BAZETTA - Everett Industries Inc.'s abrasive cutting machines have been used to slice everything from bundles of thin hypodermic needles to thick steel cables used to hold up the Golden State Bridge.
Global conglomerate GE buys the cutters to use in building Ohio-class submarines at its Groton, Conn., shipyard. So does the company that makes Little Debbie snack cakes.
From its birth 50 years ago, the family business on Larchmont Ave., N.E., in Bazetta has made its name known to makers of casino chips and silicon computer chips, to makers of Gucci handbag to auto parts for Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt and other automotive giants
Tribune Chronicle / Larry Ringler
Everett Industries President Bill Everett shows the operation of a saw the company makes that uses an abrasive cutoff wheel to slice through some of the world’s hardest materials.
Now, the company started by Chuck Everett and Don Donaldson in 1962 stands to demonstrate its "Sever It with Everett" slogan in the natural gas shale drilling boom that's bringing new wealth to the Mahoning Valley and eastern Ohio.
The process of breaking shale rock 8,000 feet underground to release gas and oil requires drillers to inject huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals at tremendous pressure through hoses, a technique called hydraulic fracking.
The walls of the hoses are reinforced with four layers of steel cables so they can withstand pressure of as much as 15,000 pounds per square inch.
Company President Bill Everett, son of the founder, says the company's abrasive cutting wheels are made of aluminum oxide, the fifth hardest material known to man. Diamonds and cubic boron nitrate rank first and second.
The cutting wheels provide cleaner and cooler cuts than toothed blades, which tend to deform and affect the chemistry of the material being cut due to heat.
"It makes the lot of sparks, but that's the heat leaving," said Everett, proving his point by touching the back of his hand with a file he'd just cut.
The abrasive wheels can cut through an inch of solid steel in three to five seconds, depending on the diameter that ranges from 8 inches to 26 inches and spinning at 1,200 to 3,450 revolutions per minute.
Everett said his 10-worker company supports area businesses by buying cast aluminum parts used to make the cutting machines from suppliers in Columbiana and Linesville, Pa.
The company remains close to its family and community roots - Donaldson's grandsons, Bob Hardman, is shop superintendent; Gary Hardman is the lead machinist and Everett's brother-in-law, Ray Williams, is vice president.
Employment is down from 28 five years ago, but orders are "comfortably level," he said.
Everett said he's even been able to add a couple of workers in the last couple of months.
"We were thrilled we were able to do that," he said.