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Lynndon "Lando" Novak (@abstract_blacksmith)

Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Lando from @abstract_blacksmith 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:  Lynndon Novak  Aka Lando
Business Name:  The Abstract Blacksmith
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Specialties:  Welding, blacksmithing, and podcasting
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I enrolled in college for a welding program in Winnipeg in 2004 and graduated in 2005.  I had previously gone to college for computer programming, but was unhappy with the direction of the program(accounting based)  After a couple years of bouncing from job to job trying to find what made me happy, I found myself interested in welding.  While working a construction job, a coworker turned friend easily convinced me I would love welding.  I knew I wanted to do something with myself and after looking into the programs available, I chose a school now called M.I.T.T.   The program was aligned to give students their start in the apprenticeship to red seal journey through 10 months of classroom and hands-on learning.  It was an amazing experience that really taught me a ton.  I look back on that course as something that changed me as a person for the better.   Years later my love for art and metal got me into blacksmithing and I now have a new obsession.  Coupling all that together has taken me down the road of entrepreneurship
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Biggest motivation is family.  My wife and 6 year old daughter are the reason I started pushing myself into running a side hustle.  My side hustle also comes to mind when I think of motivation. The want for it to grow into a successful business that can support my family drives me daily.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
Picking one is tough.  If I had my tire hammer complete I'm sure it would be an easy choice. The hydraulic forging press I built is quickly becoming a favorite right now, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell yah how much I love the anvil I made myself
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Pretty fond of the roses I am making lately.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Well, if you haven't guessed the answer to that from previous questions...  welder/blacksmith artisan.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
I cannot really give a name as I have not researched enough, but a glassblower that would want to incorporate metal to their art has always been of huge interest to me. If I was to choose a blacksmith I think I would like the chance to work with Jake James
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Keep learning!  There is so much available to people in the trades for education and most of us don't chase that nearly enough. Do as much as you possibly can while you can.  Travel!  There is so much to be gained from seeing other parts of the world. Your attitude will determine where you go in life. Be a positive person!
What are your future plans for your shop?
Get that business going!  It's been a roller coaster of a ride over the last 5 or so years when I first started thinking I wanted to do this.  Moving just over a year ago put a huge strain on things (you can hear about that on the podcast), but I'm back at it now and pushing strong. Developing a website is in the short term goal list and building a business that can hopefully one day offer employment would be somewhat longer term.  I would also really like to offer student opportunities for people to learn about welding and blacksmithing from the same source.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell my story.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Lando! It's always great hearing these kinds of stories of how someone falls in love with welding or blacksmithing. There's really something special about the craft.. something very satisfying. I myself got a taste but have yet to take the plunge as I work two jobs.  The security from my work keeps me in place.  Maybe one day...
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