Where to start? At the beginning I guess – around the time I decided
in earnest to bring engraving into the workshop.
So, after five years or so of making up my mind, I decided to take
the plunge, purchase engraving equipment, and invest in the training
to use the equipment properly.
Three or Four months ago I had consulted with a company providing
engraving equipment and the training to use it. I had checked with
major suppliers, decided on a source and negotiated a favorable
price, and was actually in the process of purchasing when the
salesperson said “WAIT”.
A new generation of equipment was about to be introduced, and I could
sign up for training, and pick up my equipment when the training was
finished! And, I would get an even better price.
Was I in? You bet I was!!! How many spots did I want to reserve? Two.
Where? The best course was in another state. No matter. I was in.
Fast forward. My two best metalsmiths had been out of state, and in
training for two days when the call from my salesperson came in. “NO
“No Equipment. We’re out. There won’t even be any coming off the line
for another 20 (twenty) days” or so. Shipping will take another ten
“No. I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. It’s never happened
“I don’t know. It’s gone. That’s all I can tell you for sure. There
won’t be anymore for a while. Sorry.”
I began to get a little hot. The craftsmen would lose their new
skills if they had to wait a month for equipment. OK, I was hopping
When I got done chewing out the rep, I got on the phone and started
looking for answers elsewhere. What I heard – still a rumor at this
point – made my blood boil.
I called the company to confront them. The rumor had basis in fact.
The company had shipped new equipment to (a very very large country
in) Asia. Fortunately, they had apparently shipped some to larger
clients in the US as well.
It was clear from the attitude of the sales reps’ supervisor that
THEY were in control, THEY were calling the shots, and I would just
have to get in line (apparently behind the Chinese, who were without
question NOT at the training classes).
I called Rio Grande (Albuquerque NM), explained my predicament and
asked if they could help.
Rio had the equipment on the benches so fast, that by the time my
metalsmiths returned on the following Monday, they had everything
they needed to retain their newly acquired skills.
I can’t say enough about the incredible service I received from Rio.
I am in awe, and wherever possible, will order ALL of my engraving
equipment from their fabulous team.
It was a real pleasure to be able to email a photo of me, with the
equipment, in my workshop, within a couple of days of being told I
couldn’t have it. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall when they
opened that image.
There’s more. The first engraved pieces off the benches are
wonderful. The Chinese can buy the equipment, but I’ve never seen
them turn out fancy western engraving work with this kind of feeling.
And best of all, my products are the real thing!
Thanks to all of my friends at Rio for making the dream work out just
the way it should. Chalk one up for the guys in white hats.
M. M. Rogers Design