Category Archive SKELLERNS Metal Casting & Concretework Services


Skellerns Metal Casting is one of New Zealands top foundries for Green Sand Moulding, Hard Sand Moulding and Investment (Lost Wax) Castings using the lost wax process for detailed precision work.

Investment casting or Lost wax casting

As one of New Zealand last remaining investment casting operations we offer the full range from one off castings to high volume scale lost wax castings. From one off 3-D printed patterns to high volume parts through lost wax moulding we cover the range in 30 different casting metals either in non-ferrous or  ferrous metals.

3D design and printing service

Skellerns Metal Castings also offer an inhouse 3D design and printing service for low volume economic investment cast patterns or high volume aluminium lost wax moulds. Our staff have more than 30 years’ experience in the investment casting process so there isn’t much we haven’t cast over this time.

Sand Moulding

At Skellerns Metal Casting Ltd we use 3 different types of sand-casting methods ensuring we match the most economically way to produce metal castings to your requirements.

Our casting methods in sand cover:

  • High Volume Shell Moulding
  • Medium Volume Green Sand
  • Low volume resin Hard Sand

Sand casting can produce metal to any size or shape eliminating the need for expensive engineering fabrication and wasted metal. Better still it is good for the environment as much of the metal is recycled metal.

Skellerns offers pattern services to help produce your patterns, we also have our own 3-D printer for those that want a low volume production pattern at low cost. Our casting range is from 20 grams to 500Kgs. We cast both ferrous and non- ferrous metals.

Sand casting is a versatile and creative technique that can be used for various purposes, from art, engineering and industrial parts. If you are interested in learning more about sand casting.

This scope of expertise enables us to be more versatile and flexible when selecting the most appropriate methodology to achieve your desired metal casting outcomes.  

At Skellerns we take great pride in our attention to detail and providing high quality metal castings and customer service.  

Working with Patterns

Castings from Existing Patterns

For bronze, aluminium and other metal castings, when you provide us with your existing patterns the Skellerns team will use their metal casting expertise and skills to ensure the highest quality and economical resulting products. 

Design & Process Guidance for New Patterns

Our experienced Sales & Support team will collaborate with you to ensure they understand all your requirements completely. With their wealth of industry knowledge they provide you technical guidance throughout the entire pattern design process and ensure it is prepared and ready to meet your timeframes.

Metal Casting Processes

Green Sand castings process is performed by using sand moulds formed from “wet” sand which contains water and organic bonding compounds, typically referred to as clay.  The “Green” of Green Sand Moulding is not in reference to the colour of sand but relates the sands state.  The name relates to the fact that the sand mould is not “set”, it is still in the “green” or uncured state even when the metal is poured in the mould.

Advantages of Green Sand Moulding:

  • This is the least expensive process when producing small quantities (normally less than 100) and also boasts with the least expensive tooling.
  • Range of casting sizes – ability to cast very large parts.
  • Flexibility in metal choice – Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be casted using this process.
  • Economical – A low production cost due to materials used and little post-casting tooling required.

Disadvantages of Green Sand Moulding:

  • Lower degree of accuracy – dimensional accuracy is less than that delivered by other processes.
  • Tolerances limitations – This process requires large tolerances. Surface roughness – The surface finish for ferrous casts delivered usually requires additional work.
  • Weight excess – Castings produced with this proceed usually exceeds the calculated weight.

The Hard Sand moulding process can have specific advantages over other manufacturing processes, which often lead to major cost savings, not only in the part price itself but also in the overall cost of production. Some of the benefits are in the processes flexibility:

  • Variety of metals able to be cast – ability to use both ferrous or non-ferrous metals.
  • Automated or hand crafted for accuracy – Mould replicates the component with high level of accuracy and consistency.
  • Jobbing or low volume production – ability to produce from 1 to 1000 units per run.
  • Complex shapes – undercuts and hollow centres can be formed and the process is capable of producing very large pieces.
  • Minimal wastage – Scrap and moulds can be and are often recycled

Investment Casting is a more accurate method for creating more precision for intricate castings. It would be used for small engineerings works, artwork and items that have under cuts.

  • Slightly more expensive – This method utilises high quality wax which is more expensive than Hardsand or Greensand.
  • Higher quality output – The use of wax creates greater precision in the metal casting end product.
  • Less additional work – the resulting metal cast product is more precise therefore less finishing is required

Metal Casting Finishes

At Skellerns Metal casting we offer a range of metal finishes which includes:

  • Metal Polishing
  • Sand and shot blasting
  • Heat treatment
  • Fettling
  • Patina

Examples of metal cast product finishes.



From manhole and access covers to watermains and stormwater grates, Skellerns manufactures and imports a wide range of standard and bespoke cast iron and aluminium Streetware products.

Our Streetware components have proven to be robust and durable over many years.  Skellerns Metal Castings Ltd supply all the major plumbing and drainage outlets including Hynds and Humes. Our products have been approved by major utility companies such as Watercare for use on their networks and in areas with extreme load applications such as the port and airport pavements. For example the new Skellerns oversized 610 mm diameter manhole access cover and frame has been independently tested and approved by Watercare, Auckland for use on its waste water network.

Manhole Access Covers & Frames 

Skellerns range of manhole access covers are tested to strict standards, as well the ability to meet a wide range of functions.

Stormwater Products

Skellerns provides a wide selection of frames, grates and related ancillary products to meet your storm water requirements.

Grates & Frames

Skellerns provide a range of Cast Iron and Aluminium Alloy Grates. Our grates are a strong proven product and are profiled for a variety of solutions.

Watermain Products 

Skellerns Metal Castings reticulation fittings, meter boxes and sump lids are durable and versatile. They are designed to meet a range of practical and robust working conditions.

Loading, Size & Weight Guidelines

These loading guidelines are to be used with caution and if in doubt we recommend consultation with our technical team.

A.  Extreme Light

Not intended to take traffic of any kind but may be used in areas accessible by pedestrians only.

B.  Light

Foot Pathways that may be mounted on occasions by light vehicles or livestock.

C.  Medium

Pedestrian areas and plazas that may take light slow moving commercial vehicles.

D.  Heavy

Road ways and pathways intended for light vehicles and light commercial.

E.  Super Heavy

Highways and roadways that are intended for all legal weight heavy goods vehicles

S.  Special

Enquire for special duty requirements products for docks and aircraft pavements subject to very high wheel loads.

Details for the size and weight provided for products on this website are as follows:


Sizes are actual grate sizes / Clear access size,

OD = Outside/External Diameter.   ID = Inside/Internal Diameter


All weights are shipping wgt. for complete unit.

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We are pleased to announce that Skellerns Metal Castings Limited (Skellerns) have acquired the assets of Mike Rees Castings Limited (MRC) with effect from 1 September 2020.

This acquisition will allow Skellerns to expand its marine division business offering, including a wide range of propellers, keels and other marine, automotive and cast metal components, and at the same time continue to provide the products and services previously supplied by MRC to its loyal customer base.

Specialising in marine castings and supplying some of New Zealand’s leading Marine Industry manufacturers with top quality castings. 

Our Marine products range from propellers and keels through to bespoke and custom products.

Mike Rees Castings as part of the Skellerns team, we continue to work closely with the leading yacht designers and cast any type of marine product from start to finish.

The modern moulding techniques we use ensure accurate castings whether using a single blade pattern or a full pattern. We only use top quality ingot and can do castings to survey standard.


We specialise in marine castings and supply New Zealand’s leading propeller manufacturers with top quality propeller castings ranging in size from 12″ diameter to 63″ diameter and weighing from 1kg to 1000kg.


With our experts in keel castings, we can assist you whether you need a 150kg bulb or a 15 tonne bulb


An example of a bespoke custom metal Trolley casting used for storing Radioactive Waste.  

Contact us to discuss what you want and what we can do to meet your requirements.

Other marine product castings include:



Plaques that dedicate, commemorate, acknowledge or brand with distinction and timeless elegance.

Skellerns bronze plaques are high quality custom designed plaques that have been used to commemorate a wide range of special occasions and places.

Whether the bronze plaque is to be on a headstone as a memorial, used a monument marker, designed for business branding signage, or as a personal tribute, or to commemorate a significant event, you can choose a bronze, aluminium or stainless steel plaque and it will always be a timeless point of remembrance.  No other product matches the permanence and long-lasting elegance of an individually designed bronze plaque. 

Plaques can be made in other metals such as steel and aluminium, however the traditional and most popular has been bronze.

Our Skellerns Plaques team have extensive experience with designing, repairing, restoring, conserving and preserving all types of plaques to make them look like new again, or if that is not possible anymore, then we can produce a replica plaque using new materials and fixings.

All of our bronze plaques or other metal plaques comply with the materials and fixings specified in the New Zealand Standard 4242:2018 – Headstones and Cemetery Monuments.

Our plaques team can cast almost any size of plaque in bronze, aluminium or stainless steel and offer 5 general styles for you to choose from to easily meet your plaque design requirements. 

We ensure the highest casting quality of your plaque and to achieve this we do have a limitation on how small text can be, however the amount of text is only limited by the size of your plaque. 

All graphics must by checked by you to ensure there are no intellectual property or copyright restrictions for using them before providing to our plaque designer. Our plaque designer will then check to ensure they are suitable for casting. 

Once your plaque has been designed and your order has been confirmed, then you will be provided with a computer generated layout of the plaque for your prior approval, before the casting work begins.  Then it is over to our experienced plaque manufacturing team to cast and finish the plaque to the required high standards of craftmanship and then arrange for its delivery, or complete any plaque mounting work if required.

View our gallery for plaque design inspiration

Bronze plaque gallery showing the various styles of plaques available and the bronze plaque types of usage.


Choose the style for your plaque

Skellerns offer 5 Plaque styles for you to choose from for creating an elegant and long lasting memorial tribute or sign.

1. Standard Flat Plaque

This bronze plaque is suitable for any occasion or purpose.

Our Standard Flat Plaque is either rectangular or square in shape and can have either a single or double lined border with a choice of background colour of Black or Brown.

1. Standard Plaques (rectangle or square in shape)

2. Bevelled Edge Plaque

This bronze plaque is suitable of any purpose and best suited for horizontal placement.

Our Bevelled Edge plaque has sloping edges that gives it an elevated appearance with a single border containing small gaps that enable water to run off the face to preserve it.

2. Bevelled Edge Plaque

3. Flat Book Plaque

This bronze plaque portrays the appearance of a book and a story being told.Our Flat Book styled plaque is a flat rectangular plaque that has an outlined border in the shape of a book.

The bronze plaque is approximately 8mm in depth.

3. Flat book Plaque

4. Raised Book Plaque

This bronze plaque portrays the appearance of a book and a story being told.
Skellerns Raised Book or Loose Leaf plaque is cast to have its edges shaped with book pages layering up to the face of the plaque.  It can be cast with front face format to have either 1 full page or 2 half pages.
This style of plaque has substantial depth of approximately 30mm.

Raised Book Plaque with Ceramic Photo

5. Non Standard Plaque

This plaque is any shape variation and is suitable for any purpose. It is often used as a decorative tribute.

Our Non Standard Plaques are all other plaques in a variety of different shapes.

Call our expert plaque designers to discuss your specific requirements.

Non Standard Plaque

Choose the metal for your plaque

1. Bronze

Bronze plaques are the traditional and popular choice for interior as well as exterior plaque applications.  Although the finish of a bronze plaque will naturally patina over time, the material itself will never deteriorate.

Objects made from bronze have been submerged in seawater for over 3000 years and are still in excellent condition when discovered.

2. Aluminium

Aluminium plaques are more suited to indoor applications or where regular maintenance is possible and where budget or weight is a factor.

Aluminium plaques are cheaper than bronze plaques due the lower cost per kg of the aluminium alloy and the aluminium alloy is also lighter than either bronze or steel.

However, aluminium is not as corrosion resistant or physically resilient as bronze.

An aluminium plaque makes a great alternative when you can’t afford a bronze plaque, but still want a large plaque that is both lightweight and durable.

3. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel plaques are generally at the upper end of the quality and cost range due to the cost of the raw materials used in the casting and the time required to prepare, cast and finish compared to an aluminium or bronze plaque.

Choose a Border Style

Our bronze plaques include a single line border which is available at no extra cost on all ‘average’ sized plaques.

Some plaque border designs are not practical on small namestrips plaques that are under 5cm in height.

If your graphic border can be drawn with pen or within a computer application, it will almost always be able to be included in your plaque design.

Consider how to stylise your Text

Once you have chosen the wording, you will need to choose the font, size, format and layout for the plaques design.  Consider what font styles and sizes will enhance the comprehension of the reader. They can include:

  • LARGE and small text;
  • Bold text for prominence; 
  • Font styles such as an elaborate wedding script style text for an elegant title line; 
  • Clear and spaced readable body text;
  • italics to distinguish “comments or quotes”.

All of our memorial and tribute bronze plaques are custom made and we can accommodate virtually any content you may desire.

Take a look at some of our plaque designs to get inspired with what you can create and contact our design team to help you achieve it.

Including Graphics

Personalise and embellish you plaque by including graphics, a picture can say a thousand words, whether it be a logo, a favourite flower, an animal or any object of significant meaning.

Vector images work best for casting.  If your graphic can be drawn with pen or within a computer application, it will almost always be able to be included in your plaque design.  All graphics must by checked by you to ensure there are no intellectual property or copyright restrictions for using them before providing to our plaque designer.

Choosing a background colour

Prior to highlighting the letters the background is painted with a colour which assists in providing a contrast with the highlighted letters to make them stand out more.

As a standard, we offer you an option of two colours, however, you are able to choose any colour you like for the background for a customer price.

  • Brown– The standard and most popular colour for bronze plaques.
  • Black– Can be used for both bronze and aluminium plaques. Black will provide the best contrast for aluminium plaques.
  • * Custom – Painted any colour of your choice

* We require you to provide us a physical example of the custom colour in order for us to match.

Choose a plaque background texture

Our creative bronze memorial plaques and headstones have been developed with alternative background textures or floors.

To give your plaque an enhanced or distinctive look, choose from:  Sand, Stipple or Leatherette.

Examples of Bronze plaque background styles pebble, sand and leatherette

Available Polishing & Finishing Styles

Once the background of the bronze plaque has been painted, the surface areas (these are the raised letters or lines of artwork) are highlighted by sanding (flat areas) or buffing (sculpted areas) to create the elegant contrast of forms.

* Clear lacquer is our standard clear, protective coating. Unless otherwise specified, all plaques will receive clear lacquer protective coating.

Finishing & Polishing styles we offer:

Satin Bronze — The Natural metal colour with subtle horizontal grain lines.

Polished Bronze — The natural metal colour buffed to a high gloss, obtained by polishing with successively finer abrasives, then buffing with fine buffing compound.

Chrome Plated Bronze — The raised surface of the bronze plaque is polished to meet the polished bronze specifications. The background of the plaque remains in its “natural sandblast” state, providing contrast with the polished raised surface. The entire plaque is then electro-plated using a standard commercial copper/nickel/chrome plating process.

Protective Finish — In order to protect the natural, highlighted finish of a cast bronze plaque a Clear Protective Lacquer is added providing a low gloss appearance, this clear coating was developed to help ensure many years of carefree maintenance.

Lugs & Screws

These are used for a concealed mount where drilled lugs are added on the back of the plaque and screws used to hold in place for mounting to brick, stone or cement.

Flat backed plaques have no lugs or screw holes unless otherwise requested.

Counter Sink Screws

Countersink screws are the smallest plaque mounting option.

This method of mounting is typical for mounting on a park bench or memorial wall. The bronze plaque is mounted to surface using construction adhesive or by bolting from the rear. This option can be used on almost any surface. Wood screws can be used to fasten directly into timber or machine screws selected for mounting when fastening to a solid wall such as concrete.

View & Download Plaque Installation Guidelines

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Skellerns Metal Castings Auckland foundry is proud to have produced a wide range of elegantly designed and cast Artwork and Sculptures, for parks, streets, homes, gardens and businesses for over 50 years.  During this time we have worked with a number of local and internationally renowned and upcoming artists and sculpture designers by providing high quality support and services to ensure their artwork designs and ideas on paper and as preliminary moulds are truely recreated in an elegant form.

Following are some of our recent sculpture and artwork projects which include the Marlin in Paihia and the Statue of Sir Colin Meads in Te Kuiti.

Air New Zealand Suppliers Awards

In 2019 Skellerns were commissioned by the Air New Zealand Suppliers Division to cast the sculptured Tuhono Supplier Award that was presented to the winners of the various supplier divisions at their inaugural Annual Awards evening. 

Not only did each division winner gain the well deserved recognition of both Air New Zealand and their peers, but they also got to take home a bespoke engraved bronze sculpture cast by Skellerns especially for the presentations.

The following press release backgrounds the Awards and the Suppliers achievements: 

Battle of Passchendaele Memorial

This project was completed for the Passchendaele Society in Auckland with funding from the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

It comprised the manufacture of three large 600 mm x 600 mm bronze plaques (one was curved) and 846 bronze disks at 50 mm diameter each.

Skellerns liaised with both the Society and their project management team in Belgium throughout the preliminary design and detailing phases of the project, during the manufacturing process, and the time critical overseas transportation, as well as the final installation phases. 

The memorial was opened on 12 October 2017.

The following article at backgrounds the project and the following photographs show the curved memorial narrative panel plus a photograph of one of the disks fixed to a headstone.

Statue of Sir Colin Meads in Full Flight

We are proud to have worked with Natalie Stamilla, Auckland, to cast her sculptured design of Sir Colin Meads in full flight, into its larger than life form.

The Colin Meads statue stands 2.87 metres high and weighs approximately 650 kg. The project was commissioned and funded by a huge effort from Te Kuiti’s local fundraising community.

Skellerns found innovative ways to cast the artists very detailed sculpture and devised an innovative way to hold the statue upright, whilst also satisfying the local Structural Engineers and the local Building Inspector’s requirements. 

Time was of the essence, as once the unveiling date was committed and dignitaries invited from around the world, the statue had to be finished and erected on time. 

The following articles show Sir Colin Meads with his look-a-like at the unveiling ceremony on 17 June 2017.

In the news: NZ Herald, Fox
Read some reviews: TripAdvisor

Statue of Marlin

In 2017 Skellerns were honoured to be requested by Fuller family and AXIA Designs, Napier, to cast and erect of the Leaping Marlin that now represents the area of Paihia in the Bay of Islands so elegantly.

The Marlin statue is almost 4 metres high and weighs 600 kg. A prize catch in anyone’s book, but also a great sight on the waterfront at Paihia. The Leaping Marlin statue project was generously funded by the Fuller family as a donation to the local community.

The moulding of the Marlin required an innovative solution, in that a 3D digital model was created of a real marlin, and then that model was used to create the moulds which formed the basis of the casting process. 

The following articles confirm the Fuller Family were very pleased with the final result.

In the news: NZ Herald, 

Location: Paihia Artist: AXIA Design & Fullers

Albany Stadium Pool Sculpture

Auckland Artist Seung Yul Oh’s “Upon a Pond” was commissioned by Auckalnd Council and installed for Albany Stadium Pool in 2017.

Skellerns worked closely with Seung Yul Oh during the design and casting of these very creative sculptured pieces of public artwork.

In the news:

Location: Albany, NZ Artist: Seung Yul Oh