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Patternmaking For Custom Hardware

Learn the skills to plan, design, and build a pattern.

Tuition: $825

Materials: $132

Note: Students must have adequate experience using hand tools including carving tools, such as gouges and chisels.


Patternmaking is one of the most important cornerstones of metal casting. The pattern is basically an enlarged copy of the part you want in metal. It is not a mold, or a negative shape of what you want. It is a positive form, usually made of wood, from which a mold is made.

This class will provide a view into the lost art of patternmaking. You will explore the relationship between patternmakers and foundrymen in creating wood patterns for casting custom bronze hardware. You will discuss the metallurgy of various bronze alloys and the factors that need to be considered in designing an accurate pattern—shrinkage, draft, dimensional stability, and coring to successfully cast a piece of hardware. Most boatbuilders/woodworkers have in their kit a complete selection of tools that would enable them to practice pattern work. Your instructor will present a few others that have been developed specifically as patternmaking tools, including inside-sharpened chisels and gouges, cove and barrel planes, and a pattern hammer.

Each student will have the opportunity to create patterns for hardware such as cleats, rudder hardware, or nautical décor. This promises to be an exciting week for anyone interested in the finer points of woodworking.

Bob Fuller was excellent – very patient, open to ideas, and supportive to each student. The two weeks were perfect for where I am in my boatbuilding journey.”
M.V., Mead, Colorado