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Modifying a Cacaobarry figure mold

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

 

Above is a pic of a santa mold that is covered in masking tape.

Why?

I hate the mold, not the figure of the Santa, but the mold itself, dumber than fried doggy-doo.

This type of mold forces you to cast two separate halves and then glue them together afterwards.  Finicky and unneccesary work, and to top it off, the joint has a tendency to fail if handled roughly during shipping or at the store.

 

Most figure molds are two-piece clipped together, even the ancient tin-plated ones clip together.  The mold is cast as one piece and can not separate as there is no joint to fail.

 

Last year I made about 600 Santas, many small ones, some of the hated mold above, and "super santa" the 24" high one, Yep, a two foot high Santa.  And all last year I cursed the above mold---dreamed of ways of torturing it.and it's creator.

 

Next pic,   On the chopping block...

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post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

 

An here it is on the ol' bandsaw.  I've sliced off the edges of the mold.

 

It's a woodworker's bandsaw with a p.o.s. fine toothed blade, which works well for thin plastic.  I have done similar molds on a tablesaw, which works, but is dangerous and frightening.

 

However,  there is no reason why a butcher's bandsaw can't work for this....
 

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

And now I'm slicing down the middle.

I'll finally have two halves!

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post #4 of 9
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Here I'm slicing off the bottom of the mold.  I'm leaving as much of the walls of the mold as possible 

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post #5 of 9
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Here things get a bit trickier.  I've temporarily clamped both halves together.  They have to be perfectly aligned, and this is very hard to do when then mold is opaque.( I'll rant a bit about this subject at the end).  What I've done is gone and stuck my index finger down the mold and "felt" the halves for any gaps or smooth fitting halves.  When both halves are aligned to the best of my ability, I tighten the clamps and prepare for the next step.

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post #6 of 9
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Yup, time to get out the drill and make some holes!

 

What I'm doing is drilling alignment holes.  Every two piece mold has alignment holes: one half has two or four holes, an the other half has corresponding "bubbles" that fit into the holes.  This aligns both mold halves and ensures they don't creep away from each other.

 

But I don't have a plastic factory to make "bubbles" on one half of my molds.

 

Nope, I got satay sticks!

 

Satay sticks a.k.a. bamboo skewers.  99% of them just happen to be 1/8" dia thick.  And the holes I've drilled through both halves is a 1/8" dia. hole

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

 

If you look closely, you can see the satay sticks peeking through both halves in this pic--it's just under the mold rib on the left and right sides.

 

Now I've taped some very rough grit sandpaper (60 grit) to a flat surface (my tablesaw wing) and am grinding the bottom halves flush--by hand of course.

 

After teh 60 grit I'll go to 180 grit and be done with it.  It doesn't have to be polished, no chocolate will be on that surface--it's an open bottom mold now!

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Here's the mold decorated, clipped together and filled with couverture.

Obviously I've taken a file and filed the rough edges of the perimeter of the mold and the bottom.  Oh, and I washed it too...

 

Next up, the money shot.

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

 

Here's Santa!

 

A while back I started a rant about opaque molds.  According to the Cacaobarry website, the molds are opaque because they (opaque plastics) provide a better gloss.  I dunno about that...

In the background you see another Santa, this one came out of a European (Swiss) clear rigid plastic 2 piece mold.  Clear plastic allows me to see better and do a better job of decorating the mold.  It's very hard to see what you're doing  with opaque-whitish plastic and you need to do eyes, beard, moustache, fur trim, pom-pom, etc.

 

In any case, the gloss on the clear plastic santa is good.  Matter of fact the gloss on the el-cheapo $3.00 thermo formed disposable molds is good.  Heck, the gloss I get off off the bottom of a 2 liter coke bottle is great (they make great chocolate mini fruit bowls)

 

In any case, hope you enjoyed the pics

I enjoyed sawing up the molds!

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