Skip to content

Custom Castings

This guide is intended to help you obtain the best pricing and the best quality custom castings for your needs.

In any business environment it is very important that you get the right casting the first time with the quality you need. The information that follows is intended to help you help us do that. If you have any questions and or need a prompt live response please call us at 800-442-IRON (4766).

Pricing Castings

The price of a casting is dependent on the following factors:

  • Need for and complexity of patterns
  • Number of castings required
  • Need for cores, if any
  • Complexity of casting
  • Weight of casting and
  • Suitability for automation


A few terms of the trade:


The existing piece you wish to reproduce.


A metal, wood, or epoxy (plastic) positive representation of the original which is mounted on a board (pattern board).

Mould or Mold

A sand negative, into which molten iron is poured to make a new casting.

Sprues, risers, gates, and vents

Think of when you were younger and assembled plastic models. In model maker’s terms, these items ate all of those miscellaneous pieces that the parts of your model car or plane were attached to in the kit. They also come attached to every casting, but are removed prior to shipment to you.


A chemically bonded sand shape (where used) which is used to maintain full detail all the way around a casting.

Parting line

The (usually) visible line on a casting where the upper half and lower half of the sand mold come together. This line is not where the halves of the casting were “welded” together – the casting is made in one piece. Many casting defects seen in poor casting center around parting line defects.

Are patterns necessary? Patterns are not needed in many instances, particularly where only a few castings are required and you are able to supply us with an existing complete original. In these cases we can frequently use your existing as a master for new pieces.

Patterns are required where originals are not available or where it is more cost effective to create a pattern to make your casting (usually because of greater quantities that you may require). Whenever an original casting is made available to us, the cost of the pattern (if required) is less than if an original is not made available. You may save the cost of the shop drawings, and an existing original, regardless of condition, answers many questions of dimension which even a good shop drawing may not.

Can we use your existing patterns? The answer is a qualified maybe. The vast majority of patterns are not readily interchangeable from one foundry to another. This subject gets complex quickly, but the machinery and equipment a foundry uses is suited to the type of castings, some foundries make small castings, most make at least a range of sizes (and weights).

While we can almost certainly use an existing pattern to make a pattern to fit our equipment, it may require modifying the mounting board that your pattern is attached to.

Obtaining the best (most responsible) quote in the least time……..

We need the following:

  • Drawings or photos – the more accurate and the more details the better. Dimensions are very important.
    OR a sample – the best of all possible worlds. (see Sending Samples)
  • How many castings do you need?
  • Is an original available?
  • How much does the casting weigh?
  • If this is a bid, when are quotes due to the architect or owner?
  • When are the actual castings going to be needed?
  • Do you anticipate that you will need more in the future?
  • Information, Information, Information – The more you can furnish the better position we are in to give you a realistic quote.

As we have noted before, the best way to obtain an accurate quote is to send us an actual sample.

Samples should be sent via United Parcel Service whenever possible (pieces up to 150 pounds). Cardboard boxes with lots of packing material seem to work best. Use shipping tape. Larger castings requiring freight shipment should be crated or firmly secured to a pallet. We recommend using Roadway as your shipper. Insure all shipments, and packages.

DO NOT SEND SAMPLES without talking to us first. ALWAYS mark samples with your name and phone number by using a paint marker, tags, or the like. Insure castings as you think best. We are not responsible for lost or broken castings.

Send samples to:

Architectural Iron Company
104 Ironwood Court
Milford, PA 18337-0126

DO NOT spend time trying to clean, paint, rust, etc. off of the casting you are sending. We can clean the casting without damage in minutes. If, for some reason, the casting shouldn’t be cleaned, please attach a tag reading “DO NOT CLEAN”.

We pay return UPS charges if you don’t accept our quotation. Return freight shipments are F.O.B. Milford.

When time permits, send drawings(including AutoCad) and photographs by mail, UPS, Federal Express, or the like.

Our mail address is:
Architectural Iron Company
P.O. Box 126
Milford, PA 18337-0126

Our Physical Address is:
Architectural Iron Company
104 Ironwood Court
Milford, PA 18337

If you need to fax us drawings for an inquiry, or fax number is (570) 296-IRON/ 4766. We will, upon receipt of your transmittal, assign an inquiry code and we may fax you an inquiry sheet, which must be completed and returned to us so we can get your inquiry underway.

NOTE: Most fax machines have two or more transmittal speeds. Slower transmit speeds yield much better results. If you regularly transmit drawings or photographs, consider using the slower settings for drawings. You’ll help us out a great deal and enable us to give you a more accurate quote.

Drawings may be emailed to

The best file formats are .jpg, .gif, or .dwg (AutoCad).

We receive dozens of inquiries for custom castings each week and try to give you the assistance you need as fast as possible. Accordingly, we assign every inquiry a number to track it through our departments. PLEASE use this inquiry code on all correspondence/transmittals and samples. Use of our inquiry number will enable us to answer your questions more quickly any time you call.

All castings, whether iron, brass, or bronze, are made using sand molds. The quality of the sand is measured by the fineness (size) of the sand particles.

Cast iron is normally manufactured in a range of 40-grain fineness up to about a 75 grain. These grades are used for commercial applications such as motors, pumps, etc.

Architectural castings (literally architectural iron) should have more clarity and “crispness” than can be attained with coarse sands.

We use a 90-grain sand or better to produce clear, crisp detail. While this costs somewhat more, it gives you, as the fabricator or buyer, a casting which the architect and owner will rave about, rather than one which is rejected or which requires extensive (and expensive) clean-up work.

We have developed a proprietary process for treating steel and aluminum plate, bar, and shapes to give mild steel the same granular surface texture as cast iron.

The beauty of this is that where you formerly had to have flat sections and plates cast at great cost, we can now supply these shapes and sections at greatly reduced cost, frequently half the cost of grey iron.

Additionally, SB-2 processed steel is completely weldable and retains all of the characteristics of mild steel, including strength and weldability.

We can also process your components and fabrications to look like cast iron (certain size limits apply).

The SB-2 processes have been approved for use in both local and national historic landmark projects.

For more information, please call our technical services department.

Architectural Iron Company vs. other foundries

Custom architectural castings are a very large percentage of our business. We make them every day. We are used to working with architects, contractors, metal workers, and owners. We provide top quality products at reasonable prices, which very few foundries consider making.

Even fewer foundries make good quality architectural castings. We have been told time and time again tales of woe concerning problems of quality, delivery, and price changes as well as hidden charges that you are told are “normal foundry practices, “standard surcharges”, “set up charges”, and the like.

Virtually all foundries quote “rough castings” with “standard” finish (This usually translates to read “Lots of time consuming, expensive clean-up for you”).

When we quote a price, it is for quality castings, ready to use.

Try us for your current or next casting needs.