Some products have a heart-warming backstory to them. The brass or copper dominoes offered J.L. Lawson & Company might just fit into that category.
J.L. Lawson & Company was founded by Anthony Lawson in June 2011. A photographer and a designer, Lawson was also an apprenticing machinist. The real machinist of the company, however, is Lawson’s father, Floyd, who for the past 40+ years has been perfecting the craft. Lawson’s father has also been trying to teach him the craft. And that’s where the dominoes come in.
Lawson designed a set of dominoes, which he had printed out. Those prototypes were brought to Floyd to start machining. In his naiveté as a fresh student of machining, Lawson thought it would be simple to just churn out the dominoes. His enthusiasm was met with a chuckle from a more knowledgeable and experienced father. Floyd went on to explain that the dominoes could be done, but they cost would be so prohibitive that no one would be able to afford them. Lawson shelved the idea of machining each set, but he kept the idea of brass or copper dominoes alive, finding someone who could manufacture the sets for him. That someone was Michael Rahban, who helped set up the process for creating the dominoes using CNC machining.
Each domino is made of either C110 copper or 360 brass and measures 1.5 inches by 0.75 inches by .025 inches. They weigh 40 grams apiece, which makes the whole set weigh in at 2 pounds. The dominoes are all bead blasted and then laser engraved. The finish is done by hand. Sets come in a custom walnut box with magnet enclosures.
The sets sell for $245 each. As Lawson notes, “Maybe a little pricey for a set of dominoes but not so much when you consider the work involved. If you break it down that each set contains 28 individual pieces and a custom walnut box, you’re looking at a bit of a bargain. Of course, if you compare these to a standard domino set, the price will seem outrageous…but these aren’t really comparable to standard sets.” Besides, these dominoes represent a father passing wisdom on to his son, and that’s priceless.