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Thread: Golf Course Tee Box Marker

  1. #1

    Golf Course Tee Box Marker

    Tee Box Marker Pattern – Model Hand Pump

    The local golf club was built on an old family farm in 1924. There were a number of wells and the club adopted the well pumps as its logo. The original pumps were also manufactured by a local company in the day. One of the members has an outdoor ornamental lighting business with an aluminum foundry and powder coating line. I offered to make a multi-cavity pattern to suit his production equipment if he’d cast and powder coat model pump tee box markers. There are five sets of tees (pairs of markers) for eighteen holes so that’s 180 pieces. Plus figure some shrinkage through theft and breakage. They also intend to offer them for sale as souvenirs at the pro-shop. First run probably ~250 pcs. Based upon their preferred flask size of 20” x 14”, I proposed a four-cavity mold. I’m happy to cast a few but not 250!

    They sent me a black & white photo copy of the pump profile which I enlarged and printed to scale. The first model I made was 5” tall. After looking it over the golf club board of directors decided they wanted something closer to 8” tall. Though it made for a little more material it also made it a better casting that was easier to clean up and do the finish work.


    The lower pump post is about 11/16” diameter. The bulge is about 1 Ό” diameter. The smallest diameter under the handle is 3/8”. I usually make patterns like this split but since the diameters were fairly small, I elected to turn it as one piece and make a follower board to pull silicone molds from the master pattern so I could pop proofs and reproduce them on a multi-cavity tool. To make the master true and concentric, I used a piece of 3/8” steel tube and epoxied three pieces of urethane modeling board (two around the slender body and a disc for the base) onto the tube. This made it easy to mount and dismount between a chuck and live center on the wood lathe for turning and sanding. I also incorporated the 3/8 tube as the smallest diameter feature in the pump body pattern which made it a sturdier piece to turn.



    I cut the handle out of the same modeling board on a bandsaw and used a small spindle sander and some hand work to shape the profile. For draft, I just took the blade from a utility knife and hand scraped about 5 degrees of draft either side of center around the entire perimeter. Afterward, a couple minutes of sanding finished it up. I simplified and modified several of the pump features to make them mold more easily, help miminize flash and finish work, and still be consistent with the logo profile. For the spout, since I was already going to make a follower board, I was just going to flare and bend a piece of ½” copper tube but the radius was too tight so I made a small router template and used a Ό” radius bearing guided round over bit on my overarm router for each half and this worked well. I chucked a small disc of modeling board on a nail and turned the chamfer and some radial draft for the flare at the end of the spout.





    After some detail work, primer, and polishing, here is the completed master.



    Here is a simple follower. I initially routed it out to fit the main body and base, and then traced the rest of the features and some hand guided work on the over arm router. It was close enough that I could close the gaps with wax and a 1/16” radius fillet tool.



    To conserve on silicone, I traced an enlarged silhouette of the pattern and free handed the mold frames on the overarm router with a dovetail bit to retain the silicone. I match drilled registration holes in the follower and each mold frame and then cast the silicone around each side of the master. Here are the completed molds of the master pattern.



    I then laid these out on a board set up for a 14x20 flask. I just used the registration holes as the drill template for aligning the mold on each side of the board and then screwed the molds to the match plate. I used urethane and my poor man's injection system (paint pressure pot) to invest the molds. After casting the four copies, I plugged the registration and screw holes.



    I added a few alignment buttons, pouring well, runners, gates, a couple vents, a riser, and a couple generous coats of KinKote, and she was ready for the foundry.





    The castings also get a Ό” diameter mounting spike added to place the tee marker on the ground. I could have cast the spike integral to the casting but the spikes are a high damage item and are often bent so thought it best to make them replaceable. They would also complicate the match plate layout and/or take a lot of mold space. They just install with Ό-20 thread and locknut. I placed the master pattern in the silicone molds for safekeeping. The Tin catalyzed Silicone is fairly high durometer and has very long library life, especially with the master stored inside.

    Best,
    Kelly
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by kcoffield; 07-17-2017 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Because I never get it right the first time

  2. #2
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
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    subscribed!! This is going to be cool....
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor....

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    Wow, that is some slick patternmaking! Cool project, I'll be watching closely too.

    Jeff
    Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

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  4. #4
    Super cool. I'm sure Kelly will produce some first class work with this one.
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
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  5. #5
    I made a case for the pattern. They never seem to age well if they don't have some sort of storage and this one will get used maybe once a year.



    ...and the first two shots. 8 down 242 to go, . I didn't mold or pour them.



    The gates and runners are probably 4x bigger than need be but the guys pouring them told me they would never cut that small a sprue so I made them big enough to keep things unpressurized. I'm sure they fill very quickly but are a simple part. Didn't need the risers but could probably back off a few degrees with the risers. I'll post some more pics when the get powder coated.

    Best,
    Kelly
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by kcoffield; 07-18-2017 at 07:51 PM.

  6. #6
    I understand why you didnt pour them. 250 is a LOT of ANYTHING! They look really good. How tall are they?
    I pity the poor souls that have to PC all that cast aluminum. Cast aluminum outgasses like a MOTHER!
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jagboy69 View Post
    How tall are they?
    8"

    I pity the poor souls that have to PC all that cast aluminum. Cast aluminum outgasses like a MOTHER!
    They are pretty well versed in the process as the primary business is exterior ornamental lighting; street and yard lamps and such. They put the castings through a pre-heat cycle prior to PC'ing.

    Best,
    Kelly

  8. #8
    That's the only way I can ever get good results. 300degrees for a few hrs before hitting them with the powder.
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  9. #9
    My work here is done!

    Best,
    Kelly


  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Very nice work Kelly.

    Pete

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