Nautical Foundry Pattern, 45" Piston, Salvaged Industrial Mold



This industrial, wooden foundry pattern was designed and manufactured by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Pennsylvania. We later salvaged it from a nautical collector's warehouse in New Jersey. The handmade wooden pattern is a bold, 45" long with an interesting design and hand painted markings. It appears to be a component of a diesel engine, perhaps a piston? The manufacturer's name, part name and number are hand painted on the side of the piece.

History: Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company was a major shipbuilding company in operation from 1917–1989 in Chester, Pennsylvania on the Delaware River. Sun Shipbuilding launched its first ship in 1917, just as the United States was entering World War I. By the start of World War II, Sun was among the country's five largest shipyards, with eight slipways. At its peak, the company employed more than 40,000 workers at four shipyards, and was the largest private-sector employer of African-Americans in the United States. During the war, Sun built tankers, hospital ships, cargo ships, and escort carriers for the United States Maritime Commission

In 2017, this foundry pattern was salvaged from a nautical warehouse in New Jersey. The pick was featured in Season 9, Episode 8 of the DIY Network show, "Salvage Dawgs".

Condition: Very good condition. Solid body with surface scuffs, paint loss, fading and patina as expected with age and use.

Weight: 28 lbs.
Item Measurements: 13.25(L) x 7(W) x 45(H)

About the use of Nautical Foundry Molds:
This wooden pattern was used in the process of sand casting. Molding material, such as sand, would be packed around this pattern inside of a casting flask. The sand is then compressed in a process known as ramming. When the molding material reaches the proper density, the pattern is removed. Molten metal is then poured into the cavity created by the positive mold. Once the metal has cooled and hardened, the sand is then broken away and the metal casting is removed. This pattern was used to cast a part of a ship or nautical component.

Foundry patterns are hand-fabricated by skilled tradesmen known as patternmakers. It takes many years of experience through apprenticeships and trade schooling in the fields of carpentry, moldmaking, and tool and die making to achieve this title. Many view patternmaking as an art-form due to the precision and skill required to build a pattern by hand.

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