Our "inlay" molds are perhaps one of the coolest products to come out of the Crafted Elements lab. We wanted to find a way to merge resin art with conventional wood and resin charcuterie boards, without requiring a CNC machine or router templates. Essentially, creating molds large and deep enough to set live edge wood into, but also had some sort of unique design or integrated feature that would push the coolness factor over the edge. We designed the inlay to be deep enough to allow for 1/8" to 3/16" of material loss per side during planing.
You can also use these molds without the wood, and just create an incredible multi-layer solid resin piece.
This particular inlay mold know as the "3D Geometric Cube Inlay" will be sure to give your finished boards incredible appeal that will make them stand out, and therefore command a higher price. It features a matrix of 3D perspective cube lines that get filled with a different color resin after your initial demolding.
Important Note: Due to the sharp corners and intersections of this design, and the narrow width of the raised 3D cube walls it is nearly impossible for us to remove this silicone tube from our tooling without creating micro-tears at certain intersections of the lines. Spraying your mold with the proper mold release and taking care when demolding will prevent additional tearing. These will also not have an effect on your final product as you are backfilling the raised lines, planing and sanding your piece to finish.
Creating works of art with our inlay molds, wood and resin is a multi-step process but still very simple:
Pre-cut your piece of wood to fit on an angle, alongside the raised design in the mold. Ensure the piece of wood is at least 1/4" thicker than the height of the raised design in the mold. This will allow for "planing removal" later.
Fill the area up to and around the wood as you normally would, including over the raised inlay design of the mold
Demold your piece, and flip it over. Don't plane or sand it yet.
Fill the inlay/recessed design with the resin color of your choice, it could be clear, tinted, opaque or pearl. You are the artist here!
Once that backfill pour is set, run both sides through your planer to level the piece and ensure the wood and resin are at the same height. We design the inlay/raised parts of the mold to be deep enough to allow for 1/8" to 3/16" of material loss per side due to planing.
Finish as usual by sanding, polishing and applying the finish of your choice.
Crafted Elements Silicone Molds
The last mold you will ever need. Created just for makers, resin artists and wood workers, these time saving flexible yet durable silicone molds significantly cut down on the setup and demolding time usually involved with other molds. Silicone molds are superior to wood and tuck tape, and HDPE molds because:
They can be used with epoxy resin, resin and wood, concrete, Jesmonite, plaster and more.
They never need assembled, or disassembled. Saving huge amounts of time.
The strength and flexibility of the molds allows you to insert and remove pieces of wood easily.
The corners and edges never need sealed.
When using wood, the wood stays in place, tight in the mold if you cut it 1/16" larger than the width of the mold. Alternatively use our HDPE block kit in conjunction with hand weights or clamps to keep your wood from up in your resin. The HDPE blocks dont stick to set resin and are easily and cleanly removed.
The mold is heat resistant to ~450F. Avoid direct contact with the flame of a torch. Briskly wave your torch or use a heat gun to pop bubbles.
The molds are reusable. However silicone molds do have a finite lifespan when used with epoxy resin, but getting 20-30+ castings out of the mold can be expected when they are properly cared for and a non-silicone based mold release spray is used.
Like HDPE, epoxy resin does not stick to silicone. However, the heat generated by the exothermic reaction and the chemicals in epoxy resin are very harsh to all silicone molds. Additionally, if part of your epoxy has not fully set due to improper mixing, the epoxy can become bonded to the mold. Both of these factors can lead to mold tear out when removing your piece from the mold, leading to pits and tears on the surface of the mold. This is why we a non-silicone based mold release spray is required before each pour. To help prevent tear out and to increase the life of your mold. We use the 'MG Chemicals 8329 Non-Silicone Epoxy Mold Release', 'Mann Ease Release 200' or 'Mann Ease Release 300'. Cooking spray, vaseline, silicone based sprays or sprays designed for urethane or polyester products should NEVER be used. Using a proper, non-silicone based mold release can mean the difference between getting only a couple of uses from your mold to 20, 30 or more.