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Thread: Plaque Patterns

  1. #1
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    Plaque Patterns

    I am thinking that I want to cast one of those nice house number plaques for myself, and wondered how the patterns for those are made. Are there kits that have a set of letters you can insert into the pattern to get the numbers and or wording that you want? I think I can make the general plaque pattern, was more worried about how to do the numbers and letters. Starting from scratch here so any information would be helpful.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Check out this thread (relevant bit starts on page 21) http://www.alloyavenue.com/vb/showth...casting/page21
    Tobho mott has just started a House number Blank for himself. He has linked his YouTube video about the making of it as well (if video is more your speed than windbags typing stuff)

    It's a good start but keep in mind it's not the only way. Heck I think each one of us could (and may) give you more than one different answer to this question.... Each one being right.

    It also depends on the bit of kit you have. It would be really easy to CNC yourself a set of letter/numbers patterns if you have a CNC. You can 3D print the letters/numbers. You can do as done in the above thread and hand cut the numbers needed as needed till you get a full set. I have picked up a set of wooden letters at the craft store and sanded draft in them... Because it was quicker for that project. I also have a couple of sets of lead letter models that I could cast up in lead or plastic if needed (I know not everyone has this...heck it was a dumb luck flea market find for $2.00). If you have the inclination you can make your letters/number and plaque blank out of play dough, clay, wax, wood, foam or steel. Again what do feel the most comfortable working with (or own the tools for working). I'm going to guess you could make the letters out of glue and paper and have it work if you know how.

    Not sure this helps... I think I may have started rambling there in the middle (or the whole thing).

    And welcome to the Board!!

    CBB

    CBB

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    Yeah, sounds a lot like my latest project! I got some great ideas for the blank plaque I cast to use as a pattern from Fishonzwva's posts here. Definitely worth searchng for that...

    You can letters for making patterns from... Somewhere... I know I've seen a link posted around here somewhere at some point... Oh, here: https://www.freemansupply.com/choose/patternletters.htm

    Cae2100 was going to cast some foundry letters and showed some of how that would work a while back on his YouTube channel, Chirpy's Tinkerings.

    Crazybillybob already mentioned everything else I was gonna say...

    Good luck,

    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
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    I ordered a number set from these people.
    http://www.craftcuts.com/
    Michaels Crafts sell them too but what is in the store varies in size and font and might not be what you want.
    Once you have the plaque size you can order the appropriate sized numbers to match, typically 3". I did the 1/8" MDF, put a little draft on and painted them.
    I made my pattern out of 1/4" thick Lexan, makes it easy to pop off the numbers without damage to the base.
    Last edited by FishbonzWVa; 01-11-2018 at 11:01 PM.
    Bones

  5. #5
    Another option is a rubber pattern, similar to what's used for rubber stamps, that would allow you to include artwork as well as lettering on your plaque. There's a forum member, username FoundryJoe, whose wife runs a company called Village Impressions, she can make the patterns for you.

    HERE's the process by which these patterns are made. And here's a great example of a cast plaque made by forum member mite5255 using one of these a rubber patterns. Also, search HT1's posts, he's made a few plaques using this method.


  6. #6
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    I actually promised Tobho some info on cutting numbers out of 3mm PVC on the CNC. I can probably produce them at a reasonable cost. I can do larger letters no problem but need to test smaller sizes. The PVC works well because it's smooth on the surfaces and easy on the tooling. Sands and trims easily too. It works very well with spray adhesive and can be cleaned with solvents like kerosene. Any sign shop will have it. It's known as Sintra or Komatex. Tell them what you're using it for and you can get a few square feet of it pretty cheap.

    Pete

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco View Post
    Another option is a rubber pattern, similar to what's used for rubber stamps, that would allow you to include artwork as well as lettering on your plaque. There's a forum member, username FoundryJoe, whose wife runs a company called Village Impressions, she can make the patterns for you.

    HERE's the process by which these patterns are made. And here's a great example of a cast plaque made by forum member mite5255 using one of these a rubber patterns. Also, search HT1's posts, he's made a few plaques using this method.
    Thanks Ed Here is the photo that Foundry Joes wife used to make the rubber pattern, as you can see she did a excellent job, I have used her skills many times over the years and I cannot fault her work, she tries very hard to get things right first time.. here is a photo of the latest pattern that she had made for me prier to Xmas, as of yet I haven't cast it as its summer here in Australia and my old bones like it a tad cooler, so any hot work is off my list of things to do for a little while. the rubber
    has been dusted with plumbago to highlight the pattern
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Iím going off to go find myself. If Iím not back by the time I return, keep me here.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all of the great replies. My family used to make rubber stamps and so I am familiar with the process, we just never made them so large. I will probably cut them out with CNC. I am trying to prep things while getting my shop addition done to house the foundry stuff. Making letters and patterns will keep me busy on the snowy days when I can't work on the addition.

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Is there any general rule of thumb for minimum thickness before having any issues with filling or shrinkage? I am in the process of making a plaque 11" x 12" x 1 1/8" thick. I would like to make the plaque a little thinner to save on aluminum, plus it doesn't really need to be 1 1/8 thick. Curious to what the results would be if I poured it in an open mold filling to the desired thickness. Pouring at this dimension is new territory for me.

    Randy

  10. #10
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    I've got a pattern that's 9" x 15 1/2" x 1/4" and it pours fine with the normal dimensional shrink (3/16" per foot).
    I would think that it being that thick and an open face you'll probably have a thickness shrink too but I've never poured open face so I'm just guessing.
    Bones

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