Though welding is one possible component of fabrication, fabrication entails several more processes, including welding. Fabrication is the process of making an item or project out of metal. This can include welding on a given project, but it might not. It often includes several other processes as well. Fabrication includes the whole process, from planning, laying out the designs, forming and finishing the project – including final paint and decoration in many cases.
Welding itself is the process or joining two pieces of ‘weld-able’ material together. The materials can be glass, metal or thermoplastics.
In a practical sense, most welders can fabricate, and most fabricators can weld. It is more a question of specialisation than of basic ability.
What Key Tools do Fabricators Use?
Common tools used in the fabrication trade include abrasives, welding clamps, hand files, chipping hammers, soapstone, electrode holders, tungsten inert gas (TIG) consumables, adjustable wrenches, benders, consumable electrodes, cylinders with custom carts, vices and vice grips – and more!
Both fabricators and welders use similar cleaning supplies and tools, including organic solvent (like acetone or a mild alkaline solution, or a citrus-based degreaser without butoxyethanol), wire brushes, etc. Safety is, as always, very important. Not only is a welder or fabricator using high heat, electricity, and other potentially harmful effects, but the cleaners and solvents themselves can cause breathing and liver problems if proper protection is not used.
How are they manufactured differently?
Welding and sheet metal fabrication are often closely partnered on a project – often the same person does both, especially for smaller jobs and shops. Both trades use bending and assembling regularly, though fabrication can use a broader range of techniques as well. Welding can use oxy acetylene, TIG (the most common form in fab shops), and gas metal arc (GMAW) welding, whereas sheet metal fabrication can also use roll forming, hydroforming, stretching, shrinking, stamping, die cutting, spinning and finishing.
An 11 plus test paper shouldn’t be laughed at, they are seriously difficult tests, particularly for children, that are required to be passed to enter a grammar school in the United Kingdom.
The Grammar School Debate
There has been much debate over the last few years about whether grammar schools should even still be around, and an obvious historical record of them causing segregation in the UK, but they are still prevalent and provide an excellent quality of education, in an environment of competitiveness that can keep your children honed and ready for challenges to come.
So you must prepare your child to pass the 11 plus exam, but how is best to do that?
Well I recommend this 4 part step by step approach to making sure your child is ready for the 11 plus:
Prepare in advance – this is important to avoid putting pressure on your child, as you want them to become familiar with the topics at their own pace.
Keep motivation high – you want this to almost be a fun process, to ensure that they keep at it and don’t stall part way through. This can be done through any reinforcement techniques.
Use test papers – using practice papers for the 11+ will help your child become very well versed at the way the exam operates.
Use mock exams – mock exams for the 11+ allow your child to get a feel as to what it will really be like in the exam conditions, as well as correct timings for questions.
Using 11 Plus Practice Papers
During your practice I recommend using question and answer sheet techniques, such as using practice papers from 11 Plus Leap which can really help your child to become accustomed to the exam conditions.
It has been clearly shown that using practice exam papers helps children perform better on the final grammar school exam, which makes them a very worthwhile investment for you and your children.
I’ve seen this new product called Winawood, and I particularly like the love seat shown above, but I’m properly impressed with the fact that it isn’t made of real wood. As you may know, the wooden furniture industry is responsible partially for the loss of trees and forests around the world, including many habitats that are no longer available for the local wildlife that may become extinct as a result. So it’s brilliant to see a more sustainable, man made solution to this, with a wood-effect material that’s composite instead. The colours available also make it a brilliant option if you have a brighter outdoor area.
You can learn more about this topic at the following links:
The tomatillo is an odd little fruit. When I tell people that I planted a tomatillo plant in a pot in my front yard, they usually say, “Toma-what-what?”. I actually never knew what a tomatillo was either, until last summer. I like to try new foods… sometimes I’ll just buy something I see in the store or at the farmers market because it looks different. Often times I have absolutely no idea what I’m getting into.
Once, I purchased a bitter melon. Had there been a sign near this curious-looking vegetable that said ‘bitter melon,’ I might have had a clue about it’s overpowering, awful, bitter flavor. But no, there was no sign. It was anonymous… and I just couldn’t keep my hands off of it. It looked a bit like a funky cucumber so I expected it to be similar. And oh boy, was I wrong. Really wrong. Let’s just say there is a very good reason it is called bitter melon.
But I digress. This article is about the amazing, nearly indescribable tomatillo— which is a relative of the tomato plant. It is not, as some people think, a green tomato. Without it’s papery husk, it does resemble a green tomato from the outside, but once you cut into it, you’ll know it’s different. It’s not at all watery like its tomato cousin. It has small seeds that are nested in a sort of crispy, green-apple-ish looking interior. And the flavor— hard to describe. It’s tart, tangy, and sweet all at the same time.
In the store or at the farmer’s market, they look like this:
I became so enamored with this crazy little fruit last summer that I decided to try growing my own this summer. The bush itself shot up quickly— its gangly dark stems reaching towards the sky. The flowers were sweet little yellow things. My favorite part the tomatillo plant are the tiny little lantern-like fruits that magically appear and over time, transform into delicious little firm spheres of tomatillo yumminess.
Although my yard doesn’t get a full day’s worth of direct sunlight, my tomatillo plant did ok. I didn’t have a bumper crop this year, but I managed to harvest enough tomatillos to garnish a few dishes— and they were absolutely divine. I had purchased a purple variety of the plant and as you can see from the top photo, where the husks split open and the fruits were exposed to the sun, they turned a beautiful shade of purple.
My favorite tomatillo salsa
Unfortunately my plant didn’t yield enough to make my own salsa this year, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying some amazing tomatillo salsa. I have recently discovered a fabulous tomatillo salsa made by a company here in Colorado called White Girl Salsa. I met the founder, Julie, a.k.a. White Girl, this summer when she was offering free samples at Whole Foods. (I just love it when people who make delicious food offer free samples!) Julie is a cool gal, with an awesome cowboy hat, and it’s her fault that I now have a unyielding addiction to her tomatillo salsa.
She calls it Cranberry Mango salsa, and as you might imagine, tomatillos go fabulously well with cranberries and mangoes. Check out her site— you can order her delicious salsa online! Seriously, this is good stuff. I eat it on chips, spoon it over beans and rice, and it always goes on my healthy nachos!
I know that probably sounds odd— beets in chili. I hadn’t planned on putting beets in my chili, it just happened. And am I glad it did.
As a member of local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year, we’ve been getting a bounty of locally-grown vegetables every week. Well, now that Fall has come and gone, it seems our weekly goodie baskets have been overflowing with beets and winter squash. I like beets. I usually chop them in to small cubes, roast them in the oven with olive oil and sea salt, and enjoy them just like that. Sometime I add the roasted beets to my salads. Sometimes I add raw shredded beets to my salads. Sometime I juice the beets and drink them up.
After several weeks of getting beets in our CSA basket, I was feeling a bit uninspired by them. Nearly ready to give them away to my beet-loving friends, I was suddenly struck with the idea of adding them to my chili. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a good idea or not, but not wanting the beets to get the best of me at the end of the CSA season, I decided to give it a try. Chili is one of my favorite winter dishes. It’s easy. It’s filling. It’s delicious. And what I love the most about chili is that my vegetarian versions are super healthy—low in fat, high in fiber, with tons of veggie goodness in every spoonful. My vegetarian chili often has a bit of whatever veggie is in my fridge— sometimes its kale, or carrots. Other times I reach for the lesser known root vegetables like celeriac or rutabaga. With chili, I find that you can put almost any veggie into the pot. It’s flavors will merge with the others, and yet still retain a hint of their natural essence.
For this version of chili, it tasted like chili, and yet it tasted like beets and butternut squash at the same time. The beets and squash imparted some sweeter notes to the dish, with the lovely earthiness of the beets shining through.
I like to make chili in a slow cooker because it just doesn’t get any easier. The most time you’ll spend on this recipe will be chopping a few veggies.
Fall harvest chili with beets and butternut squash
1 can cooked kidney beans (or black beans, or pinto beans, or whatever bean you like)
1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
2 to 3 medium beets, scrubbed clean, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of medium or hot chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 to 3 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
black pepper, to taste
2 cups water, or vegetable stock (more if you like a wetter chili)
Place everything in the slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook until the beets and butternut squash are soft.
I’ve spent the last few weeks meandering though Mimi Kirk’s 200-plus page book, Live Raw. Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty. As you might recall, about this time last year, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mimi, who had recently been voted the “Sexiest vegetarian over the age of 50″ by Peta. My conversation with her is posted here. Since then, I’ve been anticipating her first book and I’m pleased to say that it delivers great recipes, and captured Mimi’s take-on-the-world personality at the same time. This weighty paperback— which has traveled with me from nightstand to kitchen to couch and back to nightstand nearly every day— can be opened to any random page and reveal something inspiring. While the book offers hundreds of delicious recipes and raw food techniques, I found it to be a delightful smorgasbord of really good advice about health, beauty, and nutrition, and of course, food.
Food. There’s no shortage of food in this book. Let me tell you about some of my favorite recipes:
Basic Green Smoothie. It should not come as a surprise that I’m a big fan of green vegetables. What I love most about the raw food movement is it has popularized the idea of putting highly nutritious, leafy green vegetables into a smoothie. Parents note: kids will like these drinks too! Mimi’s recipe for a Basic Green Smoothie is right on target: not bitter, not too sweet, simple, and nourishing. And if you like smoothies, Mimi has included dozens of other creative recipes for liquid concoctions. From nut milks to Mojito in the Raw, there is no shortage of delicious, healthy drinks to choose from.
Bagels and Cream Cheese. This really is a delightful recipe and while they won’t fool anyone who is a die hard bagel fan, it’s a fun recipe that offers the perfect crunch. And of course, Mimi has given us a delicious raw cream cheese recipe too. Raw cream cheese is a wonderful non-dairy spread made from cashews. Yum!
Lettuce Wrap Salad with Cilantro Sauce. This was delicious and so easy to make. I found it to be a perfect light lunch on a hot summer day. Using a combination of crunchy, cool summer vegetables like jicama, peppers and peas, this wrap is entirely nutritious. And the cilantro sauce is a perfect complement.
Corn Tortillas. This recipe gets my star of approval for innovation. I own quite a few raw food cookbooks and have never seen a raw corn tortilla recipe before. This is easy to make and a delicious alternative to cooked tortillas. I’ve included the recipe below so give it a try and let me know what you think.
These are just a few of the great things you’ll find in Mimi’s book. The section on condiments is fantastic with wonderful recipes for everyday staples like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. And then there are chapters on desserts, soups, salads, and main courses, all delivered with Mimi’s wisdom and passion for raw foods. Whether you are fully embracing a raw foods life-style or just want to explore some healthy plant-based recipes, I promise Live Raw will be an excellent addition to you cookbook collection.
Corn Tortillas from Live Raw, by Mimi Kirk
Reprinted with permission from Skyhorse Publishing.
6 to 8 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
1/2 cup ground golden flaxseeds
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon combined Mexican seasonings, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Water if necessary
Blend all ingredients except flax meal in a high-powered blender until smooth, adding water if needed to make a smooth texture. Add flax meal and adjust liquid if necessary. Blend into a smooth, thick, but pourable consistency. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Pour 2-3 tablespoons on a nonstick dehydrator sheet and shape into rounds with a spatula or back of a tablespoon. Dehydrate for 5-6 hours or until tortilla is dry yet still pliable. Be careful not to overdehydrate. Store in ziplock bag in refrigerator. Will last three days.
Beets and goat cheese are a classic pairing so it’s no wonder this sandwich is nothing short of outrageous. This simplified gourmet feast is a beautiful homage to the early spring garden.
Roasted beet sandwich with arugula and goat cheese
Makes two sandwiches
2 to 4 fresh beets, roasted, peeled, and sliced
2 large handfuls of fresh arugula
4 slices (1/2-inch-thick) good quality, multi-grain bread slices
4 tablespoons soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
To prepare roasted beets
Remove stems and greens from beets, wash and pat dry (no need to peel the beets before roasting)
Wrap beets in foil, drizzle with small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast whole beets at 400 degrees until beets are soft (30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of beets. To test for doneness, spoke a beet with a toothpick— the toothpick should easily be inserted all the way to the center.
When cool enough to handle, gently rub the skins off the beets.
To assemble the sandwich
Toast the bread
Spread half a thick layer of goat cheese on one slice of toasted bread
Layer beets on top of goat cheese (use as many beets as you like)
Pile arugula on top of layered beets
Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt
I woke up filled with gratitude this morning. As most of us do this time of year, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new one. Although nothing in my life this last year unfolded as I had expected, I am filled with gratitude for everything— mostly for still being a conscious being in a body that moves and breathes. Life is a gift.
Setting intentions for a new year
I’m not a big fan of resolutions. The word itself connotes failure for so many people. We can be so hard on ourselves. We make promises— resolutions— to change something in our lives, and then we jump off the deep end without knowing how to swim. The problem with resolutions is that we’re rarely prepared and we have goals that are way too big without having the resources to get there. Usually, we haven’t done our homework when we make these resolutions. We want to go from A to D, but we have no idea how to even get from A to B.
Rather than declaring resolutions tonight as the bell tolls, I invite you to sit down in a quiet place and ask yourself what’s important to you and what you really want in the new year. I invite you to make intentions instead of resolutions. In my life, I have found that the act of setting intentions has almost magically made things happen. Intentions are not goals, but rather living, dynamic, authentic projections of the things that are truly important to us.
Here’s an example. A resolution might look like this: “I resolve to stop spending and put $10,000 in savings.” An intention, on the other hand might be this: “I intend to become more aware of my spending patterns, with the goal of always having enough money.”
Do you see the difference? Intentions reflect the most authentic, basic need. In the above example, the need is not to have a specific amount of money in the savings account, it’s to have the comfort of knowing you have enough.
I encourage you to explore the idea of setting a few intentions. Be kind to yourself. Look at where you are in your life right now, and ask yourself what’s truly important. From there, the intention of your life will become clear.
My intentions for 2011
More yoga. Less desk chair.
More family and friends. Less meaningless TV.
More biking, hiking, swimming, and frolicking in the outdoors. Less “exercise”.
More gratitude. Less worry about how the future will unfold.
More long walks. Less long sits.
More simple. Less stuff.
My New Year’s wish for you
For all my loyal subscribers and casual readers, I appreciate that you have tagged along with me during this freshman year of my blogging adventure. Thank you.
May you all you have a year filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. First for yourself, and then for others.
Let us all make the world a more environmentally friendly place.