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From Stock to Stellar

By Helldog

Custom-etched derby cover

Custom Engraving Ltd.


What do you do when the weather kind of sucks? Why, upgrade your scoot, of course. The Deuce has an addiction that needs to be satisfied from time to time. Chrome… custom chrome… and I don’t mean off-the-rack parts that you can pick up if you just lay your money down. The Deuce truly craves one-of-a-kind hard custom—like back in the day when choppers were “cut” in your garage, not rolled out on the Discovery Channel.

So, how does one satisfy this need? As the keeper of the Deuce, I have to hunt for what she craves by word of mouth, magazine ads and even Internet leads. Late last year, I received an e-mail from Tim Treacy, president of Custom Engraving Ltd., who described his custom engraving services and attached a picture of himself with a smiling Willie G. holding one of his custom-etched derby covers. He said, “Willie comes to us for custom parts for his personal motorcycles.” That’s a bold statement that got my attention. His website included many examples of products, news articles and testimonials. Even though this was my first exposure to Tim, I had a good feeling about him. Sometimes, you’ve just got to go with your gut.

I wrote to him describing an idea I had been toying with. Two months and dozens of e-mails later, the Deuce’s hunger is satiated… at least for the moment. I can relax knowing my gut still knows “the goods” when I see them, and I count Tim as a businessman whose work and word I will vouch for. He took a primitive concept and a rough drawing and turned it into the Spirit of Scota, the ancient Celtic warrior goddess, which I only had visions of before. This magnificent image etched in chrome will be proudly displayed on my primary case for years to come.

The customization process began when I sent Tim a picture of a tattoo—not the best image for an artist to work from. However, he said he could work with it if he only had a cleaner shot; maybe from different angles. Looking at the detail on some of the pieces on his website, I opted to go after the drawing that inspired the tat. Better… but still no cigar. Tim sent me the first proof, which was identical to the drawing he received, but not the vision in my mind. Using words as illustrations, I proceeded to guide the artist’s hand with descriptive phrases such as “lighter touch around the face,” “finer line about the shoulders” and “contemplative look.” The Goddess Scota is a mother, a warrior and a healer, and she is “beautiful as well as strong.” I tasked Tim with seeing Scota as I did. I told him that in this image I can see her fighting spirit pausing to reflect, “Today we have won the battle, but there are many more to fight, and many more will die before this war is over.” For 30 years her fighting spirit has lived on through us, the Sisters of Scota Women’s Motorcycle Club. This will be a sacred image to me.

Tim sent my words to his artist with some notes about how to rework her face and sent me a second proof. Viola! Now we were on to something. He captured the soul of what only I could see. The final proof was complete with banner and calligraphy, but before he etched metal he asked for my final approval. This is the hallmark of his work—complete customer satisfaction and involvement along every step of the process. After etching, there was a bit of a delay waiting for her to return from the plater, but Tim kept me updated all along the way. Generally, it takes five weeks from final design approval to shipping. As soon as he received the completed product, he packaged her carefully for her long journey to the West Coast. When she arrived I could hardly contain myself long enough to open the package. The plating was deep, but it was the quality of the design that exceeded my expectations. I could not have been more pleased.

Although Tim’s true specialty is one-of-a-kind designs, you can see his work and buy many ready-made designs and club logos on the website. Prices range from $65–$195 for black etched derby covers, timer covers, inspection covers, fuel lids, etc. For that extra-special touch, add $15 per color or $50 for gold plating. Custom artwork set-up fee is $80 using a digital picture or hard-copy photo mailed to the company. Prices are all-inclusive, and you are provided with a custom product and keep your stock part. All products carry a two-year conditional warranty from the sale date.

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