Casted Pinecone

I recently took a quick on-line class on Beginning Mold Making & Casting. It sounded interesting and since I played around with some of the resins before, I thought I would check out this tutorial. This blog post is a REVIEW of that Tutorial.

I found this tutorial while rummaging thru Scott Grove’s website, Way over to the right hand side of the top menu-bar I noticed a new item called “OnLine Courses” Knowing Scott pretty well, of course I had to check this out. Only one course is currently listed, as this medium is brand new to Scott and this course was sort of a trial run. The name of it is Mold making and resin casting for beginners. I’m a sucker for topics like this so of course I paid the $25 thru paypal and sat down for a couple hours of learning.
The course is broken down into 7 sections, or video segments. Each one is identified along with the time it takes to watch. When you have watched the whole section, it is automatically marked COMPLETE. So you can stop, leave, come back at any time and pick up where you left off. This course is yours forever, so you have this course to refer back to anytime you need it. Just bookmark it appropriately.

The first 3 sections gives a little intro and background into mold-making. Scott gives some very useful tips that you need to know before making castings. That takes about 21 minutes. Scott then goes into the details of how to make a mold and what to use.

The part to be cast should be silicone free and should be sprayed with a release agent which helps it to come out of the mold easier. Scott recommends using Ease Release 200


The mold material he uses from Smooth-On and is called Mold Star 16 Fast. It is a silicone based product. You mix a 1:1 ratio by volume of part A to part B. You then have about 6 minutes to get the silicone into your form, or mold box. For a 1 minute video that demonstrates using this product to create a mold, click HERE
Scott gives a lot of information on how best to pour the material into the form so that you will get the results your after.
After abou
t an hour, the mold can be cut open and the part can be removed.

In this case, Scott is making a mold of a small pinecone that will be used for a drawer pull. The choice of resin to use is Smooth Cast 325 Onyx Fast.

This is a black urethane resin that sets up quickly. It can be milled, sawn, drilled, and machined. Since the result is suppose to be bronze, bronze powder is mixed into the solution. That is 1/3 part A, 1/3 part B, 1/3 bronze powder. Once all this is thoroughly mixed together, it is poured into the rubber mold. For a one minute video showing this process, click HERE!



The molds and the resins can be colored. The So-Strong dyes are super concentrated and you only need the tip of a popsicle stick to color about 4-6 oz of resin.


 You can also get all kinds of powders and fluorescent’s such as this bronze powder to mix into the resin. Using the appropriate ratio of powder to resin, the cured product appears very much like bronze. It can be sanded, polished, and waxed just like the real thing.
Scott likes the Smooth On products because these specific products do not require de-gassing and they are pour able.

Scott demonstrates the proper methods of de-molding and casting so that the molds you make can be used over and over again.
The last section covers the finishing of the part once it comes out of the mold. In this case, it is rubbed with steel wool and then has bronze wax applied. Black shoe polish is rubbed into the crevices to give the appearance of years of patina.

Casted Pinecone

I thoroughly enjoyed this tutorial and was inspired to go out and try it. As soon as I get all the materials, I will give it a go and report back. I encourage you to take a look at this if you have any interest at all in making molds and casting small parts.

For more information that you may find helpful for moldmaking and casting and just some real cool stuff, take a look at the videos and how-to guides HERE!

It may appear that I may be soliciting for the Smooth-On product line but I am not. I have given the product information and references because Scott forgot to give these details in his presentation. However, I have used the Smooth-on products and think they are a superior product.

The link to the Tutorial is HERE! Enjoy!!!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Your Blog Moderator,
John O’Brien