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Kwalter32

Plastic vs aluminum mold

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So I'm about to start making some plastics and not sure of a few things...

The first question is plastic vs aluminum molds. Is there a difference besides price on which one will be more durable?

And the next question is about plastics. Is there a difference in brand? I know you can get soft or extra strength which will have less movement.

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Personally I will take aluminum molds every time.  You can use them for years and they will look just like they did when you bought them.

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+1. It’s about what you like.Yes there is a difference in brands for the most part. Here again it’s what works for you.  I hate to sound so cryptic but it really is that simple . Just one thing to remember have fun!!   

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The first baits I ever made, I used plastic molds from Jann's. They are the type where you pour your plastic in a reservoir and there is a plastic plunger you use to "inject" the plastic. They worked fine but are tedious, time consuming, and dented. You had to oil them frequently so the bait wouldn't stick, a lot like stone molds. I don't use them anymore now that I have my aluminum molds and a couple stone molds. The only one I would even consider using is the Ned mold and thats because I haven't gotten an aluminum one yet. Having tried plastic, stone, open pour silicon, and aluminum, aluminum is by far superior.

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Buckeye - that is exactly how I design my 3D printed molds; with a built-in injection port. I had no idea that others were doing the same. I am not injecting hot plastics, just resins, so no hot problems.

My method is to 3D print a mold for the mold. I design so that both mold halves are identical so that I only need to print one half. Then I can pour as many silicone mold halves as I want, hundreds if I wanted to make a production.

Dave

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I have both aluminum and open pour silicone molds.

To me, aluminum molds are the easiest to use, because I have an injector.

I am just a hobby pourer, and make baits for myself and a couple of buddies, so I love the Essentials Do-It molds because they are cheap and they work.

I have several ES Do--It aluminum molds, like the 3" grub mold, and I can just heat up a batch of plastic and shoot enough grubs for a few trips.  Same with their 5" ES senko mold, and their Ripper swimbait mold.  Because they were inexpensive, I have two of each, so I can pour enough from one batch of plastic for a few trips.

But I still use my open pour silicone molds a lot, because I can easily make a laminated swimbait with them, and, because they are so cheap, I have five 2 cavity molds for the Lurecraft skinny dipper copy.  That lets me pour ten baits at a time, and, because I can pour one half of each mold with the same batch of heated plastic, I am more efficient.  I don't have to reheat my plastic during my five mold run, and that makes my plastic colors stay true longer, since reheating eventually changes plastic colors for me, even though I add heat stabilizer.

Having cheap molds has encouraged me to play around with different colors and mixes, and made bait making more fun for me.

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I don't have a dual injector so I still mess around with my open pour silicon. I have a swimbait, jerkbait, and paddletail. They were frustrating at first because I wasn't getting the plastic warm enough to flow right. I had to do a ton of trimming and sometimes I wasn't getting the tails to fully pour. With practice I have gotten better with them. There is way more skill required in hand pouring than in shooting injection molds. Some of the best looking baits come out of hand pour molds.

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My silicone swimbait molds have a thin tail stem, so the baits blow out on a fast retrieve.

Since I have to trim the baits anyway, I over pour the tail sections on purpose, so they are thicker and stiffer.  It's a small thing, only 1/8"+-, but it makes a big difference in how the baits swim.

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