I help out at an old foundry near Independence, Missouri. The foundry was built in 1946.
The owner, my friend Joe Sousley, recently passed away. His daughter found some very
interesting hand carved wood patterns and match plates while going through stored items.
We don't have any history on these but they are fantastic examples of a pattern maker's skill and ingenuity.
The 2 patterns are figurines of women. Both are about 7-1/2 inches long. One appears to be a handle
that may have been used as a cabinet door handle and the other a bottle opener. The following photos
show the patterns and the match plates. This is what I'm going to call the door handle figurine. There would
have been holes drilled in the hands and feet of the casting in order to attach it with screws to a door.
It would be a fairly difficult pattern to cast but a hand carved match was
made to hold the figure for the molding process.
The match exposes the pattern along the parting line and would have been rammed up
in the drag along with the pattern. When the drag is rolled over, the match is
removed leaving the pattern in the drag. The cope would then be rammed up
This is the bottle opener pattern, also completely hand carved. It would have had a hole
drilled in the casting near the cap remover and on the left hand for mounting screws.
The match is quite intricate and close fitting.
This view shows the match closing up the space behind the cap catch.
I'm hoping to make a couple of castings of these and will try to get photos posted
of the process and results when I do. In the mean time, you can learn a
little more about using match plates on my Step by
Step Hitch Covers page.
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