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 daily grind in a small fab shop

July 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

A day in a small fabricating shop seldom follows a linear progression. Many things vie for attention, and the ability to multitask comes in handy.

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A little fun in the workplace goes a long way

July 20, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

All work and no fun makes for a stressful workplace and diminishes productivity. Are your employees having fun?

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Still Building America—Pablo Guerrero’s art and ancestry

July 19, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It helps if you are inspired by an ancestor who did the same. Here’s the story of how Pablo Guerrero made his own mark while honoring his grandfather.

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Metal fabrication is a communication business

July 18, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Most view metal fabrication as a technology business. But custom fabricators are complex, albeit usually small businesses. In such complex environments, good communication can make things a lot easier.

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Learning a process is an ongoing process

June 30, 2016 | By Nick Martin

How does your shop train new hires and current employees? It takes ingenuity to train while keeping a small shop humming. Here’s how Barnes MetalCrafters does it.

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Welding is not black magic, it’s science

June 29, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Nonwelders who aren’t interested in learning more about the science don’t have an appreciation for what it takes to repair different items. One repair may take a few minutes, and another considerably longer. It depends on many things.

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A working vacation

June 29, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A welding instructor at a Wisconsin vocational school hits the shop floor in the summer to see what matters to manufacturers.

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Still Building America—The proof is in the weld

June 23, 2016 | By Josh Welton

The measure of your success as a welder lies in the quality of your weld. For female welder Sam Riggin, the quality of her welds also has earned her respect in a male-dominated profession.

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Skills aren’t everything

June 22, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

Have you ever known a highly intelligent, skilled individual who created nothing but ill will and disorder in the workplace? How did your employer handle this situation? “Welding Wire” readers recently weighed in on this topic after reading the blog post “Voting workers off the island.”

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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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