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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal

Fabricator ®

The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

September / October 2012 $6.00 US

Tour Tijou’s acanthus leaves with ‘Uncle Bob’ page 14

Shop Talk

Measure your shop performance, page 22

METALfab 2013

8 sessions that focus on success, page 35

Member Talk

The Mueller legacy, page 41

Biz Side

Affordable health care and taxes, page 52

CELEBRATING OUR 55th YEAR 1957 - 2012

Become A NOMMA Member For $35 a month you tap into a wealth of resources designed to improve your business.

Membership Benefits

Tap Into Our Knowledge Tools Since 1958 education has remained our top priority. Both NOMMA and the NOMMA Education Foundation deliver education tools that help your business. As a NOMMA member you’ll be exposed to a wide array of education opportunities that include: • Annual Convention Education Sessions • Continuing Education • Webinars • Telephone Roundtables . 25/yr 4 $ : • Online Resource Areas ues eive ator D 1 and rec c i • Streaming Video Library r b Fa .3 y Dec ths free. ble. • Buyer’s Guide b n i n Jo 2 mo lan availa • Chapter Meetings p


lmen nstal

• Online Knowledgebase


Samples of Past Topics • Measuring • Bronze Finishing • Shop Organization • Cash Flow & Markup • Sales & Contracts • Family Business Issues • Installation Methods • Finishing • Anchoring & Fasteners

Wan NOMM t to learn m ore ab A first? o NOMM Sign up for ut t A h e next 101 Email: suppo Webinar. r t@n 888-51 6-8585 , ext. 1 01

Join Online: 888-516-8585, ext. 101

Members Receive Awesome Benefits Online Video Library Member Resource Kit Subscriptions

(O&MM Fabricator & NOMMA Newswire)

Webinars Vendor Discounts Awards Contest Discounts on all Media & Events ListServ (member-to-member list) Insurance Program (free safety manual) Mentor Program & Buddy System Member Locator (let new clients find you) Technical Support (on codes & standards) Chapters*

(automatic membership in your local chapter)

Free Downloads (tech data & more) Knowledgebase Online Tutorials Roundtable Conference Calls Affiliations (NOMMA decal & certificate) NAAMM-NOMMA Finishes Manual NOMMA Buyer’s Guide Recognition in O&MM Fabricator & NOMMA Buyer’s Guide † Exhibitor Discount Mail List Access



✓ ✓ ✓

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*In areas with a chapter. † Only Nationwide Suppliers are listed in Fabricator. Membership application on reverse.

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

q Non-profit organization

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

(Payable to NOMMA, in US dollars, drawn on US bank)

q AMEX q Discover q MasterCard q VISA Card # _________________________________________________ Exp.:________________ CVV: ___________ Print name on card: ___________________________________________________________________________ Signature_____________________________________________________________________________________ JOIN BY DECEMBER 31, 2012 AND RECEIVE 2 MONTHS FREE MEMBERSHIP Return to: NOMMA, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127 # 311, Fayetteville, GA 30214 • Ph: 888-516-8585 Fax: 888-279-7994 • •

Quarterly Payment Plan (there is a $6.25 processing fee for each transaction) q Please enroll me in the Quarterly Payment Plan.

As a member you agree to follow NOMMA’s Code of Ethics (viewable at

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



September / October 2012 Vol. 53, No. 5

“The Angel of Resurrection,” left, is a hybrid of 3D printing and milling that makes the pattern for its casting. Read more about it, page 27.

NOMMA Network

Biz Side

Call for nominations.......................... 10

Pacific Northwest Chapter hosts “tips and tricks”; NOMMA members get discounted rates for AFA Operator Installer School, page 11; Reader questions use of word “ornamental,” page 11. Shop Talk ‘Uncle Bob’s’ Tijou tour of acanthus, interactively.............. 14

Online viewing of the works by Jean Tijou and Jean Lamour may motivate you to treat your work as art. By “Uncle Bob” Walsh Shop Talk How to measure shop performance............................................. 22

This case study shows how a minimal number of performance measures are critical to you and your customers’ success. By Jeff Fogel Shop Talk Fabricators size up 3D printing.... 27

Weimann Metalcraft uses 3D printing for pattern making. Its reasons: cost, geometrical considerations, time. Other fabricators don’t use it. Find out why. By Jeff Fogel

METALfab 2013 sessions..................................................35

Eight sessions are set for the METALfab 2o13, Albuquerque, NM, March 20–23, your chance to Focus on Success by: n Discussing how to manage your business better. n Learning new skills. n Sharing experiences with the best in the business. Join our dynamic group of fabricators and suppliers at the show.

Affordable health care and taxes..................................................... 52

As in so much legislation, there are both good and bad elements. That goes for the new Affordable Care Act and its affect on small businesses, too. By Mark E. Battersby Biz Side 8 Steps to recharge your leadership mojo........................ 56

Eight steps to reignite your passion so you can reignite your company. Biz Side Basic tips for retirement................. 60

Member Talk The Mueller legacy.............................. 41

The family Mueller has long been energetic NOMMA volunteers. And there’s no stopping Rob Mueller and Lynn Mueller Parquette. By Heidi Bischmann

Start now to plan to take advantage of every legal way to lower your tax bite as you prepare for retirement. Numerous government benefits can help you. By William J. Lynott What’s Hot!

2012 Top Job winners, part 3...... 50

Industry News.................................... 65 People.................................................... 66 New Products..................................... 67

The winners of the last two categories of the 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition are featured here. Congratulations all!

Nationwide Suppliers.................... 63 New Members.................................... 64

Job profiles

President’s Letter........... 6

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

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

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

Support the Metal Museum.

Help NOMMA grow.

How NEF accomplishes its goals.

Experiment to create a variety of patinas.

About the cover This photo of the Jean Tijou screen at Hampton Court, London, is provided through the generous efforts of press officer Simone Sagi and photographer John Shevlin, Historic Royal Palaces, London. See story on page 14. September / October 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

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

J.R. Molina Big D Metalworks Dallas, TX Lynn Parquette Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL

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

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

Florida Cathy Vequist, President Pinpoint Solutions Jupiter, FL 561-801-7549

Pacific Northwest Gale Schmidt, President A2 Fabrication Inc. Milwaukie, OR 503-771-2000

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

Upper Midwest Mark O’Malley, President O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Service Inc. Yorkville, IL 630-553-1604

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

Support the Metal Museum made it clear that the museum would be responsible for all renphis, TN, which is the birthplace of two major institutions. ovation and operating costs. No, I am not referring to FedEx “Pledges from NOMMA or Graceland. I am referring to members were solicited and the National Ornamental and received. Two years later, renovations on two buildings began, Miscellaneous Metals Associaand the Museum opened Febtion and the National OrnaWill Keeler, ruary 5, 1979 when NOMMA mental Metal Museum (also Keeler Iron held their convention in Memknown as the Metal Museum). Works, is phis,” Wallace says. NOMMA was founded here president “The financial commitments in 1958, but a lot of our memof NOMMA. of NOMMA members and of bers were not in NOMMA the organization itself constiin the 1970s. What they may tuted the major eff ort of bringing the not know is that the Metal Museum art and craft of metalworking fi elds was founded by NOMMA members. into a prominent public forum. My father was one of many NOMMA members whose names now adorn the bronze plaque affixed to the wall of the Support from NOMMA members museum near the front door. “The success of the Metal Museum Since I was a teenager when the is due in large part to the community of museum opened, my memories of its artists, volunteers, patrons, and staff that birth are of scraping old paint and rak- did whatever it took to put foundations ing leaves. Therefore, I asked Jim Walunder dreams. Among which have been lace, the director of the museum from many NOMMA members,” he says. its beginning to 2008, for details about Wallace points out that NOMMA the birth of the museum and NOMMA. members have been on the museum’s board of trustees “from inception to The Memphis chapter proposal present as both organizations share “In 1975, at the NOMMA conference the metalworking heritage and pursuit in Atlanta, members of the Memphis of excellence.” Two of the galleries Chapter proposed an industry musein the museum are named after um, one which would explore and extol NOMMA members, as well as the the architectural and decorative funcmuseum’s foundry. tions of ironwork,” Wallace says. “The Today, NOMMA members still supconcept was approved, and the folport the museum with volunteer projlowing year a charter and bylaws were ects and cash donations. The museum filed. The dream that was to become provides a return on our investment by the Metal Museum took life. No site actively supporting our trade through was identified and an unofficial nation- blacksmithing apprenticeships, artist in residencies, and workshops. wide search was instituted. I encourage NOMMA members “Almost as if it were ordained to to visit the Metal Museum when they occur, a 3.2-acre parcel, which included have the opportunity and to continue three historic buildings became availthe relationship and support that has able,” Wallace says. been part of our organization since the “As a nonprofit with an educational beginning. focus, the newly chartered Metal Museum met the usage requirements and was awarded a five-year lease in July 1976. While the City of Memphis was more than willing to award a lease, they I am fortunate to live in Mem-

Fabricator n September / October 2012



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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

Help NOMMA grow A new fiscal year has started, and NOMMA is launching an allout membership campaign to restore our membership ranks to pre-recession levels. More members means greater clout at code and standards hearings, and gives us more revenue for programs and services. And, most importantly, a larger and stronger NOMMA helps to create a larger and stronger industry.

Todd Daniel is executive director of NOMMA.

3 Ways to help membership drive

1) Member-Get-A-Member. Receive $75 off your convention registration for every member sponsored. Sponsor four members and your registration is free. To sponsor a member, simply ask them to list you on their membership application. 2) Member-To-Member. Provide us with a digital copy of your logo and signature and the NOMMA office will do a mailing to prospective members in your area. You’ll receive credit toward the membership contest and recognition in Fabricator magazine. 3) Supplier-To-Member. Include NOMMA membership brochures in your outgoing shipments, catalogs, invoices, etc… We’ll be happy to send you all the brochures you need. To help in the campaigns above, we’ve provided several tools and resources. To obtain the resources, go to the NOMMA website (www.nomma. org) and click on “Member Resources” and then “Membership Campaigns.” Recruiting tips

n Tell your NOMMA story. A personal discussion is a most effective way to get a new member. You don’t need a script — simply tell your story about how NOMMA has benefited you. n Order free brochures from the NOMMA office to keep in your glove compartment. Keep them handy to share with prospects you meet during

the course of your work. n Send prospects an email and include links to our two membership videos and online brochure. Write them a short invitation. n Send leads to NOMMA. We’ll follow up by mailing them a member prospect kit and calling them. Join the membership team

Serving on the Membership Team, which is made up of both boardappointed members and volunteers, allows you to meet more colleagues. The team meets bimonthly to review current membership plans and brainstorm ideas. They are a rolled-sleeves group who also makes phone calls and provides suggestions for both staff and the board. To join, contact Membership Chair Ed Mack (845-651-7550, NOMMA is also strengthening membership retention by providing more benefits, increasing the value of membership, and making ourselves more relevant to shops. Since 2010, we’ve rolled out several new benefits. We now offer 23 member benefits for a total value of $1,528 — not a bad return for a $425 dues investment. The NOMMA Education Foundation’s streaming video library, which we provide free to the membership, is a vital benefit for members. These 12 videos feature nearly 14 hours of programming would cost $780 if purchased separately. Since the program began in June 2011, we’ve had 3,580 views. If you are a fabrication shop and not a member, I encourage you to get to know us. Explore our website or feel free to give me a call at any time. NOMMA provides tools that are designed to help our members achieve success, and I encourage you to tap into these resources.

Fabricator n September / October 2012


The NOMMA Network Call for nominations NOMMA Directors & Award Nominees

The NOMMA Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for the 2013–2014 slate, both for fabricator and supplier directors. Serving on the NOMMA Board of Directors is a great way to “give back” to your industry. If you’re interested in running for a director position or know someone who would make an excellent candidate, please submit the following information: n Nominee’s name and company (you may nominate yourself). n Short description of qualifications, achievements, etc. As a NOMMA director, you will have a role in developing the association’s ongoing roadmap and ensuring that we stay on course. An important requirement to serving on the Board is that you must be able to attend Board meetings, which are held three times a year. In addition, there are occasional phone conferences, online votes, and other functions that will require your attention.

Julius Blum & Frank Kozik Awards

The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for two of NOMMA’s most prestigious awards: n Frank A. Kozik Volunteer Service Award. This is an award for outstanding volunteerism. It is given to a NOMMA member who continually serves both the industry and others year after year. Its namesake, Frank A. Kozik, set a great example by continuing to contribute to NOMMA even after he was off the Board. n Julius Blum Award. This award is for any person or organization that makes outstanding contributions to the industry. The award is bestowed to those who have used their gifts and talents to promote and advance the industry. Please send nominations for both directors and awards by October 15 to: James Minter Jr. Imagine Ironworks 601-833-3000

Pacific Northwest Chapter to feature ‘tips & tricks’ demo The Pacific Northwest Chapter held their first meeting as a formal chapter in June at the shop of Stratford Gate Systems in Clackamas, OR. Following a business meeting, attendees were treated to a shop tour, vendor displays, lunch, and demos. Demos for the day included a bending presentation on the Hebo and an aluminum welding demonstration given by Airgas. A thanks to the team at Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc. for serving as shop host. Next meeting Nov. 3 at Stanco Mfg.

The group’s next meeting is Saturday, November 3 at Stanco Mfg. Inc. in Salem, OR. The program will feature a shop tour, vendor displays, tips & tricks, and a presentation on social media. Lunch is provided and all the event is open to all members ($10 for nonmembers). Established in 1974 by Steve Stanley, Stanco has grown to become a leading provider of fence and gate products and services for the entire region and has a long history of reliability, excellent customer service, and competitive pricing. In addition to ornamental fence, Stanco provides wood, vinyl, chainlink, or composite fence as well as custom gates and electric gate openers.


Top, Chapter vice president Greg Madden, left, gives a talk during the opening business meeting. Left, Robert Rayson, Hebo/ Stratford Gate Systems, gives a tour of his company’s showroom.

Fabricator n September / October 2012


Letters Reader questions use of word ‘ornamental’ Dear Editor, I just received my copy of Fabricator magazine. I enjoyed looking through it and seeing the beautiful work. I noticed on the bottom of page 74 you invited comments, including gripes. I have only one and that is the use of the word “ornamental.” I hate it! It sounds so secondary, like a garnish? It also doesn’t have any gravitas. It sounds frivolous. I wondered if other metalworkers agreed. I’ve been doing metalwork for over 20 years and not successfully. Every year when the Yellow Pages girl called I’d explain that my ad wasn’t working and we’d put it under another heading . I was under every heading they had, including “ornamental iron work.“ I decided to change my DBA from “Distinctive Metalwork” to “Andy Gingras Artistic Projects” in hopes of getting the type of work that I wanted. Because metalwork can run the gamut from building the space shuttle to the ubiquitous black porch railing finding the right niche was critical. I was wondering if you have recognized this as a problem? I noticed under the word Fabricator on your cover it says, “The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association.” That sounds like the struggle I described above. To actually describe metalwork in a word or two seems futile. Any Thoughts? Andy Gingras Andy Gingras Artistic Projects Hillsdale, NY Editor’s Note: Our industry’s name is given to us by the North American Industry Classification System and the Construction Specifications Institute Master Format. Unfortunately, industry terminology is not always “user friendly” for consumers. September / October 2012 n Fabricator

NOMMA members can get discounted rates for AFA Operator Installer School As a NOMMA member you can attend the AFA Operator Installer School at their member rate. Early registration fee is $1,749 (save $700). The week-long class covers UL 325, ASTM F-2200, safety, gate types, gate operators, accessories, installation, electrical, and vehicle detectors. At the conclusion of the class, you have the option to take the Certified Automated Gate Operator Installer exam to obtain your certification. This is a program that NOMMA helped to create through our participation in the Automated Vehicular Gate Systems Coalition. For more information, visit or call 800-822-4342.



Cut Off


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NOMMA Education Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

How NEF accomplishes its goals Board refines way to get members’ ideas acted on more quickly programs, help to designs opportunities to meet your needs, and work with your fellow NOMMA members. goals, objectives, and priorities of the foundation. At To this end, the NEF Board of Trustees has refined our last board meeting, we refined a number of our a portion of our operations in this way. After a existing initiatives, explored new ones, reiterated our NOMMA member submits a project suggestion to the primary goal (to provide education opportunities for board, a committee or task force will be formed with the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry) a NEF trustee acting as a Board liaison. The commitand re-prioritized our direction. tee/taskforce will research the project and decide on a Keeping you informed of what we do and being Update from course of action, which they will present to the trustcompletely transparent has always been a priority. NEF Chair ees. Th e Board of Trustees would act as needed, posAlso, the input from NOMMA members is imporRoger Carlsen, sibly requiring further information or refinement and tant; it helps us determine and expand educational Ephraim ultimately acting upon the recommendation. opportunities that will serve you best. The board and Forge Inc. The hope is that not only would there be a great staff of NEF are few; we need involvement from you, program created, but through your involvement in the grassroots of NOMMA. Many of our goals can be a committee or task force you would acquire greater accomplished concurrently and economically with a knowledge about NEF and its programs, realize satrefinement of the board’s operational style. isfaction of helping your fellow NOMMA members, be more If we board members see ourselves as decision makers and willing to become financial supporters, and possibly even be managers rather than researchers and document authors, we interested in a position on the Board of Trustees. can recruit you, NOMMA members, to be our information As you feel the need to become more involved with NEF source, accomplishing many of our goals with singular actions. As the old saying reminds us: “Many hands help lighten the and its, work please feel free to contact any of the Board of load.” With your involvement, you can be more aware of our Trustees or Martha Pennington, NEF Executive Director. Your NEF Board of Trustees continually examines the

How NEF accomplishes its goal n Continuing education classes. n Outstanding education program for METALfab 2013. n Support for new chapters (NEF provides the education program for the organizational meeting of a new chapter). n Support for existing chapters (NEFERP program provides partial funding for chapter education). n Educational videos. n Webinars.

How Can You Help NEF. . . reach its goal To provide educational opportunities for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. Your donations, always the life-blood of a foundation, support the operation and programs of the foundation. NEF does not profit from the programs it produces. Classes are either at a break-even cost or are given to members FREE, such as the CAD continuing education class presented at METALfab 2012, NEF webinars, or NEF videos on demand.

Name_______________________________________________ Company____________________________________________ Address______________________________________________ Donation Amount ❑ $10 ❑ $50 ❑ $100 ❑ Other $_____________

❑ $250

❑ $500

❑ $1,000

Payment Method ❑ Check Credit Card: ❑ AMEX

❑ MC

❑ Visa

❑ Discover

Credit card number_____________________________________ Expiration_______________________CCV__________________

Your support will be greatly appreciated and will go to good use. Thank you again to all our supporters. We cannot do this without your help!

Name as it appears on card______________________________

❑ Yes — I want to help support the NEF operation and programs with a donation.

Submit to NOMMA Education Foundation, 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214 or fax to 888-279-7994. Your donation is greatly appreciated and will go to good use.



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

Fabricator n September / October 2012

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Shop Talk

Bob’s Tijou tour of acanthus interactively n

Online viewing of the works by Jean Tijou and Jean Lamour may motivate you to treat your work as art. Let’s join ‘Uncle Bob’ for a tour. Editor’s note: This article is the fifth in a series of articles about using acanthus leaves in your work. In the first article, “Drawing large acanthus leaves” (Fabricator, November/December 211), you saw how to draw a simple, single-sided, front view acanthus leaf in 11 steps by alternating “C” curves with “S” curves. The second article, “Drawing acanthus side views” (Fabricator, March/April 212), 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, “Building acanthus patterns” (Fabricator, May/June 212), walked the reader through making a full-scale, “stretch out” pattern for a wrap-around leaf. The fourth article, “Cold forming acanthus leaves” (Fabricator, July/ August 212) examined how a wraparound acanthus leaf was produced with top and bottom tools made of wood to avoid hammer marks. By “Uncle Bob” Walsh

The Hampton Court Screen details, the most important work in England by French ironworker Jean Tijou (active in England 1688–1712). Above: Detail of the acanthus eagle and, at right, a flower bulb.


I would like to focus again on design, but this time interactively. You’ll need your computer as you read this article to look at photos online while I discuss the background. I feel good about the information and hope you enjoy it also. All photos for this article are provided through the generous effort of press officer Simone Sagi and photographer John Shevlin, Historic Royal Palaces, London. Illustrations are from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Fabricator n September / October 2012






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

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

September / October 2012 n Fabricator


The Hampton Court Screen is a magnificent set of 12 highly-ornate, wrought iron panels incorporating symbols of the British Isles and connected by railings. This enclosed the end of the Fountain Garden at Hampton Court Palace. Tijou began work on it in 1689, and it took him three years to make. He was paid £2,160 then. Images below show closeup detail. Particular to the image, below right, due to the intricacy, this sheet work was probably produced using pitch as a back-up material, instead of wood or steel, says Uncle Bob.

What is the point of these acanthus leaf articles?

For hundreds of years ornamental ironworkers have been making acanthus leaves, some of which are individual works of art within themselves. Other leaves come closer to resembling a strip of bacon draped over a scroll. And, of course, there is everything in-between. I hope we can all focus on making our leaves works of art. Let’s first examine the leaf work produced by Jean Tijou, the fabulous late 17th century artist and artisan. Although ornamental sheet work preceded Tijou, I believe he brought the use of repoussé (working/hammering metal from the back side) to the forefront for use in ornamental ironwork. In addition to acanthus leaves, he made metal tapestries and masks that are worth looking at. To the best of my knowledge, Tijou was not the originator but the recognized pioneer of sheet work in ornamental iron. Assignment 1: Jean Tijou

In your browser, type to get you to the Wikipedia page about Jean Tijou. Enlarge the OCayht


Assignment 2: Jean Lamour

In your browser, type wiki/Jean_Lamour to get

photos for a close look at his masks, tapestries, and leaf work. A few things to notice: n The strings of “husks” flowing out of each eagles’ beak. Eagles with husks are also in the drawing of the railing on Wikipedia’s site. n Each tapestry has a different design. Regretfully, the Wikipedia photos are not sharp. n The central veins in Tijou’s leaf work. He has recessed the spine veins, rather than make them the high areas in the leaves. When the spine veins are the highest areas in the leaves, the leaves will saddle nicely over your ironwork. However, when these main veins are deep valleys, the leaves have more visual depth (body). Interesting.

you to a Wikipedia page about Jean Lamour (not Jean-Francis Lamour) in French.) Double click on the photo of the Palace Stanislas that is on the right side of the page to enlarge it so you can examine it more closely. In the photo caption underneath the Palace Stanislas photo, click the link for “place Stanislas” to see the Palace Stanislas Wikipedia page (http://fr.wikipedia. org/wiki/Place_Stanislas#Grilles). When on this page, look for “Autres languages” on the left vertical navigation bar and click on “English” to turn the page into English. Scroll down to the end of the “Description” section to find out more about Lamour’s work. Even if one’s judgment about art is subjective, I feel Jean Lamour (1698– 1771) may have been the finest repoussour in the world. His work is beyond my comprehension. Let’s look at the artistic compositions of his leaf work. What I can see is that the “Charlie and Samantha” approach we have used to develop leaves is almost non-existent in his work. Thus, Lamour is only slightly referencFabricator n September / October 2012

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Illustration of the Fountain Screen at Hampton Court from Jean Tijou’s “A new book of drawings invented and desined by John Tijou. Contain­ing severall fortes of iron works as. Gates, Frontilpeices, Balconies, Staircales, Pannells &c. of which the most part hath been wrought at the Royall Building of Hampton Court, and severall persons of qualityes houses of this Kingdome all for the use of them that will worke Iron in Perfection and with Art. Sold by the Author in London 1693 [sic].” Note the reference to combining art with iron work. For more information about this piece: Source for both illustrations above and below: Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

ing his work to the three faceted leaves and alternating “C” curves with “S” curves so commonly found in stylized acanthus leaves. You can see that on the ends of his leaves, Lamour does not combine any “S” curves with his “C” curves. Instead, it appears that Lamour was more concerned with developing flow, a full body, and gentle round curves. Most acanthus leaves produced by blacksmiths appear to be produced and styled from metal in sheet form. Because Lamour’s repoussé has so much body, I would not be surprised to find that Lamour’s best friend (or an influential figure) was a stone carver. This is due to the emphasis on the depth of body in his work and roundness of the forms. Lamour’s repoussé strongly resembles carvings, which are developed by subtracting material from a larger mass, rather than resembling the typical iron leaves, which are produced by forming sheet or flat stock. Also, notice the central veins on his leaves. Instead of the veins being raised or an incised line, they are stepformed in the metal. Fabulous work. 18

Let’s break down the steps used in the video: Step Layout. In the 1 video, all the

lines are layed out on the steel, probably with a felt tipped marker. Step Incising (cold 2 metal). In addi-

Across the center of these Tijou designs is a staircase design with two free-floating elements above and below. This image also appears in the Tijou book referenced above. For more information about this piece:

Assignment 3: Hot forming

Go to your browser and type to get you to

the YouTube page where you’ll find a 14-minute video of some serious hotforming of giant acanthus leaves. The leaf in the video appears to be about four feet in length and is created from heavy plate. Watching this video should be a prerequisite for anybody going into the ornamental iron field of work.

tion to the lines incised on the face side of the leaf, another incising step may have been on the back side of the leaf. I’m not sure if this was done on the video piece. The leaf produced in the video has long, raised veins (with sharp edges) hammered into the work. These long veins are achieved by setting the leaf (face up) over a bottom tool (shown in the video) and then striking down on the face side. The hammer blows that are on the face side land on each side of where the bottom tool has been placed underneath the metal. This forces the leaf body down on the sides of the bottom tool, creating a raised vein centered above the tool. I have never made a leaf this large, but I would try incising some lines on the bottom side of the metal while the metal is still flat and cold. Fabricator n September / October 2012

May / June 2012 n Fabricator


These lines would be used for reference later when you try to guide the hot leaf over the bottom tool. A helper could feel for the incised line when positioning the metal over the bottom tool/stake. Step Repoussé. The metal is flipped 3 over and hammered into the

stump face-side down. When hammering the tip of the leaf into the stump, the ball tool is not centered on the tip. The leaf is raised up and tilted.

By so doing, the offset radius created puts more curve on the outside of the curved tip, keeping the visible side vertical when the leaf is installed. Also in the video, the ball on the set tool is not large in diameter. This works in the video because of the shape they are after and because the plate is so thick. The thinner the metal, the larger your ball needs to be. A small ball on thin material will create a lump on the face side. Error up in ball size to avoid lumps on the face side.

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Step Chasing (working metal on the 4 front side). After the repoussé

(pounding into the stump to make the face side convex), the leaf is turned right-side-up and some of the incised lines are “chased” back down on the face side to sharpen the look. Typically, the lines that are chased back down are on both sides of main veins. Step Raising. The long sharp veins 5 are raised along with the web

areas between the petals. In a future issue, we will discuss hot-forming over wood, except unlike the video, the metal and size of the leaf will be in keeping with the typical needs of someone in our profession. The forming will be done over wood blocks in a treadle hammer. Good luck. The joy is in the journey.

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

R. Walsh Gate & Railing 306 Lake St. Pepin, WI 54759 715-442-3102 robertwalsh@ Fabricator n September / October 2012

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Shop Talk

How to measure shop performance n

You cannot improve what you do not measure. This case study shows how a minimal number of performance measures that are easy to use and that you, your customers, and employees can agree on are critical to everyone’s success.

By Charlie Martin

we can eliminate overhead from the discussion. That leaves mateKeeping in mind the old adage, rial and labor. 1600 “You can’t improve what you Employees can influence n Estimated n Actual don’t measure,” if you were to the cost of material by determinask a couple of your customers ing how much ends up as scrap, 1400 (and maybe you should), even though scrap is generwhich of your products’ feaally viewed as a quality measure tures are most important to (both, Madden and A2 elected 1200 them, they would probably to do so). We will address it shrug and say something like, under that umbrella. 1000 “Well price is a no-brainer — This leaves us with labor, the I can’t afford to pay too much, cost of which is easy for employso your price needs to be in ees to understand. Labor costs 800 the ballpark. And whatever are typically addressed in terms you’re building for me has to of labor hours — how many fit, and look right. Oh, and of hours were bid for a job versus 600 course I need it when I say I how many hours it actually took. need it, so it can’t be late.” Comparing planned to actual Given this feedback, you hours for a job is a way to mea400 might conclude that in your sure productivity, thus this simown shop and for each job you ple yet effective method becomes 200 would look for simple meathe shop floor performance measures to track and control what sure for cost. the customer sees as price, Regardless of how sophisti0 quality, and delivery. Employcated you are (and one should 1/2012 2/2012 3/2012 4/2012 5/2012 6/2012 ee behaviors generally influence these always err on the side of simMonths three attributes, thus employees ought plicity), you will need to know to be involved in developing or iminvolvement. To illustrate how perforwhether each job took more time or proving your performance measures mance measures can be implemented less time than anticipated. Collecting to ensure they are: in the workplace, the following discusthe data and sharing it in the form sion on their use will include experiof a simple bar graph is not difficult n Easily understood (no green eyeshade accounting measures). ences from Madden and A2. and can pay great dividends when used as a backdrop for a discussion n Easily tracked. Cost with employees (Figure 1). n Visual. Two Portland, OR, shops, Madden Cost is comprised of material, laFabrication and A2 Fabrication, have bor, and overhead. Since we wish to Quality found solutions that improve performeasure what employees can control Quality is more difficult to meamance while also fostering employee (and help improve) on the shop floor, sure. Productivity compares one numHours

Figure 1 Productivity at Madden Fabrication, estimated vs actual hours


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ber (planned hours) to another (actual hours). However, quality is a mixture of dimensional and aesthetic qualities. I suggest you discuss this quandary with your employees. Explain the need to measure quality and ask them how they would measure it. If your company is like Madden, you’ll generate a lively discussion that will range from drawing tolerances and fit-up (dimensional) to industry standards and craftsmanship for aesthetic quality. Considerable pride of ownership becomes obvious, and one hears comments about welds looking like a stack of dimes and so forth. This discussion becomes the basis for defining acceptable quality standards, best practices, and continuous improvement. So, how does one measure quality? At Madden, the discussion led to an agreement that poor quality regardless of its cause inevitably led to an increase in rework (our performance measure). A calculation of labor hours at shop rate plus material costs would also allow management to translate time to the actual dollar cost of rework. The easiest and most effective way to measure quality became tracking the time spent doing rework (Figure 2). Sharing this information with employees on a regular basis became a means to reduce rework. To reduce the causes of poor quality leading to rework, one needs to address the causes for each job. Was the rework due to errors on the drawing, poor workmanship, or supplier mistake? Madden developed a list




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of rework codes that employees used to describe the reasons for the rework. The list is shown on the right side of the graph in Figure 2. “If we keep the rework tracking system simple, we are more likely to look back at it and focus on solving the problem and not who’s at fault. Ultimately, we’re more likely to find the problem and fix it permanently. One example of that was tracking some rework hours that were due to a vendor supplying the wrong material. After seeing the rework hours, it led us to create a new procedure to check material when it was first received,” Greg Madden, President, says. Both Madden and A2 also chose to view scrap as another measure affecting quality. Delivery

The last measure related directly to customer needs is on-time delivery. Did the job ship on the day the customer was promised (Figure 3)? This last measure forces a change in the thinking and behavior of estimators and management rather than shop floor employees. It requires a more accurate scheduling of a job’s sequence of operations through the shop and consideration of the effect of each job on every other job: consideration of shop capacity and constraints — whether people or equipment. This is good stuff. Due dates become more realistic, not wild promises. Priorities are set, and negotiations take place regarding moving some jobs in and some jobs out to achieve a more level workload on the shop floor while still meeting customer expectations. Over time, this more accurate approach to scheduling will directly affect your shop’s reputation for hitting deadlines, and your suppliers will realize you are serious about the deadlines. Whether you need sophisticated software for this level of scheduling will depend on the size of your shop. Simple spreadsheets and whiteboards with dry erasers can accomplish much. Fabricator n September / October 2012

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The key is to recognize


improvement in all three

Says Madden: “Assuming the tracking and implementation was the main reason for this improvement our cost savings would be close to $20,000. . . .” “[Moreover] I would say, lean (manufacturing) improvements and tracking of the results have lead to accountability and empowerment for everyone in the shop and office. We seem to be pulling together as a team towards a common goal with a focus on making money and avoiding waste.” Says A2 Fabrication owner Gale Schmidt: “I think it’s fair to say we are in the early stages of implementation and have not collected enough data to report yet. We continue to do the 5S (lean manufacturing principles) and have noticed efficiencies gained by being organized. Using the 5-second rule has saved considerable time in looking for tools and supplies and having tooling next to the machines has increased efficiency by 30% in change-outs and maintenance. “We anticipate a continual gradual improvement as we implement standards and refine our 5S organization.” Tying it all together (continuous improvement)

Like the three legs of a stool, these performance measures must comple-

that you need balanced

measures and to not try to advance one measure at the expense of another. Try that with the legs of a stool and see what happens! ment rather contradict each other. At first glance, quality and speed appear to be contradictory, but on reflection, they do not. A true artisan can produce good quality efficiently. Removing wasteful activities by using the 5S principles of lean manufacturing (see Fabricator, January/February 2012), for example, and by avoiding scrap and rework enhances both productivity and delivery. The key is to recognize that you need balanced improvement in all three measures and to not try to advance one measure at the expense of another. Try that with the legs of a stool and see what happens! These measures are straightforward and easy to discuss with employees, but I suggest that you implement them one at a time. This gives time to get used to the new approach and to tweak the collection and display of the data. At Madden and A2, we introduced productivity first followed a

month or so later by rework, and last by delivery. The graphs are updated as jobs close and displayed weekly. Regular meetings are held with employees (these can be combined with safety meetings) to discuss the results and trends, and to look for suggestions for improvement. Summary

You cannot improve what you do not measure, and in a competitive business environment, you need to continually measure and improve. Find a minimal number of performance measures that are easy to use and that you, your customers, and employees can agree are critical to mutual success.

For your information


Later you may wish to consider an integrated software solution.

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

Charlie Martin Manufacturing Matters 2785 NW Upshur, Unit H Portland, OR 97210 503-502-4670 Greg Madden Madden Fabrication 2550 Northwest 25th Place Portland, OR 97210 877-902-6424 Gale Schmidt A2 Fabrication Inc. 9800 SE McBrod Ave., Bldg #17 Milwaukie, OR 97222 503-771-2000 work 503-351-9369 cell 503-496-1067 fax


Fabricator n September / October 2012

Direct Dimensions, Owing Mills, Md., used a hybridization of 3D printing and milling to make the pattern for the casting of The Genius of Connecticut, a bronze statue by Randolph Rogers created in 1878, located in the Connecticut State Capitol. Rogers called the piece “The Angel of Resurrection.” Photo by Sage Ross / “Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 3.0”

Shop Talk

Fabricators size up 3D printing n

Weimann Metalcraft likes 3D printing for pattern making. Its reasons for using the new technology are cost, geometrical considerations, and time. But most fabricators are not using it. Their reasons are cost, geometrical considerations, and time.

Fabricator writer Jeff Fogel spoke to numerous sources. His examination of the issue begins on page 28.

How can anyone go wrong with these new technologies? They can’t. So long as they are not

fully committing to one. When it comes to additive versus subtractive technology, everything is a trade-off. That is why so many are using a hybridization of some sort. By Jeff Fogel It was an innovation that promised to

rock the world of foundries and casting. An innovation that spawned sundry gee-whiz articles in both the industry and in the consumer media. The process, familiarly known as 3D printing (additive technology in “engineerspeak”), is a technology of sufficiently large promise to have evoked language such as “a second industrial revolution.” 1 With talk like that, you have to back off and then re-visit the subject to see if it was just hoopla to gin up flagging news stand sales, or if they were really on to something. We did just that. We waited, and re-visited the industry, talking to ornamental fabricators to see if 3D printing horizontalfullcolorad.pdf 1 2/2/2012 7:30:54 PM has become a commonplace operation.

It has not. “I don’t like it,” says Ken Nye, Marlborough Foundry, Marlborough, MA. His principal objection is the inherently rough topography of 3D printed patterns. In its most basic understanding, 3D printing is centered on an ink jet printer. Only the jets squirt out liquid polymer instead of ink. The object to be printed is digitally sliced crossways into layers a half-millimeter thick. Once a layer is printed, the polymer resin is cured with a UV light. Then another layer is printed. And another. And so on, until a complete threedimensional model has been created. The problem for pourers is that the layers don’t make for a smooth contour transition. Instead, they create tiny steps when viewed in profile. “They grab the sand,” is the way

John McGraw, Alloy Casting, Mesquite, TX, describes it. And the only way to avoid this problem is to smooth the 3D printed model. Of course, this takes time, and time is money, whether you’re waiting for a pattern to be smoothed, or you’re the one with the sand paper in your hand. “It’s just not useful at all,” says James O’Neil, CEO, OK Foundry, Richmond, VA, when asked about its applications to ornamental and architectural casting. Here’s why. A good 3D model does not necessarily translate into a viable casting pattern. Certain additional geometrical considerations for the actual pouring may not be present. First is the matter of “draft,” the slight ramping by several degrees of a model’s surfaces. This allows for a clean release from a mold. An expe-











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tional wood patterns are efficient and economical,” says O’Neil. “The traditional pattern makers have the experience to know what’s needed for the actual pattern process.” Like many, OK eschews 3D printing for some of the newer technologies that pattern makers have been embracing. That includes CNC milling and CAD driven, 3-axis routers. McGraw at Alloy Castings is another case in point. While perfectly open to the idea of 3D printing, he relies instead on Allen Morris’ CAD driven 3-axis routing for his patterns. Morris is a freelance pattern maker for Alloy Castings.

rienced pattern maker can anticipate draft and build it into the model. Next are parting lines. Same story. And don’t even ask about complicated stuff like coring. Just owning a printer

does not qualify you as a pattern maker. That takes an intimate acquaintance with the casting process itself. Not surprisingly, OK is using a lot of traditional made patterns. “Tradi-

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Three-axis carving has two advantages

1) It’s considerably cheaper than having an artist carve the model. Morris uses a recent project as an example. A client needed a pattern of a plaque with a face carved into it. “Getting an artist to carve that would have been a minimum of $500 for his time,” Morris says. The 3-axis rendering is considerably cheaper. “I just take an object, make a 3D CAD that can be viewed on a computer. Once it’s approved, I just make the physical part from the CAD. I’m drinking coffee or doing some other chores while it’s carving. It’s a lights out thing,” he says, “and revisions are a piece of cake.” So much for labor costs. 2) The technology is flexible. Patterns can be made of foam, wood, or non-ferrous metals. A carving can even be made from a two-dimensional image, such as a photograph. Other foundries, such as Lawler Foundry, Birmingham, AL, already have established relationships with traditional pattern makers and simply don’t have a need to change their operation. This was a common response. Jozef Custom Iron Works, Bridgeport, CT, for example, had no reason to change its patterns for the bronze casting they do.

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With 3D patterns you can calculate foundry costs before the work is cast, a big advantage for your customers.

Wiemann: 3D amazing, getting cheaper

All right, so everybody doesn’t love 3D printing. But at least one shop does. Fabricator n September / October 2012

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“It’s being used here more and more every day,” says Doug Bracken, Wiemann’s project manager, “we use it everyday, and we’re not that fancy or big.” Bracken says almost all of Wiemann’s 3D jobs use 3D printing. “I’d say around 90% — is ornamental. These are things that 10 or 15 years ago we would have used a traditional pattern maker — a skilled wood carver.” To illustrate his point, Bracken spoke of a specific project: a 120-year-

Doug Bracken says almost all of Wiemann’s 3D jobs use 3D printing. “I’d say around

90% — is ornamental. These are things that 10 or 15 years ago we would have used a traditional pattern maker — a skilled wood carver.”

old light fixture that they replicated without sacrificing the original as a model. “It’s an amazing tool,” says Bracken, “and it’s getting cheaper.” Another, more high profile project that was made with a 3D model are the cemetery gates at West Point Military Academy. So ingrained in Wiemann’s operations is 3D, Bracken says they “couldn’t operate today without it.” Wiemann uses Direct Dimensions, Owing Mills, MD, for many 3D patterns. Harry Abramson, Director of Art Services at Direct Dimensions paints a different picture of what I’d been encountering in the industry. “This (3D printing) is a mature industry,” says Abramson. “In reality, there are every day applications that have been around for decades.” Litany of applications

Abramson offered a litany of these applications, which are readily available now. n Low cost 3D printers under $3,000, with the cost continuing downward, as it approaches a do-ityourself point. One of these is called the Makerbot. n Cheap, powerful 3D sculpting software, described as “basically Illustrator in 3D.” This software costs about $1,000 and enables the user to send the file to someone with a printer (say, a small shop with a Makerbot) and get a ready-to-pour pattern. n FabLab. These are commercial labs that shops can join to share the costs of printers and CNC milling equipment. n Sharpways, a low cost 3D printing service. This is why even the pattern makers using 3-axis and CNC are by no means averse to additive technology. Not at all. In fact, Allen Morris allows that he’s been pricing 3D printers. “There’s a fellow selling a printer that can do a 6 x 6-inch-size model for $500. Called the Solid Doodle, Morris feels it would augment his pattern making for smaller scale, less complex models. “For five-hundred bucks, how can I go wrong?” says Morris. Indeed. How can anyone go wrong 32

Fabricator n September / October 2012

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with these new find they can technologies? “wow” a cliThey can’t, so ent by showing long as they are their ideas in a not fully comtangible form. mitting to one. Designer And therein Ben Simmons, lies the rub. Pickard-ChilWith additive ton, a New versus subtracHaven, CT, tive technology, architectural everything is a design firm, trade-off. That explains how is why so few you can quickly — Wiemann and cheaply Metals comput together a mitment to 3D series of scale notwithstanding These rope collars have a “hand-carved” look models to — are using just and were done for “a quarter of the price, in a show a range of one technology. quarter of the time,” says Doug Bracken, CEO of ideas in a client Nearly everyone Wiemann Metalcraft, Tulsa, OK, where they were presentation. cast. The silicon bronze pieces will grace a private is using a hybrid residence in Glenrose, TX. While Pickoperation of ard-Chilton is some sort. strictly a design A lovely example of hybrid pattern firm, a foundry can still apply this for making manifests in the statue, Genius its own client show-and-tells. of Connecticut. A 14-foot-tall angel, The bottom line is, 3D printing still cast in bronze, its pattern was pieced holds promise. But for now, the traditogether using sections of 3D-gentional pattern maker is in no immierated parts fused with traditionally nent danger of obsolescence. sculpted sections. James O’Neil summarizes it best. This is common. The fact is 3D “3D printing is great for magazine printing is limited to certain scales. articles, but there’s a lot of misunderYou can’t print big things. And there standing about it.” are limits to intricacy that you must So, are the objections to 3D printadhere to. If you want fine details, ing based in fact, or merely an inertia you’ll need to start carving. born of suspicion of new technology? Another 3D printing application, That’s something we’ll revisit. beyond pattern making, is using it for Reference client presentations due to its speed 1 “Print me a Stradivarius,” The and low cost for one-offs. Rather than Economist, February 10, 2011. view the design on a computer, some


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Fabricator n September / October 2012

METALfab 2013 Focus on Success n

Join a dynamic group of fabricators and suppliers in Albuquerque, NM, March 20–23, for METALfab 2013, the perfect opportunity for you to Focus on Success by: n Discussing how to manage your business better. n Learning new skills. n Sharing experiences with the best in the business.

Education program

The NOMMA Education Foundation Education Committee led by Lynn Parquette, Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. / Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC, is creating an outstanding education program for you at METALfab 2013. The secrets to their success! Have a candid discussion with leaders in our industry. Just to name a few: n Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge. n Joe Turner, Turner Manufacturing. n Ed Mack, Fine Architectural Metalsmiths. n Dave Filippi, FabCAD Inc. This is your special chance to find out what these leaders know that can help you do your work more effectively. Get the tip that might turn your business into a success. Sales best practices Ben Mosely, Heirloom Stair & Iron As we climb out of this downturn, now’s the time to stop running your business only in survival mode. Help yourself return to profitability, starting with sales. Ben will define the difference between a sale and a quality sale.

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

Also covered: n How to maximize the sale. n How to get residual benefits from the sale. n What tools to bring into the sales meeting. n How to avoid unproductive meetings. n How to avoid costly and unnecessary travel time by bringing the customer engagement to your own turf. n How to overcome price objections and close the deal! Digital 3D pattern making Scott Howell, Robinson Iron Works Learn how digital pattern making has moved this time-honored craft into the future. Architectural design: Where we are now Robert Baird Historical Arts and Casting Inc. Join Robert for a discussion on architectural design. Robert spent several years in Washington working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation before returning to the private sector. He will share his wealth of experience on architectural design.

Properties, performance, preservations Robert Baird, Historical Arts and Casting Inc. Explore the properties of architectural cast metals including: cast iron, bronze, and aluminum and each of their benefits and advantages. Other topics include: manufacturing, the sources of deterioration, and maintenance. Conservation and restoration methods will be covered referencing completed projects and practical applications. Added treat: We’ll watch the documentary, “ZCMI a Legacy Cast in Iron.” Combining technology & practice to merge field measuring to shop drawings, layout and field installation Mark O’ Malley, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc., and Terry Barrett, Pinpoint Solutions Examine tools, technology, and methodology used by these miscellaneous and ornamental businesses for merging the operations of field measuring, shop drawings, and shop and field layout.


Discussion topics: lasers, electric, hand and homemade for measuring; CAD; smart phone apps; and layout software. The presenters will share their methods and offer tips and tricks. This class is in two parts: the first describing different tools and their processes. The second including the actual use of these tools and techniques on a stair or ramp in the hotel. Skills to be a better salesperson Joe Turner, Turner Mfg. Co. Joe will share his years of experience as a master salesperson to show you how to sell your jobs and how to work with the client on the best material and style needed to fit in the surroundings. LEED made easy Tom Zuzik, Artistic Railings Inc. LEED can be complicated, but Tom walks you through the process with ease, focusing on the needs of the ornamental and architectural metals fabricator.

Outstanding shop tours Shop Tours are back for 2013. Three shops have confirmed; more are in the works. James Minter (2013 Shop Tour Chair) has the following facilities set: n Kenneth Ray, Raysteel Inc., Albuquerque. n Robb Gunter, Architectural Metals, Tigeras, NM. n Pete Shufelt, Backerworks Skilled Welding, Albuquerque. Backerworks fabricating facility works for the Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos. They also do some warhead manufacture in Amarillo, TX. This is a great line up but be sure and check back for additional shops.

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rich culture and heritage rooted in centuries of history. Soak in the blue skies and sun that shines about 310 days a year — perfect for outdoor activities: ballooning, biking, hiking, golfing, and touring. Whether you want to visit native American pueblos, try hot air ballooning, or enjoy outstanding local cuisine, Albuquerque is ranked among the top 10 U.S Value Destination for For more information on Albuquerque, go to

Spouse program

Sue Minter, Spouse Program chair, has planned an exciting program. You’ll practice what you learn in three wonderful classes taught by an outstanding local and national artist.


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Make reservation early at host hotel METALfab 2013 events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. The hotel has reserved a limited block of rooms for METALfab attendees. Book your room early to get the special METALfab rate and to be part of the networking after hours. Attendees find great conversations in the lobby or bar during METALfab. You might find the one business idea that makes a difference. Hyatt Regency Albuquerque 330 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM Room rate per night for METALfab 2013 Single/Double $129 Triple $154 Quadruple $179 Suites $350 Room rates are quoted exclusive of applicable state and local taxes or applicable service or hotel specific fees in effect at the hotel at the meeting time. Check the NOMMA website ( for instructions on making your reservation. Information will be posted as soon as it is available. Classes will be taught on Thursday, March 21 and the tour will be Saturday, March 23. Other events included in the spouse registration: exhibits, Theme Dinner & NEF Auction, NEF Partners in Education reception, and the Awards Banquet. This is all part of the Spouse Registration offered for METALfab 2013. Spouse classes and tour If you participated in the Orlando spouse program, you were fortunate to have worked in acrylics with renowned artist Maxine Minter. This year you will tackle a new subject and have fun tapping your hidden talents. Joe Dan Lowry is an internationally known expert on New Mexico’s state gemstone and the popular mineral most often associated with the Southwest and Native American jewelry — turquoise. A phosphate of aluminum that contains small quantities of copper and iron, turquoise has been prized throughout the centuries as a medical wonder, ornament, and religious symbol. Joe Dan is the author of Turquoise Unearthed: An Illustrated Guide and Turquoise: the World Story of a Fascinating Gemstone. This is an entertaining and informative lecture and presentation. Joe Dan will also have some of his pieces available for purchase. Jason Younis y Delgado, a fifth generation tinsmith and the owner of the TINtero gallery in Albuquerque’s Old Continued on page 40 September / October 2012 n Fabricator

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Continued from page 37 Town, will conduct an open workshop in traditional Spanish Colonial tinwork. All necessary tools, materials, and instruction will be provided and all experience levels are welcome. As a juried member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and teacher for Albuquerque’s Senior Arts program, Jason’s presentation will feature the history of tin and Spanish Colonial Art in New Mexico, a review of safety procedures and basic skills, and demonstrations with instruction on how to create your own handcrafted keepsakes to take home. Spouse Tour, Saturday, March 23

You will travel north to historic and picturesque Santa Fe. Founded in 1610, the city was the last stop on the fabled Camino Real that stretched from Mexico City to the northernmost reaches of the Spanish Empire. Today, it is the heart and soul of the Southwest, and “Santa Fe Style” is synonymous with all the best the region has to offer. Its historic Plaza, winding streets,

covered arcades, hidden gardens and courtyards, and Pueblo-style architecture reflect the blending of Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. Walking tour. You will take a guided walking tour visiting the historic Plaza, St. Francis Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel, with its famous “miraculous” staircase, and the San Miguel Mission. Lunch. Enjoy a hosted lunch at La Casa Sena, situated in the historic house built by Major Jose Sena in the 1860s. La Casa Sena features an internationally acclaimed menu drawn from the best in Santa Fe and southwestern cuisine, and is a recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Best Award of Excellence.” An incomparable collection of museum-quality paintings adds to the ambiance. On your own. You may continue to explore on your own or indulge in a southwestern shopping spree at the many unique specialty stores and galleries around the Plaza. Nearly all the


city’s main cultural attractions are also within walking distance of the Plaza, including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Palace of the Governors.

METALfab 2013 promises to be a wonderful experience. Mark your calendar for March 20–23. Check the NOMMA website for additional information as it becomes available and be sure to check out the convention guide in the November/ December issue of the Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Fabricator.

See you in Albuquerque!


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Member Talk

Mueller legacy n

Since the 1950s, the Mueller family has been energetic volunteers for the NOMMA cause. There’s no stopping them now as Lynn Mueller Parquette and Rob Mueller still step up.

In photo near left, Robert (Bob) A. Mueller, NOMMA’s 11th president, is shown with past NOMMA presidents and leaders, circa 1983. Bob served as NOMMA’s president in 1976. The woman in the front is Blanche Blackwell Ballew, NOMMA’s former executive director. Far left, Bob Mueller’s daughter, Lynn Mueller Parquette, and son, Robert (Rob) C. Mueller.

By Heidi Bischmann Whether you are brand new to NOMMA or you have been actively plugged in for the past 50 years or more, it is likely that you have connected with Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc. in one way or another through your association, and have heard one of the Muellers say, “Come Along! Join us!” Siblings, Rob Mueller, president, and Lynn Mueller Parquette, vice president, Mueller Ornamental Iron Works, and partners in Elite Architectural Metal Supply, both in Elk Grove Village, IL, are longtime, active members of NOMMA and supporters of the NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF).

Their selfless acts of volunteerism are not only admirable, but also highly contagious. Whenever you have the chance to spend even a few short minutes in conversation with either one of them, you will most definitely find yourself warmly welcomed, inspired to learn more, and graciously invited to get involved. That’s just the kind of people they are. Mueller Ornamental is a third generation, family-run business dating to 1933, when it was founded by Paul

Mueller. It is not surprising that Paul’s son, Robert A. and his wife Marilyn, and now their children Robert C. and Lynn, come by their willingness to step up and volunteer naturally through many years of leadership example from their parents. The Robert A. Muellers have been, and continue to be, active in NOMMA since the late 1950s. Then, they were invited to participate in the first meeting of NOMMA and were the recipients of a gift registration by a charter

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member on the planning committee to attend the first METALfab convention in 1958. That personal invitation blossomed into a lifetime of volunteer service, commitment, education, and a lot of fun along the way. Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge Inc. Frankfort, IL, and NEF Chair, recalls his first encounter with the Mueller family on Chicago’s Cicero Avenue. Assisted potential competitor

“I formed my little one man business on the far outskirts of the city in the 1970s. Occasionally, I would need some castings or a piece of equipment from Muellers,” Carlsen says. “Rob, Sr. would actually take the time to talk to a young guy just getting started in the business. This was long before I was even aware that NOMMA existed. I think what sticks with me is his willingness to talk with and offer suggestions to someone who might become a competitor some day.” “My parents told me recently,” Lynn says, “that their most rewarding times came when they received recognition for their hard work, be it with a Top Job for the work that the business did or personal recognition for what services they had performed. “My Mom remembered a time when she was helping behind the registration desk,” Lynn adds. “At that time registra-

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and troubleshooter n NEF Auction Committee member n NEF Trustee n METALfab education chair for NEF n METALfab Review Task Force

Rob Mueller n Fabricator director on NOMMA Board n Top Job chair n NEF Auction Committee chair

Fabricator n September / October 2012

September / October 2012 n Fabricator


tion was not done online, it was paid for when you arrived at the hotel. She was a volunteer and did not expect to be paid for helping, but at the end of the week someone had gone out to a local jeweler and purchased a jeweled butterfly pin for her. She still has and cherishes that special gift.” Marilyn firmly believes that, “Recognition for your service is always something that is very important no matter how small the job. Knowing that your time is appreciated is worth the time and makes you want to volunteer again.” Rob and Lynn continue NOMMA family tradition

More than 50 years later, Rob and Lynn continue in their parents’ footsteps having served in various positions on the NOMMA Board of Directors, the NOMMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees, the Upper Midwest Chapter Board of Directors, as well as numerous task forces and committees.

always expected them to help in many ways. Lynn states simply, “As ‘NOMMA Brats’ attending events year after year, we saw that our parents were both very involved. People came to know us and always asked us to help set up, tear down, carry something, go get this or that, etc. People knew us and came to rely on us for different tasks during the convention. Rob Mueller has held several volunteer jobs. Most “Later in life when we were recently, he served as the 2012 NEF Auction Committee asked to help, or we stepped up to chair. With Rob above is NEF executive director Martha Pennington, Marti Grainger, and NEF trustee Carl Grainger. volunteer to lead in some way, it was second nature to us because Currently, Lynn is serving her that’s what our parents did and second term as the chair of the simply how we were raised,” Lynn says. Rob and Lynn grew up in the famMETALfab Education Committee in ily business and continued to carry preparation for METALfab 2013 in on a tradition of excellence when their Albuquerque, NM, and Rob is the parents retired to Nevada in 1998. NEF Auction chair for the Live and SiRob became more involved with lent Auctions to be held at the Theme NOMMA when he served on the Dinner on March 21, 2013. Board of Directors. From their early childhood years Lynn stepped up her participation at annual NOMMA conventions, Rob when she became integrally involved and Lynn remember that their parents

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in the formation of the Upper Midwest Chapter serving on the Board of Directors for several terms. During her years on the Board, the Chapter steadily grew and served its membership through regular meetings, education sessions, service projects, and social events. Lynn had a hand in the success of many of these events and in recruiting both active attendees and strong leaders to the Denise Mueller and Lynn Mueller Parquette, right, chapter. Without either one — are shown at the METALfab 2005 awards banquet in attendees or leaders — the chapter New Orleans, LA. Denise is Robert C. Mueller’s wife just would not exist. and sister-in-law to Lynn. “As my business grew and I legendary. She continues to help other joined NOMMA, I realized again chapters come into existence with her that the Mueller family trait of sharing support and guidance,” Carlsen says. and giving was strong,” recalls Roger Rob and Lynn both admit that Carlsen. “Over the years, I have come to NOMMA has been an extended famknow them not only as colleagues, but ily to them through the years, and they as friends. I have not encountered a cannot imagine not being involved more tireless, selfless, giving individunow and into the future. However, the al than Lynn. Her organizational skills deeper value that they take away from each experience, session, gathering, or and tenacity in getting the Upper Midconvention is more meaningful than west Chapter of NOMMA chartered is

just catching up with old friends. Volunteering helps you work more efficiently

While Rob and Lynn spend more than an average amount of time on their volunteer activities, they do not feel that it is a hardship or more than they can handle. “We have volunteered through the years at all different levels of the organization; some take more time than others,” Rob says. Lynn adds, “The jobs that I volunteer for do not have to take all of my time or become a burden, but I do feel strongly about making sure that what I volunteer for is done and completed properly.” A common response may be, “I don’t have enough time to volunteer or to get more involved.” Lynn disagrees. For her, being involved keeps her active and has actually helped her to manage her time better. Volunteering for leadership positions in NOMMA and other organizations, such as Cary Youth Football with


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September / October 2012 n Fabricator


Rob’s boys, “helps us to deal with people on a much larger level,” says Lynn.

This balcony rail, left, below, won a 2008 Top Job silver award. Mueller used steel components from Grande-Forge. The top rail is a standard molded steel cap with a steel channel welded underneath. The intermediate horizontal is a 1/2 x 1-inch steel channel and the floor frame used 3/16 x 11/4 x 11/4 steel angle with 1/4 x 3/4-inch steel flat bars for the floor. The comer posts are 1-inch-square solid steel bar. The side designs consist of 20 #FDF18 iron castings. The front lattice uses 9/16-inch-square bar and #TT144 forged steel bars. The rosettes are #FDF7 iron castings. Approx. labor time: 21 hrs. (includes installation).

Working with NOMMA improves business

“Mueller Ornamental is a small company. We have less exposure and experience in some aspects of business than a larger company may have,” Lynn says. “Our participation on NOMMA Boards and Committees expands our business sense, and our attitudes. We have learned first-hand how to effectively deal with people and the issues at hand,” she says. Rob says, “I’m not working in the shop at all anymore because other business activities such as quoting and meeting with customers are taking up most of my time. Yet, I still need to know what is going on in the industry and find ways to educate our staff and improve the bottom line. NOMMA helps me do that.” In addition to their volunteer hours, Rob and Lynn are also regular participants and recipients of all of the benefits that NOMMA has to offer its members. They find value in chapter meetings, METALfab conventions, ListServ, webinars, member’sonly area on the website, Fabricator magazine, and networking with others who may be just a phone call, email, or text away when a question or tough situation arises, or to share a highlight of a job well done. By making use of the wide array of benefits provided through NOMMA, they learn something new and useful with each interaction. “There is always something new to learn. If I didn’t learn anything, I wouldn’t go back,” says Rob.

Network for confidence, motivation

Rob and Lynn’s involvement in


The steel and stainless stair and rails, left, were made for a private art studio. The steel stair stringers used 1/2 x 12-inch plate with 3/8 x 2-inch flat bar for the tread clips. Rails posts were cut from 1/2-inch steel plate and then drilled and coped. A steel saddle was made and plug welded on top of the posts to accept a 1.66 inch OD stainless handrail. The guard rail posts were notched around the existing steel beams, through bolted with 3/4-inch bolts to match the fake splice plates on the beams. Cables closed up the openings on the stair risers to meet code. The 5-mm stainless cables have internal threaded ends with truss head attachment screws. The pitch rail cables used posts fitting along with the truss screws for an industrial look. Stainless has a #4 satin finish. The steel was primed and then finished to match the beams. Approx. shop and installation time: 120 hours.

NOMMA is more than about learning or keeping abreast of current trends. It energizes them and benefits their business. Every encounter encourages them and gives them the ideas they need to try something new; it motivates them if they are stalled in a certain area of the business; or it may provide a boost of confidence to take on projects that they may not have considered previously. “Through the years, our volunteer service to NOMMA has been a huge benefit to us as individuals, and also to our company,” says Rob. “It has been interesting and educational to see first-

hand what is happening in our industry. When you sit in your shop or office day-to-day, it can be like living in a bubble in your own little world. You don’t see or learn as much as you do when you get out and become involved. “You have to nurture your business just like you would a child,” he adds. “Become involved in the life of your business by doings things that inspire you and help you to grow. This greatly benefits you, your employees, and your customers when you are more aware of what is going on in your industry.” Volunteering, especially in a leadership role, takes their involvement one Fabricator n September / October 2012

step further. When you volunteer, you Every encounter encourages are invested in the outcome. In a volthem and gives them the unteer association such as NOMMA, every member must take some responideas they need to try sibility for the growing of that associasomething new. tion and for its success. It is YOUR organization and it is only as good as its members. Step Up. integral part of this organization. For more than 50 years, the MuelAs they have in the past, Rob and ler family has been active in NOMMA. Lynn will continue to volunteer and While much has changedAd overProof time, 77035-CB-4829-08 to lead by example as they warmly one thing will continue to remain the welcome you as a visitor or a veteran, same — volunteers are a necessary and inspire you to learn more about your

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industry and yourself, and graciously invite you to get more involved. Or, they may just pester you and twist your arm until you say yes. But, either way, they will walk with you. NEF Executive Director Martha Pennington is quick to share, “Rob Mueller and Lynn Parquette are two of NOMMA’s most energetic and tireless volunteers who help our organization in many ways. We are very lucky to have such dedicated people in our association.” “Our involvement with NOMMA has given us the skills and the confidence to go out and do other things,” says Lynn. “We invite you to get involved on a personal level. Step up and step out! We look forward to having you join us as we work together to make NOMMA a stronger organization for all members to learn and to grow.”

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About Mueller Since 1933, Mueller Ornamental Iron Works has created custom metalwork using iron, bronze, aluminum, and stainless steel. Clients choose from ornate hand-forged railings and decorative gates to modern horizontal line railings or glass rails. CO NTAC T

Rob Mueller, President Lynn Mueller Parquette, Vice President 655 Lively Blvd. Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 (Chicago) 847-758-9941 847-758-9945 fax About the author Heidi Bischmann is a NEF Trustee and past Chair of the NEF Live and Silent Auctions. Active with NOMMA for over 15 years, Heidi enjoys assisting with the METALfab Convention and Trade Show and her involvement with the Upper Midwest Chapter. 48

Fabricator n September / October 2012

It’s Top Job Time Attention Fabricators:* Enter your outstanding work in NOMMA’s annual awards contest! * Must be a NOMMA member in good standing to enter.

Contest Information Deadline: December 31, 2012 Late Deadline: January 7, 2013* 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.

July / August 2012 n Fabricator

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

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

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2012 Top Job winners part 3 n

Here we feature the last 2 categories of the 2012 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition winners. All entries are posted at Click on “About NOMMA.” Congratulations!

Unusual Ornamental Fabrication

Disenos Ornamental Iron — Gold Detroit, MI Materials used to fabricate this wine cabinet include 1½-inch-square tube for the frame and ¼-inch-thick plate. It holds over 100 bottles and doubles as a door into the wine cellar room. Challenge: To avoid the wine bottles rattling when the hidden gate would be opened. Black rubber hose strips were added to all the horizontal round bars that hold the bottles. An I-beam is welded across the top behind the marble wall to support the weight of the wine/gate. A 1-inchround bar pin inside a 1½-inch tube is attached to the bearing hinges on the floor. In the center, space allows the 12-inch-deep door to swing open. A frame behind the gates holds a oneway mirror to allow people inside the room to look out, but not in. The design was collaboration between the architect, homeowner, and the company. Approx. labor time: 500 hours. 50

M. Cohen & Sons Inc. — Silver Broomall, PA Designed by a Washington, DC, architect, the display box and door panel were all bronze. Fabrication techniques included machining, TIG welding, and mechanical fastening. Challenge: the preciseness of the product and the lack of visible fasteners and seams. Materials used were bronze and stainless steel with the box fabricated from walnut and hand-forged steel. The type of finish is color through acid antiquing. Approx. labor time: 150 hours.

Artisan Metal Works Ltd. — Bronze George Town, Cayman Islands The fabricator designed and made a functional sculpture primarily as a mount for a security camera located along a densely landscaped private driveway. The sculpture had to be inconspicuous without interfering with the operation of the camera. Research into the existing trees and plants at the location and those natural to the region was required. The finished project is about 4 feet in diameter and close to 12 feet tall. Fabrication included copper pipe, rod, and sheet. The “trunk” of the tree was made from 3.5 inch OD copper pipe with a hammered finish. The leaves were hand-cut and made from 20-gauge copper sheet. The vines were shaped into an organic form from ⅝ inch- and 1-inch-solid copper rods. The final sculpture was finished in multiple patina colors. To discretely symbolize the purpose of the “tree,” all of the birds and components were hand fabricated from copper. Approx. labor time: 230 hours. Fabricator n September / October 2012


Johnston Products — Gold Cedar Hill, TX This one of a kind, hand-rubbed, life-sized stainless steel willow tree, hand-forged and fabricated, was a design-build project. Challenge: The artists in residence during fabrication, assembly, and install. The structure was assembled in the shop, dissembled, and installed 60 feet out in a 15-feetdeep public lake. A special transport system was designed as was a 40 x 40feet wood platform for work over water during installation. A ladder crew was stationed on platform, over water, and tied-off during welding. The work was done over water in record Texas heat in July and August. It was completed in less than two months and one week ahead of city park opening celebration. Fabrication techniques: 30-feet-tall, 40-feet-wide maintenancefree stainless steel tree. Structure was constructed to withstand hurricane force winds. 16 limbs weighed 800–900 pounds each. Total weight of structure: 16,000 pounds. 82,000 hand-made mother of pearl leaves. Approx. labor time: 4,980 hours.

Crystal Metalworks — Silver Hatfield, PA The Empty Sky memorial, across the Hudson River from where the World Trade Center once stood, required 20,000 labor hours to craft a stainless steel structural support frame and 512 plates of W-316L stainless, polished to a #7 finish. Fify-five plates were etched with names of victims and a statement of remembrance. The architects’ design appears simple, but required flawless finishing including tight tolerances for SS plate flatness (on plates up to 4 x 8 feet) and a 112-inch gap between plates kept consistent over 210 feet horizontally and 30 feet vertically to maintain straight sight lines. Custom tools were developed to maintain tolerances and avoid marring polished plates during fabrication, transportation, and erection since the finish could not be field polished. Etching and polishing was by others. Approx. labor time: 20,000 hours.

Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. — Bronze Jackson, WI This life-sized Bald Eagle sculpture measures over 6 feet from wing tip to wing tip and is made entirely of steel. There are over 3,000 feathers of 14 and 18 gauge cut on a plasma machine and individually welded in place similar to that of shingling a house. Over 30 pounds of welding wire were required to complete the sculpture. After polishing, three coats of automotive clearcoat finish were applied. The finished piece weighs 150 pounds. Approx. labor time: 180 hours.

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Biz Side

Affordable health care and taxes n

As in so much legislation, there are both good and bad elements. That goes for the new Affordable Care Act and its affect on small businesses, too. Here’s the take by long-time Fabricator writer Mark Battersby.

By Mark E. Battersby Like it or not, the U.S. Su-

preme Court has ruled and the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) is now the law of the land — and the tax code. Soon, every individual must have health insurance or face a tax penalty. Large businesses must offer their employees health insurance or face penalties. Not quite hitting home as yet is the full impact the ACAs 20+ tax hikes will have not only on large ornamental and miscelaneous metalworking businesses, but all businesses, their owners, the self-employed, and in fact, every individual. By ruling that the ACA is constitutional, the Supreme Court has actually approved a slew of tax hikes, some of them already in play.

The employer mandate

The tax most likely to affect metalworking businesses, at least those with more than 50 employees, is the so-called “Employer Mandate.” Under ACA, a business with more than 50 employees must provide employees with health insurance or face an “assessable payment.” That means a business must be in compliance or face the fine beginning after December 31, 2013. 52

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Already on the books, is a Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit. Employers with fewer than 25 employees can enjoy a tax credit, a direct reduction of the tax bill as opposed to a deduction that reduces the income upon which the tax bill is computed, of as much as 35% of the health insurance premiums they pay. The average annual wages of a metalworking business’s full-time employees must also be less than $50,000.

It is only those ornamental and miscelaneous metalworking operations that have fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees and average salaries of $25,000 or less that are eligible for the full credit. Today, that full credit is 35% of the employer’s contribution toward an employee’s insurance premium. As size of the business and the average wage amount goes up, the tax credit goes down. And once the business hits 25 full-time equivalent employees or $50,000 in average salaries, the credit is completely phased out. This tax credit is scheduled to increase to 50% for small business employers after 2013. Unfortunately, after 2013, small business employers must participate in an insurance exchange in order to claim the credit. Although already in place the Small Employer Health Care Tax Credit appears to be under-utilized. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported only 176,300 of the between 1.4 and 4 million small businesses eligible for this credit claimed it in 2010. One reason, at least according to the GAO, is the tax credit’s perceived complexity.

Fabricator n September / October 2012

The individual mandate

The impact for sole-proprietors and others with no employees will be much like the impact on individuals. For people in this group, the crux of the 2014 rollout is the individual mandate, which requires all U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health coverage or pay a penalty. There are some exemptions, however, such as those from certain religious backgrounds and those who are eligible for the so-called “hardship exemption,” if the cost of the annual premium exceeds 8% of household income. There are penalties intended to ensure compliance. The top penalty for individuals, once fully phased in, for not having insurance is $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater. Minimal qualified insurance

Regardless of size, no ornamental and miscelaneous metalworking business can purchase just any insurance to avoid the penalties. The operation must provide so-called “minimum essential,” and “affordable” coverage. Minimum essential coverage means covering 60% of the actuarial value of the cost of the benefits. And affordable means the premium for the coverage of the individual employee cannot exceed 9.5% of the employee’s household income. If the coverage offered by a large employer is unaffordable, qualifying employees can get subsidized coverage through

For your information


Considerations n If you have fewer than 25 employees you may be entitled to a tax credit equal to 35% of the premiums you pay, as long as you pay more than 50% of the insurance costs for your workers. n If you do not provide coverage, you would be required to

pay a $2,000 per worker tax penalty. There is concern that many business owners may opt to pay the penalty rather than offer coverage. n You can “grandfather” a plan by keeping a plan you had in

effect on March 23, 2010. This will exempt you from some of the reform changes. Resources American Subcontractors Association — Summary of the Legislation: National Federation of Independent Business — Affordable Care Act Timeline: About the Author For more than 25 years, Mark E. Battersby has written editorial features, columns, white papers, and reports for magazines, journals, newsletters, and websites about news and developments in the tax and financial arenas that impact small businesses. He can be reached at

September / October 2012 n Fabricator


the state exchanges. In this case, the employer will have to pay the lesser of $3,000 per subsidized full-time employee, or the $2,000-per-employee penalty after the first 30 full-time employees. The mandate also adds a major cost to sole proprietors and owners of small businesses — those with no employees — who must now buy health insurance for themselves or pay a fine. But sole proprietors and small business owners also get the new option to buy insurance on state exchanges, which tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 9:44 are intended to lower costs for everyone by expanding the pool of insured and spreading out risk. The exchanges

bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. One-person businesses can turn to exchanges for individuals. Companies with up to 100 workers may turn to Small Business Health Options Programs. Both have a similar approach to bringing down costs: increase the size of the insured pool to spread the risk. Lower deductibles, more out-of-pocket


The ACA required each state to establsih both an American Health Benefit Exchange, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Exchange), to provide qualified individuals and qualified small business employers access to health plans. Unfortunately, no exchange is up and running yet. In theory though, they AD

On the plus side, individuals with incomes between 100% and 400% of the poverty level will enjoy reductions Page 1 to their out-of-pocket, health-care expenses by two-thirds, one-half, or one-third, depending on their income levels. These tax breaks go into effect © fotopak - after Dec. 31, 2013. will give small businesses the longOn the other side of the coin, any awaited ability to buy insurance at ornamental and miscelaneous metalrates that once only belonged to larger working business that rewards its owncompanies. ers, shareholders, or employees, with Starting in 2014, sole proprietors, health insurance coverage that exceeds owners, and small businesses can shop a threshold amount established by for less expensive insurance through our lawmakers, are scheduled to face exchanges in each state. Exchanga whopping 40% excise tax beginning PROOF 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2 in 2018. es will have- four levels of coverage:

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Although the IRS has yet to weigh in with the final figures, the dollar limit for determining the tax threshholds is estimated to be $10,200 (for 2018) multiplied by the health cost adjustment percentage for an employee with self-only coverage, and $27,500 (for 2018) for employees with coverage other than self-only coverage. In addition to a hike in the Medicare Payroll Tax on self-employment income (from 2.9% to 3.8%), an “unearned income Medicare contribution” tax will impose the new 3.8% rate on “net investment income.” That includes interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, certain rents, and other “passive” business income. Fortunately, only individuals with incomes in excess of $200,000, and married couples with incomes greater than $250,000 will be subjected to the 3.8% net investment income tax. There are also a number of new rules for the healthcare programs used by so many small business owners — and their workers. New rules for small businesses

Last year, sole proprietors and owners of small metalworking businesses were no longer able to use a health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-thecounter medicines (except insulin). There was also an increased, from 10 to 20%, tax on non-medical early withdrawals from HSAs, putting them at a disadvantage with IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remained at 10%. While there is no cap today, beginning January 1, 2013, employees will face a $2,500 cap on the amount of pre-tax salary deferrals they can make into a FSA. In light of the new cap, employee benefits groups are lobbying for Congress to modify the “use-it-orlose-it rule” where employees forfeit unused funds in their accounts at the end of the plan year. The Congressional Budget Office predicted earlier this year that up to 20 million Americans are likely to lose their current coverage. Because the fines for not offering insurance are September / October 2012 n Fabricator

workers. What they save in money may cost them in productivity and reputation as an employer. Some good news

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much less than the cost of insurance, some employers might see the ACA as a financial incentive to stop providing health insurance. However, while a metalworking business might initially save money, the law provides for penalties that rise as insurance premiums do. A business manager must also consider that not providing insurance can hurt them in terms of employee morale or in their ability to attract good

Fortunately, it is not all bad news: n The ACA limits how much premiums can go up each year. Premiums for some businesses may drop under the law compared with what they’re paying now. n The law eliminates the surcharges many insurers impose on companies that have workers with serious medical conditions. n The exchanges are expected to offer small businesses lower rates than insurance companies charge. n Businesses will also get tax credits for six years for providing coverage. n Because the law requires individuals to have health insurance, the smallest businesses, those with fewer than 50 employees, will be able to lure good workers away from larger companies. With the chance lawmakers will completely or partially repeal the ACA, plan to cope with the many, already-in-place tax hikes and those scheduled in the years ahead.

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Recharge your leadership mojo

© kabliczech -



8 Steps to reignite your passion so you can reignite your company

You know your people are struggling and — not coincidentally — so is your company. 
And if you’re trying to harass them into productivity, you’re fighting a losing battle. 
If they’re to compete in the global economy, you’ll have to light a fire under 
them — but first, says Mohan Nair, you must light one under yourself. It’s been a grueling five years. On the global stage, we’ve seen bailouts, rampant unemployment, sluggish consumer confidence, declining home values, and rising prices. For those still lucky enough to be employed, all this doom and gloom has manifested as insecurity, fear,

stress, and overwork. We may be technically in recovery, but at this point, employees are over it. They’ve been “harassed into productivity” for so long they’re either actively seeking new jobs or running on autopilot and dully hoping things will change. Let’s be honest

As a leader you’re as burned out as they are. You know in your heart that the only way you’ll ever make it in this economy is to get people motivated about their work. But trying to do so with your worn-down spirit and kit of blunt leadership tools is like fueling a rocket ship with tepid bath water, Fabricator n September / October 2012

says Mohan Nair. “The old ways of leadership, the old rules, might as well be hieroglyphics on a cave wall,” says Nair, author of Strategic Business Transformation: The 7 Deadly Sins to Overcome. “Since our brave new world is dominated by ‘unknown unknowns’ — and powered by serving rather than winning — organizations have to change the way they lead their people. “The future belongs to those companies that have the mojo not just to withstand change but to actually create change in their favor — and hopefully in a direction that’s good for others,” he adds. “That requires a business model in which there simply are no sharply defined leaders and followers.” Without a doubt, says Nair, the old “daycare” employment model is obsolete. It’s no longer acceptable for people to enter the office looking to be told what to do next. (For one thing, employees are as likely to be a continent away as parked in the next cubicle over.) And yet, many organizations simply paint a “new economy” façade on a rigid old top-down hierarchy paradigm and expect people to thrive. If you are a leader who recognizes the need to transform your organization, how do you break the selfdestructive cycle and change the unhealthy employer/employee dynamic that is crippling everyone? How to transform yourself Step Admit you have a mojo 1 dysfunction. Your company has

been operating in survival mode for a while now, and that’s not good for anyone. But before you can reignite others, you must reignite yourself. Much like the alcoholic who must admit she has a problem, you must (metaphorically) say, Hello, my name is ______ and I am an old-paradigm, command-and-control leader. Worse, I have been running on empty for a while now. It’s time for me to rediscover my basic leadership beliefs and leverage them into a new beginning. “Sure, it can be hard and scary and exhausting to realize everything you’ve built your leadership legacy on is wrong,” says Nair. “It’s a lot easier, in the short term anyway, to go on September / October 2012 n Fabricator

pretending nothing has changed. But once you find the courage to face the truth, you take the first step toward a new paradigm that’s so much better for all concerned.”

rediscovering your passion in light of a new reality — can you transform yourself and your company. “Seeing the world as existing to serve you is obsolete,” says Nair. “It’s not about you anymore; it’s about othStep Realize that you, personally, ers you serve. Gandhi, Martin Luther 2 have to change. Business transKing, Mother Teresa, and other social formation begins with personal transreformers have it right: They did not formation. Recycling your usual skills start out to be social reformers; they only recycles your past. Only by rejust wanted to make things right. They Ad_2011:Layout 1 2/7/11 Page with 1 charging your leadership mojo —10:09 get- AM started themselves, then their ting back to your basic beliefs and neighborhood, and then the world.

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“So, mojo starts with you,” he adds. “You can change any circumstance if you change your view of the situation.”

yourself as an artist, not a painter; an author, not a writer; a composer, not a musician.”

Step Find your competency. 3 Acknowledge to yourself and to

Step Now, translate that 4 competency into value. Ask

others what you’re good at and not so good at. (Don’t be bashful: Vulnerability helps people connect to you and makes you a better leader.) But this is only a starting point. To be a great leader, you need to know what you’re great at. This is the skill set around which you will package yourself inside your organization. “Think competence, not capacity,” advises Nair. “Being capable of performing is not enough. That will seldom give you the advantage you need to spark real change. Finding your competency is more about the recipe than the ingredients. Think of

yourself: How can I put my competency to work inside my organization? How can I use it to provide value differently to a transformed world? Great leaders can put value into any object, says Nair. We see hints of this when we hold onto a simple object because it reminds us of someone or some event. A rose? A pen? A lucky outfit you wear on special days? “Mother Teresa’s value is compassion for children,” says Nair. “That was her brand. What do others feel when they hear your name? What is your mojo? Once you figure out how to provide value to your organization,

your organization will be able to share that value with its customers. “It may be that your value requires you to move into a new part of the organization,” he adds. “That’s okay. Many people find that they are in the right organization but in the wrong department to maximize their best selves. Be open-minded about where you belong and can do the most good.” Step Create a solid platform 5 for work. The skeleton of your

platform was constructed a long time ago. It is made up of your skills and your experience, the knowledge that defines you. But are there missing planks? Knowing what you want to do, where are the holes that will hinder your ability to execute? To innovate? Figure out how to fill in the holes with new skills, new experiences, and new knowledge. Do this now. Make it a priority. “A résumé is not a record of your jobs but a recipe of the platform you call your skills,” explains Nair. “A new job, or a new role inside a current company, is not merely a place to land. It is the next step of your evolution as a leader. Think about it this way as you make your decisions.” Step Awaken your cause. Find the 6 one thing inside your company

that you feel passionate about. If you can’t find a cause, you may as well forget being a leader. Maybe it’s customer service. Maybe it’s mentoring. Maybe it’s product innovation. Whatever your cause may be, make it your mantra. Let it drive everything you do. Mojo begins and ends with your realized purpose. “Cause is so much more powerful than mission,” says Nair. “Causes are realized while missions are given. Causes transform while missions inform. Causes start with an individual. Leadership mojo is unstoppable if powered by a cause.” Step Commit to servant leadership. 7 Gandhi was not capable of

being a good lawyer, Nair points out. In fact, he was laughed out of his first case. Eventually, he realized he was at his best when he was serving others. It was his power source. It can be yours, 58

Fabricator n September / October 2012

Step Find and 8 leverage

momentum. This is where mojo finds its true fulfillment (not to mention financial reward). What is momentum? Nair describes momentum as the force of an idea and the acceleration you give to take hold of a market. The Pet Rock © kabliczech - from the ’70s represents speed, which is just force applied to an idea. On the other hand, the iPhone too. Being successful in business today represents momentum: It’s something means bringing back your leadership people needed and wanted without mojo in a different way — not based realizing they needed and wanted it. on ego but in service to a higher order. So do Starbucks and Disney: The “How can you take all we’ve disformer filled the need for coffee comcussed so far — competency, value, munities; the latter filled the need platform for work, cause — and use for a business model based on them to serve others?” asks Nair. “That truly is the million-dollar question. How can you take all of these facets and apply them to transforming a situation for your customers or your employees?”

happiness. “Momentum is a unique way to view the market,” explains Nair. “Companies that don’t understand it will miss the drivers that indicate where momentum is going. Those that do will get there first with products designed to be hot sellers. “If you think about it, leveraging momentum is the pinnacle of servant leadership,” he adds. “You’re so tuned into your customers that you know them better than they know themselves.” “We live in exciting times,” says Nair. “What a wonderful privilege to live and work in an age where the marketplace rewards the best of humanity — our desire to create, to innovate, to take risks and fly without a net, to serve the needs of others. “We leaders have the opportunity to make a living by realizing our higher selves and bringing out the higher selves of those around us. We must not squander that gift.”

For your information


About the author Mohan Nair is chief innovation officer for Cambia Health Solutions, Portland, OR. He founded Emerge Inc., a transformation advisory firm, in 1993 and is the former director and president of ABC Technologies Inc., Portland, OR. He has authored two books on cost and performance management, including Strategic Business Transformation. In 2009, the Marketing Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board highlighted him as a “Marketing Thought Leader.”

September / October 2012 n Fabricator


Biz Side

Basic tips for retirement n

Start now to plan to take advantage of every legal way to lower your tax bite as you prepare for retirement. Numerous government benefits can help you.

U.S. Department of Labor form 5500 Series. A certified public accountant can advise you on record keeping and submitting form 5500, left, for your 401(k), which is required by the IRS and the Labor Department. Go to: ebsa/5500main. html.

Editor’s note: Information in this article is provided for educational and reference purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or individual recommendations. Consult an accountant or tax advisor for advice regarding your particular situation.

understand that retirement savings plans have the double benefit of reducing today’s tax load, thus effectively increasing today’s income, while helping to build that all-important retirement nest egg.

By William J. Lynott

For every dollar that you put into your retirement plan, you save 28 cents or more in today’s taxes, and every dollar in that plan is protected from Uncle Sam until you retire and start withdrawals. Thus, you’ll want to contribute the maximum amount possible to your existing retirement plan or get to work now to establish one. If you’re a sole proprietor with no employees, setting up a retirement plan couldn’t be easier. Just ask any broker or mutual fund company to set you up with an individual 401(k). It’s that easy. In this situation, the best plan for you might be what is known as a solo 401(k).

Whether you’re just getting started in your business or if you’ve been around for years, you can’t afford to let your hard-earned dollars get eaten up at tax time. It’s tough enough to earn a decent income these days, and it can be even harder to keep what you earn. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of every legitimate way to minimize your tax bite. Worrying about your retirement today when business demands on you are so high may not be your top priority, but 60

Contributing the max helps you most

Fabricator n September / October 2012

In all 40(k) plans, the maximum amount you may save is determined by a formula based on your compensation. An employee earning, say, $100,000 would be allowed to contribute up to $17,000 in 2012. Sole proprietors get an extra benefit. Since you are both employee and employer, your company may contribute an additional $18,000 or so to your 401(k) making a total of about $35,000, all of which is sheltered from taxes. If you’re age 0 or older, you’ll have a little more icing on the cake. In that case, Uncle Sam allows you to contribute an additional $5,500 making a total allowable contribution about $40,500 in 2012 to your solo 401(k), all of which gets both individual and company tax benefits. Other forms of retirement plans for sole proprietors are the SEP IRA and the SIMPLE IRA, however they do not allow contributions as high as the 401(k). Of course, it gets more complicated if you have employees. In that case, a

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

certified public accountant can advise you on record keeping and submitting form 5500 for your 401(k), which is required by the IRS and the Labor Department. To get the form and more information, the Labor Department’s website is: If your business has fewer than 100 employees, launching your first 401(k) plan qualifies the business for up to a $500 tax credit for each of the first three years of your plan. Business owners need have only one participating employee, not including the owner, to qualify. Owners who match their employees’ contributions can also deduct that amount as a business expense. Whether you work as a sole proprietor or the head of your own corporation, failure to participate to the fullest extent possible in a government sponsored retirement plan will put you at a financial disadvantage in an economy where you need to trim every possible dollar from your tax bill while saving for a comfortable retirement.

Obviously, not everyone can save the maximum allowable contribution to a retirement plan. If that’s you, contribute the most that you can. While the burden may seem heavy at contribution time, remember that the corresponding reduction in your income taxes is increasing your net income. 401(k) set-up deadline: October 1

If you haven’t set up a retirement savings plan, you can’t afford to delay. The annual deadline for setting up 401(k) plans is October 1 and the clock is ticking. “Don’t wait until tax filing time to fund your retirement account,” each year says CPA, Carol I. Katz, Baltimore, MD. “Making the maximum allowable deposits into your 401(k) or IRA account as early in the year as possible not only reduces your tax load, it also adds months to the tax-deferred compounding of your investment.” Many Americans nearing retirement age have saved nowhere close to the amount they will need to provide


Opening page of the 2012 study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

for a comfortable retirement, says the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In an EBRI survey, more than half of respondents said they have less than $25,000 in savings. Many Americans approaching retirement age are losing confidence that retirement is even possible, according to EBRI. Most people don’t put aside much

In truly astonishing statistics, EBRI’s 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey ( revealed that: n 27% of Americans report having less than $1,000 in savings, n 43% say they have less than $10,000 set aside, and n 54% has less than $25,000 saved. For results of the 2012 study: http:// (PDF). As one financial planner puts it, “In the new economy, you have to provide for your own retirement. If you don’t do it, no one else will.” The only practical way for you to provide for your own retirement is to make sure that you are participating to fullest possible extent in your own retirement savings plan.

For your information


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



Fabricator n September / October 2012


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The Fabrication Store (866) 79-FAB-4-U

Lift Master (630) 279-3600

Ransburg (419) 470-2000 Regency Railings Inc. (214) 742-9408 Robinson Iron Corp. (800) 824-2157 Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc. (216) 291-2303 Rogers Mfg. Inc. (940) 325-7806 SECO South (888) 535-SECO Sharpe Products (800) 879-4418 South Camden Iron Works Inc. (856) 423-1107

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. (828) 437-5348

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

The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961

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

Mac Metals Inc. (800) 631-9510

Suhner Industrial Products Inc. (800) 323-6886

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

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

Marks U.S.A. (631) 225-5400

Sumter Coatings Inc. (888) 471-3400

Carell Corp. (251) 937-0948

Geo. Bezdan Sales Ltd. (604) 299-5264

McKey Perforating (262) 786-2700

Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271

Glasswerks LA Inc. (323) 789-7800

Metabo Corp. (800) 638-2264

Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc. (909) 581-3058

Hayn Enterprises LLC (860) 257-0680

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

Century Group Inc. (337) 527-5266 Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402

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

Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404

Heritage Cast Iron USA (918) 592-1700

Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. Illinois Engineered (866) 464-4766 Products Inc. (312) 850-3710 Indiana Gratings Inc. (800) 634-1988

Locinox USA (708) 579-0286

Multi Sales Inc. (800) 421-3575 NC Tool Co. (336) 674-5654 Ohio Gratings Inc. (330) 477-6707

Stairways Inc. (713) 680-3110

Tri-State Shearing & Bending (718) 485-2200 TS Distributors Inc. (832) 467-5400 The Wagner Companies (888) 243-6914 Wasatch Steel Inc. (888) 486-4463

Precision Glass Bending Corp. (800) 543-8796

Super Thanks!!! A thanks to our members who have sponsored a new firm for our 2012–13 membership drive. We encourage everyone to sponsor a member and/or send the NOMMA office your leads. If needed, we will be glad to send you a supply of membership brochures. n n n

Julius Blum & Co. Inc. Lawler Foundry Corp. Keeler Iron Works

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

n n

DJA Imports Majka Railing Co. Inc.

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Cuper Studios LLC National Ornamental Metal Museum



NOMMA Gold Members

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 September 7, 2012. Acme Metal Designs Auburn, WA John Forsman Fabricator Bachtold Metal Works Jacksonville, FL Ron Bachtold Fabricator

Heckelmann Metal Works LLC Atlanta, GA TJ Heckelmann Fabricator Honolulu Ironworks Inc. Honolulu, HI Frank Vyvoda Fabricator

Dave’s Architectural Iron LLC Paterson, NJ David Friessen Fabricator

Lift Master Elmhurst, IL Pat Evans Nationwide Supplier

The Fabrication Store Chester, PA Padraig Kelly Nationwide Supplier

Red Mountain Ironworks Birmingham, AL Brady Jackson Fabricator


Suhner Industrial Products Inc. Rome, GA Rickey Williams Nationwide Supplier Vann’s Welding & Ornamental Works Inc. Monroe, NC Vann McManus Fabricator Woodard Artistic Iron LLC Clearwater, FL Jeremy Woodard Fabricator

Congratulations to these following firms who will become NOMMA Gold Members this year (20 years): n Artistic Iron Works Inc. n Beauty Craft Metal

Fabricators Inc. Bower Welding Custom Iron Inc. Design Metals John F. Graney Metal Design n Sorge Industries Inc. n Southwest Metalsmiths Inc. n Welding Works Inc. n n n n

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

Fabricator n September / October 2012

What’s Hot? n Industry Briefs ESAB opens new manufacturing facility ESAB Welding and Cutting Products, Florence, SC, has opened a new 260,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Union County, SC. It will manufacture high-performance MIG and submerged arc welding wires. Two new production lines of the company’s premium brand, AristoRod, and copper-coated wires will also be housed there. The new plant “represents an increase in production capacity and the transfer of lines that were being manufactured overseas,” says Sue Bartholomew, ESAB global marketing director. Contact 800-ESAB-123, Lewton-Brain Foldform competition winners named The Center for Metal Arts, Florida, NY, has named the winners of the inaugural Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition 2012. First place went to Rauni Higson, UK, with her entry called “Undersea Candelabra.” Second place went to Theresa Nguyen, U.K., with her entry “Spiritus.” Third place went to Kaiya Rainbolt of the U.S. with an entry called “Quadrant.” The Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition recognizes experimental work using foldforming across art disciplines and to create a benchmark of how this technique is evolving in the 30 years since it was first developed. The competition stirred international interest among jewelers and metalsmiths, with 160 entries from three continents. Contact 845-651-7550,

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

Industry News

Feeney’s Cable Rail among architects’ top choices Feeney Inc., Oakland, CA, a manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum railing systems, has announced that its Cable Rail was named one of the 15 products that architects can’t live without in the May/June 2012 issue of Residential Architect magazine. The magazine identified Cable Rail as one of 15 key building products, based in part on the number of times it was mentioned in architects’ choice lists, as well as multiple design awards resource lists. The Cable Rail by Feeney line features both standard and custom fabricated stainless steel cable assemblies. Made of weatherproof 316-grade stainless steel with over 70% recycled content, these cables and components are designed to meet any railing condition. They are a low-maintenance, environmentally friendly, and visually

unobtrusive alternative to commonly used wooden or metal picket infill, says the company. “Versatile enough for interior and exterior applications, stainless steel cable has become the go-to option when architects want to create safety railings that maintain sight lines, views, and light,” says Residential Architect writer Nigel F. Maynard. You can read the entire article at

Contact 800-888-2418,

Hypertherm issues corporate social responsibility report A new corporate social responsibility report available from Hypertherm, Hanover, NH, designer and manufacturer of cutting products, outlines steps the manufacturer takes to reach its social and environmental goals. This is the second year the company has released such a report. “Though our journey is constantly evolving, we made significant progress toward our goals in 2011 thanks to the support of our communities along with the conscientious and thoughtful work of our associates,” says Barbara Couch, Hypertherm’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

Highlights in the 2011 report include: n Record-breaking participation in its community service time program. n Monetary support for more than 100 nonprofit organizations. A strong need for funding resulted in Hypertherm receiving and accepting a record number of grant applications in 2011. n A nearly 10% reduction in landfill waste. n A 20% improvement in the kilowatt-per-hour sales-dollar metric. Contact 603-643-3441, 65

What’s Hot? n Chris Holt gets ABANA award Chris Holt, Steel Welding, Freedom, PA, was awarded the Joe Humble Award for the 2012 Newsletter Editor of the Year at the Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA) conference held this summer in Rapid City, SD. The Joe Humble Award, initiated by ABANA’s board of directors in 1994, is awarded to a newsletter editor of an affiliate voted on Thrilled winner Chris Holt, 2nd from left. ABANA board of directors’ members, left to right, John by his/her peers. The award was named in honor McLellan, Loomis, CA; Bill Clemens, New Columbia, PA; David Hutchison, Cordova, MD. of Joe Humble, who was on the ABANA board, served as president, and the Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmiths Association since the fall of 2002. She established the first affiliate. said she is honored to receive this presThe symbolic forged feather on the tigious award and thrilled to have a plaque was created by the previous “feather in her cap.” recipient, ABANA board member Bill Contact 423-913-1022, Clemens. Holt has been newsletter editor of



People brief Knaak named sales rep Connie Knaak has been named outside sales representative for the southwestern United States region by The Wagner Companies and will be based in Austin, TX. She has worked at Wagner for 24 years serving in a variety of position including receivables, customer service, customer service management, and production control. Most recently, Knaak was manager of employee development. The Wagner Companies is a manufacturer of handrail fittings and metal products for architectural and industrial applications. Contact 888-243-6914,

Fabricator n September / October 2012

What’s Hot? n


News Brief Camfil Farr APC creates 3D video tour of dust collector Camfil Farr Air Pollution Control (APC) has partnered with Arkansas State University’s Center for Digital Initiatives (CDI) to create a 3-D animated video titled “Clean Air Rocks.” The 31/2-minute video (http:// takes viewers on a virtual tour through the inside of a Camfil Farr APC Gold Series dust collector. It tracks dust particles as they travel from the workplace into the dust collector and through its filtration system to ultimately deliver clean air back to the factory. Contact 800-479-6801,

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

Cut-resistant gloves and sleeves Kimberly-Clark Professional For work environments that pose a risk of cuts and abrasions, Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched two new products — Jackson Safety G60 Level 2 Polyurethane Coated Cut Resistant Gloves and Jackson Safety G60 Level 5 Cut Resistant Sleeves with Dyneema fiber. Both are designed for use in metal fabrication, glass handling, automotive assembly and stamping and assembly. The new Jackson Safety G60 Level 2 Polyurethane Coated Cut Resistant Gloves protect against minor cuts and abrasions, and offer a barrier against oil penetration, while allowing good dexterity for improved productivity,

says the company. They feature ANSI/EN 388 Level 2 cut resistance, a stretch Kevlar liner that delivers cut resistance and a comfortable fit, and protection for intermittent heat contact up to 212°F (gloves must not come into contact with a naked flame). The new Jackson Safety G60 Level 5 Cut Resistant Sleeves with Dyneema fiber provide ANSI Level 3/EN388 Level 5 cut resistance; Dyneema fiber with nylon, Lycra fiber and glass liner for cut resistance and a comfortable fit; and a patent-pending proprietary closure for the arm and wrist. Contact 888-346-4652,


What’s Hot? n Pedestal-mounted LED light Larson Electronics Larson Electronics’ Magnalight. com has added a portable pedestalmounted LED light that offers high power and the versatility and stability of magnetic mounting. Designed to provide a powerful and highly versatile lighting option for operators requiring portable area lighting, the BML-150 LED magnetic pedestal work area light provides as much illumination as 400-watt metal halide units and can be used as a portable pedestal or temporary magnetic backmount light. The BML-150 LED produces 14,790-lumen light output. It features an IP68-rated waterproof LED assembly, aluminum pedestal mount platform, and four 200-pound grip magnetic feet that provide 800 pounds of gripping force for secure mounting



to any ferrous metallic surface. The aluminum frame is designed for rugged use and portable versatility with heavy gauge aluminum construction, and adjustable carry handle, adjustable LED light head, and four magnetic mounting feet. This light can serve as a simple work area pedestal light, or be mounted to tank walls or on equipment to provide illumination in areas where mounting options are limited. The LED assembly is constructed of heavy gauge aluminum with a Lexan lens. Contact 800-369-6671,

Pneumatic circular saw CS Unitec CS Unitec’s new pneumatic circular saw is designed to dry cut steel plate up to 3/8-inches thick, as well as nonferrous metal, plastic, grating, composite and corrugated materials. The 19-pound Model 5 1115 0020 metal cutting saw is designed for use in foundries, petrochemical, nuclear, marine, demolition and fabrication industries, or other applications where pneumatic power is needed. The 2-hp pneumatic motor operates at 90 PSI using 60 CFM air volume and has a ½-inch female NPT air connection. The 9-inch circular saw has an overall cutting depth of 31/4 inches at 90° degrees and 21/8 inches at 45°. The Ultra-thin Laser Beam Saw blade comes as standard equipment for use with the saw. This shock-resistant, tungsten carbide-tipped (TCT) blade

Fabricator n September / October 2012

What’s Hot? n


produces 35% fewer chips, according to the company. The Ultra-thin blade has a thickness of .055 inches versus a conventional blade thickness of .073 inches. Standard blades (.073-inch thick) for dry cutting aluminum, thinwall metal and sheet metal are also available. Contact 800-700-5919,

Metal hole-cutting package Hougen Manufacturing Hougen Manufacturing has two new RotaCut Sheet Metal Hole Cutter Master Kits, each an all-in-one set with 16 different sizes of RotaCuts for drilling holes in materials up to 1/4-inch thick. The fractional kit includes cutters from 1/4 inch to ¾ inch and the metric kit includes sizes from 6 mm to 20 mm. RotaCuts can be used in all types of metal fabrication, maintenance and electrical applications, spotweld removal, plug holes for welding, and production environments. Each kit is in a sturdy plastic storage case and includes an arbor assembly, extra pilots, center punch, washers, and instructions on use. RotaCuts can be used in handheld electric drills with 3/8-inch chucks and in drill presses. RotaCut sheet metal hole cutters are made of M2 H.S.S., hardened and

precision ground. The annular or hollow design cuts only at the periphery of the hole, leaving the center as a solid slug of material. Because there is no center point or “dead zone,” the annular cutter configuration has demonstrated the ability to drill holes up to three times faster and can last 10 times longer than twist drills or hole saws, says the company. Contact 810-635-7111,


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September / October 2012 n Fabricator

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


What’s Hot? n


Semi-automatic band saw Kalamazoo Machine Tool The Kalamazoo Machine Tool Model KS600 Semi-Automatic Band Saw is designed for production sawing of solids and structural shapes up to 20 inches at 90° in full cycle, semiautomatic operation. The saw offers double mitering up to 60° either left or right. The blade speed is variable from 60 to 360 fpm to enable the operator to adjust the cut-

ting speed for optimal sawing of the material. The saw frame is canted 5° to cut through the bottom of a structural section without vibration or slowdown of the sawing rate, says the company. The Model KS600 is built for solid, vibration-free production cutting, fully hydraulic operation, with a freestanding operator console. When the operator pushes a single button, the sawframe automatically senses the material size, the vise clamps, the sawframe makes the cut at the preset rate, then automatically returns to clear the workpiece, and the vise opens, ready for the next cut. Contact 269-321-8860, Lighted handrail fixture Wagner Architectural Systems Wagner Architectural Systems has announced the addition of a new com-

ponent for their illuminated Lumenrail lighted handrail product group — the Klik System’s Ledpod. The Klik System’s Ledpod is an individual LED lighting fixture that is designed to snap into a 11/2 inch to 23/8 inch round handrail or guard top rail section, with no threading required. The Ledpod illuminates in either an asymmetric or symmetrical distribution without the need to tilt the hand-

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Fabricator n September / October 2012

What’s Hot? n


rail, thus eliminating unwanted glare. The Klik Ledpod is suitable for use in curved railings. The Ledpod fixture fits flush into handrails of any size, and has a contemporary look. The LED’s asymmetrical optical system (patent pending) was designed using Photopia software and eliminates glare. A specially designed heat sink solved the problem of heat on the glass lens and handrail, which does not exceed 35°. Installation and maintenance are designed to be simple, using a retaining spring system. Contact 888-243-6914, Creepfeed grinding wheels Norton/Saint-Gobain Saint-Gobain Abrasives has recently introduced Norton Quantum X Creep-

feed Wheels, featuring three proprietary technologies. The new wheels are found in the “Best” tier of Norton grinding products. The Quantum X wheels were created for a variety of applications ranging from low to medium and high force on heat sensitive, hard-to-grind inconel, titanium, and aerospace alloys. These new creepfeed wheels are

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designed to perform on large areas of contact applications and offer exceptional form and corner-holding, says the company. “Quantum wheels will allow our customers to reduce grinding cycle times up to 50% while using over 20% less power,” says Jim Gaffney, product manager at Norton. Norton Quantum X creepfeed wheels are available in blank stock in a type 01 Straight Wheel in six sizes ranging from 16 inch x 1 inch x 5 inch (D x T x H) to 20 inch x 5 inch x 8 inch (D x T x H). Quantum X unfinished blank stock wheels are also available in various abrasives and grit sizes and can be customized to meet a user’s dimensional requirements. Contact 254-918-2313, Questions? Call Peter H. Miller, President: 202.339.0744 x 104. Or email

September / October 2012 n Fabricator

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


  Pg Company


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

70 Jesco Industries Inc. WIPCO div................

29 Apollo Gate

69 Kalamazoo Machine Tool..................................

21 Architectural Iron Designs

67 Kalamazoo Metal Muncher...................

71 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of North America

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

64 Atlas Metal Sales.............................................

13 Krando Metal Products, Inc...............................

68 Ken Bergman & Assoc.

28 Laser Precision Cutting.....................................

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

38 Lawler Foundry

48 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc...................... 53 Julius Blum & Co. 42 The Cable Connection................. 70 John C. Campbell Folk 47 Carell Corporation........................................... 17 Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co...................... 34 Colorado Waterjet 32 CS Unitec Inc........................................................ 36 Custom Ornamental Iron Works

7 C.R. Laurence Co. Inc..................................... 39 Lawler Foundry Corp. 2 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc..................... 66 Lindblade Metal 15 Mac Metals Inc................................................ 61 Marks 19 Metabo 62 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool...................... 55 Pat Mooney 28 National Bronze & Metal............................. 69 NC Tool Company

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

58 Regency

66 Doringer Cold Saw.............................................

48 Rogers Mfg. Inc........................................

44 DynaTorch...........................................................

40 Scotchman Industries...................................

47 Eagle Bending Machines Inc...........................

24 Simonian

37 Sharpe Products....................................

59 Eberl Iron Works

72 Society of Manufacturing Engineers.......................

30 Encon

43 Stairways

25 FabCad Inc...............................................................

20 Suhner Industrial Products Corp................

31 Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products).....................

57 Sumter Coatings

33 Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems 68 Hougen Mfg. Inc................................................... 26 International Gate 76 The Iron 51 Jansen Ornamental Supply Co..............

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 September / October 2012 n Fabricator

71 Traditional Building....................... 54 Tri-State Shearing & Bending.................................... 718-485-2200 64 Universal Entry Systems Inc......................................800-837-4283 11 Vogel Tool & Die LLC........................................ 23 The Wagner

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


Metal Moment

Experiment to create a variety of patinas Editor’s note: On NOMMA’s e­mail discussion list, or ListServ, members get answers to their technical questions. Finishes, a frequent topic, is the inspiration for this article. ListServ question: Does anybody know how to get this finish (see photo)? I have a client that wants this finish on 3 x 8-foot sheets.


Rob Rolves, Foreman Fabricators Inc., St. Louis, MO:

As with any patina application, experimentation is crucial. Start simple — spray the patina on unevenly and let it dry in the sun. However, my first thought would be to spray the patina solution on the metal, lay a wrinkled piece of blank newsprint paper over it, soak it with the patina, and then place another piece of sprayed metal on top. Use a cold patina; don’t let the paper dry out. More or less wrinkled paper will have different results. Cloth could be used instead of paper, but sometimes the weave of the cloth shows up. Some nice variegation can be achieved with sawdust. Different types and coarseness of sawdust will produce different results. I’ve had good luck with oak sawdust from a chain saw and cedar/pine hamster cage chips. A hot patina could be used, also. Uneven heating will cause “hot spots,” which create the differences in color seen in the sample picture. As for submerging, it isn’t too hard. Make a shallow tank out of 2 x 4-inch sand plywood and line it with plastic. I’ve submerged 8-foot sections of staircase handrails (with help, of course). Cost and time efficiency are factors with submersion. I try to submerge

only as a last resort or when the patina must be uniform. Many submerge recipes in The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals require several days and a lot of tending. More user friendly, ready­mixed patinas are available. I suggest using something you have experience with — and just experiment with the application of it. Tony Martinez, Big D Metalworks, Dallas, TX:

The finish on the large panel will be different in appearance — be sure your client knows this. Our clients sometimes don’t understand why their 8-foot panel doesn’t look the same as their 6-inch sample. It’s custom! Go figure. Larry Peters, Regional Manager­, South, Copper Development Association, New York, NY:

n The size of each panel will complicate consistency. n Cleanliness of the initial surface is essential. All residual machining oils

and hand oils must be removed. Some artisans like to lightly roughen the surface of the metal with fine sandpaper or other abrasive to help ensure chemicals reach the metal. n The artisan should experiment to achieve patinas that he can create, rather than make a futile attempt to match something exactly. n Sometimes, letting solutions dry slowly works well. The chemical solution, while aqueous, has more time to react with the metal surface metal. n After chemical patinas are applied and the surface is dry, a powdery surface needs to be removed by light washing with clean water and a clean cloth. If the patina was heavily applied, some will flake — light washing with a clean cloth, again, will work. The light washing will change the appearance, but either a powder or flakes that wipe or wear off change the appearance, too. n Once complete, a light waxing with carnauba or raw linseed oil will help prevent incidental discoloration from light exposure to some chemicals, such as hand oils. Oils darken the overall effect. Experimentation is the key. n You can mix your own solutions. The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals by Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe provides many recipes. Many firms manufacture pre­mixed solutions. A Web search brings up suppliers such as Sculpt Nouveau, Sur­Fin, and Birchwood Casey. n Lastly, consider the final application. If these panels are to be installed with a full exterior exposure, don’t bother with a chemically induced patina. The copper surface will move to the local equilibrium point — initially a brown, final tone dependent on exposure and climate.


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 September / October 2012

September / October 2012 n Fabricator





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Fabricator n September / October 2012

2012 09 fab  
2012 09 fab