Kyle Biederman (IG: @matsumetalworks)

October 30, 2021

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Kyle from @matsumetalworks and talk a little shop.
 
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to leo.benchmarkabrasives@gmail.com to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases 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:  Kyle Biederman

Business Name: MatSu Metal Works

Location:  Palmer, Alaska

Socials: IG: @matsumetalworks  FB: @matsumetalworks

Websites: www.matsumetalworks.com  YouTube

Specialties: Right now our specialties are being able to work on and accept almost any project that a customer needs to get completed.

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I bought my first welder when my second daughter was born in 2005.  I was home on paternity leave and completed my first project--a welding cart for my Lincoln Electric SP135 Plus.  I was drawn to the creativity and challenge of welding.  Because I'm self taught, every step of the way has been a challenge.  I formed Mat-Su Metal Works in 2016 in response to a steady flow of requests from friends and coworkers for my welding and fabrication services.  Today, we have a designated commercial shop, two employees, and a range of project demand that has really grown me as a business owner and manager.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
These days I am really focused on providing great customer service and staying on top of requests for job estimates.  I take seriously the responsibility to make payroll and make sure my guys are taken care of while they are taking good care of our customers.  I really want to get better at all aspects of the business, so I listen to a lot of podcasts and audio books that provide great perspective and motivation for me to be open to new ideas and better ways of doing things.  
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
We use a lot of "can't live without them" tools, but my Milwaukee M18 Die Grinder offers a versatility that's tough to beat.  It accommodates flapper wheels, burr bits, and a lot of other options.  The fact that it's cordless just makes it a go-to tool throughout the day.
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Each project comes with its own unique challenges, but stair handrails are uniquely different at every project.  Usually I'm building the crate not the piano, so to speak, but stair handrails are often the "piano" because they are commonly the first thing people see when they enter someone's home.  It's a great feeling when a customer can't stop raving about how much they love their customized handrails and share their friends' complements as well.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I would like to inspire young people to work with their hands and challenge their minds.  I see a lot of young adults today struggling with work ethic, responsibility, identity, self-confidence, and direction in life.  I think welding is a great medium for developing these areas, and mentoring can be a great way to invest in our future business leaders.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I love the BA 4.5 inch flap disks!  They are a great quality product for the price, and we use them exclusively in our shop.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The BA Aluma Cut burrs have flutes that don't clog or fill with aluminum like other non-ferrous burrs I've used from competitors.  I've moved to using these exclusively and have been very satisfied with them.
 
 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Because the price is so reasonable, I purchase multiples of my BA products and have them all over the shop, so that they are always handy when needed.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Jesus!  He was a woodworker's son and with our skills combined, we could make some sick projects.
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Try new things.  Challenge yourself.  Don't be afraid to fail.
What are your future plans for your shop?
Five years ago, I could not have imagined being where we are today.  Mat-Su Metal Works has always grown and developed in response to demand, but I'd like to see the next five years take on more of a proactive growth rather than reactive growth.  My long-term goal is to become the foremost trusted welding and fabrication provider in the Mat-Su Valley and beyond.  It will require thinking outside the box and trying new things and continually being challenged, but I welcome whatever the future holds.
 
 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Thank you, Benchmark Abrasives, for supporting small businesses by showcasing the little guys and offering quality products at a great price.

 

A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kyle! Not sure if you're being a goof when you said you'd want to collab with Jesus but if you're serious that's pretty gnarly. I NEVER would've thought of that so now I'm curious. Cheers!!



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