The Techniques of Pattern Making
Making patterns is a highly skilled trade that relates to mould-making and fine woodworking...
Patterns are made to precise specifications of manufacture, and must last for a good length of time to provide numerous dimensionally correct casting.
Pattern Makers learn their skills through apprenticeships over many years of experience. An engineer may assist in producing a design, but its the pattern-maker who will execute it.
A pattern is a replica of an item to be cast, normally in metal. The pattern is used to create a mould/cavity (made from sand in foundries) into which the molten material can be poured, and once cool and set the final object is produced.
Patterns can be made from wood, plastics, fibre glass or other materials.
Carving - Basic shapes can be carved using machines, but we carve the majority by hand.
Sanding - To refine shapes and edges we sand by hand, as well as using belt, disc and orbital sanding machines.
Turning - Cylindrical shapes can be created using a lathe as well as by hand using saws and sanding.
Curves - Most radius edges are created by hand but we also use routers.
Lettering - Bespoke lettering is manufactured to customer's specifications, although we do stock some common fonts and sizes.
Fibre glassing - Some moulds or patterns are made using fibreglass which is all hand laid.