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Thread: Enjoi: How to make a mold

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    Junior Member Enjoi's Avatar
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    Enjoi: How to make a mold

    Together here we will explore the process of making a fairly simple multi-piece production mold. The final outcome will be used to produce a vacuum bagged carbon composite panel for a client of mine in Italy...

    Lets begin!


    These are the pieces that I've made as a "plug" or "buck". The Plug as we'll call it is an exact shape replica of the production piece you want to make... it doesn't matter too much what it's made of, as long as it will hold its shape throughout the molding process.

    In this case I've made the pieces out of fiberglass and body filler.





    The final product will be a premium piece, so I am going to use a high build polyester primer that will smooth out any defects and polish to a brilliant shine. The product is low cost and does the job very well.







    Due to the high build properties of the primer, the thick filler or sediments tend to settle on the bottom of the can during storage. It is mandatory to stir and mix the primer until it is smooth and uniform in consistency. Scrape the bottom of the can with the mixing stick and continue stirring and mixing until the product is well blended.








    Take note of how you pour the product out. Although it seems simple, it is often an overlooked detail. When I pour any paint products I make certain that it pours over the front label. I do this so that the product mixing directions (usually found on the back side of the can/label) are not disturbed so that you have the mixing directions still in tact for the next time you used the product in the future.







    Here are the pieces after I've primed them. After the primer fully cured, I sanded them with 280 grit dry sand paper, then moved onto using 500 grit wet. After that I used 1200 grit wet and finished with 2000 grit wet.







    The next step is to polish the pieces and prepare them for the beginning stages of making the mold.

    I will update as the project continues.

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    Junior Member Enjoi's Avatar
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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    There are a few ways of polishing the Plug... on larger panels it is quicker and easier to use a machine buffer, but with these pieces being smaller in size, I found it easier to do the polishing with a little thing called "elbow grease". After sanding the pieces with 2000 grit wet, I used a 3M compound, then a 3M polish, and finished off with a paste wax. The shine will transfer into the production molds. Doing the polishing now will save a lot of time when finishing and polishing the production mold.








    Make sure to cover all of the mounting hole locations, using a thin skived tape (or any tape or clay for that matter). Using very little force, lightly depress the tape into the hole, this will have the mounting location transfered into the new mold... but watch out, as depressing it too much will create a negative void, which will cause the production piece to "lock" in the mold and cause you a lot of headaches later in the process.







    If you have any questions about negative voids or angles that will potentially "lock" the piece into the tool, please feel free to ask and I'll go into greater detail of what to watch out for.

    Next we will be flanging the Plug in final preparation before the actual tool fabrication begins.

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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold






    ---------------

    Mini Moto

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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    How many coats of primer? can it be used over gel coat?

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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    Quote Originally Posted by Enjoi


    The final product will be a premium piece, so I am going to use a high build polyester primer that will smooth out any defects and polish to a brilliant shine. The product is low cost and does the job very well.






    Very nice write-up and the photos help understand what you're actually doing.....

    One question: for the high-fill Primer what spray guy tip should I be using to spray the stuff?? 1.8, 2.0 or larger tip??

    Keep up the good work.
    Life is too short to be driving Hondas!

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    Junior Member Enjoi's Avatar
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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    Thank you for the kind words, I'm here to help in any way that I can.

    Limarxy,
    I would suggest no more than three coats per primer session. If the project needs more than the initial three coats, then I would wait for the first session of primering to cure fully. Once cured you can sand it and start another session of primering.

    The product that is used here is a polyester based primer... it will absolutely work over gelcoat.


    Goyal,
    The tip size of the spray gun is completely up to you... but I can't stress enough how important it is to fully mix the product! For that project we are working on here, I used a 1.4 tip HVLP gun (very basic and common). I have a 2.0 tip HVLP that I sometimes use for gelcoats, and you could use that large tip for this primer, but you'll be spraying down A LOT of material, and I'd suggest less coats with that large of a tip.

    All in all, the product sprays very smoothly and provides a great sandable surface.

    I will be doing a "how to paint" article as well in the future.

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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    Quote Originally Posted by Enjoi
    Thank you for the kind words, I'm here to help in any way that I can.

    Goyal,
    The tip size of the spray gun is completely up to you... but I can't stress enough how important it is to fully mix the product! For that project we are working on here, I used a 1.4 tip HVLP gun (very basic and common). I have a 2.0 tip HVLP that I sometimes use for gelcoats, and you could use that large tip for this primer, but you'll be spraying down A LOT of material, and I'd suggest less coats with that large of a tip.

    All in all, the product sprays very smoothly and provides a great sandable surface.
    Thanks for your quick answer but maybe I'm not understanding this Hi-build Primer correctly!

    You are spraying a Hi-solids Primer with a 1.4 HVLP gun?? I have used 1.4 tips on HVLPs and mostly 1.3 tip for BASE COATS!!

    I have NEVER used anything less than 1.7 tip to spray a Primer....especially a Hi-solids Primers.

    Unless this Hi-fill Polyester Primer (POLYPRIMER) is very different in texture than a regular Hi-build Primer I've used in the past....It could very well be the case, I just wanted to make sure I'd use the correct spray gun and tip for this application.

    VK
    Life is too short to be driving Hondas!

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    Junior Member Enjoi's Avatar
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    Re: Enjoi: How to make a mold

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver
    Any update? The primer must be dry by now! ;D

    Good one! haha.

    Actually the shop has been very busy recently, I have my guys busy doing other projects and production runs on some new products, so I really only get a chance to work on those pieces when everything in the shop is running smoothly and I don't have any customer relations to take care of. I suspect that I'll get into the flanging of these pieces either later in the week or early next week.

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