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Fascination with details.

Making Toby Vintage Headlamps

In today’s world where mass production and automation dominate the marketplace, it is often hard to find high-quality products that are made with a human touch. That is why we are proud to provide detailed lamp reproductions crafted by skilled artisans who have dedicated their lives to perfecting their craft. 

Each piece is meticulously recreated with labour-intensive care to ensure that every curve, line, and detail is replicated precisely, capturing the essence and beauty of the original work. Our team of skilled craftsmen takes pride in their work and uses only the finest quality materials to create timeless artifacts that are sure to be cherished for generations to come. When you purchase a Toby Headlamp, you are not only buying a high-quality piece of art, but you are also supporting the work of passionate crafts-people who strive to keep traditional techniques and methods alive.


Spin Spin Spin

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It all begins in a spin…

Above a headlamp rim is expertly eased into shape on the mandrel. One of Britain’s longest established and most experienced specialist metal spinners forms the headlamp bowl, rim and reflector from brass over wooden patterns.  The Ball Spinning Company in Buntingford are third-generation metal-workers whose work can be seen in films, the nose-cones of Spitfire aircraft, and on many fine vintage cars. 

For the full range of 5 Toby headlamps, we need to spin 5 different shells, 3 plain rims, 6 rims to suit various stoneguards, 3 reflector bowls and a 2-piece socket to take the bulb holder. 

Linishing the raw headlamp shells

Next the raw headlamp shells are linished (sanded) to remove any groves or marks left by the spinning and profiling process.

They are then marked out on a jig to correctly position the mounting holes, for the Toby badge hole and holes for rim catches.

Crafting vintage headlamps requires attention, precision, and a passion for detail. Our team takes pride in creating a gem that will stand the test of time. Each step of the process presents an opportunity to enhance and perfect the craft. 

In production – a batch of brass headlamp shells and rims with holes cut is ready for polishing to mirror finish, then chrome plating or powder coating gloss black

Brass shells & rims ready for polishing and plating

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Chasing the Wax

The smaller metal parts of Toby headlamps are cast for Toby in Birmingham by a specialist metal foundary. Using the investment casting “lost wax” process G.W. Lunts produce perfect bronze components from our original patterns. Lunts have been making fine quality small batch castings since 1930.

The cast parts are cut from the sprue tree and the pouring channels ground away. The parts are now shot-blasted and are ready for drilling, machining, polishing and plating.


Clearly Beautiful

Toby Vintage headlamps are offered with multiple glass lens options. Glass is specially cast to the original half-ribbed and fully-ribbed patterns. The diffused flat glass is cut with a water-jet to give an exactly sized fit.

Finishing Touches

It’s the attention to detail and quality of finish that helps make the Toby Mitchell Vintage Headlamp series so special. 

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When recreating an original classic design there are few parts available “off-the-shelf”. Multiple custom parts are made, even down to the tiny clamp band that secures the bulb-holder.