CUSTOM FIRE PLACE SURROUNDS

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A FINISHED CUSTOM METAL FIREPLACE SURROUND

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CORNER RADIUS WELDING, ugly now, but it will all disappear soon…

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BOTH SURROUNDS ALL FIT UP, READY FOR WELDING

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A WELDED CORNER READY FOR “CLEAN UP”

 

 

 

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WELDED, CLEANED UP SURROUND,READY FOR FINISH

 

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SAME CORNER, AFTER CLEAN UP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can you do if your brick fireplace needs a new look?

Metal fireplace surrounds are a sure fire way to make your room look completely different. I made these for some dear friends who have a dinning room and living room fireplace on the same wall. They had a pretty good idea of what they wanted when we started designing. One constraint was a 3/4″ radius all around. This is to match the custom concrete work that these metal surrounds will rest on. The construction is 1/8″ CRS plate. This material lends itself to clean, sharp looks. The formed radius on all the corners gives a uniformed, machined look to it. The only problem when doing this, is that the edge that returns to the wall is a welded edge, not formed like the rest. Getting this joint to match the others is the real challenge. My designer suggested cutting a section from a tube and welding iot into place for the radius. This worked well and took less time than I expected. For the two full radeus corners, I cut a metal ball into sections and fit it in to accept both radii. This is one of those jobs that “clean up” , meaning grinding, polishing and “hiding” the weld takes about 10x more time than the welding itself. The whole unit attaches to the wall via keyhole slots welded to the back edge of the structure. The second challenge of this job was the finish. I was given a picture frame from their home to match the color and finish. This is the topic of its own post later…..

                                                                                                                   Need to bring your Living room into the 21st century too?

 

 

 

 

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AWARD WINNING FUNCTIONAL ART

 

 

AS SEEN AT THE SAUSALITO ART FESTIVAL!

 

 

custom fabrication, upcycled

OVAL TABLE BASE WELD CLEAN UP

CUSTOM TABLE, FABRICATION

TABLE BASE READY TO SHIP TO SF FOR WOOD TOP INSTALL

 

 

 

CUSTOM METAL FABRICATION

OVAL TABLE DISPLAYED AT SAUSALITO ART FESTIVAL

FIRST PLACE AT SAUSALITO ART FESTIVAL

FIRST PLACE FINISH , SAUSALITO ART FESTIVAL , FUNCTIONAL ART

 

 

I have been blessed for years to have the privilege working with Daniel Krivens. We first met when he needed help dismantling riveted beam sections from the old Golden Gate bridge approach. I think we may have done some Bay Bridge parts as well. Daniel is truly an artist who sees the beauty in the discarded, rusted, bent and abandoned municipal structures. Weather he is building a coffee table out of a split fire hydrant, or a dining table from Bay Bridge supports, his eye is trained to see more than scrap metal. Recently I was able to help with a new metal fabrication to form a table base for Daniel. Once I shipped the TIG welded steel base to his shop in SOMA, he graced it with beautiful found wood tops in the shape of a propeller. The wood came from a stash of Transbay piling beams that Daniel has transformed into gorgeous shaped tables. The pilings were huge and quite old so the grain structure is extremely dramatic. Please check out his site, super interesting! http://www.krivens.com/ Poke around on his site and you will see several items I have fabricated. I love working with Daniel because his art mixes clever strength and simplicity  while remaining sharp. The contrast of materials always invokes interest especially when you find out what they are from…There is more to come from Daniel Krivens very soon!

 

Now, go purchase some functional art!

http://www.krivens.com/

There’s always a better way….probably 10.

better-mousetrap-pc-750x600-enlarged

 

Build a better mouse trap…world beats a path. etc, etc… I hope its true. One thing I know is true…there is always a better way…. I have come to make this my mantra when developing, inventing, problem solving. Every time I use this powerful little tool, It works for me. In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries describes the concept of the 5 whys. I believe it was originally from the Toyota Manufacturing playbook. As I understand, to plat this game, at least 5 why? must be asked, or until it is completely clear what the  original issue is, only then can a problem be solved. Otherwise, only symptoms are managed. In the following scenario Eric writes, a fuse was replaced several times before the 5 Whys were employed.

5 whys

 

I have found this so helpful. Not only in machine repair, but in the creative process. Where the 5 Whys dig into a problem to reveal a clear solution, I believe The 10 Ways can build up a platform of ideas one can employ to create, not only solve a problem. I have used this many times. I think it started when I was in a group of fabricators trying to solve a serious “painted yourself into a corner” problem. Ok, here is the scenario; We had built a huge Plastic pellet mixing, drying unit. Seriously big. It consisted of a Jacketed body roughly 100″ in diameter and 25 feet long. Inside the body, rotated a huge Rotor. The rotor consisted of a special custom “pipe” with 96″ diameter Stainless Steel discs welded so that about 50 of these discs set 4″ apart rotate. There are Stainless Steel arms that bolt to the side of the body and scrape the plastic material off the discs as they rotate.

Drying-top

 

Above is a picture of a 36″ unit, unpolished. Now, the rotor was too heavy to ship in the body but the client insisted the mixing arms needed to be installed so they would not be scratched during shipment over seas. The problem was that the particular unit we built was completely polished inside and was an end load unit, meaning there was no top to remove for access. The rotor had to be installed through the one open end. But all we had to do was install the mixing arms in the 25′ long body. No problem right? Standing there with the other journeyman guys as an apprentice, I was interested to see what the procedure would be to get all these arms installed. The mounts were at lease 10′ high and unfortunately, the bottom of the body was a trough, no flat surface, and polished to a shine. All attempts were embarrassing to those who tried to lift one of these 60-70 pound arms up to the mounting screws. I remember one guy there just threw up his arms and said,”it just cant be done….”. I guess they had no procedure for this type of problem.  Being the young apprentice, and a class A smart allic, I quipped,” oh, there are at least ten ways to get this done…”. The remark was met with lots of laughter obviously. But, as an exercise, I started listing them.

OK guys, we can;

•place cardboard down on the bottom and just walk to the back and lift them up to the mounting studs-oops, too heavy

•ok, we use two guys to help lift them up- oh no, once we got the part up and started for the wall,the cardboard just slid out from under us and we would drop everything while sliding back to the center of the body trough.

•Hey, we can cut a 2×12 just the right length so we can step out on it, that way we don’t have to raise the arms up so high and we can have a flat surface to walk on.- the board holds until it doesn’t, throwing me and the arm straight back to the floor.

•Ok, this time we will counter weight the two guys with a 2×4 from the platform to the top of the unit.- unfortunately, the top was rounded too so there was nothing for the 2x to bump ageist.

• what if we rig up a counterbalance on a spreader bar hanging from the crane and ten using the crane, side it in? - close but still no way to control it enough to line up the 4 studs and get nuts on them. but… this lead me to another idea.

•ok, I got it now, we load up the Snorkel man lift basket with the tools and an arm. then, using the telescoping arm, travel into the unit without touching the bottom or sides.

 

Using this technique, we quickly loaded all the arms, safely and with out scratching up the fine surface (anymore). Maybe it wasn’t a full 10 ways, but using this method got the job done in a way none of the “journeymen” guys had ever thought of.

I continue to use this to open my mind up. Every time someone tells me that there is only one way to get a job done, I love proving them wrong. There is always a better way, in fact probably 10 ways. What ever issue or problem you are working through, I bet if you stop and think of 10 ways to solve it, you will find one that works better than the one you are using now.

 

Store is open

open

Yes, the store is now open.

Just click on the SHOP button and order your cool bottle openers, interesting candle holders, vases, etc.

You cant get this stuff at Target.

Thanks!

http://trueform.myshopify.com/

LEADERSHIP

Leadership Ahead

Personal Growth Toolbox.

Recently my Pastor has begun a leadership training initiative in our church. About 20 business owners entrepreneurs and people in leadership were invited to join a monthly training for leadership. Several things came out of the first meeting for me; the first of which is that good leaders are readers. Whether reading a paper or e-book or listening to a book on audio the lessons learned in the most popular leadership books are paramount in our personal growth. At least they are for me. One of the finest and most interesting aspects of engaging in this discussion of leadership with Pastor Dan Boyd (twitter- @PastorPD) is finding out all of the books we have both read, our favorite authors, podcasts and leadership thought leaders. As it turns out, we have several in common and I’m eager to learn about new sources I’ve never heard of. Another big takeaway for me is the simple idea that we keep what we give away. Meaning that when we have a new skill or talent that we have learned in a way that we can teach it to others, we really have achieved the step of actually learning the new talent or skill. As we practice this new skill by teaching others how to execute, we are in turn burning these lessons into our consciousness so that we don’t forget them. In many ways it’s easy to burn through a stack of books especially audibly and then not implement any of the items that we’ve learned. By teaching instead of just reading we really force ourselves to achieve the new skill. One of the ways to teach is through writing. For me, blogging is a great way for me to express the things I’m learning. It’s helpful to write this stuff down in order to help me remember it all.

For this reason, I have committed to my first leadership post. I want to share my personal growth plan. John Maxwell insists that in order to grow, we must have a growth plan. When I was first asked if I had a plan in our leadership lunch, I assumed the answer was no. That’s why I came to the event right? But after some thought, I really do have a plan, I just need to define it a bit more. My Growth plan includes a new leadership book at lease every month. This month is John Maxwell’s, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Along with reading a good book is daily podcasts, Bible reading, an accountability meeting every week, my newest commitment of blogging weekly and annual goal setting. Here is a short list of the weekly growth exercises I do.

Monday through Saturday
-Up at 5:30 for 30 min workout

-During workout, listen to “entrepreneur on fire” podcast
(I listen at 1.5 speed so I can get through faster.)

-After a shower and breakfast (and coffee) I read the verse of the day from you version and send it as a text to my family with an encouragement. After that I try to read a chapter of the bible. We are going through Acts now.

-I will also “read” leadership and business books. I actually listen to audio books 95% of the time. This fits in with my driving time (especially when I had an hour commute) and while I do remedial tasks during the day.

-Every Wednesday morning (for about the last 18 years) I meet with my friend Eddie. We discus our struggles, challenges, work through tough decisions, pray for each other and our families etc… Pretty much solve all of earth’s problems. It’s probably the most powerful thing I do for my own personal growth. It’s a powerful touchstone weekly that keeps Eddie and I focused and moving forward.

-My newest tool as I have mentioned already is to blog once a week in reference to what I’m leading through books I’m listening to or podcasts. This is my new commitment so we’ll see how it goes…
-That brings us to Sunday when we go to church as a family and celebrate with our friends and family. I am always challenged there and use it for a great reset for the week.

-I also have year-end goal setting, now a monthly leadership learning lunch and several retreats throughout the year that keep me sharp. This is really when and where the Growth Plan is outlined, planed and reviewed.

I can go into more detail with those monthly and annual events later. My main focus I this post is to outline my weekly personal growth plan. This may or may not be helpful to you, but it’s been hugely helpful to me by writing this out. Now that it’s written, it’s real… Right?

What’s your growth plan?

Bonus:
Here is a list of the books on my “shelf” (audible app)

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
One Simple Idea, Stephen Key
Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki
Thou Shall Prosper, Rabi Daniel Lapin
Tribes, Seth Godin
The power of Habit, Charles Duhig
George Washington Carver Biography, Geoff Benge
Do the Work, Steven Pressfield
QBQ, John Miller
Street Smarts, Bo Burlingham
Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud
The 4 hour work week, Tim Ferris
Boundaries, Henry Cloud
The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus
Endurance, Alfred Lansing
Start with Why, Simon Sinek
David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey
Platform, Michael Hyatt
The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin
The E myth Revisited, Michael Gerber

Here is a list of my favorite podcasts;
Entrepreneur on Fire, John Dumas
This is your life, Michael Hyatt
EntreLeadership, Ramsey Team
Chris LoCurto
Dave Ramsey Show
48 Days, Dan Miller
Start up School, Seth Godin (must listen- short 15 episodes)
Beyond the to do list
And just for fun, (guilty pleasure) Armstrong and Getty Radio Show

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

trueform fam2014

I want to with you the best Christmas season and the happiest new year. I am so proud of the last year at Trueform. Together with all my partners, we have had great success. I’m eager to release some exciting new devices, and products in the new year. Keep tuned into Trueform by signing up to our subscription page. I promise I wont spam you.

Merry Christmas!
Scott

k0zl0hx3

Waterjet cutting, Part 1. The WHY

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Water jet cutting is a huge part of my business. I rely on this technology for several reasons. I will attempt to outline these over the next few post. While I use water jet cutting for my products, I also offer water jet cutting services for your parts. While in the right situation, laser or flame cutting may be the solution, it seems that water jet cutting works for the majority of quick turn around projects. In the following posts, I’ll explain the concept of modern water jet cutting and answer some commonly asked questions. If you need any water jet cutting, don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I can turn parts around very quickly and supply materials and any CAD needed. Even a napkin sketch will do most of the time. Please subscribe to the Trueform mailing list located at the top of this page and we will keep you up to date on the up coming posts.

thanks.

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Custom adjustable speaker mounts.

Audio speaker mounts

Custom Speaker Mount

 

 

 

I have been attending Hoe Chapel for about 18 years. That entire time I have been looking at the homemade brackets holding up the Church speakers. Whoever made them had a challenge. Our church meets in an old renovated yellow barn. The walls in this building are far from plumb. Picture the shape of a pentagon, that’s the basic section view of our building. The walls in the sanctuary are around 60 degrees. Roughly  30 degrees out of square from the floor. This actually works out well for the acoustics in the building but wreaks havoc on wall mount speakers. When Chad, the music leader secured new speakers to replace the old blown set we used, new mounts were needed. Chad gave me a few constraints for mount design; first, the speakers were already purchased so I could just measure them up. The new speakers are much taller and heavier. Chad also wanted to be able to adjust the direction of the speakers, left to right. This is not too much of a challenge as the new speakers have female sockets on the top and bottom for mounting but still allowing rotation. The tough one is that Chad wanted them to tilt as well. The old mounts did not have this option but when it was time to install them, whoever did the work, just mounted them at an angle. This worked but in all my years, it really bugged me. Obviously they were not designed to tilt so they just screwed them to the angled wall crooked so that it always looked like the speakers were about to roll right off the mounts. I was so happy when Chad asked me to help him with the new system. I could finally wright this engineering wrong. Of course another constraint is that the speakers needed to be removable, easily. The last challenge was of course the odd angle of the wall that the mounts hang from.

A great friend and contractor, Andy, volunteered to help measure and install the finished product. Once Andy and I measured the speakers and deciphered the angle of the wall, we also verified the location of the studs. These new speakers weigh a ton so we needed to be sure that the new mounts would secure into solid framing. At this point, it was time to make some sketches of a design that would encompass all the given constraints while still remaining under $100,000.

The finished product employs everything that Chad hoped for as well as the Hope Chapel logo subtlety cut into the bracing of the mount. One hand screw secured the speakers in place while a rubberized finish keeps the speakers from rotating or vibrating. Another hand screw tightens agents the bracket to allow for tilt adjustment. I am completely satisfied how they came out. One of the best complements I received is that someone didn’t even notice them holding the new speakers. They tend to blend into the background. This is the type of custom job that Trueform excels at. Give us as many constraints as necessary, a budget and any other pertinent information and my team will knock it out of the park.

 

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TRAILER VENT GUARDS

Stainless Steel trailer vent guard.

Stainless Steel trailer vent guard.

TRAILER VENT GUARDS

Little League is a large part of our family these days. Levi, my youngest plays at Westside Little League in Santa Rosa and has for several years. West side does a great job with the kids on the field. My daughters’ favorite part is the snack bar however. At the beginning of the 2014 season, as the snack bar was being stocked, it was broken into. Christine is the snack bar boss. When the last break in was through the top vents in the snack bar trailer, she decided we needed vent guards. Kids were ripping off the vents, lowering themselves into the trailer and opening the door for others. They would trash the place and take all the candy and food.  Christine figured that if I could make some type of vent cover, which would keep the little buggers out. I designed the covers to fit over the standard trailer vents to allow them to open but still be secure enough to keep visitors out. These guards will be perfect for protecting fragile vents from branches as well. ¼” bolts go through the roof so waterproofing is necessary at install. The bolts back to a secure ring inside so that the guard is very solid. Stainless steel or powder coated steel models will last forever. For the snack bar, I used 3/16” stainless steel plate cut on the waterjet machine. The plates fit together with notches to create one solid frame that is then welded to a base. This design can be altered to fit any size or shape. Perhaps I could build a security guard for an air conditioning unit, for example.   Please feel free to contact me for your custom set of guards or to come up with a design for your idea.

What’s in a Door Handel?

TRUEFORM CUSTOM DOOR HANDLES

door hardware, stainless steel

                               Custom Door Handles  

custom stainless hardware

Interior and exterior view

custom stainless steel , brushed finish, custom hardware

Double door custom handles, stainless steel, hand brushed finish.

 

 

Custom door handles are one of the first things that people notice when they approach home, business or restaurant. It is normally the very first thing someone touches. The next emotion or memory they have will be framed in the reference of that very first touch. Sure, you could have your guests enter through a standard “straight from the hardware store” door knob or handle, but think of the impact that a custom door handle would make. Perhaps the logo of your business is the first thing touched, or as you pull the door of the bike shop open, you notice a bicycle handle bar in your hand. This would engage your guest before he or she even enters your shop. I think she would have a sense that you care about her shopping experience if you went to such lengths wow her.  Recently TRUEFORM completed a job like this. For the home owner, no off the shelf handle would work for her custom double door. After we consulted, I designed a handle that she and her husband loved that also solved a problem. Unfortunately the door was purchased with standard hardware bores already milled. This limited the custom options that were desired. My design incorporated the use of the pre-bored holes and resulted in a great custom look that the client was looking for. The construction material is all 316 Stainless Steel. And a hand brushed steel finish was employed. The result is a stunning effect with the eccentric radii and contrast between the deep mahogany wood and the bright smooth stainless.  Imagine what effect a custom handle would have on your door. Contact Scott at Trueform Design for a free consult of your situation.