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Historical Architecture Building Renovations with Re-usable Mold Making

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Many older buildings feature beautiful and historical designs but require updates and restoration. To restore and preserve these fetatures and designs can be performed with our Re-usable Molding Materials. 

We were asked to support the historical renovations of some columns for a historical building nearby. Initially, the forms were going to be 3-D printed, but there was a fear that the polymers used in the 3D printer would not be able to handle long term exposure to the cold of a Northern (Maine) climate year after year. The other alternative was to remake the wooden components from scratch, but that would require a different level of effort. 

So the simple solution was to mold the pieces. Two different pieces made up the bottom of the column. A total of 32 pieces were needed to fit around 3 columns. Ten pounds of ImPRESSive Re-usable Molding Putty was used for these two components to make 4 molds. The advantages of the ImPRESSive Putty is that it is re-usable. So like any other tool that the carpenter uses for the construction or reconstruction of a room or a building or a porch, the Putty is used when you need it. The ImPRESSive Putty melts in a microwave, low temperature oven, convection oven, or slow cooker. When it is melted it is a soft putty that is PRESSed (thus the name :)) over the part.

The ImPRESSive Putty cools to solidify, so an hour in the freezer gave us a mold. Several times we decided we did not like how the mold came out, so we re-melted the mold and made it again. 

Woode Restoration with molds

We used ComposiCast resin with joint compound and plaster as fillers. ComposiCast is an epoxy resin that has reasonable strength. We also added a UV inhibitor. The resin ratio is 1:1 by weight or volume. ComposiCast also has a very wide range so you don't have to be that accurate with the ratios. The filler helped reduced the cost and the exothermic reaction. We added 50% filler to the resin mixture by weight. 

We planned on 10 hours cure time, but it ended up taking about 7 hours to become cured enough to pull the castings. This allowed us to do 2 pours per day. 

After this construction project was complete, the ImPRESSive Putty can be used for the next project just be re-melting and re-using. It is also excellent for fixing fixture on walls and ceilings by pressing over the fixture anytime you need to duplicate a shape.

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