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Heavy metal, for real

Hot, sweaty and noisy - the smithy in the Stubai factory is illuminated red when Herbert Gleirscher handles glowing iron pieces with the long pliers. In the background, heavy impacts from a beating hammer can be heard.

With the ear muffs on tightly, and the Blåkläder jacket buttoned to the neck, he concentrates on sculpting a chisel which will be used for stone processing.

   - You can not relax for a single second. Because then it can all go wrong, he says with a hoarse laugh.

You can’t work longer than 20 minutes at the forge due to the conditions. Then it is time to move over to the forging hammer, and then back to the heat again after another 20 minutes.

   - It is a heavy and dangerous job. What you need is knowledge and experience. It is nothing that a machine or a robot could handle. That is what makes the job so fantastic.
Of course, we also need workwear that lives up to the expectations.

   - It is warm, sweaty and dirty, so durable workwear of great quality is incredibly important.

Together with 150 colleagues, he makes everything from pliers and screwdrivers to tools for forest workers, tinsmiths and butchers. From the factory you can lay your eyes on the breath-taking beautiful Stubaital, with the glacier and the famous ski resorts around the corner. A tourist magnet, a classic terrain for forging, and small-scale metal processing with roots in the 1400s.

The tradition, the craftsmanship and the daily challenges are some things that Herbert Gleirscher is passionate about. Although after work, it is the mountaintops which attracts him - long walks with the family is the perfect way to relax, he says.


Name: Herbert Gleirscher.
Age: 49.
City: Neustift in Stubaital.
Employer: Stubai.
Occupation: Tool make/technician