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.

Filter Content

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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

FABTECH 2014, and the hunt for smart capacity

November 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

FABTECH 2014 is upon us, and industry leaders come to Atlanta to hunt for not just additional capacity—but smart capacity.

Continue Reading

New manufacturing initiative short on details, long on revamps

November 7, 2014 | By Stephen Barlas

The Obama administration offers up a new package of already announced manufacturing-related endeavors

Continue Reading

Stay on top of those software upgrades

November 6, 2014 | By Dan Davis

Fabricators can't afford to ignore machine programming software upgrades. It can mean a big difference when it comes to avoiding unplanned machine downtime.

Continue Reading


Keeping things straight—welding control arms

November 6, 2014 | By Josh Welton

Welding control arms for a Chevy COE flatbed truck seemed like no big deal, but every project has challenges.

Continue Reading

The future of the medium-sized metal fabricator

November 5, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Small shops will be there for the small jobs; large shops are investing in equipment to compete; but what about the shop in the middle?

Continue Reading


From the Web: Steel making, fabricating have changed; mfg & politics; 3-D printing semi-solid metals

October 30, 2014 | By Vicki Bell

Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— AISC VP sets the record straight about today’s steel production; what skills today’s factory workers need; manufacturing and politics, and developments in 3-D printing.

Continue Reading

White House shines spotlight on manufacturing

October 27, 2014 | By Tim Heston

The White House released a list of manufacturing initiatives today that involve various government agencies. A few programs in the release really stand out.

Continue Reading


Metal sculpting for SEMA—Derelicts and Hellcats

October 23, 2014 | By Josh Welton

Metal artists find inspiration in many places. Derelicts and Hellcats inspired Josh Welton to create his versions of classic vehicles and motorcycles to be displayed at SEMA’s Art Walk in November.

Continue Reading

Mission NOT accomplished

October 17, 2014 | By Eric Lundin

A brief look at some unemployment and employment numbers provides reason for optimism for the state of the labor force. It's too soon to say "Mission accomplished" or anything like that, because getting people back to work is an ongoing process, but the trends are encouraging nonetheless.

Continue Reading

High-powered fiber translates into a more versatile tool

October 16, 2014 | By Dan Davis

A new 6-kW fiber laser cutting machine holds the potential to expand the cutting opportunities for metal fabricators.

Continue Reading


Still Building America: Calling young metalworkers

October 16, 2014 | By Josh Welton

I’d like to introduce a new project I’m working on for The FABRICATOR®, “Still Building America.” I will continue to write my normal bimonthly posts about welding in addition to starting a new series focusing on youngish (under 35), skilled tradespeople, manufacturing entrepreneurs,...

Continue Reading