Badges and Grilles

2/28/00 Badges and Grilles

I spent some time at the Scenic Shop perfecting our mold making technique. Barbara and I decided to try the 15 minute mold formula because this would better suit my needs when I find an “America” badge I want to copy. The putty remains the same, but the catalyst is what makes the it harden faster or slower. I shot a sequence of pictures so you can see most of the process. (By The way, Barbara was a “hand model” in a former life, hence the perfectly displayed hands!)

When the mold was made, and released from the original, we waited for it to harden, and poured some resin to create a positive. We ran into a problem when the clear resin did not want to harden. Barbara thinks the proportions were wrong, so she managed to remove the un-set resin, and pour another one with the tried-and-true cream colored resin. The new cast came out great! This time we decided not to use any release agent to see how compatible the materials were. With no release agent, we will have better detail in the final product. The cast released without problems, and the details were very precise. You can see that the copy needs to have all the excess casting flash removed and this was done with small hand files Barbara had in her shop. The experiment worked great, so I think I’m ready to copy an emblem. Now all I have to do is find an actual “America” badge!

On my lunch hour, I walked across town to see Rudi at the CBS Construction Shop. He showed me the slots he punched in the horizontal pieces to my grille. Once these pieces get their ends bent to match the originals, I’ll have to spend a day buffing them to a high shine. I may have to sacrifice a Friday working on the car to spend it buffing aluminum.

Rudi is also making progress on the grille surround. He fit a piece for the thinner bottom portion of the grille. The radius bend was done on a sheet metal roller. Another piece that will be wider will be bent to fit around the other side of the buck, and the ends will be welded together. Stay tuned!

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