The long and welded road
DALLAS/FORT WORTH – Welding was always in the back of Wes Stevenson’s mind, even as he worked in building and construction consulting and the livestock industry. He had designed items for pickup trucks, livestock facilities and buildings, but never had time to fully pursue it.
It took an injury and a hospital stay for Stevenson to finally find that time. After his release from the hospital, he began redoing a trailer with the help of Bob, a foreman at a ranch Stevenson was leasing. Bob as it turns out, was an encyclopedia of welding knowledge.
“I had no idea he was as into the history of welding as he was,” Stevenson says. “Come to find out, he had about 25 years in the past welding. He taught me not only how to make it strong, but make it pretty as well.”
With new confidence, Stevenson decided he and two partners could make a go of a welding business. Although his wife Francie had a moment’s pause about him leaving his steady job, she helped choose a name inspired by his livestock and rodeo past: Dark Horse Metal Works. Bob also helped locate Shane Swinford, whom Stevenson calls “the best design guy in the country,” and the team set up shop in Granbury last June.
Ten months in, the crew is enjoying self-employment and setting their hours, even if it means working harder.
“We come from a humble background and started very slowly; it took several years to get this and our equipment built up to provide a service to our customers,” Stevenson says. “Now we’re to the point where we can do small jobs to very large jobs. We’re looking to expand but want to stay in Granbury, hire more employees and grow slowly.”
Swinford wholeheartedly agrees.
“We’ve just taken it one step at a time, not rushing into a situation,” he says. “It’s been a fun adventure.”
Dark Horse Metal Works specializes in custom fabrication and welding. –mjm
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