Blog Posts

thefabricator.com has a team of bloggers that cover the challenges and rewards associated with a life in metal fabricating. Topics typically addressed by contributing authors include political and demographic trends affecting the fabricating industry, the business side of running a job shop, the culture of the welding community, and detailed looks at what happens on the shop floor.

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The patio furniture reshoring test

December 15, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Businesses are reshoring when it makes sense to do so. This includes items requiring quick-response, such as seasonal items that hinge on less predictable demand factors, like the weather.

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Manufacturing communities program ready for second round

December 12, 2014 | By Stephen Barlas

The U.S. Department of Commerce wants to reach out to more communities in an effort to boost the manufacturing economy.

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EPA pushes for new ozone regulation

December 12, 2014 | By Stephen Barlas

The Environmental Protection agency wants to reduce ozone-causing emissions levels even though the current regulations haven't been fully put into effect.

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The energy boom, welding, and the modern-day cowboy

December 11, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Welders are the mortar holding the energy boom together, and today, we need more mortar than ever.

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The unemployment rate keeps falling

December 11, 2014 | By Eric Lundin

The headline unemployment figures provide quite a few reasons for optimism. The unemployment rate is low and falling, as is the number of layoffs. However, a deeper look paints a more complete picture of the current job market, and it reveals a few weaknesses.

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Still Building America: From ranch manager to welder and beyond

December 11, 2014 | By Josh Welton

Ambitions, interests, and careers evolve. Craftsman Jared Craver set out to be a professional landscaper, took the reins at a cattle/hunting ranch, saw a need for welding on the ranch, took welding classes, and now has his own business. Here’s how it all came together.

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Thanking your customers at Christmas

December 9, 2014 | By Nick Martin

There are traditions, and then there are the stories behind them—something we often don’t know. In this post, Nick Martin explains Barnes MetalCrafters’ tradition of thanking its customers at Christmas.

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Built, not bought: A welder’s Christmas gifts

December 3, 2014 | By Josh Welton

It’s that time of year when those who celebrate Christmas are looking for the perfect gifts for family and friends. If you’re a skilled welder and need some ideas, read on.

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FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A reason to smile

December 2, 2014 | By Tim Heston

According to November manufacturing data, industry hummed along in November, shrugging off the economic slowdown in much of the rest of the world. Drew Greenblatt isn't surprised.

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FABTECH reporter notebook: A reason to be thankful

November 26, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Managers at one shop did the moral thing back in 2009, and that moral decision turned out to be a smart business decision, too. That's something to be thankful for.

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The economics of worker retention

November 21, 2014 | By Dan Davis

It's not unusual for a metal fabricating worker to leave one company and go to work for another for a small increase in pay. This, however, may not be in the best interest of the worker, and it sure hurts the company that loses quality talent.

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American-made at FABTECH

November 20, 2014 | By Josh Welton

With much to see at FABTECH®, welder and blogger Josh Welton made special note of those companies that continue to produce products in the U.S. Here are some highlights from his visit to the show.

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FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A contract metal fabrication metaphor, in tube

November 17, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Atlanta played host to FABTECH last week, when tens of thousands descended upon the Georgia World Congress Center. Most said they expected good times for 2015, but it's a complex business that requires careful coordination. A unique exoskeletal racecar on display last week proved to be an apt metaphor of metal fabrication at its best.

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Still Building America: An ironworker in Manhattan

November 13, 2014 | By Josh Welton

Up first in this series of articles about young tradesmen and -women in the U.S. is 19-year-old Justin Nover, an ironworker in Manhattan who is continuing the family tradition in the trades.

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Shop drawings—how much information do you need?

November 12, 2014 | By Nick Martin

Just how detailed do shop drawings have to be? That depends on several factors, including whether you are doing the work in-house or sending it out.

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