What ‘slow season’?

September 1, 2015

Indoor work, alternative income streams help fabricators get through the off-season. Boating in many locations is seasonal, but the need for income is constant. How do marine fabricators handle that conundrum? A variety of strategies offer ways that canvas shops can use to get ready for seasonal slow-downs in business. ‘The Great Shrink-wrap Race’ “We …

Shop Talk: Shyn Fabrication LLC

How did you get started? My mother put me in every art class imaginable. In high school I learned correspondence pattern design on my own, which led to a degree in fashion design. I worked for a costume designer and also did custom clothing sewing jobs from home. After six months on a 30-foot live-aboard …

Captain’s log updates

On this lazy, hazy summer day in August, it seems like a good time to “clear off the spike,” as we used to say in the newspaper biz, and check back on a couple of items we mentioned in the not-too-distant past. In May, Alayna Wool de Tecu, daughter of longtime Marine Fabricators Association member …

Machine head

July 1, 2015

Faith Roberts’ Banner Canvas is a virtual museum of the history of industrial canvas sewing. By Jim Tarbox A first-time visitor to Faith Roberts’ Banner Canvas shop in Ham Lake, Minn. (just north of Minneapolis), might be excused for taking an initial look around and being amazed at the array of equipment and supplies. But …

Shop safety checklist

Shop operators should consider these items: Automated external defibrillator Proper workspace ventilation for paints, solvents and other chemicals Respiratory protection Eye protection Gloves Operating fire extinguishers Shop evacuation plan and procedures Find more on shop safety with “Better safe than sorry” in our July 2015 issue of Marine Fabricator. More shop-safety information is available online …

First-Aid Checklist

OSHA standard 1910.151 (b) mandates an employer have “adequate first aid supplies…readily available,” although specific first-aid supplies are not listed. OSHA does not have a minimum requirement, but references ANSI Z308.1-2003 Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits. According to the ANSI document, a basic workplace first-aid kit should include*: At least one absorbent compress, …

Shop Talk: Fine Line Canvas & Upholstery

Contact: Brad Schmeets Location: Colorado Springs, Colo. Year established: 2011 Number of employees: 2 Shop size: 3,200 sq. ft. How did your shop get started? This is my third shop. I learned to sew in the Air Force, and opened my first shop in 1980 in Alaska, doing furniture. Then someone asked me to do …

Ten easy ways to cut your 2015 income tax bill

By William J. Lynott If you’re like many busy business owners, you don’t pay much attention to income taxes until the filing deadline looms. “That can be a costly mistake,” says public accountant Jay Blumenthal of Abington, Pa. “One of the most effective ways to pare your business as well as personal income taxes to …

Keep your sewing machine running

Faith Roberts of Banner Canvas shares tips for keeping sewing machines in tip-top shape. Whenever one of Faith Roberts’ many machines needs fixing, who does she call? Usually herself. “Oftentimes, I can make the repairs myself,” she says. “We’ve just learned to do it over the years.” That’s not to say that occasionally she doesn’t …

Thinking about a business loan?

May 1, 2015

Where to find money in a tight economy By William J. Lynott Credit is the oil that lubricates the machinery of business. Whether it’s a loan to buy inventory or supplies, to support expansion, an equipment purchase, or just the need for a short-term loan to meet payroll or other operating expenses, most marine fabricators …