It is not practical to ‘touch-up’ old enamel so even if damage is slight we have to completely strip a badge and start again. Clients are asked to check that the badge fits its mounting position correctly as any attempt to alter the curve or angle of an enamelled badge will cause the glass to crack. (This damage can also be caused by over-tightening the retaining nuts!) We recommend a rigid container for posting to us so that the shape is preserved – padded bags are no protection under tons of mail.

We identify each client’s badge to ensure everyone receives their own badge back as we do not operate an exchange scheme. Curve templates are made as shape change can occur during the firing process; before the final firing the shape is checked and where necessary pre-set so that on cooling the correct shape is achieved.

The colour layout of the badge is checked against our extensive records and if not already on file (a rare occasion nowadays) we make detailed notes before the badge is placed in a bath of glass-dissolving acid for several days to gently remove the enamel without damaging the metal. When stripped of glass the badge is reverse electro-plated to remove all the old solder, chromium and nickel plating.

Raising to a red-hot temperature slightly softens the badge to facilitate metal-working; studs are straightened or replaced if necessary, followed by the careful process of straightening or re-shaping the badge, and removing dents and surface deviations. To make re-enamelling possible there has to be a critical minimum depth to the inlay areas so highly skilled hand re-cutting work is carried out which can take hours. More specific damage or worn-away areas take even more time.

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 and copper-richness of the background metal which varies greatly in old originals. 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 of can destroy detail; years’ of experience has taught us just how far to go with this process. Nickel and chromium plating is carried out in our own plating department which has been specifically created to only process enamelled badges.


NEW BADGE TEXT For details of how we make our new badges and can have yours made.
NEW BADGE GALLERY To see pictures and price list of our new badges.

RESTORATION GALLERY To see our restored original badges for sale.
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.