on American Restoration

The History Channel
Wednesday Feb. 8th, 2012
American Restoration at 8:30 CST

I was working on the weld table involved in a large project several months back when… I received a phone call from Rick Dale, owner of American Restoration.  I remember the phone call well – I answered the phone, Rick barely introduced himself before I told him I had to call him back then I hung up on him.

Oh….., I called Rick back after I finished my welding and apologized for hanging up on him, he said he understood.  It was then that Rick told me he had a special machine that had been brought in for restoration – it was a Graphotype 6341 that came from Mare Island, CA and had been in service with the US Navy since the 1940’s and WWII.

Rick, owner and lead character on The History Channel’s hit show American Restoration had gotten my phone number from someone in the Graphotype community and was told if it is Graphotype related, then was the place to go for information.  Our second phone call was the start of a great relationship.  After hearing about the machine and visiting with Rick, was on board to help get this machine “ship shape” and back on line. worked with Rick and his crew to restore the machine to it’s as issued condition.

Victory Stores Graphotype as delivered on the Set of American Restoration

American Restoration is a hit show on The History Channel where Rick Dale, his son and crew take anything from the past restore it to new. has a special place in our heart for Rick and his show because of the father son relationship that Rick has fostered by bringing his son into the show and teaching him the merits of hard work and the trade.  As a father myself the importance of family led me to create a father son project that delivered rewards far beyond anything we imagined.

My son Kobie, started his business as a result of our father son project.  From age 12 up until his entrance into the US Navy, Kobie owned and operated DogTagsRus a business where he made and sold dog tags.  Now that Kobie is serving our country in the US Navy as a corpsman, DogTagsRus has been handed down to his sister Kelsey.  Kelsey is in the process of opening her online store – so what started as a father son project is being carried on as a father daughter project.  Don’t tell Kobie, but – Kelsey learned well – currently she outsells him two to one.

The Graphotype machine spotlighted in the show spent most of it’s life producing tags at the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard in Vallejo, CA.  As delivered the machine was in poor shape, damaged,  missing parts and did not function., worked directly with Rick and his crew secure replacement parts and provided technical support and advice to get the machine back into service.  All the work done was performed by Rick and his talented crew who were in constant contact to verify every detail so that they could ensure that when the machine was finished it would be 100% correct just as the day it was delivered to the US Navy.

Victory Stores, 435 Virginia St., Vallejo, CA 94590

The Graphotype 6341 has found a new home in Vallejo’s Victory Stores on Virginia Street in Vallejo, California.  The machine will live on making dog tags and the proceeds from the sales will go to help fund the Vallejo Fireworks Display.

To read more about this machine here is an article written about the machine in the Vallejo Times Herald.




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