Matchboard or Match Plate equipment is indispensable where a fairly large number of small castings are to be made. Even though the number to be produced on a single job order is not unusually large (say 25 to 75), a matchboard may be used if the part is one that is likely to be called for repeatedly. A typical matchboard is pictured on the home page of this website.
Master or universal match plates made of aluminum may be purchased to fit any standard flask. Normally, the patternmaker makes the board of plywood or by gluing strips of wood together so that warping is prevented. Matchboards are made with flask pin holes or flash slides which exactly fit the particular size flask to be used.
The patterns for the individual castings usually are made up as single parted patterns and mounted on the board with brads or wood screws. The complete gating system usually is mounted securely on the matchboard also. Great care must be taken so that all the patterns mounted on the board will be exactly alike, and that cope and drag halves are in perfect alignment. To prevent wear during use, metal strips are attached at wear points on the board.
Although the possible advantages of molding with matchboards are fully realized only in the production foundry, the foundryman (molder) can also benefit through their use in the production of small castings in bench molds. Assuming that the matchboard equipment is properly made, its use increases the molder's efficiency by eliminating nearly all hand molding operations,and produces castings of uniform quality, increasing yield by reducing the amount of scrap in the form of rejected castings. Mounted pattern equipment has a greater service life since it is more resistant to rough handling and warpage.