November 14, 2018
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Lost Art

Metalworker builds business from small garage to shipping worldwide
Aaron Vogler works with his team, Colin Hildenbrand and Justin Foster, to produce and sell range hoods and much more.

Thirty-five-year-old Aaron Vogler’s hands tell the story behind the work he does. Stained with grease and wearing dirt, they illustrate how the Haubstadt, Indiana, resident took a leap of faith and turned his small business located in a 900-square-foot garage into a niche shipping range hoods all over the world.

Vogler, a Jasper, Indiana, native, graduated from Jasper High School and studied at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, before enrolling in the Air National Guard. After completing boot camp, he moved back to Jasper. He worked in architectural restoration and finished his schooling at the University of Southern Indiana while studying history and art.

Vogler says he felt like his life hit a standstill and decided it was time for a change. He moved to Haubstadt where his uncle lives, bought a house, and within eight months, he “took a gamble and started a business.”

In 2007, Vogler Copperworks was born and its creator saved for about five years until July 2012 when he purchased a 13,000-square-foot space located at 1944 E. 1200 S. in Haubstadt. As the business grew, its name was changed to Vogler Metalwork & Design as he expanded his business from primarily copper designs to handcrafted metalwork of all kinds. He produces and sells range hoods, fireplace hoods, countertops, sinks, ladders, tables, and more.

“I cranked away for about five years and saved some money,” says Vogler. “I bought this building at auction and have been filling it up with equipment ever since. I am trying to build a team right now. It’s been a crazy ride. I have been running for the past five years to get to this point.”

The process of creating these pieces starts with a phone call or meeting where Vogler consults with the client. He then makes his recommendations while hand sketching.

Next, Graphic Designer/Drafting Engineer Colin Hildenbrand takes the concept and turns it into a 3-D drawing using computer-aided design or CAD, which allows Vogler and his assistant Justin Foster to start building and cutting. They combine traditional and modern techniques to fabricate the project and then sand, polish, burnish, and seal the metals.

“Going from the house in Haubstadt to here, I didn’t have these computers or all this fancy stuff,” says Vogler, who later gravitated toward technology for efficiency. “I know how to do the old sheet metal stuff. It’s kind of a lost art. A lot of guys who do this as a trade don’t even know that kind of stuff.”

For more information about Vogler Metalwork & Design, call 812-615-0042 or visit voglermetaldesign.com.

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