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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Not your typical workspace

June 14, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Independent fabricators and artists need workspace. On his search for space in Detroit, Josh Welton came across an interesting alternative to the typical offerings modeled on a similar, successful venture in New York. He’s excited about the prospect of working in this environment.

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Fabricators weigh in on the new overtime rules

June 9, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

“Fabricating Update” subscribers were asked to share their thoughts on the new overtime rules for exempt employees that will take effect Dec. 1. Employees who responded welcome the action. Employers are not so happy about it. And one respondent questions the government’s motive behind the new rules.

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A Memorial Day tribute to honor Darla Welton's dad and remember his friends killed in action

June 1, 2016 | By Josh Welton

The U.S recently celebrated Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. To commemorate this occasion, Josh Welton has turned the podium over to his better half, Darla, who honors her dad and his fellow soldiers killed in action in this moving tribute.

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Manufacturers must deal with new OT rules

June 1, 2016 | By Stephen Barlas

U.S. manufacturers have to come to terms with the new overtime rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Voting workers off the island

May 25, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Working in a job shop or any small, tightknit organization requires attributes beyond job skills. If you don’t measure up, you might find yourself voted off the island and out the door.

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Still Building America—Jump into your trade with both feet

May 23, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Interested in a career in welding and fabrication? Take advantage of opportunities to learn more, and you might find yourself on a fulfilling career path, just like Jonathan Lewis.

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Fabricators are in the information business

May 19, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Fabricators aren't selling just parts anymore. They're selling their ability to partner and communicate with customers.

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The ability to multitask—a gift and a curse

May 19, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Times have changed. We live in the information and stimulation age. Many things vie for our attention, and it can be difficult to focus on a single activity or life plan. Is that good or bad? Here’s Josh Welton’s take, based on his own experience.

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The morality of metal fabrication

May 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Metal fabricators are driven to compete, but they also want to do the right thing.

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Manufacturing wages and the front-line worker

May 12, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturers have serious turnover when it comes to front-line workers. And then there's the issue of pay.

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2016 FAB 40 preview: Preparing for a bigger market pie

May 11, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Revenue growth from 2014 to 2015 was essentially flat, depending on the fabricator's customer mix, but most are predicting busier times ahead.

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The Arsenal of Democracy—When Detroit bailed out the U.S. government

May 2, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Remember when the U.S. government bailed out Detroit? Many people were up in arms over the action. Perhaps knowing more about the automakers’ contributions to winning WWII might have softened some opinions. Here’s a short story about Chrysler's role.

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Fabricating a copper chimney cap

April 27, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Custom fabricating shops bid all kinds of jobs. Sometimes these jobs involve materials and processes beyond those the shop typically encounters. They make for interesting work that can require brushing up on little-used skills. Building a copper chimney cap was just such a job for Barnes MetalCrafters, one that resulted in a beautiful, functional work of art.

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Still Building America—Welding big birds, pursuing big dreams

April 25, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Welder and inspector Lucca Ilbert, who trained at the Robert Morgan Educational Center in Miami, loves fabricating and repairing aircraft parts. He hopes one day to have his own FAA-approved custom fabricating shop.

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