Metal fabricator leaves inventive mark on N.E Iowa

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Rodamaker's biggest challenge thus far was this four-level, open, single-center support staircase that was built and installed in a private residence. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Local metal artist Stan Rodamaker, proprietor of  S.R. Custom Metal Railing, has been in the business of bending and shaping metal into creative, decorative, functional structures since 2009 

"I worked on a few projects before 2009, received positive feedback, ran an ad, sent out some flyers, and did $20,000 dollars of work in three months! It's been non-stop ever since," said Rodamaker.  

S.R. Custom Metal Railing, located in Northeast Iowa, is a premier fabricator of custom built metal railings for homes or business. Rodamaker's personalized service offers customers a unique design built to individual specifications. An investment in a steel, aluminum or stainless steel custom metal, painted or powder- coated railing will add a lifetime of beauty and safety (OSHA) approved, with virtually no maintenance.  

Rodamaker's business started out small and has grown exponentially throughout the years. "I eventually hired Boniface Brothers out of La Motte to build a larger space," he commented.

Emily Yaddoff, former Guttenberg Community Vitality Director, enlisted Rodamaker's talent and ingenuity to design and build fish-shaped bike racks to position throughout the community — a project funded through the Guttenberg Rotary Club and inspired by the City's Bike Audit Committee. "Emily sent me the photos and we worked together to come up with something that looked suitable within their price range," commented Rodamaker 

The busy metal fabricator, who is also employed full-time at John Deere in Dubuque as a forklift operator, described the design process. "I do most of the designing myself," he explained. "Some people send pictures and inquire about the cost, which is nice. Some customers have no idea what they want it to look like – those are the toughest." 

Rodamaker has developed a working relationship with several contractors – locally and in Dubuque. "My biggest challenge was a four-level, open, single-center support staircase in a private residence," he described. "The staircase started in the basement and ran all the way up to the top floor. I built the steel stairs and the contractor covered the stairs with wood and inserted LED light in front of each step, running the wiring down through the stairs. I designed and built the railing that included framed glass panels topped off with a wood railing. It was quite an undertaking. It was frustrating trying to figure out the design and there was a lot of machine work." 

Rodamaker works with former Guttenberg resident Jay Evers for all his powder-coating needs. "There is nobody better than Jay," he commented. "He is the only one I trust. His work is under warranty and the quality and price is very compatible. Nobody has ever called back with any complaints since I started using Jay as my powder coater." 

A sleek, clean, more-open look has gained popularity in recent years. "I have pulled out several wooden stair railings, and replaced them with metal," he noted. "It's the look that is currently trending in existing homes and new construction. It's also less expensive," he said. 

Rodamaker, who has always excelled in math and had a passion for art, has found the perfect niche to utilize his talents. "I typically assemble a job in my shop and then transport it to the job site, so things have to measure up correctly in order for everything to fit perfectly. Fitting everything together and coming up with a design that complements the home or business and is pleasing to the eye makes everyone happy – including myself."

For additional information contact S.R. Custom Metal Railing at or or 563-252-3349.

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