Awards & Engraving

January '17

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50 • A&E JANUARY 2017 ETCH MASTERS later polished onto some of their sides, some blanks will be bonded to other glass parts, some with a different color, and others still may be taken and put into a kiln to be bent into a curved shape. All of this probably sounds pretty straight for- ward, but most of you have no idea how much specialty equipment is necessary to get the various jobs accomplished. To bevel the edges of glass requires an inline beveling machine, of which the Italian Bouvone machines are some of the best in the world. These machine cost somewhere around $250K, and our main supplier here in the U.S. has five of those machine running almost around the clock, especially now that we are heading toward the holiday season. These machines are for creating straight line bevels only. For round shapes, one needs to have a separate machine that can handle curved surfaces. For the various profiles that can be cre- ated on the edge of any piece of glass, the machines have to be set and calibrated to achieve the various profiles. It takes a lot of care and supervision to make sure that the machines are set properly for each specific job. Needless to say, there is quite a bit of maintenance that has to happen with these precision machines in order to keep them going through high cycles of production demands. During the whole production process, it is important to keep the glass blanks clean and scratch free. All moveable and fixed tables are covered with a medium density carpet that will let dirt and glass particles go into the nap of the carpet and help avoid scratches on the glass blanks as they are being moved or stacked for the next production step. All these tables need to be sturdy to support the amount IMAGES COURTESY SLEE CORPORATION Another palette of cut jade glass blanks waiting for further processing. Barry Slee explaining how the beveling machine works. Each blank passes through the machine four times to be a complete beveled blank. A carpeted table holding a thousand beveled blanks waiting to be bent in a kiln to become crescent blanks. A finished and blasted crescent blank. IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS A multiple cut and polished award blank in a granite base.

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