BONNERS FERRY — Local to Bonners Ferry, Joe Stockdale plans to settle down after a successful military career and travel throughout the world, to open 9B Industrial Welding and Fabrication with his son Aaron Stockdale.
The father and son partnership have recently decided to put their talents to the test and band together to offer expert-level, custom welding fabrication and installation services.
As of Jan. 1, Stockdale has split off from a former partner to offer what he calls, “new concept fabrication.” Stockdale no longer provides field construction and fabrication, in and for, the local lumber mills.
“So if someone comes in here, and wants something fabricated, that is a lot of what we do with private clients,” Stockdale said. “We also do customer design and detail work, so if they’ve got an idea or they need special brackets built or whatever, we can do that.
“My previous business was Stockdale Steel, which was in town for 20 years,” he added.
Stockdale, a U.S. Navy Desert Storm Veteran, began his career in the armed forces as a steelworker Seabee. He has a history of utilizing his welding expertise, skills and knowledge overseas in places like Japan, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii, Ohio, Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Montana.
The elder Stockdale also owned and operated a manufacturing company in Cambridge, Va., for three years, before moving on to the North Slope of Alaska, 200 miles in the Arctic, to provide welding services.
After some time, he came back to Bonners Ferry in 2015, to teach welding for the agriculture education classes at Bonners Ferry High School; ironically, exactly where his love for welding began.
In addition to his three years of teaching for the high school, Stockdale has also taught welding and fabrication night classes for North Idaho College (NIC) students.
“I have travelled a lot. I am just trying to simplify things now and do some manufacturing and fabrication,” Stockdale said.
Currently, the business offers fabrication, welding, and design to both the public and small businesses.
“We can take any idea like signs, gates, hand railings, whatever,” said Stockdale. “We also offer what a lot of others don’t; we offer field install. So, we will do the shop fabrication and the install in the field too. We do both sides of it.”
Stockdale has several contractor’s licenses which allow him to provide his services in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana, and explained this is how 9B Industrial Welding and Fabrication is able to both fabricate the idea/product and provide the field installation as well.
“So if we need to do a job out of town, and the company wants to use a local fabricator and install, we can do that,” said Stockdale. “We are very well-equipped. We have the latest, greatest, state of the art, CNC Plasma Cutter, and we have a new forklift.”
The Stockdales have a plan for growth, which may happen sooner rather than later.
“We are trying to secure a manufacturing contract with a vendor out of Sandpoint, which would be manufacturing for their products; we do sub-manufacturing for other companies,” Stockdale said.
As of right now, 9B Industrial Welding and Fabrication has a total of four employees. That number is expected to grow with the added contract the company expects to begin work on soon.
Another area of possible growth for the new partnership is in offering certification classes for those aspiring to become certified welders.
“Jeff, the shop foreman, is a CWI certified welding instructor, and I still have my teaching credential through NIC, so I was approached last week about offering a welding program at night, I am highly considering it,” said Stockdale. “To get the public more interested, and quite frankly, I might just find my next best employees.”
“It’s exciting to have my son here,” said Stockdale. “I am confident about our future; there are a lot of big projects coming up for us.”
9B Industrial Welding and Fabrication is located at 510328 Highway 95 in Bonners Ferry, which is which is next to the Montana Shed Center and across from the Three-Mile gas station at Three Mile Corner. They can be reached at 208-818-1292, by email at email@example.com, on the web at: 9b-indus-mech.com and on Facebook at 9B Industrial-Mechanical LLC.