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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal

Fabricator ®

The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

March / April 2012 $6.00 US

Member Talk

What’s retirement? Joe Turner can’t say ‘no’ to 40 years of top notch customer service and a diverse skill set. page 41

Shop Talk

Get a grip on treadle hammers, page 30

Job Profile

Fence renovation, naturally, page 47

Top Job Gallery

Driveway gates, forged, page 50

Biz Side

Safety with a tax cut, page 57

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March / April 2012 Vol. 53, No. 2

A hand-forged bowl holder, page 10

NOMMA Network

Top Job Gallery

NOMMA loses outstanding past president ........................................ 10

Metal Museum income up 19% last four years. n Upper Midwest Chapter creates items for auction. Shop Talk Better smart tools ............................... 14

Measuring and leveling products can save time and improve accuracy. By Peter Hildebrandt

Visual efficiency at a glance ....... 22

Are you surprised when you run out of critical supplies just when you need them most? Madden Fabrication is experimenting with visual controls to improve shop supplies reordering and shop scheduling. By Charlie Martin

Drawing Acanthus side views.... 36

This 10-step guide to creating side views of Acanthus leaves might require a mental shift, but it will make you the envy of your plant, er, shop. By Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh

Getting a grip on treadle hammers?........................ 30

How do you hold the metal in one hand, a hammer in the other hand, and a set tool in yet another? By Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh

A NOMMA Gold award-winning shop, Turner Manufacturng has stayed in business for 40 years with good customer service and a diverse skill set. And Joe Turner is not close to giving it all up. By Molly A. Badgett

Exec. Director’s Letter ... 8

New benefits on the horizon.

Renovation, naturally....................... 47

For an historic copper fence, Butler Iron had to straighten bent sections without cracking them and still maintain their natural patina. By John LaMonica Biz Side Safety with a tax cut ......................... 57

Penalties for safety noncompliance are not tax deductible, but there are ways to make them less onorous. By Mark E. Battersby Biz Side Secure value of your facility ....... 60

Regularly review your building’s value to keep from being underinsured. By Brian Rosicky What’s Hot!

Member Talk Retirement? What’s that? ............. 41

Shop Talk

Gasparrini embodied vision.

The “Top Job Gallery” section features jobs entered in the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. This issue, we are showcasing a sampling of the outstanding work entered in the Driveway Gates, Forged category over the years. Enjoy!

Shop Talk

Shop Talk

President’s Letter .......... 6

Driveway gates, forged .............50

Job Profile

Industry News................................... 65 Events.................................................... 65 Literature ............................................ 66 People ...........................................67 New Products .................................... 68 Nationwide suppliers .................... 63 New members ................................... 64

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

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

Roger Carlsen named Cliff Brown Award winner.

Bird-like sculpture flies for aviation careers.

About the cover Built by Turner Manufacturing, Fresno, CA, for a Fresno philanthropist, the brass cap rail and brass rosettes give the staircase a classy look in conjunction with the rich wood and black wrought iron. See fabricator’s story, page 1. March / April 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

Vison and involvement Orlando, Florida — if there is a work area with beautiful offices city in the United States that and a showroom. owes its success to the vision of Last October, they went outone man, Orlando is it. Over 50 side of their comfort zone (way years ago, Walt Disney decided out, Misty later said) to host that the central Florida locale a NOMMA chapter meeting. would be home to a new theme While nervous about having park — Disney World he would the event in their shop, they James Minter, Jr., came away from it with many call it. Now with many additional attractions, Orlando is a Imagine great ideas for their business. Ironworks, is worldwide tourist destination. president Kenny, Misty, and Karen Vision — some people have of NOMMA. were fringe NOMMA members it, and some don’t. before the meeting, but Bill Gasparrini, a former they have embraced their NOMMA president, passed away in NOMMA connections since. Misty January 2012. Bill was a second-generuses the ListServe, and the two sisters ation iron guy from Connecticut (Post were on a recent NOMMA telephone Road Ironworks in Greenwich). He was roundtable conference. The Kelly’s involved in NOMMA’s Standards ComNOMMA involvement — not merely mittee in the 1970s, helping to establish membership — is helping them transrail-testing procedures still used today. form their business vision into business He was a founder and trustee of the reality. They are even making plans to National Ornamental Metals Museum. attend METALfab 2013 in AlbuquerHe was a leading fund-raiser for the que, NM. museum and helped procure many Sounds like vision to me — how items for the museum’s collection. about to you? Bill’s successful business won many If you sit on the sidelines as a awards from many organizations. He NOMMA member (or perhaps as a was often honored for his business acu- non-NOMMA member), you are passmen and his activism in his commuing up valuable opportunities to make nity. Late in life, he was part of a group your business better. that retrieved artifacts from the RMS Go beyond just reading Fabricator Titanic, even climbing into a deepmagazine — tap into NOMMA’s netwater, submersible craft (and losing work of ListServe, webinars, telephone 30 pounds to do so) to dive to the roundtables, and chapter events. Titanic’s resting place. Do you have a question about railBill Gasparrini had vision, didn’t he? ings or building codes? You’d be surprised how effective NOMMA connecKelley’s Ironworks is a case study tions are at quickly getting answers. in vision and involvement Come to NOMMA’s yearly You never know when you will find METALfab and be blown away with someone with vision. A recent trip to technical and business knowledge Kelly’s Ironworks, Monroe, LA, is a case made available to attendees. in point. Kenny Kelly, Misty Howse, and All these resources, and many othKaren Spruell are the children of Albert ers, are here for you to help you and and Faye Kelly. Albert started Kelly’s your business succeed. Iron in 1950, and now his children pretty What’s your vision much run the business. for your business? Within the last several years, Kelly’s has purchased a new building, completely renovating the space into a large Fabricator n March / April 2012

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New D.J.A. Publications


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 Metals Association 8


How to reach us

Executive Director’s Letter

New benefits on the horizon In the past 15 months, I’ve vis-

resources, such as model busiited 11 shops and suppliers in ness forms. the Southeast. These visits have n Printed member direcbecome the highlight of my job; tory. This directory is returning I love seeing the great diversity in a more simple form to allow of business models and prodmembers to quickly find their ucts produced by fabricators. NOMMA brothers and sisters At each visit, I’ve enjoyed edu- Todd Daniel around the country. cating members and a few past is executive n Commercial insurance director of members about NOMMA’s plan. Even more good news: NOMMA. benefit package. More imporAfter 10 years, we again have a tantly, I’ve learned to listen. full-fledged commercial insurBy far, our members’ greatest ance program. Joe Romeo, our worry is the economy. Most shops have longtime administrator, has worked downsized; those who remain are workwith Zurich North America to create ing harder than ever for less money. a plan that is custom made for our inOne way we have addressed the dustry, with competitive rates. The proeconomic challenges is with magazine gram was unveiled at METALfab 2012 articles and webinars on the topic. in Orlando. You’ll be hearing more Also, we hold roundtable conference about it in coming months. calls to discuss the “new economy.” For n Online directory and buyer’s example, at our last phone meeting, we guide. Finally, one of my favorite new discussed the special survival needs of projects is the launch of a new online smaller shops. If you are not participatmember directory and a new online ing in these calls, I encourage you to buyer’s guide. The online member join the next call. directory will become a beacon for If your membership has lapsed, architects, contractors, and homeownI encourage you to re-join your trade ers who are looking for quality fabassociation to take advantage of the ricators to do their work. The buyer’s growing number of services that we guide will allow anyone to quickly find offer. When renewing, you can choose nearly 300 products, ranging from to pay dues in four installments. We security grilles to machining services. even have one member who has comSpecial Thanks mitted to paying their next year’s dues I wish to give a special thanks to in advance by sending in $35 a month. the five suppliers who have offered to Cool projects ahead include NOMMA membership broNOMMA continues to work on chures in their outgoing mailings this services to help members during chalyear. This will go a long way to helping lenging times. Last June, a task force us “get the word out” about our outwas appointed to review NOMMA’s standing organization. current benefit package and to suggest A thanks also goes to the four supimprovements. pliers who have sponsored a member during this fiscal year: Julius Blum & n Member resource manual. One idea was to upgrade the new member Co. Inc., Lehigh Valley Abrasives, the kit. It has evolved into the NOMMA Wagner Companies, and Fabcad Inc. Membership Resource Manual to be Industry suppliers support NOMMA available in late spring. The manual in many ways; their help is deeply will not only show you how to use appreciated. NOMMA’s benefits, but it will also provide an array of valuable industry Fabricator n March / April 2012



for post match see No. 8192, page 74

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set wt. 23 lbs

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The NOMMA Network

Upper Midwest Chapter creates items for auction The Upper Midwest Chapter held a wellattended meeting on January 28 at O’Malley Welding and Fabricating, Yorkville, IL. Following a business meeting and shop tour, attendees participated in a workshop to create items for the annual NEF auction. Among the beautiful items crafted were a bowl holder and nightstand. A thanks to everyone who participated in the event.


Top, Bruce Baur, Lisa Baur, and Darla Cooke proudly stand behind a completed table stand. Left, Marie Demas poses with a hand-forged bowl holder. Below, Max Hains welds components together for an auction piece.

Fabricator n March / April 2012

Metal Museum to feature Albert Paley Over the past four years, the Museum Museum has increased income by 19%, while increasing expenses by only 2%. Sales at the Museum Store is also doing well with a 25% increase over the same period last year. Thanks in large part to coordinator Holly Fisher, who oversees projects and client relations, the blacksmith shop is also doing well. This has allowed the shop foreman to concentrate on design and fabrication and has provided more opportunities for the apprentices to do design work. The board of trustees is working to increase membership and individual contributions, as well as corporate contributions. This year’s Forging on the River, the annual blacksmithing conference, will feature Alfred Bullerman and is scheduled for March 30–April 1. Registration for this year’s conference has outpaced last year’s. The Metal Museum continues to have a strong exhibition schedule, including an upcoming show of forged sculpture by Albert Paley — the first Paley exhibition in the museum’s history. Recent Successes

n Digital Mettle, an exhibition exploring the impact of computeraided design on the metals field, was listed as one of the top five exhibitions in 2011 by The Commercial Appeal. n Of the 20 artists included in Tributaries, five have been selected to participate in the Renwick Gallery’s upcoming “40 under 40” 40th anniversary exhibition. n Recent Master Metalsmiths to be recognized with retrospectives include Mary Lee Hu, Brent Kington, and Gary Noffke — Submitted by Carissa Hussong, Executive Director, Metal Museum

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

In Memoriam

NOMMA loses outstanding past president William Gasparrini, 84, a past NOMMA president, died January 6 in his hometown, Greenwich, CT. As owner of Post Road Iron Works, a local iron and steel fabricating business, he was instrumental in expanding it from the small blacksmith shop begun by his father in 1927 to a large commercial enterprise employing over 70 people. One of NOMMA’s most charismatic and hardworking leaders, Mr. Gasparrini held various positions on the NOMMA board and served as president in 1980. During that same year, he received the Julius Blum Award for his outstanding contributions to the industry. He was also given a Distinguished Service Award and President’s Award. In addition, his company has won numerous awards in the Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. A long-time member and chair of the Standards Committee, he helped develop ASTM testing standards that are still used today. Mr. Gasparrini was also a past officer of ABANA and a co-founder of the Metal Museum, Memphis, TN. An instrumental supporter of the museum, he was its historian, a long-time trustee, and chosen as the first Trustee Emeritus in 1987. In addition to being a NOMMA volunteer, he was a prominent citizen in his community, where he served on the boards of the YMCA and other organizations. He joined his father’s business, Post Road Iron Works, in 1950 and was president until his retirement in 1999. He became chairman

of the board in 2000. The company produces architectural, ornamental, structural, and other miscellaneous metal work for residential and commercial highrise buildings. Mr. Gasparrini was prominent in the steel industry, securing for Post Road Iron Works major contracts for steel construction in the New York area. The organization that he inherited from his father was greatly expanded from a small family business to a major competitor in the region, recently fabricating railings for the new Yankee Stadium and the structure for the 9/11 Memorial. In his later years, Mr. Gasparrini helped efforts to retrieve artifacts from the wreck of the Titanic as a partner in RMS Titanic Inc. As a result of numerous expeditions, nearly 5,000 artifacts from the Titanic debris field were retrieved and many exhibited across the country. One of Mr. Gasparrini’s most memorable experiences was his participation in the 1994 expedition aboard a deep-diving submersible 12,600 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean to the Titanic wreck site. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Janice Smith. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sisters Marie Gasparrini Carriero and Anna Gasparrini Michaud. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Peter Carriero, presently president of Post Road Iron Works, Roger Carriero, Claudia Carriero Ridberg, William Gasparrini, Joseph Gasparrini, Laura Gasparrini Peters, John Gasparrini, William Michaud, Suzanne Michaud Diddel, and Tom Michaud, as well as many grand nieces and nephews.



NOMMA Education Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

Roger Carlsen named Cliff Brown winner

NEF Foundation chairman known for many educational initiatives When the NOMMA Education Foundation was established, Charles Mercer, president of Hallmark Iron Works approached the board of trustees to express his company’s willingness to support the foundation with a generous annual donation and the establishment of the Cliff Brown Award to recognize contributions to the education of the industry. Cliff Brown, the founder of Hallmark Iron, always believed it was important to give back to the industry that had been good to him and his company. In this respect, Mercer wanted to continue recognizing outstanding efforts in education for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Thus the Cliff Brown Award was established and has been recognizing outstanding contributions to educating the industry since 2002. The NOMMA Education Foundation is excited to recognize an outstanding person as the Cliff Brown Award recipient for 2012. Long-time NOMMA member Mike Boyler met Roger Carlsen through their local blacksmithing association and told him about NOMMA and NEF. Mike encouraged Roger to join NOMMA and get involved. Roger did. As a retired college professor, the ornamental iron business was Roger’s second career, but he quickly put his skills as a purveyor of knowledge to work. Many a NOMMA chapter has had his White Metal Casting seminar for their inaugural meeting. After many years volunteering, Roger became a member of the NEF Board of Trustees finally serving a two-year term as chair of the Foundation. Many of NEF’s great ideas and projects have come from Roger — NEFERP, Zi8 Project, Honorarium program, to mention a few. He gave many hours developing the guidelines for the individual certification program. He has taught numerous continuing education seminars, starred in a NEF video on Scroll Theory, helped NEF raise funds through auctioneering along with Carl Grainger, and much more. Anything you ask of him he will say “yes” and give it his all. It is with great pleasure that the NOMMA Education Foundation in conjunction with the family of Cliff Brown (Hallmark Iron Works) presents Roger Carlsen with the 2012 Cliff Brown Award — for outstanding contribution to education for the industry.

Many a NOMMA chapter has had

Roger Carlsen’s White Metal Casting seminar for their inaugural meeting. Anything you ask of him he will say “yes” and give it his all.

NEF Chair Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc., and Martha Pennington, NOMMA Meetings & Exposition Manager and Executive Director of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

Past Cliff Brown recipients 2002 – Ed Powell 2003 – Lloyd Hughes 2004 – Gib Plimpton 2005 – Stan Lawler 2006 – Jerry Grice 2007 – Michael Boyler 2008 – Jim Wallace 2009 – Jack Klahm 2010 – James Minter Jr. 2011 – The Wagner Companies


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

Fabricator n March / April 2012

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Smart tools Shop Talk

n A Bosch digital protractor measures a corner angle. This straightforward tool measures an inside or outside corner. No lasers are used in this device.

For your information


What you'll learn n What laser tools are being used by fabricators and metal work business owners. n How changes in laser tool design have made them even better in recent years. n How some NOMMA members are using laser equipment in their work. n How to prevent theft of your tools. About the author Peter Hilde­brandt is a long-time senior writer for Fabricator. He is a general interest writer with a specialty in company profiles.



Measuring and leveling products that save you time, improve accuracy, are safer, too.

By Peter Hildebrandt Since its invention by a group of physicists in the 1950s, uses for the laser have grown exponentially to include widespread commercial and industrial applications. Builders and metal fabricators now take advantage of a variety of measuring devices and range finders that employ lasers. This continually improving technology, as several NOMMA members attest, makes work easier the more we get used to them.

Working with stairs

The old way to measure stairs, says Randy LeBlanc, Metal Head Inc., Lafayette, LA, was to measure each individual riser from the previous tread, or from the slab up to each tread. Both of these methods are prone to inaccuracies, such as uneven floor surfaces or tread pitch. “You are measuring from something that is not level,” says LeBlanc. “Then you pull a dimension from the wall that it might intersect and that Fabricator n March / April 2012

Left, a Leica Lino L2 is measuring on a landing. Working like a level, this shoots a level laser line and a plumb line like two crosshairs. This measures the offset from the line to the surface down or over. Right, the other end of the same step. You cannot see the line, but the receiver is telling you to move up by the 27.5-inch mark. If you don’t have the receiver, the tool is useless, you can’t see the line.

wall may not be plumb either. By using a self-leveling laser light at the very top, I establish an accurate, horizontal baseline from which I measure every tread. I’ll flip the button and shoot a vertical line, then I’ll measure the run. By using my Fat Max CL-2, I can field measure a stair based on a right angle

and recreate that stair in CAD. “It’s just an accuracy thing,” says LeBlanc. “Someone can hang a plumb bob and do the same thing that the laser can; but it’s hard to do it horizontally. “A laser plumb bob also works by enabling me to template on the floor

and spend less time on a ladder. The basic laser level is going to be no less accurate than using a traditional level. It also saves time. You don’t need two guys to hold the tape. You can work in a different configuration that, in combination with the digital level, yields great accuracy and save time,” he says.


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A smart level on an aluminum tube with spacer blocks measures the pitch of the steps from the top and bottom stair tread. Stairs are often uneven. If a smart level is placed between two steps and it doesn’t reach, problems arise. By using an extension and spreading it out, you can get an accurate reading on the overall staircase and not just individual steps. Spacer blocks space the tube so it doesn’t act like a teeter-totter and pivot on a middle step. You are getting away from the step and going only on the end ones.

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LeBlanc shoots at dusk or dawn to see the laser light better. If working in midday, he will use a shadow box for darkening so he can see the line. Another trick to see the laser better is to use a mirror polished strip of stainless that when placed in the path of the laser, helps you find it a little easier. On the backside of the strip, he painted the flat piece of metal a neutral gray and a flat white that helps to locate the beam on brick or stone. “I have plans to upgrade my laser tools after reading about what others are using on the [NOMMA] ListServ. Since the CL-2 has justified itself so well, I’m anxious to see what a better model could do for me.” Lasers more accurate than string

Send for a full color brochure or call 800-536-4341 Goddard Manufacturing Box 502 Dept. PH Logan, KS 67646 16

Using a tripod with a laser level provides a good, consistent line, says NOMMA president James Minter Jr., Imagine Ironworks, Brookhaven, MS. Minter’s company had an industrial job for the offshore oilfield industry involving work with “cargo baskets.” These contain lifting eyes, and from corner to corner, they have to be in

line with each other, he says. “Our workers were trying to line them up with a string line when they worked on them in our shop, and the accuracy just wasn’t there. All of a sudden, it dawned on me. I had a laser on a magnetic level, and we could put it with magnets onto one pad eye, shoot across to the opposite pad eye, and tell if we were lined up or not. “That was a godsend right there. That showed us we were way off with our string lines and had to make some adjustments; it would have been catastrophic if we’d sent that equipment out to the offshore oilfields and it wasn’t lined up. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I had a laser level that was more accurate than a string line,” Minter says. And, he says, digital levels will beep when you get them plumb. For quick jobs that are neither complicated nor have long distances, smartphone applications can help you level as Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc., Yorkville, IL, demonstrated at METALfab according to Minter. “With My Measure Fabricator n March / April 2012


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Pro you can take a photo and get your measurements,” says Minter. “For finding the angle, an Angle Meter can be used.” Mark O’Malley, having used lasers tools for five years, discussed them for measuring at METALfab 2012. We had a great session this year, he says. “We covered how to relate the field measuring and shop drawings to the field installation; my whole gist of it was to tie it all together. The NOMMA website ( contains my PowerPoint presentation of this workshop.” Range finding is the same as measuring distance. The range meter or range finder he uses is the Leica Disto5. Measure in any light

When O’Malley got his first laser he used to measure at dusk so he could see the point or quarter-inch-diameter dot to which he was measuring. If the dot is not clearly visible, you might horizontalfullcolorad.pdf 1 2/2/2012 7:30:54 PM not be measuring to the right point,










O’Malley says. His new laser equipment, which eliminates the need to work at darker times of the day, ranges in cost from $450 to $500. You get what you pay for, he says. His first range meter, a Stanley purchased from a big box store, was unreliable and unable to repeat the same dimension twice. “If you have to back up your measuring with a tape, I don’t feel you need the fancy tool,” O’Malley says. Over the years, O’Malley has upgraded his laser devices several times. “All lasers basically do the same thing, and there are cheaper-made lasers out there. But the key to purchasing a laser is that, for the cheaper models, during the daylight you’re not going to be able to see the quarterinch laser dot, so you’re not going to be able to know the point to which you are measuring. The laser is not going to do you any good in that case.” His second range finder was a Bosch that was accurate and relatively inexpensive. “The down side is I feel

Leveler handy even without lasers One of James Minter’s (Image Ironworks, Brookhaven, MS) favorite tools is his four-foot Craftsmen Smart Level. It’s digital, contains a battery, and provides a readout in degrees or percent. Although some do use lasers, Minter’s level does not. He uses the Smart Level to measure stairs. It can be laid on the skirt board to get the pitch of the stairs in degrees and then measure up to the skirt board. Once you get the percentage of the pitch — two inches for example — you can use AutoCAD to plot everything. Just determine where all the steps are with a stud finder, which can be purchased at Home Depot for about $25. Minter uses his Smart Level — mostly on outside stairs — if he needs to establish a plumb line with a base point. He stands the level vertically, gets it plumb, and measures from that line to the end of the tread, continuing to work on up the steps. He also uses the Smart Level on inside stairs on the side with the skirt board, which typically rise at the pitch of the stairs. “I will measure the pitch of the skirt board with the Smart Level, get that angle, and it’s accurate to the tenth of a degree,” Minter says. “I’ll end up with 31.5 degrees, for example, and can bring that measurement back with everything else and draw it on CAD and be 99% sure that everything’s going to be right. “Usually when I’m measuring an inside set of stairs at some point there is a wall past the end of the stairs that I can use as a base point. . . . But on an outside set of steps, we don’t usually find that, and outside steps are not usually very long either. I can use that four-foot level and pretty much get everything I need, using it as a plumb line.”

Fabricator n March / April 2012


The laser dot at a distance in the daylight is very hard to see on the building in the top photo. You need the right equipment. The bottom photo shows the same view through the LCD screen of the Leica Disto5. The bull’s eye is the dot just above the window in the building, seen at the distance noted as 77 feet, 93/16 inches.

it’s primarily an interior tool. In the daylight, it is difficult to locate the laser dot; again, if you can’t find where you are aiming, the tool does you no good.” The last unit that O’Malley bought is the Leica Disto5 with a 2½-inch LCD screen, with zoom, “for zeroing in on a bull’s eye that your dot is pointing at.” It has a timer that gives you five seconds to steady the unit after you push the button and a feature that shows plus or minus 45 degrees, and which you can use as a smart level. The Leica can also measure distance out of level and then compensate for the out-of-level measurement showing the diagonal measurement, the straight measurement, and the pitch at which you were holding the unit. This helps with stairs and ramps. If there is an obstacle in the way of a flat measurement, you can accurately measure around it. The Leica can also measure in square and cubic feet.

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Only one person may be required on a job when using lasers, O’Malley says. No one needs to hold the other end of a tape measure. If shooting across to the other end of a room that has a balcony or some other feature, you can reach the other side without any problems. “Things will go much faster and more accurately on your field measurement because you’re simply shooting at one point with no fear of the end-clip slipping off, and you don’t have to take another person with you.” Another laser tool, a plumb level square (PLS), shoots a laser line up and down off a square line. If that is taken into a March / April 2012 n Fabricator


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Barrett, O’Malley immerse themselves into laser tool use Terry Barrett owner of Royal Iron Creations, West Palm Beach, FL, has a number of laser tools. He also has the ETemplate Photo system that can take extremely precise measurements and digitally import them into a 3D CAD system for the more complex projects. But for everyday work, Barrett finds the conventional tools and lasers are more than adequate. “We started with Hilti PD-30s, but after talking with Mark O’Malley, I looked into the Leica. With the PD30s, you are looking for the laser dot, and sometimes when you get out in the sunshine, you can’t see it very well,” Barrett says. “The Leica system has camera on it. Not only can you see the laser dot, but it has a four-power camera that you can shoot at and see what you’re actually shooting at — whether the sun’s bright or not. “Leica’s one of the best we’ve found so far. You can shoot from column to column in the sun, zoom up to however much power you want, and actually see what you’re pointing at. When you push the button, it’s still a laser system, but also a visual system you can see much better,” Barrett says. The more advanced Leica D5 and D8 have sensors that can tell the room to lay out a staircase that has to go through a roof hatch, all the layouts can be done on the floor, and then a laser plumb bob can be projected straight up to the ceiling. If you know it must go between a couple of bar joists, this tool can shoot a line up to the bar joists. Then you can put your marks on the floor. A range meter can then determine how high the ceiling is. This process also eliminates safety issues because there is no need for someone to stand on a ladder to make the ceiling marks or to determine ceiling height. “You shoot your laser plumb bob 20

angle they are being pointed at, he says. This provides a range of measures that can be taken other than just measuring in a straight line. The D5 has a range of ± 45 degrees, while the D8 has a 360-degree range. “I can put it on a tripod, stand back 20 feet away from a wall, point it and shoot it at the bottom of the wall, point it up at the top of the wall, and it can tell me the wall’s height, also that of a building, street pole, stair, or whatever. These units have the ability to know exactly where they are at horizontally and vertically at angles. It has more bells and whistles than I’ll ever know how to use. Mark O’Malley “Now they’re everywhere and everyone’s using them; a lot of fabricators are using them, and those who aren’t, we’re telling them they need to go get them,” Barrett says. No need for an assistant

Not requiring a second person to help is a plus, says Barrett. “You can complete a big job, an arch or the distance between tapered columns, and traditionally you’d almost have to have two people. “But with the new digital systems that’s unnecessary. There’s no more bending the tape measure to reach the wall or using the back of the tape measure and adding three inches. up with the PLS tool to get a plumb line up and down,” explains O’Malley. “Wherever the dot is on the ceiling, it correlates to the one on the floor. Now you’re starting to do all your locations on the floor just to eliminate going up on a ladder or going up in a lift to get these dimensions. All these laser tools I’m using are for going out and getting field measurements; they’re not involved with fabricating.” O’Malley’s laser tools are small handheld devices powered with a pair of AA batteries. The laser range meter is the size of a flashlight, and the laser PLS is not much bigger than that. He

“These systems go from wall to wall, giving an accurate measurement within a few seconds, reducing error considerably,” he says. Barrett has worked in machine shops in which precision to 1,000th of an inch are critical. “On our long balcony rails, we allow only a deviation of 1/16 of an inch on either side,” he says. Laser accuracy has reduced the amount of clearance needed. The Leica and Hilti laser equipment can even assist fencing companies. “For an 800-foot stretch of fence you can place something at the end of the fence line your laser can hit, such as a Terry Barrett board, wall, or even your truck. As you back up away from it, it can tell you how far you are getting away. Staking out a fence every eight feet can be done as the system will tell you exactly when to put a stake in the ground before going another eight feet,” Barrett says. “We use simple, straight lasers and all sorts of different tools. The number of uses is only limited by your imagination. We haven’t abandoned the tape measure, but the new ways are faster, more accurate, and even have the ability to send data directly to your computer’s Excel spreadsheet if you need your measurements that way. It’s mindboggling the way it’s growing.” carries a little duffle bag in his truck to carry his a digital smart level for measuring pitch and a Bosch digital protractor for measuring angles. He uses his Leica Lino L2 to shoot out a crosshair line that’s both level and plumb. “I put something like that at the top of a staircase and measure down to the different stair treads or the landing; wherever the line is that’s getting shot out horizontally, that’s showing me what the drop is on that ramp or staircase. “The earlier laser range finders had little peep scopes — an improvement over previous ones which had nothing. Fabricator n March / April 2012

Laser and digital tools that Mark O’Malley uses. Top, the Leica Lino 2 and receiver. This tool projects a self-leveling plumb and level line. Second row from left: a Leica Rugby 100 self-leveling rotary level and receiver that spins a level laser beam 360 degrees; Leica Disto5 laser range meter, digital camera; PLS5 another self-leveling tool that projects five lines, one up, one down, one right, one left, and one straight ahead; Plumb, level, square; next row is a 24-inch digital smart level for measuring pitch. Bottom: a Bosch digital protractor for measuring angles.

But still, even with those with scopes, you had to get yourself into position to look through that. If you had the unit up against the wall, in the case of having to measure from the wall to something else, you still had to get yourself behind the unit. That was something impossible to do,” O’Malley says. “When this new one came out, it was actually cheaper than the older one because of the new technology, but it does so much more.” Some people are still skeptical. “One problem with this technology may be that a lot of guys tried laser tools out when they were new and they weren’t real accurate, couldn’t see that dot as I mentioned earlier, and they still think they’re all junk. I have a customer who doesn’t trust the tools I’m using with him,” he says. March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Make sure your tools stay your tools Metal Head’s Randy LeBlanc writes his name on his laser tools and other small equipment with a permanent marker in two or three different places. “I don’t even leave my laser with my guys as they don’t have much of a need for it with their installation or fabrication,” adds LeBlanc. “It’s mostly just used for layouts. Whoever the salesman/draftsman is in most shops really needs to have one. One way to help retrieve stolen equipment, NOMMA president James Minter says, is to insert your business card in the end of the equipment where the batteries are located. “If your tools are recovered or seen at a pawn shop or police station, you can remove the cover for the batteries and show them your business card.”

Where to get more tool info

James Minter Jr.

NOMMA president James Minter Jr. facilitated a measuring roundtable during the Gulf Coast NOMMA Network’s fall meeting in Monroe, LA. The 14-minute video covers laser tools, computerized levels, and iPhone apps. To see the video, visit the NOMMA website ( and click on “Member Resources.” Also, see Mark O’Malley’s PowerPoint at http://

Look for tutorials, webinars

Since manufacturers have scaled back manuals — and it’s difficult to read them anyway — many tutorials are on YouTube, says Terry Barrett. “We’re preparing to do a webinar on measuring and one of the messages we keep hearing [about getting started is that] you need a smart level and digital measuring piece; you can do a lot with those two things. If you don’t get anything else, get those two tools. You’ll save yourself money and time,” he says.


Are you ever surprised to learn that people can’t finish a job (it’s on hold) when on deadline? Avoid inventory problems by implementing a visual scheduling board. Learn the critical questions to ask, page 28.

Shop Talk

Visual efficiency at a glance n


Are you surprised when you run out of critical supplies just when you need them most? Madden Fabrication is experimenting with visual controls to improve shop supplies reordering and shop scheduling.

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of an ongoing series about “lean manufacturing” written by consultant Charlie Martin, Manufacturing Matters, Portland, OR. The first part appeared in the January/ February issue of Fabricator. By Charlie Martin Manufacturing Matters In the previous issue of Fabricator, readers learned how Madden Fabrication, Portland, OR, had begun using a “lean manufacturing” technique called “5S” to organize its shop and eliminate, for example, time spent searching for missing tools. The goal of 5S is to have “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Shadow boards were examined as a way to organize tools, which are hung on a pegboard at their point of use and outlined in color to produce a “shadow.” The shadow board simplifies management of the tools by making it visual. In this article, we’ll expand on the use of visual techniques to include supplies and shop scheduling. Using visual controls is simple once we realize they are used in our everyday life without even thinking Fabricator n March / April 2012

Figure 1. Example of a Kanban reorder card.

about them. Traffic symbols are the most obvious examples. Imagine how chaotic life would be if we removed signs and paint stripes from our highways and parking lots. Moreover, the different types of traffic symbols use pictures, shapes, color, and language (think of the STOP sign) to quickly convey a message. Visual controls offer several advantages over cumbersome written instructions. They can: n overcome language barriers, n encourage standardization, n provide information quickly, and n be easily understood and unambiguous. Just as road signs help us avoid accidents that impede traffic flow, visual controls in the shop help eliminate surprises that impede production. Let’s explore ways that Madden is using visual controls to help reduce surprises in its daily operations. A Kanban system creates efficiency

We can all agree that running out of supplies, such as grinding wheels, fasteners, or welding tips, is frustrating and time wasting: “Who used the last one?” — “Let me make a panic phone call.” — “Someone needs to stop what they are doing and go pick some up.” Does this sound familiar? A simple Kanban system can solve this problem. Kanban, a Japanese word meaning “signal,” usually takes the form of a card indicating when to reorder a product and how many to get (figure 1). In manufacturing plants that make repeat batches of a product in a “just-in-time” environment, Kanban cards pull production through the plant, from shipping back upstream to raw material. In a fabricator’s shop, the product mix is probably not as predictable as in a manufacturing plant. But many things, such as shop supplies, are repetitive in their use and running out of them can be disruptive. Let’s look at a two examples how Madden is tackling shop supply problems: Example 1

Imagine a vertical peg holding a stack of grinding wheels. Behind the stacked wheels is a stack of three colored bars, red at the bottom, followed by amber, and finally green (yes, an idea borrowed from traffic lights). People pull wheels from the stack as they need them. As long as the level is green, all is OK. When the stack drops into the amber zone, that’s a caution to order more wheels. The red zone is emergency; we’re almost out. March / April 2012 n Fabricator


The operator who takes that wheel removes a Kanban card from the stack and hangs it on a prominent hook alongside the office door. A responsible office person inspects the hook several times a day, takes the accumulated cards, places them in their “in” tray, orders the required supplies, and then places the cards in their “out” tray. When the required wheels arrive, the purchasing person takes them and the card back to the shop, fills up the peg (careful to rotate old inventory), and places the card back where it belongs to start the cycle again (figure 2).

Figure 2. Reorder system using Kanban cards.

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One common mishap was running out of propane for the forklifts. That problem was addressed by having a cage with a “Full” side and an “Empty” side. When only two tanks remain on the full side, the Kanban system signals the need for three more replacement tanks. The trick with using Kanbans for replenishment is that you struggle to find the balance between never running out of stock and not having too much money tied up in inventory. In a job shop where the work is difficult to predict and the supplies vary in consumption, setting reorder points can be a challenge. They will depend on the minimum order quantity, delivery lead-time, and the daily consumption rate. The conservative approach is to start with higher safety stock and reduce it over time. Safety stock is the quantity you anticipate remaining when the new stock arrives. To minimize mishaps, Madden is creating a culture of continuous improvement with worker buy-in. The practical examples above are but two uses of Kanbans. Many applications exist, and they generally involve employee input. One way to train employees in the use of Kanbans is to establish small teams to experiment with fun ideas. Afterward, turn them loose on the real problems. Exercise

Here is an enjoyable learning exercise that has been used successfully in Fabricator n March / April 2012


March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Figure 3. Beer example: Kanban reorder point and safety stock levels.

Kanban workshops. I encourage you to try it. You consume six beers per day. The delivery van has a minimum order quantity of 36 beers and a required leadtime of two days. It is imperative that you never run out

of beer, but you can’t afford to spend too much money on inventory. How would you solve this predicament using a Kanban system, and what would you choose for your reorder point, Kanban order quantity, and safety stock? The best way to solve this problem might be to draw a graphical model (figure 3), and the Kanban card would look like figure 4. Thus far, we have examined how to use visual controls to manage tools and supplies. Another application of visual controls is in scheduling work. Shop scheduling

Large companies use sophisticated software programs to schedule shop floor operations. Some companies making repeat products use Kanban cards to schedule and pull product through their operations. Regardless of the shop size or the scheduling systems used, it’s important to meet with operators at the beginning of each workday to assign roles and ask for input.

Figure 4. Beer exercise: Kanban reorder card.


Fabricator n March / April 2012

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At Madden Fabrication, 10-minute “No Surprise” meetings are held each morning on the shop floor in front of a visual scheduling board (see photo). Rather than jobs hiding in a computer, the scheduling board allows everyone to see at a glance who’s working on what and when the work should be finished. This allows people using a visible indicator to set the pace for the day if jobs are falling behind or need additional help to get back on track. Fixed meeting agenda

For your information


How to handle the ‘no surprise’ meeting

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. 1-6th house fence bluebook:fence bluebook 1/10/07

Questions critical to the day’s operations are discussed: n Did we do yesterday what we planned to? If not, how can we adapt? n Here’s what we plan to do today. Does anyone have a problem with this schedule? Do you have what you need? n Drawings? n Materials? n Equipment? n Time? n Heads up — here’s a couple of jobs we plan to start next week — any questions about these?

2:20 PM


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

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Fabricator n March / April 2012


The treadle hammer in context. The hammer is close to the steel bench top (above the stool) to allow for bracing while standing on one foot for stability. Also, a small worktable is installed in the hammer.

Shop Talk

Getting a grıp on treadle hammers n

How do you hold the metal in one hand, a hammer in the other hand, and a set tool in yet another?

By Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh After fabricating cold metal for years, I happened to watch a skilled blacksmith, Francis

Whitaker, at work. It was like watching a magician. Watching Francis work was life changing. This was at my first ABANA conference. Francis would ask conferees in the bleachers if they had any problems he could help with. One man asked about making hammers. About an hour later with the aid of a striker and a power hammer, Francis was heat-treating the finished Cross Pein hammer he forged for us. Another conferee asked about an ornate baluster. Francis started slicing into a hot square bar and again, about an hour later with a pair of scroll pliers, he was finishing up this ornate baluster, and it was great! After watching this, I thought if heating metal and making it malleable opens up this many doors, count me in! Thus, with an arm full of books and a trailer full of forging equipment, I set up a little forging area. This is when I became a believer in evolution. Evolution? Well, it was on one of my first forging projects when things went sour. With an open book on the bench illustrating a project I was trying to make, the instructions went something like this: “With a hammer in one hand, holding your metal like so, now with your hot cutter . . . .” I was never very good in math, but I always came up short of hands while trying to forge metal. How do you hold the metal in one hand, a hammer in the other hand, and a set tool in yet another? This is where evolution comes into play. My current belief is that if we evolved from tadpoles or something, the first blacksmiths had three arms. Either that or they were descendants of woodpeckers and somehow pecked the metal with an appendage on their heads.

Round disc with a 1-inch round stud protruding out the bottom. The round stud allows the disc to rotate on the anvil. On the disc is a frame that is now shimmed with blocks of scrap to hold the wood repoussé tool. The other wood bottom tools are cut to fit into the opening without shims. On the lower left are hand-held top tools. 30

Fabricator n March / April 2012

lower and spread out the feet a little more in the back. Left, tooling 2) On the lower frame below the for stamping anvil, I set one of two risers. One riser offsets into hot is taller than the other, which allows metal. Below, anvil risers for longer or shorter tooling to be and anvil. used above. Most often, the taller riser is used. The shorter riser is used when hot-forming acanthus leaves. The taller riser would probably work, but I want to get some distance from the heat. The wider feet are only needed when you are really wailing on the The 3-arm answer hammer. I then ran across n Keep inertia approprione of blacksmith ate. This tool is an inertia Otto Schmirler’s tool with a 62-pound head books. In the back of (lead alloy tire weights were the book there was melted and poured into the a picture of a treadle square tubing). hammer. My eyes If I built another one froze on this photo. of these hammers, I would Here was the answer not go one pound lighter to not having three on the head weight, but Above, hot collaring and deep veining tools. Small work table. arms. instead would make it Right, tools for stretching, upsetting, Off to the scrap yard 65 pounds. It is the inertia contouring acanthus leaves. for steel, and based on the you want, and it is the head photo, I built a treadle hammer. If my mine based on the photograph in the weight that creates it. shop were to disappear tomorrow, one Schmirler book. I saw one of these hammers built of the first tools I would replace would I have since seen variations of this once with the head of a sledge hambe this treadle hammer. For me, it has mer mounted on the pivoting arms. hammer, and in my opinion, I would been an invaluable tool for years. Because the hammer head did not only change two things from Ad SchmirProof 77035-CB-4829-08 Many people refer to treadle hamhave much weight, you had to jump on ler’s original design: mers as Oliver Hammers. In our shop, the treadle, which then only produced 1) Make the anvil base in the frame the hammer is “Tonya” (see sketch, page 34). The coined name came from an employee I once had. After he named the hammer, I heard him mumble Professional Quality Tools for something under his breath. The the Blacksmith, Metalworker mumblings were about having an old and Fabricator girlfriend named Tonya, who metaSee our work at phorically speaking, would swat a fly with a sledge hammer. I suspect he may have been the fly, but I never Anvils asked. Holding a long piece of metal between your legs is an option of sorts. If the metal is mid-length, holding a set of tongs with a rein clip between your legs is another option that I would rather avoid if possible. I suspect many people reading this who have been in these shoes have a shelf full of “holddown” devices. If your holddown tools are like mine, they work with varying degrees of success, none of which are off the charts.


Treadle building tips

The following is what has worked extremely well for me. n Two changes to Schmirler’s design. I built my treadle hammer years ago. At that time, no one provided instructions and/or blueprints for these hammers as is done now. I built March / April 2012 n Fabricator

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a minimal amount of work. For heavy work, I stomp on the treadle. For light work like repoussé, a light tap from the 62-pound head works well. Make your head weigh 65 pounds, and I think you will be very pleased. n In-line guides rather than a swing hammer as in the photo on page 30. I have seen a number of treadle hammers with in-line guides. Some are better engineered than others. I have used two of these hammers, which both had lubricated slide tri-state-quarter page.qxd guides. The hammers 12/19/07 I used (tried9:44 AM to use) were just too stiff for delicate work. Possibly an in-line hammer with better engineering and dry guides might be great. The goal with in-line guides is to provide a straight hit with the hammer head. In my 20 or so years of using Tonya, I have only lamented the swinging head a couple times. These occurred when I was heading some large rivets (3/4-inch shank) and the upsetting wanted to favor the inside of the hammer. The solution was simply AD

Page 1

Left, the taller riser sandwiched in place with two stiff springs. Right, large table with a square stud protruding out the bottom. A large pan of pitch can also be laid on this table and slid around as need while working metal.

heavy work, I am totally pleased with rotating the piece 180° while it was being worked. This you would do with the Otto Schmirler-style hammer. most other tools as well. Because for very light work, I seek the If I were using the hammer for least amount of friction within the heavy work, then I would use in-line tool as possible. There are zerk fittings guides. But for delicate repoussé work on my minimal pivot points and they PROOF - 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2 and moderate work with occasional are well greased. Beyond the pivot

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March / April 2012 n Fabricator


points, Schmirler’s design does not 4) Add to this, two shop lights have any parts rubbing against each placed close to the anvil. other to create drag. 5) Because you are now close and Here are the five steps I use with can see and control the fine work you Tonya to make light acanthus leafare doing, plus your body is comfortwork, for example. able and stable because you are sit1), The springs in the hammer are ting on a stool, veining flat repousadjusted so they just barely lift the sé accurately becomes an effortless hammer head. breeze. Any extra spring tension and/ 2) You can push my treadle down or head-guide friction just makes my with one finger. (your) job more difficult. A lighter 3) Then, I sit on 1a stool while doing would also make the work Ad_2011:Layout 2/7/11 10:09 AM head Pageweight 1 fine work. more difficult.

Therefore, build the inertia (head weight) into the hammer, eliminate as much friction and spring resistance as possible, sit on a stool for stability, light the work so you can see what you are doing and then let the hammer do the work. n Place the hammer close to the bench. With Tonya, when standing, I am trading one foot for an additional hand. When using a treadle hammer, because you are standing on one foot, by placing the hammer next to a

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bench you can put your butt against the bench for stability. Walla! Three hands without giving up stability. n Place a wooden block under the treadle to prevent the hammer head from coming all the way down, if you’re holding tools in your hand when using your treadle hammer. Then if your hand tool is not vertical and the hammer spits it out sideways, you will not damage your hand. When Tonya and I were first were getting to know each other, I did not Fabricator n March / April 2012

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

For your information


small- and mediumuse a safety block (real sized work. men don’t need safety equipment, right?). Well anyway, from my experiOther versions ence with a 62-pound If you would like to head, if an incising see different versions of chisel is not held vertitreadle hammers and cally, and hit with a light find building plans for a blow and spit out of the swing style hammer, go hammer when the head to hits my hand, it does trdlhamr.htm not break any bones. When there, click on The blow does, however, the photos on the right inspire a temporary voside of the page to open cabulary that my mother them up. would not approve of. In Keith Johnson’s air When learning how powered swing style to use the tool, like shuthammer, photo at left, ting your hand in a car where the springs are door, you learn fast what typically located in a Keith Johnson’s swing style hammer is acceptable and what hammer, Keith has retrofitted with air power. is not! Meanwhile (or installed an air cylinder. always), put the stopper He has a remote pedal block under the treadle and stay safe. (at left in photo), which controls the air. When building my hammer, I made a A little air creates a light blow. More air real heavy (solid stock) base. In retrospect, creates a harder hit. This tool works well I don’t know if it matters. Certainly not on for his applications.

About the author Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh has been a fabricator/artist/ blacksmith for 30 years. After the invention of the fax machine (allowing an easy interchange of sketches), he moved to semirural Wisconsin where he set up a cottage industry with fellow shop owners that has been chugging along for 20 years. CO NTAC T

R. Walsh Gate & Railing 306 Lake St. Pepin, WI 54759 715-442-3102


Shop Talk

Drawing Acanthus side views This 10-step guide to creating side views of Acanthus leaves might require a mental shift, but it will make you the envy of your plant, er, shop. n


The layout described will be for the acanthus leaf in the lower left corner of the grille

Editor’s note: In “Drawing Large Acanthus Leaves” (November/December 2011 Fabricator), author “Uncle Bob” Walsh addressed how to draw a simple, single-sided acanthus leaf, with alternating “C” and “S” curves, in 11 steps. In this second article of the series, Walsh raises the bar adding a decorative grille in which there are two types of acanthus leaves. By Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh Let’s have fun and raise the bar. Previously, we discussed the basic layout of highly stylized front Acanthus leaves in 11 steps. We now turn to the next portion of the project: designing Acanthus leaves’ side views. However, instead of just focusing on hot-formed Acanthus leaves presented in the first article, let’s address how to make different kinds of Acanthus leaves while also making some artwork. And to make it more educational, I will discuss different ways to do it. This art project can take as much as a year, so work on it when convenient. But, if you would rather just make Acanthus leaves for your own project, the steps are the same as those used in the artwork. Let’s make a wall hanging/grille such as the one illustrated on this page. This ornamental ironwork could be hung in your office, shop, donated to a raffle, or used as a boat anchor. I’ll leave that up to you. To produce this grille, a forge and some basic forging skills are necessary. The forge can be a gas or possibly a coal forge. You can heat the Acanthus leaves in a coal forge, however, their odd shape makes them clumsy when working with a coal fire. We’ll make the coils/tendrils in two ways. The small tendrils will be forged over the side of the anvil. Coal works well for these elements. The large coil is really a gas forge item. The reason? You need to get a large, even heat on the metal, so you can make gradual bends. A large, even heat on an object like this is more easily done in a gas forge. Fabricator n March / April 2012

4 types of Acanthus construction

Before addressing different configurations and processes, I want to present what I feel is an accurate overview of four types of Acanthus leaves. 1. Thin-metal. When using thin metal (especially in the 20 or so gauge neighborhood), typically a fabricator hammers the leaf into the mother form first (final shape). Once the finished shape is completed, then with stakes and different hammers, the fabricator raises and/or sinks areas to detail the leaf. The mother form generally precedes the detailing when working with thin metal. 2. Thick-metal. Raising a vein with stakes and hammers on heavier metal (about 14 gauge and thicker) is more difficult because the metal is too thick to work with a cold process. With thick metal, incised lines are often stamped into the metal when it is still flat. Then the overall mother form is created by heating the metal and pounding it from the backside into wood, which is used as a back-up tool. By using wood, the face of the metal is not marred up as it often is when using metal bottom tools. The mother form is then turned over and refined as much as possible on the face side. The main Acanthus leaf in the center of the grille will be made with thick metal, about 1/8 inch or so. Briefly, the difference between thinand thick-metal construction, is thin metal usually requires the mother form to precede the detailing. Conversely, thick metal requires the detailing to precede the overall shaping of the leaf. The mother form/detailing sequences are reversed depending on the thickness of the metal. When leaves are in the 16-gauge neighborhood, a combination of the thin/thick processes is often used. 3. Single-sided leaves (see photo). Single-sided leaves are meant to be viewed from only one side. In many applications, single-sided leaves are applied to both sides of wrought ironwork in matching sets. There are pros and cons to single-sided leaves in addition to the obvious fact that if they are used in matching sets, they are not connected along the spine (if applicable). March / April 2012 n Fabricator

A single-sided leaf might look like it has movement in its overall silhouette, but all the movement is created in the pattern. The metal is cut with a bandsaw or chisels to get the overall shape.

A single-sided leaf might look like it has a lot of movement in its overall silhouette; actually, all the movement is created in the pattern. The metal is not hammered into its dynamic profile; instead, it is cut with a bandsaw or chisels to achieve the overall shape. 4. Two-sided, one-piece leaves that saddle ironwork (see photo, page 38). This process is a new ball game when compared with simple, hotformed, one-sided leaves. The skill level increases dramatically. This will be addressed in a later article. When

laying out two-sided, wraparound leaves, we will use the sheet-metal pattern development process. In our wall hanging art project, I include two types of Acanthus leaves. The leaf on the lower left is a two-sided, wraparound leaf that saddles the ironwork. I will use 16 gauge for this leaf. The leaves in the grille that we construct will be different from the drawing. The spacing between the petals on the smaller leaf will be larger, and the large leaf will have more depth than illustrated.


leaves, they alternate a “C” curve with an “S” curve. 2) The stamped veins ares curved, which makes them dynamic, not static in appearance. 3) The stems meets the leaves at close to a right angle. The leaves in the drawing would benefit from a sharper transition on their bottom sides. Straight lines complement curved ones.

cator, my goal is usually to “get-itdone.” My inclination would be to simply take the wall hanging illustration to some quick-copy house, blow the drawing up to full scale, and go to work. In this case, however, the goal is learning the skills, not producing the product. Although it might look nice on your wall (or under your boat), having a wall hanging is not the goal. We want the wall hanging to be a product of having learned specific skills. Patience, patience, patience. I confess, I am the originator of the “assemble it first and then when finished, read the instructions club”! I suspect many of you can relate to this. Bear with me. Let’s start with drawing exercises. In the “Drawing large Acanthus Leaves” article, we focused on the leaf development of a one-sided leaf. This was done in 11 steps.

Let’s go to work

Drawing the side view

Two-sided, wraparound leaves. The skill level to make these increases exponentially over simple, hot-formed, one-sided leaves. Railing by Keith Johnson. Repoussé by Bob Walsh.

I have included rosettes in the corners. Many rosettes, whether round and static in appearance, square or rosettes that are round and look like they are spinning like a pinwheel, are based on the same alternating “C” and “S” curve principles as Acanthus leaves. I will address rosettes of all sizes later. Notice the generic leaves on the bottom of the wall hanging. These leaves look good (I think). Why? Three reasons: 1) If you look at the perimeter, you will notice that like the Acanthus

The first step for most of us is making a huge mental shift. As a fabri-

Now, let’s focus on establishing the side view of an Acanthus leaf that straddles your ironwork. This Acanthus leaf may be one-sided or twosided. The number of sides does not matter; we are after the pattern of the side view. The drawing process (see images, page 39) is basically the same for all leaves regardless of the shape. Step Lay out your spine line to 1 achieve the overall shape


Step Once the contour has been 2 laid out, approximate the

center vein of each petal.

Step After your contour and the 3 veins of the petals are

established, add your “C” curves. Step Add your “S” curves.

4 Step Erase and reposition the basic 5 locations needed. You will find

that when adjusting, pushing a pencil line over 1/8 inch and then pulling another line in 1/8 inch, often makes a world of difference. Step Tighten up your “S” and “C” 6 curves. Divide your petals into 38

Fabricator n March / April 2012

sections (add facets). Notice in drawing number 6, leaves that go over convex bends (or scrolls in ironwork) might need some facets eliminated because the spacing tightens up (center leaf). The tighter the radius, the fewer facets there will be room for. Step Round off your main tips. 7 Step Go over your pencil lines with 8 an ink pen A simple ballpoint

pen works. Let the ink dry well and erase the pencil lines. Step White out as needed. 9 Step Photocopy and walla, a nice 10 looking drawing.

I have heard too many times: “But I am not an artist.” OK, you may not have the art mileage behind you someone else does, but when you look at something, if your heart tells you it is right, it probably is right. Likewise, if your guts tell you something is wrong, your instinct is probably correct. Good proportions simply feel good to look at. Bad proportions look uncomfortable, odd. If you go to art school, your heart and guts will still be what directs you. You can do this! Draw the grille by hand

Let’s make our grille drawing by hand. I know, I know, it’s easier to just blow up my drawing. However, drawing is at the root of ornamental ironwork; let’s make this drawing by hand. It does not matter if you copy my drawing or draw your own concept. It also does not matter if you use a drafting board and blow up your drawing or draw the project in full scale. Do March / April 2012 n Fabricator

what you feel comfortable with. The goals below differ depending on the size of your drawing. Some of the following should apply. n Drawing in large scale. This is much easier for many people than drawing in a small scale. What you draw in large scale, you are drawing with your arm instead of your wrist. For many people, it is easier to draw graceful curves in full scale. And in full scale, you will not find yourself squeezing the poor pencil in half! n Refine “C” and “S” drawing skills. Since custom repoussé is what this project is about, here is a chance to further your “C” and “S” drawing skills. Think of this as learning how to write in cursive all over again, only this time you only have to learn two letters. I love it. n Improve your sense of proportion. Hand drawing improves your sense of proportion, regardless of how

long you have been drawing. This transfers over into other areas of your life, such as building an addition onto your shop or house, or designing routine ironwork. Everybody wins here. Caution. When making large drawings, distorted proportions are an issue because of foreshortened views. If you are drawing in full-scale and your drawing is three-feet-tall, lying horizontally on a table that is three feet off the floor, watch out. If you simply draw your project, make the components to match the drawing, and assemble the components on your drawing, you will probably be surprised, often disappointed, when you erect the project. Solution. After sketching your drawing to scale, stand on a stepladder and look down at the composition. When your line of sight is perpendicular to the paper or simulating how the metal will be viewed, adjust the ele-



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Above, an interior baluster ornament. Left, Acanthus leaf applications on both convex and concave linear ironwork.

ments in the drawing accordingly. If you have ever drawn a tall gate on your shop floor with chalk and then built it based on the chalk drawing, remember when you erected it? Ouch! The foreshortened problem is not as severe when you draw on a drafting table. But I still recommend that when you have a finished drawing, adjust the table or somehow look down on the drawing so your line of sight will match the line of sight the finished metalwork will receive. And finally. Think about the size of your forge when designing. If you draw the world’s finest Acanthus leaf, cut out your metal, and then it won’t fit into your gas forge. . . . Someday I’ll tell you about the odd-shaped railing I made in my shop that I could not get out through the door! But not now. Good luck. The joy is in the journey.

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About the author Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh has been a fabricator/artist/ blacksmith for 30 years. For 10 years, his shop was in downtown Minneapolis. After the invention of the fax machine (allowing an easy interchange of sketches), he moved to semi-rural Wisconsin where he set up a cottage industry with fellow shop owners that has been chugging along for 20 years. Their ironwork can be found throughout the upper Midwest.

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Fabricator n March / April 2012

Member Talk

Retirement? What’s that? n

A NOMMA Gold award-winning shop, Turner Manufacturing has stayed in business for 40 years with good customer service and a diverse skill set. And Joe Turner is not close to giving it all up.

Joe Turner loves to teach. “Why’-n-cha do it this way?”

By Molly A. Badgett Regardless of what today’s economy might hand the rest of us, Joe Turner is comfortably insulated. In fact, if the 40-year industry veteran gets any more comfortable, he’ll be turning business away. Joe is staring now on $3.5 million in new contract work for his company, Turner Manufacturing, Fresno, CA. That puts him among the few who are drafting “help wanted” ads — and he has another large bid pending. “I’m 73 years old, going on 74, and I’m busier than I’ve ever been,” Joe says. But given his skill set, strong work ethic, and sheer love of life, no one who knows him should be surprised. March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Started in aircraft welding

Joe began his career in the metals industry in 1957 when the Air Force introduced its new recruit to aircraft welding. From Illinois, he was shipped to England, where he worked at the Air Force’s welding shop for three years. After that shop was closed and he was discharged, Joe started his own shop in England, where he remained another three years. California was next in line. He moved there in 1962 and for the next 10 years further developed his welding skills, mostly with sheet metal. He joined the sheet-metal union in 1968. Then, something happened. Joe saw limitations. He saw rou-

Closeup detail of the staircase, page 41, built for a dentist/philanthropist. The brass cap rail and brass rosettes give the stair a classy look in conjunction with the rich wood and black wrought iron.

tine. He decided to venture out on his own. “I quit to do things on my own,” he says. “The union guys said, ‘You’re crazy. You’ll never make it.’ But in the union, I was only an apprentice. I wasn’t making as much as I could make. I had to give it a try.” For $25, he purchased a welder from his brother-in-law and set up shop in a garage that, of course, had no air conditioning and temperatures soared into the triple digits. Using a simple 220 plug outside, Joe became an unlikely expert in the area of mobile home stair railings. “I called myself a ‘mobile home specialist,’ ”he says with a laugh. He coined the company name Turner Manufacturing because it was generic enough to let him take whatever came next, like wrought-iron work. In his first year of sole operation, 1972, Joe brought in $27,000. NOMMA volunteering pays off

From there, work went well. Just one year after he joined NOMMA’s western region office as a volunteer officer in 1977, he went to the organization’s first conference in New Orleans and walked away with an award. He still gets giddy when he talks about it. “I was the first in the West Region to win an award,” he says. “And I got so into NOMMA. There are high-level folks in NOMMA that do good work. They influenced me in going forward with my business.” Today, just as he did then, Joe appreciates the chance to learn from others in the business by attending NOMMA events and meeting people. “I always believe that by association, you become somebody. And it’s not just about learning the trade but learning how to handle success. You get rejuvenated. You see how the others behave and how they live, and those types of things.” A NOMMA member now for 35 years, Joe views his allegiance to the organization as a chance to give to others. He looks back with pride on his membership — and his leadership; he served for three years as president of the Western Region, from 1988 to 1991. 42

Fabricator n March / April 2012

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Joe Turner lucks out with a horse in barter deal for gate project

and began breeding his own Thoroughbreds. His first, Royal Irish, landed him $580,000 in winnings in one year, including a single-race purse of $150,000. Being a married man, Joe’s been lucky, too, to have a supportive wife. Before that impressive year of wins, a Texan offered Joe $600,000 to buy Royal Irish. He thought long about the offer, and took his wife out to dinner to discuss it with her. “I was fearful,” Joe says.

Joe Turner has come a long way since he called himself “a mobile home specialist,” outfitting mostly single-wides with access rails. Through hard work and determination, he’s enviably happy and deservedly proud. “A lot of people invest in stocks; I invested in myself.” But that’s not the end of Joe’s investment story. In 1988, What do you really want? he got equine “fever,” and ever His wife, Petra, asked since Thoroughbred horses all the expected questions: have given Joe much pleasure “Joe, what is it you’re looking away from the spark of a weldfor in these horses? What er’s torch. do you want to do with It happened by accident. Joe Turner, right, talks with now-retired trainer Greg Gilchrist while, behind them, Royal Irish heads to the race these horses?” He had completed $32,000 “I want to have a horse in worth of work on a set of gates that won Joe a $150,000 purse. Royal Irish was Joe’s first Thoroughbred and his most prolific winner. the Kentucky Derby,” Joe told for a horse ranch, and the ownher. “She said, ‘This man is not er tempted him to barter. The coming to buy your horse. He wants to buy your dream.’ proposal didn’t intrigue Joe at first; he hadn’t counted on So, I didn’t sell it.” a horse worth much more than $5,000. Since then, Joe continues to breed, raise, train and sell horses, and play their odds. He’s now preparing to introJust pick one duce 3-year-old Iron Joe T to the track in Santa Anita. “For a year, I didn’t go back for my money or the horse,” Although he hasn’t racked up a half-million in winnings Joe says. “Then, finally I went to the track and met with the again in single year, he’s doing quite well on the circuit. owner. He said, ‘Pick the horse you want,’ so I did.” “I’ve had a lot of fun with my horses,” Joe says. That horse, Some Hitter, turned out to be “some win“Things haven’t been that good since (Royal Irish), but I ner,” too. At the Santa Anita tracks, Some Hitter won his still have the horses, and I still have the business, and I’m first race out after the exchange, and Joe added “Lucky” still doing what I like to do.” to his cache of nicknames. — Molly A. Badgett Joe soon became a partner in a five-horse syndicate During that time, he developed seminars on topics such as metal decoration and job-resource coordination. He even became a “celebrity” with one 1991 seminar on circular stairs. It became the most-attended class, accompanied by the most-sold video. Add skills to help clients

While crafting circular stairs, particularly ones that incorporated glass into the design, Joe learned an important career strategy that he believes helped make him a successful fabricator. While many in his field would finish the metal framing for, say, a glassand-brass circular staircase and then turn the rest of the job over to the glass 44

Fabricator n March / April 2012

More Joe Turner advice n Follow your instincts to bring

surprising career results.

n Diversify your skill set to

help you land a bigger part of the overall job.

n Word-of-mouth recognition

for jobs well done is still among your best tools for marketing.

Turner Manufacturing became a one-stop metal shop when Joe Turner earned his structural-steel license. The industry veteran can take a project from its skeletal frame to the finishing decorative touches.

specialist, Joe learned the glass craft himself so he could do the entire job. “I figured if he can do it, I can do it,” Joe says. “It’s like (working with) electricity. Once you get the fear out of the way, you start doing it yourself.” Aside from the obvious benefits to multi-taskers like Joe, employers reap the benefits of having fewer contractors to deal with. That same approach — covering more components of the total job than most other contractors would — has worked wonders for Turner Manufacturing since Joe entered the commercial field in the latter part of the 1980s. In recent years, he added a structural-steel license to his professional artillery and has been unstoppable since. “I combine the structural-steel work with the stairs, railings, swimming-pool fences, and electric entry gates,” Joe says. “Not too many others do this on a million-dollar job. They do one (piece of the job) or the other, but not a package deal. “That’s the reason I’m successful,” said the millionaire who never finished seventh grade. Provide good customer service

Then, there’s customer service — the universal but often-unnurtured part of any business that drives the kind of word-of-mouth recognition that only the best deserve. For Joe, good customer service means following the basics: n Being on time. n Doing what you say you will do. n Getting the job done on time and on budget. March / April 2012 n Fabricator


But it also means: n Building a business with employees who have worked with you for decades because they want to. n Providing consulting services to clients who might or might not, in the end, award you the job they’re inquiring about (though, in Joe’s case, that’s rare). n Spending time with clients to advise or teach them, sharing with them the kind of knowledge that few others, including clients themselves, possess. Joe even earned a nickname over the course of his career, thanks to his penchant for showing others the ropes. It could be spelled, “Why-n-cha,” the rapid-fire preface to, “Why don’t you do it this way?”

The gate for the oversized portal of this building are a far cry from the early work of Turner Manufacturing. Joe Turner started his career in ornamental iron in 1972, building railings for mobile homes.

Being an industry guru, though, has its downside. For Joe, it’s that he sees few younger people taking up the cause for this labor-intensive, handson craft. “Young people aren’t used to working,” Joe says plaintively. “They just want things handed to them. It bothers me a lot. They want to make a few

bucks and just survive. You have to have ambition.” You also need the intellectual curiosity to learn, and Joe hasn’t found enough of it among the younger set. “I can’t find a guy who says, ‘Show me one time and I’ll take it from there’,” he says. So, prospective clients in the relatively wide range of central California that is Turner Manufacturing’s

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territory can be glad Joe isn’t ready to retire. Not even close. “I don’t look forward to retirement,” he says, “I look forward to Monday morning so I can go to work.” “When I first won my award in ’78, I said to myself, ‘If I was to ever make $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t want anything more,” Joe says, nostalgically. “Now I’m making millions and I still want more!”

For your information


What lies ahead?

Turner Mfg. Co. 4543 East Floradora Fresno, CA 93703-4491 559-251-1918 About the author Molly A. Badgett is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, GA. She often covers issues related to U.S. manufacturing.

Fabricator n March / April 2012

Job Profile

Renovation, naturally n

For an historic copper fence, the former Butler Street Iron discovered what heat, quench, and bending techniques could straighten bent sections without cracking them while maintaining its natural patina.

By John LaMonica

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

For your information


Modeled after Latona Fountain at Versailles, the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain was designed by Jacques Lambert by appointment of Kate Buckingham in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham. During its 2008–2009 winter hiatus, the world-famous fountain underwent the first phase of three renovations. Butler Street Iron’s participation in the renovation included the protection, preparation, repair, resetting, and where required, removal of small portions of the perimeter historic copper fence that surrounds the turf area adjacent to the fountain basin. Butler Street worked closely with Michael Fus, who was the lead preservation architect for the Chicago Park District.

About the author John LaMonica is the foreman, architectural iron workers, City of Chicago. He can be reached at For more, see story, page 49.


Butler developed fours ways to minimize adverse effects on the patina:

1) A way to minimize the heat effects. 2) A method to join the broken sections. 3) A fabrication method for replacement sliding brass inter-clips. 4) A safe way to remove concrete from around the fence. The fountain represents Lake Michigan, while the four sea horses symbolize a state bordering the lake. The fence represents the area as a whole. Fabrication technique

The technique was both a challenge and a delight. The challenge of the fence restoration was to maintain the aesthetics and natural patina of the fence. That meant Butler had to develop a process in which the entire fence had a uniform natural-looking patina.

Butler had to discover what heat, quench, and bending techniques could straighten bent sections without cracking them and changing the temper of the fence. This resulted in four developments to minimize adverse effects on the patina: 1) A way to reduce the heat effects. 2) A method to join the broken sections. 3) A fabrication method for replacement sliding brass inter-clips. 4) A safe way to remove concrete

from around the fence. Greatest challenge

Butler’s major concern was that the restoration required the fence to maintain its “aesthetics” to the current day. The fence had acquired a natural patina that had some interesting aspects to it. Through the years, visitors had touched the top of the fence more than the bottom portions. This created a particular patina pattern on the fence. Thus Butler had to determine a way to fabricate sections of the fence that matched this “natural” patina. Butler was proud of the result. Materials used

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The fence surrounding the fountain is formed copper rod with a patina, fastened into a precast concrete footing with a grout or mortar-type material. The concrete footing appears to be precast concrete about 12 x 24 x 6 inches, with a pea gravel-type exposed, aggregate finish. The footing is buried about 24 inches in the soil. Butler used specially formulated chemicals to get the patina effects. Installation techniques

The installation techniques were a challenge. Butler had to remove many 48

Fabricator n March / April 2012

sections of the fence, return them to its shop, repair them, and the reinstall them. This process was coordinated with other contractors and the lead preservation architect that were involved in the restoration project.

Butler Street Foundry had 120-year run The Butler Street Foundry and Iron Company, begun in 1891 in Chicago, is no longer in business. John LaMonica was its last owner. The foundry was started by the people who sponsored LaMonica’s maternal grandparent’s immigration to the United States. LaMonica grew up around the foundry and read Fabricator “only after my Uncle Bud completed reading it himself.” In 2005, Bud let LaMonica “tack over operations at the foundry (as an owner). The economy booming.” In 2008, Chicago started to restore the Clarence Buckingham Fountain (a Chicago architectural icon) and damaged fencing. Butler took over the 500-foot architectural iron restoration from the original subcontractor, and by spring 2009, the job was complete. It was “on time and under budget,” LaMonica says, with the help of NOMMA and its members. The project won an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. In January 2011, LaMonica resigned his position at Butler, and the company is no longer in business after a “wonderful 120 year run. And like Uncle Bud always told me ‘pay all of your bills.’ All suppliers were paid; no vendor was left in the cold.” LaMonica’s new career is foreman, architectural iron workers, the City of Chicago. “I was very sad when I left, and I somewhat felt that I let my predecessors of the foundry down when I resigned. But now, I have accepted the fact that the economy was the main reason for the downfall, and when God closes one door, he always leaves another unlocked, but you have to be the one to find it.”

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Type of finish

The finish is a patina that is unique to the fence having been affected by its exposure to Chicago weather and countless visitors touching it. Approximate labor hours

400 hours in the field and in the shop.

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Top Job Gallery



The “Top Job Gallery” section features jobs entered in the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition. This issue, we are showcasing a sampling of the outstanding work entered in the Driveway Gates, Forged category over the years. See more entries at the ‘Gallery.’ Enjoy!

Wrought Iron Art Ltd. — Gold Oakville, ON, Canada These three-dimensional gates are part of a private residence fence and gate system that consists of two driveway gates, two pedestrian gates, fence, and six posts. The entire completely wrought iron system was built in the same blacksmith’s shop. The compositions have 14 decorative wrought iron round columns, which are decorated with flowers, leaves, and ribbons. The driveway gates have three iron wreaths, decorated with different types of flowers and leaves. The system also has hammered strips, rivets, and scrollworks. Technique: 100% hand-forged with hands and power hammer. Finish: Hot dip zinc galvanizing, flat black finishing. Designed by fabricator. Installation by boom truck. Size of the system: approx. 70 x 10 feet. Gate size: approx. 14 x 10 feet. 50

Fabricator n March / April 2012

Top Job Gallery


Mission Iron Shop — Silver San Marcos, CA This gates was designed and built for a general building contractor that specializes in multimillion dollar homes. This gate, a French Normandy style, was for the contrcattor’s home. As the designer, Mission Iron Shop’s biggest challenge was that the contractor wanted the gate to be about 14 feet high, but the stone columns were only 9 feet high. Also,

the French-style gates that the client liked were tall and narrow, which allowed Mission Iron to incorporate urns on the top of the two columns. The company had this idea for years, but never had the freedom to do it. This detail helped achieve the tall narrow look. It forged all of the scrolls and some of the leaves but also used cast steel leaves and flowers, which are strong and bendable. Approx. labor time: 720 hours.

Allen Iron Works & Supply Inc. — Bronze Birmingham, AL Gates are 14 x 6-feet. Frame is 2-inch square tubing. Limbs are forged of 6-inch diameter under pipe and tubing. Leaves are laser cut and textured. Acorns are formed of 1-inch steel balls, shaped, and textured. Squirrels are fabricated in repoussé technique using 16-gauge material. The fur is 1/8 x 1¼-inch flat bar cut with portable band saw at 1/8 inch intervals. These strips are wrapped to form the body.

Facial details are made using angle iron for ears and builtup weld for nose. Feet and paws made of ½inch round bar, shaped and flattened. The spider web is hanger wire. Spider is 1¼-inch solid using 1/8-inch welding rod legs. Challenges were to keep tree trunk and limbs from collapsing when being shaped. Gates used pillow block hinges. Squirrels were dipped in primer and paint before welding to gate. The squirrels required much tedious hand work to fabricate hair and shape for bodies. Approx. labor time: 468 hours.

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


ATFAB — Bronze Plant City, FL This entry is a 16-feet, single swing gate that incorporates plant and garden wildlife to match the homeowner’s landscaped yard. Copper, stainless steel, and black iron were incorporated into the design. All the hand-forged material

was then clear-coated using only the different materials as contrast and color. The forging of the philodendron leaves were the most difficult because it required two people to fabricate the gate, which was designed by the owner. The blacksmith and owner did the fabrication of the gate. Approx. labor time: 1,200 hours.

Universal Iron Doors SunValley, CA General description: 16 x 7-feet, double hand-forged driveway gate installed at an estate in Beverly Hills, CA. Fabrication techniques: Bending numerous arches. Greatest

challenge: Arches. Designer: In-house designer. Materials used: 1 W’ x 1 W’ 14 gauge. W’ x W’ solid square. 18-gauge sheet metal. Type of finish: Dipped in zinc, red oxide primer, powder-coated textured black, brushed silver finish, and clear coated. Approximate labor time: 150 hours.


Fabricator n March / April 2012

Top Job Gallery


Art’s Work Unlimited Miami, FL The customer is a landscape architect and waterfall contractor with numerous plant and bird collections. He wanted a design incorporating some of these elements, including a Toucan. Art’s Work Unlimited looked at many photos of the date palm because their trunks vary widely. There were numerous heliconias and bromeliads, with their spectacular flowers, planted around the property. These made nice ele-

ments in the gate, which is mostly fabricated from .125 and .090 aluminum plate. 3003 was used because it is fairly soft and requires less annealing. Most of the work was repousséd or forged by hand over stakes and the anvil. A Pullmax with homemade dies was used to form the larger leaves. Finally, the coloring was done by an employees who had a knack with painting. She dry brushed the colors over a base coat of deep bronze; so they are subtle, not flashy. Approx. labor time: 480 hours.

Elsaforge Inc. Stuart, FL The client gave Elsaforge’s in-house designer a free hand in the design of this gate, but wanted it to be unique. From rough sketches, the design was developed over a couple of months. The gate is made from steel throughout in the traditional manner done in France in the time of Louis XIV. All the “sun rays” were hot-forged by hand with the ends

tapered. All joints were crossed-halved for strength, and all the joints on the main part of the design were hot riveted using handmade rivets. The only welding on the gate was in the main frame and the “seascape” panel at the bottom. The hardest part of the gate was to work out the design where the sun rays crossed and to ensure that the cross-halving joints were cut accurately. Approx. labor time: 120 hours.

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


Steely Don’s Inc. Jupiter, FL This gate was made with 100% aluminum materials. The turtles and leaves are forged out of ¼inch plate. A plasma cutter was used to cut the shapes, and a form was fabricated to clamp the plate around the outside edges. Heat was applied to the plate, then a 65-pound hammer was usd to shape them, leaving a 3-D effect. Next, the plate was turned over and the detail lines were hammered in. The leaves

were made similarly. By heating them slightly and using a wire wheel to clean them up, the result became an unusual casted-looking creation. The wavy vertical bars started out being 1-inch round. They were hammered, tapered, and bent to create a wavy-water feeling. Bronze-tone powder coating was done by others. Steeley Don’s applied gold highlights. These gates were imagined by a local designer. The inspiration comes from sea turtles and seaweed in the ocean waters where this town is located. Approx. labor time: 50 hours.

Cuper Studios LLC Easton, PA This driveway gate project was an exciting project for Cuper Studios. The company had never forged aluminum before this project, but they quickly learned after some trial and error. After the client showed the company pictures of what they liked, the client gave Cuper Studios freedom to design the hand-forged gate. The client also wanted the gate to be maintenance-free, thus the suggestion to forge it from

aluminum, which they were hesitant to do. But the client was sold on aluminum when Cuper Studios said that Rolls Royce uses aluminum for their car bodies so they won’t rust. The client also wanted horses in the design, thus it gave the company a rare, yet exhilarating, chance to perform chasing and repoussé in bronze sheet. The finish is a bronze-colored powdercoat on the aluminum and the bronze is left to age naturally. Approx. labor time: 350 hours.


Fabricator n March / April 2012

Top Job Gallery


Eureka Forge Pacific, MO Two pair of forged and fabricated iron gates were needed for a renovation of a botanical garden boulevard entrance. Molds were made from existing finials on adjacent ironwork, and matching finials were cast. Due to site conditions, each of the four identically appearing gates are of a slightly different length. The curve of the top rail and the picket spacing were adjusted accordingly. Individually forged C scrolls and

rings were then hot riveted in place. After 10-inch-square embeds with knife plates were placed in the footings, masonry was set to finish the columns. Custom adjustable hinge assemblies were designed to carry the 17-foot gates. The hinge blocks have ball bearings atop 1-inch pins, bronze thrust washers, and grease fittings. The adjustments can plumb the gates front to back and level them left to right. (Patent applied for.) Hold-open devices prevent the 1,500-pound gates from blowing in the wind. Approx. labor time: 848 hours.

Point of View Design Ears, TN These driveway gates were designed and fabricated for a horse farm in Tennessee. Each gate leaf weighed about 500 pounds and is made with a frame of hammered steel tubing and rod cold forge embossed with a wood grain pattern. Five different sizes of embossed rod were then hot forged into the various shapes to create the graduated branch effect and to force the perspective of the “landscape” scene (prob-

ably greatest challenge). The bottom horizontal line was plasma cut from a 3/16 sheet and mirror images in each of the two panels. Stamped leaves in five sizes adorned each of the “trees” while two vintage “blue birds,” rescued from a discarded bath, were restored and placed in the branches. After fabrication, the gates were dipped in a liquid primer then powder coated with a flat, textured bronze finish. The leaves and the birds were then hand gilded for accent. Approx. labor time: 800 hours design to installation.

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


Triana Family Fence Homestead, FL This gate was created for a customer who loves the Everglades and was looking for a heron to be incorporated into the gate. The challenge was the amount of sculpting and forging involved. Another challenge, because this was a slide gate, the fabrication of the two herons needed the slimmest possible profile while still maintaining their sculpture appearance. The entire gate, designed in-house, was made out of aluminum. The herons, fish, and mangrove roots were all

sculpted using .090 aluminum and then shaped on a Pullmax machine. The leaf, cattails, and vine work were all hand forged using the company’s hammer. The gate has a marbled bronze finish, painted to match the customer’s existing lamps on the columns. The leaves were painted with three shades of green, and the vine was painted with two shades of brown. The birds and fish were hand painted to resemble the real animals as closely as possible. Approx. labor time: 350 hours, plus 40 hours for painting.

Schulte Studios Inc. Sugar Grove, IL This 18 x 9-feet-tall forged aluminum horse gate has been the most challenging gate the company has ever fabricated. The client wanted a gate with four horses on it. Although Schulte Studios had artistic freedom, it had to incorporate strength into the design and compensate for the uphill grade of the driveway. Each horse has individual plates manually

plasma cut from 1/411 aluminum plate, and was hand forged and shaped to get as much depth as possible into every muscle. All welding was done with TIG. A 211 square tube frame was hidden behind the horses to add strength to the gate. All of the other design elements, such as cattails and grasses, were forged in aluminum. The client chose a simple Spartan bronze powder coat. Approx. labor time: 180 hours.


Fabricator n March / April 2012

Biz Side

Safety wıth a tax cut n

Penalties for safety noncompliance are not tax deductible, but there are ways to make them less onorous.

For your information

By Mark E. Battersby

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Every ornamental and miscellaneous metals business, large or small, is responsible for protecting the safety and health of its employees. Safety is also good business. An effective safety and health program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested. It’s the right thing to do, and doing it right pays off in lower costs, increased productivity, and higher employee morale. Metal fabricators must follow government regulations about its facilities, equipment, or work sites. A good example is provided by the improvements required under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), or those mandated by OSHA. A metalworking operation has little choice but to comply or pay penalties. But is tax relief available to fabricators who make the compliance improvements? A business forced to pay penalties for noncompliance or law violations will also find the penalties are not tax deductible. The tax law specifically denies deductions for fines and penalties paid to the government for violations. Moreover, the costs of capital construction and improvements are not immediately deductible. The costs are added to the basis of property and recovered through depreciation. This can be a long process, giving little tax relief upfront when the costs are incurred.

What You’ll Learn n Worker safety and health is central to a company’s profitability. n Provide reasonable cost estimates when applying for improvement loans. n When fighting penalties, legal fees might be tax deductible. n Special rules may allow for speedier tax write-offs for some mandated improvements.

© Pixelbliss

About the Author For more than 25 years, Mark E. Battersby has written editorial features, columns, white papers, and reports for magazines, journals, newsletters, and websites about news and developments in the tax and financial arenas that impact small businesses. He can be reached at MEBatt12@


Fines and penalties are not generally tax deductible,

but fees for legal and professional services are. Ways to accelerate tax relief

Fortunately, special rules can accelerate the deductions or write-offs for making some mandated improvements. Consider: The American With Disabilities Act: A metalworking business is required to make changes to its facilities to accommodate the handicapped or elderly public — or its own employees — may qualify for a tax break, for example, adding ramps or railings. The Disabled Access Credit: A business can claim a tax credit of 50% of the cost of expenditures over $250, and up to $10,500 a year, for a top tax credit of $5,000. This credit applies only for small businesses, defined as those with gross receipts of $1 million or less, or fewer than 30 employees in the preceding year. Details about the type of improvements eligible for the credit are explained in the instructions to IRS Form 8826, Disabled Access Credit. Barrier removal: A special deduction for the cost of removing barriers to the disabled and the elderly is capped at $15,000 per year. If costs are greater, the amount over $15,000 can be capitalized and recovered through depreciation. A barrier removal cost can be used only once (it can’t be used as both a tax credit and a tax deduction), but writeoffs for ADA-related improvements continue to help reduce the tax bills of many metals fabricating businesses. OSHA compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is concerned with safety for employees in the workplace. Under its provisions, every business must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees regardless of the size of the business. OSHA was established to create standards and regulations that implement the Act. There are no special tax breaks immediately tied to OSHA-ordered 58

changes or improvements. Depending on the type of changes required, the costs may be immediately deductible or will have to be capitalized.

A good example of what is immediately deductible and what must be capitalized and written-off over a number of years is the personal safety equipment purchased by many businesses for their workers, such as goggles and protective gloves. These may be immediately deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense, or if expected to last more than one year, as an immediate write-off under first-year expensing or bonus depreciation rules. Re-wiring, constructing exits and overhead protection, or other capital improvements to a business’s shop, plant, or facility may have to be capitalized. However, for a limited time, special rules may help those leasing business property, restaurants, and retail establishments write-off improvements faster than the more common — and quite lengthy — depreciation process. An owner or manager may consider OSHA’s free on-site consultation. The program does not entail penalties or citations; it merely makes recommendations for improvements to be a safer workplace. This can help you prevent penalties that could result from inspections down the road. Fighting back

Although fines and penalties are not generally tax deductible, fees for legal and professional services are. Amounts paid to battle fines and penalties levied for safety violations, and other causes, are tax deductible. In fact, in 1996 Congress passed the small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) to help small businesses. An often-overlooked provision of SBREFA gives small businesses expanded authority to recover

attorneys’ fees and costs when a federal agency has been found to be excessive in enforcing federal regulations.

The legislation also establishes 10 Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards to get comments from small businesses about federal compliance and enforcement activities and report these findings annually to the Congress. Tool and equipment plans

That personal safety equipment purchased by businesses for their workers, such as goggles and protective gloves, opens the door to other tax write-offs. Employees in many industries routinely purchase their own safety clothing. In turn, they are permitted to claim a tax deduction for these expenditures under the heading of “employee business expenses,” on their personal income tax returns. Should the employee provide his or her own tools, however, it is a slightly different story. An Employee Tool and Equipment Plan is an agreement between an employer and one or more of its employees to reimburse the employee for the use of the employee’s tools and equipment. The idea is that a portion of the compensation paid to the employee is for use of his tools and equipment and, therefore, that portion is not taxable wages to the employee. In addition to saving the employee federal income taxes, the employer would not have to withhold employment taxes on that portion of the employee’s compensation. As the IRS has pointed out, fabricators/taxpayers can achieve this tax result by structuring the Employee Tool and Equipment Plan as an Accountable Plan as defined in the tax law. To qualify as an Accountable Plan, the Plan must meet some minimal Fabricator n March / April 2012

When it comes to paying for safety improvements, mandated or voluntarily made,

a number of lenders stand ready to assist. requirements. It must require the employee to substantiate the expense and must provide that the employee must return any amount in excess of the amount of the expense that is substantiated. Training and education

OSHA requires many operations within one’s industry to establish an OSHA training program that all employees at the time of their hiring and at least once a year participate in. Under our tax rules many of the educational and training expenses incurred by a plant, shop, or business are both tax deductible by the business and, at the same time, tax-free to the recipients. That’s right, a largely ignored provision of our tax law permits every metals fabricator to claim a tax deduction for expenditures made to educate or train employees. This is a fringe bene-

fit for any employee — even employee owners of their own businesses. And, best of all, it is deductible by the business and tax-free to the recipient. Financing workplace improvement

When it comes to paying for safety improvements, mandated or voluntarily made, a number of lenders stand ready to assist. These include banks, finance companies, equipment manufacturers, and government agencies. The Small Business Administration, for instance, can make loans to help you meet OSHA standards. Because SBA’s definition of a “small” business varies from industry to industry, contact your local SBA field office to determine whether the metalworking business qualifies. Hint: SBA/OSHA processing loans delays are because applications: n do not adequately describe each workplace condition to be corrected

and identify one or more OSHA standards applicable to the condition to be corrected, or n do not provide a reasonable estimate of the cost to correct each condition. In most cases, however, safety hazards can be corrected without financial assistance. Health hazards may be more costly to correct. The age and condition of the building and equipment are factors to consider. Establishing a safe and healthful working environment requires every metals fabricating business, large and small, and every worker to make safety and health a top priority. The entire work force — from the CEO to the most recent hire — must recognize that worker safety and health is central to the mission and key to the profitability of the company. Better yet, are the workplace safetyrelated tax write-offs available?

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

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


Biz Side

Secure value of your facility Don’t get caught being underinsured. Regularly review the value of your building and contents.

By Brian Rosicky Claims Manager Industrial Coverage Corp. Being underinsured in your property

coverage can severely impact the claims process. To illustrate, below is an examination of two actual claims our insureds faced this past year. The claims are at the opposite ends of the financial spectrum, and the issue of undervaluation arose in two different ways. Claim No. 1 Aircraft manufacturing facility

Wind ripped through the insured’s roof. Then the water came pouring in, flooding the insured’s facility and damaging or destroying equipment and machinery. Thankfully, the visual evidence and the report from the roofer were clear. No nasty “wind vs. the water exclusion” battle needed to be fought. The carrier accepted that this was wind damage, and no exclusions on the policy were applied to the loss. The carrier adjusted the loss and paid the insured who rebuilt, and away we go. Right? 60

Well, yes and no. The claims process was smooth. Building coverage worth $749,800 with $1.3 million in contents coverage was available. The damage to the building was to the roof and heating system and easily covered. However, as a manufacturer of sophisticated aircraft and rocketry parts, the insured’s machines were massive CAD machines with lathes, mills, and onboard computers. The cost to replace one of these was $200,000–$300,000. The insured had eight machines that potentially needed replacing. If all eight machines had to be replaced at the top value of $300,000 each, the loss to the machinery would have been $2.4 million. With only $1.3 million in contents coverage, the insured’s business would likely not have survived the loss. Additionally, the insured had the pleasure of learning that they were severely underinsured during the claim from the adjusters and repair shops that were assisting the insured. The result? The insured had an endorsement that provided an additional $250,000 in coverage for damage

© vichie81 -

For your information



About the author Brian Rosicky is Claims Manager for Industrial Coverage Corp., Patchogue, NY. He has served as a dedicated claims professional for insurance agencies, carriers and thirdparty administrators during his 15 years in the insurance industry. CO NTAC T

Industrial Coverage Corp, 
 62 South Ocean Ave.,
 Patchogue, NY 11772 800-242-9872 Fabricator n March / April 2012

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On joining you receive a starter kit containing a sampling of our publications. Other benefits Join by include our Vendor Discount Program, Insurance Program, discounts on all publications and events, Jun 30 automatic chapter membership (if a chapter is in your area), and a cling-on NOMMA logo. and receive two months of New Benefit: Access the NOMMA Knowledgebase and Forums membervia your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. ship free! To join, call Liz Johnson at 888-516-8585, ext. 101 Or, visit and click on “Join Now!” Email:

Membership year runs 12 months (14 months during special). Fabricator dues: $425 (installment plan available.). March / April 2012 n Fabricator



to computer equipment, which was available here because the machines also had onboard computers. Four of the machines could be repaired rather than replaced. The carrier still paid policy limits on the case. Given the extra $250,000 in computer coverage and that some machines could be repaired, the insured could survive, barely, and avoid a catastrophic loss. But the carrier did not renew the account; the insured now must replace coverage with a different carrier. Claim No. 2 Shopping center owner

This claim is at the other end of the spectrum in severity. The insured suffered roof damage due to snow and ice accumulation. The loss was inspected, and the damages were appraised at $7,546. The insured had replacement cost in the policy, but as is customary, the carrier held back $1,311 of the settlement in this case as depreciation (the “holdback claim”). Once the insured makes the actual repairs, it is entitled to recover the holdback claim. In this case, however, the initial payment to the insured is thus reduced to $6,235. The insured had a $1,000 deductible. So, the insured was paid $5,235 initially and once the repairs were made, the insured then recovered its additional $1,311 for a total of $6,546. Right? WRONG! In this case, both the inside adjuster at the carrier and the outside adjuster hired by the carrier to inspect the loss were well-seasoned professionals who noticed a provision contained in many property policies that many adjusters might gloss over: the Coinsurance Provisions. Maybe it’s because the provisions are buried deep in the policy, maybe it’s because there are mathematical equations in the policy provisions, but for whatever reason many adjusters do not seem eager to address the issue. However, when you get one who does, it can hurt. Coinsurance is a requirement that the insured’s property be insured up to a certain percentage of a market value. Typically, as it was in this case, the requirement is that the property be 62

The values of insurance can impact any property claim due to the coinsurance provisions, not just on

claims where the value itself is the issue. insured to 80% of its market value, which is the cost to rebuild the property from scratch, not to sell it. This is typically expressed as a certain value per square foot. On any property loss, the outside adjuster will measure the property. Thus, the claim will always use the most current square footage. If the insured has made expansions or reconfigurations for their property that are not reflected on the current policy, then a unit value per square foot is applied to determine the cost to rebuild. In this case, the policy showed a property with square footage of 12,400 with a value of $1,289,600. This equals a value of $104 per square foot. However, upon inspection, the carrier discovered that the property actually measured 13,600 square feet. Additionally, the carrier determined that the current cost to rebuild a similar building would be $200 per

square foot. The carrier then valued the insured’s property at $2,720,000. The carrier’s position was that the property needed to be insured to 80% of that value, or $2,176,000. The coinsurance penalty is figured as follows: The percentage of actual value insured to the 80% requirement in this case was 59% ($1,289,600 ÷ $2,176,000). The coinsurance penalty would have been 41% (100% – 59%), which is applied to BOTH the initial payment and the holdback claim. The insured’s payment would have been reduced by $2,556 on the initial payment ($6,235 x 0.41) and $538 on the holdback claim ($1,311 x 0.41), for a total reduction of $3,094 to the claim payment. The result? Through negotiation with the carrier, only some of the penalty to the insured was mitigated. We convinced the carrier to reassess its value of the property to $150 per square foot. This drove the carrier’s value of the property down to $2,040,000, which drove the 80% insurance requirement down to $1,632,000. The percentage of actual value to the 80% requirement was increased to 79% (1,289,600 ÷ 1,632,000). The coinsurance penalty was reduced to 21%, and the reduction in claim payment to the insured was $1,584. Nonetheless, the insured was not fully compensated for their claim. Why was coinsurance for this claim, but not for the much larger aircraft manufacturing facility example? The policy for the aircraft facility had a special property coverage form that did not contain coinsurance provisions. However, as most policies do contain the coinsurance provisions, insureds must be aware of their requirements. The values of insurance on a policy can affect claims both big and small. The results can range from annoyance to catastrophe. Review your building and contents coverage values periodically. Be sure that your property’s square footage on the policy is accurate. Remember that the values of insurance can impact any property claim due to the coinsurance provisions, not just on claims where the value itself is the issue. Fabricator n March / April 2012


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

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

Alku Group of Companies (800) 465-7143

DAC Industries Inc. (800) 888-9768

Allen Architectural Metals Inc. (800) 204-3858

Decorative Iron (888) 380-9278

Alloy Casting Co. Inc. (800) 527-1318 American Punch Co. (800) 243-1492 Ameristar Fence Products (888) 333-3422 Architectural Iron Designs Inc. (800) 784-7444

DKS, DoorKing Systems (800) 826-7493 Eagle Bending Machines Inc. (251) 937-0947 Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC (847) 636-1233 EPi

(262) 786-9330

Innovative Hinge Products Inc. (817) 598-4846

Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796

Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc. (800) 667-9101

ProCounsel (866) 289-7833

The Iron Shop (800) 523-7427 King Architectural Metals (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals - CA (800) 542-2379 King Architectural Metals - MD (800) 542-2379

ETemplate Systems (919) 676-2244

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (800) 421-6144

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

Lavi Industries (800) 624-6225

FabCad Inc. (800) 255-9032

Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512

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

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

Lehigh Valley Abrasives (908) 892-2865

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348

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

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

Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (800) 526-6293

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

Locinox USA (708) 579-0286

Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC (856) 205-1279

Glasswerks LA Inc. (800) 350-4527

Logical Decisions Inc. (800) 676-5537

Byan Systems Inc. (800) 223-2926

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

Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510

The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961

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

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

Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948

Hayn Enterprises LLC (800) 346-4296

McKey Perforating (800) 345-7373

Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271

Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. (503) 722-7700

Metabo Corp. (800) 638-2264

Century Group Inc. (800) 527-5232

Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700

Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402

Illinois Engineered Products Inc. (312) 850-3710

Artist Supplies & Products (800) 825-0029 Atlas Metal Sales (800) 662-0143 Banker Wire (800) 523-6772

Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404 Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (800) 716-0888

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988 Industrial Coverage Corp. (800) 242-9872 Industrial Metal Supply Co. (800) 371-4404

Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool (800) 467-2464 Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 NC Tool Co. (800) 446-6498 Ohio Gratings Inc. (800) 321-9800 Overseas Supply Inc. (866) 985-9885

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 Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058 Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (800) 392-3655 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463 Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc. (847) 272-7400



New Members We are pleased to introduce our newest members. We encourage our new member firms to “jump in and get involved.” New NOMMA Members as of March 9, 2012.

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

Provided NOMMA with a member lead

n JR Molina, Big D Metalworks

Arteferro Miami* Miami, FL Joe Martinez Regional Supplier

n Nancy Hayden, Tesko Enterprises

n Lynn Parquette, Mueller Ornamental Iron Works (2)

n Will Keeler, Keeler Iron Works

Sponsored a member

Gulf Coast Metal Works Inc.* Cape Coral, FL Barry Crumpler Fabricator

n Stan Lawler,

*Asterisk denotes returning member.

Industry Ornamental Iron Inc.* Fallbrook, CA Todd Jackson Fabricator

Lawler Foundry Corp.

n Julius Blum & Co. Inc.

n FabCAD

n Rhoda Mack, Fine Architectural Metalworks

n Lehigh Valley Abrasives

n Gregg Madden, Madden Fabrication (2)

n Sherry Thein

n O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. n The Wagner Companies

Ingham’s Powder Coating Stevens, PA Kyle Ingham Local Supplier

KD Welding Services Gulfport, MS Karen Dement Fabricator

Stack Design Group Tampa, FL Harry Parker Fabricator

Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust Washington, DC Kenny Waugh Affiliate

Mid State Welding Oxford, MA Daniel Seaver Fabricator

United Steel Works Inc. Leeds, AL Ron Fortenberry Fabricator

Radiation Shielding Pinson, AL Rod Hutchinson Fabricator

Zimmerman & Huges Landmark Designs Inc.* Hawley, PA Chris Hughes Fabricator

JM Gruca Inc. Buford, GA Lara Morgan Fabricator

Schweinfurth Fabrication* Weatherford, TX Ludwig Schweinfurth Fabricator

Member-Get-A-Member Campaign Help NOMMA grow by recruiting a member between now and June 30, 2013. You’ll receive two months free membership for each new member you sponsor, plus the new member will receive two months of free membership. A larger trade association gives us more credibility with code bodies and government agencies. Plus, we are able to deliver more products and services. Need literature? Visit “Member Resources” to find the membership campaign support area. A special prize goes to the company recruiting the most members. 64

Fabricator n March / April 2012

What’s Hot? n Events May 20–25, 2012 Tool making class Tennessee Tech’s Appalachian Center for Craft will offer a oneweek program, Tool Making and Surface Enrichment, for all levels of students with basic sawing, filing, and soldering skills. Instructor Tom Ferrero will examine the creation of at least eight different steel tools, and will introduce techniques such as annealing, hardening and tempering steel. Contact Appalachian Center for Craft, 931-372-3051; www.tntech. edu/craftcenter. June 10–15, 2012 Casting without equipment Tennessee Tech’s Appalachian Center for Craft offers this course for those interested in using cast elements in their work, but who don’t have their own casting equipment. Instructor Jen Townsend will discuss waxes and wax working techniques, including tool making topics and tricks. Contact Appalachian Center for Craft, 931-372-3051; www.tntech. edu/craftcenter. Oct. 16–17, 2012 Ransburg No. 2 process handgun training class Ransburg and Accessa Coatings will offer a two-day, hands-on and classroom training session for end users. Industry experts will discuss proper operation, site and part preparations, safety and troubleshooting of painting units. Training manuals will be provided as part of the class. Contact Ransburg, 419-470-2357;

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Industry News

Architectural Iron Designs new website

Architectural Iron Designs Inc., Plainfield, NJ, has launched a new website,, that showcases a comprehensive selection of the company’s gate hardware and accessories. The site also guides customers through the selection and purchasing process. One feature on the home page, “Easy Steps to Find a Lock,” walks the user through selection of a product, price range, gate style, mechanism type, and size of gate frame. There are articles about specific

products, lock hinges and accessories, and links to a blog and and videos. The site’s sections include products, gate application, gate type, trade name, brand and mechanism type. Photographs of each product, prices, and comparable products are presented. Architectural Iron Designs Inc. is a nationwide distributor of architectural metals. Contact Architectural Iron Designs, 800-784-7444; www.archirondesign. com;

Hypertherm creates online training community Hypertherm, a U.S.-based manufacturer of advanced metal cutting systems, has launched an online training community, called the Hypertherm Cutting Institute, (www.hypertherm. com; click on: Training & Education). The online community offers resources for people who work with or want to learn more about cutting metal. Features of the Hypertherm Cutting Institute include: n Video tutorials providing thorough step-by-step instruction on a number of metal-working subjects. n Interactive e-learning courses on topics, such as consumable care and optimization, gouging, and cutting technique.

n Discussion forums and blogs where metal fabricators and hobbyists can discuss their current products, troubleshoot issues, and share ideas. Hypertherm experts, such as Jim Colt, will be available often to offer advice and answer questions. n “My Hypertherm Voice,” an idea section for visitors to offer suggestions for future metal-working products and then vote on their favorite ideas. Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting systems for use in a variety of industries including shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes handheld and mechanized plasma and laser sys65

What’s Hot? n

Industry News

tems, consumables, as well as CNC motion and height controls and CAM cutting software. Contact Hypertherm, 603-6433441;


Banker Wire helps university receive LEED certification GWWO Architects, Baltimore, MD, designer of Towson University’s new West Village Commons, wanted an alternative to glass for a grand staircase and second-floor atrium safety railings. Banker Wire, Mukwonago, WI, provided its 3DZ-151 architectural woven wire mesh that is near opaque when viewed straight-on, and becomes translucent when viewed at an angle. This feature provides some privacy at the

atrium level where students eat, but like glass, allows light to pass through, creating a safe enclosure that doesn’t impart a “closed-in” feeling. Banker Wire products help projects earn LEED certification by contributing credits in pollution reduction, energy performance, recycled contents, and regional material use. Contact Banker Wire, 800-523-6772;

New equipment catalog Lincoln Electric The company’s new 2012 Equipment Catalog (E1.10) details its MIG, TIG, and multi-process equipment, as well as plasma cutting systems, welding automation, fume control systems, accessories, and Welding Gear products. With an updated appearance and color-coded navigation, the catalog displays all of Lincoln Electric’s key products, including those introduced over the last year. Summary news on the related products of Lincoln Electric’s latest affiliated companies is also included. Contact Lincoln Electric Co., 888-355-3213; www.lincolnelectric. com.

Restoring the Past. Building the Future. Questions? Call Peter H. Miller, President: 202.339.0744 x 104. Or email


Fabricator n March / April 2012 Fabricator RM house ad.indd 1

10/14/2011 12:45:08 PM

What’s Hot? n


People Briefs Bowman named president of LA-CO Industries LA-CO Industries Inc./Markal Company, Elk Grove Village, IL, a specialty plumbing and HVAC chemicals firm, has named George Bowman as the company’s new president. In his new role, Bowman will help redefine LA-CO’s future business plans to ensure the company’s growth and success. His responsibilities include collaborating with customers to develop product innovations, building relationships between LA-CO’s product engineers, customers and suppliers, and providing strong leadership to all employees at LA-CO/Markal. Prior to joining LA-CO/Markal, Bowman most recently served as vice president of construction products for Miller Electric, Chicago, IL. Bowman also worked as president of Enerpac at Actuant Corporation and at General Electric Industrial Systems for 11 years in various sales, engineering and business leadership roles. Herbst named inside sales manager for CML USA CML USA Inc., manufacturer of tube, pipe and profile bending and metalworking machinery, has appointed Kris Herbst to the position of inside sales manager. Herbst will be responsible for overseeing customer service, sales, delivery times, and warranty issues. She will innovate and improve the sales process and promote Ercolina brand recognition, applying her nine years of experience with Erolina products.

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Pride in family business. Left to right: Frank L. Eberl, Nora E. Eberl, John C. Eberl, and George J. Eberl

89-year-old Eberl Iron Works passes leadership on to third generation As of Jan. 1, cousins John C. and Nora E. Eberl have become third-generation co-owners of Eberl Iron Works, Inc. (EIW), Buffalo, NY. John has been named chief executive officer, while Nora continues as chief financial officer. The leadership change was announced by John’s father, George J. Eberl, who has become vice presidentbusiness analysis, and Nora’s father, Frank L. Eberl, who is now vice president-business development. The brothers continue as project managers, advisors, and ambassadors for the company. “Nora and I take a lot of pride in our family business and culture,” said John Eberl. “We are excited about our opportunity to lead the family business into the next generation.”

John began his professional career with EIW in 2001, after two years as a sales representative for Cintas Uniforms in New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and information systems from Fordham University, and has completed the core program of the University at Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Nora, a Certified Public Accountant, came to EIW in 1998, after six years with the Buffalo office of BDO Seidman, LLP. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Canisius College as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, with a structural engineering concentration, from the University of Buffalo.

AFA honors Encon president with service award The American Fence Association (AFA) recognizes members who set standards of excellence in the fence, security, deck, and railing industry. The AFA awarded Encon Electronics President and CEO, Betty Mullin, with the Distinguished Service Award at FENCETECH’12 in Miami, FL. The award recognizes significant contributions to the fence industry and high standards of ethics and standards of excellence. “Betty Mullin has been a member of the AFA for over 25 years. She was and continues to be one of the few female

owners in the industry,” said Brad Howard, AFA 2012 awards chairman. “After working in the fence industry for 35 years, her success is attributed to her expansive knowledge, relentless integrity, and strong business savvy. “Betty has always made training a priority. . . . When the CAGOI program began in 2007, Encon was at the forefront. Betty required her entire technical staff and sales team to pass the examination. Encon has offered several certification exam opportunities for dealers in the industry, Howard said.


What’s Hot? n



cable push/pull locks The Cable Connection

The Ultra-tec Push/Pull-Locks for 3/16-inch cable have been reintroduced, after being re-designed and improved since its original launch in 2006. This version is in addition to the company’s ongoing offering of the Ultra-tec Push/ Pull-Locks for 1/8-inch cable. “We are confident this design will be as reliable as our 1/8-inch version,”

says owner Mike Kechely. “We have conducted extensive testing, even to points well beyond reasonable limits,” says Dave Goles, quality assurance and product development manager. The 3/16-inch push/pull-lock fittings come in seven varieties, as they are for 1/8-inch cable, including: the push-lock and pull-lock for straight run outside of post applications; the push-lock with threaded eye for inside of post stair or angled applications; the push-lock lag for inside of wood post straight run applications; the pushlock threaded bolt for inside of metal post straight run; the push-lock stud for use with the Invisiware receiver tensioning device; and the push-lock turnbuckle tensioning device. Contact The Cable Connection, 800851-2961; www.thecableconnection. com.

Infill Panels

Rectangular Mesh

Welding helmet Thermadyne Industries A new Tweco WeldSkill auto-darkening welding helmet features four sensors, can be used in both weld mode and grind mode, and will darken when TIG welding at as low as 5 amps. The helmet has a large viewing area of 3.86 x 1.69 inches, weighs 16 ounces, and uses solar power to eliminate the need to change batteries. The MSRP for the helmet is $129. When switching from light to dark, the helmet darkens in 33 microseconds, or 1/30,000 of a second, one of the fastest reaction times available, according to the company. When switching from dark to light, users can

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

Diamond Mesh

We will custom fabricate infill panels to meet your specific requirements. Available in diamond, rectangular and square mesh with or without standoffs. Frames available in 1" x ½" channel or with a hemmed edge. Division 5,8 and 10.

Call us today and we'll take care of your infill panel needs.

Pounding, bending, cutting…you can really work out some frustration creating something beautiful. Diamond Mesh w/Standoff

Square Mesh

"From the simplest to the complex, Jesco does it best!" Call toll free

96 1-800-609-82 View our complete catalog ate .com nlin www.JescoO Jesco Industries, Inc.

950 Anderson @ Fab Road Litchfield, MI 49252-0388


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

Engaging hands and hearts since 1925. Come enjoy making crafts and good friends on 300 natural, scenic acres in western North Carolina.



Fabricator n March / April 2012

What’s Hot? n


select from three speeds: short (0.25s– 0.35s), medium (0.35s–0.50s) and long (0.50s–0.80s). Operators in high-amperage applications prefer a longer transition time, giving the red-hot weld puddle a chance to cool. The company reports that the helmet passes the 49 tests required under the ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards. This includes the ability to retain its autodarkening performance even after high impact by a steel ball. The sensitivity and delay knobs are located on the outside of the helmet shell so that operators can make adjustments while welding. When setting the helmet down, a recessed lens design prevents the faceplate from touching the table, protecting it from scratches. Contact Thermadyne Industries Inc., 636-728-3000; www.thermadyne. com.

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

Semiautomatic cold saw Scotchman Industries The CPO 350 PKPD, semi-automatic circular cold saw with electric power down feed can miter up to 135° — 45° to the right and 90° to the left. With a doubleclamping and self-centering vise, it is designed to produce burr-free, highquality, high-volume parts. This semi-automatic circular cold saw features electric controls, electric valves, and an electric remote foot pedal. The CPO 350 PKPD is backed by a three-year warranty. Contact Scotchman Industries, 800-843-8844;

Iron/steel components coatings Birchwood Casey Three coating options for iron and steel components provide corrosion protection while improving component appearance. The Tru Temp Black Oxide process operates at 200° F and produces a high-quality black finish without the hazards and high costs of ordinary high-temperature black oxide, says the company. An in-house Tru Temp line uses no EPA-regulated chemicals and its 30-minute blackening time is designed to streamline workflow. It is RoHS and MilSpec compliant. The Presto Black process operates at room temperature and produces a uniform, non-dimensional black finish that absorbs a rust preventive topcoat and won’t chip or peel, says the company. Using mild, fume-free solutions, the Presto Black process oper-


What’s Hot? n

ates without heat. It is compliant with RoHS and AMS 2484. The Microlok AO finish is designed for tooling and machine components that don’t need a black color, but still require robust corrosion protection, break-in lubricity, and galling resistance. The Microlok AO finish is a non-toxic aluminum oxide conversion coating, silver-black in color and RoHS compliant. The system utilizes no EPA-regulated content. Contact Birchwood Casey, 952-9377931;


Vacuum lifter/tilter Anver Corp. The ETL Series Vacuum Lifter is designed to fully support, lift, and power-tilt long, narrow loads in manufacturing process and shipping environments. It features high-heat rectangular silicone pads to support products that need to be assembled, painted, or processed without marking the surface. Allowing one person to safely handle awkward and lengthy loads, the lifter has an electric power tilting mechanism and fully integrated operator controls. Providing standard attach and release with a locking slide valve and an up/down pendant, the ETL Series Vacuum Lifter can lock-in-place at any position from zero to 90°. Powered by an electric vacuum pump, below-thehook, compressed-air-powered versions are also offered. Standard capaci-

ties range from 250–2,000 pounds. Pricing starts at $2,495, depending upon length and pad configuration. Contact Anver Corp., 800-6543500; Portable wire feeder Lincoln Electric Designed for use in shipbuilding, offshore, construction or pipe welding operations, the Activ8 portable wire feeder offers a modular design that can fit through ship manways and is light enough to carry around the site. presents











PHONE: 1-800-888-9768 INDUSTRIES, INC. FAX: 616-235-2901 600 ELEVENTH ST. N.W. GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49504



2011NOMMAFabricatorNovDecIssue.indd 1

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The portable wire feeder can feed self-shielded FCAW or FCAW-G and GMAW (MIG) gas-shielded wires at 50–800 IPM (1.3–20.3 m/min). It will handle GMAW wires .023–.052 inches (0.6–1.3 mm) in diameter and FCAW wires of .035–5/64 inches (0.9–2.0 mm) in diameter. The Activ8 is rated at 330 amps at 60% duty cycle and weighs in at 27 pounds (12.2 kg). Key features of Activ8 include: n Simple controls, including front

WFS knob and internal booted cold feed and/ gas purges, trigger interlock and CV/CC switches. n Design for 8-inch (200 mm) spools. n Across-the-arc operation (voltage sensing) using a sense lead and contactor to enable weld current. n Standard shielding gas apparatus that can be used for FCAW-G and GMAW processes. Contact Lincoln Electric, 888-3553213; Punch solutions Multicyl Inc. Multicyl provides complete stations for punching, including tooling, or can provide stations to work with existing unitized tooling. Multicyl equipment works with all standard styles of unitized tooling. Single-hole set ups, gang punching set ups, and


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

custom machines are all available. Multicyl systems are a cost-effective alternative to more expensive presses, says the company. The Multicyl “Press In a Box” goes from box to press in five minutes or less, and runs on shop air — without hydraulics or complicated electrical setups. Contact Multicyl Inc., 800-3886359; Portable rack scales Alliance Scale Inc. Custom-fabricated, portable rack scales for weighing pipe, rod, and bar stock that has been cut and is ready to move to production or shipping

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


Magnum Hand Tube Bender Rolls:


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

1-800-200-4685 Call for Free Catalog - 800/446-6498

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

UNIQUE ROLLING SYSTEM Works with both hand tubing benders

Cap Rails



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

March / April 2012 n Fabricator


What’s Hot? n


operations are available. They feature a rugged frame, pipe carriages, locking wheels, and casters, and have a Rice Lake IQ Plus 590-DC pedestal-mounted weight indicator with a 1-inch-high, six-digit LCD display. Providing an EDP port for full duplex RS232 communications, the portable rack scale can be totally integrated with manufacturing and inventory management systems. Equipped with a full numeric keypad, Alliance Portable Rack Scales provide 1:10,000 counts display resolution, ±0.01% FS system linearity, and piece counting. The weight indicator lets users enter piece- and tare weight, calibration, and sample size. It is powered by six C cell alkaline batteries and includes an AC power adapter. Alliance Portable Rack Scales are priced from $5,995, depending on configuration. Contact Alliance Scale Inc., 800-3436802;

Manual metallurgical saw Kalamazoo Industries The K12-14MS Manual Metallurgical Saw features an enclosed wet cutting area with dual coolant nozzles to eliminate the dispersion of abrasive particles into the workplace. The saw has a 14inch abrasive wheel, a 5 HP, 3-phase , 1725 RPM TEFC motor, dual moveable 4-inch screw vises, and a 24V halogen light inside the enclosure. Designed for external manual operation, the saw can cut up to 2½-inch diameter solids and 3-inch shapes. Options include a power down feed, oscillation for large sections and door interlocks. Contact Kalamazoo Industries Inc., 269-382-2050;

Kit for roll bending machines TaurinGroup USA This device is used when bending round tube handrails for spiral staircases. The unit has a “V” shaped groove that allows working with differently sized round tubes. This unit is mechanically adjusted and has a mechanical counter for repeatability. The kit also has a digital protractor that gives a reading on the degree. The software is used in conjunction with all the items (customer must supply PC). Another item, not included in the kit but recommended, is one of the company’s three Arcmeters for direct reading of the radii. Contact TaurinGroup USA; 909476-8007; ABANA

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


Association of North America, Inc. 72

Fabricator n March / April 2012


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


  Pg Company


4 Architectural Iron Designs

16 Goddard Manufacturing

72 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of North America

13 Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems

72 Atlas Metal Sales.............................................

44 International Gate

26 Ken Bergman & Assoc.,

76 The Iron

15 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. / Oak Hill Iron

48 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co..............

31 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc......................................

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

23 Julius Blum & Co.

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

17 The Cable Connection.................

70 Lindblade Metal

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

68 Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO div................ 9 Lawler Foundry

68 John C. Campbell Folk

59 Marks

35 Carell Corporation...........................................

28 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool......................

33 Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co......................

18 National Bronze & Metal.............................

49 Colorado Waterjet

71 NC Tool Company

38 CompLex Industries

71 R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine

24 CS Unitec Inc........................................................

42 Regency

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

19 Sharpe Products....................................

70 DAC Industries

46 Simonian

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

29 Stairways

69 Doringer Cold Saw.............................................

45 Suhner Industrial Products Corp...............

35 Eagle Bending Machines Inc...........................

34 Sumter Coatings

37 Eberl Iron Works 40 Encon 25 FabCad Inc............................................................... 3 Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products).....................

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

March / April 2012 n Fabricator

66 Traditional Building....................... 32 Tri-State Shearing & Bending.................................... 718-485-2200 69 Universal Entry Systems Inc.......................................216-631-4777 39 Vogel Tool & Die LLC........................................ 27 The Wagner

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

Bird-like sculpture flies for aviation careers Metal artist Peter Forster and Iron Age

Architectural Metals, a NOMMA member, were contracted by EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University to complete a sculpture for the dedication of the new building under construction on its Daytona Beach Campus. Forster did the design, fabrication, and installation of the sculpture while Iron Age provided space, materials, some equipment, and logistics to help bring the project to completion. Peter started in the summer of 2009 and the installation and dedication took place in September 2011. Recently installed on the campus grounds, the bird-like sculpture features a mirror finish and is titled “Pathways to the Sky.” The 20-foothigh sculpture weighs 15,000 pounds. The inner frame is carbon steel, mostly 6-inch Sch. 40 pipe, and the outside skin is 7 ga. 316L stainless steel mill finish. Interestingly, two doors at the bottom of the sculpture are for attaching sacrificial anodes, which helps to combat corrosion in the marine environment. The bird “beak” was cast from 316L ingot. The “Pathways to the Sky” design represents the many pathways or careers leading to aviation. The concept is a bird transforming into an airplane and then into future space flight. Information provided by: Steve Goldman, President Surplus Steel & Supply, Inc. Iron Age Architectural Metals, LLC 407-293-5788 Watch the video at www.

The installed sculpture, top, is now in the courtyard of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. Inset, Metal artist Peter Forster. Above, artist’s rendering of the sculpture. Left, welding of the stainless stell skin.


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 March / April 2012

March / April 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

Fabricator n March / April 2012

Proudly made in the U.S.A.

2012 03 fab  
2012 03 fab