Tools, tips and tricks

September 1, 2019

These are submissions to the 2018 and 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference Tools, Tips and Tricks contest.  The 2020 contest submission deadline is Dec. 10 at marine.ifai.com/marine-fabricators-conference/tools-tips-and-tricks/. Tip 1  Prevent burning on stainless steel frames Here is a simple and clean solution for keeping window materials from touching and burning stainless steel frames. Attach a narrow …

Common mistakes cost more than you think

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I  was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

Prepare now for a future disaster

When the worst happens to your business, it’s already too late. The time to prepare for a disaster is now. By Jeff Moravec Although extreme events such as fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters were once considered rarities, they are becoming more common. Business owners need to ask themselves how they would survive such an …

New members join MFA

The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) provides resources and programs for marine fabricators and establishes standards of excellence for business practices, products and craftsmanship. The MFA is a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Join the only trade association today that represents the entire specialty fabrics and advanced textiles industry in the world. To …

Automation advantages

Technology solutions offer marine fabricators expanded capabilities, opportunities for greater creativity, and new project and market options. By Pamela Mills-Senn  Ask Thomas Carlson, manager of Tulsa, Okla., Carlson Design Corp., about his number one competitor and he offers up a surprising response.  “It’s a pair of scissors. Most of our customers have been cutting manually …

Powerful products

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry. Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com.  Fire-retardant clear vinyl  Visilite™ FR passes NFPA-701 Test Method 2 for fire resistance and is part of a collection that also includes double polished, extruded and interleaf styles. The vinyl offers lasting visual clarity and durability for a variety …

Simplify employee training and patterning

Simplifying employee training and complicated patterning By Broc Wodzien Grand Traverse Canvas Works, in Traverse City, Mich., has had many wonderful employees over the past 30-plus years. Our shop has grown from just my mother, Mary Wodzien, using the skills she learned at her stepfather’s canvas shop, to a staff of 16 employees. Growing and …

Choosing seating materials and finishes

By Terri Madden I moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1995 with a degree in textile design and experience in custom fabrication for residential spaces, leather bags and apparel. Fortunately, my brother-in-law had a fledgling canvas business specializing in exterior marine fabrication that desperately needed skilled employees. I was fascinated to learn about materials that …

Focusing on quality, creativity and customer service

By building his business slowly, Carl Pellegrini keeps SeaCanvas focused on quality, creativity and customer service. by Jill C. Lafferty Each project we accept is a new chance to make a change in the current design,” says Carl Pellegrini, the owner-operator of SeaCanvas, based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “Let’s say an enclosure for a …

Embrace change

We all know that change is inevitable. This knowledge is a relief when things are going poorly and worrisome when things are going well. The transition to Fall brings changes to the weather and perhaps a gradual slowing to the frenetic pace of marine work. It’s a good time to take stock and commit to …