Happy Days for Happy Farmers
(Page 4 of 4)
'In making the molds, several large planks are placed on the floor so as to form a quadrilateral figure, of a size sufficient to contain the pattern to be used. Into this form is placed a fine black sand which is spread about within the form. The pattern is then placed in the sand so as to be on a level with the top and the sand is smoothed and packed. Much time and labor is spent on this as it is necessary that the top of the sand be on a perfect level.
'A small quantity of water is then sprinkled along the edge of the pattern in order that the sand may acquire sufficient adhesion to permit the removal of the pattern. A sharp instrument is then stuck into the pattern at short distances and tapped slightly in order to loosen all particles of sand which may have become attached to the pattern. After this, two nails are driven into the pattern and by taking hold of these, it is removed, leaving the design in the bed of sand.
'The work of removing the pattern is the most difficult operation in the making of molds. The molder must be a man of nerve or rather without nerves, as the smallest side movement, when the pattern is being raised, will spoil the mold and hours of labor will have been wasted. It often requires as long as three moments to remove a pattern from the soil and during this entire time, the least unsteadiness on the part of the molder will ruin the mold.
'Occasionally small particles of the sand will cling to the pattern despite all the precaution that can be taken. If the part of the mold which is thus removed is not too large, the sand is replaced by small instruments. This requires the utmost skill. It is often necessary to use mirrors in looking for defects in the lower parts of the molds.
'After the molds are completed molten or liquid iron is poured into them and left to cool and harden. Then the iron is removed from the mold, and sent to the machine shop for finishing.'
- Bill Vossler is a freelance writer and the author of several books on antique farm toys. Contact him at Box 372, 400 Caroline Lane, Rockville, MN 56369; (320)253-5414; e-mail: email@example.com
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