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MN Metalworks comes to DL -- Business now on Richwood Road in DL

With an available building at the ready, Minnesota Metalworks, Inc. recently made its way to the lakes area.

Now located in the former Bob's Machine and Manufacturing building along Richwood Road, the 20-plus year production welding company has a Detroit Lakes address and three new owners.

"We closed on the building on April 15 and set up to start moving things over that weekend," said new Minnesota Metalworks co-owner Scruff Johnson.

Johnson, Joe Grones and Jon Mickelson own and operate the recently transplanted production welding company. Johnson and Mickelson also own Chaney's Auto Repair, Inc. in Detroit Lakes.

After making plans to move the business in a manner that would least disrupt production, spring snows added a bit of excitement to company's cross country trek.

"We ended up moving much of it during the last snowstorm," commented Mickelson. "We sure didn't think we would be moving around snow."

Looking to expand, Mickelson said the Chaney's duo was simply searching for another business to branch out into when a friend, Grones, brought his car into the shop one fateful day.

"We got to talking about a business he knew was for sale and the next thing you know, we were becoming part owners in Minnesota Metalworks," he said.

Previously located in Perham, Minnesota Metalworks does powder coating, fabricating and production welding for other companies. Grones said Minnesota Metalworks, Inc. has been around since the 1980s and employs 25. He is also owner of Detroit Lakes' Action Fabricating, Inc.,

"We are all from the area and wanted to find a site here (for Minnesota Metalworks, Inc.). We came across the Bob's building and it really suited our needs -- even had room for growth," remarked Grones.

Mickelson added they are a stand-alone business -- not an offshoot of the former resident's aluminum dock trade.

"We are not a retail business. We mainly do production welding for hydraulic tank companies."

With a new business to learn and subsequently move, Mickelson and Johnson noted an important step in their new business venture was to ready their other business, Chaney's, for their short-term absence.

"We hired a new shop manager and a new service manager to help run things over there so we could get things set up over here at Minnesota Metalworks," explained Mickelson.

On board now at Chaney's are Richard Anderson as service manager and Ken Miosek as shop manager.

"We were looking for a new sideline to broaden our horizons but are definitely keeping Chaney's," added Johnson.

Johnson and Mickelson have owned and operated Chaney's for 17 years. A full service automotive shop, Chaney's Auto Repair does everything from oil changes to front end alignments.

"There is really nothing we don't do at Chaney's. We do it all and will continue to do it all," concluded Johnson.

The newly relocated Minnesota Metalworks is located just north of the KDLM Radio station on Richwood Road.