Plastic Mold Making business

I received an interesting e-mail yesterday from someone inquiring about making plastic molds for building planters with faces on them.

I’m going to just copy it and paste it here. So you can read it to.

Del,

I found an article http://www.abceo.com/ and I’d like to try to make these planters but I don’t know how to make the plastic mold. Can you assist?? I work for an agency that works with developmental disabled individuals and we started an art gallery and would like to make some of these planters to sell.

Thanks,

S Belle

Hello S Belle:

Thanks for visiting my site.

I have been thinking about your request for info on making plastic molds for heads to use as planters.

I don’t know where you could buy the molds but can guarantee that they would be expensive and require some expertise to use.

If I was going to try this I would go to garage sales and hobby stores looking for “heads” to use as the basis for my mold.
Plastic Halloween masks make nice cheap plastic molds. Look for ones without any undercuts and that are fairly rigid.
Make up a sand bed with clean moist sand _ if you can pick up a handful and squeeze it, it should stay together.

Cover the eye, nose, and any other holes in the mask. Before you place the mask in the sand bed – coat it with some 10w engine oil. Get the cheapest stuff you can. Don’t put too much on or it will make pits in the surface.
Pack the sand around and under the mask to make sure it holds its shape.
Mix some hypertufa and carefully pack it into the mask.

You will have to wait patiently for a couple of days for the hypertufa to cure. You should be sure that it is kept damp during the curing time.
Once it has cured remove it from the mold and use it to form the front of your Pot-Head.

Maybe you could get some sort of Styrofoam container that you could cut a piece out of and fill the gap with your face casting. Then just use the hypertufa as a glue and filler to cover the container and to holes the casting into place.

I can see it now – you will get a bunch of Richard Nixon masks…….
I hope this gives you some ideas to work with and would like some pictures and commentary if you follow through. (for me to post on my site)

I would like to use this reply as an article on my site (if I get ambitious) and would change your name if it is OK with you? I can leave your name if you like, but either way I will remove the references to .com etc.

Good luck and best wishes’,

Del

Hello again Del,
Thanks for responding!! I’m thinking about buying two head planters and yes they are expensive but I thought I would bite the bullet and then use them for molds. They are, I think concrete planters, and so my next question is how do I use them to make a mold. The answer to your question about posting my questions on your site is fine as long as you change my name and don’t use my organizations information.

Thanks,

S Bell

Hello S Belle:
On my site I have an article about making rubber molds. I would advise against trying it unless you are real adventurous. It is a big job you have to make the actual rubber mold (this is probably the easy part), then make another “case” that comes apart to hold the mold while you pour the concrete. This is generally fiberglass and unless you or someone you know has done it before it is quite a project.

Even if you have purchased a plastic mold you will discover you need a vibrating table in order to make aluminum die casting with no air pockets and it will take a few practice runs before you are able to produce anything that is saleable.
My feeling is if you get some masks and use hypertufa, you don’t need any special skills, you can pack the ‘tufa by hand and will be making nice looking planters in a short period of time. You could make a few ‘faces’ and the go ahead and incorporate them onto your hypertufa planters. One of the nice things about it is that you can ‘glue’ it together.

One other thing is the ‘tufa is very light so you don’t have to have a lot of help to set them up for sale. It is also generally ok to have some flaws in tufa as it adds to the rustic look. Being done by hand means that you will not have a lot of identical planters for sale – similar but not the same. You will find that after you become comfortable with the stuff you will be making more and more articles of your own design.
You may want to get this information – it has helped a lot of people get a feel for what is involved in this hobby.
I hope this helps some, and thanks for the permission!

Del

I hope this is useful to anyone who’s considering making their own molds. If you have any questions please ask and I will try to answer them.

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