Category Archives for Metal Work Fabrication

Rust Is Not the End of the Line

Modification & Repair - Andiron

Modification & Repair – Andiron


Rust is sometimes, but not always, the end of an object.

There are more metal objects that you can have modified, restored and repaired than you probably imagine.

Here’s an andiron for an old, deep fireplace.

The andiron was rusty and two feet had broken off.

But neither of those two factors prevented me from cutting the legs slightly and welding the piece back to a serviceable and workable quality.

Replacement Parts For Rust Can Also Be Fabricated

Luckily, some people understand that this is the case.

If I show you this inside rusted part of a fire pit, I can imagine that you’d think that everything would have to be thrown out.

But no. It does not.

In fact, look at the before and after pictures, and you’ll see that I could absolutely replace the inner component.

Can you imagine the cost of replacing an entire fire pit?

The waste of money for the client?

And the trash it would have created?

No. That’s not the way to care for our valuables and it’s an unnecessary expense for us and for the ecosystem.

Ask entrepreneur Hayley Burke at Conscious Kopf and here. She’s all about sustainability and ecologically sound living.

We need this in our lives. Because we care.

Here at Donald’s Innovations and Repairs, we are all about what touches our hearts and makes a difference to people.


Look Around

Don’t give up on your pieces.

Rust is not the end of the line. Restoration experts are worth the investment. Having to get something custom made or new when fireplaces like that are out of the norm will cost more than any restoration.

Let’s get rid of our throwaway mentality.

What do you have in YOUR home that could be restored?

Model Aluminum NASCAR Hauler


Can you imagine the excitement in creating a Model Aluminum NASCAR Hauler from a model semi-trailer kit?

Our small custom metal shop specializes in these unusual challenges and transformations.

This was a multi-week project on a model NASCAR hauler’s exterior shell upgrade.

The model needed a welded reefer unit and a working ramp, and we accomplished both.

Now, the ramp can be raised and lowered by hand or by a battery-powered mechanical drive – just like the real haulers.

In fact, this project included in-person field research.

I’d been trying to see one up close but could never find them at the hours I tried, but on this day, we lucked out.

Unexpectedly, early on a Saturday morning walk with my wife, we spotted a driver and hauler delivering a new car to the Lamborghini dealership.

The driver was friendly and keen about the project and showed me around the hauler and let me take pictures.

He had to move an antique car from the top level to the bottom, so there was plenty of time to watch how everything worked, to study the structure and ask questions.

Complete, But More to Come

Today, after many weeks, the owner of the the model came to take it away.

I had been sending him pictures and he’d come by on a weekly basis to see the progress.

The completion of this project is bittersweet for me – as it is not my own model and I enjoyed my client’s weekly visit.

However, I look forward to teaching him in the future.

He wants to build a bigger and fancier unit from scratch.

I love teaching, and model building is in my blood.

So although this project has ended, fortunately another model of a different kind is on its way!



And Now For Something Bigger

North Vancouver Museum and Archives asked me to restore and conserve a gas-powered model seaplane representing our B.C. coastal air and sea transportation.

It’s got a 6-foot wing-span.

Now that’ll need to be suspended when I’m not working on it.

More on that later.

What Treasures Do You Have In Your Closets?

Keep your eyes out for metal items around your home that can be repaired, restored or repurposed.

Let’s get rid of this throwaway practice and rebuild or build new from what’s already there.

Especially if something has sentimental value.

You’ll be amazed what you can do when we brainstorm ideas together.

Look at some of the repairs or refurbishing I’ve done for some ideas.

Don’t be shy.

All questions are good questions.

And if you like this blog, please share it.

That’s always helpful.


Creative Solutions To Metal Work and Mechanical Issues

Today’s blog is the very first in a series illustrating the kind of problems my clients bring and the solutions I create for them.

Problem-solving mechanical and metal work issues is my super power.

Some solutions just require passing on skills for clients who want to learn blacksmithing, welding and fabrication.

For that, I offer one-on-one workshops.

Other solutions help our planet’s environment by reusing and repurposing old machinery and equipment.

And some are more whimsical solutions that play a role in entertaining others through metal art work.

I create solutions to your wildest, simplest or seemingly impossible problems.

Fabricated Table Legs

This client needed four 3/8’’ x 4” steel flat bars bent into a large square with welded angled supports.

He asked me not to finish the legs in any manner, including leaving fabrication tool markings.

The client provided the milled heavy timber for the table top.


fabricated metal work table legs


One day, while I was walking by a store front on the way to Granville Island with my wife, I was startled to suddenly come upon the fruits of my labour – fabricated table legs at The Luminous Elephant Arts Studio.

They cater to young people’s art classes and sometimes use the space for adult team building.

That was a rewarding moment, to see these tables go to good use.



fabricated metal work table legs