For part of our Industrial Art Furniture Simco Range, we used a whole collection of sand moulded casting patterns that were salvaged from an old mechanical engineering factory that was closing down, after about 70 years of being in business.

Engineering Factory

The factory had started out in an old cow shed in Johannesburg, and the founding father and son team grew the business over many decades into a thriving 1400 square meter factory. Their main clients were in the mining and paint industries.

shelves in the attic

These pattern moulds were used in the sand moulded casting process to make the parts for the machines they assembled and serviced. The moulds had been sitting gathering dust on shelves in the attic for many years.

Sand Moulded Casting Process

When you behold the pattern moulds, it’s a wonder as to how they were used to create metal machine parts.

In the process that was used, the pattern moulds were made of wood, and each pattern was for a specific part of the machine. These moulds were then used to create indentations in special sand, to then create the castings used to make parts for machines for the mines.

Molten metal was poured into the sand moulded castings, and thus the parts were made.

Here is a video from the Department of Engineering Technology at the University of Memphis, showing how the process was done:

Here are a few examples of the wooden pattern moulds that we recovered from the engineering factory:

wood pattern mould, about a meter in length
Small set of wood pattern moulds
another small set of wood pattern moulds
squarer wood pattern mould