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I Forge Iron

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I was trying to write a post about making gates, but could not. I was missing a word in English. That would be normal for me, as English is not my language. But as I was searching dictionaries for it, I got frustrated.

How do you call the guy (profession) who builds metal constructions, fences, rails, gates ect.? He uses beams, bars and rods. Cuts bends and drills. And joins, usualy by welding or bolting. In a way, it's like carpentry, but with iron. (in that analogy, blacksmith would be the wood carver?).

It's a very basic proffession, with specialized shops abundant. There are words for it in Hebrew and German (I think it's Schlosser). is there none in English, or did I spend too long near that hooot forge?

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I can't think of a single specific English word for that precise trade. A blacksmith certainly does all those things. "Ironworker" would cover it, although that has other meanings as well. "Architectural ironworker" can mean someone who does either structural ironwork (metal building frames) and decorative ironwork (railings, gates, light fixtures, etc).

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A schlosser is a locksmith, a machinist or a metal worker.

A Blacksmith can be all of those and more, a welder, a fabricator, etc.

Making gates, could be fabricating or blacksmithing, or even included in fencing or railings.

Many terms are somewhat interchangeable in English, and often depend on the context in which they are used. I would suggest you just go ahead with your post and we'll adjust for any "translation" deficiencies.

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"Maker of railings and gates" would certainly work.

20 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

I would suggest you just go ahead with your post and we'll adjust for any "translation" deficiencies.

Absolutely! 
[cracks grammarian knuckles]

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I've always referred to those types of guys as fabricators.  They don't normally forge any metal, preferring to weld up what they need.

In the US, I can't think of a single name that would fit the description other than fabricator.  Or, more precisely, 'metal fabricator'.  

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14 minutes ago, VaughnT said:

I've always referred to those types of guys as fabricators.  They don't normally forge any metal, preferring to weld up what they need.

I would also refer to the tradesman in question as a fabricator, since the OP doesn't refer to the him as forging any of the specified products; although, I would probably call him an "ornamental iron fabricator" or "architectural fabricator" to differentiate from fabricators who specialize in other work.

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Must admit I hesitated alot before hitting "submit", fearing it would turn out a stupid ignorance. still do.

I think the interesting issue is the difference between languages, that sometimes represent a different way of thinking and of doing things. Like the myth of chinese not having a word for "no". If someone would tell you there is no french word for "carpenter", you would wonder how the hell do they get their wood work done?

I"m not taking about a unique or strange trade. See the pictures for what a "Schlosser" (for lack of a better word) makes. I KNOW someone makes these things in the English speaking countries (right?). Doesn't he have a special trade other than the general "fabricator" description?

It's a modern and very common trade, like carpenters and plumbers. At least in Israel, there are courses, diplomas and firms, just for schlosser work. Do you realy need to each make up your own term ("fabricator") for it?

gate.jpg

grate.jpg

construction.jpg

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Don't let the language thing stress you.  Your English is about a million times better than my Hebrew.  (Aww, heck, for that matter it is probably better than my English)

In my area we would also call people fabricators who do the decorative work you showed.  The people who do structural steel work would more commonly be called "iron workers" around here.

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4 hours ago, Andrew Martin said:

I would also refer to the tradesman in question as a fabricator, since the OP doesn't refer to the him as forging any of the specified products; although, I would probably call him an "ornamental iron fabricator" or "architectural fabricator" to differentiate from fabricators who specialize in other work.

This is where I would go as well.

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Interesting how different languages cater for things in different ways.

Besides the last picture of a metal frame for a building that is done by a builder, the other products, window grill and gate are made by a metal worker or fabricator, however if you go to Spanish, grill and gate are done by a "herrero" in Italian by a "fabbro" in German by a Schmied, yet if you translate back into English this expressions would be blacksmith yet we all know that is not an accurate description since blacksmith refers to a more narrow activity then what a "herrero" or a "fabbro" does. Schlosser in German is not Schmied, but the use of German words in Israel may have changed a bit.

Spanish has another expression for the one making metal frames and even metal furniture like office furniture calling that "carpinteria metalica" or "metal carpenter" involving more bending and sheet metal work. 

Language adapts to the local culture and changes with time. There is not one right or wrong way, just the way it is.

Post away and have fun:)  

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The ornamental iron industry in the US is represented by NOMMA, the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association, and their trade magazine is The Fabricator. It is somewhat analogous to ABANA for artist blacksmiths, but the dues are much higher to weed out amateurs.

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As for jurisdictional agreements of the various labor organizations......

Stuff being talked about here is domain of the ironworkers. Any construction blacksmithing to be done is job of the boilermakers but ironworkers pretty much handle what's being talked about here.

George

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