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Traci"s story: A good reason to get lean

May 20, 2008

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By 1994, Traci Tapani knew things had to change. As co-president of a Stacy, Minn.-based job shop, she just had a baby and was about to go on maternity leavethat is until a certain customer, who provided more than half of the company"s revenue, found out. They had a fit, she said. They...

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Welding wisdom

May 19, 2008

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I just finished up with a four-day crash course in welding technologies at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Ohio. Assistant Editor Michael Bishop, Associate Editor Amanda Carlson, and I decided it would be better to get our feet wet in the world of welding at an educational...

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Iron Man's plasma cutter

May 14, 2008

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I haven't seen "Iron Man," but after reading a news release today, I'm moving the movie to the top of my must-see list. It's beating all others at the box-office, but that's not my main reason for wanting to see it. In fact, I generally stay away from superhero movies."Iron Man"...

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Exports: The economy's saving grace?

May 12, 2008

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez made a case for free trade in today"s Wall Street Journaland they used recent export numbers to buttress their argument. Even at a time when our economy has slowed, U.S. exports are booming. In 2007, we...

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Safety first

May 8, 2008

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Two co-workers and I are heading off for some welding training next week, which will allow us to beef up our welding knowledge and generally embarrass ourselves in front of skilled professionals. So as I was having an e-mail conversation earlier this week with Gerald Davis, the author of The...

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Steel for pennies?

May 7, 2008

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Are you finding it difficult to procure the steel you need at prices you can afford? Are you banking on the government to improve availability and affordability? You"d better hope that the latest idea under government consideration doesn"t worsen your problem. The Associated Press reported today...

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Brokaw gives perspective

May 5, 2008

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It"s not often a reporter for the metal fabrication industry gets to quote a speech by Tom Brokaw, but this week isn"t usual. I"m down in Orlando, Fla., attending SAPPHIRE, an information technology conference hosted by German software giant SAP, short for Systems Applications and Protocols in Data...

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Dunkin' Donuts doesn't know oxyfuel

April 30, 2008

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Have you seen the Dunkin' Donuts (DD) commercial that features men wielding oxyfuel torches to toast food? When this commercial aired as my husband/resident welding expert and I watched TV the other night, he immediately began to point out all the things that were wrong from a technical...

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Unfamiliar surroundings

April 28, 2008

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When you make a fast-food cashier roll her eyes, you know it"s been a long day.Unfamiliar surroundings can make me about as smooth as when I accidentally stabbed my date with the corsage pin before junior prom (yes, that did happen). I"m on the road this week, and today I drove a certain rental car...

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Time to lawyer up

April 25, 2008

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This week I attended an open house event at ESAB Welding & Cutting Products, Florence, S.C.. I got to see some wonderful welding innovations—many of which you will see in upcoming issues of The FABRICATOR and Practical Welding Today—and had the opportunity to chat with the company"s...

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Hey, buddy, can you spare a pole?

April 25, 2008

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Editor's Note: I'm running late with my blog because I've been out of town. Here's a quick plea from STAMPING Journal Editor Kate Bachman that should tide you over. C'mon, let's make those phones ring. DDD.On the same day, I received a plea from the coach of a youth...

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Jobs go up in smoke

April 23, 2008

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Various media have reported that a Whirlpool Corp. factory in Evansville, Ind., has suspended 39 workers who signed insurance paperwork claiming they don't use tobacco and then were seen smoking or chewing tobacco on company property. Tobacco users at Whirlpool pay an extra $500 in insurance...

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Don"t let service go down the drain

April 22, 2008

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I don"t know much, but I do know this: If metal fabricators had my plumber"s customer service record, they wouldn"t be in business for long.Forgive my venting, but I"m sure many can relate. We had an oh-so-delightful problem with our plumbing1946 vintage. The trouble really began when we bought...

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Remembering VT

April 16, 2008

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When I sat down to write this post it was with the conviction to write about something positive on this day of sad remembrance, but quite honestly, I"m not sure I have it in me. Today is the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, a tragedy that hit close to home. My husband and his...

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Who knew?

April 15, 2008

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Chicago police shot a cougar on the North Side on Monday afternoon. I guess the cougar didn"t feel like running anymore and stood its ground, leaving the policemen no other choice than to kill the 150-pound cat. That"s not the story you expect to wake up and read in the morning paper. I have to...

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