Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Training Center

Flex-Ability Concepts was recently given the chance to work with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Training Center in Elks Grove Village, Illinois. We thought this was a great opportunity, and we enjoyed partnering with them on this project. This project consisted of creating different curved elements for an open house to show case the carpenters skills. The Carpenters Training Center offers carpenters hands-on classroom training with qualified instructors and on-the-job training as part of their apprenticeship program. Every class has the opportunity to work with different products; it helps to prepare students for what the work environment has to challenge them with.

Al Jotautas first saw the family of Flex-Ability Concepts products at an open house that was held at the Carpenters Training Center. He was impressed with what he saw and decided to integrate Flex-C Trac products into one of the classes that the school offers. The Carpenters Training Center recently completed a project on their campus that used approximately 820 feet of Flex-C Trac and Flex-C Angle; creating groin vaults, an inverted dome, and soffits in the in the ceiling of their campus building. “We loved giving the students the opportunity to use our product and be creative with it.” Al said.

The Carpenters Training Centers also offers night and weekend courses so carpenters can be current in their training and understand how to use products, like Flex-C Trac. The course demonstrates some of the different uses for Flex-C Trac in the real world; such as dome, groin vault, serpentine ceilings, radius walls and soffit framing. “We think that continuing education is great and that you can never learn too much” said Rachael Fieldsend of Flex-Ability Concepts.



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Three Legged Dog

The Three Legged Dog is a new and innovative clip that is used in deflection. It is now offered in several different sizes including 1-5/8”, 2 ½”, 3-5/8”, 6”, 8”, and 10”. The Three legged Dog offers 1-3/4 inch of deflection in every size except the 1-5/8” which offers 1 ½” of deflection. The design of the clip reduces the risk of the clip being dropped and fumbled during the installation process. This is because the clip slides over the top of the stud as you lift the stud into place. They won’t fall off as you install them as all other clips can do in this process.

The Three Legged Dog is installed positively in three easy steps. First, slide the Three Legged Dog onto the end of the stud. Second, with the clip on the top end raise the stud into the deep-leg track and snap it into place. And third, secure the Three Legged Dog inside the top track using conventional fasteners. In this step be careful not to tighten the fastener too tight, this would prevent movement. A positive attachment is not always necessary, sometimes a friction fit is enough. The Three Legged Dog can be installed either way.

The Three Legged Dog clip can be purchased from various distributors across the country, to find the closest distributor to you visit our website, or click on this link The link will take you to a map that lists our sales reps and their contact information; they will then direct you to the distributor closest to you. You can also call our office, 866-443-FLEX(3539), with any questions you might have.



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New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year to our blog readers!  I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy 2014. It is a common tradition for most people to set some kind of New Years Resolution. Some of the common resolutions are to lose weight, find a better job, save money, or some variation of these. I want to challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to your resolution.

My New Years resolution is to write blog postings. I have been the marketing intern at Flex-Ability Concepts for a little over 8 months now I want to venture out into the blogging world. This is a big step for me as I am still learning about the company, our products, and all the things they can be used for. But I am willing to take a leap of faith and put my creativity to the test!

I want to challenge you to choose a resolution out of the ordinary, to be more creative. When you are brainstorming about your upcoming building projects for the year to come, whether they are on a small residential scale, or a large commercial scale, I want you to think BIG! Strive to think outside of the box, push your creativity to the limits. Your ideas might not always be feasible, or turnout the way you plan, but that’s part of dreaming big.

I will end my first official blog post now by asking you to accept my suggestion for your New Years Resolution, put on your thinking caps and start being creative!



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Almost Infinite

We’ve come out with a new twist, a new curve, on an old familiar product, that you’re going to love!  That is, when you have a need for it, this new version will save you a lot of heartache.  We’ve tooled up to be able to make Flex-C Arch in just about any width you could need!

 Suppose that accent archway needs to be 24” or perhaps 22 5/16 inches.  Before now, that could be a real dilemma and signal the resurrection of your former wood-butcher skills to try and make it look right.

 Or think of all those curved soffits you’ve built, with all those little uprights to cut and install plumb and perpendicular.  Hard to spell, even harder to build!  Now just close your eyes and imagine how easy it will be next time to order the proper width Flex-C Arch, lay it on its side and run it around the room attached to kickers, and cover it with drywall.  Valium ain’t got nothing on us when it comes to relieving stress!

 What widths can we make?  An almost infinite number of possibilities!  I guess that‘s like saying “almost perfect” or “almost exactly”, but we really can make any width that you’ll ever have a need for.

 Pricing will depend on the width needed and how many you order.  Since it’s a custom size, made just for you, it’ll take 2-3 weeks max. to ship it.  But remember how relaxed you’ll be, just knowing that this perfectly fitting custom product is coming to you, hot off the press, for your installing pleasure!  It doesn’t get much easier than this.

Let your mind sail, “To Infinity and Beyond”, with all the things you’ll be free to focus on, now that this problem has been solved for you!


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Mum’s Not the Word!

How many times have you seen a product, specifically a building product, and thought, “That’s good, but if only they’d do this or that, it would sure work better!”, but instead of saying something, you are polite and say, “That’s great!  Looks Good!’?.  Years ago at a trade show, a framer walked up to our booth and said, “If you’d make that Flex-C Trac with only one leg, an Angle version, we’d sure use a lot of it!”

Thanks to his boldness to speak out, all metal stud framers are benefiting when they do a curved soffit job.    We’ve had the Flex-C Angle available now for over ten years, and it saves so much time on the outside corners where two components on a curve meet at a ninety degree angle.  Soffits, clouds, signs, most any application where you’re building a curvy structure that’s wider than one of our standard Flex-C Trac sizes, Flex-C Angle can tie up your perpendicular, loose ends!  We even have it in a sixteen gauge version for when you’re doing those outdoor curved soffits, like over a business entrance, and need the heavier framing.

Aren’t you glad that lone framer took time to point out the obvious to me.  Sometimes the best ideas are the most obvious, right under our noses, but we just fail to smell them. We’re not discussing whether framers smell good or not, but we know that since you do this every hour of every day, you have a lot of insights and you’ll “smell” a lot of things that we just stumble over.

So, somewhere out there, this unnamed framer, who benefited us all, is still walking around anonymous, unknown.  Perhaps it was you, Mr. Framer, reading this, who gave me that suggestion.  If so, Thanks from us all!  If not, feel free to speak up—call us and point out that obvious thing that would make your job so much easier, like Flex-C Angle.



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Could I Please You With A Piece of Pie?

We are talking to more and more of you about the reality of building domes using our Flex-C Trac and our Dome Calculator.  If you haven’t seen our Dome Calculator, it’s on our website and if I do say so myself, it is pretty amazing.  There is a link to the Dome Calculator at the bottom of this post.  You can just type in the size of dome you’d like to frame, and which Flex-C Trac you’d like to use, and voila, it tells you everything you need to know about the dome.

 But, as devastatingly amazing as this Calculator is, that’s not what this blog is about!  When you get into building a dome, and you’re getting ready to cover the outside or inside with plywood or sheetrock, or whatever, your first inkling will be to cut those pieces just as pie shapes, expecting them to just slap right on there and make a beautifully sheathed dome.

Well, just to save you a tall pile of improperly cut pie pieces, those pie pieces are not true pie shaped wedges.  Unless you’re eating a chocolate cream pie or maybe coconut custard, in which case that’s just what it will look like, fat, bulging, pie shapes.  They are wider in the middle.  If you cut the sides straight, you’ll have little gaps between each triangle, and worst of all, you won’t get as much overlap on your studs through which to screw.  You’ll want every bit of overlap to be sure your screws get a good bite in both the skin, whether it’s plywood or gyp board, and the Flex-C Trac.

 So, how do you find this elusive bulging shape? I wouldn’t have brought it up if I didn’t have a great solution!  We have full-scale templates we can sell you, as part of one of our “Dome Kits” that show you how to cut your pie so that it fits like a glove.  Pie fitting like a glove– some of the un-initiated would say that makes no sense.  Anyway, I just wanted to try to save you some heartache and money, in case you hadn’t stopped to ponder the true shape of the skin segments on a dome.

 We’re excited to hear of all those domes being framed with Flex-C Trac!  Makes us feel good that we’re being successful in our mission, helping you to get your work done easier and better, using Flex-C Trac!  Frame on!!


Dome Calculator Link:

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Domes Made Easy

If you’re ever in the crosshairs of an architect, who expects you to frame up and sheetrock a dome, but doesn’t really know how he wants it made, we may be able to help you get off to a good start! Now, you could order a premade fiberglass dome, but you’d have to wait for it and worst of all, pay for it from your bid. Besides, if you need the work, why hand off your potential income to someone else?
We’ve got a new “Dome” section on our website that can really help you figure the materials needed to frame a dome using Flex-C Trac and help you decide if you’re up to the challenge of the dome. We’ve broken it down into the different aspects and if you have time, we’ve got three videos, parts 1, 2 and 3 which show how to frame a dome, step by step.
I’ll cover some of the amazing sections and helps we’ve made available in of our “Dome” section in later posts, but I just wanted you to know that when you flip over that huge 2’ by 3’ page and see that dome shape in the blueprints, that we’re here to help! We have given you the tools necessary to create a dome in a simpler way. With your hard work and our products; you can frame anything architects throw at you! Enjoy it for all it’s worth!

Happy dome framing,

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