View Full Version : Is it possible to replicate this?

Brie -Anne Bryan
03-20-2013, 10:28 AM
257622257623I have a customer who is wanting this silver piece replicated for a shifter knob. I am wondering if any of you think it is possible to engrave it out of a piece of wood (or perhaps a better material?) and then paint silver. I've never done anything like this before. I don't usually work with wood but I'm always ready and willing for a challenge! Any thoughts?

Rodne Gold
03-20-2013, 10:57 AM
You could replicate it *in a fashion* , but will struggle or it will be impossible for the laser to give you the rounded contours of the cougar. Even 3d engraving wont cut it unless you prepared to do some hand finishing. You certainly can get a 1 dimensional cougar standing proud of a hatched type background. Could use many materials and paint it silver..acrylic, wood , formica , delrin etc.

Neil Pabia
03-20-2013, 11:30 AM
I would suggest making a negative of it and then pouring colored resin into the negative to create the insert.

Dan Hintz
03-20-2013, 11:50 AM
I would suggest making a negative of it and then pouring colored resin into the negative to create the insert.

This would be my suggestion, as well. Silver paint just isn't "silver", but a cast will get you a very close approximation if you choose the fill correctly. You could also create a plaster cast and make it out of a low-melting point metal, like pewter.

A 3D cut from a pantograph is another option, but not many people have those...

Mike Null
03-20-2013, 12:04 PM
Looking at your equipment I think I'd try sandcarving it from a piece of pewter. You'll need a good mask for the cougar but it could work. A cnc machine would make short work of it.

If you choose to sandblast I would use a medium of 80 to 120 grit and be artistic instead of trying to hog it all out quickly.

Brie -Anne Bryan
03-20-2013, 1:04 PM
Is casting resin a relatively easy thing to do? I've never tried it before.
Thanks for all the suggestions:)

Rodne Gold
03-20-2013, 1:12 PM
If you add aluminium or pewter powder to the general casting resin , approx 50% , you actually get a result you can polish and looks and feels like real metal. Called cold metal casting or just cold casting. I thought that that ikon metal stuff was a form of resin with metal powder ? ..could use that if it is.
I still cant see how one will get around the 3d contours of the cougar using a laser without hand finishing.
The easy way of course is to get the owner to remove the original if possible and make a mould but I'm assuming he hasn't got a master for you.

I wouldn't tackle this job on a one off basis , it will be expensive for you what with trial and error and for the customer too , unless you write off your experimentation to school fees or do it as an academic exercise.

Rodne Gold
03-20-2013, 1:15 PM
Yes its pretty easy , lots of online videos and starter kits , smooth-on make one and give you everything you need to get up and running.

Chuck Stone
03-20-2013, 1:23 PM
I agree with Neil, Dan and especially Rodney.
Cold casting with either aluminum powder or maybe nickel-silver
powder (available at craft stores) will give you a metallic part that
can be polished, and can even be used with the same chemicals
that one would normally use for creating a patina or verdigris that
you normally see on aging metals. (since they really are metallic)
And they'll polish up well with steel wool, buffing compounds etc.
I use powdered copper, aluminum, brass, bronze .. they all work.

As for making the negative (the mold) you can use a two part epoxy
made to do just this. (also available in craft stores) Mix it up to a
consistency of modeling clay, apply it and wait a few minutes to set.
Then mix your resin (craft stores, again!) with the powdered metal
and catalyst. Pour into your mold and let it cure.

It will work, and it can work VERY well.
But as Rodney mentioned, it might not be worth it for one piece.

Gary Hair
03-20-2013, 1:37 PM
Considering the website that is in the photo has that piece listed for about $900 I can see why your customer wants you to replicate it. You'll never get a true replica unless you have the original to create a mold, just buy from that site, make a mold, return it and then start pumping them out for $500 each...

Rodne Gold
03-20-2013, 1:53 PM
For $900 I would want it in solid walnut burl with the medallion cast in platinum....
Rare or not....

Martin Boekers
03-20-2013, 2:06 PM
You may want to check out plating non metal objects, that can be done. I had some samples done a while back chrome onto a PVC pipe.
It seemed resonable to get done to. I can't think of the name of the company. There have been some posts here at SMC though.