In 2017, a US investigation into Chinese trade policies was opened. This investigation resulted in tariffs being imposed on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese products last year, an action that garnered a comparable retaliation from Beijing. After months of rising tensions, both countries agreed to halt new trade tariffs in December to allow for negotiations. Despite an initially positive outlook, the tension has risen even higher with the US having more than doubled tariffs on 200 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese products. Beijing responded in kind just three days later with tariff hikes on 60 billion dollars’ worth of US goods.
The tariffs imposed on Chinese goods should, in theory, make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and encourage consumers to buy American.
What exactly are the tariffs in place?
Last year, the US imposed three rounds of tariffs on upwards of 250 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods. They cover a wide range of industrial and consumer items. Beijing retaliated with tariffs on 10 billion dollars of US goods and accused the US of starting "the largest trade war in economic history". China has targeted products including chemicals, coal and medical equipment with duties that range from 5% to 25%. They have also targeted products made in US districts with strong support for the Republicans, and goods that can be purchased elsewhere, such as soybeans.
Rare Earth Metals and Why They’re Important in the Trade War:
Rare earth metals are a group of 17 elements commonly used in production in many industries, including renewable energy technology, oil processing, and electronics. Despite the title of "rare", they are abundant in the Earth's crust, according to the US Geological Survey. However, due to difficult extraction and potential environmental consequences of processing these metals, there are relatively few places in the world that mine or produce them. One country makes up more than 70% of the world’s global output for rare earth metals: China.
This past week, the editor of Chinese state-run Global Times tweeted, "China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US.” This would not be the first instance of China restricting its rare earth metal exports. As recently as 2010, they did it against Japan, over a territorial dispute. The US is somewhat reliant on importing rare earth metals from China, as other countries simply do not produce or process the quantities needed by the US. About 80% of the US’ rare earth metal imports come from China. Domestic mining doesn’t appear to be a viable option either as the one rare earth mine operating in the United States sends its ore to China for processing - and is already facing a 25% import tariff. Creating Enough domestic mines and processing facilities will take many years and will not help in the short term. The restriction of exports to the United States, if enforced, could have a major impact on major US industries (worth trillions of dollars) that rely on rare earth metals.
Several governing specifications exist for a wide variety of industrial steel flanges, and each have their own suitability for our customers’ applications. Here at Texas Flange, our most popular product lines include ASME/ANSI flanges, API flanges, AWWA flanges, and DIN flanges. Lets dive a bit deeper below.
ANSI/ASME flanges – B16.5 and B16.47
The current ANSI/ASME flange specifications of B16.5 and B16.47 trace their roots to the old B16.1 specification from decades past, which consisted primarily of cast iron. This specification in turn was developed from the original AESC/ASA committee B16 in the 1920s. These modern specifications are the result of countless hours of engineering and design to form a standard which could be utilized worldwide. Our most commonly requested flange specification, ANSI/ASME flanges continue to be the most widely used type of steel flange across various industries. The pressure vessel and fabrication sectors use these in abundance in their pressurized applications to retain and transport air, water, and a variety of other chemicals. Often found in refineries, ANSI/ASME flanges are a critical component in their infrastructure, and are primarily used to connect piping, valves, and other fittings which compose the bulk of a piping assembly. The 150# class of steel flanges is the most popular for low pressure and vacuum applications, as the design has proven to be effective in applications which require an occasional fluctuation in the temperature and pressure of the environment.
API flanges – 6B and 6BX
A standard developed for the American Petroleum Institute, the API 6A specification shares many characteristics with ANSI/ASME flanges. They are dimensionally similar, however their minimal design requirements for operating pressure begin in the 2000# class, which is derived from the ASME/ANSI 600# class. Certain jobs require the use of pressure classes as high as the 6BX 25000#, though this is much less common than the typical 6B range of 5000# and below. All API flanges require ring type joint facings with the proper gaskets for optimal integrity of their application. This higher-pressure base requirement is due to their overwhelmingly popular use in petrochemical / oilfield applications of a volatile nature. Upstream assemblies with API flanges consist of wellheads, drilling equipment, and much more. The downstream sectors of refinery and processing also require these flanges for the development of crude oil into products for the everyday consumer.
AWWA flanges – C207
A specification designed for generally lower pressure applications (300 psi or less), American Water Works Association flanges are the exact opposite of the API flanges and can be found in a variety of assemblies in which temperature is ambient and media is not corrosive. In most cases, this is simply for the transportation of well water and waste water. AWWA C207 steel flanges are usually of a mild carbon steel or stainless variant and are most often either of the ring slip on or blind disc style. Due to their intended design, they do not have ring joint or raised faces, and are typically sealed with rubber gaskets. Due to their cost and weight compared to other flange types, they are also becoming more popular with project work for structural steel types which require mating or filling a gap between existing flanges.
Across the pond, you will find the Deutsches Institute fur Normung (DIN) flange specification, consisting of a variety of European styles which have been unified into one code for the purpose of commonality. Although much less common than ANSI/ASME steel flanges in the United States, many of our international customers request flanges to these specifications for a variety of applications such as imported steel vessels, cargo ships, and other infrastructure which may consist of metric pipes/valves and European designed equipment. The subset flanges under the DIN standard consist of the same style of flanges in the United States, including the most commonly used slip on flanges, weld neck, flanges, and blind flanges. Adapter flanges can be custom made to end user requirements for the mating of American flanges to international ones, however we find it is a much more common and easy solution to provide DIN flanges to mate to existing equipment.
In January we talked about the record high United States oil production reached in 2018, with some speculation on oil production moving into 2020. Now with the first two months on 2019 almost under our belt, it is looking like the U.S. oil production shows little to no signs of slowing down and may have been underestimated…
Based on 11 months of data from 2018 we are seeing an overall increase in oil demand, 0.56 mb/d year over year. Even though the demand for jet kerosene and jet fuel dropped last year, the slack was picked up by an increase in demand from the petrochemical and industrial sectors driving into a net positive U.S. demand for the year. 2019 is expected to still show growth, however, it is expected to be less than the previous few years.
We saw January’s predictions for the U.S. at 12.1 mb/d by the end of 2019 and 12.9 mb/d by 2020, while the February predictions have already been increased to 12.4 mb/d and 13.2 mb/d respectively. This ultimately will bring great economic gains to the plays/basins situated around the U.S. as well as to the other industries supporting their growth, such as valve / flange manufacturers, new opportunities for pipe fitters to fuse a Weld neck flange and a pipe, or to the local stores who welcome the increased customer traffic and revenues. However, with such rapid industrial growth strain has been put on the local infrastructure and governing officials as they try to catch up.
Possible reasons for the underestimation of oil production in the U.S. may be due to the lowering cost of technology paired with greater operational efficiency than expected, but with such a complex beast it is hard to pinpoint any one explanation. With so many changes so quickly in the industry, it can be hard to accurately predict U.S. oil growth, but the EIA has consistently been updating forecast models and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to close the gap between what is predicted and reality.
As new data presents itself, be on the lookout for a potential up/downticks in U.S. production/demand but currently, it looks like we are in a positive trajectory and will keep ramping up production for the foreseeable future. Globally speaking, this could have a long-term negative effect on the price per barrel. OPEC and Russia are working together to stabilize supply/demand by reducing production for the first 6 months of 2019 by approximately 1.2 mb/d collectively. This action has helped stabilize the price per barrel for now, but if the United States fills the vacuum left over and/or destabilizes the supply and demand of the industry we could be in for a rude awakening.
Check out our March Update!
In this day and age, we use metals in nearly every aspect of our lives, and it is hard to imagine a time without their impact on our society. We use them for anything from industrial piping and flanges, general manufacturing, electrical components, all the way down to our use of sodium in our food. (YES, SODIUM Chloride = Salt, contains a soft, silvery White metal called Sodium.) It can be an odd feeling when you realize metals have impregnated themselves in almost every part of our lives.
So where did all these different metals come from? What are they ultimately made from? Simply put, all elements (Not just metals) came from the complex processes that make up the life cycle of a star, and ultimately, they are nothing but a conglomerate of general atomic materials: Electrons, Neutrons and Protons. Elements are distinguishable by the number of protons they contain, While the number of electrons and neutrons can vary for samples of the same element. For example, Iron or FE (used in the creation of carbon steel or stainless steel for pipe Flanges) is the 4th most common element on the Earth and regardless of the number of electrons or neutrons it will always have 26 protons. As far as where they came from?
Billions of years ago when the Universe was in its infancy, the first clouds of helium and hydrogen atoms Condensed until their own gravity proved too much causing them to implode, forming the first stars. During the birth and life of all stars, they reach temperatures hot enough to break down atoms into their base atomic materials and fuse them into different atoms that are heavier and larger. Starting with Hydrogen we go to Helium, then Lithium, then Carbon and so on... As stars reach the end of their life they catastrophically explode, leading to a supernova, spewing the heavier elements that have been formed into the universe.
In Earth's case, when our sun was in the process of forming, most of the hydrogen and helium went into our sun’s creation while the rest of the dust and gaseous material formed a spinning molten mass around the new star. Eventually the mass cooled and coagulated into the planets and other features of our solar system, including all the metals we process and use on this planet!
With this new Perspective it is hard not to be amazed by even the simplest things in our World. Everything from Industrial Flanges to the Salt we put in our food, to even our own bodies are made from the Stars and are truly unique.
"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Near the End of 2018 United States Oil and Natural Gas Production reached a record High, 11.54 million barrels per day, not seen since the 70’s and doesn’t appear to show signs of decline moving towards 2020. Estimated Oil Production for 2019 is speculated to be averaging 12.1 Million barrels per day with 2020 currently estimated to be at 12.9 million barrels per day on average. By 2020 it is expected that the United States will be exporting far more Crude oil and Fuel than it imports.
What does this mean for the Industry?
With New highs in US Oil production, we are already seeing some pipelines at capacity and will need to be expanded upon or have additional lines created to sustain increasing production levels. More pipe = More flanges and other items for the PVF Industry!
Here at Texas Flange we offer almost any configuration imaginable, whether it is a Blind flange , Threaded flange , Weld Neck , Slip On , Socket weld , Orifice Set or any other Custom Flanges you may need with Multiple Material grades available to choose from. If there is something you can't find online please contact our sales department!
For Febuarys Edition Click Here!
OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report - https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/publications/338.htm
1942-2012 – Jerry Fuller - Founder Texas Flange
Jerry Fuller was the founder of Texas Flange. He was hired right out of High School into a company that specialized in cathodic protection and from there moved into the PVF Market with his job at Taylor Forge. In between Taylor Forge and the inception of Texas Flange, Jerry always worked to grow and learn more rather than being content with where he was.
Once, during an interview, he was asked if he could understand the Taylor Forge price sheet. He laughed and said, “I ought to, I wrote it!”
After the Market Dip in 1985, Jerry founded Texas Flange and then, with his knowledge of flanges and the flange industry, put Texas Flange on the international radar within a few short years. He never stopped learning about the various flanges and the alloys that flanges are made from and always kept Texas Flange at the forefront of the industry both domestically and abroad.
We have sold flanges to customers all over the world and have come a long way since the “Stone Age” of flange technology. We offer multiple resources online to confirm flange configurations, flange weights, even Flange Dimensions. We have the Texas Flange Flange Catalog, Flange CAD drawings, and even information about foreign vs domestic flanges.
If you can't find the information you want about flanges, don't hesitate to call us here at Texas Flange. We are experts when it comes to flanges after all!
For sales info please email:
Local : 281-484-8325
Toll Free: 1-800-826-3801
The specification for orifice flange sets is not particularly clear about ring groove connections for these flange assemblies. Our proprietary CAD flange drawings can give the impression that ring grooves are cut into the face of a flange that may be considered “flat face,” however this is not the case if you review the dimensions. For RTJ orifice flanges, the flange thickness *exclusive* of the depth of the groove must meet the same minimum thickness as that of a standard raised face orifice flange assembly, exclusive of the height of the raised face. Visually speaking, though it may *appear* that the flange groove is cut into a flat face, you can confirm with the dimensions outlined in the B16.36 flange specification that it is more accurately what some would refer to as a “full face” with extra thickness (how much thickness depends on the depth of the groove, just as it would be defined in ASME/ANSI B16.5). Some manufacturers still machine down the should of the face to make it appear similar to the raised portion of a proper RTJ groove flange, in order to avoid initial confusion. Also, note that larger RTJ orifice flanges will require angular taps to ensure proper clearance with the bottom of the groove, which cannot be altered or modified in any way.
In other words: NO, you cannot take a raised face orifice flange, machine down the face, add a groove, and just call it an RTJ orifice flange. Minimum dimensional requirements for flanges must meet the tolerances outlined in ASME / ANSI B16.36 and B16.5 No shortcuts, or else you are out of compliance!
Please refer to pages 75-76 in our catalog to confirm Ring Type Joint Flange dimensions. Link to catalog below.
If you still have questions, a member of our sales team would be more than happy to help!
Either call us at: T. 800-826-3801 :: 281-484-8325
Or email us at: Sales@texasflange.com
The American Water Works Association has suspended the utilization of “hub” type flanges in their C207 and associated specifications. All flanges per AWWA specs are either “ring” type slip on flanges or “blind” type flanges. The aforementioned “hub” type flanges as outlined in AWWA C207 Class D and C207 Class E are derived from ASME specifications 125# Lightweight and 125# Slip On, respectively. We will still provide flanges as dual certified to both of these specifications, with the understanding that they will not be manufactured and stamped per the latest update of the AWWA standard.
As is standard from Texas Flange, you may request these flanges in any commercially available material grade you require. The most common are still carbon flanges, mild steel flanges and stainless steel flange variants. Please be advised that while many of these items are available in stock in carbon steel grades, most stainless, chrome, and nickel alloy type flanges are made to order, given the popularity of carbon steel flanges for the majority of water works flange and piping projects. Their lower pressure requirements and ambient temperature operation typically mean a more exotic alloy flange is not required. Any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any of our trained sales staff here at Texas Flange.
Don't forget to check out our other free online resources!
Boltex and Weldbend Corporation Applaud ITC Preliminary Injury Decision on Unfairly Traded Imports
Houston, TX and Argo, IL, August 12, 2016 – Today Boltex Manufacturing Co., L.P. (“Boltex”) and Weldbend Corporation (“Weldbend”) announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) preliminarily determined that imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India, Italy and Spain are causing injury to the domestic industry. The Commission vote was 6-0, resulting in an affirmative decision. The ruling by the ITC demonstrates that there is a reasonable indication that imports are injuring the domestic flange industry and American workers. As a result of this decision, these cases against foreign producers in the above-named countries will proceed.“We applaud the affirmative decision found by the ITC, ruling that imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India,Italy and Spain have caused injury to U.S. producers,” says Frank Bernobich, President of Boltex. “Today’s vote marks a step in the right direction to restore fair trade practices and allow the market to operate on a level playing field.”“As family owned and operated businesses, the decision to file petitions against these unfair trade practices was a significant undertaking, but one that was necessary for our survival,” says James Coulas, Jr., President and CEO of Weldbend. “For generations Weldbend and its employees have manufactured great products and we only ask for the ability to operate in a fair market. We are extremely pleased with the ITC’s preliminary decision and that our cases can proceed.”
Boltex and Weldbend filed petitions concurrently with the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) on June 30, 2016. The ITC initiated their investigation on June 30, 2016 and Commerce initiated their investigations on July 20, 2016.Commerce will calculate antidumping margins and subsidy rates, which are designed to offset the amount by which the product is sold at less than fair value and the amount by which the product benefits from unfair government subsidies. In the Department’s initiation notice the Department estimated the dumping margins for steel flanges as “(1) India ranges from 17.80 to 37.84 percent; (2) Italy ranges from 15.76 percent to 204.53percent; and (3) Spain ranges from 13.19 percent to 24.43 percent” The subsidy rate from India was estimated to be above de minimis. Commerce is currently scheduled to make its preliminary subsidy determination on September 23, 2016, and its preliminary dumping determinations on . If an affirmative decision is found, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs to collect antidumping duty cash deposits to offset the subsidies.
Just a friendly reminder…here at Texas Flange we try to make the flange requisition and purchase experience as seamless as possible for our customers. This includes providing commodity stock pieces by the bulk load, as well as creating custom flange pieces for unique applications. Regardless of the scope of your flange inquiry, our sales and technical support staff is trained to provide you with whatever you need, even if your assigned sales member is out of the office.
All emails are monitored and answered when any individual is out of the office, so that you don’t need to hunt down a different email address in order to get your questions answered and your orders processed. Just send in your inquiry for flanges as you normally would, and we will answer back from the email address of the same representative you are familiar with. This allows your flange sales rep to review the correspondence from their own email archives when they return and gives them the ability to ensure all requirements are communicated clearly to every member of the production team.
All flange orders are digitally archived in a manner that allows for sales and support staff to make the necessary notations up through and beyond the shipping and invoicing process and as a result, all sales staff should be able to address any concerns you may have regarding your flange order.
Always remember that we at Texas Flange are working hard with our production team to review your request and provide accurate pricing and lead time as necessary.
Ring type joint flange face surfaces are increasingly popular options with regards to flange connections, and offer a good alternative to the standard raised face in specific applications. Typically, these alternate facings are utilized in higher pressure and temperature service projects, and help to provide a more effective sealing solution to media critical pipeline and pressure vessel infrastructure. Although only an option in ANSI/ASME class flanges, they are required as the standard surface sealing in API specification flanges. This is due to the fact that API flanges typically operate at a higher pressure in comparison to their ANSI/ASME flange counterparts.
The seal of a ring type joint gasket is meant to occur under the torque and force of closing the bolt and hardware after mating one flange to another. Typically, ring type joint gaskets are made of softer material than the actual metal of the flanges they are sealing. The most common of these materials is a soft iron which are used both in API and ASME/ANSI flange connections. Applying a slow and steady pressure of tightening on the hardware of the flange causes the gasket to get “crushed” within the ring joint surface, and this helps to prevent any type of media leakage during operation of the flange assembly.
These gaskets are designated by an “R” number, of which the dimensional data, and the corresponding nominal and pressure class flange, are available on our website. R gaskets are available in oval and octagonal configuration. Given the smooth sealing surfaces of ring joint faces as designated by ASME B16.20, both configurations work well, and are not typically noted in purchase as they are virtually interchangeable.
Bottom line – when in doubt, higher pressure and temperature applications typically call for ring joint facings given their reliability and usefulness when optimal surface sealing is necessary. Give us a call to help you with your ring joint flanges, or let us know if an alternate flange facing is an option.
We have received several inquiries over the years for nozzle type flanges, commonly referred to as “long weld necks.” These types of flanges and the different varieties in which they are offered are meant to replace pipe, not weld up to it, and as such we would like to clarify for everyone in the industry that these items do not have schedule bores. A typical weld neck flange has a weld prep at the tip of the neck to weld up to matching pipe, whereas long weld neck flanges, or “nozzles,” are square cut at the ends for the purpose of utilization with your tank or alternate assembly. As such, many inquiries which we receive include schedule bores that we eliminate in our quote reply to our customers, as these schedules are not applicable.
Our nozzle flanges are available in the more common lengths of 9”, 12”, and 16”, as well as any larger or smaller overall lengths to suit your needs. Typically, the larger the nominal size and pressure class flange, the larger the overall length requested. However, this is entirely subjective and at the discretion of the customer. Contrary to popular suggestion, there is no universal “standard” length because these parts are made in accordance with the application necessary. We offer a variety of barrel sizes, from the more familiar long weld necks, heavy barrels, and equal barrels. We also provide intermediate barrel products depending on your needs. As most regular weld neck flanges, these nozzles are typically made from forged carbon steel and stainless steel grades, though we do get the occasional request for chrome alloy and nickel alloy nozzle flanges. Feel free to submit your own technical drawing for quotation to our sales department and we would be happy to help get you the flanges you need.
The 2003 Edition of ASME B16.5, Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings NPS ½ through NPS 24 Metric/Inch Standard, contains millimeter dimensions and pressure-temperature ratings expressed in bar, with US Customary units in either parenthetical or separate forms. The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanation about why some of the conversions were made the way they were.
The cognizant committee had two primary goals during the development of the metric values shown in the 2003 Edition:
• The dimensions in mm should reflect the needed precision as much as possible.
• Flanges manufactured using existing forging dyes and machinery settings based on the inch dimensions should be able to meet the requirements for the metric dimensions.
Conversion from the Original Fraction
ASME B16.5 dimensions before 1977 were expressed mostly in fractional inches instead of decimal inches. For example, 1/8 in. was shown as 0.12 in. or 0.125 in., depending on the intended precision of the dimension, starting in the 1977 edition.
Millimeter dimensions were converted from the original fractional inch dimensions rather than the decimal inch dimensions. For example, 1/16 in., when converted from the fraction, converts to 1.6 mm. The decimal “equivalent” (0.06 in.) converts to 1.5 mm. Some of the conversions shown in the tables will appear to be incorrect when converted from the decimal inch dimensions.
1/16 in. was sometimes converted to nearest 0.1 mm, sometimes converted to the nearest 0.5 mm, and at other times converted to the nearest 1 mm. The conversion depended on the needed precision of the measurement. So the millimeter equivalent for 0.06 in. is sometimes 1.6 mm, sometimes 1.5 mm and at other times 2 mm.
Dimensions that have tolerances are those that are considered to be needed for adequate fit-up and those important for integrity of the pressurized flanged joint. These dimensions were converted such that the metric dimensions are essentially the same as the US Customary dimensions, and the tolerances were selected such that the permitted deviations from the tabulated dimensions were nearly identical to those permitted by the US Customary dimensions.
Bolt circle diameter converted to nearest 0.1 mm. The committee believes this level of precision is needed to minimize problems with fit-up to other flanges, even though the tolerance on the dimension is 1.5 mm. Converting with less precision was expected to cause additional problems with centering metal gaskets as well.
Rev. June 10, 2004 1
Length through hub converted to nearest 1 mm. This dimension needs to be consistent in order to maintain overall dimensions for fabricated spools. The committee believes that maintaining this dimension to the nearest whole millimeter provides the needed precision.
Dimensions that have no tolerances are those that need not have precision for fit-up and don’t contribute significantly to the integrity of the pressurized flanged joint. Examples of those dimensions and the philosophy used to create the millimeter dimensions are:
1/16” raised face converted to 2 mm instead of 1.6 mm. Raised faces measuring something different than 2 mm meet the requirements of the standard. Conversion to the nearest mm reflects the intended precision of the dimension.
Outside diameter of flanges converted to nearest 5 mm. For example, NPS ¾ Class 600 Flange outside diameter. The 4-5/8” was converted to the nearest 5 mm (115) instead of the nearest whole mm (117) or tenth mm (117.5). Outside diameters measuring other than 115 mm meet the requirements of the standard. Conversion to the nearest 5 mm reflects the intended precision of the dimension.
Bolt hole diameters expressed in fractional inches. Inch dimension bolt holes were retained for flanges manufactured to metric dimensions. Inch bolts are recommended for use with these flanges. Extensive dimensional compatibility studies exploring the possibility of using metric as well as inch dimensioned bolting with ASME B16.5 flanges were conducted. The studies revealed that providing dimensions that allowed for the use of metric as well as inch dimensioned bolts, especially when combined with metal gaskets, was impossible. This conclusion was supported by experience with some flanges manufactured to ISO 7005-1, Metallic flanges – Part 1: Steel flanges.
The cognizant subcommittee did not intentionally change any of the requirements for dimensions in the 2003 Edition of ASME B16.5. The dimensions in mm reflect the needed precision as much as possible.
Flanges manufactured using existing forging dyes and machinery settings based on the inch dimensions should be able to meet the requirements for the metric dimensions. While acceptable dimension ranges are not precisely the same for the two units of measure, there is a significant amount of overlap. Still it is possible for a flange to meet the requirements in one system of units and not in the other.
It's time to update your copy of the industry leading dimensions and weights flange catalog. Version 5.0 is out. http://www.texasflange.com/images/Catalog/catalog-c.pdf
Free to download, save, and use. If you would like a hard copy please let us know and we will send you one, also free of charge.
Over the years we have spent well over $1 million dollars educating the industry. The industry has rewarded us by making us the #1 visited website for flanges in the world.
My Grandfather, Gus Shirley, proudly wore this Texas Flange hat around his home in Zwolle, LA. He beamed at the idea of his grandchildren doing well. Shortly before passing away he gave the hat to my Dad, who wore it with the same sense of well being. Recently my father was traveling through Oklahoma and stopped at Bledsoe's Diner in Atoka. They have a tradition of hanging hats on the wall for good. My father thought the old hat was worn out and needed a final resting place. He hung it right above the coffer pot with the Company logo pointing straight out. If you ever make it to Atoka stop by Bledsoe's. Not for my mushy connection to the hat but for the great food. Blessing to all. I will eventually get back to blogging about flanges, but let's face it, there aren't a lot of changes in our industry.