What makes a good mold?

stella1952January 1, 2013


What makes a good mold? What doesn't? Why do some molds stick and others not? What materials make the best molds (and worst)? Where can you find good molds?


Hello everyone! On the subject of good molds vs. bad molds. I have had alot of experience with bad molds. I always think that I can make something work even if people tell me it won't. Stainless steel happens to be one of the worst! Even if you grease it and use a plastic bag it still doesn't work for me. I just ruined my set of Wolf Man Puck mixing bowls my brother got me for christmas, I have tried every thing to get the tufa out well, every thing except a sledge hammer and running over it with the car. On the other hand, cardboard boxes, stryofoam, and any kind of plastic bowl or container works very well. And I always use plastic bags in what ever mold I choose. Wood is another good choice as long as you have the mold screwed together so it can be taken apart easily. So to all you new stoners out there, stay away from stainless steel for your molds! But don't be afraid to experiment with all kinds of different materials, you know that is all a part of the fun! Hope my two cents helps a little, Have a tufa day!


Look at any plastic vessel as a possible mold. Wastebaskets, bowls, vases, plates, platters, you get the idea. If it tapers, doesn't have any undercuts, has a pleasing shape, imagine it as a casting.

My favorite so far is a plastic fish dish from a thrift store, placed upside down and forming the depression in a free-form birdbath. Looks a little like a fossil. Also did this with a large pot saucer. The saucer can be used as a liner to waterproof the finished birdbath. Tupperware, rubbermaid, buckets, tubs, give it a shot. Thrift stores and dollar stores are a goldmine.


One mold I haven't seen among the brilliantly clever ones used by our beloved tufamates is barrel stave rings. I have used those quite successfully for LARGE stepping stones / pavers.(you CAN move them, by rolling is easiest, but these are obviously more condusive to in situ projects)


Look out for like ridges in the molds ... sometimes your mold will get stuck if those are in there... and if you HAVE to HAVE it, cut that mold down its long side before pouring (tape together while molding) for easy removal.


Watch for plastic extrusions inside plastic trash cans and buckets. You can remove them with a razor blade or exact-o knife.

Ridgid foam insulation can be cut into bottomless forms of any size, butt the edges together and push 2 or 3 large nails (depends on the size of the form)down the side of each corner and wrap duct tape (what to do with all that duct tape you bought) around the outside. Place this on a piece of...

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