We manufacture one-off and small quantities of most types of enamelled badge. These are either reproductions of originals which are no longer manufactured, or to clients’ own designs.
Most badges were originally produced from metal dies which are expensive to make, so instead of stampings we use a computer-controlled engraving system to make each metal blank which makes one-off production practical. We do, however, own dies for Mk VI / Derby Bentley and several other marques to achieve the correct result.
Although we make many very complicated badges there is a limit to what we can engrave and then shape; badges like the old R.A.C. badge are just too three dimensional for us to manufacture.
PLEASE DO NOT: Send us a badge blank which you have had made from brass as glass does not adhere properly.
For a reproduction of an original badge, if the badge is already on our list we would only need a shape template and stud positions from the client. If the badge is not on our list we would have to create artwork - ideally we like to work from a borrowed original, but we can work from good quality photographs. If the client cannot find either of these we may have the basic details on record. For a client’s own design we can help with artwork details and colour schemes.
Once the badge design is in the computer, accomplished by a combination of scanning, hand-drawing and using a vast library of font styles, the engraving system is instructed to machine the blank. Several hours later the blank is degreased, softened to allow shaping and studded where necessary.
If opaque colours are to be used, the badge is fired in the kiln to remove all traces of grease. However, when transparent colours are required, the badge is chemically treated to prepare for enamelling as these colours are affected by the nature of the background metal. Having prepared the badge appropriately, enamelling can now begin. Segments of the badge are over-filled with traditional leaded jewellery glass in a moistened powdered form. It is then dried thoroughly and fired in the kiln at approximately 800oC to melt and flow the glass. This process is repeated until all the colours are in place making due allowance for different firing temperatures of some enamels.
When the primary enamelling is complete, the excess glass is ground back to remove it from metal borders and letters and leave a precise thickness in the inlay areas. The badge is then dipped in glass-dissolving acid for a short time to remove the tiny debris particles from the now porous surface. Shape is checked and alterations made if necessary before final firing in the kiln to re-gloss the surface of the glass. Some badges are made up of more than one piece and at this point they are soldered back together.
Preparation for plating follows. In most cases the badge is polished to a mirror bight finish; badges with three-dimensional aspects are polished as far as possible as excessive polishing can destroy detail; years’ of experience have taught us just how far to go with this process. Nickel and chromium plating processes are carried out in our own plating department which has been specifically created to only process enamelled badges.
NEW BADGE GALLERY To see pictures and price list of our new badges.
RESTORATION TEXT For details of our restoration service.
RESTORATION GALLERY To see our restored original badges for sale.
CHASSIS AND SILL PLATES For details of our chassis and sill plate service.
W.O.BENTLEY For details of our W.O. Bentley family.
COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUES To add a touch of style for a special occasion, such as a wedding or as an original trophy.
TERMS OF TRADING & HOW TO CONTACT US