[CR]Headbadge Suggestions Summary

(Example: Production Builders:Teledyne)

Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 00:08:06 -0500
From: "Harvey Sachs" <hmsachs@verizon.net>
To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, "hms >> Harvey Sachs" <hmsachs@verizon.net>
Subject: [CR]Headbadge Suggestions Summary

This is a \u201cthank you\u201d to the many people who offered suggestions on ways to get a head badge replicated. As one way to start to repay them, what follows are some of the leads and ideas you, the CR members, shared with me. In most cases, I\u2019ve shortened the original.

WHAT KIND OF HEAD BADGE DO YOU NEED? I haven\u2019t seen the \u201cAndy Hamel\u201d badge yet, and my own small collection and casual looks hadn\u2019t clued me in to the many options available to the bike owner. Some (Legnano comes to mind) use elaborate castings. Most seem to be stamped in sheet stock to get the 3-d effect. Some are apparently etched and printed, with minimal relief.

POSSIBLE CREATORS OF REPRODUCTION HEADBADGES? Robert Clair, Ken Denny, and others noted the custom headbadge shop, http://www.headbadges.com/ George Ramos suggested a jewelry manufacturer who is doing nice work for him, a place called JCCO Enterprises in Buffalo NY that manufactures jewelry. Dental labs for 3-D work (suggested by Dee Gordon) Metal stampers who do things like police badges, suggested by Sarah Gibson. Dave Bohm (Bohemian bikes) made a headbadge for Greg Thies a few years ago. Emanuel recommended another jeweler with bike connections and experience making custom badges: If you don't have the skills to do it yourself, I recommend the girlfriend of Noah Rosen at Velocolour in Toronto -- that's Mike Barry's Mariposa shop (Mike still lurks there). Amir Avitzur noted that Mick Butler seems to have connections in this field; he can be reached at pariscycles@yahoo.co.uk.

WISDOM: The Wheelmen (antique bike folk), http://www.thewheelmen.org/forum/default.asp, suggested by Jon Williams.

DIY: Scott Minneman (and Bruce Thompson, and others) suggested LOST WAX CASTING and similar: \u201cElaborate cast badges are harder, but there are low-volume casting techniques that'll get you most of the way to a good copy. Lost wax is a good direction to take. Direct casting in an ultra-low melting point alloy is possible if the type of metal doesn't matter much (you make a mold out of RTV silicone and then pour directly into that mold). If you're wanting to do the work yourself, consider taking a jewelry metalwork continuing education class and use this as your project.\u201d Along a similar vein, Joel Uden suggested, \u201cyou might like to find out more about 'model metal'. This used to be available to Fantasy Role Play Gamers who made their own miniature models, taking a cast from a mould. The metal is an alloy and has the advantages of being reasonably hard wearing (although would scratch quite easily with a sharp object) and having a very low melting point (I remember literally melting it on a stove in an old pan), ideal for the home hobbyist.\u201d Norris Lockley suggested \u201cELECTRO-FORMING:\u201d (Gabriel Romeu\u2019s term): \u201cIf you could get an original one you could easily have male and female press tools made from it, by casting, possibly in bronze as this material would be strong enough to press quite a number of badges using annealed thin guage brass or copper..or aluminium. It would be interesting to try to make tools, just to run off a couple or so badges, using cold cast polyester or epoxy resin as the die material. Alternatively with an original to work from tools could be made from composite materials, such as hard resins, and the female form could be used as the tool on which to deposit copper and nickel by electro deposition...like those rreplica leaf broaches that women used to wear on their Sunday-best jackets.\u201d Gabriel Romeu further notes, \u201cas your are able to get a casting from it in rubber, there are (microcrystalline) waxes used in jewelry and dental industry that make excellent and detailed casting that can be electro-deposited with copper (and nickel, but everyone iknow uses copper). good article: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/electroforming.htm\u201d

Gabriel Romeu suggests PHOTO-ETCHING (stainless, brass, copper, etc), followed by painting, if you are working from a photo: \u201cThis is a very interesting process that I have a fair bit of experience with using zinc, copper, bronze and aluminum. I have done it with commercial photo resist etch products (radio shack is one of the suppliers in the US, it is used to produce printed circuit boards), but i prefer using laser printer output which results in a 'looser' image. basically, it is printing out the reverse image as dark as possible from a laser printer, and transferring it to the metal through heat, then etching the metal with the appropriate mordant/acid. For copper/bronze the item is placed face down in ferric chloride, face up with zinc and nitric acid, and aluminum face down in sodium hydroxide (lye). I am sure you are aware of the implications of the care in disposal and handling of these chemicals, this is very important....\u201d

Finally, I must quote all of Norris Lockley's lovely essay:

+++++++++++++++++++ Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 19:02:08 -0800 (PST) From: Norris Lockley To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org Subject: [CR]How to make a headbadge.. Reply-To: norris.lockley@yahoo.com

That's quite a task Harvey, but it isn't impossible..just takes time, effort, dedication, and some money thrown at it would make it quicker and easier..

Trying not to adopt the latter element, there are probably four of more ways to make the badge.

If you could get an original one you could easily have male and female press tools made from it, by casting, possibly in bronze as this material would be strong enough to press quite a number of badges using annealed thin guage brass or copper..or aluminium. It would be interesting to try to make tools, just to run off a couple or so badges, using cold cast polyester or epoxy resin as the die material. Alternatively with an original to work fromtools could be made from composite materials, such as hard resins, and the female form could be used as the tool on which to deposit copper and nickel by electro deposition...like those replica leaf broaches that women used to wear on their Sunday-best jackets.

Repousse technique ie the beating of thin non-ferrous metal into the design, using a bowl of pitch to support the metal plate.. this would be done from the reverse side first in rough, and then the metal badge would be turned over and set in the pitch and the accurate definition of the badge picked out by chasing with very fine tools. very skilful..but not at all impossible particularly with the aid of watchmakers googles to magnify the workplace.

Casting would be another form of obtaining a badge, assuming that you can get your hands on an original one. Dental plaster of cuttle-fish bone could be used as the mould. Some one whom I think is associated with this List has had a hand in reproducing those bronze Hetchins badges that turn up from time to time. This is of course would be handy if the original ones were cast.

Assuming the originals were in plate copper or brass or aluminium, it should be possible to make a mould from the original by spark erosion., or deep engraving,.followed by some press work.. Finally, for now, assuming that the original is low relief brass or copper or even aluminium, like some of the later Hetchins, ie almost flat brass plates, this could be copied easily by photo-etching. All you would need for that is either a good photo to scale or accurate artwork.

If you can get your hands on an original or a photo so that you know what you have to try to make, I would take it along to a silversmith in the first instance. These days such smiths are trained in multia-medi processes..and they should be able to master repousse, casting, electro-forming/plating and engraving.

Norris Lockley..Settle UK ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Thank you, friends, and I hope that this compilation will be of use to others. What a bunch!

harvey sachs
mcLean va usa