• Home >>


Donald Dawson in front of shop ready to answer frequently asked questions

Hours and Availability

Q:  What are your hours of operations?

A: I take appointments from 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. It is always best to call or text.

Q:  Can I just drop in?

A: Please phone or text first. I am a one-person dog, cat and pony show. I may be buying supplies or getting coffee and wouldn’t want to miss you.

Q:  What if I can’t come during your hours?

A: We’ll find a time that works for both of us.

Getting Started on Your Project

Q:   How do I begin?

A: Please describe your item in detail with as much detail about the issues and your objectives. Provide dimensions (height, width, depth of the object) and the type of material it is made of. Attach a close-up picture with multiple angles of the damaged areas and one image of the whole object. If you are sending a sketch, mark it with the required dimensions and materials.

Q:   Can you give me an estimate or quote once you see the picture & measurements?

A: No. I will not quote on a project solely on what I see in the picture. Sometimes the object needs a repair or modification that is not apparent until inspected. It is always best to bring your project in for inspection.

Q:   How long will my project take?

A: A photograph never determines how long it may take. It depends on the degree of restoration or repair you require and close inspection. Once I examine the item, I will be better able to estimate. Some projects are more complex than they may appear and take extra time. If that’s your case, I will explain it at the outset.  For example, recently, a client wanted an heirloom mailbox restored. It had been flattened, retaining none of its shape. With only one point of access to the inside of the box, I had to fabricate offset tooling to reach the corners. The mailbox had lettering on its exterior, making it challenging to predict the impact of straightening the box on the lettering.

Q:   Can I get my project done on the spot – while I wait?

A: It depends on how busy I am and how complex it is.

Q:   Can I watch you do the work?  

A:  That will depend on the work I am doing at the time.

What Makes Our Service Different

Q:  How are you different from other fabrication, welding and restoration shops?
  1. Our small shop caters to one-off individual projects. Foremost, you will find that I like to take the time to know my clients and their needs. Understanding your project and goals and getting your input into the design, modification or repair is as important as the end-product. That’s how we get an excellent outcome.
  2. I like to keep clients informed at every stage of the process. You can expect me to send you photos as I go along. It’s essential that we are both happy with the result.
  3. I also provide employee workplace training and one-on-one lessons. Ask me about it, or click here to learn more.
Q:   Do you use environmentally friendly techniques and products? 

A: Yes, I use recycled materials whenever possible, with minimal chemicals, and I rely on rubbing alcohol and acetone.  For natural finishes, I use 100% pure beeswax and waterborne paints. My core value is Getting Rid of Our Throwaway Society, and I mean it!


Q:   What do you need to start a project?

A: I will provide you with a client specification sheet that will require your name, phone number, invoicing address and email address.

Q:   Is there a deposit required to start a project?

A:  Sometimes, depending on the project’s scope and what I decide.

Q:   What is the best way to pay for your project?  

A: I prefer e-transfer, but I know that not everyone likes or uses this method. Therefore, I also accept cash or cheques.

Q:  What is the hourly studio rate?

A: The studio rate is $120.00 per hour.

Q:  Do you charge for estimates?

A: No.

Q:   What happens to the quote if the scope of work changes?

A: I will quote on the project you bring me. If we’ve discussed it thoroughly and agreed to the scope and terms, then there should be no surprises. However, if unforeseen and unpreventable circumstances occur, we will discuss it and develop an updated plan that works for both of us. At times, clients expand their designs, which may mean that I must add material or time to the project. Sometimes materials respond in ways to heat or treatment that requires us to find a different solution or path. And at other times, we underestimate the complexity of larger projects.

Workplace Training & Individual Lessons

Q:   Do you teach metalworking?

A: Yes, I teach fabricating, blacksmithing and welding within local businesses and tailor sessions to suit their needs. Metro Vancouver Regional District’s Sewer Division was a great group to work with.

I am also insured to teach individual lessons and workshops for a maximum of 2 people at a time. The fee for private or semi-private classes does not include materials or consumables, which are additional costs. The cost is $120 per hour per student.

Much more information here.

Verified by MonsterInsights