Sand cast tank emblems

Jesse Lee

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Those are BAD ASS! I would love a set but yes at 73 big ones that is quite a ways out of my price zone ;) . LOL they look amazing though.

WOW, those things are really really cool. You did a super job.
My bike is way too cheesey now. Without the addition of scary skulls.
Im sure you will have no problem selling a million of those.
We have some pretty amazing artists on DTT.
But those are definitely one of the neatest things Ive seen on here.
Your design is superb. and they came out beautiful in the pewter.
Nice work, and not the least bit overpriced, IMO. I am not a fan of skulls in general, or any other of the many cliches associated with motorcycles, but I encourage you to try more designs with this technique.
Really nice work. We have somewhat lost this neat technique and it is good to see it being continued!

The price is very fair.
Wow... I didn't expect to see so many replies and such a positive response, thanks for all the kudos... I thought I might get grief for my price more than anything ;D I know it's asking enough and I'd love to be able to offer these for less money, but for the amount of time that's invested in them it just wouldn't be worth while. As far as this particular design goes, I thought it was "cool", but truth be told, they're not my personal style either. Making these is not about what I like though, it's about putting food on the table ;)

I think the next one's I'll do will be something like this:

What say you? Yea or nay? ;)

Can u post some pictures of the sand casting process?

Sure... so long as you don't steal my ideas ;D

Here's the pattern, it doesn't really look like much, but pattern making is very tedious, I've got somewhere between 25-30 hours into this one :

Molded in sand (this is the bottom half of the mold):

As cast:



Molding and casting is the easy part... then it's cutting off the gates, cleaning up the edges, filing, lots of sanding, more sanding, cleaning the part, applying patina, even more sanding, then polishing. :)
You may have better Odd's selling the Honda Ones But if you made Ducati BMW Norton Triumph and Other High end Names u may be able to ask a premium for the name
Thanks for the input DesmoBro, it's much appreciated. I'll definitely be looking into all kinds of designs/brands... I've just got to make sure I don't infringe on any copyrights/trademarks... don't need any lawsuits ;D

I just had another idea that I thought I'd throw out there... If anyone here is interested in these badges (or any others that I make in the future), but doesn't want to or can't afford to shell out that much dough... I could offer a discount if you buy them directly from me as "rough" castings. I'd get the gates cut off and the edges cleaned up fairly well, could even apply the patina, but I'd leave the sanding and polishing to you. It's not difficult to do, just takes some time (some care too, sand too much and you'll remove the fine detail :eek:). I hit them first with a fine emery cloth to get all the "goobers" off, then wet sand with 400 grit to get them perfectly smooth and shiny, then lightly wet sand with 800, then 1500 , then 2000 grit paper,(and then,and then, and then :D) and finally a polishing compound. I could offer these particular badges to DTT members as rough castings for $50 shipped anywhere in the lower 48.... I know that's still enough money, but even as rough castings I'd still have quite a bit of time into them + materials, $50 is the best I could do... just thinking aloud... if anyone is interested, hit me up.
Jesse Lee said:
I've just got to make sure I don't infringe on any copyrights/trademarks... don't need any lawsuits ;D

I was thinking the same thing, and wondered if you had thought about that. Some brands are more protective of their logo likeness than others. For instance, don't even think about doing something that looks like a Harley logo. You would get a "stop and desist" letter from their lawyers as soon as they find out about you. Yikes!
Learned about sandcasting back in 8ththe grade. Still one of my favorite projects we did. Glad to see someone out there still doing it.
what is the pattern mold made of ? painted wood? If I made a pattern mold like this, would you be interested in doing the rough casting part? If so PM me some $ details. Then if you liked it you could keep it and produce em for your own profit.
what is the pattern mold made of ? painted wood? If I made a pattern mold like this, would you be interested in doing the rough casting part? If so PM me some $ details. Then if you liked it you could keep it and produce em for your own profit.

It's funny you mention this... I've been tossing around the very same idea, I actually even wrote up a rough draft of a post for the "Online and local shops" section ;) I was going to wait until I got some more projects done so I can show more examples of my work before posting it, but if you or anyone else would be interested in a "casting service", I'd be all for it... I'll be getting into aluminum here shortly too, I've got some finned engine covers next on the list.

To answer your questions :

Yes, patterns are generally made of wood, though other things can be used (clay, machinable wax, etc.) For this pattern in particular, I used 1/8" hardboard (used mainly for cabinet backs ) for the emblem part, regular 2x4 construction lumber ripped down for the splash well and runner, and 3/4" mdf (medium density fiber board) for the backing board. Most everything was covered with a couple coats of automotive sand-able primer , wet sanded, top coated with 2 coats of clear enamel, then wet sanded again with 1500 grit paper to leave a very smooth finish.

As far as using a pattern made by someone else goes, I am not opposed to the idea, but I could see some potential problems with it...

You may already know this, but just in case you don't, and for the benefit of others that may not, there are many things to consider when making a pattern; first and foremost, it must be able to be pulled cleanly from the sand. A pattern must have a very smooth and even finish, it needs to have draft as well (usually at least a 3-5* angle). You can see in my mold photo that some of the sand broke away from the edge of the pattern, this is because my pattern has no draft on the outside edges. I did ease the edges a bit and I thought that by being only 1/8" thick I could get away with zero draft... not entirely. I lucked out this time and am able to get these to pull well enough to end up with a decent casting. Other things to take into consideration are runner and gate size, gate placement, shrinkage of the metal upon cooling and ways to combat it, etc.

All that said... yes, if you could provide me a good pattern to work with, I could definitely mold it and pour it for you. For a one-off piece, the runner and gates can be hand cut in the sand, I can work that out on my end with no trouble. I made the pattern pictured here the way I did because I will use it over and over again. The incorporated back plate, splash well, runner, and gates are just to speed up the molding process, they are not absolutely necessary.

As far as what I would have to charge for a "contracted" casting job, it would depend on a number of things, but mainly time and materials. The castings I'm offering here for example take about $10 worth of materials start to finish and 4 - 4.5 hours to mold, cast, shake out, and get the edges cleaned up enough to start doing the final sanding on the entire piece. If you could provide a good pattern that I think I could sell duplicates of, I could definitely cut you a deal on time and materials.... there's all kinds of variables/possibilities.

Anyway, if you (or anyone else here) wants something custom cast, give me as much info about the piece(s) as possible, and I can give you a much better idea of what it might cost.

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