Monday, March 24, 2014

09 Plaster Production Molds Nº 7

I always enjoy finding out how someone put together their own piece of studio equipment, rather than being told it was bought somewhere. Years ago I was doing so much mold making that I decided to make a dedicated plaster molding table. I started out with a piece of discarded formica counter top that was 24 inches wide by 30 inches long by 1 and 3/8ths inches thick. I built the molding table around those dimensions. I also used some scrap two by fours for legs, as well as some 3/8ths inch thick pieces of plywood to fasten the legs together, and some wide pine boards for the front and back, which I had in my studio. Below is a diagram of all the pieces of the table. I made the table high enough so that I would not have to bend over for long periods of time, when working at the table. Bending over like that just kills my back. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Two by fours are actually about 3.5 by 1.5 inches. So the height of the table includes the thickness of the formica table top, plus two widths of 2x4 at the top and bottom of the legs, plus the length of the legs. I made my molding table 36 inches high. A normal kitchen table is about 30 inches high. The kitchen counter tops are 35.5 inches high. I made the legs first. I used a carpenter's framing square to make sure that everything was nice and square. The plywood end pieces at the top and bottom were glued and nailed to the two by fours. The resulting legs are very sturdy. I turned the plywood end pieces to the inside of the table. I made the width of the legs in such a way that when the front and back boards were put into place, they were flush with the table top. Alternately, the width could be made so that the table top had some overhang, for attaching clamps. The front and back boards were also glued and nailed into place, using the carpenter's framing square. Finally, the table top was glued to the legs. The AC Electric Motor with the eccentric steel disk, used for the vibrator, was attached with machine nuts and bolts to the back of the table. This table was simple and easy to build in a relatively short period of time, and it has served me well for many years. I like the formica table top for many reasons, one of which is, I can draw on it with a pencil. It is also a very smooth surface, and is water proof as well.

Here are some snapshots of the plaster molding table I have diagrammed and described above.

If you do not have space for a dedicated plaster molding table, you can use any sturdy table, or even the kitchen counter to make plaster molds. Been there, done that. Spreading newspaper out helps keep the mess under control. Just remember: Do NOT put plaster (dry, wet, or set) down the drain pipes.

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