Page 1

Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal

Fabricator ®

The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

Still time to register

January / February 2012 $6.00 US

METALfab 2012, Orlando, page 15

What’s in a name?

A lot. Meta Designs does more than welding page 36

Shop Talk

Get job partners in early, page 26

Top Job Gallery

Driveway gates, nonforged, page 43

Biz Side

Fabricator researches ‘closed market’, page 52

Biz Side

5 Steps to organize your shop, page 56


Moving Forward in a Changing Economy E


Feb. 29 - March 2

METALfab 2012 Trade Show

DoubleTree Hotel at the entrance of Universal Orlando

For more info, visit

5780 Major Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819

TRADE SHOW HOURS Wednesday, Feb. 29 Thursday, March 1 Friday, March 2

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Trade Show Opening Reception (Reception 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.) 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Trade Show & Education on Show Floor 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Trade Show Open

METALfab 2012 is the only trade show for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Join the participating exhibitors for a display of their products and services. If you would like to participate in all the opportunities that METALfab offers (education program, social activities, trade show etc.) visit www. for additional information about a full registration for METALfab 2012.

Why should you attend the METALfab 2012 Trade Show? • Touch, explore and realistically evaluate products. • See firsthand the latest trends and technologies. • Learn about hundreds of the best products and resources available. • Discover new products through demos and one-on-one sessions with industry experts. • Meet some of the best people in the world and form new working relationships. Complete the information below for FREE admission to the METALfab 2012 Trade Show. If you have any questions call (888) 516-8585 x 101. You will not receive a confirmation for this free ticket – your badge will be ready for you at the METALfab registration desk at the DoubleTree a Hilton Hotel at the entrance of Universal Orlando. METALfab 2012 is sponsored by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association, proudly serving the industry since 1958.

FREE Ticket for METALfab 2012 Trade Show

List the products you hope to purchase at METALfab 2012:

Universal Center DoubleTree Exhibit Hall

1) ________________________________________

5780 Major Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819 Go to to register online. Or, complete this form and mail to: METALfab, 805 S. Glynn St., Ste 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214 • Fax to (888) 279-7994 •Email: First Name _______________________________________________________ Last Name _______________________________________________________ Company ________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______ Zip ___________________ Country ____________________________ Phone _______________________ Email ____________________________ Fax_________________________

2) ________________________________________ 3) ________________________________________

1) q q q q

Primary type of business: Fabricator General Supplier Contractor Other___________________

2) q q q q

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

3) q q q

Your role in purchasing: Final Say Recommend Specify

4) q q q

Job description: Owner Manager/Foreman Other_______________

Check here q if you are not involved in the business.

Children 13 years and under are not permitted on the show floor. Young people between the ages of 14 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult.



January / February 2012 Vol. 53, No. 1

METALfab Silent Auction fundraiser items like these are an important part of the METALfab 2012 show. Story, page 12.

Biz Side

NOMMA Network

Moving into a ‘closed’ market.... 52

40 Attend exploratory meeting for a Portland chapter...................... 10

One shop’s journey to diversify into memorial work was met with many surprises and valuable lessons. By “Uncle Bob” Walsh

Also, the Northeast Chapter has a shop tour and bronze demo. Shop Talk

Biz Side

The benefits of early involvement ......................... 26

If you bring a third party into partnership with you, do it as early into the work as possible to increase chances of meeting deadlines, budget, and specs. By Brian Smith Shop Talk Choose the right abrasive.............. 29

Don’t just grab any abrasive. Selecting the right product can make all the difference. Choose abrasives that minimize costs and maximize productivity. By David Long

What’s in a name?............................... 36

Quite a bit, actually. As its name suggests, Meta Designs does more than just welding. It’s growth and experience make it ready for any design or fabrication challenge. By Peter Hildebrandt Serious about certification.

METALfab 2012 Moving forward in a changing economy.............. 15

There’s still time to sign up for NOMMA’s 54th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Feb. 29– March 3 in Orlando. Here’s the complete guide and registration form. Sign up now!

Top Job Gallery....................................... 43

We’re bringing back the popular “Top Job Gallery” section, which features jobs entered in the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. For starters, we’re sampling the outstanding work entered in the Driveway Gates, Nonforged category. Enjoy!

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

NOMMA is still strong and vibrant.

The 5S ‘lean manufacturing’ tool can help you spend more time working and less time looking for your stuff. By Charlie Martin Biz Side 9 Marketing strategies to boost your bottom line................................... 60

No one needs extra ‘busy work,’ but it’s a mistake not to have a marketing plan. It’s not just about advertising By William J. Lynott What’s Hot!

Job Profile

Member Talk

President’s Letter........... 6

5 Steps to organizing your shop.................................................... 56

Business............................................... 66 People.................................................... 66 Literature............................................. 67 New Products..................................... 68 Nationwide suppliers..................... 64 New members.................................... 65

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

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

NEF active with educational programs.

Cubby hole material storage.

About the cover This staircase and cable rail was designed, fabricated, and installed by Ryan Lewis at Meta Designs. The

project features a ½-inch stair tread plate that is welded to a double 2 x 6-inch tube stringer to give the appearance of a floating stair case. The railing is a 2 x ½-inch flat bar and features cable from Feeney Cable Rail. Story, page 36. January / February 2012 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


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 Will Keeler Keeler Iron Works Memphis, TN Lynn Parquette Mueller Orn. Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL

NOMMA C hapters Chesapeake Bay Chapter Patty Koppers, President Koppers Fabricators Inc. Forestville, MD 301-420-6080

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

Florida Chapter Cathy Vequist, President Royal Iron Creations Jupiter, FL 561-801-7549

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

Gulf Coast Chapter Charles Perez, President B & O Machine Welding Brookhaven, MS 985-630-6943

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

Serious about certification Back in December, our hard-

will now be more attractive working Executive Director to other associations. In other Todd Daniel took a test given words, Todd’s certification will through the American Society make it easier for him to “sell” of Association Executives himself to others. (ASAE). When Todd learns that For Todd, this certification he has passed, he will become a of his abilities has only an upCertified Association Executive side. Sure, he had to put in all James Minter, Jr., that time studying for the test, (CAE). Soon he will sign his Imagine name “Todd Daniel, CAE.” and there was the cost in dolIronworks, is Pretty cool! lars to register for the test. Plus, president Todd joined the ASAE after of NOMMA. he will have to put in time to becoming NOMMA’s executive retain his credentials. But to director. What he has learned me, all that seems like a small by attending state conventions and loprice to pay for the resulting benefits. cal meetings amazes me — legal stuff, Wouldn’t it be something if our financial stuff, whatever one needs to industry had a similar credentialing know to best run an association. He program, one that would let custommet regularly with a study group to ers and potential customers know who prepare for the CAE test. The test is the true industry professionals are, a very big deal, as it is tough — four rather than those who take things, well hours, 200 questions, no cell phones, . . . less seriously? no notes, and chaperone escorts to Other construction-related assothe restrooms. ciations have accreditation programs: Why do you think Todd joined the the American Fence Association has ASAE? He joined to learn the best its Certified Fence Professional; and practices of other associations and the National Association of Home their executive directors. Learning Builders says that becoming a Certifrom others (from mistakes and sucfied Graduate Builder will “grow your cesses) makes Todd better at running business and increase your profits by NOMMA. If he has a problem, he sharpening your business managecan turn to a network of association ment skills and your understanding of managers. Would it surprise you that today’s home building industry.” ASAE has its own ListServ? It does! Our accreditation program might So, the ASAE is to Todd what involve building codes, jobsite/ NOMMA is to you and me. workplace safety, and best accountTodd has gone a step further than ing practices. It might acknowledge merely joining the ASAE. He wants to having proper insurance, business get that “CAE” behind his name. What management skills, expertise in workwill that do for him? For starters, it ing with a variety of metals, and even will show the world that Todd really “green” building and the paperwork it knows his stuff as an association exrequires. ecutive director — because he has the Those who pass our accreditation credentials to back it up. The “CAE” exam can join Todd by adding initials designation lets the world know that behind their names denoting that Todd understands the legalities and they are true professionals in the metfinancial responsibilities of running an alworking field. association; and that he will do things by the book. He won’t take short cuts. The downside (to us at NOMMA) of Todd becoming a “CAE” is that he Fabricator n January / February 2012

Easy Easy to install and to maintain. Easy on the eyes and the environment. Our CableRail stainless steel cables are virtually invisible allowing the beauty of your railing designs and the surrounding views to take center stage. They’re simple to order and effortless to maintain, and with our special automatic-locking Quick-Connect® fittings, they’re easier than ever to install. They also contain over 70% recycled materials for a friendlier eco-footprint. Learn about our entire line of garden and architectural products, and see why Feeney has been the easy choice among design and building professionals for over 60 years.

Photo: ©2010 Stephanie Maulding

Free catalog, call 1-800-888-2418 or visit

Architectural Cable Assemblies


DesignRail ®

Stainless & 2012 Fittings Aluminum Railings January /Cables February n Fabricator


Door Canopies


Cable & Rod Trellises


Stainless Rod Assemblies 7

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 2012 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. © 2012 National Ornamental & Miscellaneous MetalsAssociation 8


How to reach us

Executive Director’s Letter

NOMMA surges with energy Rest assured that your NOMMA

celebrated their 10th anniversastaff and board are sensitive to ry in November, and they conthe financial suffering that tinue to make major contribumany of our members are entions to our industry. during. Now, more than ever, we need one another to netDirections for 2012 work, share, and provide mutual One thing we know for sure: support. Our industry is hungry for Todd Daniel is executive While 2011 was a difficult knowledge. The key is to deteryear, we have enjoyed successes. director of mine the right content and best NOMMA. Our chapter and NOMMA Eduway to serve you. One thing cation Foundation (NEF) events that NOMMA and NEF will were well attended last year, continue to look at is credenwhich tells me that industry profestialing, which could provide the framesionals want to learn and network with work for a comprehensive education their colleagues. Also, our new videoprogram. on-demand service has been a success, Member engagement will continue and it recently hit 1,000 views. Availto be a focus during 2012. As you get able free to NOMMA members, the enmore involved in NOMMA, you are tire NEF catalog is available online. exposed to new ideas, and more doors In the online world, we continue are opened. It is up to your board, to enjoy regular participation on our staff, and committees to make sure the ListServ, which is our daily email right entry paths are available. discussion list. Since its launching 10 years ago, we’ve logged nearly 16,000 We miss you! posts. The vast majority of them anI’d like to offer a special invitation swer two questions: “Where do I find to the many members we have lost it?” and “How do I do it?” since the recession began in 2008. As Our ongoing NEF webinar series economic conditions improve, I enis entering its third year, and since its courage you to return to the NOMMA start in January 2010, we’ve had nearly family and re-connect with your col180 participants. We also hold evening leagues. I assure you that our energy, phone conferences that focus on topics spirit, and morale remain strong. By related to the new economy. The wesupporting your trade association binars are recorded and added to our through membership, I promise that growing video library. The phone conyou will be enriched with knowledge ferences are converted into podcasts and opportunities. As always, the for later listening. more you put into your membership, NEF remains busy and provides 16 the more you will get back. education-related programs and serMost importantly, I encourage vices to our industry. Our Trustees are everyone to attend the industry’s nadeeply dedicated to providing superior tional convention in Orlando — METeducation experiences for fabricators, ALfab 2012. At the event, our industry and I encourage you to support their joins together, becomes one, and takes work through donations. the next step forward. If you have not The NOMMA Technical Affairs Dimade your METALfab reservation yet, vision remains active too, in the buildthere is still time. ing code arena and in the development of driveway gate standards and certification programs. Both NEF and Technical Affairs Fabricator n January / February 2012


The NOMMA Network

40 attend exploratory meeting for a Portland chapter NOMMA hosted a chapter exploratory meeting in Portland, OR in November, and NEF provided an afternoon education session. The daylong event attracted 40 members and guests from Oregon and Washington. Special visitors included NOMMA Executive Director Todd Daniel and NEF Chair Roger Carlsen. Madden Fabrication served as the host shop, and Greg Madden briefly talked about his operations. For the business session, consultant Charlie Martin led a class on “Lean Manufacturing.” See story on page 56. Carlsen gave a presentation on rubber mold making and white metal castings. Several vendors were also present to provide a “mini” trade show. A thanks goes to Madden Fabrication for hosting the meeting and for their outstanding hospitality.

Left, The chapter exploratory meeting at Madden Fabrication, Portland, had a large turnout. Below left, Jonah Barber, Stratford Gate Systems/USA Hebo, at right, talks to attendee. Below, NEF Chair Roger, Carlsen led a demo on rubber mold making and castings.

Northeast Chapter meeting features shop tour and bronze demo Nearly 40 people attended the Northeast Chapter’s November meeting in Garfield, NJ, hosted by Artistic Railings Inc. The day of fun featured a shop tour and business meeting. A bronze handrail-forming demo covered forged 10

volutes, split lambs tongues, and terminations. Attendees also enjoyed a demo on satin polishing and patinas. A thanks to Artistic Railings for graciously serving as host.

Left, nearly 40 people turned out for the Northeast Chapter meeting. Artistic Railings Inc. served as host shop for the day. Right, attendees watch the bronze mold forming session given by Jack Stryczula, shop forman and lead fabricator at Artistic Railings.

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Circular Stair Stringers Big, True, Plumb and Fast!

16 x 4 x ½ rectangular tube curved the easy way to a 7 ft. 8 in. inside radius (inside stringer) and an 11 ft. 10 in. inside radius (outside stringer). Walk up, turn right. 30.92 degree pitch.

Let us form your most challenging helixes from the smallest to the largest sizes of plate (3" x 60"), channel (C18 x 54.7), tube (18" x 6"), pipe (20"), or beam (W30 x 99). Turn-around times of 1-1/2 to 2 weeks. To save time and money fabricating your stringers and handrails, contact us. See more at


NOMMA Education Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

NEF active with educational programs Planning for METALfab 2012 is the highlight of the year

The purpose of the NOMMA Education Foundation

and depend on you to help us continue this great tradition. The Auction Committee is requesting donations of auction items, which may include: n Metal sculpture, a garden gate, hand-forged furniture, books, artwork, or antiques; n Non-metal items, such as tools, gift baskets, gift certificates/coupons, jewelry, electronics, clothing, Update from food/wine, presentation drawings, the use of a condo NEF Chair at the beach, or airline tickets; Roger Carlsen, n Specialized services to create a custom, one-ofEphraim Parquette, Bischmann METALfab 2012 a-kind item for the winning bidder; Forge Inc. education co-chairs n Or, be creative — the sky’s The NEF trustees are very the limit! excited about the outstanding In addition to getting involved METALfab 2012 education propersonally and through your comgram planned by our education pany, I challenge your NOMMA co-chairs, Lynn Parquette and Chapter or Network to follow the Heidi Bischmann. The theme of lead of the Upper Midwest Chapthe program, “The New Normal ter. Schedule a special work day — Moving Forward in a Changto create at least one hand-crafted ing Economy,” is important to item for the auction. everyone. With your help, we will have I hope you will look closely at another successful auction! Every what we have to offer and join us donated item will help support in Orlando, FL, Feb. 29–March 3. the foundation’s operations and The convention guide included in provide quality education for the this issue of the Fabricator (page ornamental and miscellaneous 15) contains everything you need metals industry through continuto know. Please register today! ing education programs, video productions, educational publicaDonate items for the tions, as well as supporting special fundraising auction projects important to the industry. It is also the time of year when If you wish to contribute an the foundation asks everyone to item(s) for this event, please comhelp us with one of our favorplete the auction donation form ite fundraising projects — the Silent auction items. We have had fabulous items donated available at Silent & Live Auctions held at For questions, please call through the years and depend on you to help us continue this great tradition. METALfab. NOMMA’s office at 888-516-8585, Whether you donate an item ext. 101 or contact Liz Johnson, for auction or you bid on items, both are very important to the success of this project. Thank you in advance for your help. We look forward to We have had fabulous items donated through the years seeing you in Orlando. is to support NOMMA through education. NEF does this through its many programs and offerings. NEF’s two most recent activities have been a continuing education seminar in forging and finishing bronze and an abbreviated seminar on molding and casting white metal to support the NOMMA exploration of forming a Northwest Chapter. I am happy to report that both events were successful.


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

Fabricator n January / February 2012


(same post design as No. 6000-X)

one piece

$7.90 4+

$19.50 4+ sets

$9.90 each

$24.50 each set

No. 8191

5¾ H 6 lbs 2½ Ø ID

set wt. 23 lbs

one piece


12¼ H 17 lbs

HEXAGONAL BASE I.D. will fit over maximum 1⅞Ø 2¾ O.D. point to point 2¼ O.D. flat to flat

request our current trade catalog

Artistic Steel Forgings

Beautiful Iron Castings

No. 9619

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

No. 6000-XBT



No. 9701

6 dia. base

800-624-9512  fax 205-595-0599

 1/2012

for post match see No. 8192, page 74

12H x 3½W 8.25 lbs


No. 9800



QC-803 13

718 324-6871

When it comes to choosing your supplier, we know you have choices.

D.J.A. would like to thank you for choosing us as your ornamental steel and hardware supplier. Our versatile quality driven product lines include: • Cantilever gate systems available in 8 sizes and 3 finishes;

Cantilever Gate Systems

Ornamental Steel and Gate Hardware Supplier Our Components. Your Vision.

• Side mounted railing brackets available in steel, stainless, and brass • ”Bamboo” pickets and posts • Exclusive Impressions Collection, Old World Charm, and Handcrafted in Italy product lines • Stainless steel cable rail system • Machinery and accessories for the industry • Tri-directional adjustable barrel hinges; • Aluminum overhead tracks and components • Stainless steel hardware: tracks, wheels, hinges • Hand forged animals: deer, eagle, dog

D.J.A. Imports, Ltd. 1672 E. 233rd Street Bronx, NY 10466 14

New D.J.A. Publications

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Register now for

METALfab 2012

National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

54th Annual Convention, Trade Show Moving forward in a Changing Economy

3, Orlando, FL February 29–March the Entrance to Universal Orlando DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton at

METALfab 2012

Your best face-to-face educational value An invitation from James Minter Imagine Iron Works NOMMA President 2010–2011

An invitation from Roger Carlsen Ephraim Forge Inc. NOMMA Education Foundation Chair 2009–2011

I want to extend a very important invitation to you to attend METALfab 2012 in Orlando, FL, Feb. 29–Mar. 3, 2012. I believe that you will go home with numerous ideas that will help you “Move Forward in a Changing Economy.” We may call ourselves metalworkers, but we are really just small business owners who work with metal. If we don’t get the business part right, all the skill in the world as metalworkers won’t help us stay in business. When I attended Michael Stone’s class at METALfab 2003, I had my eyes opened to a whole new way of operating a business. Instead of just opening the doors and hoping for the best, Michael preaches a pro-active and systematic approach to running a business. I used to think that if I concentrated on the revenue numbers, the profit would take care of itself. Wrong! It’s the bottom number on the income statement that is most important, that profit number that determines whether a business succeeds or fails. It was Michael Stone who helped drive that point home for me. I am a big fan of Michel Stone, and I really look forward to having him with us at METALfab 2012 in Orlando.

I know that people who have used the ListServ think it is the best tool that NOMMA offers. Many of you have said that the information you get from the ListServ is worth the cost of an annual membership in NOMMA. However, I think that an even better tool is the annual METALfab convention. I would like to invite all of my fellow NOMMA members to the METALfab 2012 in Orlando, FL, where you can see one of the true values of NOMMA membership. Extensive planning will bring people together to help us through some of the toughest economic times in recent memory. The education program includes our own talented members, but presentations from James Feldman and Michael Stone will help us with change, thinking outside the box, marketing, cashflow, advertising, sales, and contracts. And Saturday’s demonstration tent will offer exciting and informative demonstrations. Yes, all of the above are valuable, but I think the most valuable aspect of METALfab is interacting with our fellow members and future members. NOMMA members are so very willing to share ideas, innovations, problems, solutions, insights, and encouragement, which can best be experienced through direct, face-to-face interaction. And so I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at METALfab 2012.

Ferris wheel photo on previous page © admiralkm, 16

Fabricator n January / February 2012

METALfab 2012

Get business skills, talk shop, see demos Two dynamic speakers will provide you with thought-provoking ideas to help you move your business forward in a difficult economy.

We will review: n A marketing plan for NOMMA members. n Setting a budget for advertising your company. Where to advertise and when. n How to avoid “me-to” advertising. n Building a referral network for leads. n

Keynote James Feldman, a certified facilitator and an internationally recognized professional motivator, trainer, speaker, and author from Chicago (http://, will present the keynote speech and a follow-up education session on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Feldman will show you how to go from business as usual to business as un-usual to leverage change and thrive during turbulent times. His talk, entitled Shift Happens, will identify short-term opportunities that will create long-term benefits. Feldman concentrates on overcoming entrenched cultures and habits, introducing innovative thinking and risk-taking to develop solutions that will have you lead the field by increasing value rather than reducing price. You will learn how to accelerate change for success with a deliberate, disciplined methodology that delivers dramatic results.

Business Sessions Shift Happens Wednesday, Feb. 29 After Feldman’s keynote speech, continue the Shift Happens discussion in a two-hour class. It includes how to use his 3DThinking process to go beyond mere creativity to innovative problem solving, at every level, to impact your bottom line. We have been taught to think “outside the box”. Yet, the problem is “inside the box”. For that reason many companies have developed solutions to the wrong problems. Feldman has developed a three-dimensional process that will keep you from being “boxed out” by typical analytical thinking. Through 3DThinking, you and your company will learn processes to develop new areas of innovation. With 3DThinking, Jim uses “try-angles” to “look inside the box” for 1) the depth of your knowlJanuary / February 2012 n Fabricator

James Feldman, a well known trainer, speaker, and author, is delivering the keynote address.

Michael Stone, one of our most popular past presenters, is giving five classes at METALfab 2012.

edge, 2) the distance to the solution, and 3) the determination to carry out your intentions. 3DThinking can increase your performance, enhance productivity, and boost profits. Mark Up and Profit Michael Stone, Construction Programs & Results, Camas, WA (www., will present five classes at METALfab 2012 on Thursday, Mar. 1, and Friday Mar. 2. Stone, whose theme is Mark Up and Profit, is a coach and consultant for construction-related small businesses. His expertise lies in business management solutions and computer software programs for the residential construction industry. Thursday, Mar. 1, and Friday Mar. 2 Markup, Margins and Cash Flow. How to set and use markup or margins to reach your sales price and how to prevent cash flow problems within a construction related company. You will discover: n How to avoid the financial pitfalls that most contractors fall into. n How to set the correct markup or gross margin for your company. n The three main causes of cash flow problems. Marketing, Advertising, and Getting Your Phone to Ring. How to build a marketing campaign that will attract customers willing to pay a fair price for your work.

Sales — Back to the Future. How to deal effectively with unrealistic customer expectations on job pricing. We will cover: n The cause of price objections. n The customer’s three biggest fears. n How to ask the four basic questions and find good customers. n How to become the contractor of choice. Contracts, Additional Work Orders, and Punch Lists. Documents written to prevent expensive customer problems. You’ll learn about: n Basic but necessary contract language. The payment and signature page. n How to write change-work orders n and get paid on time. n Stopping the never-ending “punch list.” n Contract language to corral in the problem customer. What Your Family Needs to Know About Your Business. Setting up your company so it is not a problem to your family: n Where is everything. n Who you do business with. n Employees, their jobs, and what the agreement is. n Who your business partners are. n How to pass things along. NOMMA Roundtable Discuss NOMMA and industryrelated questions with NOMMA Board Members and/or industry experts. We’ll break into small groups to discuss issues facing our industry and share solutions and resources. The full group will reconvene to share ideas from the breakout sessions. 17

METALfab 2012 The In’s and Out’s of Welding Rick Harrell, Lincoln Electric Overview of work safety practices, maintenance of equipment, review of welding symbols and corresponding welds, cutting torch operations, stick welding procedures, procedures to clean and evaluate welds, and cutting and preparing metal plates. Plus: Health hazards associated with welding and cutting operations.

Technique Sessions

Technology Sessions Leveraging Technology: IT Investments that Pay Off Lee Flynn, R&F Metals Inc. With all the technology available today, how do you choose the right business applications for your company? Explore hardware and software solutions that increase productivity and add to the bottom line. Discussion to include latest trends in information technology, such as VoIP, Saas, virtualization, and cloud computing. Video Shop Tours James Minter, Imagine Ironworks A visual tour of several NOMMA shops, including Lightning Forge in Utah. See how each shop manages workflow and pick up ideas for your own facility. This extremely popular session has become a METALfab tradition. Understanding OSHA Fall Protection Pat Stark, USF Safety FL Consultation Covers OSHA requirements for construction fall protection, especially residential fall protection requirements. Discussion to examine the dynamics of falling and the importance of following OSHA requirements when people are working 6 feet or higher on construction sites.

What Installation Method Is Best for My Job? Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding and Fabricating Tips, tools, and tricks that Mark has discovered by trial and error, and picked up from other NOMMA members and classes. Areas to be covered: One man field measuring, bringing field info to the shop, fixturing and shop layout, material handling, installation, and combining tools to be more useful (e.g. CAD drawings and a plotter can produce a full-sized drawing that allows you to eliminate shop layout so the time spent on shop drawings covers your shop layout, saves time, and improves accuracy). Choosing the Correct Finishing Procedure for your Project Mel Drendle and Frank Grimm, Creative Iron Solutions Compare and contrast “good, better, and best” finishing options for your project. Explore the reasons to use a combination of surface preparation/pre-treatments, coatings, primers, and topcoats. Discussion to include lacquers, enamels, waterbornes, sprays, urethanes, epoxies, powder coatings, and baked enamels. Back to Basics: Measuring Straight and Curved Railings Keith Majka, Majka Railing Company Learn how to take field measurements in a “universal language” so it is easier to communicate with other companies. Presentation includes measuring curved railings without the use of templates. Fasteners: Which is the Correct One for your Installation? Examination of the types of anchors, anchor applications, and load types to meet your job requirements. Plus: New products and installation techniques to save time and money on every jobsite. Building a Non-Ferrous Railing Tony Martinez, Big D Metalwork Learn basic techniques and tips about when to use mechanical methods versus traditional weld-


Fabricator n January / February 2012

METALfab 2012 ed methods for building a non-ferrous railing. Scroll Class Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc. This class covers the design of scrolls, fixture and jigging to produce the scrolls, and the production of scrolls.

Demonstrations Foldforming Phil Hermance & Art Ballard, Art’s Work Unlimited Inc. The techniques of CharlesLewton Brain, who got his initial training in Germany and later earned a master of arts from SUNY New Paltz. In the 1980s, he invented a way of working with metal that exploits its inherent behaviors and developed the science and art of foldforming to its current high standard. A demonstration will show the numerous forms that can be developed quickly and easily with copper using the foldforming technique. The Down and Dirty Part of “Finishing” Tony Martinez, Big D Metalworks Learn basic techniques for polishing Stainless Steel — from a #4 Satin Finish to a #8 Bright Finish, plus aluminum and bronze polishing and antiquing, cleaning and hiding welds, and when to use mechanical methods rather than welded ones.

Induction Heater for the Small Shops Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc. Induction heating is a method of providing fast, consistent heat for manufacturing applications which involve bonding or changing the properties of metals or other electrically-conductive materials. Learn how this technology can be applicable and affordable in a small shop. Part II of this class will be a demonstration of the capabilities and versatility of the machine from heating to brazing, melting, and even forge welding. Scroll Demo Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc. The demonstration portion of the scroll class will focus on the forging of scroll ends from the simple to the complex. Plus: transitioning of multiple scrolls.

Hotel Information

n Room rate cut-off. Jan. 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm, Eastern, or when the block sells out, whichever happens first. n All reservations must be guaranteed and accompanied by a first-night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. n Reservations have a 72-hour cancellation policy. n All early departures are subject to an early departure penalty of one night room and tax. n All attendees must identify themselves as a member of the Group to receive the group rate and to have their reservations credited to the Group block.

The Doubletree, a Hilton hotel at the entrance of Universal Orlando, is the METALfab 2012 host hotel. Rates Single thru Quad...........................$129 Additional person................$10 each Jr. Suites (1 bdrm)........................ $299 1 Bedroom Exec. Suite................. $399 2 Bedroom Exec. Suite.................$499 Penthouse Suite........................... $600 Two ways to make your reservation 1) Go to and use the link to make your reservation 2) Call 1-800-327-2110 and identify yourself as a member of the Group “MET.” Photo courtsey of The Doubletree. January / February 2012 n Fabricator

Please make your reservation early so that you can be part of the great networking opportunities found outside the day’s activities in the host hotel. 19

METALfab 2012 Special Events

This is NEF’s way of saying thank you for your support of the Foundation and its programs.

First Time Attendee Orientation Wednesday, Feb. 29, 10:30 am–11:30 am This is a great opportunity for first time attendees to meet the leadership of NOMMA/NEF and to learn more about the events at METALfab 2012. This event is not just for first time attendees — anyone who has questions and would like an event overview may attend. “Shift Happens” Jim Feldman, Keynote, Annual Membership Business Meeting Wednesday, Feb. 29, 1:00 pm–2:30 pm Education Session follows: 2:45 pm–4:30 pm This is the membership’s opportunity to attend the annual membership business meeting where officers and directors are elected, committee reports are submitted, and special recognitions are given. A special treat for attendees: Keynote speaker Jim Feldman,, will speak. Theme Dinner: Dress up as your favorite character Thursday, Mar. 1, 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm If you could work at an Orlando theme park for a day, what character would you be? Dress like your favorite Disney, Universal, or Pixar character and have a wonderful evening with great music and food. Plus: Participate in the NEF silent and live Auctions held during this event. Bring your wallet so you can take home some wonderful items donated to benefit the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF). Partner in Education Reception Friday, Mar. 2, 6:45 pm–7:45 pm Join the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) Board of Trustees for food and fun.

Top Job Competition Wednesday, Feb. 29, 4:30 pm–7:30 pm Thursday, Mar. 1, 10:00 am–4:00 pm NOMMA member companies are given the opportunity to cast their ballot. Please remember, one vote per company, so plan who will vote for your company. Voting takes place on the trade show floor during show hours on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 4:30–7:30 pm and Thursday, Mar. 1, 10:00 am–4:00 pm. NEF Live/Silent Auctions Thursday, Mar. 1, 6:30 pm–10:30 pm Without a doubt, the NOMMA Education Foundation Auction has become one of the most anticipated events held each year at the METALfab Convention. With the generous help of our donors, bidders, and auction volunteers, last year’s auction raised more than $12,000 to support the educational and research work of the NEF! All proceeds help the Foundation provide quality education opportunities for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry through continuing education programs, video productions, and educational publications, as well as supporting special projects important to the industry. Top Job Jamboree Friday, Mar. 2, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm Once voting ends, the action continues during the Top Job Jamboree, where images are flashed on a screen and entrants describe their superb work. On Saturday, the excitement is in the air as the contest winners are announced during the Awards Banquet. The grand finale is the presentation of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is given to one gold award winner who shows exceptional craftsmanship.

Annual Awards Banquet

Saturday, Mar. 3, 7:00 pm–10:30 pm During this special time, the new officers and directors are installed, special recognition is given to outstanding NOMMA members, and the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Awards winners are announced. The grand finale of the evening is the awarding of the Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence, which is the top award chosen from the gold-level award winners. This is a must-attend event and a great opportunity to see some of the best jobs of the year! 20

Fabricator n January / February 2012

METALfab 2012 Spouse Program For METALfab 2012, the spouse registration package has a lot of wonderful additions, and is available to attendees who register before February 20, 2012. The spouse registration includes: Trade Show opening reception, classes, tour of Winter Park, theme dinner, NOMMA Education Foundation Auction, Partners in Education reception, Trade Show admission, and awards banquet. Classes, Thursday, Mar. 1, 11:30 am–3:45 pm n Posies Presto! Sometimes we need to put a flower arrangement together unexpectedly. Watch as Chris Holt (Master Gardener with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA, and fabricator at Steel Welding, Freedom, PA) show you how to make simple but effective arrangements from your garden or with a few flowers from a local grocery. You’ll get some excellent gardening tips, too. n Bunko Tournament. Bunko is a game of chance, not skill, played with dice in a tournament format. Now for the real description: Bunko is great fun with dice and an easy way to make friends at METALfab 2012. Make plans to play! n Acrylic Class for Beginners. Have fun discovering your hidden talents with this fun, easy acrylic painting class taught by Mississippi artist Maxine Minter. n Dance Class. Join Sally Nibblelink for a beginner’s class in a jazzy version of a historic dance called the Shim Sham. It is a favorite of Lindy Hoppers & Tap dancers. It will be easy to learn and lots of fun. Wear comfortable shoes for this class.

Winter Park tour, Friday, Mar. 2, 9:00 am–4:00 pm Join the other spouse registrants for a tour of Winter Park, FL, originally developed (1887) for wealthy Northerners as a summer retreat. You will be taken to the Park Avenue shopping district where the Southern charm that lured the elite society can still be seen. Picturesque shops, boutiques, cafes, brick-lined streets, and the towering trees of Central Park make Park Avenue the place to be. Start your tour with a relaxing, 45-minute the Scenic Boat Ride (pontoon boat) gliding through canals and tree lined lakes. View beautiful homes nestled along beautiful lakes and observe nature. Then enjoy the Charles Tiffany Chapel at the The Hosmer Morse Museum of Charles Hosmer Morse American Art, which houses the Museum of American Art. world’s most comprehensive Photo credit: Visit Orlando. collection works of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) works, including Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows, lamps, and the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. And you’ll enjoy a wonderful lunch at the Park Plaza Gardens.

Program schedule

January / February 2012 n Fabricator


METALfab 2012 METALfab 2012 Trade Show Why should you participate in the METALfab 2012 Trade Show? n Touch,

explore and realistically evaluate products. n See firsthand the latest trends and technologies. n Learn about hundreds of the best products and resources available. n Discover new products through demos and one-on-one with industry experts. n Meet some of the best people in the world and form new working relationships. Show Hours Wednesday, Feb.29, 4:30 pm–7:30 pm (Reception 6:30 pm–7:30 pm) Thursday, Mar. 1, 10:00 am–4:00 pm Friday, Mar. 2, 9:00 am–12:00 pm METALfab 2012 is proud of our sponsors Platinum Sponsor ■ Industrial Coverage Corp. ■ The Wagner Companies Gold Sponsor ■ Julius Blum & Co. Inc. ■ Lawler Foundry Corp. Silver Sponsor ■ Colorado Waterjet Co. ■ EPi — Electrochemical Products Inc. Bronze Sponsor ■ Carell Corp. ■ King Architectural Metals.

METALfab is the annual convention and trade show for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals association sponsored in partnership by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association and the NOMMA Education Foundation. For more information on METALfab, NOMMA and NEF, go to or scan the adjacent QR code, at right. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando, FL, Feb. 29–Mar. 3, 2012. You may register using the form on page 23 of this magazine or go to


Fabricator n January / February 2012

METALfab 2012 Attendee Registration Form

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando, February 29–March 3, 2012 The special prices, discounts for multiple registrants* from the same company, and the spouse registration fees below expire Feb. 20, 2012. After Feb. 20, 2012, a late fee of $100 will be added to all registrations.

Step 1: Registration Options Choose your registration type and enter the names for badges. ❑ Full Conference Package Members only n n

Keynote Speaker & Opening Session Education Program (includes Saturday demos)

Trade Show (includes Opening Reception) n Theme Dinner n

NEF Auction Awards Banquet n Demos on show floor n n

Price 1 full registration: $395


2 full same company: $375 each*


3 full same company: $365 each*


4 or more full same company: $350 each*


Example: 3 people from same company: $365 x 3 = $1095 ❑ Education & Trade Show Package Members only $295 n Education Program (includes Saturday demos)

❑ Spouse/Guest Package Members only $299

n Keynote & Opening Session n


Trade Show (includes Opening Reception)

n Demos - show floor

Name_____________________________________________________ Name_____________________________________________________


Trade Show/Opening Reception (Wed., Feb. 29, 2012)


Theme Dinner/NEF Auction (Thu., Mar. 1, 2012)


Special Classes for Spouses (Thu., Mar. 1, 2012)


Spouse Tour — Winter Park Tour (Fri., Mar. 2, 2012)


Awards Banquet (Sat., Mar. 3, 2012)

Above registration is not available after Feb. 20, 2012.







❑ $595 Include a NOMMA membership so that we can obtain the great member pricing. Non-Member Registration Reduced pricing for multiple attendees is not available with non-member registration. ❑ Full Package $595


❑ Education and Trade Show $495


❑ Spouse/Guest Package $499


Individual Tickets Tickets will not be available for purchase after Feb. 20, 2012 ❑ Welcome Reception (Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012) $30 ❑ Theme Dinner (Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012) $105



❑ Spouse Tour — Winter Park Tour (Friday, Mar. 2, 2012) $105


❑ Awards Banquet (Saturday, Mar. 3, 2012) $75


Step 2: Payment Method Select payment type Check (payable to NOMMA in U.S. dollars on U.S. bank) Check #_____________ ❑ American Express

❑ MasterCard


❑ Discover

Card #___________________________________________________________ Exp. Date___________________________________________________ Name on card____________________________________________________ Card CVV___________________________________________________ Signature_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ January / February 2012 n Fabricator


METALfab 2012 ✂

Step 3: Tell Us About Yourself Be sure and enter name(s) beside appropriate registrations that you selected on other side of this form.

Please check the appropriate ribbon labels below for inclusion in your registration packet.

Company _______________________________________________________________________

❑ New Member

❑ Committee Member

❑ First Time Attendee

❑ Chapter President

❑ NW Supplier Member

❑ Chapter Member

❑ Fabricator Member

❑ NEF Contributor

Address_________________________________________________________________________ City_____________________________________________________________________________

State ___________ Zip_____________________ Country_________________________________ ❑ Regional Supplier Email___________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________ Fax____________________________________ On-site Emergency Contact Number_________________________________________________

❑ Member

❑ Gold Member — 20+ Years

❑ Local Supplier

❑ Past President

❑ Member


❑ Affiliate Member

❑ NEF Trustee ❑ Officer

Person to contact in case of emergency______________________________________________ ❑ Committee Chair

❑ Officer

❑ Speaker

Step 4: Attendee Profile Tell us about your business This portion of the registration must be completed for processing. ❑ Check here if you are not involved in the business. If you are not involved in the business this is all of the information needed. Thank you. List three (3) products you hope to purchase from contacts at METALfab 2012: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1) Primary type of business

2) Annual gross sales

3) Your role in purchasing

4) Job description

❑ Fabricator

❑ Below $1 million

❑ Final Say

❑ Owner

❑ General Supplier

❑ $1–$2.5 million

❑ Recommend

❑ Manager/Foreman

❑ Contractor

❑ $2.5–$5 million

❑ Specify

❑ Other____________________

❑ Over $5 million

❑ Other____________ ___________________

Additional Information Registration Registrants can pick up their packets at the METALfab/NOMMA registration desk in the hotel convention center registration area. Attendees on the trade show floor must be 14 years of age or older for insurance purposes. Children under the age of 14 will not be allowed on the trade show floor. Cancellations If received in writing prior to Feb. 23, 2012, we will be happy to refund your registration fee, less a 15% administrative fee. Understandably fees cannot be refunded for registrations cancelled after that date. Registrations are nontransferable without the written permission from NOMMA. Cameras Photography and videotaping are not permitted on the show floor, education sessions, or Top Job Gallery. Emergency Contact We would like to have contact name and phone number in case of an emergency. This person would be contacted only in the event that you were unable to contact them yourself.

Return to

Questions? Call 888-516-8585, extension 101, or email

805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, # 311

For updated information go to

Fayetteville, GA 30214

Online Registration is available on the NOMMA website

Fax: 888-279-7994

Multiple registrations from the same company cannot be processed online.


Multiple registrations should be processed by fax 888-279-7994 or email


Fabricator n January / February 2012

METALfab 2012


Scan to Request a Catalog With Your Smartphone

Albina partnered with Columbia Wire & Iron Works to handle the bending for this job.

Shop Talk

Case Study

Early involvement benefits n

If you bring a third party into partnership with you, do it as early into the work as possible. In this case study, you’ll see how a bending company and fabricator together met deadlines, budget, and specs.

By Brian Smith Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. Using a third-party bending firm lets fabricators take

on bigger projects and offer more options for their customers. One such company, Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc., a NOMMA member in Tualatin, OR, frequently works on challenging, large-scale bending and rolling jobs. Albina has had a close working relationship with numerous fabricators over the years, including many NOMMA members, such as Columbia Wire and Iron Works (CW&I), Portland, OR. One project Albina and CW&I collaborated on was the bending and fabrication of a spiral staircase and landing at the Allison Inn, Newberg, OR. Consisting of spiral bends and highly exposed materials, this project had to be done within budget, on time, to tolerance, and be aesthetically pleasing. Project requirements

The project had six critical requirements: 1) 100% trackability of material. Albina received ma-


terial test reports (MTRs) with all the material they bent. The bender transferred all the heat numbers to the bent materials and tracked the material from the beginning of the bending process through the final stage of shipping. 2) Tight tolerances of bent materials. This allowed for successful fabrication, erection, and installation. 3) Spiral rolling 3/8 x 22-inch plate and 1Âź-inch Sch40 pipe to tight radii. For all spiral bent materials, Albina takes known information from a customer and calculates the elements for bending, such as: n Degree of pitch. n Degree of twist per foot. n The overall rise per foot. n The true arc length. n The true spiral radius. n Bend W8 x 10# material with held tangents without any transition marks between the straight sections and the bent section. Spiral bending is never an easy undertaking. Among the problems companies might face are the following: 4) Minimize distortion. All materials being bent will distort somewhat. Distortion of the bent members can make the fabrication process difficult when joining or Fabricator n January / February 2012

For the spiral bent materials, Albina took the known information from the fabricator and calculated the multiple bending requirements, which included the degree of pitch and twist, and the overall rise per foot.

welding bent sections to straight, millproduced lengths. Minimizing distortion is essential. Examples of distortion include: n Crush and expansion. During bending, materials will crush against one axis and expand against the other. n Concavity. This can occur throughout the inside faces of the bent sections. n Wrinkles. Some materials will actually try to “wave” or “wrinkle” during the bending process. 5) Correct dimensions. Typically, the dimensions of a spiral staircase need to be interpreted to calculate the dimensions required for the bending process. One dimension required for proper stringer bending is the degree of twist per foot necessary to meet the overall dimensions of a staircase. The fabricator or detailer does not provide this dimension; instead, the bending company calculates it for a successful bend. 6) Ensure quality control (QC) and tolerances. Just making a bend and providing it to your customer does not result in the successful completion of a project. QC procedures ensure that the bending company produces an accurate bend. For example, can the bender: n Check the plan view and actual radius? n Check and confirm various heights from ground level throughout the bend? n Check the degree of pitch? n Confirm that the stringer is plumb January / February 2012 n Fabricator

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 at 90 psi. All Big Blu Hammer models ship worldwide.

BIG BLU HAMMER MFG. CO. 3308 Frank Whisnant Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 PHONE: 828-437-5348 • FAX: 828-437-9217


to the plan view radius? n Confirm that the stringer is level to the vertical face of the stringer? n Confirm that the stringers are consistent in radius throughout the arc based on the actual calculated radius? n Confirm that tolerances are predetermined and agreed upon between the bender and the customer? Start early

Before the bending work began, CW&I and Albina examined the

bending design for potential issues. When they determined the design drawings were OK and the desired outcome could be achieved, the two companies established the job requirements, for example for tolerances and the quality of the finished product. They agreed on all the critical elements before one piece of steel was bent. This eliminated misunderstandings later in the process, which could result in scheduling delays or added costs for re-work.

Early involvement on this project helped both companies exceed the customer’s expectations. The project was bent on time, to the required specifications and to budget. Successful projects start with mutual trust between companies, otherwise the chance for failure increases. Partner with a company that will perform as contracted, that the correct people and processes are in place to resolve problems accurately and in time.

For your information


About the author Brian Smith is president of Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. He joined the company in 1998 and represents the third generation of the family-owned business.



Through hole (round) for Schedule 40 pipe, 1/8” or 1/4” wall tube


Through hole (round) for Schedule 80 pipe


Cut to spec (no charge for posts supplied pre-cut to length)


Through hole with counterbore


Single hole drilled and tapped


Cope 1 end only


Through hole (slotted for stairs), per side


Above quoted labor costs are added to current material pricing to complete the post price. Or you can supply material. Call today for a quote!



CABLE RAILING SYSTEM The Cable Connection 800-851-2961 • 775-885-2734 fax E-mail:


About the company Albina, founded in 1939, is owned and operated by the third generation of the Smith family, Brian Smith. Over the past seven decades, Albina Pipe Bending has mastered the craft of bending steel, producing virtually any metal component that needs to bend or curve: pipe, tubing, plate, rail, structural steel (e.g. angle, wide flange and I-beams, channels, rectangular and square tube, and bars), and almost any other ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The company produces work for art canopies, stair stringers, rail systems, roof trusses, bridges, entryways, storefronts, stadiums, and parking garages. CO NTAC T

Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. 12080 Southwest Myslony St. Tualatin, OR 97062 503-692-6010 503-692-6020 fax

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Shop Talk

Choose the right abrasÄąve Photo courtesy of Norton Abrasives


Don’t just grab any abrasive. Selecting the right product can make all the difference. Choose abrasives that minimize costs and maximize productivity.

By David Long Norton Abrasives Professional metalworkers hardly need reminding that maximizing output and mini-

mizing costs in welding and metal fabrication require selecting the right abrasives for each application and using them correctly. Measure the real cost

Abrasive products come in various performance levels, which can be designated as good, better, and best. Metal fabricators who measure total grinding results and want to achieve the lowest overall grinding cost for an application will seriously consider the best abrasive products available and reserve the use of better abrasives for high productivity applications where initial abrasive costs are also important. Seeking the lowest initial abrasive cost is likely to result in selecting good abrasives, but this may not be as economical in the long run. Select the right grinding wheel

Abrasives for stock removal, blending, beveling, and finishing for right angle grinding are offered in different types and grit sizes within four separate product types: 1) raised hub grinding wheels, 2) flap discs, 3) fiber discs, and 4) non-woven products.

January / February 2012 n Fabricator


Advances in abrasive technologies have come via better bonding and coatings, but mostly from improvements in abrasive grain technologies. From left to right: n Brown aluminum oxide. n Ceramic alumina. n Zirconia alumina.

Technology improves

Abrasives for metal fabrication have had dramatic increases in performance over the last 60 years. Some of the improvements have come in bonding and coating technology and manufacturing tolerances, but most are due to advances in abrasive grain technology. Through 1984, aluminum oxide was the only choice for all types of

metal. The creation of zirconia alumina grain through a fusion of zirconia and aluminum oxide provided a sharp, tough grain that would still be friable (fracture under pressure) enough to breakdown in portable applications. Zirconia alumina wheels and discs provided three times the life and 25% faster cut due to a controlled fracturing of the grain, thus allowing for an increased use of each cutting particle.

PORTA-BENDER Now Buy Direct From the Manufacturer Pat. Pending

Don’t leave the shop without it

Works circles around other benders

• Bend • Straighten • Rails • Pickets • Bars

No attachments needed Use in any position

5 Ton c Hydrauli r e d n li y C


Work is fully visible Works where others won’t • Use at the job site for perfect fit. • Designed BY a fabricator FOR fabricators.

• 2” Sq. Tube • 1-1/2” Sch. 40 Pipe

• 2” Channel • 2-1/4” Caprail

Weaver’s Iron Works

(865) 932-2636

P.O. Box 6008 • Knoxville, TN 37914-6008


Weighs Only 18 lbs.

Proud NOMMA Member

This grain technology advanced in the 1990s with the creation of cera­ mic alumina (SG) grain that provided superior micro-fracturing, allowing a continuous supply of sharp cutting edges while raising the use of each grain to more than 80% before it was expelled. This resulted in abrasive products that lasted up to 10 times longer than aluminum oxide depending on the material being ground. Cut rates on hard-to-grind alloys increased over aluminum oxide wheels to more than 300% when the machinery provided enough power to maximize the grain technology. The latest technology is ceramic alumina grain blended with zirconia alumina, which combines the industry’s fastest cutting and longest lasting abrasives. In a recent test on stainless steel conducted by Norton at a large fabricator, wheel usage was reduced from 100 competitive A/O oxide wheels to 14 ceramic alumina grain blended zirconia alumina wheels to accomplish the same job. When adding in the cost of labor to change wheels, the overall abrasive savings was 80%. The labor cost for the job also decreased by 33% due to the faster cut rate. These are measurable quantitative savings that can be accomplished at any shop or job site. Additionally, the constant supply of sharp cutting edges provides qualitative savings and less operator fatigue, less machine maintenance, and less metallurgical damage along with improved part integrity. Fabricator n January / February 2012

NEW LOWER PRICE ON T5 SWING OPERATORS. It’s nice to provide you with the most dependable line of gate operators and accessories. And now that we’ve partnered with advanced automation manufacturer Nice Group, we can put their series of durable residential and commercial swing gate operators to work for you. And that’s nice, too.

T5-ETL • 12V DC swing gate operator (single and dual) for residential • Up to 16 ft. and 450 lbs. • Includes T5-ETL operator, installed radio receiver, choice of solar panel or AC charger • Please check with your distributor for new lower pricing


January / February 2012 n Fabricator 31

12625 Wetmore Road, Ste. 218 • San Antonio, TX 78247 • 800.226.0178

To simplify the selection process, Norton developed the “Abrasive Metal Fabrication Selection Tool” guide, which will be available online soon. Here is a seven-step example of how the guide works (see chart on page 34):

Step Choose the most closely 2 matched description of

Tool / application / material

First priority consideration / secondary consideration / intersection

Step Find the intersecting path 6 of both attributes to find

Step Choose the most important 4 application attribute, for

Finalization of spec

the application.

Step Select the material group/ 3 surface to be worked on.

Step Choose the machine used in 1 your application from the drop

down menu.




If you’re looking for a resilient paint, look at Vinylast – the choice finish for professional blacksmiths and fabricators. With Vinylast paints, you create a unique finish that’s fast and easy to apply:  No priming  Fast drying and no dripping  Excellent adhesion, even to hot dip galvanizing “Vinylast is hands down the best metal paint we have ever used. What a time saver. We didn’t have to prime! And, after a number of nightmares with primer lifting off the metal, I couldn’t believe the ‘baked on’ finish I got with Vinylast. It’s even hard to scratch!”

David Gifford, Owner, Mohegan Ornamental Iron, LLC Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Available exclusively at Architectural Iron Designs

Don’t trust your work to just any paint - use VinylastTM - high performance paint for quality ironwork. MSDS Sheets available upon request VOC content: 585 grams per liter Please check local VOC requirements before using this 950 South 2nd Street, Plainfield, NJ 07063 product E-mail:

To order FREE samples, call: 800.784.7444 32

0001 0002 0003 RAL RAL RAL RAL RAL RAL 7030 1013 6005 6010 9010 3000

the customer, from the left green column. Step Choose the secondary 5 application attribute, for

the customer, from the top blue row.

recommended product.

Step Choose the appropriate product 7 for size and grit availability.

While it could look a little imposing, these are the steps a trained salesperson would undertake to determine the correct product. The first three have already been filled in for demonstration purposes: machine, application, and material. The next set of questions, what the end user deems to be important attributes, determines the product choice. For the application of weld blending/ beveling, the attributes are: n Fast cutting: A product with a high rate of stock removal to get the job done fast n Long lasting: A product that lasts longer / removes more material per product changes n Low vibration: A product that provides less vibration to ease operator fatigue and reduce injury n Low pressure: A product that requires less force to operate to reduce operator fatigue and injury or that performs on a low power grinder n Better surface finish/no gouging: A product that provides a better finish and reduces gouging n Low total costs: A product that provides lower labor costs associated with rate of cut n Low price: A product that offers a competitive initial price Once you have the primary and secondary attributes, you move to the intersection within the chart of the two attributes to determine the correct product. For this blending/beveling application, depressed center wheels are the choice eight times, fiber discs are the choice 14 times, and flap discs Fabricator n January / February 2012

Produce More Work With Less Manpower Fabricate Your Own Architectural Components

Call for a Free DVD 503-722-7700

Hebo Machines were started by German Blacksmiths, with you the fabricator in mind. Their mission has been to partner with you, to provide you with a mechanical advantage to speed up your processes, in order to help make you as fast, efficient, and profitable as possible. Hebo invented their first modern wrought iron machine in Germany over forty years ago, and since then has continued to be recognized as the worldwide leader in this field. The multi-functional Hebo machines can: twist, bend scrolls, endforge, emboss, texture, edge hammer tubing and solid bar, make baskets, and press belly pickets. The machines work with: steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, and brass.

See more machines and video clips at: STM Motor Unit Can Twist Up To 1.5’’ Hebo Scroll Machine Scroll Up To 3/4’’ Square

Watch Us On YouTube: Search: “The Money Machine”

24-Ton Hydraulic Table

Hebo Machines: Now More Necessary Than Ever... 250 Wavy Pickets in Only 45 Minutes

In these challenging economic times, it is now more critical than ever to be fast, productive, and efficient. Your customers are now expecting more value for less money. The Hebo Machines are the absolute fastest way to add value to metal. Can you afford a Hebo? A better question is, how can you afford not to? Make Your Own Parts - How much are you spending in parts every month? Good chance it is more than a lease payment would be. Labor Cost Goes Down - Your least expensive employees become the most productive. Less than the cost of one $10/hr employee, with a useful life of over 25 years.

Produce Blacksmith quality work, in only a fraction of the time.

Speed Up Turnaround - You will no longer be waiting on parts or paying for shipping. Reduce inventory. Manufacture Unique Ironwork - Gives you the ability to produce ironwork that is not cost effective to produce any other way. Tax Savings - Ask your CPA about Section 179 Federal Income Tax Deduction, which allows you to deduct up to $112,000 in equipment purchases.

Emboss a 20’ Bar in Only 30 Seconds

US Representative, Robert Rayson, Stratford Gate Systems, Inc. Phone: Office 503-722-7700 Cell 503-572-6500 Email: or Websites: Hebo Maschinenfabrik, Am Berg 2, 35285 Gemunden-Grusen, Germany Phone ++49 6453 91330 Fax 49 6453 913355 Email:

are the most popular recommendation 20 times. With the material being tough to grind stainless/high alloy steel, all of the recommendations are ceramic alumina or zirconia alumina grain. Note that most machines come with a general-purpose aluminum oxide depressed center wheel at first point of sale. In most cases, this is a poor choice based on what we’ve just outlined.

For your information


About the Author David J. Long is Director of Marketing & Strategy for Norton Abrasives, Worcester, MA. He has held various sales and marketing positions in the abrasives business for more than 34 years. muscle.aspx


Fabricator n January / February 2012






Fax or e-mail your prints or mail samples for immediate quotation!

Mac Metals, Inc. 936 Harrison Avenue Kearny, NJ 07032 Tel: 800.631.9510 Fax: 201.997.7457 Website: E-Mail:

January / February 2012 n Fabricator


Member Talk

What’s in a name? n

Quite a bit, actually. As its name suggests, Meta Designs does more than just welding. It’s growth and experience make it ready for any design or fabrication challenge.

For your information


Meta Designs’ Ryan Lewis stands beside the system of informative pods, which were all constructed by him, at the Utah Museum of Natural History, Salt Lake City. Nearly everything, including the green patterned walls, were built and installed by Meta Designs.

By Peter Hildebrandt When Ryan Lewis, owner of Meta Designs, Salt Lake City, UT, needed a name for his business,

he took a book to bed with him — his dictionary. He wanted a more intriguing, interesting, and promising expression of his work than simply “Ryan’s Welding.” “I believed names such as John’s Welding Company would bring in people looking for just welding services,” Lewis says. “Instead, I wanted to sell myself as a business that could design the work and meet with the designers and homeowners — not be known simply as Ryan’s Welding and Fabrication.” The word meta caught his eye that night. Meta is the prefix meaning change, more comprehensive, or transcending — for example, the metamorphosis that takes place in living creatures, or the metamorphism that occurs in rock formations. “I had a little tagline for awhile: ‘A change in time is a change in design.’ I had a thought on how I wanted people to perceive Meta Designs before I ever had a theme. Meta Designs fit.” Originally from Whitesboro, NY, Lewis caught the entrepreneurial spirit as a boy running his own lawn care business. Later in 1996, he bussed to Utah to be a ski bum searching for adventure. But soon rekindled his entrepreneurial spirit. For two years, Lewis worked at a metal shop before going on his own in 1999. Seeing different types of welding (pipe, structural, ornamental) helped him clarify his goals. 36

What you'll learn n Choose the correct name for your business. n Thinking outside the box. n Stay in contact with architects who do a lot of jobs. n Hiring workers with design and building skills may be better than hiring people with only welding skills. n How Facebook might help your business. CO NTAC T

Ryan Lewis, owner Meta Designs 537 West Pickett Circle, #1300 Salt Lake City, UT 84115 801-972-6382 About the author Peter Hilde­ brandt is a long-time senior writer for Fabricator. He is a general interest writer with a specialty in company profiles.

Fabricator n January / February 2012

The PlasmaCAM® machine makes it easy for you to cut intricate metal projects. Call today for your FREE demo video to see what you can do with this amazing machine! “While shopping, my wife saw an expensive metal table she liked. I offered to make her one, but with my own design & style. Even with little metalworking experience, I imported my sketch and cut out the metal table - all in one piece and with no other materials. The table came out just how I imagined! Plus, several people want to buy my table design. Now I can make my ideas into unique & profitable projects using the PlasmaCAM®!” -Dennis Cordova, Amateur Metalworker

(719) 676-2700 • fax (719) 676-2710 • PO Box 19818 • Colorado City, CO 81019


Who is the best person to know?

QUALITY AMERICAN-MADE STOCK HANDRAIL FITTINGS AT THE LOWEST PRICE! • Full line of stock architectural handrail components including, elbows, wall brackets, flanges, caps, and much more. • Stock fittings are available in steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. • Quality American made products produced and delivered in the most efficient, cost effective ways. • Largest selection of stock formed and mandrel bent elbows.

CUSTOM BENDING & ROLLING SERVICES THAT SAVE YOU TIME & MONEY! • Custom bending and rolling services for large radii and multi-radius bends. • Sharpe’s bending and rolling services can reduce the cutting, welding and grinding times of your job. • Experience in bending steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, and much more! • Fast turn around on custom bending services.



1-800-879-4418 ISO 9001:2008 REGISTERED

2550 South 170th Street • New Berlin, WI 53151


Finding designers and architects who have work is vital to Meta Designs’ success. “It’s instructive to look at the numbers,” Lewis says. “Interior designers typically have 10–15 customers per year. Mid-size architecture companies often see 20–30 jobs a year or more. “On the other hand, the individuals we instinctively are drawn to market to first — the general contractors — usually have only a half a dozen projects per year.” Lewis finds that architects and those who work through them are among the best sources for repeat customers. But architectural work has changed. “In the past, architects would design structures and sell a set of plans, exclusively. Now architects are involved way more than they used to be in these projects, to the point where they’re recommending the subcontractors or contractors to complete the work,” he says. “Knowing who to market to in order to get the best return, I found, comes from the architects. When you get in at the level of the architects, you have the opportunity to design or add to the design, which is something that I love doing. “Through the years my job description has changed. The fact is I’m not out in the shop building projects anymore. I’m out getting the job, designing it, and seeing it to the end. I recently was given the opportunity by a reputable architect in town to design a spiral stair for a custom home he was building. I came back with a wild design and he loved it!,” he says. “Structural work is not in tune with me. I like the fact that we can fabricate full interiors, stair systems, sculptures, railings, and gates, and not a single job is ever the same. There is a surge of architects designing modern homes, and it seems that each needs a cool staircase and railing system. And when given the opportunity to design the system, I could not be more rewarded.” Lewis also noted a friend and mentor who taught him the importance of having a good work ethic, attitude, and drive. “I learned a lot from him,” says Lewis. “He pushed me to work harder than I thought I could, challenging me to learn and excel at building houses. He instilled in me a work pace and ethic that I have carried with me through life and into my shop. [I] expect my guys to meet this expectation when working in the shop. “I look at where I am after 11 years, and there is no doubt that I’ve definitely improved. I went from just myself, to having six employees. We’ve made improvements, but it’s been slow and steady, which is what I’m comfortable with.” The business climate in Salt Lake City has been especially slow the past few years for metal shops that focus on supplying new homebuilders. “Unfortunately a lot of those shops have had to close their doors and are no longer here. Thankfully, I had started to Fabricator n January / February 2012


January / February 2012 n Fabricator


The outside canopy for the Utah Museum of Natural History, Salt Lake City, was built using a Solid Works software model.

make the move into the area of commercial work before things went too far down in the home sector,” says Lewis. Museum job made a difference

Meta just finished a two-and-a-half year job for the new Utah Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City. The final cost of the museum, a landmark for the city, was nearly $100 million dollars. This became the biggest job Meta ever had, not only dollar-wise, but also in the scope of work. The museum work originally consisted of a wall system, built from 2-inch pipe, all tilting at 5 degrees, plus curving


Made in USA since 1996.

Hammer models

with high tup to anvil+base plate weight ratios:

Octagon 50 @ 25:1 9” stroke Octagon 75 @ 20:1 9” & 11” stroke Octagon 100 @ 16:1 & 20:1 11” stroke Octagon 125 @ 16:1 & 20:1 11” stroke Octagon 150 @ 16:1 & 20:1 11” stroke

• Machine shop quality • Hobbyist to Industrial



wall sections or round pods. Each post was connected to each other by a base angle iron mid and top strap. Between posts, a CNC-cut resin panel had to fit tight and be bolted. Another company had bid the museum’s railing work out, but Meta Designs fabricated and installed a canopy, exterior core-ten signage etched with text and graphics, and display cases. There was also a large amount of miscellaneous metalwork for some of the exhibit contractors. The canopy structure was built using a Solid Works software model. The software was used because the canopy was built before the wall, and therefore, there were no wall dimensions to obtain. When the concrete for the site line wall was poured, the canopy had to be ready to install to the wall and building. “Meta Designs could not take the field measurements as the walls weren’t built yet,” Lewis says. “We had to rely on the Solid Works model to get the measurements. When we finally installed the canopy, it was six inches off from where it should have been in relation to the new concrete wall, so we had to do a few onsite alterations so that we could install the canopy.” Lewis learned a lot on the museum job. “Among those lessons are the value of a good general contractor, the value of having good drawing and site measurements, and that you have to be the squeaky wheel on the job making sure things are being done the way you want them done because not everyone’s necessarily looking out for you. For example, with no onsite parking, large deliveries of tools and materials, while allowed, had to be scheduled. Offsite parking was a 1/4 mile away, connected by a muddy, snowy, icy trail, the same trail that deer, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and even a mountain lion used. After 2½ years of intensive work on the museum, Lewis knows there is no looking back. “The museum job has helped us have the best two years ever. It made a difference. I bid on it in 2008, and our bid was right on target. This set the stage for a couple of great years. Meta is a stronger, more technically advanced and efficient company than it was prior to the museum project.” Broadly skilled workforce leads to success

“Among the keys to my success are good employees — because you can’t do it all yourself,” Lewis says. “My business wouldn’t be where it is today if not for the good employees who’ve helped Meta Designs get to this point. Anybody saying anything contrary to that, I don’t believe. You just can’t do it all by yourself and you can’t do it with bad employees. “I look for employees with building skills, rather than just welders. I have started to hire people that have framing experience. There are some guys that come out of college with welding degrees but don’t know how to build anything. To successfully work in an architectural metal fabrication shop you need to be able to fabricate, figure out angles, spirals, make jigs, work through tricky situations, and know how to weld. “I have a couple of guys who came from the construction industry and have a fair bit of welding experience and a couple that have a welding background. I found that the Fabricator n January / February 2012

:tri-state-quarter page.qxd


9:44 AM

This fireplace wall required wrapping of ¼-inch steel plates on all four sides. Nothing could be sheared because that would keep a little imperfect edge on the panels; Using lasers, Meta Designs mapped the entire wall, and then drew using CAD. The unlevel floor and corners meant laser-cutting out of square. The gaps between panels were backed with little pieces of 16-guage steel.

Page 1

construction-background guys can install, layout fences and stairs, and do the geometry and math needed to successfully complete the job, and then you work on their welding skills. I find this better than simply hiring a welder and teaching them how to fabricate.” Still, Lewis sees challenges with employees: keeping them This pizza oven for Red Rock Brewing Company restaurant, Park working and motivated. He’s learns everyday and makes City, UT, was one of Meta Design’s early jobs and before the changes in management procedures when necessary, such as company was digitally-enabled. The challenge was lining up all the rivets and straps so that they would allAD would all intersect. PROOF - 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2 deciding who to put in charge or when to hire and fire.

WE DO RISERS AND TREADS! Often imitated, never duplicated!




Many Styles To Choose From We Deliver Nationwide!




Stair Pans • 1” Bending Capabilities Metal Pour Stops for the Industry • Diamond Plate Steps Shearing up to 1” by 12’ long Now Offering Precision Plasma Cutting Services Let us handle your cutting needs with our new, state-ofthe-art 5’ x 10’ computerized precision plasma and oxy fuel cutting system. Call or fax us for a quote today!


January / February 2012 n Fabricator

(718) 485-2200

Fax (718) 485-0994

366 Herzl St. Brooklyn, NY 11212


wheels. Two 5 x 10-foot tables are permanent, as well as a 20-foot-long Ibeam table used for longer work, such as railings. The latter can be taken outside, too. The company subs out for powder coating, galvanizing, and laser and waterjet cutting.

Designed by Ryan Lewis for Karl Malone, formerly of the Utah Jazz basketball team, this heavy Corten gate is 12 x 21 feet with 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch Corten steel in a weave pattern showing natural patina rust.

Organize for efficiency

Meta Designs is renting the space for its 5,000-square-foot shop. But Lewis would prefer to have his own building with a smaller shop structured around workflow and safety. “Keeping things organized is a big deal for me. Putting tools where they need to go is probably the most important point I can make when it


Facebook helps with marketing

comes to shop efficacy; it saves time and keeps five guys in the shop working smoothly on the task at hand, not tripping over cords or looking for a center punch. Even at 5,000 square feet, the shop gets full fast, with the mill, lathe, 10-inch press break, angle roller, and tables. Keeping open floor space takes some planning.” Lewis has many of his tables on

Another key to Meta’s success has been the use of the NOMMA ListServ, Meta’s website, and Facebook. “Facebook is a good place to get in with the designers and architects — and it’s free. I’m sure that most would agree that a word-of-mouth recommendation from your friends or past clients is the most productive form of advertisement. You can build that network on Facebook to be the people you already know and then you can go out and give people a sneak peak at what you’re capable of, building a familiarity and more of a personal connection than just your website.” Lewis sees more projects being built using digital technologies. “I have numerous clients [who] will build a entire project in Solid Works and just pass me the file. I need to process that file into laser cut patterns, create my shop drawings to send to the shop, and find the most efficient way of getting the project off the computer screen and into real life.” Having one or two employees with knowledge of CAD and Solid Works is vital, he says. Finally, Lewis considers his work to be architectural custom metal projects; they no longer work on the structural side and don’t do many railings anymore. What they do is bridge the gap between structural and ornamental metal work. “I’ve been calling it architectural metal work,” Lewis says. “But as our name indicates we are always up for any new challenges, in design or fabrication. As we continue to successfully build and install projects of increasing difficulty it’s hard to imagine what’s around the corner. No matter what you call our work, ornamental metal work, miscellaneous metal work, or architectural metal work, it appears to me that [we’re] on the right track to continue to design and fabricate top quality metal work for years to come.” Fabricator n January / February 2012

Top Job Gallery



Starting with this issue, we are bringing back the popular “Top Job Gallery” section, which features jobs entered in the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. For starters, we are showcasing a sampling of the outstanding work entered in the Driveway Gates, Nonforged category. Enjoy!

Eureka Forge Pacific, MO This 2011, unique 27-foot, clear opening, sliding cantilever gate was designed by the fabricator to replicate an historic gate and complement swing gates on the property. Weight calculations required the use of a caster wheel. The owner objected so the entire gate was re-engineered in aluminum. The patterns for the castings were “blown-up” 7% to accommodate aluminum casting shrinkage and additional 2 x 4-inch tubes were offset from the gate rails and extended to 40 feet overall to attach the cantilever girder. The four gateposts set into a 17-cubic-yard grade beam. Fixed collars and adjustment screws precisely positioned the seven graphite impregnated rollers. The black-painted. north-south-facing gate curves left to right 4 inches at the outboard end as the sun moves from morning to afternoon. Guide rollers on the receiver and a “bullnose” on the outboard gate style accommodate the movement. The entire project consumed 1500 pounds of aluminum. Approx. labor time: 697 hours. January / February 2012 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


Steel Welding Freedom, PA This 2009, classic style driveway gate was designed to appear as if it was original to the property and in keeping with the 1920s Tudor-style home. The clients wanted a strong, simple design that would include the original 4-foot piers, but asked the gates to be 71/2 feet tall. To accommodate their request, the added decorative scrolls mounted onto the piers helped blend the tall leaves of the gate with the short piers. The gates were hung from steel posts on heavy duty hinges so the gates could be opened in either direction. The latticework on the bottom of the gate was added for strength and also to mimic the diamond shape leaded windows of the home. Sandy soil required extensive footings to support the gates. Approx. labor time: 238 hours.


Fabricator n January / February 2012

Top Job Gallery


Virginia Architectural Metals Fredericksburg, VA The fabricator designed this 2009 double-leafed gate celebrating the client’s Irish background. Each fixed side panel boasted a shamrock to celebrate his heritage. The laser-cut “R”s were gold-leafed and attached to the center panel after the gates were powder coated. “X1” steel tubing formed the frames with ¾-inch-square bar pickets. Shrock Fabrication Bird-in-Hand, PA The customer specified design of this 2011, 13 x 9-foot gate. All materials are solid steel and TIG welded. Blasted, zinc/epoxy primed, and powder coated a soft, textured weathered brown color from Rohm Haas. Posts are 3 x 3 inches, with heavy wall stainless square tubing inside of stone pillars with stainless 2 x 2-inch arms extending to bolt mount hinges, which are welded to the gate.

Introducing the

Advanced Stainless Steel Finishing Tools from Metabo. Visit us online:

Gate Operators & Accessories� Sliding Gate Hardware� A Large Variety of Gate Hinges� Panic Hardware & Locks� 1/2”, 5/8”, & 3/4”� Decorative Gate Components�

January / February 2012 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


Finelli Architectural Ironwork Solon, OH This 2009 project’s landscape architect created the whimsical, doubleentrance driveway gate design. We proposed an all-steel construction with circles burned out to the various sizes. The gate opening mea-

sured 16 x 12 feet high, which required us to fabricate internal hinge beam columns. Each leaf weighs about 500 pounds. The middle area was made of 1 x 3/8-inch-thick bar with ¼-inchthick circle overlays. The challenge was to make this gate maintenance free. We made the gate 46

in a front, middle, and back layer that allowed us to sandblast, metalize, and finish paint all parts. Each gate opening had about 245 drilled and tapped countersunk holes to receive front and back circles. Approx. labor time: 168 hours (fabrication and installation).

Custom Iron By Josh — Bronze Westlake, LA This 2011, 34 x 7-foot community entry gate for a local subdivision consisted of two signs, 300 feet of fence, 120 feet of scalloped brick wall, and 30 brick columns. The fabricator designed the fence, brickwork, and sign. The steel gate with columns was finished with epoxy primer and a urethane topcoat. One of the biggest challenges that we had with this project was getting a commitment on a final design from the 33 members of the community board for the subdivision. Approx. labor time: 100 hours

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Top Job Gallery


Rod Iron Rod Odessa, TX Designed by the fabricator, this 2010 gate was made with 2 x 2 square tubing frames. All of the designs were made from .065 x ¾-inch O.D. tubing. The owner lived in the country and wanted his fence and gates to blend in with the countryside, thus florals with a few butterflies were used. The finish is black satin with a blackened bronze faux paint. Each gate weighs about 320 pounds. Approx. labor time: 60 hours.

Custom panels for gates, railings and fences.

Steel, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, brass, copper, other materials

Precision cut using CNC abrasive waterjet. Cold cutting process does not warp or distort parts, no slag to clean

Contact us to learn more about our NEW 3D cutting capabilities

Wally’s Iron Works Inc. Mount Airy, MD A 2010, custom 12 x 8 foot driveway gate made of 1½ x 1½ x 1/8-inch-square tubing, 5/8-inch-square solid pickets, with spear points, castings, ovals with connection collars and scrolls. The spear points on the gate sides were cut and formed from the tube. The tubing arches were rolled in the shop with the extreme arches fabricated from flat bar to cut distortion. The fabricator designed the gate using AutoCAD and a King Architectural Metals component disc. Structural tubing supports were placed in the brick columns for the gate attachment. All materials were powder coated, zinc primer and statuary bronze. After coating the castings, spear points and scrolls were antiqued with touches of gold accents. The greatest challenge was continuing to rework the arches to create the flowing pattern. Approx. labor time: 180 hours. January / February 2012 n Fabricator

866-532-5404 | |


Top Job Gallery


Aladdin Door & Gate Co. — Gold Indio, CA This 2009 statement of functional art redefines a curved gate. The multiple curves seen in the horizon view is compounded by the multiple curves in the aerial view. Most iron shops have the capability to add a two-dimensional curve to iron with any tubing bender. The curve in the third dimension, which sets this project apart from others, posed the biggest challenge. After the tubing bender was used to create a two-dimensional curve in the 2-inch-square tube frame, we proceeded with thousands of 1/8-inch cuts in the tubing, allowing us to bend the third dimension by hand. We then welded every cut and clad the frame with 16 ga. metal. We used the FAAC underground operators for the cleanest look possible andAd finished iron with a bronze faux. Proofthe77035-CB-4829-08 This project, designed and fabricated in-house, took a 40year veteran fabricator four weeks to complete.

Professional Quality Tools for the Blacksmith, Metalworker and Fabricator See our work at

Anvils Hammers Spring Swages

Kayne and Son

Gas Forges 48


100 Daniel Ridge Rd. • Candler, NC 28715 Phone: (828) 667-8868 • Fax: (828) 665-8303 International Shipping Available • Inquiries Welcome

Art’s Work Unlimited — Gold Miami, FL This 2011 aluminum slide gate is similar to the one designed for the entrance area of the 1898 World’s Fair in Russia, which the customer wanted. We worked off of a poor quality photo and spent days trying to fit the design into the space so it would work out. The interior design in the gate is made of 3/8 x 11/2-inch flat bar, all hand bent using a Hossfeld bender and a hydraulic table press. We made piles of parts before we started assembling. The cup shape was formed in two parts by hand, dishing it out in a wooden cavity, and then welding them together. The most difficult part was maintaining the uniformity, cutting the pieces carefully so they fit well, and using a TIG welder to do all the welding for a clean look. The customer wanted a modern look and chose a powdercoated silver. Approx. labor time: 160 hours (design, fabrication, install). Fabricator n January / February 2012

Top Job Gallery


Metal Styles Inc. Doral, FL The client wanted this 2009 gate to have a strong, modern look to stand out from the crowd. It was designed using Photoshop and AutoCAD, built out of two 20 x 6-foot marine grade aluminum sheets that were waterjetted to form a moving illusion. After the frame was fabricated, we inserted textured copper panels that were darkened by using acid solution. Then we covered the back and hammered a stainless steel logo from the customer. This gate was painted on a textured bronze powder coating and copper color accents on the frame. Approx. labor time: 200 hours (including design and installation).

CSU-201201-NOMMA Fab Hlf Ad_Layout 1 12/19/11 3:45 PM Page 1

Slip-on Abrasives!

Multifunctional Grinding and Polishing System • Ideal for flat surfaces and pipe constructions Grind In Corners! • Grind from a coarse to shadow-free matte finish, up to a mirror polish • Remove welds, deep scratches, oxidation, and rust

PTX Eco Smart Kits

Beveling & Deburring Solutions Ideal Ideal for for Stainless Stainless Steel, Steel, Aluminum Aluminum and and More More Rolei® BE5

Allen Architectural Metals Talladega, AL Designed by the fabricator for a private residential estate, the 2009 gates included a combination of cast iron elements, steel tubing, and forged elements. The challenges were to install the gates on existing brick pillars that had been in place for many years and the hand-applied painted finish. The idea was to hand apply the finish so that the gates looked as if they had been in place since the time the estate was established. The client wanted a vintage weathered look. Approx. labor time: 200 hours for design, fabrication, custom painting, and installation. January / February 2012 n Fabricator

Double-sided Deburring of Sheet Metal up to .2" Thick • Simple, one-step deburring • 2 speeds: 600 and 1200 RPM

Sheet with burr after cutting

Deburring on both sides of the sheet edges

Bevel, Deburr & Chamfer • Bevel 15˚ to 60˚ angles on plate or pipes • Fast, easy preparation of weld seams • Up to 5/8" bevel width


PIPE-MAX Pipe Belt Sander • Polish stainless and all metals • For sanding handrails and pipes up to 12” • Grinds weld seams on flat surfaces

Surface Finishing Solutions

Visit for our full line of metalworking tools, and to view demo videos.

1-800-700-5919 • 49

Top Job Gallery


A.G. Welding — Silver Houston, TX This 2011 gate is 32 x 12-feet high with double panel slide gate 39-inch wide x 34-inch deep x 15-feet-high columns, and 39-feet wide x 34-inches deep x 6-feet, 8-inches-high arched transom. The gate was MIG welded during fabrication and stick welded during installation. The shear size of the project was the greatest challenge and designing the arched transom to fit properly on the columns (timing required transom and columns to be fabricated at the same time, and there would not be an opportunity to move columns in the field). Another challenge was to install the perforated metal on the interior frame of the columns and the arched transom (fabricators had to crawl inside the columns and transom). A crane and scissor lifts were required for installation. The architect designed the project with the fabricating company recommending material sizes and paint finishes. The material was Iron finish, urethane semi-gloss black and metallic gold. Approx. labor time: 450 hours.

See more Top Job entries online Click on ‘Gallery’ 50

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Top Job Gallery


Myers & Co. Architectural Metals Basalt, CO This 2009, I-beam and timber gate is backlit with cutout signage. At the owner’s insistence these extremely heavy gates center pivot at the inner 8-inch pipe posts. A 2-inch solid axle shaft sits on a flanged bearing and passes through a split bearing at the midpoint of the column. The 29-inch fabricated beam and plate connections are made from 3/8and 3/16-inch plates, the timber supports are 4-inch square tube. They are completely bolted together and the diagonals are adjustable. Architect/fabricator collaboration. Approx. labor time: 290 hours fabrication and installation.

Ad_2011:Layout 1


Same Great Products With A New Look! New Distributors are Welcome Call Chet or Terry For More Information

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

Page 1

Metal Master Terry Spatz Coleman National Sales Rep (800) 589-5545

Christopher Metal Fabricating Inc. Grand Rapids, MI This simply elegant, 2009 gate was designed using stock components and castings. The frame is 2-inch-square. The post is a 6-inch-square tube with cast ball finials. The gate and fence are 3/4-inch-square tube pickets, standard cast spears, and 2-inch channels horizontals. The vine/tree branches, bent aluminum pipe, pipe elbows, and bar stock, taper by welding the next smaller size pipe to the end of the larger one. Joints are hidden by a bark texture from cold welds. Approx. labor time: 72 hours, fabrication and installation.

10:09 AM

Premium Coatings for Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Sumter Coatings is proud to continue our commitment to the Ornamental Iron Industry. The great products you have been accustomed to over the past years will be recognized by our Metal Master brand as a way of expressing appreciation to this marketplace. Our popular Satin Shield, along with our other industrial coatings, which were especially formulated for ornamental and miscellaneous metals, will be identified by the Metal Master label. Inquire about water reducible Sure Grip (PFGA-paint for galvanize and aluminum).


2410 Hwy. 15 South | Sumter, SC 29154

Local (803) 481-3400 or Toll Free (888) 471-3400 51

Biz Side

Moving into a ‘closed’ market n

One shop’s journey to diversify into memorial work was met with many surprises and valuable lessons.

By “Uncle Bob” Walsh If you produce

ornamental iron, you may be sitting on a gold mine during these hard economic times. Do you remember the beginning of the old “Beverly Hillbillies” television series? The show would open up with father Jed Clampett accidently striking oil. I’m not sure that what I am presenting will be as easy. Background

With the help of some great artisans, we have a cottage industry that has hammered out gates and railings for top-end homes for 30 years. The ugly truth, though, is that in Pepin, WI, no new construction is happening. I do get sporadic jobs, but if it were not for some money I’ve saved, I question where I would be today. Last year, I worked in my friend’s factory. That was the first outside job I’ve had in 25 years. That paints an honest picture of the economy where I live. Enough whining. Being on the losing end has never been a part of my M.O. It took me a while to figure things out, and I think I may have. I hope this helps other NOMMA members as well.


The memorial market

In America, 6,500 people die every day, according to government statistics. I am real sorry for the losses of these families. But the statistic means 6,500 survivors every day are faced with a memorial problem. The number goes up every year as the baby boomers and their parent’s age. This is a touchy topic. I am not suggesting that a fabricator producing ornamental iron become an ambulance chaser. I have compassion for the people suffering through their losses. I have been there. I have lost both my parents and one of my daughters. What I am suggesting is that memorial work can be ornamental and represents a solid and sizable purchasing demographic. I suspect it is no coincidence that the big box store Costco now sells memorial products. I do not have all the answers concerning the sales of memorial products. But here’s what I’ve discovered. I hope it will help give you a jump on the process. Idea 1: Internet marketing

Starting from scratch, I decided to sell forged ornamental grave markers by marketing my products on the Internet and

Fabricator n January / February 2012

selling nationally. My concept was to sell both personal interior metal wall bouquets as memorials for survivors who cremated and grave markers for those desiring a traditional site. With this in mind, I asked my computer guru to search on Google for “family memorials” and tell me how many hits (visits) one of the top listings was receiving. Nothing is private on the Internet. Initially I thought “memorials” would be the best search keyword, however, every roadside memorial, war memorial for every war, even a memorial site for pet ferrets is listed! There are a huge number of listings for “memorials.” But was narrowing the search by adding the word “family” as an adjective a good idea? My computer techno-guru told me one of the top sites under “family memorials” was receiving around 10 visits per day. Oddly, he approximated the number because the figure was higher in the warm months. I can only speculate

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

that some people cremate and then wait until warm weather to establish a gravesite for the ashes. Nevertheless, I thought if I could get my website on page one of the Google listings and get 10 hits a day,

major search engines for six months under the term “family memorials.” The Internet has been a marketing disaster. The tracking system set up on my website showed the number of visits varied but was usually 3–4 per day. Nice? No. The hits were coming from countries on the other side of the world. Why would someone from the other side of the world fish on my website? I can only speculate the inquiries are coming from companies looking for products to manufacture because I get incomprehensibly written email inquiries about pricing. Idea 2: Print media

I’d be back in the saddle. Next I had my website designer restructure my site so its main focus was on memorial products. Then I contracted a search engine optimizer to work his magic to get my site up onto page one of the listings. At the time of this writing, my site is and has been on the first page of the

OK, with that learning experience behind me, I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and moved on to the next try. I ran an ad in the memorial products section below the obituaries in the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis newspaper. I promoted “cost saving alternatives.” Thinking this would appeal to the widow who is downsizing. Wrong, but I was not sure why?


After receiving no response, I started to get angry. I decided to advertise in the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Even though the print newspaper’s circulation has fallen below one million because many of its readers now are online, I thought the number of readers was still a lot. Even though it was expensive, it had to work. Wrong. Again, I promoted cost saving alternatives. Close to one million readers and not one response. Go figure. I cannot believe this, and I am the one who did it! Idea 3: Funeral homes, wholesaling

Accepting defeat would sure be a lot easier, but I am just not wired that way. The next step was funeral homes and wholesaling. I wanted to avoid wholesaling from square one, but at this point wholesaling looked more attractive than “no-saling.” With an open mind and urn in



hand, I went door to door to funeral homes. I thought I could wholesale the lower-priced items and then pay a sliding referral fee on the larger ticket items. What an experience this turned out to be! I cannot speak for your area, but in my neighborhood the mortuary business is a closed-door system. I was treated rudely, and more often than not, was not allowed to speak to the owner or person in charge at all. I was not rejected. I was ejected! I left samples, attempted more visits, and made phone calls. Based on what little information I received, my understanding is that many or all of their products are produced either inexpensively or overseas and then marked up more than local products can be. It made me wonder how a deceased V.F.W. or an American Union Laborer would feel about having their remains placed in an urn made and shipped from the other side of the world. I guess this is another one of those “don’t ask, don’t tell” situations. The welfare line is looking better by the day, but I cannot get in this line. If I get in line, my deceased father will find a way out of his grave and kick my “you know what”! Idea 4: Getting help

Ornamental Hardware • Hinges Custom Metal Parts Art Objects • Custom Grills Signs and Letters Custom Bending & Fabrication

DESIGN & SALES: 800-635-2596 FAX: 828-333-5551 OFFICE: 800-541-8065 • 54

Figuring out this marketing is not an option, it is a requirement. I have not spent my working life improving my skills in my passion only to now become a big-box store greeter (if I can help it). Or, “would you like fries with that?” About 25 years ago when in a similar situation with my architectural ironwork, I called artist/blacksmith Steve Austin in St. Louis for advice. I did not know Steve then nor do I

know him now, but after reading and seeing some of his work in print, he appeared knowledgeable in the areas I needed help. A 10-minute conversation with someone who has been there turned my business around for the better. I will be forever grateful for his suggestions. With this previous mentoring experience in mind, I went to the Internet to look for someone who was marketing memorial products like mine. I found a man who makes custom coffins. He has been in my shoes, and he explained things to me. He’s now my new mentor, and here is what he told me: n I will be viewwed as a competitor, an adversary, by the funeral homes and the entire funeral industry, based on his experience. n Funerals are a big deal; people are in their most vulnerable state. Thus, they are willing to pay more at a funeral home because they want a package deal from an established, reputable firm that will be guaranteed to run smoothly. The last thing they want during a crisis is a wild card that might mess things up. n My newspaper ads didn’t work for two reasons: 1) I was selling price, not product. 2) Consumers want eye contact in this business to reassure them that you are stable, dependable, and a solid bet. They want the handshake and the credibility that comes with it. Consumers want to work with someone who is totally committed to the product and process. The money you charge is important, but secondary to the security you provide. n The Internet, in his opinion, does not work for the same reason. It is just not a solid enough bet for most people. Amazon may sell many books online, but memorial products are just too serious for online sales. n I overshot on the bronze cemetery monuments by incorporating bronze bases. Theft is an issue with bronze. I should have seen this coming. Less bronze and more stone mean a lower cost and less theft to worry about. Fabricator n January / February 2012


Where does this leave me and anyone else who would like to produce these products? I do not have all the answers. However, through the process of elimination, here are some things I’ve learned: n Start your memorial business from scratch. You are out of the system and the old garde will see you as a competitor. You’re on your own. n Go wholesale, if you can make the numbers work. n Sell cemetery monuments to “pre-planners,” people who make their funeral arrangements in advance. Offer them free storage for a year and build that cost into the price. By selling to pre-planners, you can be worked into someone else’s package deal. n Make yourself and your identity rock solid with these products. This is serious stuff. If you have a good storefront or location, this will help your credibility. n Some cemeteries allow ironwork, while others do not. If ironwork is not allowed, attach ornamental forged, fabricated, or cast bronze onto a granite base. The base will typically weigh between 300–800 pounds and take care of theft issues. Idea 5: Marketing to ‘pre-planners’

I have picked myself up, dusted off (again), and regrouped. I’m now going to market to “pre-planners” through newspaper ads. I plan to meet them, look them in the eye, and shake their hands. And, since iron shops often get newspaper coverage, I will try rustling up some human interest coverage. About the author By the way, my custom Robert Walsh casket mentor started out (Uncle Bob) presenting his products at has been a a heritage festival. He only fabricator/artist/ does this one public sales blacksmith for event per year. In his first 30 years. For 10 years, his shop year, he sold about six cuswas in downtown Minneapolis. tom caskets. He’s now sellAfter the invention of the ing 50 per year. In addition fax machine (allowing an easy to coming from the heriinterchange of sketches), he tage festival, his sales now moved to semi-rural Wisconsin come from the community where he set up a cottage inas he builds his trade. dustry with fellow shop owners that has been chugging along If you pursue memorial for 20 years. Their ironwork can work, good luck. About be found throughout the upper 6,500 people/families need Midwest. memorial products of some sort every day. This CO NTAC T number represents a solid and sizable purchasing R. Walsh Gate & Railing 306 Lake St. demographic. It is just a Pepin, WI 54759 matter of finding the right 715-442-3102 combination to bring this purchasing demographic into our industry.

For your information


January / February 2012 n Fabricator


5S Biz Side



Set in Place

Standardize Sustain

5 steps to organizing your shop n


The ‘lean manufacturing’ tool called 5S can help you spend more time working and less time looking for your stuff.

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from a presentation that manufacturing consultant Charlie Martin gave during a recent NEF/NOMMA event in Portland, OR. It is the first of several installments. By Charlie Martin Manufacturing Matters What is currently described as “lean manufactur-

ing” used to be called “just-in-time” or the Toyota Production System. It was introduced to America in the late 1970s and changed the world of manufacturing. This article will examine how one fabricator’s shop successfully adapted lean manufacturing tools and techniques for their job shop environment. Usually you think of lean production as manufacturing plants cranking-out large batches of parts for the automotive or other similar industry, and you think it has little to do with how you do business in your fab shop making one-offs or small batches. However, many lean concepts and tools that can make you more efficient and your customers more satisfied can be applied with minimal effort. Here’s a simple question to help illustrate: Can you find any tool in your shop or information in your office within five seconds? If like in most shops you can’t, then maybe you can benefit from a simple lean tool called 5S. Most organizations, large or small, start with 5S, which is simple in concept and can stand alone as an improvement tool. It can be your foundation upon which you build other lean tools. Many people see lean as a common sense approach that can be described as “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” 5S is a sequence of five steps all beginning with the letter S. They are, in order of appearance: 1 Sort 2 Shine 3 Set in Place 4 Standardize 5 Sustain To illustrate the five steps in a shop probably similar to yours, let’s follow a recent example at Fabricator n January / February 2012

Walk into two different fab shops, one dirty

with tools and equipment scattered everywhere, the other tidy with places marked for all the equipment, materials, and shadow boards with tools visible and organized. Which one would you do business with? Madden Fabrication, Portland, OR. Madden previously had some success with 5S in their tool room/shop supplies area and wished to extend this success to one of their welding booths — a rather daunting task. Step Sort 1 Once deciding on the welding booth to

attack, Madden defined the precise boundaries of the area and determined who would have ownership of organizing and maintaining the booth. Everyone needed to be involved. They also compared photos of the booth in its current state against the finished product. Then began the business of sorting: To the side of the welding booth, Madden also created a holding or “red tag” area (some shops find it necessary to cordon this off). They quickly moved all the items in the initially defined booth to the holding area where the items could be sorted into three groups: n Group 1. Items the operators use everyday regardless of what job they are working on. This included hand tools, grinder, and hammers. n Group 2. Items needed occasionally or when doing a specific job, such as fixtures, gauges, and templates. n Group 3. Embarrassing items that the operators classified using statements such as, “I’ve been here for three years, and those things have been under my bench, I don’t know what they are.” Company historians then examined these mystery items and decided whether to save, recycle, or scrap them.

Before. A welding booth at Madden Fabrication, Portland, OR, before 5S implementation. Madden previously had some success with 5S in their tool room/shop supplies area and wished to extend this success to one of their welding booths.

Step Shine 2 Now that the welding booth was empty,

cleaning (shine) was the next step before further organizing the necessary items. The walls were cleaned, lighting and ventilation improved, and a fresh coat of paint applied. But there’s more to shine than cleaning. In the 5S discipline, this step also includes inspecting the cleaning tools (see step 3) and equipment and conducting minor repairs of things, such as frayed electrical cords or air leaks. Shine is also about safety, since a clean work area is a safer work area. January / February 2012 n Fabricator

After. The same welding booth after implementation of 5S. It clearly shows the use of the shadow board. Sustaining 5S in your shop allows you to present a culture of quality and efficiency to both your co-workers and customers that’s obvious at a glance.


Manufacturing consultant Charlie Martin lectures about the 5S organizational process at Madden Fabrication, Portland, OR.

A clean work environment is better for morale, not to mention the message it sends about quality. Step Set in Place 3 The items remaining after the

sorting process were in two distinct groups: n Group 1. Items used daily/ frequently, and n Group 2. Items used occasionally. The task now was to follow the axiom, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” This was accomplished by:

n Moving the Group 2 items to a designated spot in a storage area (a storage rack) where they could easily be found and retrieved. Before storing them, however, they were first cleaned and checked to make sure they were functional. They were also labeled for their designated storage location. n Hanging the frequently used items in Group 1 on a “shadow board” within easy reach of the operator. The team went through several shadow board layout configurations before it “felt” right. (During this phase, operators generally practice various nesting options with the tools they need on

cardboard before committing to a final layout.) The final layout was painted on pegboard with each tool outlined in a visible silhouette. Why the silhouette? Because it’s important to know when a tool is missing and to know that each tool has a place. Also, the operators color-coded the tools to ensure that tools assigned to a specific area didn’t wander. This helped to build a sense of ownership and responsibility. Finally, the team designated spots for incoming work and for finished work ready to go to the next process.

800-526-0233 • 631-225-5400 • Fax: 631-225-6136


Fabricator n January / February 2012

Step Sustain 5 As it is for all workplaces imple-

menting 5S improvements, the challenge now for Madden will be to sustain the gains. Sustain is really about the type of business you are and the image you present. When a new employee arrives at your shop, how do they know what’s expected of them without being told? When a potential customer visits, what impression of quality do they get when they first enter your shop? The sustain step allows you to present a culture of quality and efficiency that’s obvious at a glance. Sustain allows your shop to say to employees and customers: “This is the way we do business.” This can best be done in a smallto medium-sized company by the values you project and the questions you ask in your daily walks through the shop. January / February 2012 n Fabricator

Like many lean tools, 5S applies to any company, whether large or small or a high-volume manufacturer or one-off job shop. It’s about workplace organization, quality, and efficiency. 5S initially may require a small investment of time, the payback will be felt immediately through: n increased employee morale, n reduced time spent searching for tools and materials, and n enhanced customer confidence. Successful use of 5S gives enhances good work habits upon which you can build other cost-effective lean tools. Next in the series

The next article will expand on the 5S concepts, incorporating ideas from the “visual factory” to help you manage supplies and shop performance. The visual factory uses symbols and color codes rather than words to help decisionmaking. For example, a shadow board is a simple form of visual control, so 5S leads naturally to visual factory techniques.



For your information About the author Charlie Martin is a consultant with experience in numerous manufacturing environments, including job shops, fabricator shops, and tool and die shops, as well as large corporations. CO NTAC T

Charlie Martin Manufacturing Matters 2785 NW Upshur, Unit H Portland, OR 97210 503-502-4670 Greg Madden Madden Fabrication 2550 Northwest 25th Pl. Portland, OR 97210 877-902-6424




from the occasional “spring cleaning,” in which one follows the steps outlined above, but let things deteriorate, then do it all over again in a year or two. To standardize means capturing the gains made in the first three steps to prevent backsliding and to stop the messiness from accumulating in the first place. To accomplish this, Madden reduced the number of flat surfaces where items could be placed and forgotten. Madden also implemented a cleaning station that was easy to reach. Employees will keep their area clean if they don’t have to search for a broom or cleaning supplies. Cleaning stations in multiple work areas, which are inexpensive to set up, send the message that cleaning is important and that the employer is making it easy for people to do the right thing and put items back where they belong rather than to rebuild clutter. Moreover, the company made a daily checklist for operators to follow and allow time at the end of each day for cleaning and inspection. The checklist hangs in the work area along with a couple of before and after photos that “shows people how the area used to look and how it looked after it was ‘5S-ed,’ and let’s keep it that way.”

The return on your invetsment


Step Standardize 4 This is the point where 5S differs



Encon Electronics offers the INVENTORY of a huge corporation with the SERVICE and SUPPORT of a small, family company.


© maigi -

Biz Side

9 marketing strategies to boost your bottom line n

No one needs extra ‘busy work,’ but it’s a mistake not to have a marketing plan. It’s not just about advertising.

By William J. Lynott dealing with day-to-day problems that they never find time to develop a business-building marketing program. That’s a serious mistake. Marketing is an essential ingredient in the recipe for growth — even survival — for any small business. Yet, many shop owners shy away from all but the most obvious ways to promote their businesses. For some, their entire marketing program consists of an expensive ad in the Yellow Pages. If that sounds familiar, read on. Here are nine proven marketing strategies that will help you to grow your business in 2012 and all the years to come:

a shop, put up a sign, bought a Yellow Pages’ ad, and sat back while customers streamed in with money in hand. Perhaps, but not likely. Building a successful fabricating business requires an ongoing marketing program. Competitive prices alone won’t do it. Good service alone won’t do it. Specialized knowledge alone won’t do it. Years ago, a popular saying offered this wisdom: Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. As a number of inventors have learned, that’s a clever saying, but it has little to do with reality. After inventing better mousetraps, they soon discovered that without marketing their brainchildren sat languishing on store shelves.

1Adopt a marketing attitude

2 Marketing is more

Many metal fabricators are so busy

Almost by definition, metal fabricating means marketing. Some time, some place, someone may have rented 60

than just advertising

While advertising is an essential part of marketing, it is only that — a Fabricator n January / February 2012

What is marketing? The activity, set of institutions, and processes

for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. — American Marketing Association

part. An effective marketing program requires much more than advertising. Marketing embraces all facets of your shop’s operation. To be an effective marketer, among the things you must do is: n nurture and promote your business image, n sell yourself as well as your business, and n concentrate on making a visit to your shop an exciting and informative experience for today’s demanding contractors and customers.

3 Set your business apart

America’s most successful entrepreneurs, gigantic or tiny, are those who have carefully developed a unique identity. Your job is to evaluate your strengths and then combine them to form a unique identity — a marketable image for you and your shop. Perhaps you’ve been in business longer than your local competitors have, or maybe yours is a familyowned business with generations of metal-working expertise. Your shop may be known for its imaginative designs and intricate workmanship. Perhaps you have highly skilled employees who take pride in their workmanship. Whatever your marketable strengths, write them down, study them, and determine how to separate yourself from your competitors — how to motivate a potential customer, even one who lives and works outside of your primary trading area, to seek you out. Once you’ve sold yourself and your employees on why you are the best choice for customers who require the utmost in professional know-how, you must focus your marketing efforts on ways to promote this image to your customers and prospects.

4 Never lose a customer to a competitor

Experts agree that, on average, it costs five times as much for a business January / February 2012 n Fabricator

to find a new customer than to keep an old one. You should focus on the significance of that statement. It is one of the most powerful concepts in the business world. Once a new customer visits you for the first time, you’ve done the hard part. Now, your job is to instill the notion that doing business with you will always be satisfying. You and your employees must never lose sight of the fact that developing a new customer is a costly and difficult job. Once a stranger crosses your threshold, that first experience will determine whether that person will ever visit you again. Once you convert a prospect into a client, you must build your marketing program around techniques designed to make sure that he or she never has reason to be dissatisfied.

5 Keep house like the big boys

The next time you visit one of the chain department stores, such as Sears, Target, or Macy’s, look at the housekeeping. See how the floors are clean and shiny, the shelves neat and clean, windows and other glass sparkly bright. That’s no accident. It’s likely that the maintenance crew was busy polishing floors and tidying up before you got out of bed this morning. Companies with the resources to approach business as a science have long since discovered an important truth: People get in a buying mood more easily when the shopping environment is neat and clean. The physical appearance of your shop will say more about you and your products than all of your paid advertising. If you want to separate yourself from your competition, become a better housekeeper than your competitors. An inviting interior and exterior are relatively easy to accomplish, and they offer an easy way to reinforce your professional image. The physical appearance of your facilities and personnel are built-in

advertisements. They say either good things or bad things about your dependability and trustworthiness. What image they convey is up to you.

6 Make customer satisfaction your hallmark

Customer satisfaction is the most powerful advertising and marketing medium available to you. Nothing will build your business faster than customers bragging to their friends about you — and nothing will eat away at your business more relentlessly than a dissatisfied client complaining to friends and business associates about an unhappy experience with you. Yes, it can take money and time to resolve a customer complaint, and it can be especially trying when you feel that the complaint is not justified. However, remember that the dollars you spend resolving a complaint are marketing dollars — arguably the most effective marketing dollars that you can spend. Never allow yourself to forget that the most powerful and least costly source of new business is a personal referral, and the only sources of personal referrals are satisfied customers.

7 Measure the results

of every advertising dollar

Metal fabricators may be at a disadvantage when it comes to advertising in major media, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in the game. Larger businesses can afford (or think they can afford) to waste dollars on advertising that doesn’t carry its own weight, but you must make certain that every one of your advertising dollars is generating bottom-line profits. The only way to do this is to track the source of every new customer. Many shop owners are under the impression that their Yellow Pages’ ads are producing far more business than they actually are. Perhaps your 61

drycleaners. Aha! That’s it — cross promotion. These two non-competing businesses are promoting each other. Each is benefiting from advertising at no cost except for nominal printing expense. Cross-promotion is an inexpensive and effective way for non-competing local businesses to help each other. How many businesses in your community are cross-promotion candidates for your shop? Probably many. Why not take the initiative and suggest a cross-promotion program with the best candidates?

8 Consider cross-promotion

9 Take action now

When you pick up your order at the local drycleaner, you notice coupons on the counter good for a discount at the local car wash. What’s the connection? What does a dry-cleaning shop have to do with a car wash? You get the answer to that question when you visit the car wash to take advantage of your discount. As you pull your car up to the entrance, you spot a large sign advertising that same

It almost doesn’t matter which first step you take in your new marketing program. What matters is that you do something new and creative to overcome the inertia that keeps many shop owners from ever reaching their full potential. Creativity and originality are the keys to a great marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to try something new no matter how unorthodox it may ABANA

Association of North America, Inc.

While marketing is work — and most NOMMA members will agree that they don’t need more “work” — it’s a different kind of work. Marketing your business will be challenging, exciting, and rewarding. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.

For your information About the Author Bill Lynott is a long-time business writer for Fabricator. He is the author of three books: Professional Service Management (McGraw-Hill); Power Letters for Service Executives, (Lynco Publications); and Money: How to Make the Most of What You’ve Got (Author’s Choice Press). Bill also has an extensive background in management, consulting, and marketing. Email:

Restoring the Past. Building the Future.

259 Muddy Fork Road Jonesborough, TN 37659 423/913-1022


seem at first glance. If it doesn’t work, move on and try something else.


own Yellow Pages’ ads are cost-effective, but the only way to know for sure is to ask new customers how they happened to choose you. Consider using local media, such as neighborhood newspapers and newsletters, to augment Yellow Pages’ advertising. More important, get on the Internet bandwagon. A skillful presence online is rapidly becoming the most effective marketing tool in today’s high-tech world. Whatever advertising media you use, it is essential that you take the time and trouble to track the results. Questions? Call Peter H. Miller, President: 202.339.0744 x 104. Or email


Fabricator n January / February 2012 Fabricator RM house ad.indd 1

10/14/2011 12:45:08 PM


Nationwide Supplier Members Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (866) 252-4628

D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (800) 716-0888

Alku Group of Companies (800) 465-7143

D.J.A. Imports Ltd. (718) 324-6871

Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858

DAC Industries Inc. (800) 888-9768

Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (800) 527-1318 American Punch Co. (800) 243-1492

Decorative Iron (888) 380-9278 DKS, DoorKing Systems (800) 826-7493

Industrial Coverage Corp. (800) 242-9872 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (800) 371-4404 Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846 Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101 The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427

Ameristar Fence Products (888) 333-3422

Eagle Bending Machines Inc. (251) 937-0947

Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (800) 784-7444

Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC (847) 636-1233

Artist Supplies & Products (800) 825-0029


Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143

ETemplate Systems (919) 676-2244

Banker Wire (800) 523-6772

EURO-FER SPA (011) 39-044-544-0033

BFT U.S. Inc. (877) 995-8155

FabCad Inc. (800) 255-9032

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348

Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products) (800) 888-2418

Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512

Gates That Open LLC (GTO) (800) 543-4283

Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc. (800) 221-5579

Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (800) 663-6356

Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537

Glasswerks LA Inc. (800) 350-4527

Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510

The G-S Co. (410) 284-9549

Marks U.S.A. (800) 526-0233

Hartford Standard Co. Inc. (270) 298-3227

McKey Perforating (800) 345-7373

Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (800) 526-6293 Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC (856) 205-1279 Byan Systems Inc. (800) 223-2926 The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961 Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948 Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271 Century Group Inc. (800) 527-5232 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402 Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404 CompLex Industries Inc. (901) 547-1198 Custom Mfg. & Polishing Inc. (417) 831-7900 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766


(262) 786-9330

Hayn Enterprises LLC (800) 346-4296 Hebo/ Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700 Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700 House of Forgings LLC (866) 443-4848 Hypertherm Inc. (603) 643-3441 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988

King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals - CA (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals - MD (800) 542-2379 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144 Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225

Lehigh Valley Abrasives (908) 892-2865

Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796 ProCounsel (866) 289-7833 Q-Railing USA Co. (714) 259-1372 Ransburg (800) 233-3366 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (800) 841-8457 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 L.E. Sauer Machine Co. (800) 745-4107 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 South Camden Iron Works Inc. (800) 962-1029 Stairways Inc. (800) 231-0793 Steel Masters Inc. (602) 243-5245 Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC (800) 451-2612 Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400 TACO Metals (800) 653-8568

Metabo Corp. (800) 638-2264

Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058

Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464

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

Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575

TS Distributors Inc. (800) 392-3655

NC Tool Co. (800) 446-6498

The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914

O.K. Foundry Co. Inc. (888) 592-2240

Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463

Ohio Gratings Inc. (800) 321-9800

Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc. (847) 272-7400

Overseas Supply Inc. (866) 985-9885

Fabricator n January / February 2012


New Members We are pleased to introduce We are pleased to introduce our newest members. our newest members. our new member We encourage our We encourage new member in and get involved.” firms to “jump firms to “jump in and get involved.” New NOMMA NOMMA Members Members New New NOMMA Members as of of December December 9, 2011. as 9, 2011. 2011. as of December 9,

Super Thanks!!! Super Thanks!!!

A thanks to all members members who who have have contributed contributed so so far far to to our our A thanks to all members who have contributed so far to our 2011–2012 membership membership campaign! campaign! 2011–2012 membership campaign! We encourage everyone everyone to to sponsor sponsor aaa member member and/or and/or We encourage everyone to sponsor member and/or send the NOMMA office your leads. send the NOMMA office your leads. send the NOMMA office your leads.

Provided Provided NOMMA NOMMA Provided NOMMA with aa member lead with member lead with a member lead

Decor Ironworks Ironworks Decor Decor Ironworks Schererville, IN IN Schererville, Schererville, IN Robert Brunner Brunner Robert Robert Brunner Fabricator Fabricator Fabricator

Lawler, n Stan Stan Lawler, Lawler, nn Stan

Lawler Lawler Foundry Foundry Corp. Corp. Lawler Foundry Corp. Hayden, nn Nancy NancyHayden, Hayden, n Nancy Tesko Enterprises Tesko Enterprises Tesko Enterprises Molina, nn JR JR Molina, JR Molina, n Big D Metalworks Big D D Metalworks Metalworks Big Parquette, nn Lynn Lynn Parquette, n Lynn Parquette, Mueller Mueller Ornamental Ornamental Iron Iron Works Works (2) (2) Mueller Ornamental Iron Works (2)

Forest Mfg. Mfg. Forest Forest Mfg. Punxsutawney, PA PA Punxsutawney, Punxsutawney, PA David Miller David Miller Miller David Fabricator Fabricator Fabricator Kelly’s Ironworks Ironworks Kelly’s Kelly’s Ironworks Monroe, LA Monroe, LA LA Monroe, Misty K. K. Howse Howse Misty Misty K. Howse Fabricator Fabricator Fabricator

nnGregg GreggMadden, Madden, Madden, n Gregg Madden fabrication Madden fabrication (2) (2) Madden fabrication (2) Rhoda Mack, nn Rhoda Mack, n Rhoda Mack, Fine Fine Architectural Architectural Metalworks Metalworks Fine Architectural Metalworks

Sponsored Sponsored aaa member member Sponsored member

Co. nnJulius JuliusBlum Blum& Co.Inc. Inc. Blum && Co. Inc. n Julius nnFabCAD FabCAD n FabCAD nnLehigh LehighValley ValleyAbrasives Abrasives Valley Abrasives n Lehigh Welding & Fabricating nnO’Malley O’Malley Welding FabricatingInc. Inc. Inc. n O’Malley Welding &&Fabricating

Become A NOMMA Member

Just the NOMMA ListServ alone is worth the price of a membership. Topics recently Just the NOMMA ListServ alone is worth the price of a membership. Topics recently covered: Measuring devices, storage racks, panel brackets, stair pans, double helix covered: Measuring devices, storage racks, panel brackets, stair pans, double helix stairs. stairs. To join, contact Liz Johnson (888-516-8585, ext. 101, or visit

To join, contact Liz Johnson (888-516-8585, ext. 101, or visit

k ecck he Ch C Ou urr O o eo de Viid V

Ou utt O ne nlliin e On O

y r a y r r b a i r L b i L

One of your greatest benefits as a NOMMA One of your greatest benefits as a NOMMA member is complete access to our online member is complete multimedia library: access to our online multimedia library:

☛ 12 NEF “How To” Training Videos ☛ 12 NEF “How To” Training Videos ☛ Past webinars (building codes, social media, etc...) ☛ Past webinars (building codes, social media, etc...) ☛ Podcasts (recordings of past Roundtable calls) ☛ Podcasts (recordings of past Roundtable calls) ☛ NEF mini tutorials ☛ NEF mini tutorials ☛ Gulf Coast Chapter Measuring Video ☛ Gulf Coast Chapter Measuring Video To access the videos go to the NOMMA website, click on “Support” To the videos go NOMMA website, click onLiz“Support” andaccess then “Members.” Nottoa the NOMMA member? Contact Johnson and then “Members.” Not a NOMMA member? Contact Liz Johnson (888-516-8585, ext. 101, or visit (888-516-8585, ext. 101, or visit January / February 2012 n Fabricator January // February February 2012 2012 nn Fabricator Fabricator January

65 65 65

What’s Hot? n People Lance and Matthews elected officers at Lincoln Electric Doug Lance and Thomas Matthews have been elected officers of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. Lance was named vice president, operations, and Matthews was appointed vice president, R&D. Lance will have responsibility for Lincoln’s Cleveland operational processes and staff, as well as for Lincoln’s welding Doug equipment manufacLance turing operations in Torreon, Mexico. Matthews will be responsible for Lincoln’s North American product development processes and staff, and will continue to coordinate the company’s design efforts around the world. Lance began his career at Lincoln Electric as an engineering trainee in 1990, after graduating from the University of Toledo with a degree in mechanical engineering. Matthews joined Lincoln as an engineering trainee in 1988. He completed a bachelor of science degree in physThomas ics from Southern Mathews Oregon State College, as well as post-graduate work in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. Both Lance and Matthews completed Lincoln’s International Business Development program at Thunderbird School of Global Management.


Industry News

Encon holds access systems seminar Left to right: Cody Thompson, Automatic Gate Installation, Campbell, CA; Joe Weber, Sales Director, Encon Electronics; Daniel Perez, Viking Chief Engineer; and Brian Wood, Automatic Gate Installation, who was the winner of the K-2 residential swing gate operator raffle, courtesy of Viking.

Wholesale access control distributor Encon Electronics recently held a technical seminar hosting leading gate operator manufacturer Viking Access Systems at its training facility in Hayward, CA. More than 30 Encon dealers attended the hands-on workshop, led by Viking chief engineer, Daniel Perez. Perez began the seminar with a Q&A session, providing ad-hoc solutions to attendees’ questions, followed by an interactive presentation. Topics included wiring, voltage settings, and the advantages of using a plug-in transformer. Perez also provided an extensive overview of Viking Blue Technology. “The Viking Blue offers a sophisticated diagnostic system that allows remote operation of the timer adjustment and obstructer sensor,” Perez explained. “You can use ‘Blue’ to monitor AC/DC voltage, to program motor amperage, and to troubleshoot the operator without using a meter.” The technology works through a cellular device using touch or voice commands. Perez also outlined the new features being implemented into all of the Viking operator models, such as the new electronic limit switch. Perez concluded the seminar with a brief brainstorming session addressing the G5 swing gate actuator, which is currently

being updated and received attendee input regarding the changes. “I am new to the industry and greatly appreciated the opportunity to talk troubleshooting and problems directly with the manufacturer,” said Steve Cleveland of Tholl Fence, Sparks, NV. Dean Sizemore, also with Tholl Fence, said “I appreciated the opportunity to communicate with the manufacturer directly. He provided detailed information and concrete details.” “It was a very informative seminar. I learned a lot about the product and troubleshooting,” said Cody Thompson of Automatic Gate Installation, Campbell, CA. Encon General Manager Jeff Harris added, “Organizing seminars with cutting edge manufacturers like Viking Access Systems represents the type of quality training and service that we strive to provide our customers. Interaction between our dealers and the manufacturers is critical to the evolution of product design in our industry.” “We welcome suggestions and even complaints from the dealers because we build the operator for the dealer, not the end user,” says Perez. Contact; 800-782-5598. Fabricator n January / February 2012

What’s Hot? n

Industry News

Off-site pre-fabricators win ‘sub’ ruling On Dec. 5, 2011, California’s 3rd Appellate District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that a supplier of custom components is a “subcontractor” and entitled to mechanic’s lien and payment bond rights under California law. “This ruling rightly recognizes that off-site custom pre-fabricators are not substantively different from other subcontractors in a way that justifies denying the payment assurances established by law,” said ASA President Kerrick Whisenant. “As specialty trade contractors continue to do more work off-site, it is vital that their lien and bond rights remain protected,” he added. On July 29, 2011, ASA and ASA of California filed a “friends of the court,” brief in Eggers Industries v. Flintco Inc.

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

et al. In the underlying case, the general contractor on a public works project contracted with a vendor to provide custom wood doors. The vendor contracted with Eggers to specially manufacture the doors and related products. During the project, the vendor failed to pay the supplier. After the vendor became insolvent, the supplier filed a claim on the project’s payment bond and then filed suit for the money owed. The trial court ruled that the vendor was indeed a “subcontractor” because it agreed to perform a “substantial specified portion of a work of improvement” in accordance with the construction contract’s plans and specifications. Eggers, as one in contract with a subcontractor, was a proper claimant on the public works payment bond. Contact

Literature Welding gun catalog Lincoln Electric Lincoln Electric’s Magnum PRO welding gun line is featured in a new product catalog designed to help customers find ideal guns for welding applications. The Magnum PRO product family includes semiautomatic MIG/ Flux-cored guns with barrel-style or Curve handles, K126 Innershield guns for self-shielded flux-cored pipe and construction welding, fume extraction guns, and the Magnum PRO Thru-Arm and External Dress guns for robotic applications. Contact Lincoln Electric Co., 216-481-8100; www.lincolnelectric. com.


What’s Hot? n


Custom light fixture and architectural components Acme Metal Spinning

Acme Metal Spinning fabricates large light fixture and architectural components up to 140 inches in diameter. The process involves forming flat metal discs or pre-formed metal work pieces on metal spinning lathes into conical, hemispherical and cylindrical shapes, creating parts in low-tomedium quantities and with short lead times. Acme spins decorative light fixture components in many different materials, both standard and exotic, including various alloy steels, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and precision metals, in thicknesses up to 3/4 inch, with additional services available, such as hole punching, flanging and finishing.

The company also offers two tooling styles: Tooling made of steel has the longest life and holds closest tolerances; temporary tooling made of wood or composites is the preferred alternative for one-of-a-kind designs and small quantities. Contact Acme Metal Spinning, 763788-9051; www.acmemetalspinning. com. Gas forge with three burners Pieh Tool

Precision cutters Xuron

The “Smithy’s” gas forge has been added to Pieh Tool’s Legacy Collection. The three-burner venturi style forge is designed for the artist blacksmith, with what the company says is the largest firebox available in the portable gas forge market, to provide ample space for working with pieces of varying dimensions. The firebox mea-



Cut Off


Custom Dies


Proudly made in USA for over 75 years Telephone: 800-272-8946 | Fax: 630-562-1500 68

sures 7 inches high x 111/2 inches wide x 16 inches long. The forge can accommodate two smiths, working from both ends. Smithy’s gas forge has three doors that flip open, allowing different access points. The end doors also feature 5 x 43/4-inch window ports for handling long pieces. Both end doors can remain open, to provide extra space while heating pieces with odd dimensions. Contact Pieh Tool Co. Inc. 888-7434866;

A full line of precision cutters that come in a wide range of standard models and can be custom designed to match specific OEM assembly and maintenance applications is now available from Xuron Corp. Xuron Precision Cutters feature the Micro-Shear by-pass shear cutting head, which is said to provide square, clean cuts with no spikes, and to require less pressure than compressionstyle cutters. For specific tasks, there are many standard models offered and the company will also develop custom-designed cutter heads to match specific OEM application and material requirements. Customized heads for Xuron Precision Cutters can include tapered Fabricator n January / February 2012

What’s Hot? n


profiles for reaching into high-density areas, finely pointed blades for slitting, blades with lead retainers, shorter blades, angled blades, curved tips and more. Manufactured from high carbon steel, they can incorporate various Rockwell hardness, different tension return springs and special hand grips. Contact Xuron Corp., 207-283-1401; Industrial vacuum Camfil Farr Air Pollution Control The new FarrVac Junior industrial vacuum is a pulse-cleaned industrial vacuum with dual-stage HEPA filtration to minimize clogs, preventing problems that result from loss of suction during cleaning. It uses a patented pulse-cleaning technology that works without compressed air. Filters are cleaned every 10 seconds, preventing clogging. This unit may be used for ev-

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

The FarrVac Junior vacuum includes durable spun bond polyester filters that are claimed to last up to 10 times longer than conventional filters. Two primary HEPA filters provide 99.97% efficiency on dust particles to 0.3 micron. The unit has a 120 cfm motor and operates on 120VAC, 50/60 Hz power. It comes equipped with an 8-gallon tank, hose, hard floor wand kit and optional aluminum wand and floor sweep. A cyclonic housing design minimizes filter exposure to debris. Contact Camfil Farr APC, 800-4796801; eryday shop cleanup or as an accessory to an installed dust collector when replacing or emptying dust drawers or drums.

Abrasive belts for finisher CS Unitec CS Unitec has introduced two new abrasive belts for the PTX Eco Smart Professional Surface Finisher:


What’s Hot? n


1) a non-woven fleece belt and 2) a felt belt. Utilizing a patented buttonhole fastening system, the belts are designed for finishing open or

closed pipe constructions and handrails. The grinding belt can be placed over the pipe and closed or opened again with a twist, using the buttonhole system. The belts can be opened and closed as often as necessary, allowing them to be changed quickly. The PTX Fleece Nonwoven Belt is designed for fine grinding and prepolishing applications. The PTX Felt Belt, made of merino felt, can be used with CS Unitec polishing compounds and creams for polishing up to a mirror finish on stainless steel and non-ferrous metals. CS Unitec’s PTX Eco Smart Professional Surface Finisher is a multifunctional machine. In addition to its use with abrasive belts for pipes and handrails, it can also be used as a linear grinder with

abrasive wheels for flat surfaces. Along with fine finishing, it is also designed for coarse grinding jobs, such as removing welds, deep scratches, oxidation, rust and paint. It can also polish inside corners. Contact CS Unitec Inc., 800-7005919; Abrasive saw Kalamazoo Industries The Kalamazoo Industries model K20RS, 20-inch abrasive saw is designed to cut structural steel and wide parts. The saw can be operated chop style for cutoff or radial style for long parts. The sawhead moves lengthwise for wide cuts and locks in place for chop action. The K20RS saw features a 1-inch spindle arbor, 2,500 RPM spindle

Better than therapy. With a craft to show for it at the end of the session.

Pounding, bending, cutting…you can really work out some frustration creating something beautiful. Engaging hands and hearts since 1925. Come enjoy making crafts and good friends on 300 natural, scenic acres in western North Carolina.




Fabricator n January / February 2012

What’s Hot? n


speed, a 15 hp, 3 phase motor and a foot operated chain vise. Capacities are 6 x 18 inches for structural, I-beams and shapes. Contact Kalamazoo Industries Inc., 269-382-2050; www.

Cotton fiber abrasive discs Rex-Cut Products A full line of cotton fiber quickchange abrasive discs for blending and finishing stainless steel, aluminum, and exotic alloys is now available from Rex-Cut Products. The discs incorporate multiple layers of reinforced non-woven cotton, which are impregnated with abrasive grains and then pressed, bonded together, and fitted with 3M Roloc and Sockatt style fasteners. Continuously exposing fresh abrasives as they work, these discs grind and finish in one-step with smooth operation. Flexible for use on flat and contoured surfaces, these discs are impregnated with either aluminum oxide or silicon carbide abrasive grains, and come in 1-inch, 11/2-inch, 2-inch, and


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

3-inch sizes in a variety of grits with flexible and medium bonds. Contact Rex-Cut Products Inc., 800-225-8182;

Whether you choose 1-½" diamond wire mesh or 2"x1" rectangular partition systems both are pre-engineered for easy installation and with multiple functions for use in high security or low security, tool cribs, quality control cages or safety storage caging on mezzanines.

"From the simplest to the complex, Jesco does it best!" 1" Square, 10 gauge. 1-½" Diamond, 10 gauge. 2" Square / Diamond, 8 and 6 gauge. Contact us today and we'll take care of your wire mesh needs.

Call for Free Catalog - 800/446-6498

NC Tool Company Inc 6133 Hunt Road Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 336/674-5654

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

Call toll free

96 1-800-609-82 View our complete catalog at nline .com O o c s e .J w w w Jesco Industries, Inc.

950 Anderson @ Fab Road Litchfield, MI 49252-0388

Phone: 1-517-542-2353 Fax: 1-517-542-2501


! METALfab 2012 - A thanks to our sponsors Moving Forward in a Changing Economy!

The sponsors for 2012 are a very special group of suppliers. In challenging economic times they are going the extra mile to contribute to the success of METALfab 2012. Their support is greatly appreciated. Platinum Sponsors Industrial Coverage Corp. 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: The Wagner Companies is a manufacturer of metal products – including handrail fittings and systems - for architectural and industrial applications. Special focus on railing products and services related to railings, such as bending, fabrication and polishing. Gold 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. 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 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. 72

EPi, Electrochemical Products Inc. 17000 W. Lincoln Ave., New Berlin, WI 53151 Tel:(262) 786- 9330 Website: EPi provides an extensive line of chemicals used in the area of finishing and cleaning metals. Antiques finishes, black oxide finishes, and cleaning processes for all metals. Bronze Sponsors 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. King Architectural Metals 9611 East RL Thornton Dallas, TX 28787 Toll Free: (800) 542-2379 Website: www. 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.

For more information on METALfab 2012 go to

METALfab 2012 Feb. 29 - March 3 Orlando, FL

Fabricator n January / February 2012


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


  Pg Company


67 Alloy Casting Co. Inc...........................................

50 International Gate

31 Apollo Gate

40 Iron Kiss Hammers Inc.....................

32 Architectural Iron Designs

76 The Iron

62 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of North America

45 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co..............

65 Atlas Metal Sales............................................. 27 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. / Oak Hill Iron 48 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc......................

71 Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO div................ 69 Kalamazoo Machine Tool.................................. 75 King Architectural Metals............................. 54 Laser Precision Cutting..................................... 13 Lawler Foundry

55 Julius Blum & Co.

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

28 The Cable Connection.................

69 Lindblade Metal

70 John C. Campbell Folk

35 Mac Metals Inc................................................

4 Carell Corporation...........................................

58 Marks

11 Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co......................

45 Metabo

47 Colorado Waterjet

44 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool......................

34 CompLex Industries

71 NC Tool Company

49 CS Unitec Inc........................................................

37 PLASMA CAM Inc..........................................

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

42 Regency

14 D.J.A. Imports Ltd...........................................

47 Rogers Mfg. Inc........................................

67 Doringer Cold Saw.............................................

53 Scotchman Industries...................................

4 Eagle Bending Machines Inc...........................

38 Sharpe Products....................................

46 Eberl Iron Works

63 Stairways

59 Encon

51 Sumter Coatings

39 FabCad Inc...............................................................

62 Traditional Building.......................

7 Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products).....................

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

33 Hebo-Stratford Gate Systems 70 Hougen Mfg. Inc...................................................

Your advertising contact for O&MM Fabricator NOMMA Buyer’s Guide NOMMA website CO NTAC T

Sherry Theien

Advertising Director 8392 Leesburg Ct. Rockford, IL 61114 815-282-6000 815-282-8002 fax

January / February 2012 n Fabricator

50 Simsolve................................................................

68 Vogel Tool & Die Corp...................................... 25 The Wagner 30 Weavers Iron Works.........................

Advertise in the 2013 NOMMA Buyer’s Guide Your one-stop resource for shop and office personnel The Buyer’s Guide is available in 3 versions: 1) print, 2) online, and 3) database. Closing date November 30, 2012 Contact Sherry Theien, 815-282-6000; 815-282-8002 fax; 73


Metal Moment

Cubby hole material storage Are you looking for an efficient way to

organize miscellaneous pieces of material, specialty items, and small drops? Terry Driscoll of Custom Iron Inc., Zumbrota, MN, recently posted this question on the NOMMA ListServ. The following is an edited summary of responses to the question: For storing tubing and bar stock, use downspouts. — Dan Nibblelink, Colorado Waterjet Co., Berthoud, CO We store our small diameter rods, tubes, bars in the thin-wall, grey PVC pipe used for drainage. I think it is about 4 inches OD x 12 feet long with a premolded connection on one end. — Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc., Yorkville, IL The track for metal studs works well for storing materials. It is “C” shaped and reasonably priced. The tracks are available in different thicknesses. — John McLellan, McLellan Blacksmithing, Loomis, CA We use the thin-wall PCV also. The material slides in and out easily, and you can stack the tubes. — Art Ballard, Art’s Work Unlimited, Miami, FL I built short racks out of angle iron. Basically, my big racks will hold lengths from 20 feet down to about

PVC pipes are great for holding small diameter rods, tubes, and bars. The rack, at left, is kept outside in a storage container, freeing up space in the shop. Fabricator: Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc., Yorkville, IL. This storage rack below features a clever solution for storing short drop pieces. Four-inch holes were cut in the center frames, and 2-foot long tubes were inserted. These cubbyholes hold 1–4-inch pieces at the end of the rack. Fabricator: Weldon Welding & Inspection Services Inc., Sterrett, AL.

We cut 4-inch holes in the end upright and welded in 4-inch tube about 2-feet long for storing short drop pieces (1–4 feet) in the end of the rack. — Derek Weldon, Weldon Welding & Inspection Services Inc., Sterrett, AL six feet in length. Once they get below six feet, they go to the short rack. The short rack is 6-feet tall, 4-feet wide, and about a foot deep. The front has angle iron projecting outward for vertical storage. The material that is between 4–6 feet goes in the front vertical area. Once it gets shorter than four feet, it slides in horizontally behind the vertical section. Then, I have steel shelving for everything under two feet in length and various odds and ends. I reckon I’ll post a photo of my four-time flooded rusty racks, but the idea should still come across through all the “patina.” — Eric Cuper, Cuper Studios LLC, Easton, PA

Derek, that picture was worth my membership. Thanks for sharing. — Carl Grainger, Grainger Metal Works, Nichols, SC

About the ListServ

The NOMMA Listserv is an ongoing email discussion list where you can get quick answers to questions. It’s one of your most valuable benefits as a NOMMA member. If you are a NOMMA member and not subscribed, contact support@ If you are not a NOMMA member, we encourage you to join your industry’s trade association.


Something on your mind? Got something to say? Got an idea? Got a tip? Got a gripe? Do you have a story to tell? Fabricator magazine would like to interview you for a Metal Moment story. Please contact editor Todd Daniel at 74

Fabricator n January / February 2012

January / February 2012 n Fabricator





The Architectural Series are “floating” treads with a modern, sleek look.

from $495

from $3550

from $4500

Easy to assemble. 5-year warranty.

For FREE catalog, call 1-800-523-7427 ext. FAB Or visit 76

Fabricator n January / February 2012

Proudly made in the U.S.A.

2012 01 fab  
2012 01 fab