Tim Kane had been working as the manager at J.L. Hayes & Co. on Minot Avenue in Auburn for 20 years when the owners decided it was time to close the iconic farm/yard/hardware store after almost 150 years.

“I didn’t want to go to work for one of the big box stores, so I thought about what people were asking for and did some research and decided to invest in a laser engraving machine.”  

He started working out of his home, but eventually secured a corner of the J.L. Hayes building. And began engraving on just about anything, as Maine Laser Engraving.

“We print on a variety of materials, from wood, plastic, glass, coated metals and more.”

He can scan photos, drawings and accept digital files, and translate those into engravings. “There is a big selection of 3D images available online, but they are pretty expensive.”  

Recently he has been doing a lot of business for area bars asking for custom-etched glassware. Weddings, special events and anniversaries are just some of the milestones people come in seeking to commemorate with etching.  

The business has been successful, which means Kane is currently looking for a new location. J.L. Hayes will officially close its doors March 31.

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