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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Making it personal – fabricating a holiday gift

December 9, 2015 | By Josh Welton

It’s that time of year when people start thinking about giving the perfect gift. What could be better than a unique item you fabricate? Here are step-by-step instructions for making a metal vase.

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Respect creativity

December 2, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Ever see a piece of art and think, “I could do that”? Well, maybe you have the skills, but what about the vision and creativity of the person who created that piece? Give creativity its due respect.

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When a machine goes down

December 2, 2015 | By Nick Martin

When a machine goes down in a job shop, work can grind to a halt. Getting that machine in working order becomes priority one, and time is of the essence.

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Still Building America—Making a change

November 30, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Do you sometimes feel that it’s time for a career change? What would you do with your skills if you were brave enough to venture out on your own? Here’s the story of one man who did just that.

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FABTECH 2015: The direct-diode laser and tuning the beam profile

November 23, 2015 | By Tim Heston

The direct-diode laser ups its presence at this year's FABTECH.

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FABTECH 2015: Stringing a digital thread through the manufacturing supply chain

November 20, 2015 | By Tim Heston

A "digital thread" extending up and down the manufacturing supply chain might sound like science fiction. But as evident at this year's FABTECH, the digital thread is becoming reality.

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FABTECH 2015: A metaphorical pit stop in the productivity race

November 19, 2015 | By Tim Heston

NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace was a hit at this year's show. Considering the nature of the sport, fast-paced while still rooted in advanced engineering, it's easy to see why attendees relate so well. And perhaps no one related better than those who exhibited at the show as part of an emerging field: 3-D printing.

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FABTECH 2015: Innovation to serve the company, not the process

November 18, 2015 | By Tim Heston

A certain excitement permeated this year's show, and it wasn't just about this incredibly fast laser, that press brake that eliminates setup time, or that welding power source that connects to the cloud and simplifies welding parameter selection. It was about how all these technologies and more can work together to make a shop better.

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FABTECH, community, and normalcy

November 17, 2015 | By Tim Heston

FABTECH was bigger than ever. The terrible news on Friday puts things in perspective, and yet shows just how valuable the "normalcy" of a trade show, and a healthy industry, really is.

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The double-edged sword of success

November 16, 2015 | By Josh Welton

For people who are truly good at what they do, the opportunities never end. That’s both the good and the bad news. Can you identify with Josh Welton’s state of mind these days?

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Stay young, stay committed

November 13, 2015 | By Dan Davis

If the manufacturing community wants to attract students into science, technology, engineering, and math careers, it might want to start focusing on elementary schools. That's what Brillion School District in Wisconsin is doing.

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Flat = Good

November 5, 2015 | By Dan Davis

When a fabricator says that business is flat when compared to previous months, you are hearing good news.

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100-hour workweeks and the art of welding

October 29, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Imagine 100-hour workweeks. Overload, fatigue, and burnout are to be expected. But it’s also very rewarding when your hard work bears fruit.

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Working with “family”

October 28, 2015 | By Nick Martin

What is family? In a job shop, it’s more than your kinfolk and, sometimes, more than human.

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How the master-and-apprentice relationship builds a skilled workforce

October 28, 2015 | By Tim Heston

New technology allows rookies to start making good parts right away, but that connection with experienced workers still needs to be there.

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