For Ideas:

Please visit one of the below pages to see groupings of creations and ideas. Feel free to contact AMW with your own images to serve as a genesis for your fabrications.

Current Projects on the Bench

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FAQ – Musings

To Powder Coat or Not to Powder Coat

Often the question arises as to the final finish for a piece of metal work.  The choices range all over the board which include, but are not limited to:

  • Bare metal
  • Lacquer Coating
  • Patina’s
  • Enamel Paints
  • Industrial Enamel paints
  • Powder Coating

Really the finish chosen depends on the environment the finished piece will be subjected to.  Will it be wet?  Will it be subjected to heavy use?   Will it be subject to heavy soiling?  Will it be abraded?  All of these will impact what the final finish should be.

In some cases the metal will not be subjected to wetting or chemicals at all and the final polished look of the metal is the desired finish.  In this case it is acceptable to just leave the metal bare, or to apply a form of clear coating.  In this situation one should be sure that the used does not change in the future.  Untreated steel will not stay the same color when subjected to direct or even vapor moisture.  Moisture Steel and Oxygen equals rust.

If a color finish is desired, and the piece will only be subject to occasional wetting, enamel paints might be the right choice.  Basic enamel paint has a strong track record of moisture protection, as well as will stand up to moderate wear.  Some enamels are thicker and harder than others so it is important that the right paint should be selected.  One thing to keep in mind is that basic retail paints like rustoleum are formulated to apply evenly and easily.  This is sometimes at the expense of durability.

For an exterior installation where the piece is not sheltered from direct wetting, the minimum finish should be an industrial grade enamel or epoxy.  The type paints are inherently harder to apply, but provide a far better protective barrier than retail grade enamels.

This brings me to Powdercoating.  Powder coating is a process where the paint is applied in the form of a powder carried on an polarized electrical current directly to the piece.  Basically the paint gun has a positive electrical charge and the piece being coated is hooked to a negative charge.  The effect is that there is very little overspray, and the paint tends to go on thicker and gets into every nook and cranny, without bridging due to coehesion.  In laymans terms the coverage is far superior to wet applied paints.

Once the piece is painted it it baked at approximately 550 degrees or greater, which fuses the powder to the piece and melts it into the final finish.  Powder coated pieces can be anywhere from flat finish to high gloss, and 100% of colors are available as a standard.

The best analogy for powder coating is basically putting a ceramic coating on your piece, which has a far greater rust and abrasion protection than standard paints.  The draw back?  ………… basically it is cost.  One of the standard security doors on this site will add approx $100 to the cost of an item.  It cost about $30 in materials to paint a standard door, but it cost $130 to powder coat it.  These are raw costs with no mark-up, as I generally prefer powder coating so I offer that as a straight cost with no mark up.  In my experience the additional $100 is well worth it in overall upkeep, longevity, and rust inhibition.

AMW currently uses Premier Coatings – Powder and Ceramic Coating Specialists for all of its shop coating needs

Why commission custom fabrications?

Custom vs. Retail….In most situations fabricated steel objects are intended to be more permanent, more durable, and more secure than the typcialitems installed around the home.  For example when one decides that they are going to obtain a steel security door, they are doing this because of need for higher security than a standard entry door, or even more security than a typical storm door.  An AMW along with other Custom Steel Security doors can offer this type of security.  Often the typical self install door available at the retail outlet will have light aluminum piano hinges, or will have extruded frames that allow thousands of them to be produced cheaply.  The AMW Custom Steel Security  has welded steel barrel hinges with a 1/2″ steel bearing pin.  Often the retail steel doors available will have the manufactures propriatary hardware, which is often cheaply made and requires you to use thier replacements.  The Custom Steel Security Door offers a fully welded standard configuration lock box, so that you can choose the level and look of the hardware to be installed.

In a nut shell you choose a Custom Fabrication to allow you to choose exactly the design you want to compliment your environment, and to provide the features meet your security needs.  The AMW Custom fabrication does not beat the cost of all steel products available in the Denver area, but it will certainly beat the cost of all like products available.  With this being the case, why not have your item be a one of a kind?