SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) — Scott Stites is the founder and owner of Sparks Metalcrafters. He says he can't make U.S. flags and other products fast enough. The wait time for a product can last months.
Sparks Metalcrafters produces U.S. Flags and other patriotic emblems with local materials and workers.
Sparks Metalcrafters doesn't use polyester, nylon or cotton to make the U.S. Flag. It uses metal.
"I'm not afraid to spend money on the best components," Stites said.
He also uses some of the best equipment to craft his flags and other emblems. He purchased a CNC Plasma Cutter to produce the designs he created on his computer.
The Plasma Cutter heats the metal between 25,000 and 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but the water sprayed near the cutting action cools the surrounding metal to the touch.
Next, the parts are sent Marq Powder Coating in Sparks for color. A worker negatively charges the metal and sprays colored particles that have a positive charge. The static pulls the powder coating onto the metal. The sprayed metal is then put in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven, where the polyester color coating is baked on.
"His line has really taken off so it really gave us a lot more production here also. It's really trickled down," said Marq Powder Coating Owner, Simon Marquez.
The colored parts are sent back to Sparks Metalcrafters, where they're put together.
The most affordable model is a U.S. flag in the shape of the state of Nevada. It costs $175.
Veterans like Erich Kolbe are the most popular group of buyers. He served the United States in the first Iraq War and recalls the moment his fellow soldiers raised a U.S. flag, despite warnings from local Iraqis.
"And that meant the world to me and it still does to this day. That flag means everything to me," said veteran Erich Kolbe. He purchased a large U.S. flag from Sparks Metalcrafters and placed it on his barn.
"When it comes to the medallions, I have worked with people from every branch of service and we're all the same. We're all brothers in arms," Kolbe said.
Scott and his employees can't keep up with demand. His buyers are willing to pay for his products because of the quality and craftsmanship.