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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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How small batches simplify metal fabrication

September 14, 2015 | By Tim Heston

When order quantities shrink, things can get really complicated on the job shop floor--unless the order-to-ship cycle shrinks as well.

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The need for growth--of the employee

August 28, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Metal fabricators that want to grow the business should focus on employee growth. The rest will take care of itself.

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Building a “third hand”

August 27, 2015 | By Josh Welton

Sometimes you need a third hand to stabilize parts for welding. Here’s how to build one from scratch.

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Keeping the shop humming when the boss is away

August 26, 2015 | By Nick Martin

Small-business owners are noted for never taking time off to smell the roses or enjoy the shore. Here’s what happened when one shop owner took a much needed week off.

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Still Building America—An unusual interest leads to a career

August 18, 2015 | By Josh Welton

As a teenager, Brian Tarter developed an interest in lawnmower derbies, which sparked an interest in welding and led to a career—an enviable career path.

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