Mikhail Parhomchuk (IG: @mhrmetalfab)

May 29, 2021

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Mikhail from @mhrmetalfab 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!

 

This week's #WELDERSHOWCASE is...

 

Name: Mikhail Parhomchuk

Business Name:  MHR Metal Fab

Country/State Location:  Langhorne, PA.

Socials: IG: @mhrmetalfab  FB: @mhrmetalfab  Pinterest: @mhrmetalfab

Websites:  www.mhrmetalfab.com

Specialties: Custom fabrication of steel guardrails/stair sets.

 

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade (backstory)? And how long?
I came out of the construction industry and have always loved building things and finding creative solutions. Steel was a new challenge that I learned from my father-in-law, Andriy Shuportyaka of Shup Iron Works. I found that I genuinely enjoyed it and decided to open my own shop in 2017. With my construction background, I was able to offer developers solutions that were unique to them and provide them with quality home safety products.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
In the beginning, my motivation was learning and perfecting a skill. Once I started adding employees and building a crew, they became my motivation. We all come from different backgrounds, but are all trying to develop a trade skill that appears to be dying slowly. I’m proud of the men and women I’ve worked alongside who have honed their skills and moved on to do great things. Many have started companies elsewhere and some have truly reinvented the industry, but seeing my employees grow and do incredible things has been my motivation to keep striving, keep learning, and keep teaching.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
About a year ago, we acquired a massive press brake for sheet metal work from Avalon Machinery. It’s super powerful and works like magic. It’s always impressive to see something as solid as steel transform before your eyes and the press brake makes that happen. Sadly, one of the owners of Avalon, Scott Ball, passed away earlier this year in a car accident. He was a great friend and machine enthusiast who taught me a lot of things about the industry. Now, the press brake is a constant reminder of him and how short life is for all of us.
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Primarily, the products we make are steel stair sets and guardrails/handrails, so any time something different comes along, it’s always a treat. Recently, we got to do a large amount of forged steel guardrail. Everything from the design process to the installation made this one of the most intricate projects we’ve ever done. It was more engaging than the repetitive stair/railing combo orders we usually get.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I’m a life-long car enthusiast and have always been drawn to creating vehicle accessories. That’s where I want to invest all of my skills in metalwork and my knowledge of metal composition.
 
  What BA product is your favorite and why?
In the shop, we use BA’s 4.5" HD Type 29 Flap Discs in 40 grit for everything from cleaning tables to touching up products. It’s a versatile product that we constantly buy in bulk.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
We’ve tried LITERALLY all types of cutting wheels: from local suppliers and specialty brands, and we can’t find anything that works better for us than BA’s  5" Thin Cut-off Wheels. For the price point and the durability, nothing is better. They last a long time for the projects that we work on and feel safer than some of the other options we’ve encountered.
 
  What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA products?
We don’t often do intricate work, but when we do, BA’s 2” Mini Flap Disks in 40 grit are perfect for forged steel work in smoothing out connections between scrolls and creating an overall polished feel to the project.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Cooper Boudreau from Stiltz Iron – He was my first employee who managed to perfect his skills and moved back home to Tennessee in 2019 to build his own company. I haven’t been able to replace him and would jump at the chance to collaborate with him again. For puzzling projects, he always manages to come up with imaginative solutions.
 
  Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
For anyone who loves building and creating, welding can be a great outlet. Don’t pay attention to the stereotypes that are often attributed to welders and don’t focus on the limitations that people create for the industry. If you love challenging and slightly dangerous work, this may be for you.
What are your future plans for your shop?
Since my dream is to work with cars, I’m using the steel shop as a foundation for expanding into the automotive world. Right now, I’m in the process of launching Fabrika Auto Saloon, which will be an auto shop with a focus on creating custom fabricated parts for clientele.
 
 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
To me and the rest of the MHR crew, BA has always been like a friend cheering us on from afar. Packages from you guys often include notes and stickers and bonus samples. We’re grateful for the community that you’ve created among steelworkers and we’re glad to be a part of it.


 A Note From Leo

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mikhail! You've got some real cool looking rails in these photos and it makes me wish I had a 2-story house so I could have something fabricated.



Leave a comment


Also in Welder Showcase

Adam Holt (IG: americanweldingacademy)

June 19, 2021

Today's #weldershowcase goes out to @americanweldingacademy....

Continue Reading

Curtis Rutledge (IG: project_shift_6)

June 12, 2021

Today's #weldershowcase goes out to @project_shift_6....

Continue Reading

Spencer Rydman (IG: rydmanranch)

June 04, 2021

Today's #weldershowcase goes out to @rydmanranch....

Continue Reading