Unique art is talent of Our Town family business

By Anna Carrera

Published 08/07 2014 12:41PM

Updated 08/08 2014 05:50PM

Update: 5:20 pm, 8/8/14, Friday
WESTVILLE -- There's a business in Our Town which is truly a family affair. Frank Gabehart joins us from Klondike Metal.
Original: 5:50 pm, 8/7/14, Thursday
WESTVILLE -- You can see things made by a Vermilion County family all over Our Town. Frank Gabehart, Sr., came up with the idea in 2000. They cut giant sheets of metal, turning them into art. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera discovers the business called Klondike Metal.

The Gabehart's live on the north side of Westville, which was known as "Klondike" back in the day. It was a pretty rough part of town then. But that reputation is getting smoothed over like the edges of the signs they make in the garage.

The personal touches are what make a house a home and you'll find plenty of those at the Gabehart's.

"Each piece is custom, so each person has their own individual take on it," said Frankie Gabehart, Jr. 

Frank Gabehart, Sr., was the first to try his hand at molding metal.

"People saw that and would like to have a deer or a bear or an elk and I'll see if I can cut one up for you," said Frank. "So, I was doing it by hand."

"We started out," said Frankie, Jr. "We'd take a 4x8 sheet and put it up on the side of the garage and take an overhead projector, then we'd trace it and we'd have to lay it back down and put white paint on there so you could see the white paint to cut it. Now, you just lay it on there the computer cuts it."

As you might have guessed, Frankie is Frank's son. There are a few others who pitch in with the family business.

"I give them a choice, most of the time," said Frank, Sr. "They're all involved in it somehow. My granddaughter helps clean up the shop. It's a family-type thing and I like to include everyone in the family in it."

Like many other things in life, the beauty is in the details; all parts of a bigger picture, cut in metal and made with care. The Gabehart's have shipped their designs around the country and to other parts of the world.

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