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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal

Fabricator ÂŽ

The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

July / August 2012 $6.00 US

Member Talk

Hess’ job change a winner page 42

Shop Talk

Gate certification at critical stage, page 31

Shop Talk

Job Profile

Biz Side

A great metallurgical More 2012 Top Job 8 Ways to be a better debate, page 24 winners, page 46 customer, page 55

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We provide powerful tools to help your business

“NOMMA gives me the opportunity to network with other members via the ListServ, convention, and chapters. Every morning when I check my e-mail I see what NOMMA is doing for me.” — Scott Colson, Iron Innovation Inc., Clinton, MS

A sampling of the benefits you receive as a NOMMA member...

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One of our best member benefits ever - view the entire NEF education video library online — when you want to, and as often as you’d like.

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Join over 200 of your colleagues on NOMMA’s email discussion list. We call it the “how to do it” and “where to find it” forum.

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Join a webinar provided by the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF). Past topics have covered measuring, building codes, and shop organizations. View them anytime in our archives.

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Obtain access to our member’s only section, which contains technical information on building codes, ADA, driveway gates, fabrication tips, and more.

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Visit the Mentor section in the member’s area to sign up for our mentoring program. You’ll be paired with an industry professional who can serve as your sounding board and source of advice.

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Have a question on building codes? Simply call the NOMMA office or email If our office staff can’t answer the question then we’ll refer it to our Technical Affairs volunteers.

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Download past issues of NOMMA publications, including our safety manuals, past magazines, bulletins, and our popular NAAMM-NOMMA Finishes Manual.

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Join your colleagues from around the country to discuss issues of common concern, such as contract negotiations, adjusting to economic challenges, and industry trends.

Join by Dec. 31 and receive two months of membership free!

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Starter kit containing publication samples and static clean membership decal • Access to online tutorials • Free subscription to Fabricator and NOMMA Newswire • Vendor discount program. • Awards contest • Discounts on all publications • Insurance program • Free chapter membership • Member Locator listing • Discount for METALfab and all events, and MORE! To join, call Liz Johnson at 888-516-8585, ext. 101 Or, visit and click on “Join NOMMA.” Email:

Membership year runs 12 months (14 months during special). Fabricator dues: $425 (installment plan available.). 201204-6601

FAX TO: 888-279-7994

Join Online: • By Phone: 888-516-8585, ext. 101

NOMMA Membership Application Membership Category – Check One: q Fabricator - $425 (to pay in four payments, you can enroll in the Quaterly Payment Plan - please see below)

Metal fabricating shops, blacksmiths, artists or other firms and individuals in the industry whose products or services are sold directly to the consumer or the consumer’s immediate agent.


Supplier members are those members that produce or distribute materials, machinery, and accessories for the industry or provide services that may be used by the industry.

q Nationwide - $595 (operating on a nationwide or international basis) q Regional - $465 (operating within a 500-mile radius) q Local - $375 (operating within a 150-mile radius)

q Affiliate - $310.00


q School

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Individuals, firms, organizations and schools that do not engage in the fabrication of ornamental or miscellaneous metal products, do not provide products or services to the industry, but have a special interest in the industry.

Company:____________________________________________________________________________________ Primary Contact :______________________________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________________ City:_____________________________________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________________ Country: __________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:__________________________Fax:________________________ Toll Free:_______________________ E-mail: ____________________________________________ Web:_____________________________________ Company Description/Specialty:_________________________________________________________________ Sponsoring Member: _________________________________________________________________________ Payment method: q Check

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Payment method: q Please auto charge my credit card. q Please bill me each quarter. Questions? Contact: Liz Johnson, Member Care & Operations Manager: (888) 516-8585, ext. 101, 201105-6600



July / August 2012 Vol. 53, No. 4

NOMMA Network

A close-up of a gilded acanthus leaf. Read the numerous tips we have for you about gold leaf applications, page 36.

Top Job Profiles

J. Brooks Davis, NOMMA past president, passes................................. 10

DOT exempts private gates from reflective marking rule; NE Chapter visits Amish country; NOMMA board tours Nucor Steel.

5 More categories of 2012 Top Job winners............46

This issue, we show five more categories of winners from the 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Awards.

Shop Talk Expanding on the acanthus article from the previous Fabricator issue, this fourth article in the series shows how to use the drawn leaf pattern to form the final product. By “Uncle Bob” Walsh

A great metallurgical debate......................... 24

Which is better? Galvanizing or thermal spraying. Each has its pros and cons, but here are the critical considerations. By Jeff Fogel Shop Talk

8 Ways to better customer service................................... 55

Get outstanding service and information from your vendor. Having a little empathy and saying “please” and “thank you” can help get, too. Plus, you can adapt these ideas for your own customers. By Ron Kaufman

Cold forming acanthus leaves.... 14

Shop Talk

Biz Side

Biz Side Branding builds emotional loyalty................................. 58

Shop Talk Ways to gild the leaf.......................... 36

Tips for gold leaf applications. Learn about patent leaf and loose leaf, karat size, how to use gilding, materials outside. By Peter Hildebrandt

These 7 tips will bring the marketing power of a unique company identity and branding program that can boost your sales and profits on a permanent basis. By William J. Lynott

Member Talk

Gate operator certification development at critical stage..... 31

After some 13 years of work, the Gate Operators Coalition hoping for additional funding to complete program in October. By Peter Hildebrandt

What’s Hot!

Hands-on Hess....................................... 42

A career change earns Scott Hess, who maintains good relatiopnships with clients due to his detailed, handson work, early positive feedback: a NOMMA Silver Top Job Award. By Molly Badgett

Industry News.................................... 65 People.................................................... 66 New Products..................................... 67 Nationwide Suppliers.................... 63 New Members.................................... 64

President’s Letter........... 6

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

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

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

The invaluable help of our suppliers.

NOMMA’s proud legacy of achievement.

Thanks to all our donors for supporting NEF.

Finding the best copper alloy.

About the cover A modern-style aluminum railing shows the versatility of Hess Ornamental. See story about Scott Hess and his company on page 42. July / August 2012 n Fabricator


NOMMA O FFICERS President Will Keeler Keeler Iron Works Memphis, TN

President-Elect J.R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX

Vice President/ Treasurer Mark Koenke Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Jackson, WI

Immediate Past President James Minter, Jr. Imagine Ironworks Brookhaven, MS

F ABRICATOR D I RECTORS Todd Kinnikin Eureka Forge Pacific, MO

Ray Michael R & F Metals Inc. Clinton, MD

Tina Tennikait Superior Fence & Orn. Iron Cottage Hills, IL

Keith Majka Majka Railing Co. Inc. Paterson, NJ

Allyn Moseley Heirloom Stair & Iron Campobello, SC

Greg Terrill Division 5 Metalworks Kalamazoo, MI

S U PPLI ER D I RECTORS Gina Pietrocola Rick Ralston D.J.A. Feeney Inc. Imports Ltd. Eugene, OR Bronx, NY

Mark Sisson Mac Metals Inc. Kearny, NJ

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

J.R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX

Lynn Parquette Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL

NEF T RUSTEES Heidi Bischmann Carl Grainger Grainger Metal Works Nichols, SC

NOMMA C HAPTERS Chesapeake Bay Chapter Patty Koppers, President Koppers Fabricators Inc. Forestville, MD 301-420-6080 Florida Chapter Cathy Vequist, President Pinpoint Solutions Jupiter, FL 561-801-7549 Gulf Coast Chapter Charles Perez, President B & O Machine Welding Brookhaven, MS 985-630-6943

Northeast Chapter Keith Majka, President Majka Railing Co. Inc. Paterson, NJ 973-247-7603 Upper Midwest Chapter Mark O’Malley, President O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Service Inc. Yorkville, IL 630-553-1604 Pacific Northwest Chapter Gale Schmidt, President A2 Fabrication Inc. Milwaukie, OR 503-771-2000

NOMMA S TAFF Executive Director, Editor J. Todd Daniel, CAE 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

Suppliers’ invaluable help Welcome to another fantastic insurance program provided by edition of O&MM Fabricator Zurich that offers property and magazine! I have always enjoyed liability coverage, plus a nice reading trade magazines that package of extra benefits. focus on our industry. I say “our Years ago NOMMA’s insurindustry” because we receive ance program, backed by CNA, many magazines about computprovided affordable insurance er chips, aerospace manufacturfor our members, but they ending, and other trades that have Will Keeler, ed the program in 2002. Keeler Iron no connection to metalwork. Now, Zurich North America Works, is Fortunately for NOMMA mem- president is providing our industry with a bers and non-members alike, full commercial insurance proof NOMMA. every other month we can look gram. I’m not sure about your forward to receiving the best business, but at ours, insurance trade journal on the market. is one of our biggest expenses, second Upon receiving a new issue of only to wages. With insurance being O&MM Fabricator I flip through such a large percentage of our costs, we each page, one at a time, looking at all are definitely interested when a potenthe remarkable pictures, studying the tial saving arises. articles to see what I will read first, and, look at the advertisements. Yes, I review Buyer’s Guide free for members the ads. NOMMA’s advertisers and sup- In addition to O&MM Fabricator plier members offer interesting prodmagazine, another great way to find ucts and services that I find appealing. industry vendors is to check out both Our vendors offer a wealth of our print and online Buyer’s Guide. The knowledge about materials, finishing, yearly publication lists several hundred corrosion protection, measuring tools, companies that serve our industry. fasteners, tooling, equipment, comThe guide is free to members puter software, and, well, I could go on and sold for $15 to the industry. To but I think you get the point. The ads order, visit the NOMMA website in O&MM Fabricator are one method ( and click on “Orour suppliers have to communicate to der Publications/Videos.” Or, you can us the value of their products and serinstantly find a supplier by going to vices. Our suppliers are our partners in the website and clicking on “Buyer’s Guide.” I encourage you to take a look. our success. Yes, I used the word “our” As we begin a new membership three times in one sentence. Please foryear, I would like to thank each of our give me English teachers. supplier members for their continued Back to my theme, metalsmiths and support of NOMMA and the indusfabricators rely daily on our suppliers, try. Our suppliers faithfully support but often we are too consumed in our operations to ask about new products or us through membership, advertising, sponsorships, and by donating to the services that can benefit our business. That is why I get so much out of the ads. NOMMA Education Foundation. Suppliers took the first initiative to create NOMMA in 1958, and without Insurance option may save money their continued support, our associaOne advertiser that I hope our tion would not exist. members pay particular attention to is Industrial Coverage Corp. (ICC), our NOMMA-endorsed insurance administrator. In February, the NOMMA board approved a new Fabricator n July / August 2012

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July / August 2012 n Fabricator


Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator (ISSN 0191-5940), is the official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA). O&MM Fabricator / NOMMA 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311 Fayetteville, GA 30214 Editorial We love articles! Send story ideas, letters, press releases, and product news to: Fabricator at address above. Ph/Fax: 888-516-8585. E-mail: Advertise Reach 8,000 fabricators For information, call Sherry Theien, Ph: 815-282-6000. Email: Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads to: Fabricator at address above. E-mail ads to: (max. 5 megs by e-mail). Or upload ads to our website where a downloadable media kit is available: Membership Join NOMMA! In addition to the magazine, enjoy more benefits as a NOMMA member. To join, call 888-516-8585, ext. 101. For a list of benefits, see membership ad in this issue. Exhibit in METALfab Exhibit at METALfab, NOMMA’s annual convention and trade show. For more information, contact Martha Pennington at 888-516-8585, ext. 104, or Subscriptions Subscription questions? Call 888-516-8585. Send subscription address changes to: Fabricator Subscriptions, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Fax: (888) 5168585, or E-mail: 1-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $30 2-year: U.S., Canada, Mexico — $50 1-year: all other countries — $44 2-year: all other countries — $78 Payment in U.S. dollars by check drawn on U.S. bank or money order. For NOMMA members, a year’s subscription is a part of membership dues. NOMMA Buyer’s Guide Published each December as a separate issue. Deadline for all advertising materials is October 31. Contact Sherry Theien at 815-282-6000 or 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

NOMMA’s proud legacy NOMMA has faithfully served for fabricators and an informaour industry since 1958 making tion source for specifiers. significant contributions to the The most popular part of the industry and craft. Every now manual is the finishing designaand then, especially for those tions for various metal types. newer to the industry, we like to n In 2008, NOMMA mention our accomplishments. released an important independently researched, peerTodd Daniel n In 1975, members of is executive NOMMA’s Memphis Chapter reviewed study on climbable director of and the board of directors guards, the result of over a year NOMMA. developed an industry museum. of diligent work. A year later, the National NOMMA hired a research Ornamental Metal Museum was outfit to analyze hospital data chartered in Memphis, TN, NOMMA’s around the country. It determined that birthplace. After much hard work, the existing rail codes were adequately museum opened to the public in 1979. protecting the public. Operating as an independent entity, The study was released into the the museum is now internationally public domain and set a new standard renown and remains one of the few for providing objective, scientific reinstitutions in the world exclusively search for building code development. devoted to fine metalwork. During the past decade NOMMA has served as a member of the Auton In the mid-1980s, NOMMA mated Vehicular Gate Systems Coalibegan a massive study on allowable tion and through this group there have rail deflection, which included been additional accomplishments, research, charts, and several rounds such as the creation of the ASTM of physical tests. The research at Davis F2200 gate construction standard and Steel & Iron Co., Matthews, NC, was the development of the Automatic conducted with OSHA, NAAMM, Gate Operator Installer Certification and ASCE. program. Four ASTM testing standards — E894, E935, E985, and E1481 — were ultimately created and are still used We urge your participation today. As a NOMMA member, you have every reason to be proud. You are part n In 1986, the NOMMA Standards Committee published the Metal Rail of a 54-year-old organization that Manual, a full-service guide for designprovides standards, guidelines, and ing, specing, fabricating, and installing technical data for both the industry ornamental metal work. The publicaand the overall construction industry. tion’s engineering section has been parFor nonmembers, joining ticularly popular over the years. NOMMA gives you a chance to have your voice heard and participate in n In the mid-1990s, NOMMA created guidelines for weld joint finishes other endeavors such as these. and security grilles. Both of these A thanks goes to NOMMA’s many guidelines remain popular and are technical team volunteers who gave available on the NOMMA website. untold hours to create these projects. n In 2006, NOMMA partnered with NAAMM to combine six outdated finishing booklets into a single manual — the NAAMM-NOMMA Finishes Manual. The 116-page publication is regularly used as a field guide Fabricator n July / August 2012

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The NOMMA Network Gates for private homes exempt from DOT reflective marking rule Editor’s Note: Last fall, we published an article on a new requirement for reflective strips on driveway gates. The following is a clarification letter we received from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation that says that private homes and farms are exempt from the requirement. Also note that, as stated below, the requirement is only applicable to NEW gates. The national standards for the design and application of all traffic control devices are contained in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is available online at The MUTCD is developed and updated periodically by the FHWA with input from national traffic and safety experts and the general public. The article published in the September/October 2011 edition of the Fabricator is correct in its discussion concerning the requirements of the MUTCD with respect to traffic gates on privately owned roads that lead to the entrance to a residential gated community. However, the MUTCD provisions do not apply to private driveways that lead to individual parcels that are not open to public travel, such as single-family homes or farms. This distinction is made within the MUTCD. Traffic gates are defined in and regulated by the MUTCD as a traffic control device because they actively control traffic flow and must be seen and recognized by approaching traffic. Section 2B.68 includes provisions for the design and use of traffic gates, including but not limited to those that

are typically used to prohibit the entry of traffic from a public road into a private community. These requirements for traffic gates were adopted as a part of the adoption of the latest edition of the MUTCD in 2009, via the formal Federal rulemaking process that involved publication of proposed MUTCD amendments in the Federal Register, opportunity for review and comment by all interested parties, review and consideration of all comments to the docket, and issuance of a Final Rule. The purpose of the MUTCD provisions regarding traffic gates is to ensure that these devices are instantaneously recognizable and adequately visible, day and night, to approaching traffic so that drivers can safely take appropriate action. The MUTCD contains no specific date by which any existing non-compliant gates must be upgraded to meet the new requirements. Therefore, such listing gates may remain in place for the remainder of their useful service lives. However, the owners of any new gates being installed must assure that they meet the 2009 MUTCD requirements. Enforcement of the requirements in regard to new gates at entrances to gated private communities from public roads is generally via the local jurisdiction’s development permitting and/or occupancy permitting processes. Jeffrey A. Lindley Associate Administrator for Operations Federal Highway Administration U.S. Dept. of Transportation Washington, DC A thanks to Fabricator reader Kevin Riddle of Mountainman Woodshop for providing this letter.

In Memoriam

J. Brooks Davis, NOMMA past president, passes J. Brooks Davis, 80, a NOMMA past president, died June 24 after a 45-day battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the founder and owner of Davis Steel & Iron Inc. and SteelCo Inc., Matthews, NC. Davis served as NOMMA’s president in 1982 and is the 1983 recipient of the Julius Blum Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry. For years, Brooks served on the NOMMA Standards Committee, where he was instrumental in writing ASTM testing standards for the industry and developing the NOMMA Metal Rail Manual. He also played an important roll in creating the National Ornamental Metal Museum in the 1970s.


In addition to his volunteer service to the trade, he was a leader in his church, a residential developer, and sat on the boards of a local university and bank. While metalwork was his lifelong passion, he also had a great love for auto racing. Brooks is survived by his wife and best friend, Jean Stilwell Davis; son, Richard B. Davis & wife, Dana Martin Davis; grandchildren Weston, Corban, and Merrin Davis; godchildren Anabelle and Sam Quarles; sisters Doris Cunningham and husband Donald, and Carolyn Wilkes; brothers Milton Beck Davis, J. Clifford Davis and wife Dorothy, along with many loving nieces and nephews.

Fabricator n July / August 2012

Northeast Chapter visits innovative shop that’s ‘off the grid’ The Northeast Chapter enjoyed a great turnout of 40-plus people at their May meeting, which took place at Compass Ironworks, Gap, PA. Compass is an Amish shop that specializes in custom gates, fences, and railings, crafted in both steel and aluminum. Located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, members had the opportunity to see how the shop operated “off the grid” using bio-diesel to power their equipment. During a shop tour, attendees viewed their in-house power coating line track and their Hebo machinery, which have been converted to function hydraulically, pneumatically, or with 12-volt power. In addition to the tour and demos, everyone enjoyed a great lunch, as well as networking and socializing.

NOMMA member firm Compass Ironworks, Gap, PA, served as host for the Northeast Chapter’s May meeting. Attendees enjoyed seeing this grand stair rail, left, as well as other ornamental metal projects in the shop.

A tour at Nucor Steel Prior to their spring board meeting in Memphis, TN, members of the NOMMA Board took time out to tour the nearby Nucor Steel Memphis Inc. recycling plant. Touring the hightech plant allowed attendees to see where much of their metal stock comes from. Joining them were several members of the Metal Museum staff.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

Left to right, Keith Majka, Todd Daniel, JR Molina, Will Keeler, Mark Koenke, Ray Michael, Greg Terrill, James Minter Jr., Rob Keeler, Cody Sherman, and Sebastian Owens.



NOMMA Education Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

Thank you to our donors You’ve helped make possible a variety of educational events As the end of the fiscal year approaches for the NOMMA

Education Foundation, we want to say a very special thank you to our donors. You make it possible for the foundation to operate and produce its outstanding programs each year. This year NEF has been busy: n planning continuing education classes, n creating and facilitating the outstanding education proAccent Iron & Aluminum Inc. Accent Orn Iron & Powder Coating Accent Ornamental Iron Co. Accent Stair and Specialty Alamance Iron Works Allen Iron Works & Supply Co. Allen’s Iron Works Alliance Steel & Fabrications Inc. Alloy Casting Co. Inc. Al’s Ornamental Iron Anderson Welding Inc. AR Ornamental Iron Artec Welding & Fab. Artisan Metal Works Ltd. Artistic Iron Design Art’s Work Unlimited Asian Ornamental Iron Associated Metal Kraft LLC Atlantic Industrial & Mechanical Inc. Atlas Metal & Iron Corp. Atlas Metal Sales Avion Metal Works Bailey Metal Fabricators Inc. Benfab Inc. Bettinger Welding Big D Metalworks Blue Mountain Metalworks Bob’s Ornamental Iron Boyler’s Ornamental Iron Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC Builders Ironworks Inc.

gram at METALfab 2012 in Orlando, n providing the education program for the Pacific Northwest Chapter start-up meeting, n producing webinars on topics of interest to the industry, n giving members access to the NEF video library, providing assistance to NOMMA chapters for their education programs, and much more. Providing kick-off events for chapters is among the many services that NEF provides. Shown is an education event in Portland, OR, which took place last November. During the workshop, NEF Chair Roger Carlsen, far left, demoed custom casting techniques.

Builders Steel Supply Inc. Burt Tremmel C. Sherman Johnson Co. Inc. The Cable Connection Caltech Fence Co. Capitol City Iron Works Capone Iron Corp. Carell Corp. Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations Century Industries Inc. Christopher Metal Fabricating Cleveland Steel Tool Co. Colonial Iron Works Inc. Colorado Waterjet Co. Continental Bronze Creative Metal Products & Fencing Inc. Crescent City Iron Supply Inc. Crystal Metalworks CT&S Metalworks

Curt Witter Custom Metal Designs D.J.A. Imports Ltd. DeAngelis Iron Work Inc. Division 5 Metalworks Dixie Metal Products Inc. Donald F Deaven Metal Fab. Downtown Orn Iron Inc. Duke of Iron Inc. Dwiggins Metal Masters Inc. Eagle Bending Machines Eagle Metal Fabricators Inc. Ebinger Iron Works Inc. Eligius Metal Works Inc. Elm Grove Forge Emerald Ironworks Inc. Ephraim Forge Inc. Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products) Fence Crafters Inc. Ferro Artitistico Venezia Iron Works

Fine Architectural Metalsmiths Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs Flaherty Iron Works Flaig Steel & Fabricating Inc. Florissant Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Foreman Fabricators Inc. Forgemaster Iron Inc. Foust Brothers LLC Fred Martin Welding Gary Eckhardt Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Golden State Fence Co. Grainger Metal Works Grizzly Iron Groll Ornamental Iron Works GRS Services Inc. Gulf Coast NOMMA Network


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

Fabricator n July / August 2012

H.R. Leuenberger Hallmark Iron Works Inc. Hans Duus Blacksmith Inc. Hayn Enterprises LLC Heritage Cast Iron USA Herndon & Merry Inc. Hillers Htg & A/C Hoffa Inc. HR Leuenberger Inc. Illinois Engineered Products Imagine Ironworks Impressive Ironworks LLC Indian Valley Vocational Center Industrial Coverage Corp. Industrial Metal Supply Co.

La Forge De Style Larry Jenks Lawler Foundry Corp. LE Sauer Machine Co. Legion Iron Inc. Lewis Brass & Copper Co Inc. Liberty Aluminum Co. Link Exclusives LMC Corp. Mac Metals Inc. Madden Fabrication Majka Railing Co. Inc. Mark O’Malley Martha Pennington McLellan Blacksmithing The Metal Works Inc. International Creative Metal Inc. Michael Osborne

NEF typically holds fall continuing education workshops. Above, Brad Hummel, a local NOMMA supplier, demonstrates a polishing technique during a NEF Bronze/Silicon Bronze workshop, which was held last October in the Chicago area.

Iron Decor Iron Workers District Council J.A.F. Construction James Dursi James Minter Judith Gedalia Julie Wories Keeler Iron Works Inc. Kelley Companies Kelley Ornamental Iron Kervin Bros Ornamental Iron Inc. King Architectural Metals Koppers Fabricators Inc. Kryten Iron Works July / August 2012 n Fabricator

Noel Welding Center Northshore Steel Fabricating LLC Nova Scotia Community College Nu-Mill Inc. Oceanside Iron & Steel O’Malley Welding Pittsburgh Chapter of NOMMA PJ’s Elegant Iron Works Popular Iron Works Post Road Iron Works Inc. Powells of Banner Elk Q-Railing R & F Metals Inc. Raber Industries

Steel Welding Steve Engebregtsen STL Mfg Stodtmeister Iron Stratford Gate Systems Structural Components Fabrication Inc. Suburban Steel Supply Sumter Coatings Superior Fence & Ornamental Iron Tesko Enterprises Tomco Upper Midwest Chapter of NOMMA V & R Designs The Valentines

During METALfab, the Foundation often provides pre-conference education programs. For 2012, NEF hosted a session on AutoCAD. At the podium, NEF trustee and co-presenter Carl Grainger, Grainger Metal Works. At right, Dave Filippi, Fabcad Inc., who regularly leads education sessions for NEF.

Midwest Stairs & Iron Mike Curtis Ironworks Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool Mofab Inc. Mott Iron Works Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Multi Sales Company Myers & Co Architectural Metals New Hampshire Steel Fabricator Inc. New York Orn Metal Mfgs Association Nicks Metal Fabricating

Raysteel Inc Reds Iron Specialties Regency Railings Republic Fence Co Inc Royal Iron Creations S Diamond Steel Inc. Sally Powell Sam’s Iron Works Inc. Sentry Construction Inc. Shawnee Steel & Welding Inc. Sippel Steel Fab. South Camden Iron Works Inc. Southern California Chapter of NOMMA Specialty Iron Works SRS Inc. SS Metal Fabrication The Steel Shop Inc.

Van Dam Iron Works The Wagner Companies Watson Steel & Iron Works LLC Welding Works Inc. Weldon Welding Weldon Welding & Inspection Services Inc. West Tennessee Ornamental Door Westbrook Metals Inc. Wiemann Metalcraft Wonderland Products Inc. Zion Metal Works Thank you again for your support! — The Board of Trustees and staff for the NOMMA Education Foundation 13

Shop Talk

Cold forming acanthus leaves n

Expanding on the acanthus article from the previous Fabricator issue, this fourth article in the series shows how to use the drawn leaf pattern to form the final product.

Editor’s note: This article is the fourth in a series of articles about using acanthus leaves in your work. In the first article, “Drawing large acanthus leaves” (Fabricator, November/December 20), you saw how to draw a simple, single-sided, front view acanthus leaf in  steps by alternating “C” curves with “S” curves. The second article, “Drawing acanthus side views” (Fabricator, March/April 202), introduced the grille and an explanation of the four types of acanthus leaves. The sequential steps used to draw a side view of a leaf was presented. The third article, (Fabricator, May/June 202), walked the reader through making a full-scale, “stretch out” pattern for a wrap-around leaf . By “Uncle Bob” Walsh In this installment, I will address how the leaf was cold formed (see photos and captions, page ). But before we look at leaf construction, lets warm up with an explanation and some drawing exercises.

What are we doing?

The pattern is for the wraparound acanthus leaf in the lower left corner of the grille.


If I might get a little esoteric, what we are doing with our grille project is making a “spatial linear drawing.” This means we are making a drawing in space (spatial) with lines (linear) ironwork. Think about it this way. If you draw on a piece of paper with a pen, you have made a conventional ink drawing. With the grille, we are doing the same thing, only now instead of applying ink on paper, we are drawing with iron in space. We are making a spatial linear drawing. Where am I going with the above? When ornamental ironwork is viewed as a spatial drawing, it is Fabricator n July / August 2012

May / June 2012 n Fabricator


then the composition (like a painting or drawing on paper) that gives the ironwork (in our case the grille) it’s worth. Have I been smoking my house plants? No, stick with me a little longer. If you look at fine historic ironwork from the baroque or rococo periods, for example, and then compare the ironwork with what was being done in the murals and paintings on castle and cathedral ceilings of the same era, all the decorative arts tie together. For 16

the commoner who lived in Norway or Sweden and didn’t happen to own a castle, he/she had rosemaling in renaissance, baroque, and rococo styles. Artforms. The “Decorative Arts” to be more specific. Going back to our acanthus leaves (and good ornamental iron in general), it is the overall composition (composition we will address in the future) that gives ironwork its value. The overall composition is an outgrowth of a concept that is achieved through the

use and placement of elements. Along with the overall composition (especially in ornamental iron) “grace” and “flow” are important factors and is what we are after. Good acanthus leaves flow off the metal. Poor acanthus work looks “applied.” Lets expand on the Charlie and Samantha drawing approach we previously used. Today the goals will be: n Drawing leaves that are more stylized than our original Charlie and Fabricator n July / August 2012

Samantha leaves. n Drawing a single-sided leaf with more depth. Lets draw

Lets review where we have been and build on what we have already done. The ornamental acanthus leaves we are making are stylized versions of acanthus leaves. We are not making botanical reproductions. Each leaf has petals that typically consist of three facets (figure A) a main petal with a smaller petal attached above and below it. When leaves are shaped as in story board numbers 1 and 2, some facets are often eliminated because of little room on a petal. Story board number 1 (see page 16) Lets first draw our spine line in any shape you need to fit your project. Step two, add your main petal veins to approximate where the petals will be. Step number three, add your “C” and “S” curves. Step number four, tighten up your “C” and “S” curves and ideally add smaller lobes (petals) on either side of your main petals. In the case of story board number 1 (and 2) because of the leaves condensed shape, there is only room to add two more facets, one in the middle and one out on the tip.

difference between the lines coming back off the tip between story boards number 1 and number 2. In story board number 2, the inside line crosses over the body giving more depth.

For Acanthus leaves,

the overall composition gives ironwork its value, and especially in ornamental iron, ‘grace’ and ‘flow’ are important. Good acanthus leaves flow off the metal. Poor acanthus work looks ‘applied.’

Story board number 3 (see page 16) This style leaf is in our grille. When a single-sided leaf is in a horizontal position like this and you want to accentuate the tip, again you might want to curl the tip (G) in more (like D) before adding your spoon shape.

Now, I would like to point out, that in story board number 1 after you have gone through steps one through four and have developed the body of your leaf as in “B,” if you want to add a tip like “C” first roll back the tip of your drawing as per “D.” Story board number 2 (see page 16) This shows the process of illustrating a leaf with more depth than an average single-sided leaf. To draw this leaf, add “E,” which is a line that runs parallel to and just outside of your spine line. This line creates the body beyond the spine line. If you want to add a tip as in story board number 2 (F), then on your drawing as per “D,” roll your tip back a little more and then add what appears to be a spoon shaped tip. Notice the

Lets cold form the acanthus leaf, step-by-step

Stylized leaves

Leaves “H” and “I.” What I had in mind for our grille will be as per leaf “H.” When I was drawing the grille I wanted a leaf that filled out the space. If I had to come up with an adjective for this leaf I would call it lush. Lets go back to the beginning of this article (the esoteric section) where I describe good acanthus work as flowing or rolling off your metalwork. If your goal is designing a leaf that flows off ironwork (not filling a space) then draw your petal lines to run closer to being parallel with your central vein (I) not arcing out toward becoming perpendicular (H). By keeping the veins closer to being parallel with the spine line (I) the leaf has a flowing look. The leaf will “flow” off your ironwork. Good luck. The joy is in the journey.

Continued through page 22

1. Above, hardware store spray glue. Spray your metal and glue down your pattern. 2. Middle, rough cut pattern on metal sheet. 3. Far right, inexpensive wood bandsaw with reduced speed (jack-shaft) for cutting metal.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator


4. Left, drill stop holes and then bandsaw out your pattern.

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May / June 2012 n Fabricator


7. Far left, veining tool. I only let employees vein when using this tool. 8. Left, the veining tool in use.

9. After burning the pattern off, here is the veined leaf.

10. Bottom tool for deeply recessing veins.

11. Main veins after being pushed down into the bottom tool. 20

Fabricator n July / August 2012

12. A treadle hammer tool holder that rotates.

13. Bottom side of the tool holder. The round peg allows the holder to rotate in the square treadle hammer hole.

14. Hardwood forming tool in holder. The wood is shimmed with scraps of metal.

15. Pushing the areas between the stamped veins down into the wood bottom tool. The tool being held is wood (hardwood) to avoid hammer marks.

16. Over a wood block with a large radius, a wood top tool is now forming the leaf into a half round shape.

17. Holding a half round swage made for use in a hardy hole, now over a bottom tool the contour is put into the leaf.

18. Left, Contouring tools. The tool on the left is constructed with two 11/4inch balls spaced 11/8 inch apart (2 3/8 inch on centers). The tool on the right works OK, but if the 5/8-inch-diameter semi-circles on the base were larger in diameter, the tool would be better. Note After making the sample leaf with 1008, it occurred to me that someone reading this might be using A36. So, I made a matching leaf with A36. The difference when forming the A36 leaf was not noticeable, but in 4 of the 8 deep valleys between the petals there were small rips in the A36. A36 will not stretch like 1008.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

19. A tool for putting a tighter radius in the tail of the leaf.


For your information


21. With a wooden mallet to avoid hammer marks, the top lobes on the large petals are now flipped outward over the radius on the edge of an anvil.

20. The radius of the tail being tightened up. The repousse hammer came from Pieh Tool Company (Arizona).

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. CO NTAC T

22. The bottom lobes being brought in, again with a wooden mallet.

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Shop Talk

A great metallurgical debate n

Which is better? Galvanizing or thermal spraying. Each has its pros and cons, but here are the critical considerations.

By Jeff Fogel Rust lies in wait: the great un-doer of

man’s material efforts. Without constant vigilance against it, our civilization’s structure would quickly become a post apocalyptic ruin. You can’t stop rust. You can slow it considerably. Galvanizing and thermal spraying are two effective ways to battle rust.


Galvanizing gets its name from Luigi Galvani, a 19th century Italian scientist who did not invent galvanizing. Actually, he’s known for inducing twitches in the legs of deceased frogs. That gave rise to use of “galvanizing” as a synonym for inducing action. In metallurgy, that action is electrodeposition, or the giving up of electrons. Metals that are unlikely to “act” are referred to as noble, because in most cultures the nobility don’t have jobs. And since they get paid anyway, they can sit around and do basically nothing all day. But let’s talk zinc. It’s the least noble (i.e. metal’s resistance to chemical reaction) of metals, and yet it acts nobly, sacrificing itself so other metals may live. In an admittedly circuitous etymology, galvanizing has generally come to mean coating with zinc. Hot dip galvanizing (HDG) is appropriate if your work is to withstand the elements, This outdoor sculpture at the Ironworkers Hall of Fame in Mackinaw City, MI, uses HDG. 24

In common practice, galvanizing has two types 1) Hot dip and 2) Electroplating.

Readily distinguishable from hot dip, electroplating has a shiny, thin surface. The thinness of its coating limits its use mainly to interior work. Automobile undercoats are a notable exception (1). If your work is to withstand the elements, hot dip galvanizing (HDG) is the way to go. The beauty of HDG — apart from its durability — is its simplicity. The process is exactly what it sounds like. The preparation involved Step The material is first placed on 1 some type of conveying suspension. It might be a wire, a rack, or chain — anything that can lower the material into a caustic solution. Step Then it’s pulled from the solu2 tion and rinsed with water. Step This is followed by another 3 immersion in mild acid.

The acid can be either sulfuric or hydrochloric. Sulfuric acid is faster, but it must be heated to work effectively, which would raise energy costs. Sulfuric acid is also completely recyclable. The hydrochloric acid works more slowly, but it’s cheaper and can work at room temperature. Step The next step is to completely 4 rid the work of any oxidation.

Zinc ammonium chloride typically does the trick and will nip any further oxidation in the bud. Step The work is then allowed to 5 dry for a few hours before the

final part of the process. If the prep work seems like the obsessive ritual old-school guys did before soldering copper, consider that a meticulously clean surface is vital for the zinc to metallurgically react with the iron. Step Once the spick and span sur6 face is dry, it’s lowered into a

hot zinc bath. The temperature of the solution is generally between 830°F and 850°F. The bath itself takes no more than six to seven minutes. For truly massive pieces, as much as 20 minutes may be required. Without this preparation, no reacFabricator n July / August 2012

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tion can take place, and the operative word here is “reaction”; you’re not just covering the surface like chocolate on strawberries — you’re inducing a metallurgical reaction between the two elements. This is why hot dip galvanizing adheres so tenaciously. Thermal spraying, aka metallizing

What, exactly, is thermal spraying? You know what metallizing is? Same thing. But since thermal spraying is the more correct term, we’ll stick with it here (2). Thermal spraying is an anti-corrosive process where atomized zinc or aluminum is sprayed against a metal substrate. Thermal spraying is largely credited to the efforts of Swiss scientist Max Ulrich Schoop, who trotted out his first workable flame spray device in 1912. Legend has it that Schoop was playing soldier with his kid when he noticed that the lead balls being fired from their toy cannon against a brick wall were deforming and sticking to the wall. It’s unknown what role Mrs. Schoop played in this discovery. How, you may well ask, is this differ-

Despite the cost-benefit

analysis, you’ve still got to ask yourself: Can you bring your work to the process or does the process have to come to your work? ent from spray painting? Quite different, in application. While both methods involve splattering a work piece with a non-corrosive liquid coating, all similarity ends there. In thermal spraying, the coated material is heated, atomized, and launched with great velocity against the work piece. You basically have a choice of arc or flame spray. That’s not to say there aren’t other methods. If you want to get fancy there are more than you can shake a stick at. There’s high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) for backing a rocket engine up to your work and let it rip while you

introduce a feedstock of something to coat the metal with, which could be anything from lowly zinc to powderized moon rocks. But it’s not something you’d normally use for a gate or fence. There’s also plasma arc spraying, ceramic rod spraying, cold spraying, and even something called a detonation gun, which again is not something a fabricator would normally turn to, but it sounds like fun. In the real fabrication world, arc and flame dominate, with arc being the most prevalent (3). Arc spraying. “An arc is struck between two consumable electrodes of coating material. The material, depending on application needs, is either pure zinc, pure aluminum, or an ‘alloy’ of 85% zinc and 15% aluminum. But instead of puddling the material, compressed gas is used to atomize and propel the droplets to the substrate. While either zinc or aluminum provide good galvanic protection the 85/15 alloy is generally used in coastal areas.” (4) The nice thing is its simplicity. No external heat source is necessary; you


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Fabricator n July / August 2012

Wire arc thermal spraying. The nice thing is its simplicity. No external heat source is necessary; you save money on fuel. It also has a high rate of deposition and good durability.

save money on fuel. It also has a high rate of deposition and good durability. Flame. Also called combustion thermal spraying, this is when two torches are brought to a converging point. A wire is fed through the backside of the unit, much the same way wire is fed into a MIG gun. The material is atomized and blasted by compressed gas toward the substrate. Wire arc has a faster deposition rate than its flame cousin. It typically coats the substrate with 60–80 pounds/ hour. Flame spraying coats at 15–20 pounds/hour but affords more control,

giving it an advantage when coating more detailed work. The surface preparation for both methods is the same. The substrate is blasted to white metal state, defined metallurgically as “it can’t get any cleaner.” The abrasive blast also leaves an anchor pattern on the substrate, leaving a surface that best resembles fine sandpaper. The pattern depth is optimally 1 or 2 millimeters from peak to valley of each tiny gouge. While it’s true that climate is not a factor in thermal spraying, it’s best if

done within four hours of the surface preparation to get a jump on any oxidizing that may begin to set in. The end result is a thick, matte gray coating that is thicker than galvanizing. The durability can range between 18– 20 years (5). There are no spangles and the surface retains the rough texture of the surface preparation, which makes it ideal for painting. Usually a two-part epoxy is used and can be touched up as the customer sees fit, without resorting to more surface preparation. Galvanize-thermal spray debate

As stated earlier, choosing HDG or thermal spraying depends simply on whether your project is moveable or not. But there are other considerations. In terms of coverage, nothing beats just dropping something into a vat. There’s no nook or cranny of your work that won’t be covered. Metallizing also has good coverage provided you don’t have tubular pieces or your nooks and crannies aren’t too tight. Cathodic protection appears to be a wash with the two methods resulting


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in coatings with a similar specific gravity. Zinc is zinc no matter how it’s applied (6). One significant difference is bond strength. HDG is a metallurgic bond that provides stronger adhesion than thermal spraying. Hot zinc bonds to steel with a tenacity of 3,600 psi. Thermal spraying, with its mechanical bond, grips with less than half that strength. This is a key factor in the disparity in shelf life between the two methods.

Thermal spraying has a life expectancy of up to 20 years; HDG can hang on for as long as 75 years. HDG’s superior bond strength also gives it more abrasion resistance, although painting over thermal sprayed work may render this point moot (7). This probably isn’t a deal breaker but HDG might be the more politically correct process. Galvanized metal is 100% recyclable (not that the earth is running out of zinc and governments will be confiscating peoples’ penny jars


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1 However, more and more the automobile industry is employing a combination of HDG and painting for undercoats. Source: American Galvanizers Association. 2–5 International Thermal Sprayers Association 6 Chemistry: The Central Science, AP edition, Brown, Lemay, Bursten 10th edition, Prentice Hall (2006). page 882. 7–8 American Galvanizers Association 9

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for post-1982 Lincolns). Finally, there are the relative costs. Thermal spraying has a higher initial cost than galvanizing. Thermal spraying involves skilled labor, which ain’t cheap. Nor should it be. Of course, economies of scale would lower the per-unit cost. As for HDG, well, how much skill does it take to dunk something in a vat? All of which explains HDG’s $1.92 per square foot versus thermal spraying’s $4.10 per square foot (8). By way of comparison, a foot of 304-grade 3/8-inch-square stainless goes for around $3.76 (9). Just sayin’. Despite the cost-benefit analysis, you’ve still got to ask yourself: Can you bring your work to the process or does the process have to come to your work? The fact is, thermal spraying process is portable. If the scale of your job is grand, and immoveable, you’ll probably thermal spray. If you can schlep the job to a place with a big vat of melted zinc, you’ll likely galvanize.

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About the author Jeff Fogel began writing as a journalist with the New York Daily News. He has been a copywriter and associate creative director for advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Jeff lives in New Hampshire where the weather’s bad, the skiing’s better, and blacksmithing’s a respectable way to keep warm. Fabricator n July / August 2012

Shop Talk

Gate operator certification development at critical stage n

After some 13 years of work, the Gate Operators Coalition hoping for additional funding to complete program in October. By Peter Hildebrandt

The coalition designed a gate operator installer certification program that is presented annually by the AFA. Plans are to introduce a second certification program that would cover design. Photo courtesy of the AFA.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

The Automated Vehicular Gate System Coalition is about to roll out their latest project — the Automated Vehicular Gate Operator Systems Designer Certification, which is scheduled for completion in October. Following completion of the designer course, the group plans to begin work on the Automated Vehicular Gate Operator Technician Certification, which will focus on in-depth troubleshooting, repair techniques, and guidelines. Since 1998, the coalition has regularly held meetings and has an impressive list of accomplishments to their name, including the update of UL325, the creation of the ASTM F2200 standard, and the development of the Automatic Gate Operator Installer Certification program. The coalition is made up of four industry associations — AFA, DASMA, NOMMA, and IDA.


In June, the NOMMA Board of Directors approved funding to complete the designer certification program, but the association is no longer able to provide funding after 2013 until the economy improves. The coalition still plans to move forward next year, although it may require some creativity. Technical program most difficult

Brent Nichols, NOMMA’s representative on the coalition, said the technician program will likely be the group’s tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 most difficult project. “We’re trying9:44 to AM teach people to troubleshoot at a gate site where a gate’s not working,” he said. Brent, who fabricates high-end gates, is with Picasso Gate Inc., Cheyenne, WY. The technician program, according to Nichols, will explain: n what someone working with a broken gate might do, n how they start, n when they start, and it won’t matter what equipment AD they’ll be working on. Everything

from slide gates, barrier gates, and vertical pivot gates to vertical lift gates; the numerous operators in the market will be discussed, as will a myriad of associated accessories that could be causing a gate failure. The object is to allow the fabricator to troublshoot when a he reaches a jobsite to determine what’s wrong. The coalition estimates it will take at least two years to develop the course curriculum. “To be safe, to know what’s required on the job, to meet the Page 1 standards code and then start off with a meter, going where you need The next project, developing to in order to find the problem is a the writing standards class whole process involved with troubleshooting a gate,” Nichols says. for troubleshooting a site “It also depends on how many where a gate is not working, accessories you have. These include fire boxes, phone systems, ground promises to be a difficult one. loops, or any other component. You’ve got to narrow it down to what is it Brent Nichols that’s causing the gate failure; it’s not Founder that easy [for the coalition] to do in Picasso Gate just three or four meetings in a year’s PROOF - 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2period,” he says

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you’re going to install or troubleshoot,” says Nichols. “But it will give you enough information to know what’s required to meet the code standards and to know what various types of accessories are out there to kind of design and build the system, know how to approach a client who wants a gate and give them options. I think it’s really necessary. But it also teaches the aspects of UL325 and ASTM 2200 so they also know what to offer when they’re speaking to a client to make the gate safe at the same time.”

Designer certification nears completion

Regarding the designer certification program, the coalition is holding one more meeting in Dallas, TX, in October to finalize the program. Coalition members take turns hosting the meetings, and NOMMA is serving as host in October. Once completed, the group plans to hold education sessions in conjunction with industry events. The course will make its debut in February 2013, before FENCETECH ’13 in Houston, TX. “We’re moving forward with the Gate Operators Systems Designer Course which will be offered at FENCETECH ’13 for the first time,” says Rick Sedivy, director of marketing, DoorKing. “We’ll wrap that up at a meeting in Dallas later this year. That’s moving forward very nicely. Our Gate Systems Technician course will be much more technical in detail. The thought on the technician course is to really get down to componentlevel troubleshooting.” “From my standpoint as a manufacturer,” Sedivy says, “I want somebody going out there knowing what type of product to put on a particular application, how big the gate will be, its weight, and what kind of power and safety devices are required. That’s what this course is designed to do. “It’s a win-win on both sides of the equation — from the manufacturer’s side and the fabricator or metalworker’s side. I think for any gate system company, when one of their salespeople or estimators go look at a site they know what’s required and what any special needs are so that when they get back to the shop they can write up a good quote and not have any surprises down the line.” Nichols feels that the Gate Systems Designer class that the coalition is completing is vital. It helps people who want to get into gates but remain afraid, perhaps feeling as if they don’t have enough knowledge. But anyone may attend the class once it is offered, and it covers different types of gate operators, phone systems, accessories, and ground loops. “This won’t be a technical type of class involving something where July / August 2012 n Fabricator

The professionalism of the industry has increased.

That’s the bottom line. We want the general public to look at us as professionals. Rick Sedivy Director of Marketing DoorKing

Starting with the installer course

Small shop owners may also take the already developed gate installer certification program even if they have only basic or even no experience. Members who have taken the program have been impressed with it, with one actually saying it was the best class he’d ever been involved with, according to Nichols. Sedivy feels if the door or gate product is installed safely and cor-


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rectly, it gives them a good name and the industry a good name in general. “We’re always able to come up with a happy medium; from an installer’s side they’re happy, from a manufacturer’s side they’re happy and the industry in general is happy and moving in the right directions. “We’re making all the products safer,” Sedivy says. “The professionalism of the industry has increased because of all this work going on. That’s the bottom line; we want to make a safe product, want it installed safely and want the general public to look at us as professionals. That’s why we’ve been involved in all this for so long and gladly lend our expertise where we can.”

For your information


Automated Vehicular Gate System accomplishments

n The industry group is made up of NOMMA, AFA, DASMA, and IDA. Formally known as the Automated Vehicular Gate Systems Coalition, Brent Nichols, Picasso Gate Inc., Cheyenne, WY, serves as NOMMA’s official representative to the group, and other NOMMA members have participated in the group as well. n The coalition is currently finalizing its latest project, the Gate Operator Systems Designer Certification Program. Plans are to hold several classes around the country to present the program material. n The coalition, which formed in 1998, has accomplished several items. It has provided input into the updated UL325 standard, created the ASTM F2200 standard, and designed the Automatic Gate Operator Installer Certification Program. Currently, it is finishing their next certification program, called the Gate Operator Systems Designer Certification.



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About the author Peter Hilde­brandt is a long-time senior writer for Fabricator. He specializes in writing company profiles.

Fabricator n July / August 2012

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Shop Talk

Gilding the leaf By Peter Hildebrandt


Tips for gold leaf applications: Learn about patent leaf and loose leaf, karat size, how to use gilding, materials outside.

Photo above, a close-up of a gilded acanthus leaf.


Gold highlights on ornamental iron work can transform the ordinary into an unfor-

gettable piece of metal artwork, adding both visual interest and value to your finished work and differentiating your shop from others. For the ornamental ironworker, properly applying gold leaf is not difficult as long as you get the basics right.

3 elements for good gilding practice

n Understanding the different weights or thicknesses of gold leaf., n Understanding that there are different alloys and colors of gold leaf. n Understanding how to choose the proper sizing, which is the adhesive used

to place gold leaf on a surface. The gold leaf product should be applied in your shop in a controlled environment. For ornamental iron specialists the easiest and best results are derived from working inside because it takes a day to bring the surface up to tack. If outside and unprotected, pollen, dirt, and moisture will affect the surface and the leaf won’t adhere to the surface the same. When using gold leaf for an exterior application, using very slow-drying, oilbased sizing is important. This type of sizing generally requires a 24-hour window before the gold can be applied. The sizing is applied one day, and then 24 hours Continued on page 40. Fabricator n July / August 2012

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July / August 2012 n Fabricator


Continued from page 36. later it will have the right amount of tack to hold the gold onto the product. The slow drying sizing is resilient to temperature changes and exterior exposure whereas the quicker-drying, sometime water-based sizing is not. “Quick drying sizing, however, is excellent for use on work which is not exposed to the elements, such as interior railings, and can save a bit of time,” explains Doug Bracken, Wiemann Metalcraft.

Gold leaf was applied over double sided aluminum castings. Fabricator: The Leader Works Corp., Miami, FL (Top Job file photo).

working in anything that has any kind of a breeze. “Patent leaf is easier to handle. You apply patent leaf by pressing the gold onto the sizing and rubbing the back of the paper with a brush or other tool,” Bracken says. Karat choice important as well

Patent leaf vs loose leaf

“Gold leaf is easier to handle when it is mounted lightly onto a small 5 x 5-inch paper square — known as a ‘patent leaf.’ This makes it easier to handle, especially for the beginner, than the ‘loose leaf.’ Just as it sounds, the gold is laid between sheets of paper and you pick them up with static electricity on a little brush,” Bracken says “Loose leaf can be trickier to handle, if you’re not an experienced gold leafer, or if you’re working outdoors or


If you want to practice on the cheap, many hobby

shops sell gold foil, copper foil, and brass foil, which can work as a reasonable substitute for gold leaf — at a much lower cost.

Use gold leaf 23 karat or higher — meaning 23½ and 24-karat gold leaf on exterior applications. The reason is that gold is alloyed with copper and other metals to make it less expensive, thus reducing its karat rating. A lower karat means more copper in the alloy and copper tends to tarnish over time and exposure. So a savvy fabricator will save money by using 16K leaf on the interior railings and 23K on the driveway gate. “If you want to practice on the cheap, many hobby shops sell gold foil, copper foil, and brass foil, which can work as a reasonable substitute for gold leaf — at a much lower cost,” Bracken says. “This can be applied the same way and with great effects. Since these are mostly copper-based products, it is not advisable to use them outside without clear coating.” Use of the hobby shop gold leaf products is a way to start the process by tinkering with the idea of using gold leaf, seeing what it looks like, seeing how it enhances your product before you invest in a thousand dollars for a box of 23 karat gold leaf from New York, as opposed to using something that can be purchased at the hobby shop level for $15. Gold leaf can also be applied to something that has already been painted, with a gold base being the least noticeable. Another trick is to apply the gold leaf and then go over it with a dark glaze to help get the glaze to stick into the dark corners where you can highlight the leaf work. Use a burnt umber or dark brown or bronzy glaze to bring back some of the highlights of the gold without removing the gold or keeping it out of the low spots. It goes on the high spots really easily. Fabricator n July / August 2012

Using gilded material outside

When gilded materials are used outside, typically these are copper- or brass-based. Such features consist of domes of buildings or weathervanes — things that are going to be unmaintained for 50 years or more. But such material should not be used over a painted iron gate and expected it to last for 50 years the way it does over copper and brass products. It will work well as long as the sizing is right and a lightweight gold is not used. At some point, fabricators may recognize they need to employ a skilled gilding person to achieve the finish that they want or that their client is asking for. “If you want a smooth, bright finish then you must have a smooth bright substrate because the gold leaf will reflect the imperfections of the material underneath it just like chrome plating,” Bracken explains. Some professional gilders sand a surface for almost two weeks before applying leaf. Spending a lot of time prepping the substrate to receive the gold leaf. This will pay off in the end with a stunning finished product.

For your information


Where to find help A search on the Internet for techniques to apply gold leaf yield many websites with videos showing how to apply gold leaf. A search on YouTube will also yield video how-to presentations on this topic. Below are a few possibilities: n Gilded Planet, www.gildedplanet. com, has video demos of gold leaf application. n Sepp Leaf Products, www.seppleaf. com, offers products, advice, and gilding workshops that demo gold leaf application techniques. n Art Essentials of New York Ltd.,, is another excellent source for gold leaf materials. About the author Peter Hilde­brandt is a long-time senior writer for Fabricator. He specializes in writing company profiles.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

Attendees try their hand at gold leafing at a past METALfab convention.

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Hands-on Hess Member Talk


Not long after a career change, Scott Hess, who maintains good relationships with clients due to his detailed, handson work, gets early positive feedback: a NOMMA Silver Top Job Award.

Hess Ornamental restored this York, PA, church light.

Scott Hess knows that a profession left for

others to shape won’t likely be anything especially rewarding, either personally or financially. Most NOMMA members know by instinct that you must take your career into your own hands and mold it like a piece of hot metal if it’s to have added value. Hess is just fine taking on that challenge. He was seeking work that was more rewarding and creatively stimulating than what he had when he tossed aside a regular paycheck two years ago to be his own boss and shape his own future. As is often the case, a bit of chaos finally instigated the life-changing decision. For several years prior, as an employee of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle assembly plant in York, PA, Hess rode the ups and downs of the public company’s effort to do what most public companies do: create greater shareholder value by getting more bang for its buck out of labor. 42

The largest factory in Harley-Davidson’s fleet, the York plant where Hess worked since 1994, was under a threat to close and relocate to Kentucky. Beginning with a workers’ strike in 2007, the last few years of Hess’s time at Harley-Davidson were marred with disputes, temporary layoffs, and job cuts until in 2009 the company and 3,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers reached agreement. The deal made headlines for the drastic concessions by the union, which symbolized the dire straits of the manufacturing employee in today’s economy. Job eliminations would register around 50%; Hess’s wife Lori would be among those let go. In addition to the layoffs, job categories would be streamlined significantly to give the company greater flexibility in assigning work. Most drastic of all in the eyes of many, the contract would stand for the next seven years. In exchange, Harley-Davidson would invest $90 million in the plant, keep it in York, and accept the state of Pennsylvania’s

For your information


By Molly Badgett

Hess Ornamental Iron LLC 1754 Raub Road Felton, PA 17322 717-927-9160 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 July / August 2012

additional incentives of $15 million for training and capital improvements. Hess, who served as a steward for Local Union 175, voted along with 192 others against the contract on principle, he says, unimpressed with the ultimatum to move or take a pay cut, and other aspects of the deal. About six months after the vote, Hess stood against the situation on a more personal level. He opted for an offer printed on page 55 of the employees’ contract. He took a buyout. Besides, his work wasn’t rewarding enough; he wanted a better way to make a living. “You get in a company, and you’re using your skills, which is fine. But if you’re a welder, you’re a

income as he built the business big enough to rely on it solely. The strategy was sound: Put in the sweat equity, and earn the kind of reputation that brings in work and creates important contacts. Two reputation components

1) Be hands-on. “We’re a small shop because I’m into making sure that we do a good job and building a good reputation on that,” he says, adding that most of his clients come to him specifically for his hands-on involvement. “I’m afraid to delegate the work out. In time, I’ll learn how to manage, but I’m still building my name. I have to be involved in every part of it. “I’m sure there are some jobs that I

and his coursework was completed, the school determined he earned his way to a better job serving as an instructor for the second six-month stint. After leaving WTTI and following a few more years working with race car parts, he eventually moved into the corporate environment. Hess worked as a welder at Voith Hydro and, aptly enough, Precision Custom Components, both in York, before landing the position at Harley-Davidson. On the map already

Now with a relatively young full-time shop, Hess already has earned industry recognition, including NOMMA’s 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job silver award

Hess Ornamental Iron won NOMMA’s 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job silver award in the exterior railings and fences in the non-forged category. At left, the job is shown as a work in progress. At right is a portion of the finished product.

welder,” he says. “I was bored with the simplicity of doing the same thing every day.” An obvious avenue awaited

Fortunately, Hess had something to fall back on. In 2005, while still at HarleyDavidson, he started Hess Ornamental Iron as a part-time venture. He was heavy on the skill sets he needed to venture out, especially when it came to design and detail. “I was looking at some railings and thought, ‘I could build these,’ ” he says. By 2008, business was looking better with steady work generated strictly by word of mouth. “In the last two years, I felt like I had two full-time jobs,” Hess says. “I was running out of hours in a day. It was a good problem to have.” Hess waited until work became more unbearable at Harley before leaving, he says, because he needed the steady July / August 2012 n Fabricator

don’t get because we spend more time than other shops because we’re making [products] by hand,” Hess adds. 2) Build on your strengths. For Hess, those strengths were the skills he developed most of his life. Namely, precise detailing. Hess started in metal fabrication as a young boy tinkering with the welder in his family’s garage where his stepfather built race cars. With their absolute reliance on precision parts, the race cars helped him understand the need for tedious exactness, a characteristic that would serve him well over the years. Immediately after high school, he attended the Welder Training and Testing Institute, Allentown, PA, where he earned certification. It was supposed to be a year-long course, but because of his experience level, Hess finished the course in six months while working nights repairing garbage dumpsters. After the initial six months ended

in the exterior railings and fences in the non-forged category. The winning project was nearly 62 feet of powder-coated aluminum railing with curved pickets and a polished-bronze top cap. Hess spent 400 hours on the local residential job, which required an enormous amount of detail. From Hess’s award entry: “We used many different techniques and processes. First, we rolled the pickets to a 30.250-inch radius so that the spacing worked out to be 315/16 (inches) at the largest opening. We then machined notches into the pickets so that they overlapped and remained flush. MIG and TIG processes were used to weld this project; TIG for welding the bronze, and MIG for the aluminum railing. This project had many challenges along the way, but the biggest was the rolling of the pickets. If the radius was off a 1/16 of an inch, the spacing would be off and the notch location would move.”


The other Hess has plans, too High-end furnishings an adjunct to Hess Ornamental Keeping the books for Hess Ornamental is Lori Hess, but don’t let the accounting she does fool you. Sure, she learned QuickBooks in a snap, but her continued education in other areas will soon add new dimension to the company. She’s already learned a few things to help her husband Scott when he needs a hand. “I don’t do the welding, but I do whatever else I can do. He has me cutting material, and I run the saw and do some grinding,” Lori says. “Slowly he’s trying to teach me how to weld so I can do more of it myself.” Now, Lori is taking classes in stained glass from a local stained-glass retailer. She recently finished her first piece, a two-dimensional tulip image, and will take advanced classes to learn even more. She hopes to incorporate the glass work, including three-dimensional pieces, into iron products, such as lamps, figures, and tables with stained-glass tops. Diversifying business

The side shop of high-end, heavy-duty furnishings would be a natural fit she says, given her taste for iron pieces when looking for things for her own home. “I have a folder full of ideas that I want to get made,” she says. Typically, she browses catalogs and upon seeing something she likes, clips it out, noting ways to add the twist on the design she would want. The work will be sold through an online Web site and at craft shows. The two have discussed buying a trailer for touring and selling the one-of-akind pieces from it. Lori Hess finishes a plant hanger made with scraps Lori’s name for her busi- from Hess Ornamental. ness: The Iron Lady. “I’m picturing a lady with an apron on with a welding torch,” she says. “I haven’t talked to anyone about logos yet; I need to get on that.” Using Hess scrap

Using scrap metal from Scott’s work, Lori makes smaller pieces, such as shepherds’ hooks, plant hangers, and the like, building inventory during the winter months when Scott’s work slows and he can give her a hand. “We have a lot of the smaller pieces right now; they’re easy to make and we can whip those out pretty fast,” she notes. Lori and Scott have worked alongside one another for awhile; they were together at Harley-Davidson, as well. However, Lori was among those caught in the 2009 layoff of some 50% of the workforce. She had worked on the assembly line producing seats, saddlebags, and other odds and ends that wrapped up production of the Harley Softail and Touring models, and even did some work in brake inspections. Like her husband, Lori is definitely looking ahead, eager to do her own thing.


He is scheduled to continue working for the same homeowner over the next year or so to complete about 250 feet of 5-foot-tall fencing and a driveway gate. At points along the way, he’ll find time to work other jobs, as well. “It’s real challenging,” Hess says. “I get into some pretty challenging jobs. You can’t be afraid to dive into it.” And once you do, you can’t be afraid of the stage lighting that tracks your success. The value of recognition

“This award means so much to us because we’ve worked extremely hard to build a company with a reputation for very high-quality products,” Hess says in a crafted statement following the win. “NOMMA carries so much respect in this industry. To have iron shops from all over the United States vote on work that we’ve built is a huge thing for us. Then to win an award — that just made all the hours we’ve invested in this company worth every minute.” Hess’s appreciation for NOMMA, however, runs with or without the awards. “The best thing I did for my business was to join NOMMA,” he says. “I didn’t work in a railing shop before, so a lot of what I’m doing is new; I can learn a lot of trade secrets from these guys.” What’s more, he says, is that NOMMA members provide that support readily and generously. “They’re just a phone call away,” he says. Hess attends NOMMA conferences annually, and is a regular at the Northeast chapter meetings. “It’s every bit worth whatever our dues are,” he says. It’s a reasonable summation, given that he’s landed work from customers who read the local York Daily Record’s business section. “It was a big deal,” Hess says about the paper’s coverage of his accomplishment. “I had people tell me, ‘Hey, we read about you in the paper.’ ” It’s that kind of word-of-mouth support that got Hess working regularly — he has a 15-week backlog of jobs — for high-end residential contractors. A small shop

Ironically, Hess made one of his initial business moves to start his full-time iron Fabricator n July / August 2012

Hess Ornamental won the job, above, after the homeowner saw a news article about his Top Job win from NOMMA. Scott Hess, left, makes a sample lamb’s tongue for a customer.

shop in a deal with ex-employer Harley-Davidson after leaving the company. From its used-equipment online sales site, he bought a few machines to get him started, including a welding positioner and a milling machine. Even more irony is that one of his two part-time employees, Galen Dietz, is his former supervisor from the Harley plant. Dietz retired early from Harley and now works about 30 hours a week for Hess Ornamental. The second part-timer is Hess’s brother-in-law, Brian Ness, who’s likely to start working full time for the company soon to take a load off Hess while he lays out rails. The third employee, Hess’s wife Lori, does the bookkeeping. She’s also gearing up to add another dimension to the shop by creating iron home furnishings (see sidebar). As most know, working in iron is hard but rewarding, particularly when the shop is small. “I start at 5 a.m., work till 6 or 7 p.m., and at nighttime I do my paperwork and design work,” Hess says “I’d like to hire a salesman and an estimator, but I have to do as much as I can myself.” “My ultimate goal is to have five full-time employees,” Hess says. “I’m in the very early stages.” Hess says he could expand his business quickly but doesn’t find the idea of taking out a bank loan appealing. “We don’t owe anyone,” he says. “I’m not comfortable to do that yet.” In return for his patience for business-building, Hess gains the value of being his own boss and creating things with his hands that help forge a posiJuly / August 2012 n Fabricator

tive, personal, reputation. And that reputation builds the business. “Once you go out there and prove that you’re about doing a nice job and meeting your commitments,” Hess says, “more contractors seem to call.” It requires, then, a balance. “If I can

stay with one or two people and not let too much work go, I don’t have too much of a problem,” Hess says. “It’s harder on me, but, with that being said, I kind of like doing everything. My name’s on it.”


METALfab 2012, Orlando

2012 Top Job wınners, part 2 n

This issue, we feature 5 more categories of the 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition winners. To see all entries, visit: www.nomma. org and click on “About NOMMA.” Congratulations!

Furniture & Accessory Fabrication — Forged

Vasquez Custom Metals Inc. — Gold Tampa, FL This dragon functions as a chandelier. It is 3½ feet tall and 7½ feet long with a 7-foot wing span. The skeleton was forged from ½- and 3/8-inch round bar. Forged sheet metal precisely covered each part. The claws hold 5½-inch hemispheres that contain light bulbs. Holes were drilled around the hemisphere edges and tapped to hold hand-blown glass covers. The entire piece was polished with a rotary brush and clear coated. Challenge: The dragon part. Approx. labor time: 800 hours.


Wonderland Products Inc. — Silver Jacksonville, FL This console table consists of precious metals, including Monel, silicon bronze, brass, and stainless steel. The top is ¼-inch sib with a forged band to add strength to an otherwise limber metal. The main structural components are forged Monel. Despite initial stability concerns, the Monel proved to be more than adequate even in such marginal sizes. The Monel reeds were easily TIG-welded to the sib top and base, and the brass reeds were silver-soldered to the Monel. The two butterflies are stainless steel; the ladybug and caterpillar brass. The entire table was wash-polished before and after fabrication, including the sib top and base, which received a patina. Though difficult to see in the photo, it has a subtle rainbow effect mingled with the rich brown tones. Fabricator n July / August 2012

Gates/Doors — Nonforged

Heirloom Stair & Iron Inc. — Bronze Campobello, SC

Custom Iron by Josh — Gold Westlake, LA

This table, about 6 x 3 feet, is the company’s original design. The wooden top is Sapele mahogany with hard maple inlay pieces. All material is solid, hot forged, and textured. The table skirt has a textured brass inlay. Finish: Wirewheeled, gun-blued, and waxed. Material: Sapele mahogany, hard maple, mild steel, brass. Approx. labor time: 95 hours.

Gate fabrication techniques: Forged the handles, scrolls and the “H” in-house, and purchased the floral kick plate. Designed by the fabricator using AutoCAD and freehanding. Materials: ¾-inch solid square bar, 2-inch heavy wall frame. Floral kick plate, Acanthus leaves. Interior column: 6 x 6 x ½-inches square post. Approx. labor time: 1 week.

July/ August 2012 n Fabricator


METALfab 2012, Orlando

Big D Metalworks — Silver Dallas, TX This locking-gate system was designed to secure a corporate office building lobby. Six top-rolling gates on a track system was designed to close in width of one panel. The gate frames were fabricated from steel tubes and clad with antiqued bronze. The pickets were antiqued solid bronze and accented by polished bronze custom castings. The accent rings and fleur-de-lis were custom waterjet-cut and polished. All parts were attached with hidden fasteners where possible. The hidden support steel and track were part of the contract and had to be perfectly aligned so the gate sections would open and close with minimal clearance without damaging adjacent parts after installation. All polished bronze was finished to a 8 finish. Approx. labor time: 8,000 hours.

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Wiemann Metalcraft — Bronze Tulsa, OK This residential commission is a formed and fabricated bronze door with bronze surround, hinged bronze grills and custom glass. Overall dimensions of project are 11 x 10 feet wide. The design was provided by architect. The door, glass, and grill weigh 300 pounds so a heavyduty, in-ground closer was used. A custom lockset allowed a lever to move vertical and allow for grill opening. Grill was machined using lap-joints, press-fit pins, and counterbored fasteners with brass plugs to conceal all fasteners. The finish was 220G grained with red/brown patina and clear lacquer. Glass was provided incorrectly two times by custom glass supplier resulting in three mobilizations to complete glazing.

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Fabricator n July / August 2012

Stairs Complete — Commercial

Anvil Craft Corp. — Gold Easton, PA The monumental stair and railing included: 68,000 pounds of 2-inch-thick x 16-inch solid plate stringers, 5/16-inch tapered and radius stair sub treads for the 2-inchthick terrazzo treads, 1,574 square feet of ¾-inch benttempered glass rolled to a 53-inch radius on a 32.47-degree incline, plus 400 lineal feet of aluminum glass shoe molding and polished stainless steel handrail rolled to the same radius and incline. All handrails joints on the stair were seal welded and polished in the field to create a seamless continuous inside handrail. There is no top rail so all top of glass edges had to align perfectly. Each run is held in place by four hardened steel pins to allow the stair to move independent of the poured in place cantilevered concrete platforms. Approx. labor time: 2,800 shop hours and 2,400 field hours to install.

Johnston Products — Silver Cedar Hill, TX This two-story stainless steel aircraft cable suspended staircase in a retail store located in a mall within French Quarter, was a design-build project. Cables were organized in the ceiling on seven concrete beams in 58 clusters. Each cluster ranged from six to 10 cables. Challenges: The stairs had to fit inside an existing non-weight bearing elliptical floor opening. A specially designed numbering system created tracking for all 270 cables. Tension of each cable had to be precise to alleviate sag in cables or sway in the staircase. Cables and supports, which were visible by patrons from all angles, had no manufacturer defects on any steel supports. No marks were made on the beams through transport and install. Fabrication techniques: 270 stainless steel cables supporting 9,000-pound stairs. 270 holes precisely drilled in rows along support beams receiving threaded cables. The project was completed in three months and three weeks ahead of hard open. Approx. labor time: 2,776 hours.



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Proudly made in USA for over 75 years Telephone: 800-272-8946 | Fax: 630-562-1500 July / August 2012 n Fabricator


METALfab 2012, Orlando Stairs Complete — Residential

DeAngelis Iron Work Inc. — Bronze South Easton, MA The fabricator handled the engineering, fabrication, finishing, and installation of the elliptical stair and rails. The stair was a single-tube steel stringer and bent plate treads. Risers are stainless steel. Top rail and posts of stainless steel rail received a mirror (8) finish; the rest of the horizontal rails received a 4 brush. The railing system was braced back to the tube steel stringer with a structural brace at each rail post, Braces were concealed by plastering the underside of the stair after installation. Challenge: The geometry. Much of the work had to be templated and tweaked several times to ensure proper fit. The job was detailed using 3D CAD software, which enabled the fabricator to address potential fabrication issues, i.e. layout and transitions, early. Approx. labor time (fabrication, installation): 2,680.

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Big D Metalworks — Gold Dallas, TX The owner’s dream was five-story stairs made of steel, stainless steel, and glass and nine stair flights with nine landings. When producing a product with extreme detail and high finishing requirements, it involves many drawings, 3D renderings, samples, testing, and ultimately a full-sized mock. Glass tread was laminated with SS threaded inserts to allow Big D to secure the tread to the corresponding holes in the stringers. Handrails were doweled into solid metal block put inside the stringers. Many intricate details were present in this project, which were not detectable once installed. The project duration from contract signing to unveiling was 17 months. An excerpt from the customer’s thank you letter: “…Speechless…most spectacular piece of art in the house is the stairs.” Approx. labor time: 3,500 hours (plus 1,800 hours finishing and 1,900 hours installation). Fabricator n July / August 2012

Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. — Silver Jackson, WI The company did the engineering, fabrication, and installation for this grand stair and railings. The exterior of a round concrete cylinder dueling as an elevator shaft was the only attachment surface for the cantilevered steel tread frames. A rolled ½-inch steel plate stringer was epoxy anchored to the concrete shaft, and sub tread frames made of rectangular steel tube were field welded to the stringer. After the steel was installed, the stringer was covered with stone and the treads clad in wood. The railing was made of 3/8-inch laser-cut plate posts to receive ½-inch rod chords and 1¼-inch schedule 40 pipe top rail, all assembled on site. Approx. labor time: 450 hours.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

M. Cohen & Sons Inc. — Bronze Broomall, PA Blackened steel stringer, polished stainless steel with polished blackened stainless steel railing. Glass floating treads with polished stainless steel anchors. Fabrication techniques include rolled steel and blackening of steel and stainless steel. Challenge: to marry stainless steel and glass frames to a poured concrete wall over seven stories. The job was designed by a New York designer. Materials used were steel, stainless steel and glass. Installation techniques were standard rigging and precision installation. The type of finish is blackened steel with random swirl, non-directional and antiqued finish. Approx. labor time: 9,000 hours.


METALfab 2012, Orlando Structures

Spiral Staircases Custom Built to Your Order The most attractive and priced far below the rest.

Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. — Gold Jackson, WI Over 700 unique structural steel members were used to create the skeleton of this home. A complex system of structural steel framing made this dramatic architecture with cantilevered floors and spiraling roof segments possible. Challenge: Creating shop drawings by our most experienced drafter, which took more labor hours than to actually fabricate the steel. Due to the hilltop location with dense woods, installation was performed with minimal equipment and completed in the heart of winter.

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C.T. and S. Metalworks — Silver Irving, TX This park at a college has four concentric aluminum circular trellises, 25½ inches in diameter, 10½ feet high. The four support columns, built in two pieces, were rolled to five different radii to create arches. These support columns of 5-inch schedule 80 6063-T6 aluminum were brushed, finished, and powdercoated to a silver anodize. The support rib is a ¼-inch aluminum tapering from 2 inches at the top to 5 inches at the base; it follows the (5) radii arc profile. All this was welded with 5356. The 24 circular members were 2½-inch schedule 40 aluminum 6063-T5 ranging in diameter from 24 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 2 inches. Approx. labor time: 1,800 hours. (includes finishing and installation). Fabricator n July / August 2012

Royal Iron Creations — Bronze Jupiter, FL Five miles of ½-inch-square aluminum tubing was used to execute a landscape designer’s vision of modernizing an existing home by wrapping large portions of the house (inside and out) with a cantilevered trellis in perfectly spaced ½-inch slats spaced ½-inch apart. The outer structure is a cantilevered trellis over floating steps and a water wall, held up by six posts wrapped in the slats. An 8 x 8-feet custom pivoting door was inset into the entryway. On the outside face of the house and continuing through the entryway to the living room were 16 8-foottall wall panels. Each had internal backlighting and custom pivots to allow them to open for servicing. The slats on these panels were required to align throughout the entryway — from inside to outside. In addition to the main entryway, a similar trellis with sliding panel doors was placed over the master bedroom patio. The cladding continued on additional custom folding enclosures of a smoking room and several gates and fences. Material: Aluminum with a custom liquid paint finish to mimic anodized aluminum. Approx. labor time: 5,500 hours.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator



Fabricator n July / August 2012

Biz Side

8 ways to better customer service n

And get outstanding service and information from your vendor. Having a little empathy and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can help get, too. Plus, you can adapt these ideas for your own customers. Editor’s note: Customers wait on hold for an eternity. Complaints go unanswered. Smiles and a little extra help seem like too much to ask for these days. If you think customer service has taken a nosedive, you’re right, says Ron Kaufman. But there’s a lot you can do to change that. Read on for his tips for being a better customer. By Ron Kaufman

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July / August 2012 n Fabricator

You start your morning running late and sprint into your local coffee shop for your morning cup of joe. As you breathlessly place your order, you notice the barista doesn’t smile at you. She utters a flat, “Here you go” as she hands you the steaming cup — “Why didn’t she put the cardboard sleeve around it?,” you wonder irritably — and moves on robotically to the next customer. As you bolt for the door, hands burning, you think, “Well, she was unfriendly. When did customer service get so terrible?” It’s true. Our society has changed the way it does business. Customer service in general has fallen into crisis mode. But in the case of the rude barista, ask yourself this: Did you look her in the eye? Did you say “good morning”? Did you say “please” or “thank you”? In short, how much of the bad service experience do you have to own?


Often, we get poor service because we’re poor customers. It’s a two-way street. When we’re rude or impersonal to service providers, we get rude and impersonal treatment back. This creates low expectations on both sides, which affects our next service interactions. In other words, bad customer behavior breeds bad customer service, which breeds bad customer behavior, and so on. To break the cycle and do your part to create uplifting service, be a “service champion” — someone who takes responsibility for uplifting other people’s experience, even when those other people are serving you. The crisis we’re facing has a lot to do with the way companies think about service. They tend to silo it in one department rather than making great service a part of their overall culture, and that just doesn’t work in our global economy. Customers can’t do a lot about this, except take their business somewhere else. But what they can control is whether or not they contribute to the traffic of goodwill that flows equally between customers and service providers.” When you are an appreciative and considerate customer, service providers will often go the extra mile to serve you better. But if you rant and pound the table, people may serve you grudgingly, if at all. How to be a better customer and get better service:

1) Be appreciative and polite. Remember, a fellow human being is on the other end of your phone call, the receiving side of your email, or just across the counter. Begin each interaction with a quick, “Hi. Thank you for helping me. I really appreciate it.” These two seconds can dramatically improve the mood of a service provider. 2) Get your service provider’s name and use it. Make this short and friendly by first offering your name and then asking, “Who am I speaking with, please?” Or, if you are face-toface, simply ask, “May I know your name?” Once you know it, repeat it 56

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Show your appreciation

in the way your service providers want to be appreciated; after all, they served you the way you wanted to be served!

with a smile in your voice. This creates a personal connection and makes it much harder for a service provider to treat you like an anonymous account holder or policy number.” 3) Be upbeat. Many service providers face customer after customer all day long. The routine can become tiresome. When an energetic and smiling customer appears, that person often enjoys special care and treatment in return. What you send out does come back. Attitudes — positive and negative — are contagious.” 4) Provide information just the way they want it. Many service providers need your data in a sequence that fits their forms, screens, and procedures. Have all your information ready to go, but give it in the order they prefer. Saying, “I have all my information ready. Which would you like first?” tells the provider you are

prepared and will be easy to work with. The time you take getting everything in order will save time in the service conversation, too. 5) Confirm next actions. Repeat what your service provider promises to do. Confirm dates, times, amounts, responsibilities, and commitments. This helps you move together through the service process, catching any misunderstanding and correcting it along the way. Be sure you both understand what will happen next: what they will do, what you will do, and what both parties have agreed to going forward. 6) When appropriate, commiserate. Sometimes service providers show their frustrations. A slow computer, a previous customer, high-call volume, pressure from a manager, or some unwelcome personal event may have upset them. When you hear an upset tone, be the one to soothe it. You might say, “It sounds like things are tough right now. I really appreciate your help.” This brief moment of empathy can be an oasis in their world. 7) Show your appreciation. A sincere “thank you” is always appropriate. If your service provider deserves more, give more. A nicely written compliment can make a huge difference in someone else’s day, or even career. And who knows? The person you praise today may serve you again tomorrow. If you want to show your appreciation more, ask the service provider how they’d like to be recognized. For example, a realtor might prefer a testimonial for her Web site over having you send a complimentary note to her manager. A younger service provider might love it if you Tweet about them, while an older generation service provider might prefer a completed comment card. Show your appreciation in the way your service providers want to be appreciated; after all, they served you the way you wanted to be served! 8) Spread the word. In uplifting service, a picture is worth a thousand words. The next time you receive uplifting service at your favorite coffee shop, at the hardware store, at the post office, wherever you are, ask the Fabricator n July / August 2012

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

much of it can also be used to experience more joy and satisfaction from your relationships with your colleagues, friends, and other loved ones. What goes around really does come around. When you treat someone well, whether it’s your spouse, a vendor at work, or the person you meet at the coffee shop in the morning, he or © fotomek - she is more likely to step up and treat you well, too. We all live and work in a whole world of relationships based on service. As you uplift and upgrade the service you provide, the world will uplift you.

For your information


service provider if you can take their picture and then ask for their manager’s name and contact information. Send the picture to the service provider’s manager with a message that reads, “This person’s service makes me admire and appreciate your organization.” Expressing your satisfaction to their manager this way will speak volumes to the service provider and will inspire not only the service you receive in the future, but the service they provide to all of their customers.” While this advice will help you get better service from service providers,

About the author Ron Kaufman is a popular keynote speaker and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet (Evolve Publishing, 2012, ISBN: 978-09847625-5-2, $14.95, Ron is also a columnist at Bloomberg Businessweek and the author of 14 other books on service, business, and inspiration. CO NTAC T

Ron Kaufman 50 Bayshore Road, Suite #31-01 Singapore 469977 (+65) 6441-2760


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Biz Side

Build emotional loyalty n

These 7 tips will bring the marketing power of a unique company identity and branding program that can boost your sales and profits on a permanent basis.

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. — Walter Landor 1913–1995 By William J. Lynott Think of one of your favorite name brands. Whether it’s a professional product for use in your fabricating business or a favorite product for your personal use, chances are you choose it because you’re comfortable with it; you have a mental image of that product as well as the company behind it. That’s what brand identity is about. Companies go to great lengths to build and protect a brand image because they know the marketing power of a positive brand identity, especially in a difficult economy. However, building a brand identity isn’t just for the biggest players. Every business can enjoy the extraordinary marketing power of a strong, carefully crafted business image that instills confidence and customer loyalty. As demonstrated so clearly by national advertisers, a strong brand image can often command a premium price.

What is a brand?

A brand is more than a logo on a business card or the sign on the side of a truck. It’s the promise that a business makes to its prospects and customers. It identifies the ways in which its products and services differentiate it from its competitors. Simply put, a brand is the image that a business projects in the hope of developing loyalty. 58

Fabricator n July / August 2012

The brand identity for your business is the mental image you create in the minds of your customers and prospects — your business personality. It can be a powerful marketing tool, a drag on your sales and profits, or anything in-between. That’s why you must take control of your brand identity. When you develop a strong and positive brand image, your target customers will develop an emotional attachment to your services. They’ll become loyal in much the same way that you are loyal to your favorite brands. It isn’t necessary for you to take the time and resources to create a brand image that will be recognized the world over. It’s only necessary for you to create the kind of image that will dominate your little piece of the marketing world. Here are seven steps that will help you to build the kind of brand identity that will boost your sales and profits on a permanent basis: Step Separate yourself 1 from your competitors

Determine what makes your fabricating business unique, perhaps the most important step toward a strong brand identity. Begin by analyzing your competitors. Look for their strongest selling points and ways that you can differentiate your services from theirs. Evaluate your own strengths and combine them to form a unique identity — a marketable image for you and your business. Here are some examples of strengths: n You’ve been in business longer than your competitors have. n Maybe your personnel are welltrained technicians known for their skills in turning out jobs that are precisely coordinated with the client’s specifications. n Your shop equipment is a model of state-of-the-art efficiency and safety. n You have established a reputation for dependability and turning out jobs on or before the promised deadline. In this effort, identify that which is truly different from your competitors, things that your competitors can’t copy. While quality workmanship and July / August 2012 n Fabricator

The brand identity for your business is

the mental image you create in the minds of your customers and prospects — your business personality. That’s why you must take control of your branding. top-notch customer service are important parts of your brand image, your competitors will also claim these. Step Promote the differences, 2 customer service

Once you’ve sold yourself and your employees on why you are the best

choice for customers who require the utmost in professional know-how and respect for a client’s needs, focus your marketing efforts on ways to promote this image to your customers and prospects. Despite the emphasis on product, metal fabrication is a people business; you sell your services and your products to people, not to objects. All of the Harvard Business School expertise in the world is no substitute for an understanding of that basic business principle. The most effective, least expensive branding technique for any metalworking specialist is an uncompromising commitment to customer satisfaction. Making certain that every one of your customers has positive feelings about you and the work that you turn out will convert those customers into walking advertisements.

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You can extend these essentials to include a website, a brochure, or any other professionally designed pieces. To embed your brand identity in your market area, you must use it consistently in every visual item you produce. Make sure that all of your visual elements are unique to your business and that they will not be confused with those of a competitor. Step Harness 4 emotions

Step Employ strong 3 visual elements

A major part of brand image is visual recognition. Science long ago recognized that we humans remember what we see far longer than what we read or hear. That’s why those major brands that are favorites of yours have a highly recognizable visual image. A basic visual image for your busi ness calls for an esthetically pleasing

logo, which can be just a stylistic rendering of your company name. The logo in itself is not your brand, but it serves as the anchor for that allimportant visceral image that is part of every successful brand identity. Once you create your logo, you must use it on all business cards, letterheads, envelopes, trucks, building signs, and anything else visible to the public, all with a consistent visual image.

All successful brand images have large emotional content. While it’s important to make solid use of the purely rational in developing reasons why prospects should look to you when they need fabricating services, it’s essential that you remember the power of the heart and mind in shopping decisions. Scientists tell us that emotion is a more powerful system in the brain than the rational system. That’s why it’s important to influence as many positive emotions as possible at every step in building your unique brand image. In metalworking, durability and attractiveness are an important part of most projects. Building a brand image that suggests those qualities will be a positive influence on the minds of prospective customers. Step Harness the power 5 of repetition

Repetition helps build a strong brand identity. Marketing experts say that it takes six or more “impressions” for potential customers to remember and connect with a business. That’s why those annoying TV ads are repeated ad infinitum. Consistent and repetitive use of your visual materials will help to build an enduring and powerful brand for your business. Simple efforts such as employees passing out your business cards or brochures at every possible opportunity and asking satisfied customers for referrals will help to harness the power of repetition. However it’s done, exposure of your brand image to prospects and customers at every opportunity will help establish your marketplace dominance. 60

Fabricator n July / August 2012

Once you’ve created your brand image, make sure it reaches your prospects and existing customers. Customer memories can be short, so you don’t want a single customer to be lured away by a competitor simply because he forgot the good work you did for him in the past. The available branding roadways are almost unlimited, but for a small business like yours, use the least expensive. Advertisements in local media or industrial directories are fine for those who can afford them. Other alternatives are effective for businesses on a limited budget, such as: n Regular e-mails to people who have logged on to your web site, n Occasional postal card mailings to past customers, n A presence on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and n Asking satisfied customers to spread the word. Another often neglected branding roadway is participation in or sponsoring of local charitable events. Whenever possible, get your company name and branding image in programs distributed to promote charitable local events. In addition to the obvious extended exposure, this also

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Step Travel branding 6 roadways

adds to the “heart and mind” factor that often influences buying decisions. Step Live up to your 7 new image

Once you create and support your brand identity, it will help you develop new customers 24 hours a day seven days a week, but only if you live up to the promise you have created.

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About the author Bill Lynott is a longtime business writer for Fabricator. Since 1957, he has written nearly 1,000 essays and columns and is the author of three books: Professional Service Management (McGraw-Hill); Power Letters for Service Executives, (Lynco Publications); and Money: How to Make the Most of What You’ve Got (Author’s Choice Press). Bill also has an extensive background in management, consulting, and marketing. CO NTAC T


July / August 2012 n Fabricator

The time and effort you’ve invested in branding your business will be for naught unless you and your employees remember that branding is about meeting expectations, not just creating them. If you fail to meet the expectations created by your new brand identity, your customers won’t come back or recommend you to their friends.

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LASERSHOWS. FIREWORKS. ROLLERCOASTERS. THE ONE EVENT TO SEE THE MOST SPECTACULAR METAL FABRICATION TECHNOLOGY. FABTECH 2012. Experience the ultimate thrill of FABTECH 2012—a place where you can see and compare cutting-edge equipment and technology in action. Check out all the new products, network with industry pros and find solutions to work smarter and be more competitive. There’s nothing else like it!

North America’s Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding and Finishing Event

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Fabricator n July / August 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

July / August 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



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 June 15, 2012. Dave’s Architectural Iron LLC Paterson, NJ David Friessen Fabricator

NOMMA Gold Members Congratulations to these following firms who have become NOMMA Gold Members this year (20 years): n n n n n n

Artistic Iron Works Inc. Beauty Craft Metal Fabricators Inc. Bower Welding Custom Iron Inc. Design Metals John F. Graney Metal Design

It’s Top Job Time

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.

Sponsored a member n Julius Blum & Co. Inc. (2) n Cuper Studios LLC n D.J.A. Imports Ltd.

Contest Information

n FabCAD

Deadline: December 31, 2012 Late Deadline: January 7, 2013*

n Lehigh Valley Abrasives

Entry details: Entrants enter by submitting 1-3 photos of their work plus a 160-word description. During the annual METALfab event, all images are displayed in a gallery and each NOMMA member firm is allowed one vote. Results are announced during the METALfab banquet. * Late fee required.

Prepare Now! Complete rules are available on the NOMMA home page — click on “Top Job Awards.” Benefits: Winners receive recognition during METALfab, on the NOMMA website, and in Fabricator magazine. Plus, we also send press releases to newspapers in your area. Note: You must be a NOMMA member at the time of entry.


We greatly thank these companies for their two decades of loyalty and support.

Super Thanks!!!

Enter your outstanding work in NOMMA’s annual awards contest!

Awards are presented each year at a special banquet, held the last night of METALfab.

n Sorge Industries Inc. n Southwest Metalsmiths Inc. n Welding Works Inc.

Top Job Chair: Rob Rolves, Foreman Fabricators Inc.

n Majka Railing Co. Inc. n O’Malley Welding &

Fabricating Inc. n Sherry Theien n The Wagner Companies

Attention members: Sponsor a member in our MemberGet-A-Member Campaign and earn a discount on your METALfab registration. Receive $75 your full convention registration for each member you sponsor. Sponsor four members and your registration is paid! To sponsor, simply ask the prospective firm to put your name in the “Sponsor” line on the membership application.

Fabricator n July / August 2012

What’s Hot? n Industry Briefs Scotchman Industries celebrates 45th year of the hydraulic ironworker In 1967, Arthur A. Kroetch, founder of Scotchman Industries, purchased the U.S. patent for the Dvorak Hydraulic Ironworker, the first machine of its kind that could punch, bend, and shear metal using hydraulic pressure with 35-ton force. Buying the patent is considered the birth of Scotchman Industries Inc., which began as a small salvage business with six employees. Scotchman manufactured this one model of hydraulic ironworker in 1967 and has become the largest North American manufacturer and supplier of hydraulic ironworkers. Today, Scotchman Industries offers 13 different hydraulic ironworker models from 45 to 150 tons. Contact Scotchman Industries, 800-843-8844, www.scotchman. com. Report indicates growing steel demand, ore production Growing demand may well bring about an evolution in the U.S. iron industry, despite North America being an historically modest iron-ore producing and consuming region, according to a new report by mining analysts GBI Research. The new report states that increasing regional demand for steel is boosting iron ore production, made possible by the area’s huge natural resources. From 2012–2020, the rising global demand for steel is expected to be the main factor behind growth in iron ore production. Contact GBI Research, 646-3955477,

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

Industry News

American Access Systems relocates American Access Systems, part of the Security Brands Inc., family of access-control brands, is relocating to a new operating and manufacturing facility in Englewood, CO. The new 14,400-square-foot facility is located at 1675 West Yale Blvd., and is designed to house the company’s manufacturing, warehousing, sales and marketing divisions, as well as the customer service and senior management teams. “The new facility provides us increased manufacturing, R&D and inventory space for a number of growth opportunities that we see coming within the access-control industry in the near future,” says Kevin Downing, president of Security Brands. “The new facility will feature a product display area allowing Security Brands’ distribution network and

customers to experience firsthand the performance value of our company’s three brands.” The new facility is located 10 minutes from downKevin Downing, town Denver, 45 president, minutes southwest Security Brand. of the Denver International Airport. Security Brands Inc., currently consists of three divisions that all relate to the perimeter access-control industry: American Access Systems, Summit Access Control, and Kodiak Black. Contact American Access Systems, 800-541-5677, www.AmericanAccess. com,

Thermadyne now Victor Technologies Thermadyne Holdings Corp. announced in May the changing of its name to Victor Technologies Group, Inc., and the name of its wholly owned subsidiary Thermadyne Industries, Inc., to Victor Technologies International, Inc. “To re-position the company in the marketplace, we are returning to our roots,” says Martin Quinn, the company’s chief executive officer. “Victor Technologies will recapture the pioneering spirit and embody the original attributes of the Victor brand: authenticity, reliability, and innovation.” “By leveraging the Victor name, we reinforce to the industry our focus on meeting the needs of the end-user customer for our products and providing advanced cutting, welding, and gas control solutions through each of our

brands,” said Quinn. “Our vision for the company is ‘Innovation to shape the world.’ ” Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Victor Technologies provides solutions Martin Quinn, for cutting, weldCEO, Victor ing, and gas control Technologies. equipment, under brand names that include Victor, Tweco, Arcair, Thermal Dynamics, Thermal Arc, Stoody, TurboTorch, Firepower, and Cigweld. Victor brand celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013. Contact Victor Technologies, 636728-3000, www.victortechnologies. com.


What’s Hot? n

Industry News ESAB also offers two new savings calculators online. The Energy Savings Calculator allows customers to compare the savings by using ESAB products. The Weld Metal Cost Calculator allows customers to compare weld metals and welding processes and to calculate the savings by varying metal and process. Contact ESAB, 800-ESAB123, www.

ESAB Welding upgrades website ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has added new features to its website. Using a quick-link menu, customers can now view or download product literature online, free of charge. Customers can also access literature for plasma, arc, gas apparatus, filler metals, cutting systems, and welding automation products. Hard copies for mailing may still be requested.

FabCAD introduces new app Ornamental design software company FabCAD Inc., has released its first iPhone/iPad app called “JobViewer.” This application allows the user to photograph a jobsite and then overlay a gate, rail, or fence design to show a client how the job will look. The new app is available on Apple’s app store. Contact FabCAD, 800-255-9032,

People Eisenheim joins sales team of Direct Metals David Eisenheim has been named sales representative for Direct Metals Company LLC, Kennesaw, GA. Direct Metals is a nationwide distributor of specialty metal and fiberglass products. Eisenheim will be responsible for working with customers in the areas of wire mesh, bar grating, expanded metal, perforated metal, safety grating, and fiberglass grating. Direct Metals carries architectural metals, handrail components, and wire products, and offers pro-

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People cessing capabilities, including cutting, shearing, sawing, punching, cut-outs, drilling, welding, slitting, blanking, burning, fabrication, and various special finishes. Beckwood Press names Frederich to technical post Dan Frederich has joined Beckwood Press Co., St. Louis, MO, as technical support engineer and electrical controls specialist. He will facilitate the supply of hydraulic press replacement parts, generate proposals for system upgrades and manage the compaContinued on page 68

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VOC-compliant rust preventatives Birchwood Casey The company is now offering seven different rust preventative products that are compliant with current VOC (volatile organic compound) regulations, recently enacted in several states. Using an online chart, manufacturers can choose from seven VOC-compliant corrosion inhibitors and sealants to prevent rust and corrosion on all metal surfaces. Selections can be made based on needs, including protection, lubricity, dryness, and decorative appeal. The different product formulations allow for variables, such as the type of metal surface to be coated, level of protection needed, and conditions of exposure in handling, shipping and storage. Birchwood Casey’s three solventbased, VOC-compliant products provide up to 120 hours of salt-spray protection for various metal surfaces,

including raw steel/castings, in-process parts, tooling components in storage, or finished products in warehouse storage or overseas shipment. Users can achieve protective coatings with either a slightly oily water-displacing film; a dry-totouch, non-oily sealant; or a soft-waxy, self-healing film. Birchwood Casey’s four aqueous products include a water-dilutable oil, a satin-gloss acrylic wax, a high-gloss urethane polymer sealant, and a high-gloss acrylic polymer emulsion. The aqueous products have zero VOC content and no flash point. They offer up to 48 hours of


What’s Hot? n


salt-spray protection. Contact Birchwood Casey, 952-9377931, New plasma cutting systems Ornamental Iron Works OIW has introduced a new line of CNC plasma-cutting systems, designed and manufactured to reduce trade-offs between performance and affordability. Five factors are addressed by the new cutting systems, OIW says, including durability, precision, system options, ease of use, and affordability. The systems include fully assembled tables. Precision of movement to .001 of an inch or 1,000th of an inch is addressed with the use of 5-to-1 planetary gear boxes featuring rack-and-pinion drive on the X and Y axis, and a ball screw on the Z axis. System options can be selected based on need, with table sizes (in feet) of 4 x 2, 4 x 3, 4 x 4, 4 x 8,


6 x 2 and 5 x 10, as well as a choice of Hypertherm PowerMax Cutters. OIW is using a Mach 3 CNC and SheetCam to operate the system, allowing for easy computer training to cut steel right away. Also included is OIW’s line of panel designs, which include specifications to cut railing panels that fit all types of stairs: open and closed stringers, and curved and straight areas. Contact Ornamental Iron Works, 708-426-3927, (website still under construction). Mobile/sliding shelving systems Space-Trac The company has introduced highdensity, light-duty modular storage

Continued from page 67 ny’s field service efforts. In addition to leading Beckwood’s technical support efforts, he will assist with robotic system integration, PLC and HMI programming and implementation, control system designs, electrical schematics and control panel layout and commissioning of machines. Beckwood Press is a hydraulic press and automated systems supplier, offering a variety of customized hydraulic presses (2-2,000+ tons) and standardized benchtop presses (3-40+ tons). Beckwood is also the contract manufacturer for the Triform line of Sheet Hydroforming Presses for Pryer Technology Group (PTG).

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systems with a special sliding carriage design, created to store up to 75% more material in the same footprint than conventional shelving. Wheels with automotive-grade ball bearings are designed to glide smoothly along rugged 6061-T6 aluminum guidance tracks, even with fully loaded shelves, the company says. In addition, access to a higher number of items is possible by sliding to create an aisle (side-by-side model), sliding to reveal

shelves or a wall behind (lateral model) or by sliding a unit forward (pull-out model). Each model comes in storage weight capacity options of 450, 750 or 900 pounds and measures from 60–72 inches tall, with shelves from 15–36 inches deep. Space-Trac mobile carriages are also available to retrofit existing shelves. Space-Trac installs in about 15 minutes using a tape measure, pencil, screwdriver, and hammer, the company says. The rails can be fixed to a hard surface with two-sided adhesive tape (supplied), fixed to a concrete floor with concrete anchors, or simply rested on a carpeted surface. Contact Space-Trac, 262-707-7288, Wet cutting metallurgical saw Kalamazoo Industries The company’s model K12-14MS enclosed wet-cutting metallurgical saw

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is designed for metallurgical laboratories that need to slice through sections of metal samples, such as coupons, to inspect their internal properties. The saw features a full enclosure with external manual operation, dual moveable 4-inch screw vises, dual coolant nozzles, internal halogen light, a 5-hp, 1,725-rpm motor, and a 1-inch wheel arbor that accepts a 12-inch or 14-inch wheel. To ensure the highest quality cutting, the wheel is not included because it must be specially ordered for the

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What’s Hot? n type of metal being cut, the company says. The saw has a capacity up to 21/2-inch solids and 3-inch shapes. Options include a power down feed, oscillation cutting for large sections, and door interlocks. Contact Kalamazoo Industries, 269-382-2050, www.kalamazooindustries. com. Expanded line of carbide cutters Hougen Manufacturing Hougen Manufacturing, inventor of the Rotabroach Annular Cutter, has expanded its line of the popular Copperhead Carbide Tip Annular Cutters, with more sizes and depths. The Copperhead Cutters are now available in diam-


eters up to 2 inches and in depth of cuts from 2, 3, and 4 inches. The cutters are designed to provide greater wear resistance and more holes-per-tool productivity in high Brinnell hardness alloys or abrasive materials such as cast iron. Their special tooth geometry and full length flutes help maintain superior chip flow, says the company. Copperhead Cutters are available with two different styles of shanks. The standard two-flat shank fits most magnetic drills and can be used with drill presses and machining centers with appropriate

spindle adapter. The newer Copperhead Fusion Cutters have Fusion Groove Innovation shanks for use in magnetic drills with tool-less arbors. This reduces setup times and boosts productivity, according to the company. The cutters also have two, 90-degree set screw flats to fit magnetic drills with standard arbors providing up to two times the tool life of tool-less systems. Copperhead Cutters’ toughness and durability is enhanced by a special surface treatment that gives them their distinctive color, hence the “Copperhead” designation. Contact Hougen Manufacturing, 810-635-7111, Cordless magnetic drill press Metabo Corporation Metabo Corporation has introduced a first-tomarket cordless magnetic drill press. The new MAG 28 LTX uses a 25.2 V Li-Ion battery to power the tool. A permanent rare earth magnet, requiring no energy from the battery, allows the use of the mag drill in remote and previously inaccessible environments. The rare earth magnet offers up to 2,500 pounds of holding force, which can be adjusted for precise positioning when drilling on vertical, horizontal, and sloped surfaces. The drill has a prism-shaped magnetic base that enables users to work on pipe as well. A safety strap is supplied for working on over-


head or vertical surfaces. This cordless electromagnetic drill press can be used with annular cutters, spiral drills, and countersinks, featuring a maximum drilling diameter of 1¼ inches with an annular cutter and ½ inch with a spiral drill. The tool offers a maximum drilling depth of 2 inches. The tool’s magnetic stand has a maximum stroke of 65/16 inches. The two-speed tool boasts 380 or 680 noload revolutions per minute and is designed with a duallevel, permanently lubricated gearbox for speed and torque optimization. The MAG 28 LTX features electronic thermal overload protection and jam protection to help ensure the longevity of the 25.2 V motor. A safety cut-out protects the operators in the event a battery is inserted with the machine in the on position. An integrated gravity coolant container with through-the-spindle coolant feed is also included. The cordless tool’s 25.2 V, 3.0 Ah Li-Ion battery pack charges rapidly in a 15-minute charger. A spare battery pack can also be stored in the drill’s stand. Contact Metabo Corp., 800-638-2264, www. Fabricator n July / August 2012

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Webbing belt with retractable lanyard Hammerhead Industries Hammerhead Industries can mount any of their two-axis retractable lanyards directly to their webbing belt. The two-axis retractor series permits 360-degree rotation on the belt as well as 180-degree swing away from the body for full-range-of-motion accessibility. The universal movement of the dual-action mechanism leads to reduced resistance and line wear, and extended tether life, says the company. Once mounted on the belt, the retractor can be moved to different positions without being dislodged. Optionally, the retractor/belt combination can be converted to a slide on-off unit for any belt, while still preventing unwanted dislodging. These systems are designed to be especially useful in close work-

ing quarters or when climbing. The retractable tether’s ultra-low profile keeps tools and instruments close to the body while still allowing complete accessibility in all directions. Main-

taining drop safety, the tether’s patented quick-connect side-release clip improves productivity by providing a method for easily exchanging one tool for another. Options include: retractor forces from 3 to 68 oz.; mounting fixtures with snap clip, rotating clip-on belt, and 360-degree clamp-on clip; and split-ring or fixed-lanyard end type. Extension lengths range from 16 to 42 inches. The belt-mounted retractors are engineered so that the tool, application and recoil/retraction force are in balance. When the retractable tether is extended for use, only minimal force is necessary, avoiding worker fatigue and eliminating “kick” when the tool is automatically retracted. Contact Hammerhead Industries, 888-588-9981, guide.


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71 Fabricator RM house ad.indd 1

10/14/2011 12:45:08 PM

METALfab 2013 Albuquerque, NM March 20–23, 2013

Dear Industry Professional,

METALfab  is only eight months away. Planning for the education program is in full swing. The three-day lineup includes classes by Robinson Iron and Historical Arts and Castings and many by NOMMA members who will share their knowledge of measuring, installation, sales, LEED, metals coordination, and even casting in glass. Special Q&A

A panel discussion by several NOMMA veterans will allow you to find answers to questions you have always needed but never had the chance to ask. Hints on the panel members will be posted in future publications, so keep an eye out so that you can prepare your questions. Top Jobs

As always, we will highlight Top Jobs with the Top Job Jamboree and shop tours on Saturday. Shopping in Santa Fe

Ladies, we have not forgotten about you. We have a spouse program that includes a great shopping trip to Santa Fe. If you have a suggestion for a class or would like to develop a class to share your knowledge with the attendees, please contact me while there’s still time.

Lynn Parquette

NEF Education Chair for METALfab 

Program Highlights

More details to come in the next magazine.

METALfab 2013 — Focus on SUCCESS! Location: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque 330 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Room Rates: Single/Double $129 (same rate as 2012 in Orlando); Triple $154 • Quadruple $179 • Suites $350

Tentative Convention Schedule Wednesday, March 20, 2013 9–10 am: First Time Attendees 10:15–11:30 am: Opening Session/Annual Membership Business Meeting 1–4:15 pm: Education 4:15–7:15 pm: Exhibits 72

Thursday, March 21, 2013 8–11:15 am: Education 10–4 pm: Exhibits 11:45–3:15 pm: Spouse classes 3:45–5:15 pm: Education 6:30–10:30 pm: Theme Dinner Friday, March 22, 2013 9–12 pm: Exhibits 1:30–6:30 pm: Education (Top Job Jamboree) 6:45–7:45 pm: Partners in Education Reception Saturday, March 23, 2013 9–4 pm: Shop Tours Optional/Spouse Tour 7–10:30 pm: Awards Banquet

Fabricator n July / August 2012


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


  Pg Company


30 Architectural Iron Designs

76 The Iron

69 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of North America

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

70 Atlas Metal Sales............................................. 26 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. / Oak Hill Iron 52 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc...................... 53 Julius Blum & Co. 41 The Cable Connection................. 69 John C. Campbell Folk 47 Carell Corporation........................................... 7 Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co...................... 59 Colorado Waterjet 40 CompLex Industries 20 CS Unitec Inc........................................................ 27 D & D Technologies (USA) Inc............... 29 D.J.A. Imports Ltd........................................... 67 Doringer Cold Saw............................................. 47 Eagle Bending Machines Inc...........................

66 Kalamazoo Metal Muncher................... 75 King Architectural Metals............................. 19 Krando Metal Products, Inc............................... 38 Lawler Foundry 39 Lawler Foundry 2 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc..................... 67 Lindblade Metal 57 Marks 15 Metabo 33 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool...................... 50 Pat Mooney 71 NC Tool Company 35 PLASMA CAM Inc.......................................... 68 R & D Hydraulics Mfg. & Machine 45 Regency 51 Scotchman Industries................................... 28 Sharpe Products....................................

60 Eberl Iron Works

62 Society of Manufacturing Engineers.......................

61 Encon

22 St. Louis Screw & Bolt.........................

23 FabCad Inc...............................................................

54 Stairways

37 Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products).....................

34 Sumter Coatings

18 Finishing Brands - Ransburg.....................

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

52 Goddard Manufacturing

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

25 Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems

49 Vogel Tool & Die LLC........................................

68 Hougen Mfg. Inc...................................................

9 The Wagner

71 Traditional Building.......................

59 International Gate

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

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

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

Finding the best copper alloy I once got a call from a concerned roofing contractor. He felt the brass bar he’d purchased to fabricate higher strength gutter straps was “defective.” It cracked when bent. “Brass, what alloy?” I asked. “Just brass,” the contractor replied. “Are there different types?” After checking with his distributor, he called back: “It’s 360.” That’s short for C36000, common name: Free-Cutting Brass. I immediately recognized the problem: Alloy C36000 is rated “poor” for cold working properties and only “fair” for hot working properties. Although it is considered the standard for machining operations, such as the fabrication of cutting threads, it is likely one of the worst choices for bending into gutter straps! A better choice: C65500 “High Silicon Bronze,” for example, has excellent cold working properties, is quite strong, and is available in the necessary strip or sheet form. An added benefit: Since it’s 97% copper, C65500 provides a better color match — especially as it weathers on an exposed gutter. Many of you are familiar with pure copper, its properties and its applications. However, you can find more than 400 copper alloys, each with different, and sometimes dramatically different, properties. Even a small amount of a secondary element can have a great effect on an alloy’s properties. For instance, just as steel is stronger than iron, brass is stronger than copper. The following properties, among others, vary among copper alloys: color and surface appearance; processing and use; mechanical performance (strength, workability, hardness; corrosion resistance; machining and joining suitability; and thermal and electrical conductivity.

Where is all this info?

Standard Designations is a complete list of alloys and their chemical composiSelecting the right alloy is hard when tions, plus their common names where alloy designations are confusing. Manapplicable. Find it at kind has coined different common under the heading Resources > Stannames for the more familiar copper dards & Properties. The most widely alloys (red brass, Muntz metal, cartridge used of the alloys are also listed under brass, nickel-silver). Some have several Properties of Wrought and Cast Copcommon names. Nickel silver (actually a per Alloys. family of several alYou may search loys) is sometimes by alloy number to called white bronze or display (and print German silver. Adding out) the alloy’s propto the confusion to erty data. You’ll find satisfy our technologi- About the author not only the chemical cal society, we’ve added Larry Peters is Project compositions, but Manager & Architecalso applicable specinew alloys. tural Applications fications, common To help sort these Specialist for the alloys, the Copper fabrication practices, Copper Development Association (CDA). Development Assofabrication properciation (CDA) estabties, mechanical T properties, physical lished Standard DesCO NTAC properties, tempers ignations for Copper n CDA, 212-251-7200 or 800and Copper Alloys. most commonly 232-3282. To find a local contact It’s part of the Unified person, go to the CDA website, used, and typical Numbering System uses. An advanced, and search under About CDA > CDA Staff. (UNS) developed by search allows you n Canadian Copper & Brass De- to enter the properthe American Society velopment Association, 877-640for Testing and Mateties you desire to get 0946; rials (ASTM) and the an alloy to match Society of Automotive your needs. Presto! Engineers (SAE). It is the accepted alloy A custom-fit for your application. designation system in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for wrought and A couple of caveats cast copper and copper alloy products. Keep in mind that the use of the Standard Designations within the industry Many of us are familiar with the common names, but others are not and is voluntary. Manufacturers may offer a proprietary alloy that is not listed with may use them incorrectly. To avoid a UNS number. In this case, it is wise to confusion (and mistakes), verify the ask for a property information sheet to proper alloy by UNS designation. It ensure the alloy will fulfill your needs. provides a solid reference for checking Outside of North America, sources mechanical and physical properties. It may use different designation systems. eliminates the limitations and conflicts For information on European designaof previous alloy designations and protions, look under: European Numbervides a workable method to identify ing System for Non-Ferrous Metals. mill and foundry products. Standard designations

For your information


By Larry Peters Copper Development Association


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

Fabricator n July / August 2012

If You Were Expecting A Shipment Covered With Rust

Prepare To See A Grown wn Man Cry

When you open your shipment from King Metals, you’ll see our commitment to the highest standards of Quality, Value & Service. Your materials will be carefully packaged and completely rust free! Most of our decorative metals are coated with an eco-friendly rust inhibitor. Simply rinse with a mild soap and water and you’re ready to finish or weld. Each order receives two quality checks before being carefully boxed and sent to you. You’ll spend no time with a wire brush cleaning our metal. Trust that at King Metals, every order is our most critical order and every customer, our most important. That might just give you another good reason to cry.


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2012 07 fab  
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