An experimental process
Most of our customers realize that we have been in the lead, if not the sole player, in the art of constructing hand crafted reproduction car emblems. We have been blazing this trail since 1989. In that time we have upgraded processes, switched suppliers, and switched to better materials when they became available. In 1994 we switched from the cheaper polyester resin plastics to the more expensive (and difficult to work with) polyurethane resin plastic, because of its superior qualities. In 1996 we switched from one type of molding compound (that was extremely flexible for use with emblems with radical undercuts) to another kind specifically developed for use with polyurethane resins. We switched plastic chrome platers several times, until we found the one we have been using now for the last 8 yrs. In addition to these changes, we have upgraded and improved our processes in many ways since the early days, so that producing a single emblem takes much more time than it did then. All of this improving and growing has come at a price of course.
The more we try to improve, the worse our backlog gets
For the past several years we have been falling further and further behind, causing our backlog to grow beyond a year now. Because of this, we have been concentrating our efforts on fulfilling orders as fast as possible, sometimes at the expense of continued improvements. One important improvement that we are making, is converting the rest of our older molds to the "new" compound we've been using since 1996. About 2/3rds of our molds have been converted, but another third remain. That third represents our oldest line of emblems. These are the emblems that have been removed from our price lists and website.
What do we do now?
First of all, it is important to understand what difference it makes. The old molds, aside from not being compatible with the currently available polyurethane resins, are at a minimum 11 yrs. old, and some more! Some of these have about exhausted their useful life anyway. On the other hand, some have gotten very little use and remain relatively fresh. Nevertheless, no matter whether the mold has exhausted its useful life (somewhere between 20 and 30 uses), or remains fairly fresh, the polyurethane plastic does not take well to them. Has it taken us 10 yrs. to figure this out? No. Our old resin supplier halted production of the type of resin we had been using successfully in them, and were forced to find a new supplier a couple of years ago. This new supplier's resin actually have some better characteristics, for emblem longevity, but on the other hand is not compatible with those old molds.
If all of the above is not making sense, here's the bottom line. We have removed from our price lists and website all of the emblems which are still using unconverted molds. Their quality may or may not suffer as a result. We are in a systematic campaign to replace them, so some may be replaced very soon. If you are interested in an emblem that has an unconverted mold, check with us by phone to see if it will be converted soon. Some emblems may not be converted simply because we lack an original pattern emblem to create the new mold. In that case we will not be able to convert the mold until another pattern emblem becomes available.
Handmade vs. factory made
The very best emblems are factory made. They are made with better plastics and have much better qualitative characteristics. We are also remanufacturing a select few emblems on our price list using factory methods. It is much more expensive and a certain level of demand is required. Ask about our production emblems!