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Hobbyist Engraves Designs On Eggs, Windows
Lots of attention has been lavished on Ernie Spinks, a rural Hudson, Wis., man since he began turning fragile turkey, goose and chicken egg shells - and pickup windows - into works of art.
Spinks uses a specially-built, high-speed modified dental drill to carve out intricate designs using shells of emptied-out eggs. His finished products are often so delicate they can't be moved.
The special drill can also be used to engrave glass. Spinks has developed a kit that includes drill, air compressor, regulator, stencils, bits, and everything else needed to go into the glass-engraving business, that sells for $995. He says there's a good market for engraving designs on pickup windows, recreational vehicles, cars, store windows, and so on.
"You can charge $125 a window for small designs. Using stencils, it takes no artistic talent. You can become proficient with about 10 hrs. practice. This drill does glass engraving that can't be done any other way," says Spinks, noting that one high school student, who bought one of his engraving kits, makes over $500 a week working just a few hours a week customizing windows for auto and truck dealerships.
"You can put a picture of your own farm on the window using one of our special stencils made from a photo-graph and engraving kit. It's easy to do and an inexpensive way to personalize your vehicle," he says. When Spinks first got into glass egg engraving, he tried a regular dental drill but found that the slow speed of the bit and the angled head made it impractical. He worked with a manufacturer to design a straight-headed, air-powered drill that spins at an incredible 480,000 rpm's. Equipped with a carbide bit, the drill lets Spinks carve out egg shells or car and truck window glass almost as easily as drawing with a pencil.
Some of his egg designs are so fragile they're literally held together by just one or two thin strands of eggshell. In one carving of a feeding hummingbird, for instance, the entire bird is suspended by its beak.
Spinks mounts completed shells on a wood pedestal under a small glass dome and sells them for $100 to $300, depending on design. Because they're so fragile they can't be shipped but he's had no trouble selling them locally.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ernie Spinks, Rt. 5, Box 5539, Hudson, Wis. 54016 (ph 715 386-5528).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #5