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 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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