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In Portland’s manufacturing world, the business of making stuff is alive and well.

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PORTLAND GARMENT FACTORY Britt Howard (middle) started Portland Garment Factory after she couldn’t find a local manufacturer for her own fashion line. Today, she and business partner Rosemary Robinson (right) employ nine, making runs of clothing for themselves and other designers. Above, Howard, Robinson, and cutter Melanie Parr prepare to cut fabric for the Southeast Portland factory’s new in-house line.

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HOUSERWORKS This eight-employee precision machining shop on NE Airport Way makes both small-run prototypes and mass-produced components for the likes of Boeing and Ducati.

houserworks machine detail
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sheet motorcycle parts
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Christian Hansen (and Ned) inspects motorcycle parts.

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COLUMBIA WIRE Among other specialties, Columbia Wire & Iron Works builds large-scale steel structural components for projects ranging from docks to Portland’s new light-rail bridge.

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BENCHMADE At Benchmade’s Oregon City factory, workers handcraft knife blades after laser operator Gary Hopkins and others cut basic forms from large sheets of steel. The 180-worker company, part of a vibrant Portland area knife industry, plans a plant expansion this fall.

benchman gary hopkins
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bike part inspection
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CHRIS KING PRECISION COMPONENTS This premium bike parts maker’s 2003 move to Portland meant a well-trained workforce—30 percent of the state’s manufacturing is metals-related—and a bike-crazed hometown. Assembler Nathan Turpen inspects parts for shipment.

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GROVE Founded in 2009 by a furniture maker and an engraver, Grove makes bamboo cases for Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Staff roughly tripled in the past year, to 15 full-timers. From left, Wendy Oh, Ellie Yi, and Olivia Mick insert magnets into iPad "smart cases."

ipod case grove portland
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sam pardue portrait
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INDOW WINDOWS Like many new Portland manufacturers, Indow Windows combines handcraft with mass production. Each one of the company’s innovative energy-efficient window inserts, introduced last year by founder Sam Pardue, is custom-made to measure on its North Portland assembly line

installation material
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indow window workers
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Lineworkers Mike Perriguey and Sean Healy.
factory wide shot
portland design factory
front portland design factory
houserwork machine
houserworks machine detail
sheet motorcycle parts
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metal work sparks
knife assembly
benchman gary hopkins
bike part inspection
ladies assembly line
ipod case grove portland
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sam pardue portrait
installation material
indow window workers
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