The small-scale sailboats of Miniature Harken have been providing “yachtsmen” with the experience of navigating the high seas, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale, with the support and miniature aluminum extrusions of Minalex. Founder and third generation “ship builder” Dean Derusha, has operated this “miniature shipyard” for almost forty years and since 1996, has trusted Minalex to provide parts of the highest quality and most precise tolerances.

Licensed by international sailboat equipment solutions supplier, Harken to recreate sailboat components at a fraction of their real-world size, Michigan-based Miniature Harken currently offers thirty-eight different models, and will custom-build according to the customer’s specifications. Often, these requests come from former owners of full-sized vessels, often as large as 80 feet in length, who want to preserve their connection with their past experiences and memories. Sizes of the miniature remote controlled sailboats generally range from one to ten feet; some can be built in larger dimensions. To add an even further touch of realism, the company utilizes 3D scanning technology to create full-color printed “people” that can be placed on the decks of these model yachts, so a boat owner can still go for a sail with his family, so to speak.

Derusha states, “I don’t know of anyone who builds miniature sailing with the same level of precision and exacting detail that we do…or as cost efficiently. We can spend hours refining a single part to accurately replicate the full size original. Thanks to the miniature extrusions of Minalex, the time and cost required to build them can be significantly reduced.”

The various Miniature Harken models are lightweight, remote-control racing vessels, so weight is a critical factor, and aluminum is the ideal solution. Minalex currently supplies a variety of aluminum extrusions, many of which are very complex and cannot be made at such a reduced scale in any other way. Derusha adds, “The people at Minalex have been wonderfully supportive in making our ideas happen. They even provided CAD support, and developed the final technical drawings from rough sketches to perfect the production of the final extruded parts.”

The first parts Minalex produced were toe rails, which were applied where the hull and deck meet to cap and protect the raw fiberglass edge. Two sizes of toe rails were produced. The most recent extrusions have been mast-related, including an extrusion tube with a slot that is glued to a tapered mast. The two sizes currently produced are for control and adjustment of the sails. These extruded masts can be as short as one foot and up to twelve feet, with custom lengths and profiles also available. To withstand the harsh marine environment, the aluminum extrusions are anodized as part of the finishing process, which further strengthens the parts, while providing salt water protection.

“Working with Miniature Harken for more than twenty years has been extremely rewarding,” states Michael Casey, Vice President, Sales and Planning at Minalex. “Whenever we’re invited to participate early in the design process, we always achieve a better finished part as we can make recommendations to positively influence both quality and performance. Seeing our finished parts and how they perform on their amazingly detailed sailing reproductions is truly rewarding.”

Miniature Marine is currently experiencing a boat-building boom. To satisfy the demand, the company recently expanded its facility to accommodate a growing parts inventory and house additional construction and assembly functions. Derusha concludes, “We’re excited for the future and look forward to continuing to partner with Minalex. I’m sure that whatever challenges and opportunities we face, Minalex will be there to help us solve them.”

Aluminum Continues to Extend Its Reach: From Kitty Hawk into Space…and Beyond

Perhaps the first person to truly appreciate and understand the full potential of aluminum in the aerospace industry was the great writer Jules Verne. Published in 1865, his novel Journey to the Moon included a detailed description of an aluminum rocket. In the intervening century and a half, the advancement of aircraft and aerospace technology can be directly tied to the advancement and production of aluminum and aluminum alloys. From the Wright brothers’ use of aluminum in their first biplane to NASA’s use of an aluminum alloy in the Orion spacecraft, lightweight aluminum has helped make it possible for mankind to fly both around the world and send spacecraft to probe the most distant reaches of space. Read more…

Minalex Receives Exclusive AS9100D Quality Management Certification

Improving Quality for Aviation, Space, and Defense Organizations with the AS9100D Certification.

Minalex, a leading manufacturer of miniature aluminum extrusions with headquarters and production facilities in Whitehouse, New Jersey announced that the organization recently underwent a four-day audit assessing compliance of the company for the upgrade to AS9100 certification (AS9100D). This certification further enhances the quality that Minalex brings to aviation, space, defense and all other organizations. Read more…

Minalex Precision Aluminum Extrusions Help Maintain Target Accuracy for U.S. Military

Travel to American military bases or theaters of conflict around the world where U.S. soldiers are engaged and there’s a good chance a Minalex miniature aluminum extrusion will be there.

Where you’re most likely to find them are as an integral component of military rifles referred to as the Picatinny rail. The Picatinny rail or Pic rail for short, also known as a MIL-STD-1913 rail, or Standardization Agreement 2324 rail, is a bracket on firearms that provides a standard mounting platform consisting of rails similar in concept to the earlier commercial Weaver rail mount used to mount telescopic sights. Read more…

Minalex Aluminum Extrusions Help Jenex and Its Customers Achieve Olympic-Size Goals

(Whitehouse Station, NJ – February 2018) In PyeongChang, South Korea this February, competitors representing eighty-nine countries from around the world will be giving performances of Olympic proportions to achieve their dreams of capturing gold. For many skiers, realizing this ultimate goal is due in no small part to countless hours of practice and conditioning. Helping athletes from America, Canada and many other countries in these efforts is the roller ski company Jenex, who relies on the strength and stability of Minalex miniature aluminum extrusions for the main chassis of their industry leading training equipment. Read more…

Third Generation Joins As Minalex Celebrates Fifty-Year Milestone

Measured traditionally, a half-century is the passing of chronological time. Another way to gauge it is by the value and longevity of the relationships formed and sustained during that time. In that regard, few corporations can confidently say their strength lies in generations of family who share the same vision: to ensure that relationships create a prosperous, secure business for both company and clients. This long-standing principle is one that has been unwaveringly embraced for more than 50 years by the family-owned and founded Minalex Corporation, who today continues to be at the forefront of high-quality, custom aluminum extrusions. Read more…

Minalex Continues To Advance The Sports Equipment Game

When you think of the competitive game of tennis, a scenic mountain bike ride, or an exhilarating game of paintball, what comes to mind?

For decades, the use of custom aluminum extrusions from Minalex in the active consumer products market and the company’s fundamental contributions to sports equipment has been a winning collaboration. Read more…