Pattern Maker Tools

I have heard machines such as pattern maker's lathe, joiner and vise, etc. My question is; what makes a pattern maker's tool a pattern maker's tool? The size, or what?

-Yuen Wong



  • If you know what pattern makers do it should explain a little bit about the tools they use. I worked in a pattern makers shop when I was a kid and the machines scared the hell out of me. Large machines, 36-inch Oliver bandsaws, 40-inch Disk sanders, giant lathes etc, all used for making molds for industry. Pattern shops are pretty much a part of history now and I can't help but feel a bit sad about it.

-Carl Kunkel


  • Wow memories! I spent three summers working in a pattern shop as a youth. Thanks to the computer we no longer need pattern makers. But I sure learned more about jig and machine setup from a man who I'm sure has forgotten more than I'll ever know. I remember a bandsaw that must have been ten feet tall and a molder that took up a whole room. Thanks for the memories!

-Bob Grenier


  • Well, it must be nice to know that you've conjured up warm and wonderful feelings for some ex-pattern maker types, but (since) no one answered your question, I'll try. Pattern making equipment is the good stuff, not necessarily big. There are lots of shops with big equipment and they wouldn't qualify as pattern making equipment. You're really talking about accuracy and repeatability. Sorry, but Delta doesn't qualify. Oliver, Davis-Wells, Parks, and for smaller shops, Inca, to name a few. Tune-ability, i.e. a machine made to be tweaked (adjusted) into cutting perfect right angles or whatever. Frequently standard machines were bought and modified by trips to the machine shop; just like you do now with almost any modern equipment you buy!

-Peter Robin