The Devil Stole the Details

Precision drawings make the real thing a sure bet.

There are many gradients of quality in the metal fabrication business. We’ll label the major categories of quality as poor, commercially acceptable and precision. The big money is always on precision quality.


Manufacturing a part to exact engineering specifications always requires a complete set of shop drawings, no exceptions!  The draftsmen who prepare these precise, detailed drawings are called detailers and for good reason. For any component to fit and function properly it must be created three times:  at conception, at engineering & design and at the manufacturing stage the real physical part. The engineering drawings make their physical manifestations buildable. Precisely detailed drawings are the second creations that assure the real solid things work.

When taken literally, The devil is in the details is just plain wrong!  On the contrary, the added value and profit are in the details!  The phrase really means that the devil shows up when the details are missing from the fabrication specs.  All hell can break loose on the shop floor or worse, at the client site, when fabricators attempt to push a job with insufficient drawings through the shop.

Detailing, not to be confused with expensive car cleaning, is a step in the quality fabrication process that provides shop techs the precise virtual model (detailed shop drawings) to fabricate a part and/or build an assembly. When the fabricator can say Oh yeah, now I see exactly what you want me to make! The project moves forward with alacrity.

Today’s CAD and 3D rendering software is amazing. It enables architects, engineers and product designers to visually create things with striking accuracy to their real world equivalents.


The best detailers provide drawings and renderings that enable fabricators to see the desired end result and do their jobs effectively. For clients and OEMs, this means they’ll have prototypes that prove concepts. Their finished products will please the marketplace with exceptional quality and performance.

Quality has a cost. Detailing is a cost of doing business in the metal fabrication world. The higher the quality (the more precisely detailed) the drawings are for your project, the higher the quality of the finished product. Most will agree that poor quality is off the table, commercially acceptable quality is skating on thin ice, and precision quality is always the objective. Precision quality requires precise details.

Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company is always happy to review your designs and shop drawings at any stage in the process. We can advise you of the feasibility and costs associated with taking your project to the next stage in manufacturing.  Please feel free to call or email us if you have any questions:  (603) 889-2600

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What do you need to know?

The goal of this newsletter is to bring informative and helpful ideas about metal work to our customers and the metalworking industries. We wanted our first issue to reintroduce our brand and business philosophy. Metalwork Mettle is designed with you in mind. We promise to bring you information you can use on a regular basis. Feel free to contact us and share your ideas. (603) 889-2600 [email protected]