Barnes MetalCrafters Inc.

Nick Martin


Barnes MetalCrafters Inc.
113 Walnut St. West
Wilson, 27893

Blog Posts

Repeat orders are manna to a job shop

November 29, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Job shop business is often cyclical. There are times of feast and famine. Repeat customers and jobs are the lifeblood of most shops. Finding and keeping them is a high priority.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Running a shop in the aftermath of a hurricane

October 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

We hear a lot about disaster preparedness, but sometimes conditions are such that even the best plan isn’t enough. Hurricane Matthew had a devastating effect on many southeastern communities and businesses.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Growing the business within the confines of a small shop

September 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

There’s nothing quite as gratifying to a small-shop owner as seeing healthy capacity levels. However, when limited workspace becomes an impediment to growth, it’s time to think about expanding. Wilson, N.C.-based Barnes MetalCrafters has reached this point.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Poor customer drawings create headaches and costly rework

August 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Most job shops encounter situations in which the customer provides inadequate drawings and details. You are told, “This is all we have, make it work.” These jobs can be frustrating and costly.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The daily grind in a small fab shop

July 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

A day in a small fabricating shop seldom follows a linear progression. Many things vie for attention, and the ability to multitask comes in handy.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Learning a process is an ongoing process

June 30, 2016 | By Nick Martin

How does your shop train new hires and current employees? It takes ingenuity to train while keeping a small shop humming. Here’s how Barnes MetalCrafters does it.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Voting workers off the island

May 25, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Working in a job shop or any small, tightknit organization requires attributes beyond job skills. If you don’t measure up, you might find yourself voted off the island and out the door.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Fabricating a copper chimney cap

April 27, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Custom fabricating shops bid all kinds of jobs. Sometimes these jobs involve materials and processes beyond those the shop typically encounters. They make for interesting work that can require brushing up on little-used skills. Building a copper chimney cap was just such a job for Barnes MetalCrafters, one that resulted in a beautiful, functional work of art.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Restoring the USS North Carolina—sharing history with friends

March 23, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Think Facebook is the ultimate time-waster? Nick Martin’s Facebook connection to an old classmate and fellow soccer teammate led to an important job preserving history for Barnes MetalCrafters. It also provided a learning opportunity, as many fabricating jobs do.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Be wary of customers that take advantage

February 24, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Attracting new customers is an important part of keeping a custom fabricating shop in business. However, be wary of the customer that continually takes advantage of your willingness to produce a small quantity of parts on short notice and sends the larger jobs elsewhere. Remember, you can’t keep calling the same buddy to pull you out of the mud and never invite him to the party.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

A job to remember

January 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Custom fabricators get some unusual requests, both in terms of the job itself and the timeline for completion. Sometimes they go the extra mile to “do the right thing.”

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Fabricator wannabees tell us how it’s done

December 16, 2015 | By Nick Martin

Continuing a theme explored by Josh Welton in a previous post on thefabricator.com, Nick Martin shares his experience exhibiting his shop’s custom products at festivals and farmer’s markets.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

When a machine goes down

December 2, 2015 | By Nick Martin

When a machine goes down in a job shop, work can grind to a halt. Getting that machine in working order becomes priority one, and time is of the essence.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

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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