What began as the inability to find masks for staff at the Bond Arms shop turned into an opportunity to give back to the Granbury, TX, community by protecting customers, first responders and anyone else having trouble finding the protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bond Arms is best known for its small yet powerful personal-protection pistols, but during the shelter-in-place order the personal-defense business—still operating as essential—is now producing barrier masks.
The effort began when Gordon Bond, president of Bond Arms, couldn’t find masks for staff use in the shop. Local sources are providing cloth masks in the interim, but he ordered more with the Bond Arms logo for customers, first responders and anyone else needing a protective mask. Full delivery of that personal protective gear is expected later this month.
Through a friend, Bond learned about a high school using 3-D printers to create plastic respirator-style masks with a replaceable filter element. He visited the school with educators from another one from Granbury, and all three locations are now making as many of the units as possible.
Bond Arms purchased two of the printers for one high school to bolster production, along with three for its shop. The investment raised the total inventory of 3-D printers for the effort at six in each of the schools and another four at Bond Arms.
Printing is slow, unfortunately. The high schools make about 96 masks per day on 12 printers, and once Bond Arms is in full production it will turn out about 48 daily. The company and schools donate time and materials. It sounds like a sufficient supply, but Bond notes the limited production barely meets the surrounding community’s needs.
Bond encourages others who want to join in this project to e-mail him at [email protected]. He is eager to share what he has learned and help others get started in the effort to defeat COVID-19.