For this next experiment, let’s start with a 1/2″ thick 2.5″ x 2.5″ XPS blank:
I’ll also need a deeply carved pattern. Here, I’ve baked a 1/8″ thick 2.5″ x 2.5″ piece of polymer clay, transferred a pattern to it, and then carved out the positive space to a depth of about 1/16″. Continue reading
Finally. Dayjob is done. Time to play.
First things first. Using interlocking building bricks (similar to Legos) to make the flask worked out well. It took some effort to pull the flask free of the double-sided death grip tape, but they came free. Some pieces separated in the process, but that’s okay. None broke, though a few developed hairline cracks and what looks like crazing (probably cracks about to happen under stress), and one lost a jagged little corner. I don’t know how durable Legos are, but these seem kind of brittle. I think using L-shaped flask pieces will be superior for mold making, but for now these off-brand bricks are perfectly functional. They also formed a tight enough seal that with a couple spritzes of sealer only the tiniest amount of silicone made it through the barrier enough to create a negligible amount of flashing. None made it all the way through. If one is looking for an inexpensive alternative building bricks for children to play with, I don’t think I’d recommend these. I don’t think they’d handle that kind of repeated, vigorous handling well. Continue reading
I just happen to have a large sheet of 3/16″ WonderBoard. That turned out to be less than ideal for another project, but because of it’s flatness and rigidity, I think it might make good mold board (until I run out). I’m using tin cure silicone rubber for the mold, so I’m not terribly concerned about inhibition. If I’m wrong, I’ll find out soon. The doodle above is how I’ve got the mold planned out (note the absence of registration pins…bag Bog Monster). Continue reading
All twelve of the originals laid out for the first time. The 1.25″ grid squares by no means dwarf the elf, so this is a good thing. Why they’re already infested with rats, I don’t know.
With those and the base, we’re finally almost ready to start making molds. Continue reading
I’ve been back to the drawing board a few times, but I’m ending up at a place I’m happy with.
A new favorite material for prototyping…tempered high density fiberboard
For one thing, it’s dirty cheap when bought at a hardware store as a 4′ x 8′ sheet of “masonite” (not technically Masonite any longer, but it’s the same stuff). Even at retail for a sheet, it comes out to around a third of a cent per square inch. Other than that, it resists warping. It’s uniformly 1/8″ thick. It can be cut with a box cutter by scoring both sides and snapping. The edges sand down nicely. And it is significantly less expensive than polymer clay. I’ll be using this as a base on which to work a much thinner layer of clay. The cross shape is to accommodate tile connectors.
I finally have the mosaic pattern incised into the polymer clay (to emulate flagstone flooring). Next step, cut out a dozen 1.25″ squares and start texturing the edges. I think. I’m still making this up as I go along, with a big shout-out to DM Scotty and Wyloch for all the awesome ideas.
This part of the process definitely goes more slowly. I press polymer clay into the cardboard edges so that on baking the bases become quite rigid. Then I wrap each in more clay to be certain I have most of the gaps filled. Following that, I use a 1″ square template I cut from an old cassette tape case pressed to the top of each tile as the straightedge for cutting. A new razor blade made short work of the excess. Once all these are done, they go into the oven. After that, it’ll be time to apply the textures.