I’ve written before about how much I enjoy putting together our annual architectural sheet metal issue.

It’s one of the few months I’m usually guaranteed a great picture for our cover, and the contractors involved in the work are often eager to talk about it.

We’ve got a good example in this month’s cover story about the oratory in Ave Maria, Fla., a planned community near Naples, Fla. It was developed by Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza and one-time owner of the Detroit Tigers.

Although the project has not been without controversy, as associate editor James J. Siegel noted, few can argue about the beauty of the work by M.G. McGrath Inc., the Minnesota contractor hired to install the oratory’s roof.

We’ve written about M.G. McGrath’s work before, including on the Denver Art Museum. Jill McGrath from their office contacted me about this project. We’re always looking for interesting architectural projects, even though we don’t have room or time to write about all of them.

And I feel bad about that. So what we’re going to try in the future is to at least include a picture or two from some of the other projects contractors tell us about, even if we don’t have enough information or space to include a full feature.

You’ll have the best chance of being included if you have lots of details and high-resolution pictures of the projects. Send them to me at Snips magazine, BNP Media, 2401 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 700, Troy, MI 48084, or e-mail to mcconnellm@bnpmedia.com. Include your name and title, as well as your company’s name and location, and a way to contact you.

Letters - Thanks for article

We would like to extend our thanks from the TinTinkers.org group for the very thorough article covering our convergence in Archbold, Ohio, this summer (“Old-time tin,” September 2007 Snips). We were very pleased with the extent of detail that the article covered and thank Snips for helping us promote our love of tin and coppersmithing.

Our thanks to Mike McConnell and everyone else involved in putting the article together.
Thank you again for the great article.

Don and Janet Rasmusson

Rudolph, Ohio

Not all companies are following standards

With the recent issues of shoddy products coming from China and the lack of inspections, the question of standards and who is enforcing them has been brought to the forefront.

Underwriters Laboratories puts standards in place in order to make sure products are safe and meet specific tests that are relevant to those products. UL charges tens of thousands of dollars per product in order to get them approved. It also requires inspections at the product’s manufacturing facilities.

This is an investment that companies like Bay State Cable Ties make to ensure that the end user is getting the quality of product and can have confidence when purchasing that product.

Unfortunately, some wholesalers are selling non-UL-compliant products and when approached and informed about it are fully aware and their attitude is it does not matter, because no one checks. There are an estimated 6 million duct straps sold throughout the East Coast.

This also exposes wholesalers and contractors to potential lawsuits. General product liability insurance will deny any claims brought to them based on the fact that there are standards for that particular product.

Here are directions on how to find out who is UL 181B-C listed for non-metallic fastening devices for use in air duct closure systems. Go to www.ul.com. On the left side of the screen, click on “Certifications.” Scroll down to the category code, type in “ALKW.” This lists three pages of companies that have listings for anything UL181B

Select the file on the right hand side of the screen and this will show what product is listed. This proves that some companies that sell duct straps are indeed selling non-UL 181B-C ties.

Peter J. Froment

HVAC division sales manager

Bay State Cable Ties

Crestview, Fla.