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Bill Tallent (Rusty Critters)



 Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Bill from Rusty Critters and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. And for those of you that take the time to share your story with us, we'd be happy to provide a free BA banner. These spotlights are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!




Name:  Bill Tallent

Business Name:  Rusty Critters 

Location: Sumner, WA

Specialties:  I make mostly critters from old metal pieces, a lot of chain. I do most without much fabrication.

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I took metal shop in high-school and learned to weld. 40 plus years later when I retired I started welding yard art as a hobby. I have sold some, but most of my work is given to friends and relatives. Been doing this for about 13 years now.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Just knowing I need to get up and get moving to stay healthy.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
The welder is what I mostly use and there's something about welding that is just relaxing for me.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
The big dog is my favorite piece. He is 4 feet long, 2 feet tall,  and weighs 270 pounds.Made from the biggest spring I've ever seen.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Since I'm retired I don't have any interest in a job, but I worked in a fabrication shop when I was 19 and really enjoyed it, but ended up in warehousing for 40 years.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
Definitely the flap discs. I used to grind with a hard disk that was hard to keep from gouging the metal. Since the flap discs somewhat conform to the shape of the metal you don't have the gouging. 
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried your cutting discs.
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Not really a tip, but I began using a large chop saw to cut my material, dangerous with odd shaped pieces. Then I tried a bandsaw, it was hard to clamp the chain to cut links with it. Finally I tried your cutting discs with an angle grinder. It is much easier to bring the tool to the metal than the other way around.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
No one in particular, but I enjoy all the craftsmen you feature and pick up ideas from most of them.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Just because you have never done something, doesn't mean you can't do it. Give it a try and see. Don't be afraid to try.
What are your future plans for your shop?
I just work out of my garage and since it's just a hobby that's good enough for me.
It would be nice to have a shop though.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Bill! We hope you continue to enjoy retirement and continue your hobby with these wonderfully crafted critters!
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