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Starfire61

Reproducing Metal Name Badges

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Is anyone familiar with any businesses doing this sort of casting work on a small scale?

I have two broken, chromed pot-metal badges from a vintage boat and would like to have them duplicated. Finding replacements is out of the question.

Searching around online hasn't brought much success thus far.

Chuck

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Chuck, Are you looking for serial number data tags?? Do a search under data tags and this popped up.

http://www.datatags.com/

Perhaps posting a picture of what you're trying to accomplish. You do mention pot metal and casting in your description.

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I know they exist, there is a guy in the local area who reproduces small white metal castings on a one off basis. Don't remember his name but there must be someone nearer to you anyway.

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As long as you have the old tags that you could put back together and use to make a mold you should be able to do this yourself if you are reasonably handy. You can use silicone to make a mold that works for pot metal. The most expensive part would be sending them off for chrome plating when you are done. Silicone mold maker #82083, low temperature pot metal #83093, talc for deairing molds #80966 and a small booklet "A Guide to Casting Metals in Rubber Molds" #80965 available from Micromark at www.micromark.com will give you what you need for less than seventy five dollars.

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Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The pieces are rather intricate. I suppose they're more akin to fender or trunk scripts as opposed to a solid badge or emblem, so I apologize for my semantics. I've attached some pics of the boat and the scripts.

Having never cast anything myself, I'm not sure if this would be the best project for a rookie, but if all else fails, I guess I'll give it a shot...

Chuck

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Edited by Starfire61 (see edit history)

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We work with a local foundry and have silicon bronze castings (as well as aluminum and cast iron) done on a regular basis. Pic shows a script we reproduced for a funeral vehicle we restored. The piece is about 12" long. The original at top, the "as cast" piece at the bottom. A few hours with a file and it was ready to go off to the plater. It is becoming ever more difficult to find a foundry that will use original pieces as patterns. Silicon bronze is tough stuff and is often used for marine castings. Figure $100 or less per piece for the castings, depending on size. You smooth down and send out for plating. Happy to help if we can.

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Those pieces would not be to hard to make if you like to do that kind of thing. If you can find someone from Restorer32 to do this for a hundred or so per piece that would probably be a good way to go. If you would like to do it yourself, the good thing is if you screw up, you just do it again until you get it right. As long as you get the old pieces back together for a mold (which you will probably have to do anyway if you are going to get someone else to cast them) you won't be able to screw things up. Doing it yourself has a way higher sense of accomplishment.

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Now that we can see what you're trying to make, yes these are scripts, not tags. There are a few posts on the forum on the subject of 3D printing. I would think this would be perfect for that. 1) Create the Marathon emblem in 3D software, 2) upload the file to a company that prints 3D in plastic and is mailed to you, and 3) now you have a pattern that could be shipped off to someone like Restorer32 to have it cast in metal. The beauty of the 3D approach is you can make any minor changes or enhancements and include in the design, like taller letters, slightley curve around the hull, etc. Companies doing 3D printing now charge about $.10 per cubic cm, not a huge investment. Mastering the software like Solidworks or Punch's ViaCAD, is the challenge.

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Now that we can see what you're trying to make, yes these are scripts, not tags. There are a few posts on the forum on the subject of 3D printing. I would think this would be perfect for that. 1) Create the Marathon emblem in 3D software, 2) upload the file to a company that prints 3D in plastic and is mailed to you, and 3) now you have a pattern that could be shipped off to someone like Restorer32 to have it cast in metal. The beauty of the 3D approach is you can make any minor changes or enhancements and include in the design, like taller letters, slightley curve around the hull, etc. Companies doing 3D printing now charge about $.10 per cubic cm, not a huge investment. Mastering the software like Solidworks or Punch's ViaCAD, is the challenge.

Check around on the options for 3D printing. My local public library recently got a 3D printer and is holding sessions on how to use it. Haven't gone yet, but I think it is cheap to use if not free. I will be looking into that shortly for some projects I have in mind.

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You are suggesting he go the long way around the block. No problem using the originals as foundry patterns. The shrinkage will be minor. Now if the OP wanted to reproduce dozens or hundreds of these scripts or wanted to modify the design a 3-D printed pattern might have advantages. If mass production were the goal the foundry would want locating tabs, risers, etc incorporated in the pattern so better pick up a book on foundry practice to study as well. Love the 3-D printing technology but so far it seems, in many cases, to be a solution in search of a problem. I could see it as potentially having great use in making foundry cores if it could be set up to produce hardened sand. Will be interesting to watch the technology evolve.

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Restorer32. They are making foundry cores with 3d printing. The expensive part is getting the part read in. Once that is done you can crank out the cores. Will agree with you about using 3d printing for this application as I am sure that the gentleman wants plated metal pieces rather than plastic pieces which would be easy to duplicate using 3d printers.

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Well, we use an Amish foundry that has neither telephone nor electricity. I guess they aren't up on 3-D core printing yet.

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3D printing is now available in metal also. I was on a club tour of a local restoration shop and they had just received their first set of metal 3D printed emblem scripts from their outside 3D printing supplier. The key, and work, was the initial CAD design they had to create for the 3D printing process. They even spent the time to get the curve of the body panel as part of the CAD file so that they would have to do as little post printing clean-up as possible. They showed the club the 3D printed part and it was impressive in metal. The part was heavy, solid, and matched the curve of the rear trunk perfectly. After some clean-up to remove the printing ridges and then off to chrome plating it will be difficult to tell this was not an original part.

Butler Old Stone House Region

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...I am sure that the gentleman wants plated metal pieces rather than plastic pieces which would be easy to duplicate using 3d printers.

If the script needs to be chromed, you can start with a plastic piece from a 3D printer and then have it vacuum metallized or even spray-chromed.

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It would be informative to get an actual price on having this piece 3-d printed in plastic and vacume metallized. We keep hearing how marvelous this technology is but we never see an actual price for a ready to mount one off piece.

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3d printing is marvelous to reproduce many copies and you can adjust for casting shrinkage. The main expense is creating the cad file. once that is done, the process is pretty cheap. plastic parts can be done pretty cheap but in this case, the old fashioned way is going to be the easiest as a couple of percent shrinkage will make no difference. I recently almost had to have an unobtainable four cylinder head recast and it was going to be about six to eight thousand dollars to produce the cad file. Once that was done, I could have done as many copies as I liked for casting cost. The real advantage here was the easy adjustment for shrinkage. Of course doing an emblem or two would not be that expensive but this gentleman will be better off financially doing it himself or doing it like Restorer32.

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Lots of great information here. Casting is one item I've aways shied away from, but I have friends who don't think more than twice or thrice before casing a piece from a broken part.

I guess it is one more skill-set that a restorer ought to have or at least know about.. Now, how to fit that learning process into my schedule..

Please keep this thread going, I'm sure I'm not the only 'casting-challenged' member out here that would like to know how and what worked.

Greg L.

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The basc tools and techniques of sand casting have changed very little since the bronze age.

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The basic tools and techniques of sand casting have changed very little since the bronze age.

and the King family at Cattail Foundry have probably been doing it that long...

I just got some parts back from them and they turned out fantastic. They charged $12.50 a pound to duplicate the parts I sent up in bronze. I mailed the part up and 10 weeks later they mailed back 4 new parts. Perfect quality. They even wiggle the original parts when pressing them in the sand to account for shrinkage.

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Yea, nice people. They have done hundreds of castings for us. Their pricing can be a little subjective (not meaning

high, just a bit off the cuff sometimes) but at least they are willing to work with original pieces as patterns. We've been to their home for dinner. You won't leave hungry, that's for sure.

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So, for someone wanting to try to cast a part, what is the process ?? How to make a casting mold?

Even though the process may be hundreds of years old,, I have not seen the process from the begining to the end..

Does anyone have a link to a good site to read up on the process.. I tried 'casting for Dummies' but got links to stage-plays.. :-)

Greg L

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Good site for general information

http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/

There are a bunch of good YouTube videos, here are a couple:

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Keep in mind the melting, handling, pouring of molten metal is very unforgiving of even small or innocent mistakes or miscalculations. A drop of water here, a trip hazard there, a trapped air pocket and it all happens sooo fast and hurts soooo much.................Bob

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