Shop tour

Our shop isn't large - especially with up to twelve people working hard on some very large pieces. The working area is just over 1200 square feet. The key to efficent production is to keep very organized. The welding and fabrication area is to one end. Flash curtains protect those working in other areas. A big piece is always in the starting stages here. A fabrication table, steel storage and welding tools also take up a good deal of space. 

The area by the big doors is generally where large pieces that are in the paint stage get positioned because they will go outside as soon as they are done. They are so heavy, often just barely fit out the door. They will be moved with sturdy chains and the tractor with the crew doing their best to guide them as we slide them on the smooth concrete floor. Right in front of the doors is kept clear as the doors swing in. This area is used to do odd jobs, Matt used this area today for bending the hundreds of steel rings we will need for our next project onsite.

The paint area is at the east end of the shop. Theoretically the cleanest end of the shop, these days it is pressed into service as the mudding and carving area for smaller pieces that can be moved by hand (sometimes with all the crew needed to do the task)

The center area is where most of the action takes place. Currently five large pieces are in various stages of production with the most finished piece closest to the door. As each piece leaves the shop we do a major shuffle to slide everything down the line. With the colder, damper weather we are trying to do as much as possible inside in a controlled environment.

With careful organization and cheerful teamwork we manage to complete one or two large pieces each week. It is amazing how much work the crew puts out each week.

-grampa dan