The Founding Father

Mohammed Taufic Absi

1924 - 1998

Beginnings

Mohammed Taufic Absi Sr., a successful businessman during the 1950s owned and managed a thriving agency of fridges and motor vehicles. As the decade was turning to its end, Mr. Absi had to face a life challenge: Being an entrepreneur in nature, he met the challenge by starting a new business, and we enjoy his second success.

Founding

He started to partially produce medals using a space he made available in his own house and some household tools. Shortly after, with the help of his family members, Mr. M. Taufic, the father of eight, succeeded in putting together a workshop to produce medals. On Jan 2nd, 1969, he founded a new establishment and operated it under the name Mohammed Taufic Absi Est. that was also known as Absi Medals.

Developing

By 1980, he had developed his workshop into a fully equipped minting facility. During very hard times in a country shredded by many wars, the founder empowered his business with the latest technology of his time while still maintaining a good level of craftsmanship.

Mr. Mohammed Taufic Absi, founder of Absi Co, contributed to the medal making industry by pioneering an efficient practical approach to produce medal-stamping dies.

Background

To stamp an impression on medals you need a steel stamping die. Different methods can be used to produce steel stamping dies.

Classical method for producing a stamping die

Classically, a bas-relief (3D) clay model created by the sculptor will be cast in brass then copied and reduced to the proper size onto a steel die using a manual pantograph or an automatic special 3D reducing machine called Janvier’s Pantograph or Medallion Lathe. After engraving the impression on the steel die, the die is hardened to make it ready for stamping medals. Mr. Mohammed Toufic Absi was the first to introduce a Janvier’s Pantograph to Lebanon and to use it in the early seventies.

Mr. Mohammed Taufic Absi Method

Mr. Mohammed Taufic Absi pioneered a new approach to produce stamping dies. Instead of using the Janvier’s Pantograph to engrave the steel die, he used it to engrave a copper plate, a metal softer than steel and a good conductor that offers a high resistivity to electric erosion, which in turn is used as an anode (or Medal “Master”) in a spark erosion machine known as Electric Discharge Machine (EDM) to transfer the impression onto a steel die (or “Workpiece”).

This approach proved to be not only faster in producing detailed engravings, but it has also enabled Mr. Absi to recycle hardened stamping dies when the impression engraved on their surface was of no further use. Clearly, hardened steel dies are not suitable for engraving by the Janvier’s Pantograph due to the hardness they acquire through the hardening process. The surface of a steel die is cleared from any impression using a surface grinding machine, and a new impression is engraved on its surface using the EDM machine and the copper plate engraved with the Janvier’s Pantograph.

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Janvier’s Pantograph

A Janvier’s Pantograph machine is used to engrave a reduced image on a steel die or a copper plate. The impression is reduced from the brass cast (right side) to the small copper plate (left side) in contoured multi-level relief.

EDM Machine

An EDM - electric discharge machine, known also as a spark machine is used to copy an impression from a “Master” copper plate to a “workpiece” or the steel die.

Surface Grinding Machine

A Surface grinding machine is used to level the stamping die surface and to clear the impression from a previously used steel stamping die enabling the reuse of a hardened steel die.

Clay Model

An enlarged 3D (bas-relief) clay model is created by the sculptor.

Brass & Plater Model

The enlarged plaster model is cast from the clay model which in turn is used to cast the brass model to be used on a Janvier’s Pantograph machine

Steel Stamping Die

A steel die with an impression engraved on it’s surface, this must be hardened to be ready for stamping medals.

A Stamped Proof Medal

A medal is produced by striking the steel die against a blank brass (copper, silver or gold) disk.