Marshall Whitney (IG: @raum_furniture)

June 18, 2022

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Marshall from @raum_furniture 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:  Marshall Whitney
Business Name:  Raum Industries
Location: Housto, TX.
Socials: IG: @raum_furniture  FB: @raumfurniture
Websites:  www.raumindustries.com.com
Specialties:  We specialize in designing for manufacturability and finding solutions to abstract problems in energy, aerospace, medical, and architectural applications. We work with our clients to take a concept all the way through production – whether it’s producing one part or thousands.
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I grew up around heavy industries – construction and fabrication – and pursued a mechanical engineering degree at Texas A&M. After working as a project manager for ventures across the world, I was inspired develop my craft and business acumen further, starting Raum Furniture in 2017 to focus on custom furniture and millwork. As the company grew, opportunities presented themselves drawing me back into designing for industrial applications; this led to the establishment of Raum Industries in 2020. Since then, we’ve been brought onto projects to solve the variety production and fabrication challenges faced by our clients.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Challenging myself to continue developing my craft and business keeps me motivated. I don’t want to do anything that’s easy – we’re granted limited time here and I want to make the most of what I’m given. I want to build a legacy of quality work with results that speak for themselves. As I’ve built up my business and forged new professional relationships, I’ve found that no challenge, whether it be related to business, design, or something else, is insurmountable – there’s a solution somewhere and I just need to discover it. That discovery keeps me motivated.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
It used to be my Dayton Drill Press – that was one of the first “big” industrial tools that I purchased, and I’ve worked with it so much that it’s very tuned in. My current favorite tool is the Scothman Iron Worker. I’ve wanted one for many years and finally acquired one; it just makes every aspect of processing metal easier and is my favorite shop tool right now.
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
Not to be too cliché but usually my favorite piece is the one that’s just been finished. I honestly don’t remember everything we’ve built; at this point, I’ve been involved in hundreds of projects and have fabricated thousands of parts. Each project is a new challenge though: I hate working on a project that could have been accomplished 5 years ago. Recently, we’ve been working in the aerospace industry and developing components to aide in the production of electric vehicles, and I’ve really enjoyed these projects.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Moving forward, I would love to be involved in projects where we are challenged to incorporate every aspect of our wheelhouse – designing, engineering, machining, fabrication, all of it. Currently, the aerospace industry is really pushing the technological edge and I’d like to delve further into what we can accomplish in that sector.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
My favorite BA product is the purple, extra course Stripper Disc; they work really well for the one thing they do.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The 40-grit zirconia Flap Disc surprised me in terms of the quality; I’ve used just about every brand, and this has the highest value to cost ratio, in my opinion. It’s not just about the cost and value of the disc though – it’s the complete picture of the business that disc represents. The value of dealing with BA is high; I know that purchasing from them is fast, easy, and their customer service is unparalleled.
 
 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
In my experience, spending the extra money on the higher end grinding and sanding materials for use on materials like carbon steels is not worth it; those products really make a difference when working with stainless steel. At the end of the day though, if you want professional finishes there are no shortcuts or “easy” solutions – you need to work your way through the process and skipping steps does more harm than good.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
It would be great to do a collaboration with Ivan Iler; he’s a kinetic metal sculptor and can manipulate metal in ways I don’t have any clue how to achieve. I think we could come up with some really fun and challenging designs together. He also seems very nice.
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
My problem with a lot of advice is that it can be very generic without context. I would say the most important aspect of succeeding is to make a plan and work the plan. If you do that, and treat your personal finances like a business, then you’ll succeed in any endeavor.
What are your future plans for your shop?
We’re moving into automated welding processes and kicking off a machine shop to support our fabrication shop. We’ve got some exciting new in-house projects in the works that delve into some untapped consumer markets so keep an eye out for some announcements over the summer!
 

 

A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Marshall!  It was great learning about your craft/company and we look forward to seeing your future projects.



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