Making
Australiana Souvenirs &
Australian
Pewter Figurines
Fine pewter is the only semi-precious metal
Learn How
They Are Made


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About Pewter Figurines
Follow the stages below


Made in Australia

New Holland Pewter
Established 1983

New Holland Pewter is our unique brand of fine lead -free pewter which has been made in Australia for almost 25 years. The original master pattern is designed in our studio, then hand crafted to create the three dimensional model. There are several ways to create the master pattern but usually the 'lost wax' method is preferred. From the wax pattern a bronze or silver master pattern is made. The master pattern is then used to make what we call a 'master mould' from which a quantity of originals are reproduced. These are second generation masters and each one is carefully hand detailed in order to make a production mould for centrifugal casting. After casting each piece is individually handcrafted to remove any imperfections and polished to a high glossy finish using polishing techniques developed by us over a quarter of a century.

For generation, pewter has been a highly regarded metal, fourth in line as the most used metal in the jewellery industry after gold, silver and platinum. Pewter could, in fact, be called, The Semi-Precious Metal because it is the metallic equivalent of semi-precious stones and is widely used in the jewellery, gift and souvenir industries.

Each piece is hand crafted to perfection in our studio and, when polished to perfection, looks like sterling silver.

To meet the international standard for this beautiful alloy, pewter is classified as being lead-free.The New Holland brand of pewter will not tarnish under normal conditions and, because it is lead-free, is completely non-toxic. When you look for pewter figurines, always look for our brand, New Holland Pewter.

We offer a service in custom making original patterns and mould making. We can custom make to your own design, make the mould and cast and finish each piece to perfection.

Our custom made pewter figurines are only made in the finest lead-free pewter. Our fine pewter is unique and, when polished, looks like sterling silver.


Learn How
They Are Made


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The Pewter Figurine Range

Making Pewter Figurines
Follow the stages below
Click on Image for Larger View.

Mould Frame

Pewter figurines are cast from hot metal using rubber moulds in a centrifugal casting machine. The rubber moulds are made by placing a 12" rubber sheet in the frame and laying out the master patterns around the mould and placing another 12" rubber sheet on top. The frame is then covered with a tight-fitting aluminium disc and placed in the vulcaniser (below Left).

Casting Machine

Pewter figurines are cast from hot metal using rubber moulds in a centrifugal casting machine.

Pouring Metal

The Vulcaniser

The vulcaniser is a piece of equipment designed to heat and pressurise the the mould frame to cure rubber in the mould making process. The Vulcaniser consists of two thermostatically controlled platens and a 20 tonne hydraulic ram for closing the two platens onto the mould.

CONTROLS

The control panel consists of two thermostatic controls and a timer.

Each platen has it's own thermostat and these are set to 165º C.

The timer is adjustable according to the thickness and size of the mould to be made.

 

Making The Mould

The mould frame should be powered with talcum powder to prevent the rubber from sticking to the mould frame.

 

Making The Mould

Two disks of rubber about 12mm in thickness are then powdered with Talcum Powder to prevent the two disks from sticking together when the rubber is vulcanised. It will also allow for the removal of the master patterns when the mould is made.

 

Making The Mould

One rubber disk has to have a hole to allow the pewter to be poured into the finished mould.

The centre is marked out.

 

Making The Mould

The raw rubber is cut with sharp knives.

 

Making The Mould

The rubber is very pliable before being cured and may be easily cut.

 

Making The Mould

The centre is removed and the aluminium plug (right in picture) will be inserted in the hole.

Making The Mould

The rubber is then coated with talcum powder again.

Making The Mould

Care should be taken to ensure that the rubber is well coated with talcum powder.

Making The Mould

The mould frame has been placed in the vulcaniser for an hour to be pre-heated to about 160º C. All the aluminium filler plates are also heated.

Making The Mould

The mould frame is removed from the vulcaniser using insulated gloves.

Making The Mould

The filler plates are also coated with talcum powder. Whilst the bottom rubber disk is being warmed.

Making The Mould

The mould frame is again powdered ready for the first rubber disk to be inserted

 

Making The Mould

The warm rubber disk is pressed into the mould frame by hand.

Making The Mould

The rubber is again powdered.

Making The Mould

The centre plug is powdered and inserted in to the hole.

Making The Mould

The figurines are then placed on the rubber towards the outer edge of the mould and about 18 mm in from the mould frame perimeter.

Making The Mould

even spacing is essential to ensure a balanced mould when it is spun in the casting machine.

Making The Mould

The rubber in the mould frame will be the top half of the mould and whilst the figurines are place on this rubber the other rubber is being warmed.

Making The Mould

Once the figurines are in place locaters are placed between each of the figurines. This is necessary to ensure that the top and bottom parts of the mould always fit together.

Making The Mould

The locators are now in place with plenty of space between the outer edge of the mould.

Making The Mould

The second rubber disk is then pressed carefully into place so as not to disturb the placement of the master patterns and powdered.

Making The Mould

A sheet of release paper is placed over the top of the mould to ensure that the rubber does not stick to the filler sheets.

 

Making The Mould

About 8 - 10 sheets of newspaper are then placed over the top of the mould frame to ensure a tight fit which will not allow the rubber to seep out from the frame when heated and under great pressure.

Making The Mould

An aluminium plate is the carefully pushed into the frame so as not to disturb the placement of the master patterns.

Making The Mould

Once the first aluminium plate is in place, the excess newspaper is cut away using the outer edge of the mould frame as a guide.

Making The Mould

A second filler plate is in place and the paper is cut away.

Making The Mould

The second filler plate is carefully pushed into the frame.

Making The Mould

Any excess paper is then cut away.

Making The Mould

The vulcaniser is still at 160º C and the frame is then placed in between the vulcaniser platens.

Making The Mould

The frame is always placed in the centre of the platens to ensure that an even pressure is exerted to ensure that the mould will be parallel.

Making The Mould

The bottom platen is then slowly jacked up to full pressure to ensure that the rubber is squeezed around the figurines and into all the undercuts.

Making The Mould

The vulcaniser is at 160º C and the frame starts to heat quickly.

Making The Mould

The frame is now under full pressure and the timer is set for two hours.

Removing the mould

Pictures Coming

Making The Mould

After two hours, the pressure is released on the platens and the mould frame is removed from the vulcaniser.

Cutting In The Mould

Pictures Coming

The mould is removed from the frame and excess rubber is cut from the perimeter of the cured mould.

The mould is nicked on the top and bottom to easily identify the position of the two halves.

The mould is opened and the figurines are carefully removed. These figurines are the master patterns and will be saved for later use when new moulds are required.

The Melting Pot.

The melting pot is used to melt bars of pewter. It holds over 60 Kgs. of metal. The temperature of the metal is measured with a thermo couple and a thermostat controls the metal temperature within a few degrees.

Pewter is cast at between 290º C and 320º C depending on the bulk of the pieces being cast. The ladel will hold about 2 kgs of metal.

Casting Machine

The mould is placed in the casting machine. and a top plate is located and secured on top of the mould.

The lid of the casting machine is closed and the mould begins to spin. When it has reached the correct speed, molten pewter is poured into the mould.

 

Casting Machine

The metal is poured carefully and continuously to ensure that the mould is filled and care is taken so as not to overfill the mould.

Pewter Figurines

Once the figurines are cast, they have to be detailed.

Detailing Figurines

A high speed drill with tungsten carbide bits is used to detail the figurines. The drill is similar to a dentist drill and as powered by compressed air. High speed steel bits can also be used.

 

Polishing Figurines

Once the figurines are detailed they are polished in large vibrating tumblers using a technique developed by this company.

Rubber Moulds

Rubber moulds can be used over and over again and providing care is taken, they will last for well over 100 spins.

NEXT PAGE - The Pewter Figurine Range

Made in Australia

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