Mandrel maker celebrates 65th year of service

Lynco Grinding Co. is celebrating a rare milestone in March: 65 years in business serving the composites industry.

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Lynco Grinding Co. (Bell Gardens, Calif.) is celebrating a rare milestone in March: 65 years in business serving the composites industry. The mandrel specialist opened its doors in 1947, launched by Harold Hogarth, who saw and seized an opportunity in the fishing-rod industry. Wayne Hogarth, Harold’s son and current president of the company, says that after World War II, American consumers returned to leisure pursuits like fishing. Until then, rods had been made from split bamboo or steel. Supply of the former proved unreliable, and the latter proved dangerous, thanks to their ability to attract lightning strikes. Fiberglass, therefore, seemed like an ideal alternative, but the challenge was development of small-diameter, tapered mandrels for layup of the rods. “Nobody could do it,” Wayne says. “But my dad did it. It’s still very difficult today.”

The company still makes the small-diameter, tapered mandrels that got it started, but it also has branched out into other markets, including aerospace and fiber and tape placement. Wayne says the company’s smallest diameter mandrel today is 0.010 inch/0.254 mm, and its largest is 5 ft/1.5m. Material types used include alloy carbon steel, aluminum, bronze, brass, copper, composites and glass. “If it needs a tool, we’ll build it,” he says.

Although the company has developed processing expertise, Wayne says the focus remains on the manufacture of quality mandrels for composites applications. “We’ve been asked to get into production, but we feel that would be an injustice to our customers.”

Today the company employs 12 people who have worked there from 8 to 30 years. Lynco founder Harold is retired, and he and his wife, Mary, are about to celebrate a milestone of their own: 70 years of marriage. Wayne says a formal celebration of the company’s birthday isn’t planned, but it’s still a big deal: “I’m proud of the fact that we have been continuously operating in the composites industry for such a long time, doing one thing and doing it well.”