All posts by Michael Walsh

Finials and Cover Plates

In keeping with period finials and cover plates

Due to the type of projects we get involved in, FSE Foundry is very often involved in restoration projects for individuals where they want to stay in keep with existing features they have on their properties. When being able to supply a number of samples of finials, typically 6 or 8, we are able to mould together, keeping the costs down. What is good about using originals to cast from is that any ageing that has occurred to the originals will be replicated, so when fitted they do not look out of place. As you will see from the pictures even when the originals supplied have seen better days, our experienced patternshop are able to clean up and make good ready for moulding, allowing us to make castings that you certainly wouldn’t be able to buy off the shelf.

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Thor’s Hammer

At FSE Foundry we can turn dreams in to reality. Many a child and a grownup is a fan of Marvel Comics, such as Ross Douglas, so when he entered our premises wielding a wooden Thor hammer, also known as the Mjölnir, many eyes lit up. From a block of wood he had carefully shaped and engraved to match what you see in the comic and films. This we were then able to use as a pattern, with experienced moulders and fettler, resulting in a replica in Aluminium of amazing detail. Iron or steel would have obviously been the material of choice, but wouldn’t have been the most practical of items as the aluminium hammer stilled weighed in at 13kg. After being polished, it really looks at place in a forest surrounding.

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Haystack Banjos

FSE Foundry made 4 sets of Brass tension hoops and clips that hold the skin over the main body pot of the banjo. Raymond White of Haystack Banjos made patterns for exactly what he wanted from wood and by individually moulding them, cutting in runner systems and feeding correctly, we were able to produce sound castings that he was then able to machine, polish and fit to create a great piece of workmanship.

Having spoken to Raymond, each banjo is a labour of love, producing only four of these masterful banjos a year, you can find him at:

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Engine Restoration

Vaporiser cover for a 1924 Petter S type 12/14hp Semi Diesel Stationary Engine.

A number of our customers spend their spare time restoring steam engines, stationary and locomotives. This is a prime example where we have been able to use a broken original vaporiser cover from a 1924 Petter S type 12/14hp Semi Diesel Stationary Engine to produce a new one. Without carrying out any pattern work, our experienced moulders were able to form the broken area in the sand by rubbing away part of the mould to form the missing area. With some careful fettling, a new, non broken, representation of the original was created.

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Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Devon opened in 1898 and closed in 1935. Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust have opened one mile and have applied for planning permission to open another 4.5 miles. Eventually they intend to open virtually the entire line between these two towns about 19 miles, which is considered the best narrow gauge (2 feet between the tracks or 60 cm) in England.

Along with E.A.S.T Restoration they have been busy rebuilding carriages in Essex, all that are left of the 16 originals built in 1897 by the Bristol wagon and carriage works Co Ltd. When it closed in 1935 bits of the wooden carriages were used as sheds, etc the more valuable steel frame and wheels being sent for scrap. Most of the brass fittings went the same way.

They were however able to salvage some of the original brass fittings which FSE Foundry were then able to use as patterns to reproduce the necessary brass fittings for a number of completed carriages. They have rebuilt four of these historic wooden carriages so far, (Numbers 7, 11, 16 and an additional carriage No 17 built by the railway itself in 1911.) and are now working on No 5.

Additional information is available at our website

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Katterkrad German WW2 motorbike

A number of people as a hobby find enjoyment in restoring World War Two army vehicles. One such customer Gavin Copeman, has come to us in need of castings that are not readily available in today’s market.

One of his projects was restoring a German Katterkrad track bike, but unfortunately he needed another fan housing but couldn’t get his hands on one. After bringing the one he had in to use in bits, we were able to modify the original to allow us to mould from it, adding machining allowances and patching up broken areas.

Our experienced moulders then did a great job of moulding all necessary parts which we cast in SG Iron. All parts were then passed on to a machinist, Richard Percival of who machined all necessary gears, bushes and castings to make a complete, working replica that Gavin could fit to his Katterkrad.

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Selhurst Railway Station

FSE Foundry is well known for its ability to produce bespoke castings to match original Listed Building features. Selhurst station has undergone a refurbishment on behalf of Network Rail and the Train Operating Company. The platform was first built in 1862 using Victorian designed iron columns to support the roof over the platform. FSE Foundry supplied SG Iron columns and brackets to the original to extend the platform roof.

Drainage and Building Product Assemblies

FSE Foundry supplies patterns and finished assemblies for bespoke and propriety drainage products in Grey Iron, SG Iron and non-ferrous alloys in accordance with building regulations and to customer specifications.


AATi Ltd are part of the FSE Group, manufacturing and fabricating antislip, antiwear treads for the high-footfall public stairway environment such as railway stations and metros. FSE Foundry plays a key role in casting and manufacture of the treads, not only in Aluminium alloys, but also Iron and Copper-based alloys. These stairway products are made and finished in-house to a registered design specified by London Underground, Network Rail and comply with European and USA Building Regulations including DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) requirements for social inclusion in public.

Cambridge Library

Working alongside a renowned sculptor, Harry Gray, FSE helped produce a memorable set of stacked books acting as parking bollards in Gunmetal now situated in front of Cambridge University Library remodelled in 2006. After casting the ‘book stacks’ to the sculptor’s requirements FSE Foundry designed and fabricated an intricate bearing system allowing some parts of the heavy stacks to rotate to the designer’s requirements.

At FSE Foundry we are proud to be able and willing to go beyond normal casting requirements. Our skilled and multi-disciplinary workforce from diverse casting and engineering backgrounds can often facilities not only your casting needs but a fully finished and working product.