into a final product. Machined parts can then be welded and finished. The company’s tech support team will help shop teachers understand each facet of the machine. Contact Torchmate, (866) 571-1066; Fabricator n July / August 2011

What’s Hot? n


Jennifer Monnin elected to Hobart Institute board Jennifer Monnin, general manager of Hobart Brothers’ North American Tubular Wire Division, has been elected to the board of directors at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology (HIWT). Monnin will assist in guiding the future course of the HIWT. Monnin has held multiple leadership and management positions at Hobart Brothers and has more than

July / August 2011 n Fabricator

17 years of welding industry experience. She is a graduate of Wright State University and an active member of the Troy, OH, community. Chris Alcott appointed sales rep for Direct Metals Co. Chris Alcott has been hired as the Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina sales representative for Di-

rect Metals Co., responsible for sales, marketing and increasing the customer base in that region. Alcott was a past board member (treasurer) for the South Atlantic Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI). He studied business management at the Florida Technological University in Orlando.


What’s Hot? n


New England School of Metalwork Summer and fall classes Special master smith classes and other workshops are offered throughout August, September and October, at the Auburn, ME, facilities of the New England School of Metalwork. n Aug. 1–5: “Design and Deliver,” with Doug Wilson. n Aug. 8–12: “Blacksmith’s Helper and Scroll Investigator,” with Peter Ross. n Aug. 15–19: “Historical Joinery: Exploring 18th-century-inspired craft,” with Jay Close. n Aug. 22–26: “Cyril Colnikinspired Candlestick,” with Dan Nauman. n Sept. 5–9: “Fundamentals of Blacksmithing Level 1,” with Mark Aspery. n Sept. 12–16: “Fundamentals of

Blacksmithing Level 2,” with Mark Aspery. n Sept. 19–23: “Garden Gate Joinery,” with Darryl Nelson. n Oct. 3–6: “Art Casting Iron Sculpture,” with Green Foundry. n Oct. 13–15: “American Style Tanto,” with Nick Rossi. n Oct. 17–20: “The Art of the Scroll, for beginners,” with Susan Madascsi. Contact Dereck Glaser, New England School of Metalwork, Auburn, ME; (207) 777-3375; www. Sept. 14, 2011 Sharpe Products Open House Sharpe Products will hold its first open house, for customers, prospects

and vendors, at its facility in New Berlin, WI. In addition to touring the facilities, attendees will be able to see a variety of pipe and tube bending projects in the different processes of production, learn the differences between the technologies of hydraulic tube benders versus the all-electric bending machines, and see “lean” cells set-up within the shop. Sharpe Products is a contract manufacturer that offers custom pipe bending and tube bending services, and manufactures and stocks architectural handrail fittings in a 52,000-square-foot facility. Contact Sharpe Products, New Berlin, WI; (800) 879-4418; www.

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Multi-purpose bench-top grinder CS Unitec CS Unitec’s new Multi-Max multi-purpose benchtop grinder is designed for workshop grinding, blending, and finishing jobs. Two opposing shaft mountings — one for flap discs and one for longitudinal abrasive wheels — provide multiple methods for grinding, sanding, and finishing steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and more. An optional flexible shaft allows for grinding and finishing awkward workpieces that cannot be brought to the machine. The Multi-Max has a three-phase, 750 watt, 220 volt or 440 volt motor, and a load speed of 2,800 rpm. A transparent, hinged grinding guard on the roller side protects the user

and support guides position work for accurate results. The flap disc side features an adjustable support rail with a safety hood for discs up to 7 inches in diameter, with a 5/8 inch-11 thread or 7/8 inch arbor. Contact CS Unitec, Inc., (800) 7005919;

The Matrix wire is designed to maximize performance and increase productivity on high-volume robotic welding applications, particularly those in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry. The wire’s formulation creates a consistent weld bead shape with crack resistance, minimal silicon islands, and reduced spatter, to reduce downtime for maintenance and post-weld activities like grinding or rework. Hobart Brothers offers the Matrix wire on 33-pound precision layer wound plastic spools, each of which ships in a heat-sealed, Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI)-impregnated bag to protect against contaminants. Matrix wire is also available in a 750-pound X-Pak drum. Contact Hobart Brothers Co., (800) 424-1543;

New wire for welding Hobart Brothers Hobart Brothers has expanded its Tri-Mark Matrix metal-cored wire offering to include a new diameter size. In addition to .045and .052-inch diameters, Matrix wire will now be available in a 1/16-inch diameter for welding on applications composed of thicker materials.

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What’s Hot? n Retrofit torches Hypertherm Hypertherm is expanding its lineup of Duramax retrofit torches and consumables. The torches are now approved for use on Hypertherm’s Powermax1650 — in addition to the Powermax1000 and Powermax1250 — and a new straight torch (HRTs) joins the previously released 75-degree, ergonomic hand torch (HRT) and convertible machine torch (MRT). The new straight torch is designed for handheld cutting, and for ease in cutting and gouging in hard-to-reach areas. This marks the first time a handheld, straight torch is available for Hypertherm’s Powermax1000, Powermax1250, and Powermax1650 systems. Hypertherm says it’s the only plasma manufacturer in the world


to offer a straight, handheld plasma torch. The three different torch styles are designed for 40 through 100-amp cutting and gouging with both 25-foot and 50-foot torch lead options. All of the Duramax retrofit torches (the HRT, HRTs, and MRT) come with the same Easy Torch Removal connection as the standard Powermax1000, Powermax1250, and Powermax1650 torches, for quick upgrades. Contact Hypertherm Inc., (800) 643-0030; Powered air purifying respirator Kimberly-Clark Professional The new Jackson Safety Brand R60 Airmax Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) features a NIOSHapproved HE filter for particulate contaminants that can be easily set and locked into place. The R60 Airmax PAPR can help provide protection in accordance with

new OSHA guidelines on hexavalent chromium fumes, says Tami Wenzel, category manager, KimberlyClark Professional. “These fumes may be produced when welding on stainless steel and can cause serious respiratory issues without proper protection.” It comes with fully adjustable headgear and a welding helmet featuring a Jackson Safety W40 series variable auto-darkening filter. The ADF automatically detects weld arcs and switches to weld shade, which can be adjusted to shade 9–13 with a light shade of 4. The variable ADF is ideal for MIG, TIG, and stick welding. A flame-retardant face seal around the welding helmet protects welders from sparks, and the helmet’s shape helps to prevent embers from sitting


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on the shell. The unit’s breathing hose is flame-retardant and extends about 35 inches for maximum flexibility. Powered by a lightweight, eighthour lithium ion battery, the compact blower unit has a wide, adjustable waist belt. An audible alarm gives the user a signal when a new filter or battery charge is needed. The unit comes with a battery charger that indicates when charging is complete. An airflow indicator also is included for checking the unit’s airflow prior to use. Contact Kimberly-Clark Corp., (888) 346-4652; New disc material Klingspor Klingspor has introduced its newest disc material for use in the metalworking, plating, and welding industries. FP 73W is a film-backed product

coated with Klingspor’s “extra-lube” aluminum oxide stearate. According to the company, this film backing provides excellent edge wear-and-tear prevention properties, beyond those of a regular paper-backed or clothbacked product. The film’s smooth substrate allows for the abrasive grains to stand more “upright” and stay sharp longer, providing excellent leveling properties, Klingspor says, adding that the new backing combined with long-lasting aluminum oxide grains and a double coating of stearate makes FP 73W a durable non-loading disc product. Contact Klingspor, (800) 645-5555;


Wire welder line expanded Lincoln Electric Lincoln Electric’s Power MIG wire welder line now includes the Power MIG 180 Dual model. With single phase 60 Hz dual 120- and 208/230volt input power capability, the machine is made for welding at home, in the shop, or on a job site. Handling both MIG (GMAW) and flux-cored gas-shielded (FCAW-G) or self-shielded (FCAW-S) processes, the Power MIG 180 Dual is designed for sheet metal welding, light-frame autobody work, and farm and small shop applications. The 68-pound (31 kg) machine features dual input power capability, allowing users to select 120-volt input power for home and generator-driven environments or 208/230-volt input

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What’s Hot? n power for shop applications on thicker materials. No tools are required to toggle between the two input power voltages. The dual input power capability extends the machine’s welding output, allowing for welding on up to 1/2-inch steel with self-shielded, flux-cored wire. Contact Lincoln Electric, (216) 4818100; New locksets with reversal Marks USA The Auto-Reverse (patent pending) 5 Series Mortise Lock from Marks USA enables the lock handing to be reversed without removing the lock


cover, allowing for reversal without exposing internal components. Auto-Reverse 5 Series Locksets are UL Listed and BHMA/ANSI certified to Grade 1. The locksets are available in over 40 functions, all with through-bolted trims for automatic trim-lock alignment. Lever trims and lock bodies include independent support springs and selfadjusting spindles. Contact Marks USA, (800) 5260233; New angle grinder Metabo The new the W680 4-inch angle grinder from Metabo features a 6.2 A motor with 680 watts of power, 14

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inch-lbs of torque and a no-load speed of 11,000 rpm, for cutting, grinding, and deburring of metal. Weighing 4.4 pounds, the W680 is designed for applications that require reaching or overhead work, with a slim motor housing design and ergonomic side handle. The W680 includes a side locking switch, spindle lock, burst-proof wheel guard, and auto-stop carbon brushes. It comes with inner flange, face spanner, and outer nut. Type 1 cut-off wheel guard, carrying case, and a variety of abrasives for the grinder are sold separately. Contact Metabo, (800) 638-2264; Questions? Call Peter H. Miller, President: 202.339.0744 x 104. Or email


Fabricator n July / August 2011 Fabricator RM house ad.indd 1

10/12/2010 1:14:13 PM


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


  Pg Company


30...Alloy Casting Co. Inc...........................................

63...Hougen Mfg. Inc..................................................

3......Apollo Gate

57....Industrial Coverage Corp..............

18....Architectural Iron Designs

45...International Gate

37...Artisan Ideas North

68...The Iron

64...Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of N. America

11....Jansen Ornamental Supply Co..............

62...Atlas Metal Sales.............................................

61....Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO div...............

33...Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. /

67...King Architectural Metals............................

Oak Hill Iron 59...Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son

4......Lawler Foundry 2......Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc.....................

Custom Hardware Inc..................

60...Lindblade Metal

31...Julius Blum & Co.


22...The Cable Connection................


63...John C. Campbell Folk

60...Pat Mooney

13....Carell Corporation...........................................

62...NC Tool Company

9......Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co.....................

39...R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine

38...Colorado Waterjet


44...CompLex Industries

16....Sharpe Products....................................

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


7......D.J.A. Imports Ltd...........................................

55...Society of Manufacturing Engineers.......................

47....Eberl Iron Works



36...Sumter Coatings

42...FabCad Inc...............................................................

64...Traditional Building.......................

23...Feeney Inc.

19....Tri-State Shearing & Bending................................... 718-485-2200

(Feeney Architectural Products).................

61....Universal Entry Systems Inc.......................................216-631-4777

53...The G-S Co..................................................................

26...Vogel Tool & Die Corp.....................................

25...Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems

27...The Wagner

O&MM Fabricator welcomes Sherry Theien, ad director Advertisers in O&MM

Fabricator will be hearing from Sherry Theien, who recently began working as our sales director. We also welcome her sales experience in selling METALfab booth space. Sherry has spent 28 years in the metalforming and fabricating industry. Her first position within the industry was with

July / August 2011 n Fabricator

FMA, selling advertising and exhibition space. After leaving FMA, Sherry worked with PMA Services selling ad space for MetalForming Magazine and MetalForming Magazine Mexico, becoming sales manager for this organization.

Throughout her years in the industry, she developed long-term relationships through her belief that clients deserve the “best” you can give them and are to be valued. Sherry’s background includes advertising and exhibition sales, marketing research, and product development. She looks forward to working with

the NOMMA team as we continue to grow and improve. CO NTAC T

Sherry Theien 8392 Leesburg Ct. Rockford,IL 61114 (815) 282-6000 Fax (815) 282-8002



Metal Moment

7 Ways to get your customers to say ‘wow’ By Robert Warlow Small Business Success Just imagine. You have walked out of a shop or put down the

phone after purchasing something and your immediate reaction is “wow!” How do you feel? Excited, satisfied, fulfilled, eager to return and buy again? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your customers to feel the same way about dealing with you? Many small (and not so small) business owners seem to think that the customer is merely an interference. But how can you get your customers pumped up and ready to do business with you again? Here are some ways you can get a “wow!” response and how it can positively impact your bottom line.

1Get promising

Too many businesses seem reluctant to commit to anything. You walk away with a nagging doubt that nothing is going to happen and the entire experience is not pleasant. What a refreshing change to find a business that provides a firm promise on dates and delivery times, for example. Can you provide a clear promise to your customers? Have a think about each aspect of your business and highlight all the promises in your sales and marketing materials. Tip: Under promise and over deliver. Promise delivery in seven days, knowing you can do it in three days. When the goods arrive four days earlier, that’s a “wow,” if ever there was one! However, if you can’t deliver it, don’t promise it!

2 Be a Tigger

Remember Tigger from Winnie the Pooh? He’s all over the place, bouncing up and down with endless energy and enthusiasm. He leaves his friends breathless! What a great person to be with and do business with. Are you enthusiastic with your customers? Is your staff brimming with enthusiasm? If you can’t project an image that indicates, “I’m happy to be here,” can you expect your customers to feel different? So, have a Tigger day every day!

3 First impressions

What does your shop or office say about your business? Is it fresh looking, clean, and tidy? Or is it worn, tired, and run down? Like it or not, customers will judge you by what they see. They may say “wow” but for the wrong reasons! A can of paint and a splash of color can make all the difference and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

4 Be a problem solver

Despite all businesses believing they have great customer service, the fact is that the majority do not. The main reason is 66

that when people complain, most feel that they have not been listened to and their problem has not been solved. Be a problem solver, quickly and efficiently. A motto: Resolve to solve.

5 Be their friend

I am a sucker for business owners who take the time to know me and recognize me when I call or visit. The desire to do more business with this type of entrepreneur is strong for me. Do you take time to build a relationship with all your key clients? Do you go out of your way to greet them when they next do business with you? As the saying goes, aim to turn strangers into friends and friends into customers.

6 Value for money

In this time of new technology and the hefty prices that go with it, giving great value is sometimes forgotten. Creating a “wow” moment can be as simple as giving a little bit extra, something unexpected. It doesn’t have to be of huge value, it’s genuinely the thought that counts. However, don’t restrict this idea just to price. Price on its own may not work. It has to be tied with something else, e.g. 2 for 1, a small gift. The quality of your product must also reflect value for money. Don’t try and pass off an inferior product with a superior price. You’ll again create the wrong type of “wow” moment. Provide medium price and great quality — ­ a definite, positive “wow.”

7Call them

The real killer “wow” is calling your customer a few days after he has bought. Asking him if the product is fine, whether it does what he wanted it to do, is one sure way of stopping him in his tracks! If everything is great, then you have a customer for life. If there is a problem, wonderful; you have the opportunity to put it right and . . . have a customer for life. This is a simple and powerful way of creating “wow.” So that’s it. If you follow these simple ideas, all your customers will be saying “wow,” and they will be coming back time and time again. Who knows, they may even tell their friends. Take some time to review these tips and see how you can apply them in your business. Small Business Success is a resource dedicated to helping small business owners become more successful. If you are looking for a regular flow of ideas and tips, subscribe to Small Business Success, a free newsletter. For more information, visit

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