425's fab history
425 Fabrication is a division of 425 Manufacturing, established by Mike and Michelle Thomason. 425 Manufacturing was originally started to support general machining in the greater Rockford area and to produce aftermarket products for drilling machinery. With the exposure received from many community building projects, 425 Manufacturing gained fabrication job after fabrication job. This caused 4FD to be created, servicing aerospace, semi-trucks, retail outlets, and automotive industries. 425 Fab has also began to increase its capabilities with additional Mig Welders, Tig Welders, and A fully mobile welding rig, ready to go at a moments notice.
The entire Thomason family believes in giving back to the community whenever possible. Below you will see the latest of our donations (occurring on 6/7/2019). The Thomason’s love animals, and joined forces with our local pet food shelter, Kibble Korner. Kibble Korner was started to help those in need if they were unable to afford food for their pets. 425 Manufacturing and 425 Fabrication Division were able to donate a total of 2,300 pounds of dog and cat food!
Though this promotion is over now, you can still help out at kibblekorner.com or simply check out our facebook for future promotions!
Mike is the President of 425 Fab Division. His first introduction to machinery was playing submarine commander on the Harding lathe when he was 5 years old. At 8 years old he was making rubber band guns on the band saw and by 14 years old he was working summer vacation drilling tractor pins and turning parts on the Harding that he once had only played on. Mike has a 2-year business degree from Rock Valley College, a private pilots license and over 500 hours of flight time. Mike has designed and personally built multiple website over the years and also really enjoys cool tech like most everyone at 425 Fab. He has been known to pick up a welding torch on occasion and has personally done welding repair on parts and components for over 24 years. Mike has seriously enjoyed flash burn with the best of us. When he was 16, he was welding his first roll cage for a Road Runner at the Rockford Speedway. His older brother explained that it was o.k. to tack weld without a helmet, as long as he was just tacking. After an 8-hour Saturday of welding on the roll cage he woke up at 2 a.m. with his eyes completely swelled shut. The next 24 hours were spent with his eyes bandaged closed. Mike spends most of his time helping to run 425 Manufacturing while Tyler is the driving force behind the direction of 425 Fab division. Mike enjoys working on the marketing side of 425 Fab Division and helping to make 4FD a recognizable name and logo in the Rockford area.
Michelle brings 20+ years of corporate finance experience and an accounting degree to the table at 425 Fab. The last couple years Michelle has been working hands on with our fabrication crew and the expansion of the 425 Fab Division, she has also been personally involved in some of our larger projects. We have enjoyed being able to make a lot our projects bulletproof and sometimes over the top. Michelle is our voice of reason and from the accounting side she helps to balance out some of our decisions. Michelle brings perspectives to projects that a lot of times as machine shop and fab guys we would never have entertained. Also, somebody has to keep a good handle on the purse strings. Michelle loves to foster dogs and there are many times you may find one of her four legged friends in the office at 425 Fab.
Tyler has a background in aviation and has acquired his associates degree in Applied Science with an Aviation Maintenance certification. He has soloed a single engine airplane and is working on his private pilots license. With a background in aviation, Tyler has been fortunate to work on many aviation based, engineering and fabrication projects. Tyler holds a current certification through the American Welding Society. He has also grown up in a machine shop and was able to run machines and learn to weld while most kids were just attending junior high. Tyler has been driving a skid steer since age 11 and wrenching on dirt bikes and four wheeler at a very young age. Starting with Back Racks, Bumpers and Drift Trikes Tyler has turned his passion for building things into a career. These life skills help him to design, build and trouble shoot many of the out of the box scenarios we run into with our complex projects at the 425 Fab. We are also proud to say that Tyler is a first responder with the Stillman Valley Fire Department. Tyler is our primary mobile welder, willing to go on the road to ensure that the fab job is done correctly.
Metal Fabricator and Painter
Joe is definitely not your average Joe. He brings over 20 years of experience in welding, fabrication, automotive painting, automotive repair and agricultural equipment repair.
Joe has worked on his family farm all of his life and brings the versatility of being a farmer to 425 Fab. Unfortunately Joe is only part time, so we take him when his farm will let us have him. He has a wealth of knowledge in dozens of fields and we are still looking for something that Joe hasn't done yet.
Metal Fabricator and Assembler
Mike has 25 years of experience with Mig welding, Tig welding, and Stick welding.
Aly wears as many or more hats than anybody at 425 Fab. Sure, we wouldn't be shipping weldments and finished projects without our engineers and fabricators. However, without a confident office manager chaos can happen quickly. Aly has brought 12 years of customer service to 425 Fab. She works with our customers, machinist, welders, fabricators, shipping department and vendors on a daily basis.
Aly is confident in blue print reading, material specifications, heat treat specifications, routings and keeping all of our product moving smoothly. She is our main source for ensuring that our customers are happy and our deliveries are on time and on budget. With a couple of Huskies at home Aly is also one of our resident dog lovers.
425 Fabrication is on the way to being ISO9001:2015 certified, and Brandon is the engineer driving that train. 425 has always been proud of our quality record and delivery times and much of that is thanks to our vast array of knowledge and calibrated inspection equipment. Quality isn't Brandon's only attribute or the only thing he brings to this company. Coaching hockey for a great number of years has brought leadership and training opportunities to 4FD. A Graduate of Northern Michigan University (NMU), Brandon holds a bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, and an associate’s in Industrial Maintenance. Prior to working at 425 Brandon spent nearly a decade in the Fastener and Aerospace industries. Brandon is no stranger to the welding process as he spent two years as a welding instructor for NMU. With an adopted retriever at home Brandon also enjoys the company of the Thomason’s furry friends around the office.
425 Fabrication Departments resident
Engin-nerd. Working with electronics and technology as a hobby for years, Ryan has taken over many of the technology based improvements, including 3D printing, 3D scanning, and alternate reality for design and sales purposes. While he primarily focuses on the design aspect of our projects, he also has taken on the roll of web designer. A graduate of Rockvalley college with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering. Before joining the 425 team, he worked in the quality department at a manufacturer of HVAC systems for semi's and was an engineer coordinator for a large aerospace company.
Customer Service Representative
425 Fab loves to fill our ranks with a diverse set of backgrounds, and Dena proves that. She comes from 25 years of working experience as an X-Ray technician and continues to work part time in the medical field and part time for us here at 425 Fab. She is the proud mother of 2 daughters, and supports the "Cheer Life" of one daughter and the college life of the other.