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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Still Building America—From Legos to bicycles

January 21, 2016 | By Josh Welton

In February 2015, Lego® replaced Ferrari® as the “world’s most powerful brand.” Perhaps an even bigger accomplishment is the number of engineers, designers, and artists who got their start working with the blocks, people like Clyde James.

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New law enhances manufacturers’ tax benefits

January 21, 2016 | By Stephen Barlas

Congress finally provides permanent approval for Section 179 expensing deduction and bonus depreciation laws.

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Perspective on 2016: Metal fabricators stand ready to swing

January 19, 2016 | By Tim Heston

For U.S. manufacturers, 2016 is full of uncertainty. But shops with diversified customer bases and healthy balance sheets stand ready to swing.

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Preserving history

January 14, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Welders and other tradespeople not only build things, they also restore precious items from the past, including awe-inspiring, iconic aircraft.

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Fab shop customer mix: Hitting the right spot

December 22, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Interest rates are rising, oil prices are falling, and energy and agriculture equipment sectors continue to struggle. What's next for fabricators in 2016? The news isn't all bad, really, depending on a shop's mix of services, technology, talent, and customers.

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And they handed the reins to a welder from Detroit—2015 in the rearview mirror

December 17, 2015

Life is busy and filled with highs and lows. In his personal retrospective of 2015, Josh Welton shares both.

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Fabricator wannabees tell us how it’s done

December 16, 2015 | By Nick Martin

Continuing a theme explored by Josh Welton in a previous post on thefabricator.com, Nick Martin shares his experience exhibiting his shop’s custom products at festivals and farmer’s markets.

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Managing a multi-generation fab shop

December 16, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Finding good people remains the No. 1 challenge in metal fabrication, but it's certainly not an insurmountable challenge.

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Still Building America—Thanks, friend

December 14, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Good friends are invaluable. Sometimes their advice is also. Such was the case for Quinton Smith, who pursued welding thanks to a friend’s suggestion.

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The prototype for a successful fab shop

December 11, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Not all job shops are interested in prototype development, but that doesn't mean that one day they won't be.

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Congress finally commits to infrastructure investment

December 9, 2015 | By Stephen Barlas

The recently approved highway bill increases domestic content and funding for railway cars.

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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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