Trans Canada Gold Pins

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Long distance, endurance motorcycle riding is a bug that I'm afflicted with. One of the rides sanctioned by the Iron Butt Association is the "Trans Canada Gold". That requires riding from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, BC ( or the reverse) in 75 hours or less. That's about 3,600 miles / 5,800 Km's. Normally the IBA offers pins for riders who have completed one of their rides. But, since not many riders have completed this ride, a pin just isn't feasible. So, I decided to design and make my own. (Some pic's of my second TC Gold Ride). Mike Kneebone asked that I make a couple more for other riders. Here's the result so far...

A couple of early tests in aluminum.

The lettering is cut to a depth of .015 inches with a .020" end mill. If you think .020 is small, it's even smaller than you think. 
And the little buggers break with regularity.

The mill has a tiny bit of backlash which shows
 up in the G's and D's.

First test with new layout in brass. This is not to scale. The maple leaf is about 1.5" x 1.4" I think I'm getting some of the backlash out.

First "production" run in brass

Polished, but not yet fully cleaned of the polishing compound. Cleaning out the lettering requires a dental pick, a steady hand, and a very strong magnifying glass. An electron microscope would be a bit of an improvement. 

Shiny metals are notoriously difficult to photograph. Three of these are rejects and will go into the scrap bin. Must be perfect.

The next step will be to silver solder the pointy little pins on the back. After that comes the gold plating.

Just before polishing, plating, and painting of the letters.

Polished, Gold plated, and hand painted lettering.
The blue lettering is my humble tribute
 to the oceans at both ends.

Updated : September 04, 2008