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Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metal

The official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association

January / February 2013 $6.00 US

Join us for

METALfab2013 Albuquerque, NM, March 20–23

page 35

Historic Route 66 in Albuquerque. Dig the cars!

Shop Talk Building stair railings, step-by-step, page 14

Shop Talk Is a hot treadle torch for you?, page 31

Job Profile Sklodowsky’s stair affairs, page 46

Biz Side Estimate your taxes — or else, page 60

CELEBRATING OUR 56th YEAR 1957 - 2013

Join Us In Beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico Focus on Success METALfab2013 March 20 - 23, 2013 • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque

You are invited to NOMMA’s annual METALfab convention.

Join your fellow professionals from around the world for four days of learning, networking, and socializing. The power-packed week will feature: • Education sessions • Product demos • Shop tours • Spouse program • Exhibits • Awards contest • Social events

Why should you attend the METALfab2013 Exhibits? • Touch, explore, and realistically evaluate products. • See firsthand the latest trends and technologies. • Learn about hundreds of the best products and resources available. • Discover new products through demos and one-on-one sessions with industry experts. • Meet some of the best people in the world and form new working relationships.

Visit the website to register for the convention. The exhibits only registration is FREE!

For more info, visit or call us at 888-516-8585

EXHIBIT HOURS Wednesday, Mar. 20 Thursday, March 21 Friday, March 22

4:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. – Exhibits Opening 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Exhibits & Product Demos on Exhibit Floor 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Exhibits Open

METALfab is the annual convention of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association, founded in 1958.

Become A NOMMA Member Members Receive Awesome Benefits Membership Benefits Online Video Library Member Resource Kit Subscriptions

(O&MM Fabricator & NOMMA Newswire)

Webinars Vendor Discounts Awards Contest Discounts on all Media & Events Rod Lambirth

At my first convention I learned about the Top Job contest and it really gave me an incentive to design and build the very best I could for the customer and myself. I also learn from the NOMMA ListServ, which continually provides answers to questions and exposes me to ways that others solve their problems. There are many education videos available and it’s a great resource when you need it. And it’s always a good time at the convention, just visiting with everyone and looking at all the work in the awards contest. I think it’s a wise business move to join NOMMA. — Rod Lambirth, Rod Iron Rod LLC, Odessa, TX

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

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 pg. 63



January / February 2013 Vol. 54, No. 1

METALfab2013 sessions and registration information...........35

NOMMA Network Meet Fabricator’s editorial advisory board....................................... 10

Ten sessions, tours, exhibitors, Spouse Program, and special events set for METALfab2o13, 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 us for a dynamic experience!

Re-energized panel to help make publication more useful. n Need help establishing value of historical posts, page 11.

Biz Side 6 Viruses that can squeeze your business.......................................... 57

These 6 killer viruses can wreak havoc on your business. This article examines each of them and offers common sense antidotes. By William J. Lynott

Shop Talk

Biz Side

Stair railings, step-by-step........... 14

In this article, you’ll follow the stepby-step layout of a handrail using simple tools and techniques to get accurate measurements. You’ll learn to properly space pickets with no arithmetic or electronic device. By John Barron Shop Talk Is a hot treadle torch for you?.... 31

In this article, you will become acquainted with a foot-operated torch. A foot-operated torch facilitates quick and efficient spot heating while leaving the operators hands-free. By “Uncle Bob” Walsh

Estimate your taxes — or else............................................................ 60

Job Profiles Sklodowsky’s stair affairs................ 46

Anvil Craft siblings pull together to get work done, which is split logically and shared evenly, and industry awards are stacking up. By Molly Badgett Job Profiles Top Job Gallery: ...................................... 54

This issue we are continuing our popular “Top Job Gallery.” We hope you enjoy looking at these jobs entered in our Ernest Wiemann Top Job contests. Category: Non-forged railings.

Estimating income, and the tax bill for that income, can be quite daunting. Here are a few ways to ‘guestimate’ what your income will be. By Mark E. Battersby What’s Hot! Industry News.................................... 66 Training Workshop.......................... 68 Literature/People............................ 69 New Products..................................... 70 Nationwide Suppliers.................... 64 New Members.................................... 65

President’s Letter........... 7

Exec. Director’s Letter.... 8

NEF................................... 12

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

12 Reasons to go to METALfab, March 20–23.

The ultimate barbecue sauce.

The NEF Auction Donation Form.

Handling existing ironwork — part 1

About the cover METALfab2013 convenes in Albuquerque March 20–23. The cover photo is a view of historic Route 66 (Central Avenue), which runs through the heart of Albuquerque. Photo credit: For a complete description of METALfab2013, see page 35. January / February 2013 n Fabricator


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President’s Letter

12 Reasons to go to METALfab 6 Product Demos. Exhibithe end of the year, and I’m tors will give product demos on seeing numerous best/worst the show floor stage. lists for 2012. People love lists 7 Top Job Contest. Particimaybe because we are all busy pate in the industry’s premier people, and a list provides a competition by entering, votquick source of information. ing, and attending the Top Job Thus, I am going to give my Jamboree. See all the fantastic “Top 12” reasons for attending Will Keeler, work submitted by NOMMA Keeler Iron METALfab in Albuquerque: members. Works, is 1 Education. Check out 8 Chance to visit Albupresident the education sessions. For querque. It’s a beautiful city of NOMMA. instance, see “Secrets to with memorable ironwork and Their Success,” featuring four architecture, as well as activiNOMMA veterans who share their ties to entertain you and your famknowledge. Or, check out, “Combining ily, including ballooning, arts, cultural Technology & Practice to Merge Field centers, and great cuisine. Measuring to Shop Drawings, Layout 9 Exhibits. Our business can and Field Installation.” These are just only be as good as our suppliers and two sessions that jumped out at me, NOMMA has the best group of suppliand there are many other great classes. ers! METALfab exhibitors give every2 Fabulous networking events. one access to the latest products and Exhibits Opening, Theme Dinner, services for our industry. Awards Banquet. These events are 10 Partners in Education Recepmuch more fun and beneficial for your tion. Friday night the NOMMA Edubusiness than Facebook or Linkedcation Foundation throws a party to In. You get to meet your colleagues thank its supporters. face-to-face from around the country. 11 Meet your suppliers and sponMake new friends and create business sors. Not only do your suppliers have relationships. the products and services fabricators 3 Shop Tours. This year we’re visitneed, they also have the knowledge to ing three firms, including a blacksmith- make our jobs easier. Meeting face-toing school, commercial miscellaneous face is a great way to learn from them. shop, and high-tech fab shop. This is 12 Invest in your business. It does always one of the most popular events cost a fair sum to attend a conference and a personal favorite. The conversalike METALfab and you want a return tions on the bus ride alone can provide on your investment. Most attendees a gold mine of information. say they learn something every year 4 Free drinks? Yes, a fellow that pays for their attendance. You will NOMMA member is likely to buy you learn new techniques, processes, and a drink or maybe even your lunch. be exposed to new products that will NOMMA members are almost as genimprove your business. erous at the bar as they are sharing These are just a few reasons for their knowledge. attending METALfab. I look forward to 5 Spouse Program. There is quite a seeing you there. program this year: Tour historic Santa Fe, create your own artwork using traditional Spanish colonial tinwork, and attend a turquoise lecture and presentation plus a hands-on workshop using acrylics with artist Maxine Minter. As I write this column it is near

January / February 2013 n Fabricator

Dedicated to the success of our members and industry. NOMMA O FFICERS

President Will Keeler, Keeler Iron Works, Memphis, TN Vice President/Treasurer Mark Koenke, Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. Jackson, WI President-Elect J.R. Molina, Big D Metalworks, Dallas, TX Immediate Past President James Minter, Jr., Imagine Ironworks, Brookhaven, MS


Todd Kinnikin, Eureka Forge, Pacific, MO Keith Majka, Majka Railing Co. Inc., Paterson, NJ Ray Michael, R & F Metals Inc., Clinton, MD Allyn Moseley, Heirloom Stair & Iron, Campobello, SC Tina Tennikait, Superior Fence & Orn. Iron, Cottage Hills, IL Greg Terrill, Division 5 Metalworks, Kalamazoo, MI


Gina Pietrocola, D.J.A. Imports Ltd., Bronx, NY Rick Ralston, Feeney Inc., Eugene, OR 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


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


Chesapeake Bay Patty Koppers, President, Koppers Fabricators Inc., Forestville, MD, 301-420-6080 Florida Cathy Vequist, President, Pinpoint Solutions, Jupiter, FL, 561-801-7549 Gulf Coast Charles Perez, President, B & O Machine Welding, Brookhaven, MS, 985-630-6943 Northeast Keith Majka, President, Majka Railing Co. Inc., Paterson, NJ, 973-247-7603 Pacific Northwest Gale Schmidt, President, A2 Fabrication Inc., Milwaukie, OR, 503-771-2000 Upper Midwest Mark O’Malley, President, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc., Yorkville, IL, 630-553-1604


Executive Director, J. Todd Daniel, CAE Meetings & Exposition Manager; NEF Executive Director, Martha Pennington Member Care & Operations Manager, Liz Johnson Editor, Robin Sherman Sales Director, Sherry Theien


Terry Barrett, Pinpoint Solutions, Jupiter, FL Doug Bracken, Wiemann Metalcraft, Tulsa, OK Bill Coleman, Arc Angels, Dunedin, FL Nancy Hayden, Tesko Enterprises, Norridge, IL Chris Holt, Steel Welding, Freedom, PA Rob Rolves, Foreman Fabricators, St. Louis, MO


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: stheien@att. net. Ads are due on the first Friday of the month preceding the cover date. Send ads to: Fabricator at address above. Email 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) 516-8585, or E-mail: fabricator@nomma. org. 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 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. © 2013 National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association


The ultimate barbecue sauce that has a powerful mix of business, design, and shop oriented at the Metal Museum in Memsessions. Topics cover sales, phis, TN. While there I smelled field measuring, finishing, and an incredible aroma and discovmore. ered that the late Judy Wallace, Best of all, the shop tours are the museum’s assistant director, back! The tour includes visits to was creating a batch of her Raysteel, Architectural Metals, famous barbecue sauce. Todd Daniel is executive and Backerworks Skilled WeldAs many of you know, I am director of ing. During the day, you’ll be a barbecue aficionado, and her NOMMA. exposed to facilities that cover sauce is the best I ever had in miscellaneous work, blackmy life. According to retired smithing, and high-tech projects. museum director Jim Wallace, “It was We have a new online system that and remains the best there ever was.” makes registering for METALfab The recipe, which is reprinted easier than ever. Simply go to www. below, makes a gallon of sauce and is and click on “Register ideal for a chapter meeting or summer Online.” If you only want to see the pool party. Enjoy! exhibits, there is no charge. In other news, METALfab2013 is I look forward to seeing everyone around the corner and I encourage in beautiful Albuquerque! you to register soon. Once again, the NOMMA Education Foundation has put together a great education lineup In 1994, my family and I stayed

Judy’s BBQ sauce Estimates below reflect the essential nature of Judy’s BBQ sauce — a family recipe developed by my father, whose variations, consistent with available resources, were my heritage in the kitchen. Good luck. Whatever happens, it will beat Kraft hands down.

1 fourteen ounce bottle of catsup 1 fifteen ounce can of tomato sauce 1 six ounce can of tomato paste 3 cups of tomato juice ¼ cup of soy sauce 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard 1 ounce hot sauce ¼ cup dark molasses ¼ cup dark brown sugar

O&MM Fabricator / NOMMA 805 South Glynn St., Ste. 127, #311 Fayetteville, GA 30214

Executive Director’s Letter

Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator (ISSN 0191-5940), is the official publication of the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA).


How to reach us

11/2 cups water 11/2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper 4 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon cloves (ground) 1/2 teaspoon tumeric 2 teaspoons dried mustard (ground) 1 teaspoon black pepper (ground) salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large {scorch proof) pot. Heat to boiling. Turn down and simmer for one hour stirring occasionally. This will make close to a gallon of sauce. It can be safely stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. It also can be frozen or processed (canned). Works as is for chicken. In long-cooking pork dishes, I often use this 25% and 75% vinegar as a basting sauce, finishing the last two turns with the sauce recipe straight. I prefer it to be thinner than most commercially available sauces. If you wind up with something thicker than tomato sauce, add water or vinegar to thin. If you prefer a sweeter and less spicy sauce, increase the molasses and brown sugar and eliminate part of the hot sauce, chili powder and crushed red peppers. Fabricator n January / February 2013

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The NOMMA Network

Meet Fabricator’s editorial advisory board Re-energized panel to help make publication more useful Editor’s note: With this issue of Fabricator, the magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board will be taking a more formal role to enhance the publication’s authoritativeness and usefulness for our fabricator readers. Advisory board members will be suggesting topics for articles, helping us find sources, and reviewing articles before publication to help ensure they are on target. All the board members are “in the trenches” fabricators Terry Barrett Pinpoint Solutions

Terry Barrett, co-owner, Pinpoint Solutions, provides fabricators with technical services. From 2001–2011, he was the coowner of Royal Iron Creations, focusing on high-end residential and commercial clients, and fabricating stair railings, custom doors, and walkways and drive gates. A number of his jobs won Top Job Awards from NOMMA. Terry has served on the NOMMA Board of Directors for seven years and is a past president. He continues to remain involved with NOMMA’s strategic planning and governance. He has a degree in business management from Fla. Atlantic University. Nancy Hayden Tesko Enterprises

Nancy is the marketing director for Tesko primarily targeting the architectural and design community. She currently serves on the NOMMA’s AIA Marketing/Education Task Force that is dedicated to educating architects to increase demand for the products of fabricators. She is also a member of the Kalo Foundation, preserving the legacy of the Kalo artisan/metalsmith workshop. She has a bachelor of arts in interior design from Harrington Institute of Design in Chicago.


whose business depends on the same good information provided by NOMMA and this magazine as your business does. Our mission is to ask: “What’s in it for the fabricator?” Is it higher quality, efficiency, or a better return on your investment? Please meet our Editorial Advisory Board members below. Don’t hesitate to contact me at or a board member if you have an idea for an article.

Doug Bracken Wiemann Metalcraft

Doug is president of Wiemann Metalcraft and a partner in Heritage Cast Iron USA. Long active in NOMMA, Wiemann has been the association’s most award winning member firm. Doug is the recipient of NOMMA’s 2009 Frank Kozik Volunteer Service Award. He is a former president, and Technical Committee chair, and also a former board member and treasurer of the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis. He has contributed to Fabricator and Traditional Building. He has a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Southern California. Chris Holt Steel Welding

Chris works for Steel Welding with responsibilities for design, client relations, marketing, and blacksmithing. In 2009, the company won a NOMMA Silver Top Job Award. She is secretary and editor of the Pittsburgh Area Artists Blacksmiths Association, and a member of NOMMA and ABANA. Chris recently received the Joe Humble Award as Editor of the Year from ABANA for the PAABA newsletter. Chris has had articles published in Fabricator, Anvil’s Ring, Hammer’s Blow, and School Arts Magazine. She has bachelors and masters degrees in art education.

Bill Coleman Arc Angels

Bill is the director of The Institute for Creative Arts and president of Arc Angels Inc. in Dune-

din FL. The Institute teaches metal working, welding, blacksmithing, and blade making. He began learning his metal working skills working after school and as a summer job in 1963. Bill was granted a United States Patent in 1981 for inventing a metal pipe railing system. He holds a bachelors degree from Florida State University and attended graduate school at California State College. Rob Rolves Foreman Fabricators

Rob is vice president of Foreman Fabricators where his career began as an estimator. For NOMMA, he’s serving his second year as chair of the Top Job Committee. He spent two years as secretary of the Upper Midwest chapter and is now its treasurer. Rob has contributed to several Fabricator articles and has attended METALfab since 1997. Rob is also a member of the Vatterott College Advisory Council for their welding program. He also works with the AGC, ASA, NDIA and SAME. He has a BS in history from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Fabricator n January / February 2013

Letter to the Editor Need help establishing value of historical posts Dear Editor, We recently obtained six old posts and two panels. We are hoping to find a value for these historical pieces and either sell them as part of a project or find a buyer for them. The owner’s grandfather has passed and these pieces were found in an 18-wheeler, which had sat in a field for as long as the family could remember. The family does not know where they came from or how the grandfather acquired them. We have been trying to determine how these pieces got to the U.S. and where they may have been originally installed. I have researched Macfarlane & Co., Saracen Foundry, Glasgow (stamp on the posts) and have become fascinated with this company and the era surrounding its success. The foundry operated from 1850–1965, with much of its work melted down for munitions during World War II. The rivet work in the panels is absolutely beautiful. The puzzle is how to establish a value. I would love to discover where they were originally installed. We suspect they may have been in a railway depot. I have more photos if anyone is interested. As always any assistance is appreciated! Susan Phillips Modern Iron Concepts Inc. Nashville, TN

These pieces were found in an old truck trailer in a field. The owner did not know where his grandfather obtained them. A stamp on the posts indicates they came from the MacFarlane & Co. Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Editor note: Can anyone help? Please send any thoughts to

Website enhancements help you find info easily In the last month the association has rolled out three major enhancements to its website: n Fabricator Archives. Looking for a past article? We now have an online database that lists the 1,500+ articles we’ve published since 1990. We also have 50 past issues available online, which go back to 2003. A third feature is our “Best of Fabricator” series, where we’ve pulled our most popular articles into downloadable PDF articles. Topics January / February 2013 n Fabricator

cover metal properties, working with various alloys, and finishing. This section, available from the “Fabricator” section, requires a member password. n NEF/NOMMA Videos. Another fantastic benefit of NOMMA membership is the ability to access online 36 videos, which contain 26 hours of programming time. These videos include full-length eduction films, mini-tutorials, and past webinars. Once scattered all over the website, we have

organized them into a single area that can be accessed from the “Member Resources” section. To access, you’ll need a member password. n Foundation. The NOMMA Education Foundation section of our site has received a complete reorganization and facelift. Visit this area to learn about NEF services, find ways to volunteer, and to make donations. You can also learn about NEF’s grants, scholarships, and research program. 11


NOMMA Education Foundation

In partnership with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association METALfab 2013 - NEF Auction Donation Form The annual auctions for NOMMA Education Foundation will be held Thursday, March 21, during METALfab 2013. Proceeds from the items donated to these auctions will help support the programs and operation of the NOMMA Education Foundation. The purpose of this foundation is to provide quality education for the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry through continuing education programs, video productions, educational publications, sales aids, along with supporting special projects important to the industry. With your donation of a product or service you provide valuable support for the programs provided under this foundation. *Company or Individual______________________________________________________________________________________ *Please circle whether this is a company or individual that is to receive credit for this donation - not both. This is important for tax purposes.

Item Donated to Auction_______________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A detailed description of the items will be useful to the bidder. Please be specific about all aspects of the item – dimensions, materials used, special techniques etc. Please include information about the shipping of this item to the recipient. Will shipping be included in the bid price or will the recipient be expected to pay for shipping. If you have questions about your donation please contact Martha Pennington at 888.516.8585 x 104 or If the item is not available or too large to display, pictures of the donated item may be displayed. Description of item donated_____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Donor will ship item to winning bidder  yes  no. *Declared value of item______ ______________________Minimum bid accepted for item_________________________________ *This amount is necessary for correct reporting. This amount must be listed on the bid sheet! Contact Name________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ City_______________________________________________________________State__________Zip_________________________ Contact phone_______________________________fax______________________email____________________________________ 

A picture of the item will be sent for display in the auction.

Item needs to be shipped to NOMMA Service Contractor. Contact Liz at 888.516.8585 x 101 for shipping instructions. Items that are shipped directly to NOMMA Service Contractor must be received no later than March 10.

Donor will bring the item to the convention for display at the auction.

Thank you for participating in the fundraising efforts of the NOMMA Education Foundation.

The fair market value of items contributed to the NOMMA Education Foundation for its annual auctions are tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent allowed by law. For items valued at more than $250, the donor will receive from the NOMMA Educational Foundation a receipt substantiating the contribution. On items of lesser value, no receipt is generally required by the IRS. Return form by email to fax to (888) 279.7994, or mail to NEF, 805 Glynn Street Ste. 127, #311, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Please be sure to fill out this form completely so that the proper records can be kept for tax purposes. Submit donation forms by March 13, 2013, to insure inclusion in the auctions. 12

Fabricator n January / February 2013

Fabricates The Future of: The Barnes Foundation Being ranked in the Top 25 Coolest Buildings in 2012, The Barnes Foundation is a must see. With Krando Metal Products, Inc. manufacturing all interior and exterior ornamental metal work. This work included but not limited to, Stainless Steel & Bronze elevator cladding, Custom Bronze Entrance Doors, a Custom Hammered & Patina finished insert for the doors, 8,000 sq. ft. SS Reveals, SS grilles and Bronze Paneling. • • • •

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Stair raılıngs Shop Talk



In this article, you’ll learn how to layout a handrail using simple tools and techniques to get accurate measurements. You’ll see how to properly space pickets with no arithmetic or electronic device. By John Barron Photography by Mark Kochan

Figure 1 shows four treads with their corresponding riser below numbered 1–4. Number 5 represents the riser from the uppermost tread to the top landing.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from ABANA’s Hammer’s Blow magazine, www. Thank you Mark Aspery. Also, author John Barron has presented stair railing workshops for the California Blacksmith Association. He will next demonstrate his techniques at the CBA Spring conference, April –, 2013 at Placerville, CA. Writer’s note: My thanks to Peter Clark for making the mock set of stairs and to Mark Kochan for the photography. The stairs were specially constructed to be straight on one side and curved on the other, allowing both straight and curved stair-rail layout to be demonstrated at California Blacksmith Association workshops. 14

To the uninitiated, the design and construction of stairways and their railings can be intimidating. Stairways require a handrail and often a guardrail. The handrail is placed at a specific height above the stairs and landings to provide a fixture to hold onto while going up and down the stairway. If a high enough wall exists at the edge of the stairs, a handrail will simply be a bar of suitable size that runs the length of the stairs, parallel to the “nosing line,” and levels off at the landing above and below. The nosing line is a line that attempts to connect all the projecting edges, or noses of a set of stair treads. A guardrail is required if the edge of the stairway has an open drop-off to prevent someone falling over the edge. The guardrail needs to be a certain height above the nosing line and landings. The Universal Building Code (UBC) currently in use in Northern California where I live specifies that the handrail be located 34–38 inches above the nosing line and landings, and that the guardrail be at least 36 inches above them. Design or site conditions influence the specific height, or the customer may have a preference. Earlier in my career, I preferred the feel of a lower rail, but now a higher one seems more comfortable. If the top of the guardrail is of suitable size material (between 1¼–2 inches wide in cross-section), it can double as the handrail as long as it is at least 36 inches high and no more than 38 inches high (consult your local building department for their requirements). To understand the construction of stair railings we must first understand the stairway, defined as having two or more risers that cause a change in elevation. A stairway of four steps or treads actually has five risers. Figure 1 shows four treads with their corresponding riser below numbered 1–4. Number 5 represents the riser from the uppermost tread to the top landing. Fabricator n January / February 2013

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The current UBC specifies a minimum rise of 4 inches with a maximum rise of 7 inches and a minimum run of 11 inches. Whatever the actual rise and run is, there can be no more than 3/8-inch difference between the largest and smallest of each. For example: If the four treads in our example have a rise of 6¾ inches each and Figure 2 the rise to the landing is 6¼ inches, the stairway does not conform to the UBC (check with your local building department). Someone walking up these stairs will often notice the difference as they step up onto the top landing. The sensation is similar to unexpectedly stepping off a curb. Likewise, if the first tread’s run is 11 inches, all other runs Figure 3A–3E must be at least 11 inches (11 inches being the minimum allowed) but no more than 113/8 inches. On any stairway, your feet adapt to the pattern of rise and run quickly, but even subtle differences can cause a misstep. In a properly built stairway, the distance from nosing point to nosing point measured along the nosing line will be the same. Each of these nosing Figure 4 points will be part of a straight line. But that is rarely the case when we show up to measure a railing for it on site (figure 2). Ideally, we build railings in our shop with all our tools at hand, having no worries of gashing a site’s walls, cracking stonework, burning up floors, or having a nervous homeowner looking over our shoulder (at least until the installation). However, a precise replica of the stairway is nice Figure 5 to have to eliminate questions about proper fit. of the “correctness” or complexity of I use a simple, low-tech method the stairway. to measure stairways that I learned Often I measure simple railings 30 years ago working in a union steel without a tape measure or ruler, or fabrication shop in Oakland, CA. I even without recording any numbers. continue to use this “tried-and-true” A few simple tools and techniques method with great success, regardless can actually create a mold of the stairs 16

with confidence that upon our return to the shop, we can reproduce a duplicate of those stairs. Tools required

n Level of at least 24 inches (figure 3A). This tool accurately helps you to draw plumb lines and check all existing walls, posts, and columns for plumb, and to level floors and landings. Plumb, level, and square will be the same in your shop and anywhere you go, but you must verify on site that they are what they appear to be. Take nothing for granted. n Framing square (figure 3B). Get a large carpenter’s type, 24 x 16 inches to accurately to check angles and corners that appear to be square. Again, take nothing for granted. n Large bevel square (figure 3C). This is similar in size to the framing square and used to accurately record all the above angles and corners you thought were square and others as necessary. I have several of these that I have made and use regularly. n Measuring board holder (figure 3D). This is used to hold the measuring boards on edge on the stairway securely to draw lines onto them (figure 4, 5) n Tape measure, rule (figure 3E). to take measurements on site. n Measuring boards accurately record plumb lines and tread top locations and angles. I use 3/8-inch particleboard, ripped to 12-inches x 8-foot strips. It needs to be thin, but stiff enough to stay straight when stood on edge. You can increase the 12 inches, but I would not recommend using less than that. Pencil lines on the particleboard can be erased, sanded off, or painted over thereby allowing them to be used repeatedly. n Pencil and paper to record measurements and notations. I always do a simple sketch to give an overview of Fabricator n January / February 2013

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Figure 6 Figure 7

the entire stairway, which will include any measurements not on the same plane as the boards. n Camera. Although high tech for me, it can be a useful tool. The most critical part of our “mold” is the nosing line and how it relates to plumb. The top of the handrail (and/or guardrail) must be parallel to the nosing line and placed the proper distance above it. The proper distance is a minimum of 36 inches for guardrail and a minimum of 34 inches to a maximum


of 38 inches for handrail, and needs to be consistent at all points along the nosing line. All vertical elements will be parallel to these plumb lines. In general, all lines of the railing, whether “actual” or “visual,” will parallel the nosing line or plumb line. Horizontal is simply square to plumb. Actual lines are elements such as pickets or balusters. Visual lines are elements such as repeating scroll patterns, which are all spaced the same distance below the top

rail. In this way, each element of those patterns is “visually” parallel to the nosing line and top rail. How to measure

To begin measuring the stairway, lay the measuring board on edge along the nosing line as close as convenient to where the railing will be installed and clamp it in place with the board holder (figure 6). The board probably will not touch each nosing point. Don’t worry; posi-

Fabricator n January / February 2013




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tion it where it touches the most. If the stair will have a rail on both sides, measure one side then move your board to the other side to check for any differences. Make sure the bottom corner rests on the bottom landing and that the top corner of the board extends beyond the top landing. Clamp or screw boards together for longer runs or cut or break them for short stairs. Be sure to mark the boards with an

indexing system to assure an accurate realignment later. Stand your level up against the nosing of each tread and draw a plumb line to the nosing point (figure 7). Then use the level as a straight edge on top of each tread and the top landing. Draw a line along the bottom of the straight edge. Do not look at the bubble! Do not adjust to make it truly horizontal. By keeping the level flat to the tread’s surface you can recreate that tread later (figure 8). Never assume that landings or stair treads are level, especially with exteri20

Figure 8

edge will duplicate those variations on the treads and top landing. For the bottom landing, adjust the large bevel square to lie on the bottom landing and along the bottom nose plumb line. Draw that angle onto another measuring board and label it. I measure and record all angles this way. It is safer for me

Figure 9, above, and Figure 10, left

ors, which will often be intentionally sloped to allow water to run off to prevent slipping hazards. The lines drawn using the straight

than using a protractor (figures 9, 10). If the rail will be attached to an adjacent wall and you have your board set close to that wall, locate any necessary backing, attachment points, or obstructions and mark them directly on your board using plumb lines. Measure up along those lines to locate their tops and bottom. If there is anything along the outside of the stairway that could affect the installation or influence the design of the rail, mark its location on your board. I don’t move the boards until I Fabricator n January / February 2013

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Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 15 22

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have completed all other measurements, such as lengths of landings or the locations of corners. Mark as much as possible directly onto the board. I will often use colored pencils to help avoid confusion later. Green lines may represent backing and red lines obstructions. Make all measurements from a plumb line and write that dimension on the board (figures 11–14, page 22). I also make a simple sketch that is an overview of the entire stair and labeled to match notations on the boards. On this sketch, I record any dimensions that are not on the same plane as the boards. Special attention is given to any anticipated attachment points and required fasteners. Take photographs from various angles, especially of any unusual conditions. These can be invaluable aids to the memory. Doing the layout

To begin your layout, lay your measuring board on the layout table or shop floor. Leave enough room above it to draw the entire rail, not just the steps. Draw the nosing line along the bottom of your board. Then transfer all the plumb lines and tread tops onto the layout surface with a straight edge. My lines were necessarily thick for the purposes of this article — I’m going from the top of the line (figures 15–16). Transferring these lines from your measuring board will give you the exact duplicate of the stairway. Use the 24

Figures 16–18

straight edge to extend the top and bottom nose plumb lines to at least the height of the railing. Use these to measure up to the top of the new rail, as well as any midor lower rails. Transfer any remaining lines. Next, remove the board. Reset the bevel square for the bottom landing (from your board of saved angles) and align it to where the bottom corner of the board rested on the landing and along the bottom nose plumb line and draw in the bottom landing (figures 17–18). Both landing lines can be extended as necessary and will retain their actual slope. Mark off any remaining dimensions, such as length of landings, locations of corners, or obstacles. Measure up along the top and bottom plumb lines to locate the rail top. Locate the landing rail heights and draw Fabricator n January / February 2013


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them in. They may simply be drawn square to the plumb lines or may need to parallel the slope of the landing. If the rail needs to be set parallel to the slope of the landing, set a bevel square to the angle that is made from that of the nosing line and landing line. Then move it to the stair-rail top and the desired landing-rail height. This line will parallel the landing. Do the same for any mid- or lower horizontal rails. I keep a bevel square set to the angle of the nosing line and a plumb line to be used for drawing additional plumb lines necessary (figure 19). Determine where you want or need any posts or attachment points and continue carrying out your design. In this case, I have shown a newel post 231⁄16 inches out from the first riser. I have also allowed 4 inches for a lead into the top-cap rail — in this case a simple scroll (figure 20). Point “C” in figure 20 is found by projecting the bottom-landing rail (which I have set for a gap of 3⅞ inches from the bottom landing) to where it intersects with the bottom stair-rail (which I have set for a 1-inch gap measured perpendicular to the nosing line). This point may not fall directly under the point where the top rail “levels off.” The top rail will level off or run parallel to the landing directly above the point where the nosing line touches the bottom landing. The triangular gap created by the bottom rail and the rise and run of the stairs will be filled according to your local building inspector’s satisfaction. The top rail at the upper landing will level off (or parallel the landing) at the point where it intersects the 26

Figure 19, above, Figure 20, left

top nose line, if the stair rail height is the same as the landing rail height. If, for example the stair rail height is 36 inches and the landing rail height is 42 inches, the top rail will need to bend vertically at the top nose line until It intersects the landing rail and levels off. Picket spacing

Proper picket spacing can be quickly and accurately determined

with the simple use of dividers. (A mathematical approach to picket spacing is shown in the last issue of Hammer’s Blow (Vol. 20, #3). A little math can save a lot of trial and error with the dividers. Think of the sides of the top and bottom newel posts as pickets already in place. You want to space all the other pickets equally between these two posts. Note: Since the location of the midrail in this example is determined by the centerline of a tread, I will have to repeat this process for each section of railing between the two posts and the post and wall because they are not equal lengths. At both ends of your top and bottom newel posts, mark half the thickness of your pickets away from the inside edges of the opening. It doesn’t matter how thick your newel posts actually are in reality, for now, treat them as another 1/2-inch thick picket. I am proposing to use 1/2-inch square pickets, so my mark will be Fabricator n January / February 2013

¼ inch in from the inside edge of the newel post. Measuring between these two new lines will give you the distance, center to center, of those two “pickets.” Three methods

1 If the top and bottom rails are horizontal, divide the picket gap measurement by four (round up to the nearest whole number). This will be the minimum number of pickets required. Figure 21 You can adjust his number for even or odd number of pickets by adding one more picket to the total. Then use this number to divide into that original length plus the picket thickness to get center-to-center distance of pickets. You may end up with

a number similar to 3.62 inches, which for me can be a bit unwieldy to be accurately transferred along the entire length of both the top and bottom rails. 2 The method I prefer is to set the dividers to 4 inches plus the thick-

ness of one, whole picket — in this case ½-inch-thick pickets. Beginning at the inside line of one or other of the newel posts, walk the dividers along the bottom bar until you reach the other inside line. You need to end up exactly at the center mark of the inside line. Your first try will tell you how much you need to shorten your dividers. You cannot open them wider because you are already at the maximum allowable space under the UBC. Keep in mind that the total distance you need to shorten the gap of the dividers is divided by the number of spaces. Shorten up the dividers and try again, repeating this process until you


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Fabricator n January / February 2013

January / February 2013 n Fabricator


Figure 22

intersects the bottom bar at the 4-inch mark on the square. Move over half the picket thickness and make a mark on the bottom bar. Set your dividers along the bottom bar to these center marks and proceed as above (figure 22). Measured along the pitch, your dividers will be set considerably wider than measured horizontally. If your top and bottom level off before reaching the other end, you need to extend their lines along the pitch until they reach the other ends and do all your spacing along those lines. Landing rails (commercial and residential) need to be 42 inches now — while rails on the stairs can stay at 36–38 inches. This is not required in all places— but most states and localities have brought this into code (figure 23). With this method of field measuring and layout, even the novice architectural metalworker can design and build stair rails with the confidence of an accurate fit-up with minimal on-site complications — and sleep like a baby the night before the installation.

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can start and finish on the two center marks of the newel posts. Now mark the centers of your pickets. Move to your top bar and repeat. If the sides are supposed to be parallel, this will confirm your layout. If you know one side is out of plumb, be sure you start your picket spacing from the plumb side (figure 21)! 3 If your top and bottom bars are not horizontal (as in this case), after marking the centers at the outsides of your opening, lay a framing square along one vertical edge above your bottom bar so that it’s horizontal leg

About the author John Barron began work with metals in the mid-1970s when he was hired into a Union Iron Fabrication shop in Oakland, CA, without any previous experience. He mentored with two outstanding craftsmen to learn the trade. In 1989, he moved to Northern California and joined the California Blacksmith Association where he learned that ornamental ironwork was much more than forging scrolls. By 1991, Barron had his own blacksmith/fabrication business and eventually built a one-man shop in Georgetown, CA, specializing in architectural ironwork. His work is found throughout the Sierras, from Truckee to San Francisco, including private and public art commissions Email About the photographer Mark Paul Kochan, a commercial illustrator who is handy with a camera, writes for the California Blacksmith Association (CBA) and is a regular contributor to The Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. He also is a CBA instructor and teaches blacksmithing for the State of California, at the State Park at Sutters Mill. Kochan began his blacksmithing career about five years ago when he was an apprentice at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park at Sutter’s Mill. As a volunteer docent and interpreter in the blacksmith shop, he learned the basics of 1850–1900 period blacksmithing. Kochan also trained with The CBA over several years and developed friendships with experienced smiths such as John Barron, John McLellen, and Mark Aspery. His turning point in ironwork came with a chance meeting with artist, iron worker Albert Paley in 2003 at a gallery in which the artist was exhibiting. Kochan earned a degree at Casa Loma Institute as a UCLA student in the late 1970s doing high-end casting and finishing in the crown and bridge department. Email

Figure 23 30

Fabricator n January / February 2013

Shop Talk


In this article, you will become acquainted with a foot-operated torch that facilitates quick and efficient spot heating while leaving the operator hands-free.

Hot treadle torch By “Uncle Bob” Walsh I was once standing in a group listening to two people talk. One was an old blacksmith and the other a young man just entering the trade. The young man asked the experienced smith, “I want to set up a forge. Should I buy a gas forge or a coal forge?” The old man in return asked the kid “will you be forging for recreation or for money?” The old man explained that unless the end product has requirements that dictate the type of forge, the choice usually goes like this:

Gas forge or coal forge?

you leave in the forge. With a gas forge, like the oven in your kitchen, the forge will provide you with a consistent production process. Stick three pieces of metal in your gas forge, heat them up, pull one out, work it, toss it on the completed pile, stick a new replacement cold piece in the forge, pull out a hot piece waiting for you, and make money. The above are, of course, generalizations with many exceptions. Since the choice is not always a black or white decision, many shops have both, a gas and coal forge. For many small projects or repetitive procedures, a forge (gas or coal) is overkill and using a hand-held torch is slow.

Photo 1. Torch in idling mode. Notice the Tending the fire in a coal forge is relaxing and enjoyable. Working with a four quick change couplers. These are Smith Equipment Co. products. coal fire is like going fishing and watching the calming waves, or sitting by a campfire. Plus, with a An alternative: A foot-operated torch with gas saver coal forge, your fire is quite adjustable in size by reshaping This brings me to the point of this article: Consider a the size of the opening in the coal. foot-operated torch on a stand plumbed through on/off The downside of working with a coal forge is the waitvalves. These valving mechanisms are called “gas savers.” ing you do while your metal is getting hot. And while this Depending on the kind of work they do, many shops find waiting for your metal to get hot or tending the fire may be these are invaluable tools. I made one and use it often. What romantic and calming, like most things that are romantic do I use it for? Heating small- and medium-sized items in sitand calming, it is not income generating. uations when building a coal fire or waiting for a gas forge to However, a gas forge is the opposite. It is often loud get up to temperature is just not cost effective. I use it when a (although the newer units are much better) and snotty to work hand-held torch is clumsy or too slow and a forge is overkill. with — snotty because they are fed combusting air and don’t This tool is extremely handy in many operations: have a chimney. Thus, the exhausting hot air exits the forge n Leaf-working. through hole you stuck your metal into and is now in pursuit n Hot stamping offsets into metal. of your hand. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I have never n Forming random collars or tenons. found having my hand burnt romantic or calming! n Heat-treating a new tool. What you can do with a gas forge, however, is load it n Spot heating when forging a sharp right angle corner up with metal and then as fast as you can work you will in metal. have hot metal waiting for you. With a coal forge, if you try This tool shines for expedient, localized and repetitive to speed things up by replacing your hand crank blower heating processes. with an electric blower, you risk burning unattended metal Where do you buy one of these tools? To the best of my January / February 2013 n Fabricator


knowledge, they are not commercially available. I saw one in use once during an acanthus leaf demonstration at an ABANA conference. I asked the demonstrator, Wendell Broussard, Broussard Metalsmith, Smithville, TX, about it and then just built it. Wendell pioneered the concept of modifying a gas saver, which was originally designed to be mounted on a bench, so it is now portable and foot operated. Since building mine, I have seen a few different configurations that all achieve the same result. The basic tool description goes like this: Body

body, which ignites it. When finished, by hanging the still-adjusted torch back on the protruding arm, the gas is shut off, and so the cycle goes. Note: Don’t use this torch with acetylene and oxygen. The continuous acetylene pilot flame will bury you in soot.

The body is an industrial tool. The Smith Equipment Company, Watertown, South Dakota, made mine, the same Construction company that makes regulators and torch sets. If you go to the This is a “hot rod” Smith website ( open the tab near tool customized for our the top right of the page marked “accessories.” About half way use. I used a Smith body down the accessory page, item 10 is the “gas saver” unit I used. because that is what my A gas saver, designed for high volume production work, welding shop dealer sells. Photo 2. Step on the pedal, no time is bolted to a bench with the long arm protruding out and I am pleased with my over the edge of the bench. The pilot flame on the origiunit, but because you will wasted lighting and adjusting the torch. Instant heat with two free hands. nal unit is mounted on the backside of the body. The user be modifying the tool, it hangs a torch on the protruding arm. The torch is plumbed might be easier to purchase what your welding shop sells. The through valves in the body. reason is you will need a good counter man to help you with When in use, the operator simply picks up the pre-adjusted some parts while re-routing the pilot flame. dormant torch; a spring lifts the arm itArch was hanging which ProofTreadle torch owners have routed the gas pilot light from Metal on, 2011-11 7396-2768=1400 opens the valves, allowing the gas to flow. The operator then the back of the main body and repositioned it so the torch waves the unlit torch across the pilot flame on the back of the passes it on the upstroke when the pedal is tepped on (fig-

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at first. A couple times over the years, I’ve bumped into the ures 1, 2). When building couplers, knocking the safety ring down and disengaging the mine, I called the Smith coupling. No problem. The gas shuts itself off instantly. So fast, factory a couple times you cannot smell any residue. This works for me because I prefor help. Their engineers were helpful, but this may fer not blowing myself up! If your shop work warrants its use, I am sure you will find have been accentuated the labor required to build one of these tools a good investbecause I was working ment. I sure have. through my local weldGood luck. Or better yet, a quote that deceased blacking shop that sold me the smith Ollie Juaire used often: “I am the luckiest guy I know. Smith tool. And the harder I work, the luckier I get!” I love it! Once your pilot flame has been relocated, add a tab onto the protruding hook with a keyhole cut :tri-state-quarter page.qxd 12/19/07 9:44 Pagethe 1 end of a in it AM to accept rosebud tip (figure 3). My Photo 3. The protruding arm About the author rosebud is not the largoriginally had a hook on the end. Robert “Uncle Bob” Walsh has been a fabricator/ est size, but more than A larger rosebud can be used. I own artist/blacksmith for 30 years. For 10 years, his one, but find it produces more heat adequate. I hope you can shop was in downtown Minneapolis. than I want (plus it costs more to run). work out the rest of the After the invention of the fax machine (allowNote: The hoses are not standard ing an easy interchange of sketches), he moved to construction based on acetylene hoses, but LP/acetylene semi-rural Wisconsin and set up a cottage industry the photographs in this hoses. with fellow shop owners that has been chugging along for 20 article. years. Their ironwork can be found throughout the upper Midwest. Finally, I use liquid propane and oxygen without dedicated tanks to run the torch. Instead, I use quick-change couR. Walsh Gate & Railing plers in the gas lines (see in figures 1, 2). These couplers are 306 Lake St., Pepin, WI 54759 great; in minutes, the torch can be hooked up. 715-442-3102; I was apprehensive about the safety of these couplings AD PROOF - 45-3454-ACF-121807-V2

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The NOMMA Education Foundation (NEF) METALfab Education Committee lead by Lynn Parquette, Mueller Ornamental Iron Works Inc./Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC, has created an outstanding education program for you. Here are some of the planned sessions. Remember to check the website ( for updates. Find out the secrets to their success!

Come sit and have a candid discussion with leaders in our industry: Roger Carlsen, Ephraim Forge; Joe Turner, Turner Manufacturing; Ed Mack, Fine Architectural Metalsmiths; Dave Filippi, FabCAD Inc. just to name a few. Finding out what they know could be the difference for you in having a more successful business. Sales Ben Mosely, Heirloom Stair and Iron

As we climb out of this downturn, it is time to return to profitability again and stop running your business with the goal of survival. It all starts with sales. In this session, Ben will define the difference between a sale and a quality sale. Also covered in this session: 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 Most important you will learn how to overcome price objections and close the deal! Pattern making 3-D Scott Howell, Robinson Iron Corp.

Take a look at how digital pattern making has moved the time-honored craft of pattern making into the future. Architectural design Robert Baird, Historical Arts & Castings Inc.

Join Robert for a discussion on architectural design.

Convention Guide Cover Photo Credit: Anvil Craft Corp., Easton, PA. 36

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 and preservations Robert Baird, Historical Arts & Castings Inc.

This course explores the properties of architectural cast metals including: cast iron, bronze, and aluminum. Their benefits and advantages will be examined. Other topics discussed will be manufacturing, the sources of deterioration, and maintenance. Conservation and restoration methods will be covered referencing completed projects and practical applications. As an added treat, the documentary “ZCMI a Legacy Cast in Iron” will be screened. Combining technology & practice to merge field measuring to shop drawings, layout and field installation Mark O’Malley, O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc. Terry Barrett, Pinpoint Solutions

This class will show the 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 will include an array of lasers (electric, hand and homemade) for measuring; CAD; smart phone apps; other layout software. The presenters will share tried-and-true methods along with tips and tricks that they use. This class will be in two parts. The first part is a showand-tell of the different tools and their processes. The second part of the class will include the actual use of these tools and techniques on a stair or ramp in the hotel. Using patinas and dyes Ron Young, Sculpt Nouveau

Get all your questions on using patinas and dyes answered. In this workshop instructor Ron Young will Fabricator n January / February 2013

METALfab2013 METALfab 2013schedule Schedule Wednesday 3/20/13

Thursday 3/21/13

Friday 3/22/13

Saturday 3/23/13

8:00 AM 8:30 AM 9:00 AM 9:30 AM

First Time Attendee 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

10:00 AM 10:30 AM

Opening Session

11:00 AM

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

11:30 AM

Lunch Break

12:00 PM

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Education 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM


9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Optional Spouse Tour

Exhibits Spouse Classes

12:30 PM

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

1:00 PM

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Off Site

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Lunch Break

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

1:30 PM


2:00 PM

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM

2:45 PM - 4:15 PM

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 PM 9:00 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM

Shop Tours

3:15 PM - 4:45 PM Education 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM Top Job Jamboree

Theme Dinner 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM NEF Auctions

NEF Partners in Education Reception 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM

Exhibits & Reception 4:15 PM - 7:30 PM

present patinas and finishes for iron and steel as well as aluminum, stainless, and bronze. Ron will show metal rubs, solvent dyes, water base dye oxides, mica powders, surface preparation, safety procedures, protective coatings, and waxes. In addition, tools will be explained. Skills to becoming 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. Learn about information that is specific to the ornamental and architectural metals. Trends in glass railing design Valerie Block, DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions

Glass railing systems are being designed with less metal — putting more of an emphasis on the structural and safety performance of the glass. In many cases, laminated glass is being used over monolithic tempered glass to provide the added structural and safety properties necessary. ASTM E 2353 and E 2358 address the testing and specification of glass in glass railing systems, guards, and balustrades. The Canadian Standards Association is currently January / February 2013 n Fabricator

Awards Banquet 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM

working on the development of a standard, following incidences of falling glass in Toronto. The International Building Code in the United States, as well as the Florida Building Code, requires laminated glass in exterior glass railings for protection against wind-borne debris. Typically fabricated with heat-strengthened or tempered glass, laminated glass will retain glass fragments in the event of breakage. By doing so, the glass balcony will continue to serve as a barrier until replacement can be made. In addition, the risk of falling glass is averted, creating a safer environment for people walking on the street below. This presentation will address trends in glass railing design and the growing use of laminated glass in these systems. Oustanding shop tours planned for METALfab2013

Shop Tours are back for 2013. So far, three shops are confirmed for the tours and a few more in the works. James Minter (2013 Shop Tour Chair) has the following facilities scheduled: n Kenneth Ray, Raysteel Inc., Albuquerque. n Robb Gunter, Architectural Metals, Tigeras, NM. n Pete Shufelt, Backerworks Skilled Welding, Albuquerque. Backerworks is a fabricating facility that does a lot of work 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 (www. for additional shops as they are confirmed. 37

METALfab2013 Focus on Success! Spouse Program @ METALfab2013

Sue Minter, spouse program chair, has planned an exciting program for METALfab2013. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and practice what they have learned with three wonderful classes taught by outstanding local and national artists. This is all part of the Spouse Registration offered for METALfab2013. Classes will be taught on Thursday, March 21, and the tour will be Saturday, March 23. Other events included in the spouse registration are: n Exhibits, n Theme Dinner & n NEF Auction, n NEF Partners in Education reception, and the n Awards Banquet.

Spanish Colonial Tinwork. Jason is a juried member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and teaches for Albuquerque’s Senior Arts program. All necessary tools, materials and instruction will be provided and all experience levels are welcome. You’ll enjoy a presentation on 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 art. You will create your own handcrafted keepsake to take home. Spouse tour, Saturday, March 23

You will travel north to historic and picturesque Santa Fe. Founded in 1610, Santa Fe was the last stop on the Camino Real, the fabled Royal Road that stretched from Mexico City to the northernmost reaches of the Spanish Empire. Today, it is the heart and soul of Spouse classes the Southwest, and “Santa Fe Style” For those who participated in is synonymous with the best in the the spouse program in Orlando, region. Its historic Plaza, winding you were fortunate to have the streets, covered arcades, hidden experience of working in acrylics gardens, and Pueblo-style architecwith renowned artist Maxine ture reflect the blending of Indian, Minter. Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. This year you will tackle a new Guided walking tour. Upon arrival you will take a guided subject and have fun tapping your walking tour, visiting the historic hidden talents. We had some great Plaza, St. Francis Cathedral, the auction items from this class. Loretto Chapel (see photo), with its Joe Dan Lowry is an internationally known expert on New “miraculous” staircase, and the San Miguel Mission. Mexico’s state gemstone and the Lunch. Enjoy lunch at La Casa popular mineral most often Sena, the historic house built by associated with the Southwest and Major Jose Sena in the 1860s. Native American jewelry — turLoretto Chapel Miraculous Staircase. La Casa Sena features an quoise. A phosphate of aluminum Photo Credit: Daniel Nadelbach. internationally acclaimed menu that contains small quantities of drawn from the best in Santa Fe and copper and iron, turquoise has been prized throughout the centuries as a medical wonder, southwestern cuisine, and is a recipient of Wine Spectator’s ornament, and religious symbol. “Best Award of Excellence.” Joe Dan is the author of Turquoise Unearthed: An An incomparable collection of museum-quality paintings Illustrated Guide and Turquoise: the World Story of a adds to the ambiance. Fascinating Gemstone. On your own. You may continue to explore on your own This is an entertaining and informative lecture and or indulge in a southwestern shopping spree at the many presentation. Joe Dan will also have some of his pieces unique specialty stores and galleries around the Plaza. available for purchase. Nearly all the city’s main cultural attractions are also Jason Younis y Delgado is a fifth-generation tinsmith, within walking distance of the Plaza, including the Georgia and the owner of the TINtero gallery in Albuquerque’s Old O’Keeffe Museum and the Palace of the Governors. Town. He will conduct an open workshop in traditional 38

Fabricator n January / February 2013

Exhibitors @ METALfab2013 Join the exhibitors to experience their products, learn about their services, and educate yourself on the possibilities for the future. We have a great group of exhibitors signed up for METALfab2013 at the Hyatt Regency. Exhibitor demo classes are scheduled for Thursday. You can learn more about their products and services. Schedule for exhibits n Wednesday, March 20, 4:15 pm–7:30 pm:

Exhibits and Reception.

n Thursday, March 21, 10:00 am–4:00 pm:

Exhibits and Demo Classes.

n Friday, March 22, 9:00 am–12:00 pm:

Exhibits and Breakfast.

Sponsors @ METALfab2013 as of 12/27/2012


as of 9/17/2012 Company Name.................. Web address The Cable Connection.......... Carell Corp............................ CML USA Inc. Ercolina....... Colorado Waterjet Co.......... www. Custom Orn. Iron Works..... D.J.A. Imports Ltd................. DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK, Binks......................... Doringer Cold Saws.............. Eagle Bending Machines Inc....................... Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC............... ETemplate Systems............... FabCAD Inc........................... Feeney Inc.............................. Hebo/Stratford Gate Systems Inc................ Industrial Coverage Corp.................... King Architectural Metals.......... Lavi Industries....................... Lawler Foundry Corp........... Marks USA............................ Metabo Corp......................... Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool.................. NOMMA/NEF/ NOMMA Chapters............ Regency Railings Inc............ Sumter Coatings....................

Platinum Industrial Coverage Gold Colorado Lawler Foundry Silver King Architectural

Thank you to these outstanding companies for the support of METALfab2013!

The Wagner

January / February 2013 n Fabricator


METALfab2013 Focus on Success! Hotel Reservations @ METALfab2013

Registration @ METALfab2013

Make your reservation early!

Two ways to register:

METALfab2013 events will be held at the host hotel, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. The hotel has reserved a special block of rooms for METALfab attendees. Book your room early to be part of the networking after hours. Attendees always find great conversations in the lobby or bar during METALfab. This can be one of the most important moments when someone shares an idea that can make a big difference to your future. Hyatt Regency Albuquerque 330 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM Room rates per night for METALfab2013 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 meeting time. Different room types, such as panoramic views, are available for additional charges. After 2/24/2013 or when the block sells out, this rate will not be available. Check the NOMMA website ( for the link to make your reservation online. If you wish, make your reservation by calling 888-421-1442 (toll free) or 402-5926464 (non-toll free). Be sure and mention that you are with METALfab/NOMMA.

1 Go to the NOMMA website and register online using your credit card OR 2 Fill out the registration form enclosed in the convention guide and submit with check or credit card. Mailing address for registrations NOMMA 805 S. Glynn, Ste. 127, #311 Fayetteville, GA 30214 Fax number for registrations to 888-279-7994. Online registration will be turned off on 3/14/2013. Afterward, you can register onsite at the METALfab registration desk in the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. Reduced registration fees the earlier you register

This year the earlier you register the better the rate. An example of the savings on a Full Conference Package for NOMMA Members: n Early Bird $420 (Deadline 2/14/2013). n Regular $450 (Deadline 3/8/2013). n Late $550 (After 3/8/2013). We still have the multiple attendees from the same company discount for NOMMA member companies. Non-members save money on registration by becoming a member, which saves you about $200 on each registration. Plus, you’re eligible for the multiple attendee discount. When your com­ pany joins NOMMA, all of your employees qualify for the member registration rate. For membership information go to or contact Liz Johnson, Member Care & Operations Manager at 888-516-8585 x 101,

Host hotel: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels.


Fabricator n January / February 2013

Special Invitation to Focus on Success @ METALfab2013 NOMMA and the NOMMA Education Foundation work together to make METALfab2013 an exciting event for you. Leaders of the Foundation, Roger Carlsen (NEF Chair) and Will Keeler (NOMMA President), briefly describe below what METALfab has meant to them and why they believe that you should join us @METALfab2013 to Focus on Success. Will Keeler, President of NOMMA

It is my pleasure to invite you to attend METALfab2013. During these difficult economic times, NOMMA recognizes the imperative that you get a return on your investment for attending the conference. Well, I believe the hard working convention committee has done a fantastic job lining up an education program and interesting shop tours that will do just that. I have attended nearly 20 METALfab conventions, and I always leave with knowledge of new products, technologies, fabrication methods, better business practices, and a renewed excitement for doing my job. Please join me at METALfab2013 in Albuquerque, March 20–23, to recharge your batteries and Focus on Success.

Roger Carlsen, Chair of the NOMMA Education Foundation

Anyone who has used the NOMMA listserv realizes how valuable this forum is. Even though we know this benefit is worth the cost of our annual membership, we have thought “wouldn’t it be even better if we could actually talk to the person who responded to our post? Many times I have thought “I would just like to be able to put a face with the names of the people that seem so intriguing on the NOMMA listserv.” All of this and more can happen at METALfab2013 in Albuquerque, NM, March 20–23. METALfab is like “reality listserve” on steroids. Not only will you meet, greet, and talk with people you have seen post on the listserv, but there is so much more. Each year that I attend METALfab, I come away with a wealth of information and a greater wealth of friends. I encourage everyone to see this as an investment in you and your business! Register today and be sure and stay at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque so that you can enjoy the after hour conversations.

Special Events @ METALfab2013 Opportunities abound at METALfab to spend time with fellow attendees in a casual surrounding but that does not mean that the learning has stopped. One conversation can lead to the solution to a challenge you’re facing. Be sure and attend these special events (see schedule on page 49) to continue your Focus on Success. .

The Top Job Jamboree on Friday afternoon gives you the opportunity to learn more about the entries from their creators. The climax to the outstanding program is the presentation of the awards on Saturday evening at the Awards Banquet.

First-time attendee orientation

Here’s where METALfab attendees come together for a night of fun, food and exciting auctions. This year southwestern attire is the style. This is your opportunity to bid on the wonderful items in the live and silent auctions that you have seen displayed in the exhibit area. To donate an item for the auction, contact Martha Pennington (martha@ or 888-516-858 x 104) or go to for an auction donation form.

First-time attendees meet the NOMMA leadership and learn more about NOMMA, the NOMMA Education Foundation, and METALfab. Opening session: Annual Membership Business Meeting

This provides great speakers, important information, and time to handle the business of the association. Top Job display & voting

This is your chance to view the entries in the 2013 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest. Member companies will cast their ballots on Wednesday and Thursday during show hours. January / February 2013 n Fabricator

Thursday night celebration and NEF Auctions

NEF Partners in Education Reception

The NOMMA Education Foundation will thank its supporters for all

NEF Auction table. Donate an item!.

that they do for the foundation and its programs. Join NEF on Friday night for this special reception. Awards Banquet and officer installation

A wonderful event to close an exciting week of activity. Saturday night’s banquet is a special event where we recognize members for their service, present Top Job Awards, and install the newly elected officers and directors.


METALfab2013 Focus on Success!

Extend your stay; Albuquerque is worth it Albuquerque, NM is a wonderful place to visit. The true southwest awaits you. Immerse yourself in the 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, such as 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 by Go to for more information on Albuquerque.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Each year the Balloon Fiesta offers a great variety of balloons, you won’t find two alike.

Five reasons to visit Albuquerque

Photo credit: Raymond Watt.


Arts. Ranked as one of the top arts destinations in the country, Albuquerque offers abundance and variety to anyone seeking traditional or contemporary arts and culture.


Ballooning. Home to the International Balloon Festival — the clear skies, clam winds, and mild temperatures are the norm in Albuquerque encouraging hot air ballooning year round. With more than 300 resident balloonists this could be your opportunity to take a ride.


Culture and Heritage. Albuquerque is a culturally diverse city. This rich heritage is reflected in the architecture, artwork, cultural centers, and cuisine.


History. Many forces have developed the character of Albuquerque, from the native American population to the Spanish explorers and the residents of today. There are Cuisine. Meals in many connections to the past Albuquerque allow you to from ancient rock carvings at Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. World’s largest pow wow with more Pietroglyph National Monuexperience the exotic, than 500 tribes held annually in Albuquerque in the Spring. addictive flavors of ment, the historic Old Town Photo credit: Gathering of Nations, Derek Mathews. America’s most unique Plaza, and the trail of vintage and historic regional neon signs along Route 66. Take cuisine. some time and explore Albuquerque. Experience the blend of native American food, such as METALfab2013 promises to be a wonderful experience so blue corn and squash with chile peppers, wheat flour, pork be sure and mark your calendar for March 20–23. Check the from the Spanish settlers, which created a distinctly New NOMMA website for additional information as well as Mexican Cuisine. You will soon learn to answer your servers following #METALfab2013 on Twitter. questions — “red or green?” with authority or say “Christmas” and get both red and green chile. See You in Albuquerque!



Fabricator n January / February 2013

METALfab2013 Attendee Registration Form Hyatt Regency, 330 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 20–23, 2013

See the Convention Guide or go to for course and event descriptions. Note deadlines for special pricing: Early Bird rate applies through 2/14/13, Regular registration must be received by 3/8/13. Late registration Late fee applies after 3/8/2013. Registration must be received or processed online by the cut-off date to receive special rate.

Step 1: NOMMA Member Registration Options Choose your registration type and enter the names for badges.

❑ Full Conference Package

Early Bird (2/14/13)

Regular (3/8/13)

Late (after 3/8/13)

Opening Session (Keynote)

1 full registration .........................$420 ..................................... $450 ...................................$550

Education Program

2 full same company .................$380 ..................................... $410 ...................................$510


3 full same company .................$345 ..................................... $375 ...................................$475

4+ full same company ..............$315 ...................................... $345 ...................................$445

NEF Auction


Awards Banquet


Shop Tours



Theme Dinner

❑ Spouse/Guest Package $325

❑ Education and Exhibits Package $320 Early Bird (2/14/13)

Exhibits & Opening Reception (Wed., 3/20/13)

$350 Regular (3/8/13)

Theme Dinner/NEF Auction (Thu., 3/21/12)

$450 Late (after 3/8/13)

Special Classes for Spouses (Thu., 3/21/12)

Opening Session (Keynote)

Awards Banquet (Sat., 3/23/12) Spouse Tour — Santa Fe Tour (Sat., 3/23/12)

Shop Tours Education Program

This registration is not available after 3/14/13. Spouse classes

NEF Auction

are available only with this registration — not sold separately.

Name_____________________________________________________ Name_____________________________________________________ Name_____________________________________________________ Name_____________________________________________________

Non-Member Registration Reduced pricing for multiple attendees is not available with non-member registration. ❑ $425 Make our company a NOMMA member so that we can take advantage of the great member pricing above.

Early Bird, 2/14/13

Regular, 3/8/13

Late, after 3/8/13

Full Package ..............$620 ...........................$650 .......................... $750 Name______________________________________________________ Educ. & Exhibits ........ $520 ...........................$550 .......................... $650 Name______________________________________________________ Spouse Package ....... $525 ...........................$555 .......................... $655 Name______________________________________________________ Individual Tickets Tickets will not be available on site. ❑ Theme Dinner (Thurs. 3/21/13) $99


❑ Spouse Tour — Sanata Fe (Sat. 3/23/13) $110*


* Limited number of tickets available. Will not be available onsite.

❑ Awards Banquet (Sat. 3/23/13) $70


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

❑ MasterCard


❑ Discover

Card #__________________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_________________________________________ Name on card____________________________________________________________ Card CVV_________________________________________ Signature___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Continued on page 56 January / February 2013 n Fabricator


METALfab2013 Attendee Registration Form Continued from page 55

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

Please check the appropriate ribbon below for inclusion in your registration packet. ❑ New Member

❑ Committee Member

❑ First-Time Attendee

❑ Chapter President

❑ Fabricator Member

❑ Chapter Member

City_____________________________________________________________________________ ❑ NW Supplier Member

❑ NEF Contributor

State ___________ Zip_____________________ Country_________________________________ ❑ Regional Supplier

❑ Gold Member —

Email___________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________ Fax____________________________________ On-site Emergency Contact Number_________________________________________________

20+ Years

Member ❑ Local Supplier Member

❑ Past President ❑ BOD

❑ Affiliate Member

Person to contact in case of emergency______________________________________________ ❑ Committee Chair

❑ Officer

❑ NEF Trustee ❑ Officer ❑ Speaker/Presenter

Step 4: Attendee Profile Tell us about your business. This portion of the registration must be completed for processing. ❑ Check here if you are not involved in the business. If you are not involved in the business, this is all of the information needed. Thank you. List three (3) products you hope to purchase from contacts at METALfab 2013: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1) Primary type of business ❑ Fabricator ❑ General Supplier ❑ Contractor ❑ Other____________________

2) Annual gross sales 3) Your role in purchasing ❑ Below $1 million ❑ Final Say ❑ $1–$2.5 million ❑ Recommend ❑ $2.5–$5 million ❑ Specify ❑ Over $5 million

4) Job description ❑ Owner ❑ Manager/Foreman ❑ Other____________ ___________________

Important Information Registration Registrants can pick up their packets at the METALfab/NOMMA registration desk in the Pavillion Landing of the Hyatt Hotel. Restrictions Attendees for the exhibits must be 14 years of age or older for insurance purposes. Cancellations If received in writing prior to March 14, we will be happy to refund your registration fee, less a 10% administrative fee. Understandably fees cannot be refunded for registrations cancelled after that date. Registrations are nontransferable without the written permission of NOMMA. Refunds will be processed within 30 days after the completion of the conference. Cameras Photography and videotaping are not permitted in the exhibit area, education sessions, or Top Job Gallery. Emergency Contact We would like to have a contact name and phone number in case of an emergency. This person would be contacted only in the event that you were unable to contact them yourself. Confirmation & Updates Your confirmation and any updates will be sent by email, so please provide your email address. Email Address Your email address will be provided to the exhibitors on their attendee list. If you do not wish to have your email address provided to the exhibitors, please opt out by sending an email to with the subject line “Email Opt Out for Exhibitors.” This will also opt you out for updates about METALfab. Online Registrations Online registration is available for credit card payment. Recorded Sessions By registering for METALfab you are authorizing the use of any photographs, name, and/or likeliness in any recorded session. Questions?

METALfab 2013 / NOMMA

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

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

For updated information go to

Fayetteville, GA 30214

Online Registration is available on the NOMMA website

Fax: 888-279-7994 44


Fabricator n January / February 2013

Return to

METALfab2013 Focus on Success! Shop Tours @ METALfab2013

Backerworks Mfg. LLC Albuquerque, NM Backerworks Mfg. LLC, is a high-end

custom fabrication shop that also provides CNC machining, certified welding, water jet cutting, heat treating, and other services. Founded by former NFL linebacker Pete Shufelt, the firm started in 1998 in a backyard garage. The company now operates in a 22,000-square-foot facility and is currently workming on a 4,000-square-foot addition. The firm is known for its sophisticated fabrication work for such clients as Sandia National Laboratories, the Pantex nuclear missile plant, and the Boeing Co. Shufelt’s wife, Gina, is also involved with the company and oversees the financial operations.

Join us Saturday, March 23 as we visit three outstanding shops in the Albuquerque area.

casinos, office buildings, and industrial plants. The Raysteel facility includes 20,000 square feet of office and shop space situated on a five-acre site. The company’s team of 28 employees includes certified welders, detailers, and a staff structural engineer. Complete structural design and certification can be completed in-house.

Robb Gunter Arch. Metals Tijeras, NM Robb Gunter Architectural Metals & The Forgery School of Blacksmithing is a

school and blacksmithing shop. Leading the tour is founder Robb Gunter,

the former resident blacksmith for Sandia Laboratories. In 1986, he started the Forgery School of Blacksmithing, which provides beginning and intermediate classes. Robb and his sons also forge and sell specialty tools, which they market under the “G3 Tool” name. Robb Gunter Architectural Metals also forges high-end commissions, including chandeliers, gates, furniture, and railings. In blacksmithing circles, Gunter is a highly acclaimed instructor, and he has presented at numerous regional blacksmithing meetings, workshops, and ABANA conferences. His oldest son Chad has been with the business since 1981, and his other son, Brad, has worked in the business since 1986.

Raysteel Inc. Albuquerque, NM Raysteel Inc. is a premier miscellaneous and light structural metal fabricator. The company focuses on large commercial jobs and regularly does projects for hospitals, schools, hotels, January / February 2013 n Fabricator


Job Profile

Sklodowsky’s staır affaırs n

Anvil Craft siblings pull together to get work done, which is split logically and shared evenly, and industry awards are stacking up.

By Molly Badgett

Last year has been especially rewarding for Anvil Craft Corp., which won two prestigious industry awards, including Gold in NOMMA’s Top Job competition. The company specializes in steel stairs and railings for commercial, industrial, and institutional clients. Top row, left to right, Joe and Bob Sklodowsky; bottom row, left to right, Paul and Sharon Sklodowsky.


Like many family businesses, Anvil Craft Corp. was seeded when the father’s passion for his work was passed to the next generation. In this Easton, PA, company’s case, the passion split quite evenly and in three different directions to sons Paul, Bob, and Joe. The three have run the 25-year-old firm with an appreciation of legacy and of leading with one’s strengths. For Paul, 42 and the oldest, the strength is in administration. He oversees the company’s six-person office, managing people, paperwork, and promotion as the company’s vice president. His younger brother Bob, 40, is the company’s secretary/treasurer and is in charge of the four-person field operations. At age 36, Joe serves as company president and oversees the work of 13 fabricators in the shop. And when the three need detailed project drawings, they call on another employee, their artistic sister, Sharon, who at age 38 completes the siblings’ age stratification in the same way she completes the family’s host of industry talents. As stated on Anvil Craft’s Web site, the company was started by the three brothers to provide high-quality metal products at a fair price to the construction industry. The three honed their miscellaneous and ornamental metal skills as young boys by working with their father, who had a structural steel business. “We were there with him,” Paul Sklodowsky said of his father. “He brought us to work with him in the summers for many years, for as long as I can remember. We learned by watching and doing. We learned how to weld by running around and welding. We watched him and learned how to figure things out on our own. But he helped us with the big problems. Fabricator n January / February 2013

“When he retired, we didn’t want to get into structural steel,” Paul said about his and his brothers’ plans. “So, we rebooted and turned to small jobs for schools, churches; we did railings for them. We worked with small general contractors in the area.” Clean-up and punch-list work for those contractors and steel fabricators was the business of the company for the first few years, but demand and production grew quickly. The three brothers got into fabricating small aluminum, bronze, or stainless-steel railings; the days spent repairing horse trailers in their parents’ barn were soon long behind them. The company now focuses on steel stairs and railings for commercial, industrial, and institutional clients, doing most of its work, except for the occasional metal-rolling job, in-house. “It just kept building,” Paul said. “Once you get into that market, someone will ask you, ‘Did you bid on that?’ and then say, ‘Bid on this!’ ” By 1996, the company had outgrown its original building, and in 2000, the company moved into its current, 29,000-square-foot facility in Easton. “Our goal is to keep our customers satisfied with a good product at a fair price. We might not be the cheapest, but they know what they’re going to get from us,” Paul said of his company’s business model.

Anvil Craft fabricated two code-compliant stair sections for the Statue of Liberty as part of an assignment for Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp. of Pine Brook, NJ.

Bigger space, a bigger job

Recently, Anvil Craft tested the stretch on their space with one of the biggest jobs in its 25-year history. As part of a typical competitive bid, the company won work from Drexel University in Philadelphia for its new educational and research science facility. The job included a large but modest spiral staircase placed in the building’s atrium, one that started with a straight-up run and progressed in typical circular style for three more flights. Before Anvil Craft started on the stairs, however, the school pulled out an original set of drawings for a bigger and better staircase, drawings that had earlier been removed from the overall plans for budgetary reasons. The university wanted the larger January / February 2013 n Fabricator


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The stair sections for the Statue of Liberty were taken to Ellis Island by barge. Cranes were used to lift the stairs from the barge and place them inside the statue’s pedestal.

stairs, and that changed everything. “They showed us that concept, so we worked with the architects and engineers and came up with a design that was aesthetically pleasing to the owner and acceptable to the engineer and architects,” Paul said. It was the biggest midproject change the company ever experienced, and it turned into a full-company effort. Sharon Sklodowsky was among those contributing to the drawing process. “She’s the one who drew it based on the conceptual drawings,” Paul said. “She’s always been very artistic, a great freehand drawer. When she started working with us many years ago, she started drawing things by hand. Then she got into AutoCAD. She took some classes and then advanced past the classes because she just kept using the programs.” Meanwhile, Paul, Bob, and Joe found themselves dealing with the kind of logistics they had never managed before. “We had never done anything like it,” Paul said of the critical coordination of design and engineering efforts by multiple vendors. “When we finally got the pieces here . . . we had to put them together in the shop to make sure they fit.” Steel templates were used to mimic the glass guardrails, as the glass was delivered to the site for installation. “The actual work is easy,” he added. “It’s trying to figure Fabricator n January / February 2013

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out how to get everything there when you need it that’s hard.” (See Drexel staircase sidebar, page 52.) Lady Liberty: Another high-profile feat

In January of this year, Anvil Craft Corp. started another project involving a lot of work in a small space. This time national pride overshadowed the challenges of the project: stair renovation work for the Statue of Liberty. Anvil Craft was approached by Natoli Construction of Pine Brook, New Jersey, to provide stair sections for the national treasure in New York; the companies had worked together on prior projects. Concerned about labor unions issues and whether it was in New York’s or New Jersey’s jurisdiction, Anvil Craft hesitated before accepting the job as sub-contract


Stairs in place inside the Statue of Liberty.

work, but came to realize the significance of the work and agreed to get involved. “We were honored to be able to build the replacement pieces,” Paul said. The stair sections were not part of the stairs that go up into the statue itself; instead, they serve as part of the pedestal on which the statue sits. And even though the pedestal is the largest part of the statue, the room in which the company worked was no more than 730 square feet — smaller, even, than Anvil Craft’s own office space — but with a somewhat generous 70-foot ceiling height. “It was a very high-profile job that we did in a four-month timeframe,” Paul said. The opening of the Statue was expected this past October 27, so the whole project was a one-year timeframe that included demolishing the existing stairs. As is sometimes the case, Anvil Craft worked on the statue project alongside another NOMMA member. This time, it was SRS Architectural Metals, Metuchen, NJ. It was a chance to network yet again with a company with which it had something in common, a NOMMA membership, which Anvil Craft renewed this year. Together, the firms worked in three areas: 1) Two sets of inside stairs were given custom-painted steel frames with bronze wire-mesh infill and top rail; handrails and top caps were left natural with a #4 satin finish. 2) An exterior bronze lighted handrail was given custom brackets attached to granite panels. 3) At the sally port, an interior twoline bronze handrail was placed. “We try to network with other people in our industry,” Paul said. “Between the four of us [siblings], we bounce ideas off each other. But if we have questions we don’t know the answer to, we run it by people we know. We do try to do a lot of networking.” The Anvil Craft owners attended this year’s NOMMA convention, their first in awhile, and was impressed as ever with the quality of members and their work. “As anyone in this business knows, Fabricator n January / February 2013

. . . even though the

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The circular stair sections were assembled in the workshop at Anvil Craft Corp., before they were disassembled and transported to Drexel University. Anvil Craft Corp. used stainless steel sheeting to mimic the glass panels that would serve as guardrails.

Anvil Craft’s Top Job staircase takes eyes off noteworthy bio-wall At Drexel University in Philadelphia, a record-setting, five-

story wall constructed of live plants — a hydroponic biowall — gets attention for its enormous size and purpose. The wall, which stands 22 feet wide and 80 feet high inside the expansive atrium of the new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, is the largest such wall of plant material in the U.S. It helped Drexel win Silver LEED certification for the built-in environmental benefits. The wall serves to purify and condition the air as it emits oxygen into the space. Nearby, however, a four-story staircase created by Anvil Craft Corp. is stealing a bit of the bio-wall’s thunder — and maybe some of that oxygen. The elegant steel and glass staircase that spirals alongside the layers of lush plant life is so grand, it takes the breath away from those who see its shape, scale, and structure. Already, the staircase is a two-time award winner: n A Gold in NOMMA’s Top Job Award this year in the Stairs Complete/Commercial category. n Honors from Glass magazine as the most innovative interior glass project in the commercial category of the publication’s annual awards. Paul Sklodowsky describes the project, the company’s second largest ever, as one of the most challenging it has undertaken. The self-supporting staircase features glass guardrails and stainless-steel handrails, both of which Anvil Craft designed and engineered over an eight-month period, and fabricated and installed in another nine months. Spiraling to connect five stories of the university’s new home for biological sciences, the entire structure is made


to resemble the double helix of DNA. In addition to the hundreds of hours spent detailing the project, Anvil Craft counted 3,924 hours of shop labor and 6,822 hours of field labor by ironworkers of Local 401. Installation of the stair and railings alone accounted for 2,800 shop hours and 2,400 field hours. Other impressive numbers racked up include: n 68,000 pounds of 2-inch-thick by 16-inch-deep solidplate stringers, rolled (by Chicago Metal Rolled Products of Chicago, IL) to an 18-foot diameter; n 5/16-inch tapered and radius stair sub treads for the 2-inch-thick terrazzo treads; n 1,574 square feet (142 pieces) of ¾-inch bent, tempered glass rolled (by Precision Glass Bending, Greenwood, AR) to a 53-inch radius on a 32.47-degree incline; n 400 linear feet of aluminum glass shoe molding and polished stainless-steel handrail, also rolled to a 53-inch

Fabricator n January / February 2013

radius on a 32.47-degree incline; and a n 16-foot-wide by 14.5-foot-tall, oversized truckload delivering each fabricated stair section from shop to site.

Workers use a crane to place the final piece of stairs inside the atrium of the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building.

More details

Because the Drexel staircase has no top rail, each glass guardrail section had to align with the one next to it with perfection. Handrail joints were seal-welded and polished so they created one continuous, seamless inside line. Each run of staircase glass is held steady by four hardened-steel pins so that they can move independently of the cantilevered, poured-in-place concrete platforms. “It’s hard to believe we had this in our shop at one time,” Paul said as he recounted the steps to completion. “When you walk into the atrium, this is the first thing you see; it’s just massive.” On the Anvil Craft Corp. Web site, more details explain the steps to completion: “When the units arrived at the jobsite they were repositioned on the trailer by a crane outside the building. The trailer was backed into the almost fully completed atrium, where another 50-ton crane . . . inside the building lifted the completed unit into position, where it was connected with the four hardened-steel pins. Each 17,000-pound section of stair took 12 hours to pick, land in place, and weld to the point where the crane could be cut loose. Then it took about two weeks per floor to complete welding and prepare for paint.” Designed by world-renowned Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, Drexel’s new landmark science building officially opened September 2011. In fact, the construction schedule was pushed to stay on track in anticipation of that new school year. Now, the $69 million, 150,000-square-foot learning and research facility boasts an 85-foot atrium featuring two marvels of both nature and man. In an article about the facility featured in the university’s alumni and friends’ magazine, the author recognized that the two features might compete for interest and seemed to give a nod to which one might pull ahead, writing, “If the bio-wall isn’t the center of attention, then the building’s four-story spiral staircase most certainly is.” — Molly Badgett

For your information


Anvil Craft Corporation 1005 Aspen Street, Easton, PA 18042 610-250-9600, About the author Molly A. Badgett is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, GA. She often covers issues related to U.S. manufacturing.

January / February 2013 n Fabricator


Top Job Gallery


The Top Job Gallery features entries in our Ernest Wiemann Top Job Contest. Information about the annual competition, open to all NOMMA members, is posted at the NOMMA website, Category: Non-forged railings

Creative Metal Works — Gold Gulf Breeze, FL This handrail has steel posts and pickets. The top cap is a bronze handrail profile the has been rolled in an alternating pattern to give it the wavy look. This profile has a slot cut into the bottom to accept posts and pickets. The slot was covered with a piece of flat bar, which during this rolling operation liked to crack the welds. The rolling was stopped many times to fix broken welds. There is a large bronze volute where the rail turns to go downstairs. It took massive amounts of heat from a rose bud to get the volute to lower, head down, and meet the rail coming up the stairs. A fellow NOMMA member shared the application method for an oil rubbed bronze finish and that’s what was used on the top cap. Bronze is a beautiful material to use if you have customers who can afford it.


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On the first page of last issue’s Top Job Gallery, the description for the fencing by Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, above, was wrong. Here is the correct description: Designed by the fabricator, the traditional hoop fence, updated with over scale 5/8 inch rounds, leafy maple finials, and a curving sweep across the top. Columns are fabricated 4 x 4 inch tubing, patinated in bronze tones and dressed with two bas relief castings of maple leaves and seeds in silicon bronze. The maple frieze and ovoid finial were cast from original carvings sculpted in-house. Fabricator n January / February 2013

Top Job Gallery


Accent Ornamental Iron & Powder Coating — Bronze Cambridge, MN This railing used a 1¼-inch round hammered bar top rail, 1 inch hammered bar support posts, and varying sizes from ⅛ to ¾ inch embossed bars for the twig pattern. The newel posts (bottom of curve) were fabricated from several embossed bars and custom, plasma-cut random mounting plates. The fabricating process began by creating templates of the curved stairway (24 & 72 inch radius). The 1¼ inch top rail was then rolled and returned to the job site for fittings. The support posts were then spaced and the framework built. Another job site fitting occurred. The panels were created welding the largest “twig’’ materials first, working down to the smallest. The entire project was sandblasted and an inhouse, custom powder-coated finish applied. Torxhead screws resembling rivets secured the railings to the wood staircase and wood nosing around the top of open stair. Approx. labor time: 560 hrs. January / February 2013 n Fabricator

Big Blu Hammer Mfg. — Silver Morganton, NC This spiral railing, above, spanned 12 feet between floor levels and extended 33 feet in length. It is only a part of over 120 feet of rail designed to enhance this home. A template was built on site to adhere to the final wooden cap piece. The material consisted of a variety of sizes of square and flat cold rolled steel. The design has no pattern, no continuous corner post, and no continuous bottom piece, only a ¼ x 1-inch

flat top piece to fit into the plough of the wood cap. All is freehand multilayered welded design. It was built in three sections on each side, then fitted and welded on the job site. The challenge was that the design was about the negative space while still maintaining code. Nothing was the same size, no material color change, completely free-form spiral radius. The cold rolled finish was only lightly hand sanded as was all fasteners and a final clear-coat finish. Approx. labor time: 720 hrs.

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Fabricator n January / February 2013

© mark huls -

Biz Side

6 Viruses that can squeeze your business By William J. Lynott


zation to understand the importance of one of your most powerful business tools — the telephone — and the urgent need for treating every caller with courtesy and respect. In particular, make sure that your telephone is always answered promptly. Never allow it to ring more than three or four times, and make sure that everyone identifies himself or herself by name in a cheery voice. Never leave a caller on hold for more than a few moments. Leaving a customer on hold for more than a minute or two is one of the surest signs of telephone sickness. And always, ALWAYS, call the customer back when you have promised to do so. Never force a customer or prospect to wait for a call that never comes.

These 6 killer We all know how devastating a computer virus can be, but not everyone is aware of the viruses can destructive viruses that can infect a business. wreak havoc Unlike computer viruses, these profit killers aren’t transmitted through cyberspace; they on your grow and fester within the infected business strictly from internal causes. business. Here are six of the most common busiThis article ness viruses along with the antidotes you need to keep your fabricating business from being examines infected: each of them 1 Telephone sickness and and offers how to cure it common Your telephone can be a powerful business builder or a destructive business killer. Every sense time a customer or prospect dials your num2 The invisible low-performer antidotes. ber, it’s a request for information, help, or even Even one slacker in your operation is an the possible placing of an order by a new customer. Any failure to deliver skillfully on these needs indicates the unerring presence of the Telephone Sickness virus. Inoculate your business against telephone sickness by training everyone in your organi-

January / February 2013 n Fabricator

internal virus that will eat away at productivity, profits, and employee morale. Dealing with an under-performing employee is a challenging task for most shop owners, but failing to face up to the problem will make a bad situation even worse. It can 57

result in added stress on other employees who may have to take up the slack — and resentment among those who can’t understand why the offender is allowed to continue on. The cure? Let your top performing employees know how much you value their work and that you won’t tolerate a slacker.

3 The tardy invoice

If your employees and associates feel that you’re never willing to shoulder even part of the blame for business miscues,

they’ll withdraw from the kinds of decision-making and innovative thinking that could make your life easier and your business more successful.

Neglected accounts receivables can be devastating to your cash flow. It’s essential not to allow your receivables to go untended. You’ve earned that money; you have a right to it; you need it. You can slay the Tardy Invoice virus by setting up a foolproof system for promptly sending out the invoice for every order, and by following through relentlessly on every late payment. This is as important to your financial success as the quality and professionalism of the work turned out by your shop. If your customers learn that you are cavalier about money owed to you, you can be certain they will stretch your patience (and your cash flow) to the limit.

clear, or that the involved employee made what reasonably appeared to be a good decision at the time. Once in a while, accept the blame even when you know you weren’t at fault. That’s a sure way to ban the destructive Faultless Manager from your business culture.

4 The faultless manager

5 The invisible employee

The Faultless Manager virus would have you believe that it’s always someone else’s fault when things go wrong. This is a common virus among business owners and managers and it eats away at business success in several different ways. Former President Harry S. Truman eliminated the Faultless Manager virus from his presidency when he coined the phrase, “The buck stops here.” By acknowledging his willingness to shoulder the blame when things go wrong, Truman put his subordinates and constituents on notice that he wasn’t a finger pointer. If your employees and associates feel that you’re never willing to shoulder even part of the blame for business miscues, they’ll withdraw from the kinds of decision-making and innovative thinking that could make your life easier and your business more successful. Inoculate yourself from the Faultless Manager virus by a willingness to shoulder the blame instead of pointing an accusing finger. Consider the possibility that your instructions weren’t 58

In the course of your demanding schedule, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of superficial contacts with employees. Consider this actual exchange overheard between a business owner and an employee passing in a hallway: Employee: “Good morning, Mr. Smith, looks like we’re going to have a nice day.” Boss: “Fine, thank you. And how are you?” That sort of disconnect between an employee and a busy manager is all too common today, and a sure sign of the presence of the Invisible Employee virus. This virus preys on the susceptibility of many workers at all levels of our workplace hierarchy who are starving for individual recognition and the essential dignity that goes along with it. Failing to supply it provides a perfect setting for the loss of initiative, lowered work ethic, and destructive depression on the part of the offended employees.

Fortunately banning the Invisible Employee virus is easy even for the busiest fabricator. One of the simplest and most effective ways to demonstrate sincere interest in your employees is to take the time to find out something about each one including such simple things as the names of wife and children, or employee hobbies or special interests, and then following through from time-to-time with questions that show you are genuinely interested.

6 The foggy instruction

Do you think that the direction and instructions you give to subordinates are always clear? If you think so, there’s a good chance that you’re wrong. The ability to communicate with precision doesn’t come naturally to most of us regardless of the extent of our education and business know-how. Industrial psychologists studying the effectiveness of communications among humans uncovered an astonishing weakness in this vital area of our lives. Much of the problem, they say, is the result of a limited vocabulary and the way many of us choose our words. If you’ve ever been frustrated by the failure of an employee to follow your instructions or carry out a project the way you intended, it’s quite possible that the fault was your own — that you failed to make your instructions unmistakably clear. Too often, we assume that everyone will, or should, understand everything we say or write; this provides a happy breeding ground for the Foggy Instruction Virus. Of particular concern these days is the communication of information or instructions by way of email, a tricky and especially difficult medium for any but the simplest of messages. Arguably, no other communication medium is as susceptible to misunderstanding as the hastily composed email. Trying to pinpoint the blame for specific incidents of miscommunication probably isn’t worth the effort. Still, there is little room for doubt that the heaviest share of responsibility for effective and profitable business communication rests with the person assigning the task, not the person on the receiving end. Fabricator n January / February 2013

January / February 2013 n Fabricator

should not take the job of building a powerful vocabulary to mean the relentless addition of exotic words for the sake of sheer numbers. To the contrary, the most appropriate word will seldom be the longest or most obscure one. The possessor of an unnecessarily large vocabulary runs the constant risk of being misunderstood. The trick is to master enough words to allow clear expression of your thoughts without resorting to the use of words that are beyond the understanding of all but college professors. To be sure, effective communications can be an elusive target. But managers who make a sincere effort to improve their skill in expressing themselves and their ability to understand others will gain an important advantage on the road to business success by inoculating themselves against the Foggy Instruction virus. Banning these six viruses from your operation won’t be a magic bullet to cure all of your business ills, but it will help in your efforts to build further on your existing business success.

For your information


Some years ago, a detailed study on business owners and managers revealed that a broad vocabulary was the most often seen characteristic in successful executives. That’s not surprising when you consider that words are the only tools we have for communicating our thoughts to others. Because a manager must get things done largely through the efforts of others, the ability to express thoughts with clarity and precision is an obvious necessity. Dr. Wilfred Funk in his classic book, Words of Power, said, “Success and vocabulary go hand-in-hand.” Another educator, Dr. John Dewey, said simply, “Thought is impossible without words.” Henry Thomas made a similar observation when he wrote, “Words are the materials out of which we build our thoughts.” These sentiments, echoed by countless experts, lead to an inescapable conclusion: Since words are necessary in thought formation, an expanded vocabulary will improve the our thinking quality. However, they say, you

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: 1) Professional Service Management (McGraw-Hill); 2) Power Letters for Service Executives, (Lynco Publications); and 3) 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



Biz Side

Estimate your taxes — or else By Mark E. Battersby Every year, Uncle Sam in the form of the Internal Revenue Service demands each and every ornamental and miscellaneous metalworking business guess their income for the coming year — and make installment payments of the estimated tax bill over the course of the year. Estimating income, and the tax bill for that income, while facing “Taxmageddon,” the combination of expiring pro-growth tax policies from 2001 and 2003, the end of the once-temporary payroll tax cut, and just a few of Obamacare’s 21 new tax hikes can be quite daunting. It is, however, what the IRS demands, and they won’t wait until our lawmakers decide on tax “reform.” Under our tax rules, the Internal Revenue Code, an incorporated fabricator, or any business, business owner, shareholder, or partner, anticipating a tax bill of $500 or more is required to estimate income tax liability for the current year. In other words Uncle Sam, in the form of the IRS, requires taxes be paid currently even though the self-employed and businesses are not subject to income tax withholding. Failing to make timely payments that accurately reflect the tax liability of the fabrication business can result in substantial penalties. Fortunately, guidelines issued by the IRS not only help when it comes to computing those estimated tax bills, but also provide so-called “safe harbors,” that can substantially reduce or even avoid many of those penalties.



Estimating income, and the tax bill for that income, can be quite daunting. Here are a few ways to ‘guesstimate’ what your income will be.

Paying ‘guesstimated’ future taxes

Generally, at least 90% of an individual’s final tax bill must be paid through withholding or estimated tax payments. Estimated tax is the amount of income and selfemployment tax as well as any other taxes reported on Form 1040 that the individual estimates will have to be paid for the tax year. Incorporated businesses are also required to make quarterly installments of their estimated tax liability. Generally, each payment must be at least 25% of the required annual payment, an annual payment that equals 100% of the tax shown on the return for the current tax year. A large corporation, one with taxable income of at least $1 million in any of the three preceding years, is prohibited from using its prior year tax liability — except when

Fabricator n January / February 2013

determining the first installment of its tax year. And, those incorporated fabricators required to deposit their taxes must transfer their tax deposits electronically from their accounts the IRS’s general account. Methods

What about basing those estimated tax payments on the fabrication operation’s expected or actual income for the current tax year? Do you have any idea what your operation’s 2013 is going to look like? Can you guess what the tax bite for 2013 will be? The IRS expects the owners and managers of every business, whether incorporated or not, to know — or at least make a reasonably accurate guess about — its final tax bill for the year. Any business failing to pay a required installment of estimated tax, or failing to arrive at a close approximation of their annual tax liability, faces penalties levied by the IRS. Fortunately, there is yet another way to “guesstimate” the operation’s future income — and tax liability. Corporations may elect to use an annualized income installment, or an adjusted seasonal installment if the installment is less than the amount computed under the general rules.

Annualizing annualization and other guesses

“Annualizing” means to extend an item to an annual basis. With the annualization method, taxpayers can pay more tax at the times when they are earning more money, and less tax when their receipts are down or their expenses are up. Naturally, to annualize income for estimated tax purposes it is necessary to monitor income and expenses during the year and base

Changing in mid-guess

estimated payments on actual income rather than on estimates. Regulations created by the IRS prevent an accrual-method business from taking into account any deduction, unless that deduction has been incurred and is otherwise deductible, in the applicable period. For example, although billed annually, taxes are for

An IOU for the IRS Few fabricators are aware of three separate penalties for all unpaid tax liabilities: 1) Failure to File Penalty 2) Failure to Pay Penalty 3) Interest The “failure to file” penalty accrues at the rate of 5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25%, reached after five months) on the amount of tax the return should show as owed. The “failure to pay” penalty is gentler, accruing at the rate of only 0.5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25% reached after 50 months) on the amount

January / February 2013 n Fabricator

12 separate months. The rules also cover other annual expenses that might be paid or incurred at the end of the taxable year or, in some cases, even after the end of the taxable year but are usually deemed paid or incurred during the taxable year. Thus, if an accrual-method fabricator has a history of incurring an expense (or actually paying that expense, in the case of a cash-method taxpayer), then take a proportionate part of that specific expense as a deduction for each period. Naturally, a fabricator may continue to take into account a proportionate part of an expense in each period only if the portion of that annual expense can be determined with reasonable accuracy. It must also be legitimately deductible in the current taxable year under the fabricator’s method of accounting. If, after estimating annual tax liability, a fabrication or finishing business finds its tax liability for the year will be more or less than originally estimated it can, of course, refigure its required installments. Failure to adjust can result in an underpayment penalty. An immediate catch-up payment is also permitted to reduce any penalty that might result from earlier installment underpayments.

actually shown as due on the return. If both apply, the failure to file penalty drops to 4.5% per month, so the total combined penalty remains at 5%. Thus, the maximum combined penalty for the first five months is 25%. Thereafter, the failure to pay penalty can continue at 0.5% per month for 45 more months, yielding an additional 22.5%. In total, these combined penalties can reach 47.5% of the unpaid liability in less than five years. Both of these penalties are in addition to interest charged for all late payments. If estimated tax payments were also missed, an additional penalty is tacked on for missed estimated tax payments. This penalty is computed at 3% above the fluctuating federal short-term interest rate for the period.


Underpayment of any of the required estimated tax installments results in additional tax on the underpayment amount for the entire period of that underpayment. The addition to tax is based on the underpayment interest rate, which is determined quarterly by the IRS. To avoid those underpayment penalties in a calendaryear incorporated fabrication business, the total installments must equal the lesser of: n 100% of the tax shown on its return for the preceding tax year, or n 100% of the tax shown for the current year (determined on the basis of actual income or annualized income). Paybacks can be expensive

Recently issued guidelines for making estimated tax payments clearly states that recaptured tax credits are not usually treated as a tax for estimated tax purposes. This theory was based on a 1978 IRS ruling that a recaptured investment tax credit is a tax within the meaning of the estimated tax rules, and which has been removed. The guidelines also eliminated the former requirement that required a taxpayer to compute its prior year’s tax liability using the current year’s tax rates — even if those rates differed from the prior year’s rates — because the rule was inconsistent with the estimated tax law’s language. On the horizon

With only broad promises and negotiating points on the table, and real meaningful tax “reform,” on the horizon, it is difficult to predict what our lawmakers will finally come up with in 2013. Many experts have predicted that the Bush-era tax cuts will be extended in some form, but the final word awaits congressional action probably later in 2013. It should be obvious that the IRS wants what it is due — usually paid in quarterly installments during the year. However, paying the your operation’s estimated tax liability on a timely basis during the year remains an obligation. The penalties and fines for underpaying that estimated tax bill also remain. n Anyone, or any business, anticipating a tax bill of $500 or more is required to estimate their income tax liability for the current year. n Failing to make timely payments reflecting that tax liability can result in subAbout the stantial penalties. Author For more than n Any business failing to 25 years, Mark make a required estimated tax installment of estimated E. Battersby has written editax, faces penalties. torial features, n Underpayment of any columns, white papers, and of the required estimated tax reports for magazines, journals, installments results in tax newsletters, and websites about news and developments on the underpayment in the tax and financial arenas amount — for the entire that impact small businesses. period of that underpayEmail ment.

For your information



Fabricator n January / February 2013

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 MARCH 31, 2013 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, 201111-fab


Nationwide Supplier Members Albina Pipe Bending Co. Inc. (503) 692-6010

Alku Group of Companies

D & D Technologies (USA) Inc. (714) 677-1300

Industrial Coverage Corp. (631) 736-7500

Precision Glass Bending Corp.

(800) 543-8796

D.J.A. Imports Ltd.

Interstate Mfg. Associates Inc.


Allen Architectural Metals Inc.

DAC Industries Inc.

The Iron Shop

Q-Railing USA Co.

Alloy Casting Co. Inc.

Decorative Iron

King Architectural Metals


American Punch Co.

DKS, DoorKing Systems

King Architectural Metals - CA

Regency Railings Inc.

Ameristar Fence Products

Eagle Bending Machines Inc.

Architectural Iron Designs Inc.

Elite Architectural Metal Supply LLC

Atlas Metal Sales


AZZ Galvanizing

ETemplate Systems

Banker Wire

FabCad Inc.

Big Blu Hammer Mfg.

The Fabrication Store

Julius Blum & Co. Inc.

Feeney Inc. (Feeney Architectural Products)

(905) 265-1093

(800) 204-3858 (972) 286-2368 (216) 731-4501

(918) 835-0898

(908) 757-2323 (800) 662-0143 (815) 618-8440 800-523-6772 (828) 437-5348

(800) 526-6293

Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC (856) 205-1279

Cable Art Inc.

(877) 664-4224

The Cable Connection (800) 851-2961

Carell Corp.

(251) 937-0948

(718) 324-6871

(800) 888-9768

(888) 380-9278 (800) 826-7493 (251) 937-0947

(847) 636-1233

(262) 786-9330 (919) 676-2244

(800) 255-9032 (866) 79-FAB-4-U

(800) 888-2418

The G-S Co.

(410) 284-9549

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

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

Glasswerks LA Inc. (323) 789-7800

Hartford Standard Co. Inc.

Century Group Inc.

Hayn Enterprises LLC

(337) 527-5266

Cleveland Steel Tool Co. (800) 446-4402

CML USA Inc. Ercolina (563) 391-7700

Colorado Waterjet Co. (866) 532-5404

Custom Orn. Iron Works Ltd. (866) 464-4766

(214) 741-3014

(800) 523-7427

(714) 259-1372

(800) 542-2379

(714) 670-8980

King Architectural Metals - MD (410) 644-5932

Krando Metal Products (610) 543-4311

Carl Stahl DecorCable Innovations (800) 444-6271

(800) 667-9101

(270) 298-3227

(860) 257-0680

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

Lawler Foundry Corp. (800) 624-9512

(940) 325-7806

SECO South

(888) 535-SECO (800) 879-4418

South Camden Iron Works Inc.

(718) 894-1442

Lift Master

(856) 423-1107

(630) 279-3600

Stairways Inc.

Locinox USA

(713) 680-3110

(708) 579-0286

Stephens Pipe and Steel

Mac Metals Inc.

(225) 387-1838

(800) 631-9510

Marks U.S.A.

Suhner Industrial Products Inc.

McKey Perforating

Sumter Coatings Inc.

Metabo Corp.

Transpacific Industrial Supply Inc.

(631) 225-5400

(800) 323-6886

(262) 786-2700

(888) 471-3400

(800) 638-2264

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

NC Tool Co.

Illinois Engineered Products Inc.

Ohio Gratings Inc.

(312) 850-3710

(216) 291-2303

Rogers Mfg. Inc.

Sharpe Products

Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc.

Heritage Cast Iron USA

Indiana Gratings Inc.

(800) 824-2157

Rockite, Div. of Hartline Products Co. Inc.

(636) 225-5358

(800) 624-6225

Multi Sales Inc.

(918) 592-1700

(214) 742-9408

Robinson Iron Corp.

L.E. Sauer Machine Co.

Lavi Industries

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

(419) 470-2000

(800) 421-3575 (336) 674-5654 (330) 477-6707

Pacific Stair Corp.

(909) 581-3058

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

(503) 390-8305

(800) 634-1988

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 n 64

Julius Blum & Co. Inc. Industrial Coverage Corp. Majka Railing Co. Inc. R & F Metals Inc.

n Cuper Studios LLC n Keeler Iron Works n National Ornamental Metal Museum

n D.J.A. Imports Ltd. n Lawler Foundry Corp. n O’Malley Welding & Fabricating Inc.

Fabricator n January / February 2013


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 December 21, 2012. *Asterisk denotes returning members Bridgeton Drafting Co. LLC* Vineland, NJ David Busarello

Nationwide Supplier

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

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

n n n n

John F. Graney Metal Design Sorge Industries Inc. Southwest Metalsmiths Inc. Welding Works Inc.

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

Cable Art Inc.

Valencia, CA Daryl Parker

Nationwide Supplier

CM Iron Supply LLC Tempe, AZ Richard de Faria


East New York Steel Products Inc. Brooklyn, NY Richard Pantaleo

Local Supplier

La Forge de Style*

South Hackensack, NJ David B. Gore


MSW Ornamental Fabricators Inc.* Memphis, TN Mark A. Pledge


Neiweem Industries Inc.* Oakwood Hills, IL Kurt M. Neiweem


Pacific Stair Corp. Salem, OR Ed Gunning

Nationwide Supplier

Republic Fence Co. Inc.* Granada Hills, CA David Woolf


S.T.L. Mfg.

Tucson, AZ Dwayne Morse


Upright Iron Works Inc. Griffith, IN Elizabeth Mate-Bias


January / February 2013 n Fabricator


What’s Hot? n Industry Briefs Meta Designs moves Meta Designs is moving to a new 8,000-square-foot facility with extensive office and shop space, located at 527 West 400 North in Salt Lake City, Utah. Meta Designs provides clients with custom, high-quality metal designs, working in conjunction with artists, architects, designers, and homeowners. Meta Designs specializes in architectural showcase stair and rail systems, but its portfolio includes large gates, restaurant interiors, sculptures, and small custom jobs as well. Contact 801-972-6382 Wahl Instruments launches free thermal imaging rentals Wahl Instruments Inc., is launching a free rental program for the z30 and z50 series Heat Spy thermal imaging cameras. Thermal imaging technology is a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool, and the Wahl Heat Spy Thermal Imaging camera has numerous applications, from home inspection to electrical panel inspection, process overheat and more, preventing costly down time and energy loss. The program allows companies to try out a Thermal Imager at their location. The unit is pre-configured and ready to use for up to seven days at no charge except shipping fees. Wide angle or telephoto lenses can be added to the rental for a nominal fee. The Wahl Heat Spy Free Rental program is available to qualified companies in the U.S. and Canada. Contact 800-421-2853


Industry News

Under home builder pressure, OSHA delays fall-protection guideline changes Under pressure from home builders, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is delaying its new, morestringent fall-protection regulations, originally scheduled to take effect in December 2012. The previously announced phasein period for home builders to comply with the new “Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction” is being extended until March 15, 2013, to allow the industry more time to understand the rule and get compliance assistance from the federal agency. “We are very pleased that OSHA heeded our calls,” says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a longtime advocate of sensible, practical regulations that protect workers from falls — the most-cited violation by OSHA in residential construction. NAHB has long held that the new regulations — including requirements that all residential construction companies must ensure that any employees or subcontractors doing work 6 feet above ground or floor level must be protected with guardrail, safety net, or personal fall-arrest systems — could actually cause greater danger on the job site than using alternate methods that home builders say are safer. In a Dec. 11 press release, OSHA said that more time was needed to make sure the construction industry knows how to comply with the rule. “The agency will continue to work with employers to ensure a clear understanding of, and to facilitate compliance with, the new policy,” the press release said. “OSHA will also continue to develop materials to assist the industry, includ-

ing a wide variety of educational and training materials to assist employers with compliance.” The continuation of the temporary enforcement measures through March 15 “includes priority free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency and increased outreach,” the OSHA release said. NAHB has provided its members an array of resources — including a sample fall- protection plan, a residential fall-protection fact sheet and an OSHA fall protection webinar replay — to help builders with this transition. Not only do builders have to understand these changes to the fall-protection guidelines, they need to know about all other workplace hazards that can lead to fines from OSHA, and be aware of plans for more inspections that are on the horizon, says the NAHB. “With OSHA’s stepped-up enforcement and increases in the overall dollar amount of penalties, builders need to be prepared,” said Rob Matuga, NAHB’s assistant vice president of labor, safety and health. “Employers taking some simple steps to pre-plan for safety, such as identifying and correcting safety hazards on the job site, will go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of an accident occurring, and therefore eliminate the potential sources of loss.” Not all states follow the federal OSHA programs, explains the NAHB. Many builders/members are operating in approved state plans and should check with local administrators. Contact and Fabricator n January / February 2013

What’s Hot? n

Industy News

Jerith acquires Delgard Premier Aluminum Fencing Jerith Manufacturing Company Inc., the oldest and largest producer of aluminum ornamental fences, acquired Delgard Premier Aluminum Fencing from Delair LLC on Oct. 26, 2012. “Delgard offers Jerith several designs that we do not currently offer, along with a network of dealers that are used to selling high-quality aluminum fence products,” says Bruce Schwartz, president of Jerith. “The Aero and the American Series lines will expand our product offerings by adding new designs that are unique in the fence industry.” Both Delgard and Jerith produce residential (5/8-inch square picket), commercial (3/4-inch square picket), and industrial (1-inch square

picket) aluminum fences, which will make the combination of those products rather straightforward. Delgard’s fence designs use 1-inch x 5/8-inch rectangular pickets to produce an 8-foot-long (Aero) and 6-foot-long (American Series) section. Jerith did not have anything comparable to these lines before the acquisition. Because of the close proximity of

the two fence manufacturers’ operations, Delgard’s 300,000-square-foot plant will be consolidated into the Jerith facility. Jerith currently has a 444,000square-foot building on 36 acres in northeast Philadelphia with three automated powder coating lines. Schwartz says: “Combining the two largest manufacturers of aluminum fence just makes sense strategically. We are operating in the same region, have several mutual customers, and, like all fence companies, have both seen our sales hurt by the recession. We are excited to be in growth mode once again.” Contact 800-344-2242

News brief Birchwood Casey Metal Finishes changes brand, logo Birchwood Casey Metal Finishes has changed its brand and logo to Birchwood Technologies. Mark Ruhland, vice president of Birchwood Technologies, said that the change reflects success the company has had with its broader range of products and services. Corporate identity, owners, and address remain unchanged. Birchwood Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of turnkey metal finishing systems and processes, including low-temperature black oxide, antiquing, rust preventives, cleaners, and surface preps. The company’s products and brands include Tru Temp and Presto Black oxide finishes. The company now has automated tank lines for metal finishing as well as Near-Zero water recycling systems. Contact 952-937-7931 www.birchwoodtechnologies. com January / February 2013 n Fabricator


What’s Hot? n

Training Workshop

Application deadline for metalwork fellowships in France is February 28 The American Friends of Coubertin have announced the availability of training fellowships for September 2013–July 2014 in woodwork, metalwork, and stonework at the Coubertin Foundation outside Paris, France. Applicants should have at least two or three years postapprenticeship work experience in their craft, be accomplished and seeking master skills. The deadline for applying is Feb. 28, 2013. Fellows should be between the ages of 21 and 29, The Coubertin Foundation is a registered public charity in France dedicated to the preservation and advancement of traditional crafts by combining education and production. Training and experience is provided through the activities of Ateliers Saint-Jacques, which competes in the marketplace for historical restoration projects as well as new commissions from individuals and corporations, and thus provides

Restoring the Past. Building the Future.

trainees with a real working environment. The fellowships are enabled through American Friends of Coubertin, a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Chicago. Fellowships last 11 months (from September to July). Fellows attend workshop sessions, classes, lectures and other cultural activities. Classes and lectures represent over 1,000 hours over the course of the fellowship. The program includes: professional training in relevant trades (technology, drafting, workshop organization), modeling and casts, mechanics of materials, and CAD. Their productive work in the workshops is paid, which ensures a minimum monthly income of 500, as well as room and board on-site at Coubertin. All fellows also receive health and insurance and workers compensation coverage. Contact,


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

Questions? Call Peter H. Miller, President: 202.339.0744 x 104. Or email

68 Fabricator RM house ad.indd 1


Association of North America, Inc. Fabricator n January / February 2013

10/14/2011 12:45:08 PM

What’s Hot? n


Literature Expanded sawing machine catalog Kalamazoo Machine Tool Kalamazoo Machine Tool is offering a new, expanded catalog of the company’s sawing machines. The catalog contains detailed information on its manual bandsaws, semi-automatic bandsaws, double column bandsaws, fully automatic bandsaws, manual pivoting coldsaws, vertical column coldsaws, semi-automatic coldsaws, fully automatic coldsaws, highspeed circular saws, fully automatic high-speed coldsaws, and fully automatic CNC operation. Contact 269-321-8860

Geib named marketing manager at Metabo Metabo Corp., an international manufacturer of professional-grade portable electric power tools and abrasives for industrial, construction, and welding applications, has announced the selection of Jere L. Geib, Jr., as its new marketing manager. Geib will be responsible for marketing, advertising, and sales promotions as well as supporting the development efforts for the company’s distribution channel. Martin Cross, president of Metabo, said: “Over the past 16 years, Jere has held an array of positions in the field of marketing and communications. As a result, he brings well-rounded experience to our team and company. His vast knowledge of sales, market-

ing and communications will help us develop strategies to meet the changing needs of our customers as well as our sales network.” Before joining Metabo, Geib was the director of marketing for Translogistics Inc., Birdsboro, PA., where he served as a member of the executive management team developing and executing strategic marketing, business and development plans for the company. Earlier, Geib held marketing and public relations positions for a variety of global electronics manufacturers and distributors including Tyco Electronics, Phoenix Contact, TVC Communications and Harsco Corp. Geib has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with concentrations in public relations and corporate media.

Have It Your Way Alloy Casting Custom

Make your projects truly unique with ALLOY CASTING custom castings. Available in a variety of metals to help you achieve dramatic and creative results on your next project. Custom designs in:

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January / February 2013 n Fabricator

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What’s Hot? n Ergonomic vacuum lifter Anver Corp. Anver Corp. has introduced a compact, ergonomic vacuum lifter featuring a custom-designed interchangeable, concave-shaped vacuum suction pad attachment that mirrors the contour of a spherical load. Designed to let one person handle domes and spheres, this below-the-hook vacuum lifter is powered by compressed air and includes vacuum gauges and an audio-visual alarm to signal fractional vacuum leakage. The soft sponge rubber sealing pad is replaceable. Suitable for handling stainless steel, composite materials, and glass domes and spheres, only rubber touches the load while the Anver VFP Series Vacuum Lifter is being used. Featuring an adjustable handlebar with built-in controls, this compact lifter has an allwelded steel frame, is available with


up to 2,000 lbs. capacity, and requires only 8 inches of headroom. Contact 800-654-3500 New line of industrial angle grinders and sanders Chicago Pneumatic Chicago Pneumatic has announced its new line of CP3850 industrial angle

grinders and sanders. According to the company, these models offer the highest power-to-weight ratio and durability in their class and are also lighter in weight for easier handling, as well more durable, providing a lower cost of operation. Designed for aggressive use, the CP3850 is available in both 7-inch and 9-inch capacity models, with a high-performance 2.8 hp motor, and weight of less than 6 lbs. In addition to the CP3850’s higher power, many advanced ergonomic features have been incorporated to improve operator comfort, safety and productivity, says the company. These include a vibration-damping multiposition side handle, auto balancer, and integrated silencer. Safety features include a double-action safety lever and 270° swivel guard to protect the operator from debris. Hardened bevel gears provide durability, while the


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

Call for Free Catalog - 800/446-6498

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


Fabricator n January / February 2013

What’s Hot? n


quick change spindle lock eases use, the company says. The 2.8 hp governed motor and choice of a 7,700 rpm or 6,600 rpm free speed, are designed to deliver superior torque for maximum productivity. The CP3850 series grinders and sanders were engineered for aggressive contouring, deburring, cutting, and sanding in the metalworking, transformation, manufacturing and energy industries. Contact 800 624 4735

Portable speed lathe Crozier Machine Tool Crozier Machine Tool Co. has announced the introduction of the “Building Block” platform Model 30DC-BB, which when mated with the company’s Model 30DC Speed Lathe becomes a mini-machining cell useable for many second operations. With its rigid T-slotted aluminum base ready for mounting, the Model 30DC-BB is designed for deburring, gauging, finish sanding, inspection, lapping, turning, assembly or light dry machining of any part that can be held by a collet. The Model 30DC-BB is portable and small enough for placement next to a CNC to perform a variety of operations, with rapid setup, quick cycling, and variable speed, says Crozier. It features cast aluminum housing, dynamic

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

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January / February 2013 n Fabricator


brake and a 1-hp motor multi-belt drive. Contact 310-329-3169 Premier gate hinges Shut It Gate Hardware Shut It Gate Hardware, a manufacturer of gate hardware, has announced the addition of two new products to its line of premier gate hinges. The new BadAss Barrel hinge is designed to be used in both weld-on

C315/350 Manual Cold Saw Simple hinge-type construction Ideal for prototype and low volume work Two-speed spindle (30 & 60 rpm) Heavy-duty drive 3.5 hp TEFC motor Sliding double vise assembly for precision, burr-free cutting Totally enclosed transmission 6700 Quality Way Portage, MI 49002 269-321-8860 Fax: 269-321-8890


What’s Hot? n and bolt-on applications. The hinge can open a full 180 degrees and allows installers to reduce the gap between the end-post and the gate frame to less than ½ inch, for high-security situations. The second new hinge is the BadAss Uphill Hinge Set, which is designed for installations that have significant changes in elevation. Shut It’s hinges are built with long “straps” that enable the gate to be welded onto the end-post at an angle, thus allowing the gate to swing in an upward/downward motion that is parallel with the terrain. Each set of BadAss Uphill Hinges come with one hinge that has a 10-inch strap and a second one with a 6-inch strap, to provide optimal flexibility and minimize excess material that will need to be moved after installation is complete.


The hinges use a special patented sealed roller bearing and spacer design to eliminate a significant amount of friction. Contact 520-320-0680 Large diameter vacuum cups Vi-Cas Manufacturing Large vacuum cups from Vi-Cas Manufacturing are now available in sizes to 15 inches in diameter to lift and manipulate large, bulky or cumbersome materials such as aircraft fuselage segments, casket lids and components, fabricated assemblies, and more. Round, rectangular or oval cups are available from stock for a variety of lift manufacturers, with sizes and types to fit virtually any type of vacuum equipment used for lifting, manipulating, or “pick and place” applications.

Materials are available to suit most applications, including food handling, high-temperature materials, anti-static for handling electronic components, non-marking materials for sensitive products, and more. An online catalog, searchable by cup attributes, is at Vi-Cas can quote custom designs from customer-supplied drawings, or reverse engineer from customersupplied cups. Contact 513-791-7741

Build a fence that makes a statement

Many designs available - send us your ideas! Pierced Pickets - A great way to add a unique custom look to your next fence project. Depend on Vogel for tools for pipe notching, picket press forming, custom pierced pickets and more. Vogel Tool are proudly made in USA for over 75 years. 800-272-8946 Visit us at FenceTech - Booth #1041 US Patent Pending 72

Fabricator n January / February 2013


Advertiser’s Index A thanks to the following advertisers for their support of O&MM Fabricator magazine. Pg Company Website 69 Alloy Casting Co. 19 Apollo Gate 32 Architectural Metal 68 Artist-Blacksmith’s Assoc. of North America 69 Atlas Metal Sales....................................... 28 Big Blu Hammer Mfg. Co. / Oak Hill Iron 54 Blacksmiths Depot / Kayne & Son Custom Hardware Inc............... 62 Julius Blum & Co. 49 The Cable Connection.......... 71 John C. Campbell Folk 29 Carell Corporation..................................... 23 Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co............... 51 Colorado Waterjet 18 Custom Ornamental Iron Works

  Pg Company Website 17 Hebo - Stratford Gate Systems 65 Hougen Mfg. Inc............................................ 65 International Gate 76 The Iron 71 Kalamazoo Machine Tool............................ 75 King Architectural Metals...................... 13 Krando Metal Products Inc.......................... 51 Laser Precision Cutting.............................. 15 Lawler Foundry 2 Lewis Brass & Copper Co. Inc............... 70 Lindblade Metal 56 Mac Metals Inc......................................... 59 Marks 67 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool................ 55 Pat Mooney 70 NC Tool Company 50 Regency

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

48 Sharpe Products.............................

6 D.J.A. Imports Ltd....................................

27 Stairways Inc........................................................... 800-231-0793

72 Doringer Cold Saw.......................................

47 Suhner Industrial Products Corp.........

29 Eagle Bending Machines Inc.....................

51 Sumter Coatings

45 Eberl Iron Works

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

21 FabCAD Inc........................................................

72 Vogel Tool & Die LLC..................................

68 Traditional Building.................

25 The Wagner

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

Sherry Theien Advertising Director 8392 Leesburg Ct. Rockford, IL 61114 815-282-6000 815-282-8002 fax January / February 2013 n Fabricator

Advertise in the 2014 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, 2013 Contact Sherry Theien, 815-282-6000; 815-282-8002 fax; 73


Metal Moment

Handling existing ironwork — part 1 Editor’s note: NOMMA often gets calls on the restoration, maintenance, and repair of ironwork. The following is adapted from a popular article in our online archives, and serves as an unofficial “best practices” for restoring and preserving historical metalwork. NOMMA members are great at creating beautiful, new metalwork. But what happens when you are called to restore, maintain, or repair existing metal pieces? The following are some helpful tips. In future issues, we will focus on repair and maintenance of iron and painting existing exterior ironwork. This article first appeared in the Jan.Feb. 2001 Fabricator and is reprinted with permission from The Golden Age of Ironwork by Henry Jonas Magaziner. Restoration and maintenance

n Caution! Iron maintenance work can be dangerous and should be done only by qualified workers with suitable protective equipment. One example is paint removal by sandblasting, which creates highly toxic dust. It is mandatory that you are properly protected. n When restoring ironwork, con-

Before making repairs, remove all finishes until you are down to the bright metal.

sult with preservation architects or conservators to first assess the conditions. If the work is to be contracted, they can prepare contract documents. n Before the start of any work, check with the local building department, any environmental protection agencies, and the historical or landmark commission. Be sure that the proposed work violates no regulations. For doing the actual work, no one but an artisan should be used for any necessary cutting and fitting, tapping, and finishing. n Before restoring the ironwork, remove all rust and paint. Chip away any loose paint or rust. If local regulations permit it, blast with dry grit at a blasting pressure no higher than 80–100 pounds per square inch and 70–100 mesh particles. If local regulations do not permit blasting or if the member is excessively thin, use a wire brush. If any repairs are to be made, get down to bright metal. n No type of wet blasting is appropriate. It will rust the iron immediately. After all rust and loose paint have been removed, make a detailed condition assessment of the piece.

Indoor life is easier

Metalwork that lives indoors simply has an easier life, but some protection to the wrought and cast iron in still necessary. Two tips 1 For protecting interior wrought iron, varnish is preferable to paint. However, on the interior, the best system for revealing the evidence of the ironsmith’s handiwork is a thin coat of wax, mixed with a little boiled linseed oil. If this is rubbed on the iron periodically, it will prevent rust and at the same time allow the ironsmith’s hammer marks to show. 2 Some museums are using a 10% solution of tannic acid for protecting ironwork both cast and wrought. The solution is composed of tannic acid, deionized or distilled water, ethanol, and diluted phosphoric acid. It produces a blue-black finish. It is only to be used for ironwork that is to remain indoors. — Source: Canadian Conservation Institute, Notes /.


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

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Jan 2013 OMM Fabricator  
Jan 2013 OMM Fabricator  

January/February 2013 Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Fabricator, Vol. 54, No. 1