Wes Imel (IG: @newarcadiametalworks)

May 22, 2021

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Wes from @newarcadiametalworks 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: Wes Imel

Business Name:  New Arcadia Metal & Works

Country/State Location: Lapeer, MI.

Socials: IG: @newarcadiametalworks FB: NewArcadiaMetalWorks

Websites:   www.newarcadiametalworks.com YT: www.youtube.com/newarcadiaworkshop

Specialties: I do mostly scrap metal art, but I would LOVE to get into doing custom fabrication work (Choppers, hot rods, etc)

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade (backstory)? And how long?
When I was a teenager (about 20 years ago) my friends and I would sit around and watch all those car shows.. Y'know.. the ones where they would do ridiculous customizing and fabrication to every day cars to "pimp" them out.. I always thought that would be an amazing skill to learn. So long story short, a few years later I was gifted a used 110V mig welder and got to learning. I couldn't afford  brand new materials so I started with scrap metal. I'd post pictures on social media of whatever it is I had welded together that day and I started getting messages "How much do you want for that?" and well.. I haven't looked back since.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
As a person on that autism spectrum, I have found it to be exceptionally difficult to find where to "fit in". I was never good at sports or really any type of social clubs, so I took up reading "how to" books for enjoyment. My motivation comes from my own personal validation. I channel my frustration into motivation, and my motivation into results.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
Y'know.. You really can't go wrong with an angle grinder.. haha I mean seriously.. Need something cut in half? Angle grinder. Need to get rid of rust? Angle grinder. Nut or bolt that won't come loose? Angle grinder! Need to annoy someone walking by you? Yep! You guessed it. Angle grinder.
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Well, I'm mostly known for my floral work. Which is funny because when I first started out I did not like making them. These days I get stopped by all sorts of people that say "Hey.. you're the flower guy. Those are cool."
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Custom shop welder and fabricator, definitely. I have enough crazy ideas that some should see the light of day. Maybe they will! Stay tuned!!
 
  What BA product is your favorite and why?
Oh that's an easy one. T-29 Jumbo Zirconia Flap Discs. Those things will shine up just about anything!!!
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The aforementioned flap discs don't "gum up" like a certain Freight store's products.
 
  What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product (insert product)?
Go easy with them - They are so effective they might take off TOO much material! haha
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Ian Roussel. Hands down. If there is any time where I get discouraged or need to get motivated.. I just watch some of his videos and BAM! Flooded with ideas and energy. Simply amazing what people can do with just the basics of tools.
 
  Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
This isn't just for the next generation, but for anyone that was told "No." Well, I'm here to tell you that you CAN and you should. Your past doesn't define you, and neither do your shortcomings. As Barbie the Welder once said "Everything is figure-out-able"
What are your future plans for your shop?
I plan on keeping with ornamental and decorative work, but I hope to start to add on custom fabrication work within the next year or two.. and from there? Who knows.. Maybe work on getting a bigger shop for more tools. In all honesty, I'll tell you after I get there! haha
 
 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Leo, thank you very much! Benchmark Abrasives makes awesome products and is ran by awesome people. I'd like to add in closing a message: Without the weird, unique, and strange people in the world - We wouldn't have some of the most brilliant minds of all time. Let your flag fly and if it makes you happy, DO IT.

 

A Note From Leo
  I'm impressed by your dedication to the craft and not taking NO for an answer. I also love this quote from you, "I channel my frustration into motivation, and my motivation into results." Hell yeah, brother!  Keep Grinding!



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