Adventures in mold making
In addition to realizing the holidays are here this week (OMG, how did that happen?!), I also realized that I have more resin experiments to do before the end of the year. One of those experiments is to recreate the resin bracelet I picked up from the sale bin at a local craft store. So while to create a curb link style bracelet in metal requires soldering all the links together, then giving them a flattened finish, these links will have to be cast separately then assembled. In order to do that, I’m going to have to make a mold for individual bracelet links.
The links are flat on two sides of the link. One side also has a small gap that allowed me to get them apart. (That’s also how I will get them back together.) For this project, I’m going to put them flat side down (like the two at the back of the picture) in the mold cup.
Not shown: I used double sided tape to adhere them to a bottom of an empty food container.
I’m getting a little ahead of the story here, but I wasn’t sure this was going to work. You will see what I’m talking about in a minute, but I knew there were going to be challenges getting these demolded in such a way to allow me to cast the resulting cavity with resin.
For this project, I used the meltable and reusable Composimold mold making product. Because I has used it previously for a dinosaur resin casting, I had some cured resin shreds from that demolding disaster. The good news is that you only need to pour it through cheesecloth to remove those fragments.
On a side note, if you are new to mold making or simply want to experiment with some ideas, I cannot say enough good things about the Composimold. Because it is reusable, you won’t be wasting money if you make a mistake. You can learn a lot and simply use it over to try again on another project.
When pouring the Composimold, I suggest leaving at least 1/2 inch over your model to give room for the bubbles to rise. I way over did it in this case. You can demold it from the cup once it is cool, which is usually only a couple of hours.
The flat edges had a good contact with the mold base. There is no mold material on them, but there is Composimold in between the the two flat surfaces. Herein lies the problem.
In order for me to get the bracelet link out, I had to manipulate the center piece in between the two link edges. That manipulation turned into a massacre of the mold. This is partially due to the Composimold being soft and flexible when cured, but quite frankly, is due just as much to a poor mold design. I was relatively sure this mold design was not going to work, but I was stubborn enough to give it a try anyway. For the next molding, I will find a way to get these cast vertically. Let’s see what I can do there….
This brings me to another point. If you want to be good with resin (and moldmaking), you can’t be afraid to fail. I know in part my success with resin was because I failed with it. (and failed A LOT, especially in the beginning) You will learn as much, if not more, from your failures as you will your successes.
What was one of your failures where you learned as a result?