You might think that with some spare time over Christmas I’d have
taken it easy and worked on music or laid around and eaten candy all
day (ok I did a fair amount of all that) but it seemed like a good
time to get around to some important documentation of my
experimental exploits. Also, since the 1/2 HP gearmotor I found
wasn’t here yet, more attempts at pushing the little Pepe rolling
mill to the brink of it’s doom would have to wait.
So much earlier this year I had gotten the (maybe not so ) bright
idea to make an elaborate, 2 part, cut and form, pancake die set,
just for the purpose of show & tell about how to do it. I had cut
the pancake die, a funky flaming- sun shape 4.75" in diameter, with
the expectation of making it into a 3-D ornamental sun-face project.
It was a busy year, so it waited until now to go any further, and I
made a sculpey clay sun and used it as the model for an aluminum
sand-cast punch component that would attach to the pancake die. The
other part of the die set is a female mold, cast in plastic steel,
using a sheet metal shell (that’s made by getting formed around the
sand cast punch) as the model.
I wanted to make the sun with a face on it, but found the level of
my small-scale artistic sculpting abilities to be sadly lacking, so a
plain, faceless sun it would have to be. Unless…
It kept bugging me, because for one, a plain sun probably wouldn’t
even require a female mold to form ; it would probably work as a
one-piece die, with the cast punch attached to the die, but simply
pressed into a thick urethane pad for forming and cutting. It was
bugging me, so on the night of the 23rd I looked around online and
found some flexible molds for clay that looked like they had some
potentially usable faces, and ordered a couple. Then came Christmas
Eve morning, and being obsessed as I obviously was at that point, I
just couldn’t wait, and went to a crafts supply store and found a
similar mold and took it home to proceed.
Obsessed, impatient, but with a plan, I quickly made a little clay
face and cooked it. Then I simply made a little mound of sifted
casting sand and pushed the face into it to make a cavity to cast
into. I used silver, and then ground the back down so that it would
fit onto the flat spot I had sanded on my plain sun. Not a perfect
joint, and being the 25th at about 3 am by then, I wasn’t going to
be able to go get any plastic steel, and I was obsessed. So I did
what any normal, calm, rational, obsessed person would do in this
situation : I swept up some metal dust from around the sanders,
mixed it with some epoxy, and patched together the sun and sun face.
Now it was a SUN FACE !!! YIPEE !!!.
Now, a few days later, the project is nearing completion, and I took
detailed notes -for of course there were new twists and turns that
previous similar projects didn’t take – and lots and lots of
pictures. None of the pix are developed yet, and it may be some time
before I post the step-by-step and pix in a formal way, but it feels
good to have started working towards documenting my infamous
escapades. Chipping away at it like this, there’s a good chance that
I will leave behind a decipherable record of my practical/functional
obsessions. Oh, and the gearmotor came today. Pepe, my friend… say
your prayers !. (No, I will not destroy my rolling mill. I will not
destroy my rolling mill. I will not…)
I did scan the shell made by pressing the cast punch into rubber,
urethane, and plastic.