Fabricating Success from Humble Beginnings

J & J Burning and Fabricating Company 1958

J & J Burning and Fabricating Company 1958

In May of 1958, John Farrar opened the doors at J & J Burning Company with one burner, one welder and 4,000 square feet of steel fabricating space. John focused on sales and recruited his younger brother, Charles, to manage the manufacturing operations. A year later, Charles assumed primary ownership. His sons, Tim and Gary, took over day to day management of the company in 1992; but, with his example of persistence, integrity and dignity, Charles continued to play a pivotal role in J & J’s success until his death in 2009.

Today, Tim and Gary continue as owners, guiding J & J through the ups and downs of the American manufacturing industry in the new millennium. During their tenure, sales grew to over $10 million a year and the customer base expanded to cover all of the continental United States. They have also intelligently invested in equipment, technology and people to pave the way for the third generation. Tim’s son, Michael Farrar, is currently the Operations Manager. Michael grew up around J & J and is as committed to its future as was his Grandfather.

What started as a very small shop has evolved into one of the largest steel fabricators in the industry, with 65,000 square feet of prime manufacturing space. Over 58 years, we have had many great achievements. We have built steel fabrications as heavy as 140,000#. We have shipped assembly parts as far away as Israel. We have assisted in the creation of sculptures displayed throughout the Metro Detroit area. We have even dabbled in making furniture and playground equipment. We are proud of our success and know that with the help of all of our dedicated, hard-working employees, we will continue to manufacture quality parts at reasonable prices, just as John and Charles envisioned so long ago.

Sculpture fabricated by J & J for K Mart world headquarters in the 1980's

Sculpture fabricated by J & J for K Mart world headquarters in the 1980’s

Steel sculpture fabricated by J & J

Steel sculpture fabricated by J & J

To see more photos, go to www.jjburning.com

In memory of Charles Farrar 1927-2009

In memory of Charles Farrar 1927-2009

Gary Farrar, Michael Farrar, Cathleen Farrar Stief and Tim Farrar

Gary Farrar, Michael Farrar, Cathleen Farrar Stief and Tim Farrar

Steel Fabrications for Aerospace and Military

J & J is manufacturing four large steel fabrications for a Rotary Friction Welding Machine that will be used in building critical engine components for the United States military.

Rotary friction welding is a process in which one part is turned at a high rate of speed and is forced against another part that is held stationary. The resulting friction heats the parts to a temperature at which they forge together. This advanced welding technique produces a stronger bond than conventional welding. It also creates a significant cost savings because two different metals can be welded together, allowing for the more expensive metals to only be used in critical areas rather than throughout the entire component. Additionally, rotary friction welding is quick, inexpensive, does not require any consumables, and due to its solid-state nature, allows the parts being joined to retain properties close to those of the parent materials.

The fabrications that J & J is building include a base and base extension, along with right and left hand platens. Three of the four parts weigh over 100,000 pounds, with the largest one at 140,000 pounds. In total, these four components will require over 2,000 labor hours to complete. The capacity to handle parts of this mammoth size sets us apart from other steel fabricators. Our competitive edge lies in our advanced equipment and experienced work force. Only a very few metal fabricators in the United States are able to complete a project of this size and complexity.

All of the parts are in-process at this time, with expected completion dates in April and May.

In the first two photos, you see the 112,000# base that measures 54” x 110” and 241”.

Photos 3 and 4 are the side and top views of the right hand platen that is 54” x 136” x 137”.

The last photo shows the larger of the two platens in its early stages. It will be 64” x 134” x 136”.

steel fabrication for US Military

112,000 pound steel base

Welding a heavy steel base

Welding of a heavy steel base

Steel Plate Platen

Top View of Platen

Steel Plate Fabrication

Side View of Platen

Platen steel fabrication for the military

In-Process Steel Weldment

Welding Large Steel Fabrications

Welders at J & J Burning and Fabricating have been busy lately with several intense jobs for industries such as Mining, Aerospace and Plastics. In this photo, we are working on a Ramp Frame for the Mining Industry that requires 175 hours of welding.

Welding of a steel fabrication for the Mining Industry
To learn more about our capabilities, please go to www.jjburning.com.

The welding process, in various forms, has been around since ancient times. The following is a brief history of welding from the Middle Ages through the 19th Century found at www.weldinginfocenter.com:

History of Welding
Middle Ages
Welding can trace its historic development back to ancient times. The earliest examples come from the Bronze Age. Small gold circular boxes were made by pressure welding lap joints together. It is estimated that these boxes were made more than 2000 years ago. During the Iron Age the Egyptians and people in the eastern Mediterranean area learned to weld pieces of iron together. Many tools were found which were made approximately 1000 B.C.

During the Middle Ages, the art of blacksmithing was developed and many items of iron were produced which were welded by hammering. It was not until the 19th century that welding, as we know it today was invented.


Edmund Davy of England is credited with the discovery of acetylene in 1836. The production of an arc between two carbon electrodes using a battery is credited to Sir Humphry Davy in 1800. In the mid-nineteenth century, the electric generator was invented and arc lighting became popular. During the late 1800s, gas welding and cutting was developed. Arc welding with the carbon arc and metal arc was developed and resistance welding became a practical joining process.


Auguste De Meritens, working in the Cabot Laboratory in France, used the heat of an arc for joining lead plates for storage batteries in the year 1881. It was his pupil, a Russian, Nikolai N. Benardos, working in the French laboratory, who was granted a patent for welding. He, with a fellow Russian, Stanislaus Olszewski, secured a British patent in 1885 and an American patent in 1887. The patents show an early electrode holder. This was the beginning of carbon arc welding. Bernardos’ efforts were restricted to carbon arc welding, although he was able to weld iron as well as lead. Carbon arc welding became popular during the late 1890s and early 1900s.


In 1890, C.L. Coffin of Detroit was awarded the first U.S. patent for an arc welding process using a metal electrode. This was the first record of the metal melted from the electrode carried across the arc to deposit filler metal in the joint to make a weld. About the same time, N.G. Slavianoff, a Russian, presented the same idea of transferring metal across an arc, but to cast metal in a mold.

SOURCE: Hobart Institute of Welding Technology