Michigan welding storefront to showcase metal art

Jeremy Ervin
Times Herald

Marysville — Whether someone’s looking for welding for a structural project or a decorative piece of art, Tough Weld Fabrication can help.

Tough Weld Fabrication opened their storefront in Marysville back in November 2017. It gives the business a relaxed space to show off its plasma cut metal art and signs.

In this undated photo Tough Weld Fabrication owners Amanda and Charlie Penrod stand in front of a wall of their plasma-cut metal art, in Marysville, Mich.

Amanda and Charlie Penrod of Marysville own Tough Weld Fabrication and are looking to build it up into a larger shop someday. Charlie Penrod worked as a land surveyor before being laid off in the midst of the 2008 recession. He got a job at a fabricating shop. Once he started making things there, he decided it was what he wanted to do.

“My whole life I always thought that I needed to work with tools of some kind, but I was never interested in cars or anything,” Charlie Penrod told The Times Herald. “I always felt like I should be creating something but I never really knew what it was.”

Tough Weld Fabrication found a niche in creating decorative signs for businesses and individuals. They also provide a variety of industrial fabrication services in addition to art.

Amanda Penrod works with clients to develop their sign ideas. Sometimes a potential client has a very clear idea of what they want, other times they only have a general theme, she said. After getting a sense of what the client might want, Amanda Penrod will come up with three or four drafts that are sent to the client, refined and decided on.

“We just go back and forth until they say ‘OK’ because we won’t cut anything until it’s OK’d by them,” Amanda Penrod said. “It takes a week and a half or two weeks from the initial first conversation until it’s in their hands.”

This undated photo shows a piece made by Tough Weld Fabrication, which makes custom plasma-cut metal signs and art for individuals and other businesses, in Marysville, Mich.

From there the sign is transferred into a computer cutting program, plasma cut, finished and painted.

Amanda Barnes of Kimball purchased a sign from Tough Weld Fabrication for a photography business.

“It’s definitely great quality, I liked the paint job a lot,” Barnes said.

Marc Anderson of Shelby Township used to work with Charlie Penrod at a fabricating shop in Chesterfield. He’s purchased a few things from the business, including a decorative lighthouse, flower and a couple of wood and metal end tables, Anderson said.

“(The end tables are) probably heavier than my couch, but I wanted something sturdy,” Anderson said. “You can’t see a weld mark on them.”

In this undated photo Tough Weld Fabrication owners Charlie, left, and Amanda Penrod, right, hold their daughter Quinn Penrod in front of their Marysville, Mich., storefront. Tough Weld Fabrication makes custom plasma-cut metal signs and art for individuals and other businesses.