Jason Beamish was a talented aluminum welder for a local company that specialized in building and modifying pontoon-style boats. He was involved in the engineering and design of these boats and even designed one of the first in-tube pontoon step systems. Jason also had a passion for building go-karts, dune buggies, and general welding and fabrication, which he had been doing since he was a child.
However, the company Jason worked for had some financial difficulties, which eventually led to him being laid off. After much thought, Jason decided to start his own company while still assisting at the welding shop. He realized that there was a local need for mobile welding services and began purchasing equipment to start his own business. He made flyers, created a Facebook page, and did everything he could to acquire new customers. Though he had some success, jobs were few and far between.
One day, Jason stumbled across Nut and Bolt style art on Facebook and decided to try it out for fun. He created a nut and bolt style chopper and posted it on his personal Facebook page on his personal Facebook page.
People loved it and started suggesting other things for him to make, such as dogs, cats, cars, snowmobiles, etc. With a lot of free time on his hands while trying to build his mobile welding business, Jason kept working on different art projects, which helped him hone his fine TIG welding skills. At the time, he had no intention of selling his artwork.
A local person who worked at a commission gift shop saw Jason's artwork and suggested he sell it in the store. Jason laughed it off but decided to bring in a box of his items anyway. Six months later, he received a phone call asking if he had more artwork and if he was going to pick up his money. Jason was amazed and immediately started creating more art, honing his skills, and receiving requests for commissioned pieces. The local newspaper even contacted him to do an article on his work, which was an exciting time for him.
Jason's mobile welding business eventually turned into general repair and fabrication work out of his home garage. The owner of a local business, Portside Convenience Store, approached Jason about creating a giant fish nut and bolt sculpture. They talked, made a deal, and five months later, they installed the sculpture, which is now widely known in the area as "Zilla".
Zilla is a local attraction Located at Johnson's Portside in Isle MN. Here is a close up of some of the detail during construction. Close up of Zilla Here is another write up by the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council.
Here is an award winning Corvette with a Beamish Metal Works custom grill:
While still welding and fabricating, doing repairs, making custom parts for custom cars, and trying to develop products to sell, Jason realized he could not keep cutting designs out by hand. He couldn't afford a CNC machine, so he researched and decided to build one himself. Over the course of a year, he slowly bought all the parts he needed and started assembling the machine. It was a long and difficult process, but he got it done. From there, the rest is history.
Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment. Jason would love to hear your opinion. Stay tuned for Part 2!