Articles is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.

Filter Content

Stamper, prototyper, assembler, or fabricator

April 11, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Newspapers and business magazines are filled with stories about offshoring, layoffs, and plant closings. Quasar Industries, a prototyping and low-volume production shop near Detroit, has bucked this trend and recently increased its manufacturing capability when it purchased a new building. A diverse fabricator, the company provides tooling development and also does stamping, laser cutting and welding, robotic welding, tube fabrication, and machining. The company's client base includes the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, among others. But all the equipment it has and processes it performs don't make it successful. Its success is a result of its employees' expertise and its corporate culture.

Continue Reading

Bernie and the jet

April 11, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Jay Leno's car collection, housed at the Big Dog Garage in Burbank, Calif., is not meant to collect dust. These cars are to be driven. Bernard Juchli is in charge of that, and now he has a waterjet to help him fabricate hard-to-find or non-existent parts and to keep the cars on the road.

Continue Reading

Metalfab: All that glitters is metal

April 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

Lights. Camera. Fabricate?! You get home from work after fabricating all day, kick back with a cool one, and turn on the tube just to see more metal fabrication, on-screen, as entertainment. If it's not "American Chopper" or "Monster Garage," it's "Biker Build-Off," "Monster House" or "American Hot Rod." What's the fascination with fabrication? Do shows like these put a new spin on the image of metal forming and fabricating? Have they inspired younger generations to consider metal fabricating as a profession? Why have TV producers zoned in on these types of shows?

Continue Reading

American Fabricator

April 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

How do you get to Hollywood? Ride a motorcycle when you're 3 years old, start welding at 8, and rebuild a car engine at 9—if you want to be the lead fabricator on American Chopper, that is, one of the most popular metal fabrication-as-entertainment reality cable TV shows airing on the Discovery Channel. Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. Teutul are the highly visible father-son pair usually featured in the media. But it is Vincent DiMartino who is the fabricator behind the bikes, the muscle behind the biceps, the grin behind the guns. Vinnie surmised that the automated waterjet from Flow Intl., Kent, Wash., is probably the most sophisticated equipment he uses, and that much of what he fabricates for the choppers is cut on OCC's waterjet.

Continue Reading

Fastener insertion technology moves ahead

April 11, 2006 | By T. C. Boster

Technological advances have turned simple press brakes and punch presses into productivie systems, now accepted as the norm for keeping fabricators competitive. Fastener-insertion machines are now incorporating many of those same advances to provide better quality and productivity and to eliminate bottlenecks as they work with the other technologically advanced fabricating machines in the shop.

Continue Reading

Die Basics 101: Part VII

April 11, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Previous articles in this series focused on stamping dies and production methods. This article discusses stamping materials—both ferrous and nonferrous.To process, design, and build a successful stamping die, it is necessary to fully understand the behavioral characteristics of the specific...

Continue Reading

Magical, mystical metal

April 11, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

Richard Wilson's metal art reflects his appreciation for metal's lesser-known intrinsic qualities. This article explains how Wilson became a welder and metal artist and describes the materials and processes he uses. It details one project from start to finish. It also offers insight into the future of the welding labor force from Wilson's perspective as a welding instructor and manufacturing consultant.

Continue Reading

How to perform tack welding successfully

April 11, 2006 | By Elia Levi

Tack welding, a necessary preliminary step in many welding projects, must be performed correctly to achieve optimal results from the final weld and to minimize part defects. Quality is as important in tack welding as it is in the final weld. This article describes proper tack welding conditions.

Continue Reading

What do you monitor to ensure quality?

April 11, 2006 | By Paul Hogendoorn

Most manufacturers measure or test parts to verify that the parts meet quality standards. This conventional approach is time-consuming because testing adds steps and time to the production process. Furthermore, it is only as good as the sample size. A different approach to quality is to use a strain monitor to measure strain on the machine's frame. Comparing the strain with a reference (measured when the machine was known to be producing good parts) is a way to monitor the production process, and it doesn't require extra time or steps.

Continue Reading

Weld inspection before you weld

April 11, 2006 | By Paul Cameron

Although it takes effort and time, procedure qualification testing can help you standardize your welding procedures and know what to expect when it comes to the quality of your manufactured parts.

Continue Reading

Getting a handle on coil handling

April 11, 2006 | By Matthew Watson

Coil handling equipment can take up a lot of space, so it's important to consider different equipment configurations and options that may deliver much-needed floor space.

Continue Reading

Keep it moving

April 11, 2006 | By Dan Zimmerman

Conveyor jam-ups or slow-downs can offset machine tool productivity and damage high-production equipment. The solution: a reliable conveyor system that promotes a smooth, uninterrupted production flow.

Continue Reading

How to get a handle on your inventory

April 11, 2006 | By Frank G. Rubury

Well-managed companies have taken aggressive steps to reduce "at-rest" inventory by revamping their supply chains to support smaller, more frequent shipments. Industry sources have reported that some of the best performing stamping companies are turning inventory 28 times annually.

Continue Reading

When a good tube bends bad

April 11, 2006 | By Tony Granelli

Have you ever started with what you thought was a good tube, ended with a bad bend, and wondered where you took a wrong turn? Correcting for defects requires some detective work, and an understanding of the bending process. This article examines tube defects and offers fixes.

Continue Reading

When a good tube bends bad - Part I

March 7, 2006 | By Tony Granelli

Have you ever started with what you thought was a good tube, ended with a bad bend, and wondered where you took a wrong turn?

Continue Reading