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tbird1477

How to make aluminum molds

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Making aluminum molds is a highly specialised process, requiring MAJOR money to outlay for NC machines. Even with the equipment, you need the know how. This only comes with years of experience and a lengthy apprenticeship. (I expect a free mold after this sales pitch Del).

Aly molds are generally bought off the shelf, or you can get what you want specifically made. Your best bet would be to do some searches on molds and read about PoP (plaster of paris) and RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) rubber. Then decide if you want to go further or just buy some aly molds. Sorry to be so negative at your obvious enthusiasm, but this is the way it is. PoP and RTV make very respectable bodies and give you that extra buzz because YOU made it happen.

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Intrested in learning to make my own aluminum molds for jigs, and plastic worms can anyone help in pointing me in the correct direction.

You're real question, I guess should be on how to machine features in a matching set of aluminum blanks. V-man is right. This is definitely a two step process. First you need to learn how to design what you want, which would entail learning how to draw in cad preferably in solids. Unless you already know cad. Then you would need to learn how to run, operate and program a CNC Machining Center. This will take awhile. Hate to burst your bubble, but like V-man said. You will have to go through a apprenticeship program......Those are the facts.

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Just a little question and comment.

Paul Ament made a Custom Mold (for lead) that was made by using

a steel model and pressing it into alum stock (1/2 for each side) ..

Does any one do that now ?? I would send him a balsa wood model

and would make a copy in steel ( I assume) .. Any one know about

this process ?

JSC

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T-bird,

1. Draw what you want on your computer, and then print it TWICE to scale on card-stock,

2. Then take an exacto knife and slice out the outlines EXACTLY. Crease them both while together so you can lay them mirror-image on your two pieces of aluminum.

3. Align and tape them into place, then take a razor-point sharpie, and transfer the outlines onto your two pieces of aluminum

4. Now go to town with a router or Dremel tool. You will have to learn as you go, but if you go take your time, you can make a beautiful product, and your mold will last forever.

This is how I did it, and it only cost me $6 for two scrap pieces of milled and finished aluminum, and $3 for a hinge screwed into the end to make a mold.

Mine is only a jigging spoon mold, but it works great. I used a router for the main section, and only used the dremel to touch up and do the wireform area

-TH

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"thill", that is awesome, you must have an exceptionally steady hand, analytical mind, good eyes, and lotsa time. I once called our community college about a CNC operation course and was informed that would be the tail end of a 2 year program. Pre-requisites included metalworking theory, shop applications, & computer graphics design, not to mention the basic math & sciences.

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Cutting A mold is not as hard as you think with the right tools. I have cut a couple do-it blank molds making some thing unavailable. It takes time but a model bait takes time to and then there is cost involved and time when others do the work for you. For me this is a uncontrollable hobby. I spend countless money on it. Now if it was a business and I sell jigs I would pay others to do what they are good at. Part of making a mold is knowing I made it from the start. My own Invention. With exception to the hook at least I can pick the hook.

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If I look back It has taken me about 1 to 3 hours using a drill press and dremel per jig. depending on how much detail I want. I do start different than thill I place the hook in the mold first and hit it with a hammer. leaves an outline of the hook and cut from there. If I made just a round head I would dremel out the hook slot. drill a hole with the drill press. Round it out with the dremel. If that is all you want that might take 20 to 30 min.

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Hawnjigs,

Thanks for the compliment.

Actually, as Kelly pointed out, it really doesn't take much time. I think I took about 2 hours on the mold that makes three jigging spoons. Most of the time was spent "tuning" it with the dremel and different shaped stones, depending on where it needed to be touched up.

If you use a blank mold, I believe it would be a lot faster and easier than my method of using milled scrap aluminum. I'd still stick with the printed stencil. Did I mention I used a hook and traced it's outline onto the stencil before dremeling out? Worked perfectly.

I'll have to see if a drill press could be incorporated in my next mold creation! Thanks for the great idea!

-TH

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