Using a laser cutter, Leo Castagno designs and builds just about anything from decorative signs to ag parts and furniture.

Tired of picnic tables tipping over when someone stood up, he built and patented a safe model.

The sturdy metal tables, ranging from $450 to $850 depending on customization, are popular with ranch families and park managers because they are safe and never wear out.

“There’s nothing else like this table on the market,” he said. “It’s high quality, lightweight, durable, attractive and affordable.”

Castagno’s employees at Idaho Laser Cutting in Rexburg manufacture the tables and just about anything else a client can imagine.

“We can design and build whatever people need from OEM ag parts to furniture and decorative signs like entry ways to ranches, farms and businesses,” he said.

Castagno, 61, a design engineer and longtime welder, opened his business in 2005 after he lost his job teaching at Brigham Young University-Idaho when the welding engineering technology program was eliminated from the curriculum.

He invested in a laser that uses computerized numerical codes to precisely cut metal. With other tools, he bends the metal. To protect the products, he finishes them with a powder coating.

Castagno said his varied clients describe what they need, and he and his employees design and manufacture it.

When Walgreens opened in Rexburg, managers needed customized metal bike racks, litter receptacles and benches.

“Our benches are curved at a certain angle to fit your back, so you’re comfortable when you’re sitting. They’re popular with companies and can be customized with their logo cut on the bench’s backrest.”

Castagno established another business, Grow it Now, to help gardeners solve problems. An avid gardener himself, Castagno was frustrated with eastern Idaho’s short, unpredictable growing season and June frosts.

He designed several plant protectors to shelter vegetation from frost, wind and hail. His mini-greenhouses and raised beds help gardeners’ plants flourish. Gift certificates are offered at www.growitnow.com.

As a memorial, his employees have also made customized metal benches with the deceased’s name and images representing hobbies. Customized planter boxes and fire pit rings are also made.

Employees have even restored clients’ sentimental items. At the company’s large industrial sandblasting booth, they stripped a vintage dog sled so it could be powder coated.

“Since we opened the business, our work has really ramped up with all kinds of products and services,” he said. “We’re always refining our present line.”

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