Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tour of the Sheet Mold!

And now for a quick tour of my sheet mold designed and built by Artisan Metal Works of Flagstaff, AZ!


1. Filling the Mold. Install spacers of desired thickness. Pour in appropriate volume of flakes, about 3-4 scoops from an old chip-dip container in this case.


2. Topping it off. Put the upper portion on! This is a flat sheet topped with box section tubing. When the plastic is melted, I crank the jack under the oven, which smashes this mold together until the tubing hits the spacers. At that point I know the plastic sheet is of uniform thickness.

3. Melted & Cooled. The excess plastic squeezes around the edges, filling up the sheet entirely. At this point the plastic has usually contracted enough to let me pull the top right off, with sheet attached. If not I can unbolt the sides to really get everything free.


4. End Product. Here are five sheets I've made so far! These are all made from broken sleds collected from the forest. The top one is a thinner version with my short spacers. I'm hoping to experiment with a thicker one too. These are about the size of a clipboard, but maybe not long enough to actually use for that purpose.


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