June 28, 2011
An Indiana man was arrested June 22 for sending lewd messages to a minor via cell phone. Considering all the recent publicity surrounding former Rep. Anthony Weiner and the photo he broadcast via Twitter, it’s not a big surprise that a man used a phone for such a purpose. However, the story about... Continue Reading
June 9, 2011
Mankind has been making tools and gadgets from metals for millennia. The discovery of copper and tin ushered in the Bronze Age about 5,000 years ago, and new metal tools swept aside stone tools in a hurry. Iron and steel have been used widely for about 3,000 years, but these days it appears that... Continue Reading
June 2, 2011
Custom guitar-maker Gordon Branch started making guitars from wood, the traditional material, about 25 years ago. He went in a different direction when he created a design based on an aluminum billet, relying on the metal’s acoustic characteristics for a unique sound. Recently he decided to try combining an aluminum billet with aluminum tubing, with stunning results.
May 5, 2011
The unthinkable has happened: Gasoline prices have crossed the $5.00-per-gallon threshold. Forget the official data. The Energy Information Administration says that the average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.96, but that’s not accurate for two reasons. First, it... Continue Reading
April 26, 2011
Careercast.com, a job search Web site, recently posted the results of a couple of surveys regarding stressful jobs. Two thoughts occurred to me immediately: The 91.2 percent of people who have jobs right now are just happy to have a steady paycheck, and the 8.8 percent who don’t are experiencing... Continue Reading
April 26, 2011
When James Castoro founded Custom Aluminum Products in 1960, the company’s premise was simple and concise: It produced aluminum products, mainly storm windows and storm doors. It was a good time to be in the business—the baby boom was in full swing, and the U.S. population was...
April 25, 2011
Selecting the right tungsten electrode, and preparing it to match the welding process, aren't just good ideas to maximize welder productivity. They are necessary to prevent weld defects and all the time necessary for troubleshooting and rework.
March 31, 2011
A headline at CNN’s money page caught my eye recently: “Why house prices will keep falling.” The article cited the Case-Shiller U.S. House Price Index, which showed a 3.1 percent decline from January 2010 to January 2011. The gist of the index, developed by Karl Case and Robert Shiller, is... Continue Reading
March 10, 2011
Lasers have been in use for industrial purposes for decades, and their capabilities continue to develop. Many machines these days can cut sheet and tubular sections, and fabricators are finding that the laser’s programmability really broadens their capabilities.
March 9, 2011
Judging by the political developments in Libya and the current price of petroleum, you’d think that Libya was some sort of heavyweight exporter. Last fall West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was trading at less than $85 per barrel on the spot market. Protests in Libya started in February, and... Continue Reading
February 25, 2011
Shortly after the company was founded as a welding and repair shop in 1949, Wells-Osborn Spiral Stairs found a niche in building spiral staircases. Founder Bill Osborn bought some equipment and made some of his own. Some of Osborn’s original ideas and equipment are still in use at the company 60 years later.
February 14, 2011
In my previous blog entry, I made some comparisons between several gasoline-powered and alternative-fuel vehicles: Two passenger cars (a Toyota Prius® and a Toyota Camry®), two exotic sports cars (a Tesla Roadster Sport and a Lotus Evora), and two motorcycles (a model S from Zero Motorcycles and... Continue Reading
January 31, 2011
Everyone knows that liquids, mainly gasoline and diesel, have been the main fuels for vehicles for decades. Although steam and electricity competed with gasoline at the turn of the last century, gasoline won that battle and ruled the automotive industry ever since. However, the oil shocks of the... Continue Reading
January 21, 2011
J & D Tube Benders Inc., founded as a partnership to produce a single part number in 1971, today generates $16 million in annual revenues and is on the cusp of the third generation of family ownership. The key to its longevity is learning valuable lessons throughout the past four decades, finding opportunities during expansions and downturns.