FMA Communications Inc.

Amanda Carlson

Associate Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Defining a champion

April 16, 2013

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As I was putting together this issue’s Shop Stories featuring Tim Baber of College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, Calif., one word from our conversation stuck out in my mind: Champion. Champion is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a warrior or a fighter; a militant advocate or defender;... Continue Reading

Bottle tree boom - TheFabricator.com

Bottle tree boom

April 16, 2013

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Mississippi metal artist Stephanie Dwyer never knew she was an artist until she relocated from Washington and began building bottle trees. Today her bottle trees can be found all over the U.S., which has led to opportunities in custom metal art fabrication.

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The quest to get America’s heroes hired - TheFabricator.com

The quest to get America’s heroes hired

March 15, 2013

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National unemployment rates for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans are high and the state of Michigan is toward the top of list of states with the highest number of unemployed veterans. The Merrill Institute of Welding is working to combat that by providing unemployed veterans with welding, fabricating, and leadership skills.

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An alchemy of intentions - TheFabricator.com

An alchemy of intentions

March 1, 2013

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METAL LLC of Ann Arbor, Mich., is not your typical custom fab shop. Along with taking on architectural fabrication jobs, the company also handles restoration of antique and contemporary vehicles, performs product research and design, and fabricates custom sculptural projects. If that weren't enough, METAL has plans to release its own line of custom tables and routinely opens its doors to the public for art showings and as a musical venue, truly pushing itself to the forefront of the Ann Arbor arts and entertainment scene.

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Bolt people: There’s an Appel for that - TheFabricator.com

Bolt people: There’s an Appel for that

February 15, 2013

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Steve Appel of Prescott, Ariz., has been making his bolt people full time for the last 23 years. The variety of requests and the kick he gets out of people’s reactions have turned this one-time hobby into an enjoyable career.

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Good teachers make good welders

January 16, 2013

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It may have been the 11 young welders competing at the AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Invitational Weld Trials at FABTECH® 2012 in Las Vegas who were in the limelight, but behind each of those students was a teacher who helped them get to that point. Six of those 11 welders were vying for three spots to... Continue Reading

Three under-the-radar dangers in weld shops - TheFabricator.com

Three under-the-radar dangers in weld shops

January 16, 2013

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Most of us are very familiar with the hazards of breathing in toxic fumes, but here are three not-so-obvious reasons that you need to pay close attention to your dust collection practices.

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Sticking it to vertical-up, overhead SMAW - TheFabricator.com

Sticking it to vertical-up, overhead SMAW

January 14, 2013

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Three weld instructors from across the country share their classroom tips and tricks for helping welders tackle vertical-up and overhead SMAW.

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The real deal in stainless steel - TheFabricator.com

The real deal in stainless steel

January 7, 2013

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A careful examination of metal artist Dave Regier’s work reveals a seamless melding of abstract and realism.

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A year's worth of advice

December 12, 2012

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It's customary for people to reflect on what has taken place over the last year. As I was flipping through each issue of Practical Welding Today from 2012, I found myself re-reading the advice that welders and fabricators shared in each of the Shop Stories features. As we approach the new year,... Continue Reading

Burning the torch on both sides - TheFabricator.com

Burning the torch on both sides

November 14, 2012

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For a project involving structural columns made of 4-in. plate, Owen Steel Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C., had two choices when it came to cutting difficult transition bevels. First, it could use a manually guided track torch system and bevel one side of the plate at a time, which would open the door to distortion. Or second, it could find a mechanized cutting system that would allow both sides of the plate to be beveled simultaneously.

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One man’s artisTIG endeavors - TheFabricator.com

One man’s artisTIG endeavors

November 5, 2012

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When he’s not TIG welding at his “normal” job, career welder and metal artist Roger King uses his skills with a TIG torch to create metal sculptures.

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The Lombardi Trophy, with a “Girly” touch - TheFabricator.com

The Lombardi Trophy, with a “Girly” touch

November 2, 2012

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Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis earlier this year featured athletic prowess and classic gridiron toughness with a little speed and finesse. But also on display outside the stadium throughout the heart of downtown was a combination of strength and artistic flair that only a metal art sculpture can provide.

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FABTECH 2013

Metal fab heads west

October 8, 2012

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Previewing FABTECH® 2012 in Las Vegas.

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Packer backer - for a day

September 18, 2012

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When I visited Lambeau Field, home of storied NFL franchise Green Bay Packers last month to check out the on-going structural renovations that have been taking place over the last several months, I was asked repeatedly versions of the same question: “Is it weird to be here as a Bears fan?” It... Continue Reading