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Mold to copy small bronze / chrome item

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by ASG 86TR, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. ASG 86TR

    ASG 86TR Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2001
    1,473
    New Jersey
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    Adam G
    I have a small bronze part with a fair amount of detail on it and chromed. It is 3" X 6" and I would like to make a few copies of it. Does anyone have any exp in doing something like this? Are there companies who can do this, or can I make the mold myself and then have someone make the part?
    Adam
     
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  3. bwassam

    bwassam Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2005
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    Robert Wassam
    MOst any foundry could probaly do the job. Bob Wassam
     
  4. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,577
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    Dave
    Contact Verell on this site.

    He can make anything.

    he hangs out in Vintage a lot.

    DM
     
  5. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    Actually I mostly hang out here in Tech Q&A.

    I'd expect that I'd be able to reproduce the part in metal filled plastic that looks just like metal,
    or just plain plastic that you could then have chrome plated.

    There are some shops out there that can chrome plastic.

    Why don't you send some pix of the part to:

    Verell@UnobtainiumSupply.com

    Also indicate what kind of turnaround you need. I'm close to saturated for the next few months, but could probably squeeze it in.

    BTW, making a mold takes from 6 to 16 hours of work, so making 1 for a handfull of parts may not be cost effective unless they're high value or otherwise unobtainable parts.
     
  6. Ricard

    Ricard Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2004
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    Richard C
    Excellent email address Verrell :D
     
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  8. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Chris& Brian Coffing
    We can mold parts in plastic or low melting temperature metal. These parts can in many cases be chrome plated, but some new paint technology has come along which allows a chrome-like finish to be obtained. The paint is actually mostly made of chrome, and is extremely expensive, but probably cheaper than chrome plating.
     
  9. David_S

    David_S F1 World Champ
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    Nov 1, 2003
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    David S.
    If you're into DIY, I've got 3 words for you:

    Lost Wax Method :)

    That's what I'd do if I needed say, 1/2 dozen or less copies.
     
  10. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Yup lost wax casting!. Dave's got it. Go to Dental lab supply in phone book. Buy poly vinyl siloxane impression/copy material, casting wax, investment materail. make a mold in poly. Pour in casting wax. invest wax pattern in investment. take to a dental lab and have them burnout and centrifugal cast the piece. You like gold, platinum, chrome vanadium??
     
  11. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    Umm, note that the part is 3" by 6", that's a tad big for most dental centrifugal casting setups.
     
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  13. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Chris& Brian Coffing
    If it doesn't have to be metal, but just look like metal, plastic is probably a lot simpler.
     
  14. Zertec

    Zertec Formula 3

    Oct 5, 2004
    1,335
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    Clive Reed
    Alsa corp. ChromeFX
    http://alsacorp.com/products/chromefx/chromefx_prodinfo.htm
     
  15. ASG 86TR

    ASG 86TR Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2001
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    Adam G
    Hard plastic may be ok...needs to stand up to the elements (cold / hot) weather and relativly sturdy.
     
  16. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    The elements are not a probllem, the polyurethane I'd use is very stable. Stands up to heat (won't melt at 250F, but is beginning to soften a bit), cold - not a problem, UV, & most solvents including aggressive ones like lacquer thinner!

    If strength is needed, glass fibers can be blended in. Can be colored, or powdered metal added to make it look like brass, aluminum, gunmetal, or silver. Can be chrome plated as well.

    If you evr wanted to go the investment casting route, I can also use mold to make the hot wax inserts that you can then take to a foundry.
     
  17. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    875
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    Chris& Brian Coffing
  18. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    I've been watching the ChromeFX system evolve.
    It's an interesting concept.

    A basecloat that flows out to an extremely smooth finish is first applied, then a metalization coat that leaves a thin layer of metal, followed by a protective acrilic clearcoat.

    The acrilic clearcoat protects the metal layer from oxidation, scratching, etc. Also, the clearcoat can be tinted to give a 'candy apple' effect.

    However, I suspect that like automotive clearcoats, it shold get periodic polishing/waxing to protect it against weathering.

    Last winter I was talking with a company down in FL that was using it to give motorcycle fairings, helmets, etc. a 'chrome' finish. Was considering using it to finish the temp/vent/choke lever bezels I sell. They were supposed to send me a sample of coated plastic so I could evaluate it. Never received it.
     
  19. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Nah you are thinking casting crowns. Go to a dental lab that makes dentures. This things are big.
     

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