Max Scarborough knew he wanted to be a welder as early as the third grade. He watched his neighbor Michael Halpin for years and after graduating from Jasper High School in 2011, he learned the trade under the leadership of Ronnie Carpenter at North Arkansas College.
He started as a 19-year-old with a generator, grinder and an old farm truck. Mad Max Welding & Fabrication is now the umbrella company for his services as a contractor, custom CNC, plasma cut signs, custom structural steel, handrails and wrought iron, on site welding services, equipment repair and red iron buildings/concrete.
The early years of his career took him out of town a lot. “A welder can really go anywhere to find work,” he said. “But I love this area and choose to work here.” He stays very busy with various welding and construction projects. His work space has expanded from a garage to a 40x40 metal shop building. “I really need a 60x100 and that’s the next project,” he admitted.
His equipment has expanded to include a CNC plasma table which cuts steel to exact specifications, shapes and sizes.
Scarborough is an artist in a welding hood. One of his favorite things to do is design unique metal signs including a patriotic bald eagle and an American flag. “The blue portion of the metal sign comes from torching the bare steel to 600 degrees. It’s a very interesting process to watch because the metal goes to a gold, purple and then blue. The red comes from a forced rust process. There is no paint involved. It’s all metal.” He can basically create any kind of metal sign a customer desires.
He recently finished a big hand rail project in Elkins for a business. “A handrail is a tricky project. A decorative grid can be more than 200 welds. When I’m finished, I check the surface with my bare hand to ensure there are no sharp edges and everything has a clean finish,” he said.
One of his favorite large winter jobs is to work with Arkansas Electric at the Ellis Hydroelectric Generating Station, which was built at the Trimble Lock and Dam near Fort Smith. “They are a fantastic company. When they take those huge turbines apart for us to work on and replace sections, it’s very rewarding. It’s very hard work. But you see value in what you are doing and the electricity they are providing to the area,” he said.
Scarborough loves what he does and the variety of projects he is involved with. He and his partner, Lecia Urrautia have also purchased Tall Grass Deli and an RV park on Hwy. 7 South. He recently built decorative metal picnic tables for Tall Grass with a Buffalo design cut out of the metal. His mom, Kathy Lewellen owns the retail business connected to the deli. “I learned a lot about business from my parents. My dad, Todd Scarborough was a famous bodybuilder in the area. I love it when people ask him now, ‘Aren’t you Max’s dad?’ That is so much fun.”
Scarborough is getting ready to cross promote his businesses. When making any size purchase at Tallgrass Deli a customer can ask for a Mad Max business card which is numbered and will be eligible for a discount on their food and a chance to win a sign valued at $500
Visit madmaxwelding.com or call (501) 351-2387 for more information. His Facebook page has a lot of photos showing the wide variety of jobs, projects and artwork he has completed.