Before the advent of computerized methods of making diecasting molds, the mold was cut using a 3 dimensional pantograph machine. Each casting was modeled in a larger scale, called “4 Up” pattern which was used by the pantograph operator to create the die casting tool/mold.
“How Hot Wheels are made” from the 1981 Collector’s Book
Larry looks groovy with that tie! Bob looks handsome, too!
The pantograph machine and operator
A few of the original pantograph patterns have survived and are in the hands of collectors. In particular, one “find” occurred in 1999 where a group of 11 patterns, representing 6 castings, were purchased at a garage sale in Orange County, California.
Eight of eleven pantograph patterns found in 1999
In general, the pattern maker made two copies of each pattern in the raw form. One copy was held back as a spare and the other was detailed into the finished pattern. For several castings, both raw and finished examples of the patterns have survived.
Known Pantograph Patterns
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