Hy-Grade Metal Products in Syracuse is starting its second century in business, making it one of the oldest companies of its kind in the United States.
The company has had some of its work included in TV shows and movies.
It all started back in 1918 with a simple process known as spinning metal that was used to make church goods, specifically candle burners.
Mike Donegan, the current owner of Hy-Grade Metal Products, says, “Syracuse was a big hub for church goods. There were several different candle companies in the area.”
By the time Donegan’s parents bought Hy-Grade in the late 1960’s the product line had already expanded greatly, and it hasn’t stopped.
“If you look up on the wall over here there’s probably a good thousand different pieces up there,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
Tools that are still used to spin metal by hand or machine into all shapes and sizes for clients all over the globe.
Donegan rattles off just a few countries where he ships product, like Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, India, Portugal, Denmark.
Hy-Grade also has plenty of clients throughout the United States and at a much smaller rate they’re still producing the very products the company was founded on all those years ago, candle burners.
Metal spinning lends itself to small orders so Hy-Grade often gets some very unique and fun requests.
Donegan describes the order from a large film company, “They found us and asked whether we could make a head for an R2D2 and so we ended up making about 50 of them or so.”
Hy-Grade products can also be seen right now in the historical time traveler series “outlander” on Starz.
“The guys really like to see what we make and know what it goes to,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
The shop is now outfitted with machines old and new, like the ultra-high pressure water jet able to cut through metal and stone to produce intricate designs.
Hy-Grade also makes antique replica parts for cars, and is very popular when the Syracuse Nationals come to town each summer.