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a picture of a cacoabarry mold being modified

Starting to gear up for Christmas, and last year two molds really started to irritate me, both CacaoBarry molds, of Santas. 

I never understood the logic (or lack thereof) of the molds.  They are framed, with bottoms.  In order to assemble one half has to be removed and glued on to it's opposite with a bead of couverture.

I found this messy, and the "weld" usually breaks during shipping or packaging.  Plus the seam on the bottom has to be removed in order for the figure to stand in it's packaging.

O.T.O.H I'm IN LOVE with clear molds with open bottoms that can be clipped together.  By the second week of December last year, I knew what I was going to do with the molds, but I never got around to it.

So I have a series of about 18 photos sowing how I modified the this mold.  I don't know how many pics I can display per post, so if Chris can tell me how to proceed, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Edward

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I am curios! 

Using a bandsaw with a fine toothed blade the sides of the mold are cut off.  I see no reason why a butcher's bandsaw can't be used either.  I have done this with a tablesaw, but it is kind of frightening--a bandsaw is much safer.

And now we cut straight down the middle......

And now the bottoms are sliced off from the mold.  You can see a bit of the bottom still on the mold, I try and cut as little of it off as possible.

Now I've removed the protective masking tape and temporary clamped both sides of the mold together.  This has to be done very carefully, both sides have to match as closely as possible.  Not an easy thing to do with opaque molds.  I have had decent success "feeling" both sides of the mold to see if they match up with my finger

Once I have the two sides of mold perfectly aligned and firmly clamped, I drill two "locating" holes on either side of the mold.  The holes are 1/8th inch dia holes. This is important, because when I assemble the mold with couverture I will use a small piece of bamboo skewer (a.k.a Satay stick) that is 1/8" dia. to keep the mold aligned.

Next comes sanding the bottom of the mold flush.  First I use very rough grit (80 grit) sandpaper on a flat surface and rub the mold until all the bottom edges are flush and smooth.  Then I switch over to 180 grit paper and smooth off the roughness from the 80 grit.  The edges don't have to be very smooth or polished, as this doesn't come in contact with chocolate.

After that, the mold is taken apart, the rough edges of the perimeter of mold are smoothed off with a file, and any flash from the bottom (from sanding) is removed as well.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the finished molded piece  

Here you can see the mold filled with couverture,  The locating satay sticks are in place and the mold clips are on

Here is the completed santa.

I'm quite happy with my modifications, it cuts down on assembly time dramatically--pour into the open bottom instead of casting two halves and "glueing" them together.

About 20 minutes time was needed to convert the mold and no materials.  I did need access to a woodworker's bandsaw, but it is a very common machine, and I don't see why a butcher's bandsaw couldn't be used.

The first step is to mask off the entire cavity of the mold, so it doesn't get scratched

Cool stuff Edward J - thanks for sharing.

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