Dollar store patternmaking finds

Discussion in 'Pattern making' started by Tobho Mott, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Lost foam-specific thread here:

    If that one was in the patternmaking section and didn't have 'lost foam' in the title I would have posted this there. But this post is about sand casting. Add your own finds here if you have any cheap easily available 'backyard' hacks to use household/local items to help make molds for any sort of castings....

    I found this set for $4 at the dollar store with enough of these little letters with proper draft built in to make a few patterns. Just have to trim off the little pegs off the back and a bit of plastic flash on some of them.


    Another $4 dollar store special, they also had some tiny little cast iron frying pans. Maybe big enough to fry an egg or something. So I got cracking! :D


    It took me 3 tries and a lot of cursing to get a mold this nice off it. I broke a little sand off the corner of the "core" area, but I was out of patience and this thing is just a wall hanger anyhow.




    So close! Something obviously crawled inside the mold while it was cooling off and took a bite out of my casting.


    If I hang it up high enough, maybe nobody will notice? o_O


    A little black spray paint and sandpaper and... If I had more time I'd definitely try this one over again.



    But I think I'm gonna have to break out the silver and black paint and hide her glasses for a couple days to buy me some time. ;)

    OMM, FishbonzWV, Clay and 2 others like this.
  2. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    That's a spoon rest man! That's such a difficult feature to cast I bet they don't even do that over at Billy Elmore's place! Nice find on the letters, great idea on the gift design as well.

  3. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Good job Jeff! Nothing beats a handmade present!
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  4. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Thanks guys. To me it's just strange that all 3 P's pulled clean yet all 4 A's broke off their little triangle of sand. o_O

  5. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
    The a's have confined corners to pack into. The round of the p not so much. It's iffy nonetheless as you can see from b,r, and 8. I have a latex coating that I use as a liquid laminate for coating banners and signs that I use on pattern letters to fill the capture areas. It makes those areas shallower and dulls the corners in the cavities. I know that's not something everyone has laying around but anything that will retain some thickness yet dries with a miniscus would work. I've tried elmers glue several times but it never worked. Maybe something like Plasti-dip (for tools handles, etc) might work. My attached picture is certainly not a perfect example but it pulled way better with the coating than without.


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  6. One other possibility, Jeff, might be to try using sodium silicate bound sand on this relatively small detailed pattern. I will not guarantee that it would pull cleanly, but there is a decent chance it would. I coat the pattern with Johnson's floor wax and then go over details with a moderately stiff brush chip brush with the bristles cut to half length), and a pick to clean accumulated wax from crevices. Then I spray it with silicone release spray. Maybe just do silicate on the letter side. But both sides would be very doable as well.

    These are 1/4" letters and came out fairly cleanly using silicate.
    IMG_5488.JPG IMG_5489.JPG

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  7. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver

    You're such a romantic Jeff. :)
    Nice job!
    For letters that won't pull cleanly and if I don't need to re-purpose the pattern, I spray a heavy coat of paint like brown primer.
    It softens the look of the letters.
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  8. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Lots of good ideas here! Thanks guys.

  9. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    Thinned wood putty also gives you a good meniscus and digs out easily with a pick.
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  10. Billy Elmore

    Billy Elmore Silver

    Uh...yeah..we make tons of them. LOL Some plain...some with logos on the inside. We usually cast them as a rider on bigger jobs and make three at a time but we do have a full plate in which we make nine at a time. Because of their small diameter and have same wall thickness as bigger castings they are easy for us to make with almost no scrap except breakage.
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  11. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I was referring to the
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  12. Billy Elmore

    Billy Elmore Silver

    We make them like that but we dont sell them that way.LOL
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  13. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Haha, I'm sure you don't!

    But she liked her "birthday card", spoon rest and all. She has been sending pictures to all the aunties and cousins. Another year survived. :cool:


    The dollar store letters look to be about 1/2" tall. 188 pieces for $4 makes each piece cost about half a cent. Not too bad IMO for being available 10 minutes down the road. Maybe I will buy a couple more boxes while they still have them - I'm out of Y's already!

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