I was once challenged by a particularly precocious five year old. As she ran herself a tub I asked her if she ever wondered how the water got to be there. “Yeah, I know that”, she replied, thwarting my rendition of ‘Tap turns on the water’. “but how about the tap, eh, how did that get born?”. A career in the law, or maybe children’s television, no doubt awaits. In the meanwhile, for Emma, and anyone else who ever wondered, courtesy of Modenus’ Blogtour sponsors Samuel Heath, this is the story of a tap. We suspect not everyone does it with this degree of craft and care.
Sam Heath begin with pure solid brass sourced from a local supplier. Much of the brass available today is from recycled material so it is a relatively sustainable manufacturing method.
‘Hot stamping’ is the traditional way of shaping brass into the bits that make up all sorts of things, faucets for example. This is one of Sam Heath’s 80 years plus old machines. It holds a tool in two parts with a brass billet between the two and literally ‘stamps’ a shape
And if that looks a tad violent, be assured there is also a lot of gentle precision going on. Samuel Heath makes use of high tech CNC machining. That’s ‘Computer Number Control’ to you. What it means, is the ability to work to exacting tolerances.
Next up, polishing or, as those who know call it, ‘surface preparation’. After shaping, a polisher uses a selection of reducing grades of polishing cloths to achieve a perfect finish prior to plating. This, my friends, is an art form.
Not a scene from Dante’s Inferno, but the Samuel Heath Plating Shop. Their products go through up to 34 individual processes to achieve that enduring ‘mirror finish’ they are known for. Hope we’re not giving anything away here!
And that’s almost the end of the story. All it needs now is for a talented interior designer to pair the Samuel Heath 109, seen sitting here in a warehouse, with a lovely tub and we’re happily on our way to bliss.
Thanks to Vanessa at Samuel Heath for help with our guided tour of the life of a tap.