YORK—For many people, a good serving set is a necessary piece of dining pleasure. One York company makes the keepsakes entirely from scratch. In this week's Made in PA, FOX43's Michael Gorsegner takes a look into the foundry at Olde Country Reproductions to see what is hot off the presses.
Turning metal into memories. Workers at Olde Country Reproductions mold, pour and grind hundreds of keepsakes a day.
"We manufacture a product that can be used for a variety of different things like plates and mugs," said Olde Country Reproductions President Meg Swartz.
Plates and mugs are just the beginning. The York foundry churns out platters to license plate holders and everything in between.
"It is very labor intensive," said Vice-President Chris Kiehl.
The labor starts with the dye design which goes inside a sand mold. The molder pours -- then compressing the sand to build an outline for each piece.
"Our molder generally does 200 to 250 molds a day," said Kiehl.
The sand mold takes a quick ride over to the pouring station where one of 22 workers dips the metal. The hot aluminum alloy literally swims around the sand to produce the shape of the product.
This is literally where the process heats up. This aluminum alloy is kept at 1,400 degrees in a furnace. They dip about 500 to 1,000 pounds of metal each and every day.
"It`s a very high skilled job because it is manual labor and it is not something that is taught in school," Kiehl said.
After a short cooling period, the molds are broken and the product is inside. Then, the piece is grinded and vibrated to the proper finish. Each piece is a custom masterpiece made right here in Central Pennsylvania.
"I am really proud of the fact that we are still operated here in the United States. We make all of our products here. It is important to us," Swartz said.
Olde Country Reproductions makes about 2,000 different products with prices starting as low as just a couple of bucks. You can buy them at their West Market Street store or online.