Local Welding Business Turns 25
Dave Lambright, owner of Dalam Welding in Topeka, Indiana, says he has had many loyal customers since his business began in 1995.
“We have had a lot of repeat customers, and that has really helped the business,” Lambright says. “People keep coming back. We now have nine employees.”
Lambright says he previously worked in the recreational vehicle industry.
“I worked as an electrician for Forest River for 16 years,” Lambright says. “I learned welding when I was 13 years old.”
Lambright learned how to weld from his father Alvin.
“My dad had a small engine repair shop for 39 years,” Lambright says. “He had a welder that would fabricate motor mounts on a hay bailer. Dad’s business was called Lambright Engine Service, and he sold it about eight to ten years ago. We did a lot of good work there.”
Lambright says Dalam Welding enjoys repeat business from farmers, as well as individuals who live on or near lakes.
“We have a welder shop at our residence,” Lambright says. “There are quite a lot of lakes near our shop, so that really helps business. People need parts for their boats and engines – things they need to fix.”
Positive word of mouth has also benefited Dalam Welding.
“We get a lot of referrals from people that are happy with our work,” Lambright says. “We do welding work on pontoons, boat lifts, docks and piers. We work on the hinges of the pontoons, and work on hay bail conveyers. We also repair boats, work on chicken tractors, and make construction scaffolding.”
Dalam Welding also sells a wide variety of parts in the company shop.
“We sell stainless steel bolts, nuts, hinges and latches,” Lambright says. “We also sell V-belts, bearings, sprockets, pins and trailer hitch couplers.”
Lambright notes that business this year has been particularly strong.
“I don’t know if COVID-19 has had a lot to do with it, but we have had a lot more new customers from different places,” Lambright says. “There are a lot of customers finding out about us. I think people are wanting to visit rural areas, and we have had a lot more walk-in customers than we have ever had before. We also get a lot of customers from Huntington and Warsaw, Indiana. I’ve talked to other business owners around here, and they have said they have been swamped with business.”
Lambright’s family helps him in operating the business.
“My wife Marilyn does the accounting, taxes and paperwork,” Lambright says. “My sons, Karl, 19, and Lavon, 17, help me with the welding and the business. My daughter Malinda, 14, works with the shop’s parts, does the pricing of the parts, and handles the shipping. My daughter LouAnn, 11, works with the shop’s ring rollers. She gets up at 6 a.m. to do that work.”
Lambright is proud of the work Dalam Welding has done for construction scaffolding.
“We have received a lot of positive words from construction people that like our scaffolding,” he says. “I also have heard people say a lot of nice things about the attic stairs we do. We build pull-down attic stairs for garages. They are for a 12-foot ceiling height, and are walk-up stairs. They are self contained, and they have been very popular.”
Lambright says he loves Topeka and its residents.
“I like the fact that you can go uptown in a horse and buggy, and after you get there everything is easy to get to,” he says. “You can walk up to all of the stores. There are a lot of friendly people, and it’s great. I really like it.”
Lambright notes that city leaders in Elkhart have been kind and supportive of his business.
“We built a barge to clean the north branch of the Elkhart River,” Lambright says. “We picked up some logs and cut them up. The lake association here has liked our work, and has asked us to keep doing it.”
Dalam Welding is located at 7665 South 200 West in Topeka. For more information, call them at 260-768-8199.