Cheapest way to make a flexible mold for climbing holds

Home Forums Climbing Holds Cheapest way to make a flexible mold for climbing holds

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  stoked 3 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #509 Reply

    kirkearl
    Keymaster

    After you shape a hold with clay, foam, or whatever can you just goop silicone bathroom caulk out of a caulking gun all over it and make a mold? Seems like it would work if you can get it thick enough and not mess with it till it drys. How about making a dam around the hold with some cardboard then gunning the caulk around the hold? If this won’t work, what are some really inexpensive ways to make molds?

    #512 Reply

    stoked
    Participant

    I am far from experienced in this, but I don’t really think there is such a thing as a good cheap mold. I think that there are a couple main reasons that regular caulking is not adequate for making a decent climbing hold mold:

    1. The caulking is too thick to pick up the details and textures of your foam master, leading to poor texture and/or voids in your mold. Also not sure how well it will cure through on a bigger or thicker mold.

    2. The silicone is not a high enough quality to have a long casting life. If you only want to make one hold or experiment with the process fine, but I have yet to hear of anyone getting good results with this type of silicone.

    Maybe I will whip up a crappy hold out of scrap foam and try it just for fun, and compare its performance to the molds I have made with good quality 2-part rtv silicone, but I suspect there will be no comparison.

    #521 Reply

    kirkearl
    Keymaster

    Please do! That would be a cool experiment. I am guessing 100% silicone bathroom caulk is cheaper than the 2 part, right?

    #581 Reply

    stoked
    Participant

    tried. not worth the effort. Didn’t cure all the way for me after 72 hours, and even if I did the caulking has crap tear strength so wouldn’t demold well, I suspect you would not get many casts from this kind of mold even if you could get it to kind of work

    #582 Reply

    kirkearl
    Keymaster

    Thanks for testing it out!

    #616 Reply

    stoked
    Participant

    I think that if you used caulking in many thin layers it might kind of work. maybe. kind of. I think when I tried it was too much at once and it needs exposure to atmosphere to cure. Regardless I’m not sure it would produce a worthy result.

    #617 Reply

    kirkearl
    Keymaster

    Maybe if the mold wasn’t very thick in the first place? 1/2 inch? Make a really tight dam around your sculpted hold?

    #712 Reply

    stoked
    Participant

    caulking won’t cure thicker than about 3/16 at a time I don’t think, so I’m thinking you would have to brush/rub it on in 3-4 applications letting it dry in between. Still if you are hoping for professional results with this method I think you would be disappointed.

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