The Bales Legacy

Bales leads the finishing industry in excellence and innovation. For over 45 years, we’ve helped manufacturers across industries achieve the best surface treatments for their needs.

Get to Know Us

Steve and Mike Bales fulfilled their dream of founding Bales Mold Service in 1978. Working out of a small residential garage, they didn’t set out to be the biggest or the fanciest. They simply wanted to solve their customers’ problems and take care of their dedicated employees.

Steve and Mike built a stellar reputation in the finishing industry through customer satisfaction, integrity, and innovation. Bales is still committed to these values more than 40 years later.

Since 2009, Stacey Bales and Sara Mortensen—Steve’s daughters—have carried forward the Bales legacy. Together with a team of surface experts, they bring you the very best metal surface solutions.


  1. Founding of Bales Mold Service

    Steve and Mike Bales founded Bales Mold Service in a 1,000 square-foot space in Lombard, IL. We initially offered diamond polishing services.

  2. Relocation to Downers Grove

    Bales built and moved to a 15,000 square-foot facility in Downers Grove, IL. The relocation allowed us to add electroless nickel and chrome plating services.

  3. NICKLON™ Coating Debut

    Bales recognized the need for new coatings to improve mold release and lubricity, and introduced a nickel Teflon coating called NICKLON™.

  4. ISO Certification

    Bales obtained ISO 9001 certification for quality management, demonstrating our commitment to a strong customer focus and continual improvement.

  5. Diamond Chrome Debut

    Bales introduced a proprietary Diamond Chrome coating for applications requiring extreme hardness.

  6. NIBORE™ Coating Debut

    Bales developed NIBORE™, which combines electroless nickel and boron nitride particles for superior lubricity and hardness.

  7. Launch of Stainless Steel Passivation

    Bales added stainless steel passivation to our service offerings.

  8. Second-Generation Leadership

    Following the retirement of Mike Bales and the sudden passing of Steve Bales in November 2009, a new generation of the Bales family assumed leadership of the company. Stacey Bales became president, while Sara Mortensen became vice president.

  9. Moldmaker of the Year Award

    Steve Bales was honored posthumously with the Moldmaker of the Year award, presented by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

  10. Woman-Owned Certification

    Bales achieved recognition as a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, the gold standard for women-owned business certification.

  11. Sustainability Award

    The Village of Downers Grove presented Bales with the inaugural Green Business Award. The award recognizes local businesses that have made substantial efforts to become environmentally sustainable.

  12. New Company Brand Launch

    Reflecting a bold vision for the future, Bales launched a rebranding effort. We simplified our company name to Bales and unveiled a new logo and website. The new brand received an Award of Distinction for Corporate Identity at the 2015 Communicator Awards.

  13. First "Best Place to Work" Award

    Bales earned the Best Place to Work award presented by Plastics News. Our highly skilled team is the backbone of our business, and we believe in treating our team right.


    The nano-sized diamond particles in Diamond E.N.™ offer extreme abrasion resistance—and give Chrome some tough competition.

  15. Industry Young Leader Award

    Bales' President Stacey Bales won the inaugural Young Leader Award presented by the Technology and Manufacturing Association. The award recognizes outstanding young leaders in the industry.

  16. Retirement of Harry Raimondi

    Harry retired as Bales’ Technical Services Manager after over two decades. He worked in the industry for 50 years and is still recognized as a pillar of the moldmaking community, not just in Chicagoland but around the country. In 2015, he earned the Moldmaker of the Year award from the Society of Plastic Engineers.

  17. Stacey Bales honored with the NASF Award of Merit

    This prestigious award acknowledges the leadership of peers who have dedicated a great deal of their time to ensure a strong association and vibrant industry. The Award of Merit honors members who show exemplary service and achievement on both the local and national levels.

  18. Second "Best Place to Work" Award

    Bales became a second-time recipient of the Best Place to Work award presented by Plastics News. Bales is a family-owned business dedicated to caring for its employees — many have been with us for over a decade.


If It’s Metal, We Cover It

Achieve the best surface treatment, no matter your industrial application. Our metal finishing capabilities are as diverse as the industries we serve:



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