Contributors to the Top Shops “Hall of Fame”

My column for September 2016's issue described the new Top Shops logo we had machined. Did you know that we also asked Top Shops to machine their own logos for us to display at IMTS?


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Editor’s Note: Scroll down to watch a video I made detailing the machined logos from the participating Top Shops.


I wasn’t sure what to expect. In discussing with others here at the magazine what we might include in our IMTS booth, the idea was floated to have past Top Shops benchmarking survey award winners machine their company logos for us to display in a sort of “hall of fame” area. We’d then return the logos to the shops after the show.

While I thought many of those shops would be open to this challenge, I wasn’t exactly sure how many would agree to do it or have time to fit this type of one-off job into their production schedules. Although some winners in fact were too busy to machine their logo for us (glad they have that good problem), 16 shops did, and we showcased those logos at the show.

In an effort to promote creativity, I didn’t want to put restraints on them other than the type of material (aluminum) and the maximum overall size (12 by 12 by 2 inches). My goal was to give them free reign to do whatever they wanted with the hope that the resulting collection would contain a variety of different shapes, sizes, finishes and machined features. As you can see in the photo above, that’s certainly what we got.

Each shop added its own twist, many showcasing multiple manufacturing capabilities, and you can see their personalities shining through in their designs. Even their methods of packaging logos for delivery were different, although all took great care to prevent damage during transport (in fact, some packages were darn near bulletproof).

For example, Hoyt Archery demonstrated its immersion graphics capability. In essence, a sheet of thin plastic with the camouflage design painted on it is placed in a tank of heated water. An acid is then sprayed on the sheet, which dissolves the plastic, but leaves the paint on the surface of the water for a very short time. When the part is dipped into the tank, the paint adheres to the surface of the workpiece. The company uses this process for some of its high-end compound bows.

C&R Manufacturing took the opportunity to show off its five-axis milling capability on one side of its workpiece and its five-axis waterjet capability on the other. The shop also highlighted the fact that it was a Top Shops winner in our inaugural 2011 survey.

Protomatic went way outside the box in making a cool, three-piece triangular pyramid “puzzle” of sorts, which can be disassembled and put back together in a flat format. All pieces feature a blue, anodized finish.

J&R Machine showed off its contouring capabilities on multiple areas of its workpiece, as did Applied Engineering, which machined an airplane emerging from the workpiece surface. (You might remember reading about Applied Engineering’s machining our new Top Shops logo in my September “One-Off” column).

In case you didn’t get a chance to check out these logos in our IMTS booth, view the video below, in which I highlight a few interesting aspects of the logos we received such as those mentioned above.

My thanks go out to all of the following shops that machined a logo for us to display at IMTS:

  • Altech Machining

  • Applied Engineering

  • BDE Manufacturing Technologies

  • C&R Manufacturing

  • Chapter 2 Inc.

  • Davan Manufacturing

  • Hoyt Archery

  • J&R Machine Inc.

  • JD Machine

  • L&H Industrial

  • McCay Tool & Engineering

  • Micro-Matics

  • Premier Machining Industries

  • Protomatic

  • Southern Machine Works Inc.

  • WSI Industries