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The Art of Finishing

Liz Whipple

Posted on May 15 2020

Not all glasses are created — or finished— equally. Lowercase’s hand-polishing process is long and multifaceted, and developed uniquely for our product. While most frames today are mass finished using chemical vapor baths, we put every frame through ten individual steps just to get the final polish. The effort shows in the product, and sets our frames apart in both look and quality. 

 
Steps 1-4 : Barrel Tumbling
The barrel tumbling process is akin to seaglass being softened in the ocean. The frames and temples spend four days in our tumbler: one day in each barrel. Each stage involves a different size of media and a different kind of paste, for a progressively finer finish. This process removes tool marks, softens sharp corners, and adds a high quality satin finish to the acetate.

Step 5 : Sanding
The frames move through several more steps before they are assembled.  For each pair, we craft a seamless connection between the front and the temples.  The first step in this process is to gently flatten the connection through sanding.

 

Step 6 : Hand Filing
After we get the connection close on the sanding belt, we hand file every joint to make sure that the connection is perfectly flush. This step is a true sign of quality and the craftsmanship that sets Lowercase frames apart from the rest. 
 

 

 

Steps 7 + 8 : Felt Buffing Wheels
We use two different felt buffing wheels to smooth out the connection that was filed and remove any filing marks or gouges. First we use an aggressive buffing wheel, then a gentler wheel to smooth out the acetate.

Steps 9 + 10 : Polishing Wheels
After the connection is crafted and deep scratches and divots are removed, the frames receive their final polish.  We use a two step process - first to smooth out any minor scratches or imperfections, and then a final polish to give the frames a solid shine.


After the final polish, the frames are ready to be fit with lenses, wiped down, and shipped off to you!

SHOP HAND-FINISHED SUNGLASSES

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