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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OSHA publishes final silica rule

April 11, 2016 | By Stephen Barlas

Shops that have abrasive blasting capabilities need to be aware that a new OSHA rule involving worker exposure to crystalline silica particles has been published.

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Building memories

April 7, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Do any of your earliest memories involve work? Josh Welton remembers using a drawknife and a hatchet to help his parents prepare wood for a log home. It was a communal labor of love that likely fostered his love of making things by hand.

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Still Building America—One automotive masterpiece at a time

March 29, 2016 | By Josh Welton

There are dream cars and dream jobs. Combining both has allowed J.D. Hendrickson to achieve his dream career. Here’s the short story of how he got there.

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Restoring the USS North Carolina—sharing history with friends

March 23, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Think Facebook is the ultimate time-waster? Nick Martin’s Facebook connection to an old classmate and fellow soccer teammate led to an important job preserving history for Barnes MetalCrafters. It also provided a learning opportunity, as many fabricating jobs do.

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Stop to notice the technology

March 17, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Keeping your nose to the grindstone could prevent you from noticing the rapid changes occurring in the world around you.

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Scholarship fund to honor Dick Kallage

March 15, 2016 | By Tim Heston

FMA’s Nuts, Bolts, & Thingamajigs foundation has set up a memorial scholarship fund in honor of Dick Kallage, an influential member of FMA and columnist for The FABRICATOR magazine. Kallage died of cancer Feb. 18.

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There is always more to learn about welding

March 15, 2016 | By Josh Welton

How much do you know about welding? The best welders recognize that there is always room for improvement and more to learn.

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Positive manufacturing news: A well-kept secret during the election season

March 14, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Negativity reigns during this elections season. Here's a secret: Some good news does indeed exist, even in manufacturing.

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FMA Annual Meeting: Sharing ideas to build a better business

March 10, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Networking, conversation, and idea sharing are at the heart of the FMA Annual Meeting. For instance, what if a shop salesperson learned to operate a tube laser? That idea at one roundtable got participants talking.

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Should welding students and welders provide their own tools?

March 2, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

A recent post on The Fabricator Blog sparked a Facebook discussion about whether welding students and welders should provide their own tools for school and on the job. We opened the discussion up to “Welding Wire” readers. Here are a few of the many responses we received.

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Feeling the love at Autorama

March 1, 2016 | By Josh Welton

The first time welder and metal artist Josh Welton displayed his art at a show was at the 2010 Detroit Autorama. Six years later, he’s still participating and enjoying not only the show but the people, including some who have become valued friends and mentors. He also appreciates the opportunity to talk shop and share his passion for welding.

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Be wary of customers that take advantage

February 24, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Attracting new customers is an important part of keeping a custom fabricating shop in business. However, be wary of the customer that continually takes advantage of your willingness to produce a small quantity of parts on short notice and sends the larger jobs elsewhere. Remember, you can’t keep calling the same buddy to pull you out of the mud and never invite him to the party.

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The digital-thread potential in custom metal fabrication

February 22, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The ideas behind the "digital thread" in the manufacturing supply chain may have big potential in custom metal fabrication.

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No such thing as too safe

February 18, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

A recent fatality at an industrial site underscores the need to be vigilant about safety at all times. You can never be too safe.

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A new course for education

February 18, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A Colorado school district recognized not everyone was destined for college, so it launched a new curriculum approach as a result. The school is going to embrace vocational education.

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