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June 2020
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Local Made: From decorative washers to firearms: After 40 years, machine shop goes big with new tech


Smith Tactical & Defense, owned by Smith and his wife Shannon, custom builds firearms. Here, Smith shows the different barrel sizes they offer. 


[Part of an occasional series on local businesses and craftsmen.]


Some companies sell clothes. Others sell groceries, power tools, or home decor – all familiar and recognizable commodities.  

Then there are those under-the-radar businesses that manufacture and sell items most people don’t consider, businesses like Smith Tool & Design in west Pickens, which recently relocated and has innovative plans for the future.

Owner Brian Smith, who took the company over after his father retired in 2010, showcases some of their work at the front desk. Displayed inside the clear-topped counter, customers can see an arrangement of small - sometimes tiny - metal pieces in a variety of shapes and dimensions. Some look similar to washers, but most are unidentifiable to the average person. 

On a tour of the new 20,000-square-foot facility, which is double the size of their old space, Smith showed some of the items in production that day – little metal parts for COPD machines, others for knee replacement surgeries, pieces that were headed to a


die casting facility, decorative rings for washers, metal signposts, and hydraulic mounting tabs. Smith’s company fabricates and ships custom parts to customers all over the world, as far away as China, for industries that include medical, firearms, cryogenics, automotive, and electronics. 

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Smith Tool & Design, as well as Smith Tactical & Defense and MIA Workholdings are located at 215 Crossbow Lane, Talking Rock, Ga. 30143. 

Visit them online at and at