Eric W

Reproducing cast pot-metal parts

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Excuse my "too new" car question. I was referred here from the postwar group because - well, the hope that there's more knowledge here about what I'm considering:

In working on a '51, I begin the search that many have to overcome in one way or another - the "moustache" bar that frames the top of the grille. There's maybe a 5-foot-long center section, and 2 smaller "L" pieces that form the ends.

My questions are:

1. Anyone know of a supplier of custom castings?

2. Anyone familiar with the path of making replica parts - as far as trademark/copyright or other rights - especially since these actually have the Buick name cast right into the front?

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Usually reproduction castings are made in brass, bronze or aluminum. Check for foundries in your area that cast art pieces etc.

Trademark or copyright issues come up primarily when the items are being reproduced and made available for sale to others as a business.

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I don't know too much about these new cars, but I would guess it would be cheaper to buy a good used part than have one made.

Casting parts is usually only attempted when the part is so rare it is unobtainable by any other method.

Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)

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3D printing is great for making patterns for casting. Brand names and logos are the biggest issue with trademarks on parts for sale.

Bob Engle

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That bar would be very heavy cast in bronze, probably 4 or 5 times what it weighs in die cast. It would require an expensive over sized pattern to compensate for shrinkage in the casting process,.

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Casting a bumper would be costly and weigh much more than the original.

Perhaps you can find a fabricator that can make the basic bumper in steel and have the script acid etched or sand blasted into the finished piece?

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I don't know too much about these new cars, but I would guess it would be cheaper to buy a good used part than have one made.

Casting parts is usually only attempted when the part is so rare it is unobtainable by any other method.

I had seen the one that you had posted in the ebay listing. It is cracked, and one end flange (where it attaches the adjacent part) is completely missing. Anyone have any comment as to how repairable such features might be? Can the crack be welded? Can the end flange maybe be cut from another (broken) piece and welded on?

(for reference, the piece in the ebay listing is exactly the part I'm asking about...it's not a bumper so much as an upper grille surround/trim piece)

Thanks!

Edited by Eric W
added clarification (see edit history)

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Is it possible to do a bar like this as a injection moulded plastic piece, and then get that chromed? No one would know unless the piece was hit. But maybe in plastic it would not be that bad to replace or repair?

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Interesting idea on the plastic, John. It does have flanges on each end to mount the side pieces, so there may be some structural function, however light. I don't have any deadline for this, so I'll keep an eye on the auctions and check locally about repairing the parts that are on the car. It was impacted slightly from the front and sides. Not sure if that was all one event, or if a hit on the left side pushed it into something on the right side or what. But the main large bar is cracked all the way across (it's in 2 pieces, plus a crack at the car centerline in the longer piece), and both small wrap-around parts are dented/cracked. On the plus side, this part is common with all 50/70 for 2 model years, so just because mine's a relatively low-production model, there's a potentially large population of donors...

Was a little curious if any company has worked with the vintage car market to do things like computer scanning of old parts, creating computer models of them, possibly using 3-d printing to create items that could be used in mold-making for casting in appropriate metals...

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Eric,

The answer is yes there is a company that does this in Portland OR. However the printer size limits them to do primarily small parts. Our car club was invited to tour their facility and we saw lots of smaller parts like hood ornaments etc.

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If you have any further info for them, I would appreciate it. I may have a need for small parts, and they may be able to bond several smaller parts after "printing" into a larger part...

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Here is a link to the Autoline.tv show......they recently had a 1/2 hour show on the state of 3D printing. It just tells you enough to want more. After watching the show you will have a better idea of what can and is being done. The show starts by showing a 3D fender being made for the rear wheels of a semi tractor. You might want to check your local tv schedule for this show, they have interesting automotive shows each week, I get it on Saturday mornings.

http://www.autoline.tv/show/1829?play

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Erik,

You are doing a '51 in Arizona ? That should be easy !

I've seen several "yards" with 50's cars still in them all over Kansas and Oklahoma.

Seriously, find a fairly decent part and send it to "Paul's Plating"

It will look better than new, but they are not cheap.

Mike in Colorado

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Erik

 

Did you ever get your upper bar/moustache?  I just joined this site, as I have been looking for one for my '51 Super for months now. When I have the time I put hours in on the net to no avail.  Interesting post above about recasting etc.  I'm now considering repairing mine...

Edited by Gary A (see edit history)

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