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Anthony Garcia (IG: @_pistonworks_)

Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Anthony from @_pistonworks_ 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. 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!
Enjoy and Grind On!


Name:  Anthony Garcia
Business Name:  PistonWorks
Location: Columbus, IN
Socials: IG: @_pistonworks_  FB: PistonWorksOrders
Specialties:  Piston carving, metal fabrication artwork
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I grew up playing in my dad's body shop when I was kid, so I was always around cars, learning how to use various tools at a very young age.  I decided, in order to have a one-of-a-kind proposal, to make a piston guy down on one knee and use that to propose to my wife.  I enjoyed making it so much I ended up making a 2nd version of her, being proposed to. (picture attached)  Since then, I've been tinkering and making more piston guys, and various other small art pieces out of old engine parts.  I've been doing this now for 4 years, and made it an official business only 2 years ago.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Learning new skills to improve the pieces I make, and coming up with new designs that I haven't personally made before or seen.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
I would have to say my Demel w/flex shaft because it is essential in my piston carvings to get all of the intricate details just right.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
My steampunk themed piston guy, this was made as part of a welding class competition, and it took 2nd place.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Custom car builder, I would love to eventually build rat rods from the frame up.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
Definitely the 1/8" shank carbide burrs, they cut really well and fast and last a long time, absolutely needed for the hours put into these piston carvings.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The 2" conditioning discs durability and longevity of the product, they don't wear away overly fast and still provide a nice finish.
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Use a good lubricant for the carbide burrs, this helps a lot with longevity of the burr and keeps for cleaner/faster grinding.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Steve from WelderUp because he makes some really cool rat rods, his work is really inspirational for some of the things I make and he seems very down to earth and helpful providing videos to help people learn HOW to fabricate and weld.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Look everywhere for sources of learning and don't be afraid to ask fellow business people in your field for tips/tricks, you'll find they can be really open and helpful like a community rather than competition.
What are your future plans for your shop?
I'd like to continue practicing my TIG welding, adding more style to my art pieces and growing my shop to have more equipment opening up my possibilities of the work I can take on.  Eventually building custom rat rods and old trucks.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
I really appreciate you guys doing something like this to help promote some of us small businesses!


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Anthony! It's always a pleasure being able to share stories from recent artists turned businesses. That leap into a business is a risky one but always seems to be worth it in the end. Happy to see that that's the case with you as well, cheers!
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