Wednesday, August 5, 2020
HighTechDad.com Clothing Upgrading my Logo…On my Belt Buckle…Done by FosterWeld

Upgrading my Logo…On my Belt Buckle…Done by FosterWeld

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A few years ago, I had a belt buckle made for me by FosterWeld. My article included an interview with Chris Foster about how the company was founded in 2007 by him and his wife. As part of my article, they supplied me with a custom belt buckle which had my logo on it. I wore it day after day for about six years and decided it was time for an upgrade.

HTD FosterWeld - Old and new buckles

My previous buckle, shown below, essentially had my logo “printed” on to it using a process called stenciling.

HTD FosterWeld - original stenciled buckle

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Well, considering that I wore the belt every day for years, it got a few nicks and scratches. Because of this as well as because I had received numerous complements on the buckle, I figured it was time to get an upgrade to my belt buckle.

HTD FosterWeld - original buckle a few years later

The folks over at FosterWeld said that would do another version (which I paid for) that would be a bit more long-lasting. So I sent them over my vector art logo (it is much better to have vector art like EPS or .AI for them to get extremely accurate). You can send them lower resolution logos as well and they can try to clean it up for you. But if possible, send them an EPS or .AI version.

HTD FosterWeld - new buckle

I asked them to take photos of my buckle being made (note: this is not something that they usually do) because I thought it was important to showcase how the buckles are hand-made and not just stamped out by a product line machine.

Making a Custom FosterWeld Buckle

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All of the photos below are from FosterWeld directly. The show some of the hand-making process that went into my buckle.

HTD FosterWeld - two surfaces

I’m not entirely sure of the order of these photos. I personally don’t know how to weld, nor would I want to even attempt making something as nice as this. As shown above, it all starts with some surfaces which are later welded together.

HTD FosterWeld - surfaces spot welded

There is the back of the buckle and then the custom part is welded on top (in this case, my logo).

HTD FosterWeld - two surfaces front

Once the surfaces are joined, they can be hammered out to be curved to better fit a “curved” stomach or belt line.

HTD FosterWeld - pounding a curve

Then once the buckle is roughed out, it is ground down and smoothed out.

HTD FosterWeld - grinding

You can see how the bezel is created by hand during this grinding process. It also takes away the spot welding marks seen previously. All of the edges are smoothed out here, even the ones of the my logo itself.

HTD FosterWeld - ground edges

The final touches are the belt holder and the nub that goes into the belt hole. These are welded on as well. Also, the FosterWeld logo is stamped on the back.

HTD FosterWeld - back of buckle welded

This is the almost-completed buckle. It still needs to have the spot welds for the items on the back buffed out.

HTD FosterWeld - almost completed

And with some polish and shining, here is the final product, before it leaves FosterWeld.

HTD FosterWeld - final product

Thanks FosterWeld for documenting the birth of my custom belt buckle!

The Final Custom FosterWeld Buckle

When I received my new FosterWeld buckle, it was extremely pleased. They paired it up with as dark brown, weathered looking piece of leather, so the belt can be easily worn with black or brown shoes I’m thinking.

HTD FosterWeld - new belt buckle

On the back of the FosterWeld buckle, you can see how the leather belt folds over and snaps together. This snap allows you to actually change belts extremely easily. The little nub then inserts into your belt holes.

HTD FosterWeld - back of buckle with belt

As a nice little touch, FosterWeld “brands” their buckles, literally.

HTD FosterWeld - FosterWeld branding on belt

Over the past few years since I first wrote about FosterWeld, they seem to have grown. They are extremely busy during the holidays as well. Giving someone a made-in-the-USA, custom-made buckle, or even a buckle that they simply make and sell that isn’t custom (but that is still hand-made) is a bit more personal than just grabbing something off of the shelf.

There site has steel buckles, leather belts and lighted letters, among other items. The steel buckles go from $15 and up to $35 for these pre-made buckles. Belts are anywhere from $29 to $41. I would definitely take a look at some of their belt and buckle combos!

They also have a variety of custom services, including the belt buckle service that I used. I chose the Custom Laser Buckle – Stacked version which is about $100.

Regardless of what you choose, getting a custom, hand-made belt buckle is unique and distinct. And I believe it is important to support local, home-grown, family-run businesses when you can, especially if they make some really cool stuff.

HTD says: If you are looking for a unique gift for yourself or someone special, be sure to look at FosterWeld’s wide variety of functional and wearable metal art!

Global Product Review Disclosure

Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

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