Cue The Blowtorches

When you push the envelope, sometimes you encounter production challenges. Since one purpose of this blog is to share experiences from the trenches, here goes.

About five years ago we designed a faux glass acrylic menu with beveled edges. Most acrylic pieces are designed with straight-cut edges but we wanted a more elegant presentation. The beveled edges would add depth and beauty. However, when the menus arrived, the beveling had left the edges rough and the corners were sharp. This was not what we envisioned. We wanted smooth, glossy edges.

So we got creative and started experimenting. We tried rubbing sandpaper along the edges to make them smoother. No luck. We tried alcohol and nail polish remover. Nope. We called the supplier for suggestions and they advised using heat. Cue the blowtorches.

Heating plastic is not for the faint of heart. First of all, it releases some nasty fumes requiring the work to be done outside with masks. Unfortunately, it was January and freezing! Also there is a precision needed to ensure you don’t overheat the plastic. After two hand-numbing days, we heat polished nearly 500 bevels to create beautiful smooth edges. 

The result was a sleek and sophisticated piece. We shipped on time and the client was elated!

It’s not always pretty in the trenches. Sometimes you have to get dirty and sometimes you need to improvise to get it just right. The benchmarks you set for quality and excellence matter when you come face-to-face with a production challenge. Our clients expect superior craftsmanship, so we do what it takes to make it flawless.  -DM

Acrylic menus with polished beveled edges.

Acrylic menus with polished beveled edges.