Sunday, November 16, 2014

25th Annual Sculpture Space, CHAIRity Art Auction 2014

Featuring Hubbell Galvanizing’s Rick Mulvihill

By: Ali Semeraro

This year’s Sculpture Space Charity Auction was held Saturday, October 25th to benefit the Sculpture Space organization and its “International Artists in Residence Program” of Utica, NY. For several years, donations to Sculpture Space have been an esteemed tradition for Hubbell Galvanizing. It began with Dan Hubbell and his desire to give back to the community and support local artists by bidding on unique and incredible chairs as well as other works of art.

 Sculpture Space was founded in 1976 with the intention of supporting and recognizing contemporary art and artists in our community. ( These folks have been encouraging creativity since then by holding auctions, demonstrations, lectures, and giving cultural tours throughout the city of Utica.

 Not only does Hubbell continue that tradition today, but also Rick Mulvihill contributes by donating a work of art he crafts himself, utilizing recycled scrap material from our facility here at Hubbell. This year, being so close to Halloween, Rick created a unique and spirited “Web Chair” for the occasion, which was very well received. While I was looking at the completed chair for the first time myself in the gallery, some fellow onlookers were ooing and aweing at its themed whimsy. The chair, as pictured below, was featured in the auction, and went for approx. $500.00.

 The Adirondack style “Web Chair” is made out of repurposed steel scrap and recycled materials welded together and then galvanized, so the hair can weather any environment the new owner decides to display it in. It features a black widow spider perched on a web of steel wire, with a crescent moon and tree branches decorating the base. After galvanizing, the chair was powder coated orange, black and green at Fortress Fusion Coatings, our sister company. The chair is an excellent example of the services we offer not only to steel fabricators, but artisans as well.

 Several other members of the Mulvihill clan were featured in the exhibit and auction including Suzanne Firsching (Serving as this year’s Committee Chair of the auction), Sharon Mulvihill, and Cathleen Mulvihill, making this a wonderful family affair. I have to say I have never seen so much talent in one family! I was lucky enough to experience this year’s auction and got a front row seat while some of the bidding was taking place. It was inspiring to be surrounded by the art and I definitely felt a sense of community and appreciation for our local artists and patrons.

For more information on Hubbell Galvanizing, please visit
For more information on Fortress Fusion Powder Coatings Inc., please visit
For more information about Sculpture Space, please visit

Monday, October 20, 2014

We Salute Our Vets

During the first week of October, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi’s office held a presentation for the restored “Veteran’s Memorial Bridge” plaque that the DOT brought to Hubbell Galvanizing to restore using galvanizing and powder coating.

John DelMonte, a Hubbell Galvanizing employee, explains that, “the plaque was commissioned in 1981, after an act of Congress gave the authorization to name the bridge in honor of the local veterans who bravely served our country.”

Unfortunately, in the last few years the plaque came loose and was struck by a passing highway snowplow. Since this happened, the local DOT representatives, in conjunction with Assemblyman Brindisi’s office, began a campaign to restore the plaque and ended up calling Hubbell Galvanizing and DelMonte to aid in the restoration process.

Once the plaque was finished, instead of putting the plaque directly back on the bridge where it originally was, the DOT decided that this time, the plaque should stand in its own frame a few feet away from the bridge on the northern side on Burrstone Road in Utica, New York.

So next time you are driving by, be on the lookout for the newly restored Veteran’s Memorial plaque.

(Above) The old Veteran's Memorial plaque before it was restored

(Above) The newly restored Veteran's Memorial plaque

For more information on galvanizing please go to:
Hubbell Galvanizing (

For more information on powder coating please go to:
Fortress Fusion Coating Inc. (

Photo Credit: John DelMonte

Friday, August 29, 2014

Powder Coating for Future Generations

Hubbell Galvanizing and Fortress Fusion Coatings Inc. normally galvanize and powder coat your standard highway safety materials, but often times, besides artists coming in to galvanize and powder coat their own artwork, sometimes customers come in with special family treasures.

A week ago Jane Mulvihill (Granddaughter of our founder O.W. Hubbell) had us powder coat her Great-grandmother Merritt’s cast iron bench. The bench usually sits outside in her garden up at her family Camp in Old Forge, New York.

The bench is very intricate, and the old white paint was flaking off quite a lot so the Hubbells and Mulvihills decided to powder coat it so that more of their family generations can appreciate the Merritt Family bench. The bench was sand blasted (to remove the old paint) and then powder coated white.

The bench is now sitting on Jane’s mother’s patio where Mrs. Hubbell can enjoy it.

The bench after being sand-blasted

The bench after being sand-blasted
The bench after being sand-blasted

The Merritt bench, after being powder coated, is now in Mrs. Hubbell's backyard

The Merritt bench, after being powder coated, is now in Mrs. Hubbell's backyard

The Merritt bench, after being powder coated, is now in Mrs. Hubbell's backyard

The Merritt bench, after being powder coated, is now in Mrs. Hubbell's backyard

The Merritt bench, after being powder coated, is now in Mrs. Hubbell's backyard

For more information on powder coating please go to:
Fortress Fusion Coating Inc. (

For more information on galvanizing please go to:
Hubbell Galvanizing (

Photo Credit: Emmite White and Diane Mulvihill

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Spotlight on Artwork: Muskie in the Galvanizing Tank

Hubbell Galvanizing and Fortress Fusion Coatings Inc. not only galvanize and powder coat structures, bridge rail and fences, but we also have a lot of artwork that comes through our plant as well. Recently we completed a galvanizing job for the town of Clayton, New York’s fishing competition which features the opportunity to catch the largest muskie (a native fish to upstate New York). Will Salisbury, the artist, created a muskie sculpture out of steel, which we were then asked to galvanize and give it a two-toned powder coat. After our employees took the muskie out of the galvanizing tank, it weighed in at 345 pounds. The fish was then taken over to Fortress Fusion and powder coated with care, and we are proud to say that it came out beautifully. Mr. Salisbury plans on painting on scales, spots/markings, realistic eyeballs and other details on top of the powder coating to fully finish his artwork. We at Hubbell Galvanizing and Fortress Fusion Coatings Inc. are sure the town of Clayton’s residents will enjoy this exquisite piece of art, and we wish to remind our present and future customers that we are always happy to take a look at your steel artwork and give you a quote.

Please feel free to look at our pictures of the process below.

The muskie coming out of the galvanizing tank (See pictures below)

The muskie polished after being galvanized (See pictures below)

The muskie after being primed (See pictures below)

The muskie after being powder coated grey (See picture below)
 The muskie after being powder coated with detailing (See picture below)
The muskie prebake (See picture below) 
The finished muskie (See pictures below)

Photos courtesy of Nate Mastro and Emmite White

For more information, please refer to the following websites below:

Hubbell Galvanizing:
Fortress Fusion Coatings Inc.:
Will Salisbury (the artist):

Monday, June 30, 2014

From the Past, Brought Back to Life: A Project by Hubbell Galvanizing and Fortress Fusion Coatings

Written by: John DelMonte

Edited By: Diane Mulvihill

Introduction By: Ali Semeraro

A customer of ours, Bill Gaetano of Gaetano Construction, approached us with a suit of armor approximately a month ago. His story of how he and his son discovered the armor and the process by which it was brought back to brilliant life is as follows as told by project leader John DelMonte, Hubbell Employee.

The complete suit of armor was found in the basement of a house Bill and his son recently purchased. It was a replica, but it was obvious that there was great effort taken to make it as original and authentic looking as possible. As you will see in the photos, particularly the gloves, small sections of metal were hammered out and attached to each other, forming the protective layer for each finger. Our customer was unsure what, if anything, we could do for him to remove the oxide/rust that had formed, some being so aggressive it started to create a distinct pattern in the metal surface.

Traditional methods of rust removal are media (sand) blasting, which would leave the metal with a very pitted look, and take away from the old school hammered look, which is not what he was looking to achieve. Another method would be a strong acid, which would destroy the leather strapping and possibly the brass rivets and brass detail of some of the pieces.

DelMonte, called in our chemical supplier, from DuBois Chemical and discussed what process methods they could offer. The final decision was to try out a new green rust/oxide remover that they had never tried before.

One day was put aside, when our shop was quiet (a day when most of our employees were off) for DuBois Chemical employee, Tom O’Connor and DelMonte to get to work trying to salvage the suit of armor. They set up a small tub of the new green rust/oxide remover product, taking into account the proper concentration level, and also added a small stream of air into the tub to keep the chemical solution in suspension and aid in agitation. They started with the small segmented elbow guards first, keeping them in solution for 30 minutes before examining the results. The results were surprising and promising...the rust was all but removed, with no signs of the chemical solution having and effect on the base they were partially concerned about metal pitting.

DelMonte and O’Connor added more armor pieces to the tub of solution and kept track of the time, as 30 minutes was their baseline. As suspected, the solution did a great job in removing the rust oxide. They did find that on the hard-formed rust they needed to aid in the removal by hand scrubbing the rust, carefully, without scratching the base metal. This was time consuming, but proved to be effective.

As the day progressed, items were removed and other items were added to the solution, all resulting in a 95%+ removal of rust oxide, without hurting the base metal, brass accents/rivets and leather strapping. Once they were confident each item was finished in the solution it was rinsed with fresh water, then a rust preventative chemical was sprayed on, to seal the pores of the metal and in doing so, gave the metal a skin of protection against further moisture/rust oxide from coming back.

Gaetano was very surprised and pleased with the results, especially seeing that the metal was kept in its original hammered state, with all brass hardware and leather strapping in place. DelMonte and O’Connor suggested that he apply a lite coat of gun oil to the metal surfaces to retard any moisture from settling into the metal again.

This was a great way to experiment on material that we would not often see in our shop, and certainly an interesting and different project DelMonte decided to take on.