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Mayhew Steel buys Basque Plastics to add in-house molding

By: Frank Antosiewicz

March 12, 2014

Mayhew Steel Products Inc. is tired of sourcing its plastic handles overseas and has purchased Basque Plastics Corp. of Leominster, Mass., to provide its own supply of plastic components.

Basque has been renamed Mayhew Basque Plastics LLC, according to its former owner Cliff Basque. It will retain its current management and employees and continue to supply its current customers.

“Their goal is to consolidate their molding in place — right now they do most of their molding overseas,” said Basque, during a phone interview.

“They wanted to bring the work back and give themselves better control of their inventory,” he added.

He said that what made the deal attractive was that he and his brother Greg will continue to co-manage the plastics operations and that Mayhew will help grow its business.

Since the deal was completed at the end of February, Basque said that they have added two used vertical shuttle Autojector presses to boost its capabilities. It is also looking at doing pad printing and hot stamping.

Right now, the company is gearing up to provide plastic handles with rubberized grips, and discussing other plastic components that it can add to Mayhew’s capabilities.

Mayhew Steel Products has a 158-year-old history of making hand tools. It is a private family-owned business that  got its start in Shelburne Falls, Mass., in 1856  and now makes pry bars, scrapers, chisels and punches for various specialty industries including construction and automotive.

Basque Plastics was started by the late Norman Basque, the father of Cliff and Greg, in 1972. With the two presses, it now has 19 machines that range up to 400 tons. The company has 13 fulltime employees and operates in a 30,000-square-foot facility.

Basque is a custom molder, producing a wide variety of components. They include corner guards for mattresses, as well as parts for the food service and firearm industries.

Cliff Basque admitted that the company was not looking for a deal, but the combination does solidify its future and provides the added resources of Mayhew.