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.

Filter Content

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Welcoming women into the manufacturing world

October 23, 2015 | By Dan Davis

With baby boomers heading for retirement in great numbers, manufacturers need to find the next generation of workers to replace them. To ensure they hire the best and the brightest for the job, manufacturers should not discount half of the population—women.

Continue Reading

Manufacturers want Congress to restrain EPA on ozone

October 22, 2015 | By Stephen Barlas

It may be an uphill battle as the EPA reduces the limits of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that manufacturers can release into the atmosphere.

Continue Reading


Still Building America—Keeping the waste away

October 21, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Tag Ogren answered a call from a friend and found a career. He now operates his own business that helps keep waste and recycling trucks running.

Continue Reading

Evolution of the cutting laser: About the diode

October 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Don't blink, or you'll miss the fastest evolving technology in the custom fab shop: the cutting laser.

Continue Reading


How the mental game applies to welding—lessons from Yogi

October 8, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Various factors help determine success in any field, be it baseball or welding. Skills and physical stamina are important. So is your mentality.

Continue Reading


In praise of SiB

October 1, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Silicon bronze filler fan Josh Welton shares why the rod is his favorite and explains what you need to know to use it effectively.

Continue Reading

The gap between exact and real world

September 25, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Engineers often know how to design things, but not necessarily how to make them. Fabricators that can give the next generation of engineers an idea as to how metal parts are made are doing everyone in manufacturing a favor.

Continue Reading


Underbidding—it happens

September 24, 2015 | By Nick Martin

Underbidding happens in all shops. Here’s a true shop story about an underbid job and lessons learned.

Continue Reading


Still Building America—Get in where you fit in and be proud

September 23, 2015 | By Josh Welton

We can’t all be astronauts when we grow up, but we can be something very essential to society. Tyler Donaldson gets that.

Continue Reading


Clean. Your. Material.

September 23, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Even the most skilled welder will not achieve high-quality welds without following strict cleanliness procedures. It’s a simple concept with a significant impact.

Continue Reading

Why scaling up may be tough in metal fabrication

September 17, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Hefty competition usually drives companies to consolidate to achieve economies of scale. For metal fabrication, this rule may not apply.

Continue Reading

Consolidation in metal fabrication: horizontal, vertical, or both?

September 16, 2015 | By Tim Heston

M&A activity has been on the rise in metal fabrication in recent years, but what's the strategy behind it all? Fabricators seem to be diversifying, both in terms of process offerings and customer bases.

Continue Reading

Measuring the manufacturing cycle in metal fabrication

September 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Many fabricators scrutinize how fast a laser cuts: How quickly can a machine finish a nest, how many blanks per minute can a press brake form. But how do these processing speeds correlate to a custom fabricator’s profitability?

Continue Reading