The Model 710 Finisher - Still Leading the Way

Since Standard Engineering absorbed Whitfield Wylie at the turn of the century, and began manufacturing and updating the Whitfield range of equipment, the world of shoe repair machinery has changed a great deal.

Given the newly merged company was to be working out of Whitfield’s production facility, the then range of Standard equipment - Lynx Finishers, Tiger Presses, etc. were rendered obsolete from day one.  Once a company is no longer geared up to manufacture a particular model of machine, the number of parts stocked reduces over time.  Within a year or two of the takeover, the new Standard Engineering could not have offered new Lynx / Tiger machinery if it wanted to.

Now, a further decade and a half later, we would not even offer to recondition this range of equipment.  Too many parts are no longer made or even, worth stocking to maintain the increasingly dwindling number of Lynx / Tiger combinations, and these models have joined the increasing number of machine makes and models that, to all intents and purposes are no supported, except through basic consumables, such as grindery, filter bags and cutters.

Not that the Lynx / Tiger machines are alone in being unsupportable now.  Who can remember the Standard “Dove” finisher?  The “Little Gem?”  The “Digbeth?”  Or the Whitfield “100”, “200”, “500”?  Or “Europa?”  Or the “C92” – less-than-affectionally known as the “Fish and Chip” machine?  All gone.  All obsolete.

Entire ranges of equipment that are no longer supportable.  They turn up on E-bay every now and again, and if punters buy them, get them going, and squeeze a few additional years out of the kit, then fair play to them.  We usually know an ancient beast of a finisher has been put on Ebay as we will get a call asking the cost of motors, buttons or bayonet fittings for a “Standard 2A Combination Finisher”, or a Whitfield “Model H.”

Sometimes the customer accepts that this is unlikely as the machine is over 70 years old.  But others have been known to take umbrage that we have nothing for a machine which was already of an age when the country celebrated VE Day!  “It’s got your plate on it”, they mutter darkly, before hanging-up.

It’s not just our old kit which has been consigned to the history of shoe repairing.  Numerous other companies have built shoe repair equipment over the years and are either no longer with us, or operating at a greatly reduced capacity, supplying refurbished units and spares only. 

There are also a handful of current Continental manufacturers and suppliers who pop up briefly with moderate equipment that it is simply not worth our time to consider stocking parts for.  Usually because the companies come and go so quickly, and never sell machines in any quantity into the UK market.

It is obviously more difficult to stock parts for other people’s machinery than your own.  Again, most people understand this, although some still can’t quite get their heads around why we can’t have every part for every machine ever made, by anyone, on our infinite shelving.

All of which brings us back to the 700 range of finishers.  The original ones are well over 30 years old, but because the basic design has not been changed too much upwards of 95% of the components we use on our current builds can be used on older models.  This means that if you have an old Model 700 in need of parts or consumables you are in a very fortunate position, because, chance are, we’ll have them.  And we’ll be able to supply from stock, at a reasonable price, even if we say so ourselves!


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