Military Templates - PDF by pod18016

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									       by

Ralph H. Houghton




    March 2004
                                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

BOCA RATON - AEROMARK CORPORATION ........................................................... 3
  Introduction..................................................................................................................... 3
EARLY MILITARY WORK ............................................................................................. 5
  McCoy AFB, Orlando, Florida ....................................................................................... 5
  Engraving in Thailand..................................................................................................... 6
  Lapidary Work ................................................................................................................ 9
  Homestead AFB, Florida .............................................................................................. 10
TAMPA - CUSTOM DESIGN ENGRAVING ................................................................ 11
  Introduction................................................................................................................... 11
  Example Finished Templates........................................................................................ 11
  Brown’s Trophies.......................................................................................................... 12
  Profiled Badges............................................................................................................. 15
  Proof Tracings............................................................................................................... 16
  Classic Template Design Concept ................................................................................ 18
  Decorative Design Templates ....................................................................................... 20
  Military Projects............................................................................................................ 21
     MacDill AFB ............................................................................................................ 21
     Special Military Work............................................................................................... 22
  Other Work Samples..................................................................................................... 24
  University of Tampa ..................................................................................................... 25
  Custom Work for Family .............................................................................................. 26
  A Ralph P. Houghton Project........................................................................................ 27
GERMANY – USAF ........................................................................................................ 28
  Introduction................................................................................................................... 28
  Crystal Engraving ......................................................................................................... 29
  OUI – Amway in Germany........................................................................................... 29
  Various Squadrons ........................................................................................................ 30




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             BOCA RATON - AEROMARK CORPORATION
INTRODUCTION
My initiation into the wonderful world of engraving took place in the family owned
Aeromark Corporation located in Boca Raton, Florida. I have few photographs of
finished work here as most proofs were attached to paper work-orders and I did not have
a suitable camera with me while working.

I started a four year apprenticeship in industrial tool and die engraving in October 1962.
Aeromark was a family owned and operated marking devices business. I studied
engraving largely under my uncle, George L. Houghton. I was also fortunate enough to
have spent six months working for my grandfather, Ralph H. Houghton (also) and
learned to deal with inaccurate machinery to produce accurate results.




               Some industrial engraving work from Aeromark in Florida.




My trademarks – one is less than ½ inch wide and the other one is about an inch. I made
these from scratch, completely, heat treated and all.


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Made in Boca Raton at Aeromark – my masterpiece. This is the Houghton family coat of
arms for Sir Thomas Houghton, baron and owner of Houghton Tower in Preston, UK.
This was done from the original hand engraved pattern. While I was in Tampa, I made a
template from a pattern about 12 inches high. I use this template for all further work for
the family.




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                         EARLY MILITARY WORK


MCCOY AFB, ORLANDO, FLORIDA
The work here began as a request to engrave the wing’s emblem on a special presentation
plaque. It was a Recreation Services request. They had a New Hermes engraving
machine, but had no one with hand engraving skills to create the pattern to do the
emblem. Additionally, the emblem was to be painted in color. This was not something I
was trained for, but completed anyway.




                                           5
ENGRAVING IN THAILAND
This consisted largely of doing tiny charm engraving. I started this after a small New
Hermes model GM was shipped over by my grandfather. I was the only one with one of
these and the skills to create something besides lettering from the brass type. I hand cut
all original patterns including the circular layouts by hand.




These are from a plate engraved with images hand cut in Thailand. Some were for very
tiny gold charms. The pattern lettering for Serenity Prayer below was hand cut at about
¼ inch high and subsequently engraved by machine on a charm about ¾ of an inch in
diameter. The Merry Christmas project was about the same size for the pattern, but the
charm was hollow in the center – was only a ring - was a fun project.




                                             6
This was engraved on the watchband of a school teacher friend of mine from Korat.




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8
This was a small New Hermes Model GM I bought from Don McAuliffe in Albion
Michigan – summer of 1967. My grandfather packaged it up and they shipped it to me in
Thailand. Was the only one around who had one and I was also a frequent visitor to the
Lapidary Hobby Shop where I got my feet wet making gemstones and other lapidary
work.

LAPIDARY WORK
I got a real taste for lapidary work while I was in Thailand from the experiences I gained
at the base lapidary hobby shop. It was a very relaxing hobby.




                                             9
HOMESTEAD AFB, FLORIDA
Most of my work at Homestead AFB consisted of templates for Halpert’s Trophies in
downtown Miami and work for various squadrons around the base. Very few pictures
were taken during this time as I did not have a reliable camera to work with. This plate is
actually a nice emerald green.




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                TAMPA - CUSTOM DESIGN ENGRAVING
INTRODUCTION
This was a formal sole proprietor business set up in Tampa Florida to perform engraving
machine template production. This was located at several different businesses and was
finally located at a small shop just outside MacDill AFB. The first location was at
Sydney O. Beck’s commercial embroidery operation, also just outside the base. It was
here, I rented use of Mr. Beck’s Alexander 2D engraving machine to make the templates.
I eventually purchased this machine and it became the core of CDE production.




EXAMPLE FINISHED TEMPLATES
These are images of finished machine cut templates, engraved on 1/8 inch thick pieces of
Plexiglas.




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BROWN’S TROPHIES
I did a significant amount of template work for Brown’s Trophies on Gandy Blvd. Mr’s
Beck and Brown were competitors and it was a constant fight to keep independent. It
eventually leads to my establishing my own shop across the street from Mr. Beck’s place.




This advertising copy was created using one of my templates as the centerpiece. It is an
all sports topical emblem with victory as it’s center. The “artwork” was done by
engraving the image on a piece of white plastic sign stock with a black center core.




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This was one of the template concepts I came up with which was to earn me the enmity
of Tropar Supply Co. They had a solid line of medallions which trophy and plaque
businesses used to dress their awards. The Tropar concept had clean cut medallions, but
the small shops were forced to purchase large amounts of them in 3 different sizes and
colors (gold, bronze, and silver). This meant a large inventory at the end of the year
which was subject to inventory tax. My concept was to create a 5” template with the
most commonly used of the Tropar images in
the form which allowed small shops to use
any size or color of metallic or plastic disc
within the ranges of their engraving machines.

The templates were fitted with a double ring,
which served double duty as shown in the
theatrical emblem above, but also by using the
outer ring, the inner pattern could be cut
followed by setting the cutter to cut
completely through the plastic stock, creating
a cutout with its own border. These catalog
pages from a 1974 vintage trophy catalog
show the scope of these designs. See the additional section below for more information
on how these templates may be used.




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       I probably have 50-60% of these images already cut.




The following are sample finished pieces created from 1973 to 1977.




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PROFILED BADGES
Not many engravers did profiled badges. These were usually specialty work relegated to
the larger engraving shops where skilled hand engravers were available to quickly hand
cut the necessary. The objects shown on this display board were cut on a simple New
Hermes ILK II Gravograph with freshly sharpened cutters. The master patterns for these
had an outer line for the purpose of cutting through badge stock. Observe the cartoon
character in the upper left corner. One has no name plate below it, the other has. Both
were created from the same template.




                                          15
PROOF TRACINGS
The images here reflect the tracings done to prove the templates I finished actually
worked. I used this trace to make sure all of the tracks on a template worked well on the
New Hermes engraving machines they were sold for. There are images of one time
templates which were only sold to one customer, largely for local companies and
businesses that contracted for engraving services. The first one in the series was added in
late 1976. The term “master” was applied by those I created templates for. Before the
laser engraving equipment took over the larger engraving shops, there was a large
demand for these at reasonable prices.




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Business and local logos were cut over 3 years of operations.




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                  Some of these templates were exceptionally detailed.




CLASSIC TEMPLATE DESIGN CONCEPT
This is the lead plate in my introduction of the ideas involved with using templates
instead of medallions to support trophy and plaque shops where having a large inventory
of medallions is prohibitive.




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The shuffleboard emblem shows the possibility of customizing by adding a double set of
rings and including text giving the names and location of individual organizations. The
gavel template shows the range of sizes from one template.




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DECORATIVE DESIGN TEMPLATES
These templates were designed to create a rich looking finished product. This provides a
marketing edge for those engravers who invest in them and create their advertising to
take advantage of it.




New Hermes and others marketing templates, often would charge $18 for each special
decorative like the ones shown together in the lower left quarter of this image. (Yes, I
make mistakes too – but I didn’t sell those!)




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MILITARY PROJECTS
These images were traced as record copies from many of the various military templates I
created while in the US Air Force. They served needs for which there were no other
sources or templates anywhere in the market. I will add further tracings as time permits.




MacDill AFB
TSgt Thomas R. Austin and I worked in the Fabrication Branch at MacDill AFB. We
often teamed up to make very special presentation pieces. Tom fashioned the individual
pieces of Plexiglas for them from scraps. Some of the pieces shown below also had
aluminum aircraft which Tom also fashioned from scrap. He was a Native American
and dyslexic. Together, we turned out eye
stopping work. The largest of these was a
gift from the wing to the TAC NCO
Academy at Bergstrom TX. It had to be
specially shipped there. It consisted (like
this one) of the wing emblems for both the
flying squadrons as well as the maintenance
squadrons. It differed in that it held the old
AND new wing emblems – the wing had
just changed.




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This rifle was owned by Tom Austin. It was a .45 Marlin saddle rifle. Tom said he
didn’t care what it looked like, he wanted a Rocky Mountain cougar on the side of this
firearm and he wanted me to do it. He gave me a picture of a silver commemorative
ingot with the design he wanted. I did a 24 carat gold fill – not inlaid. The lines were cut
with an Alexander engraving machine with the receiver still case hardened. I used a very
fine carbide cutter under oil. Cutter broke four times before I finished it. I used a GRS
engravers block to hold the entire rifle while working on it. It was a fun job.

Special Military Work
At every military post I held except for Tyndall AFB, I was often approached by units on
base for special awards – they were often like these – specially done from non-standard
materials.




                              Specials for the Security Police




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The examples below were created for units in the maintenance complex as going away
gifts. Some Tom assisted with, others I did alone.




I often did free name badges for AF people who had lost or broken theirs. The Services
Squadron at McCoy AFB had given me several boxes of the blanks because they had
nobody to staff the engraving machine – only had a couple left when I sold out my
equipment.




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OTHER WORK SAMPLES




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UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
Though this is not engraving, it is an example of some really neat work from my
Industrial Arts Education degree program at the University of Tampa.




Always had a sense of humor – even made a rubber stamp out of this one. I did a lot of
template work for a biker group in Tampa which shall remain nameless. Much of this
was rather raw for the genteel of mind and will not be shown here. It was amazing what
they wanted carved into their chrome gas caps. I sold my tiny New Hermes Model GM
(the one from Thailand) to them along with a set of their favorite patterns.




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CUSTOM WORK FOR FAMILY
I often had opportunity to do work for the family. These pieces were cut while I was in
Tampa. The top one was from a set of salt and pepper shakers I brought back from
Thailand – they were Christmas gifts one year.




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A RALPH P. HOUGHTON PROJECT
These photographs are of one of the pen sets dad asked me to do for Christmas one year.
He wanted to have signatures made for the key officers in his corporation and engraved
into 1” thick blocks of Plexiglas – in reverse so they would show up as raised when
mounted in walnut bases. His woodwork was so precise, you could not tell how the
blocks were held in place. Essentially, he did the fitting in a room with little humidity.
When they were given, the Florida humidity swelled the wood in such a way the walnut
expanded and held the blocks in place without glue.




     Look carefully in the lower left image. You may be able to see where the wood
   expanded to hold the blocks. There is no glue holding the Plexiglas blocks in place.




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                               GERMANY – USAF
INTRODUCTION
The work in Germany was initially evenly split between paying work to support the cost
of materials and supplies for the incentive award work I did free of charge.
Unfortunately, the work was highly prized and there was a concerted effort to convert the
paying work to free work. Therefore, shortly before I returned to the USA, I sold every
bit of my equipment except for the master patterns, hand tools, and crystal engraving
equipment to one of the key people who fostered the turn towards free work. I believe he
found out what it meant – he had the skills to do the work, but had no idea how much
time I put into it.




More going away gifts – the big nut ashtray was made from scrap aluminum from a worn
out wing spar. I made the individual face pieces to match the machining. The pewter
plates were a major source of income – I did 32 of them in all.




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CRYSTAL ENGRAVING
This was a fascinating part of my travels in Germany. I had met a young Frenchman
through a mutual friend. Hubert Leherner was from a village in the Alsace which had
many families of crystal cutters – good ones too. Hubert had no interest in cutting,
bowever he was also good at that too. He was an engraver. Through him I met a
gentleman from Poland who I only knew as Piotre. Hubert has hired Piotre from Poland
to teach him how to do portrait engraving in crystal. Piotre was considered a national art
treasure in Poland. Before I left Germany, Piotre brought out two copper wheel crystal
lathes from Poland. I bought one of them and my friend’s daughter bought the other one.




Hubert made this block of crystal – a 1” square piece – which I promptly engraved with
the hands of friendship and then signed it. If you look under the emblem, you will see the
signature. I used my own standard engraving equipment to do the finished work.

OUI – AMWAY IN GERMANY
This emblem was done from existing patterns for a sales manager for the German
Amway dealership. They used the base badge to mount a name shingle and a sales award
shingle under that. This did well for about 4 years. In a final order, over $500 worth of
badges were precut and delivered. I never received payment from them for this work –
another contributor to my decision to purge my equipment.




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VARIOUS SQUADRONS
Many other units on the airbase knew of my work and gave me a lot of work. The one on
the left – a going away gift - is an example of the paid work, the one on the right an
example of the free work I did to support the incentive awards programs in those units.




Most of these template designs had an outer line cut a little over a ¼ inch from the inner
border lines. These usually served as a way to cut through the 1/16” thick plastic after
the inner work was cut and create a profiled piece. These were then assembled on
different kinds of backgrounds to create wildly different finished appearances.




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