I ran into an issue that you should know about if you plan on getting a custom logo applied to the wood surface of a new lifting platform you’re buying, whether it’s a York or any other brand.
Look at this. When our customer received the platform that York made for him, with his custom logo applied, he was able to grab the vinyl sticker and rip it off.
It wasn’t sealed over! It has to be sealed over to create a flat surface!
He could feel the edges of the sticker, and in that unprotected state it was just going to start wearing away immediately.
I had gotten a report from another customer in the past that his logo was wearing away, but I didn’t hear back after I asked to see a pic.
This time I looked into it more. I had several phone and email conversations with my York rep to explain the problem, show them pics and even a video. Clearly it was an oversight. They must have forgotten to apply more layers over the logo. Their yorkbarbell.com (US) website doesn’t mention how much it’s sealed over, but their yorkfitness.com (UK) website in the past said:
6 coats of Polyurethane varnish is used to increase the longevity of the oak (and logos) and created a smooth (not slippery) lifting surface.https://yorkfitness.com/products/york-barbell-oak-olympic-weightlifting-platform
(2023 update: The platform is no longer sold on the UK website, and the varnish is not mentioned in the description on yorkbarbell.com)
It appears they only used one layer of sealant. After a few weeks of going back and forth with York to arrange a replacement that’s made right, they refused to do anything. Basically saying, It isn’t a problem. That’s how we always do it.
The way you do it sucks! One layer doesn’t do jack!
York Barbell has been around since 1932. They’ve been making platforms and other stuff for longer than any other gym equipment company still in existence.
After several decades at it, they should be making the best platforms in the world by now, right?
By the way, our customer peeled off the logo for another reason as well: the color wasn’t quite right, a result of a CMYK/RGB color conversion. All parties involved could have done better to notice and prevent that issue. But the point is, he needed the logo reprinted in the right color anyway as well as sealed over correctly, and I suggested he pull that sucker off so I can show York what’s up.
I wasn’t going to leave him hanging the way York left me hanging, so I refunded him logo fee, and then some, so he could get it reprinted locally and try sealing it over with StreetShoe, which is the stuff York uses.
Good news! This story has a happy ending.
It took him 5 coatings of StreetShoe, but with that he got a smooth surface over the logo like it’s supposed to be, and it’s all exactly how he wants it now.
So how to move forward with York’s nonexistent process of sealing over logos?
I considered just not selling any more custom logos at all, and having York not even put their own logo on it like they would normally do, leaving it blank as shown here:
York is willing to do this and print their logo on only the underside of the platform (out of sight) for brand identification purposes. Otherwise it looks like the below.
Then I figured, well, other than the sealing process, they do a great job with printing and applying the logos, and for that matter the platform construction is also well done. The whole package is well done until the last step.
So at this point we’re willing to keep doing custom logos for the York platforms on Adamant Barbell, but only after we make sure that each customer understands first that they will need to seal it over themselves with 4 more layers because York doesn’t think it’s important.
If it turns out no customers are interested in going through that, we’ll just remove that option from the product page and do no logos at all to keep it simple.
Of course, if we can find another platform maker willing to seal on custom logos the right way, that’s an option too!
Has anyone out there used some nice thick clear coat that doesn’t require 5 layers like StreetShoe does? Leave a comment!