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Rubber Mold Storage

I’d love to get some Orchidian ideas on clever ways to store rubber
molds. We are working with both silicone and RTV and have a growing
inventory that needs proper storage. Right now they are on open
shelves but we want to protect them from dust and light. Before I
reinvent the wheel, what kind of storage methods have others found
successful in terms of mold life and easy identification?


Teresa Frye
TechForm Advanced Casting Technology


I use Castaldo Gold pre cut rubber of which I buy in 5 lb boxes.
When I am finished with a box I use it to store my finished molds. I
number each master model, mold and the outside of the box with the
number range in the box.

I have some molds that are 20 years old or older and they are still

Greg DeMark

Before I reinvent the wheel, what kind of storage methods have
others found successful in terms of mold life and easy

The office supply store has some great products for you. Literature
sorters would work well, then you could have the molds arranged by
group on a tray inside each sorter pocket. The inventory control
trays from Rio would fit.

Or you could get the Rubbermaid desk top drawer sets. They come in
tiny – each drawer would fit about 4 molds – or larger, where the
drawers can hold 8.5 x 11 paper.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


The best/easiest one I’ve seen to date incorporates the metal framed
storage units of clear plastic drawers. Divide it off with the mold
in the back section and a sample wax (or a few) up front for quick
visual ID of the mold. Small labels with a mold number or name
(whatever system you use) on the drawer pull give a fast indexing

Paul D. Reilly

I finally got rid of most of my old audio cassettes and storage
drawers - so I don’t know for sure, but…

I just measured a standard small rubber mold agains a cassette and I
bet that 2 molds end up side by side would fit in the space of one
audio cassette - some stacking drawer units for tapes would probably
take care of a lot of molds - like a little card catalog set up.
Remember those?



I'd love to get some Orchidian ideas on clever ways to store
rubber molds. 

Even though we have a fairly good system, I’m curious to hear some
answers, too. We probably have somewhere around 3,000 molds, give or
take, 1/3 of which will never be used again, but we still have them.
1st: Have a good numbering system and use it - do NOT use names to
describe your line. If you want to cross reference numbers to names
elsewhere, that’s fine. If you can divide your line into categories,
then do that- rings, pendants, etc., and even floral rings, classic
rings, animal rings, or whatever. So, floral rings might be 100
series, geometric 300 series, etc, and leave room for growth. Some
numbers I have here are E197P, W197P, G197P, E156TT, E311/2, W302PFF,
E1001/2B, and F335/9/9B. E is engagement, W is Wedding (“Wed”), and G
is Gents. P is plain - no stones, TT is two-tone, meaning two rings
are cast, split, and soldered together. /2 means 2 diamonds, /2B
means 2 baguettes, F is fancy (not bridal), FF is form-fit. All of
this allows you to put them into some container by numerical order
and go right to it as needed. You might have a E146P, an E146/2, and
an E146TT, and there they’ll be. Mark the number so you can read it
when it’s standing up - on the other short end opposite the sprue. As
much as possible, standardize your mold frame - if the model is too
big, that’s just the breaks, use a large frame. If it’s too small,
use the standard frame anyway, just for the sake of standardization
and storage. As to what to put them in, we are fortunate in having
two large ancient storage cabinets that used to hold addresses for an
addressing machine - embossed metal stamps. Good luck finding that -
like I said, we’re fortunate that way. For overrun we have some small
drawers from somewhere. Eventually if you accumulate a lot of molds
you’ll have to build or work up some storage system - for now, maybe
the Container Store? It’s pretty easy to use some existing thing to
store 50 or 100 molds - when you get over 500 or 1000 and more,
you’re going to have to build, I’m afraid. If someone has found a
ready-made thing for that I would like to hear it, too.

The vulcanized rubber molds I make are of the right size that I buy
storage Cases that have 50-60 plastic drawers per unit, I make a
zerox of the piece and put the picture In the front of the drawer
and I keep the metal model there. I number the case and have case 1
drawer 1, so I put 1-1 on the mold. Makes It so easy to find and keep
organized. I think silicone molds might stick to plastic drawers? The
plastic cases cost $10-12 on sale.

Richard Hart

What are the dimensions of the typical mold?? Would they fit in the
drawers of a watchmaker’s crystal case?

Many watchmakers subscribed to a replacement crystal program where
the supplier periodically sent them another drawer for the cabinet.?
In our own firm, we have at least six of these tower cabinets full
of plastic crystals that will never be used.? (Most of them
represent watches that were short run designs.)? So, we have been
trying to figure out something to use the crystals for and a
constructive use of the drawers.

Your local watchmaker or trade-shop may have some of these towers
they would part with.? (Make me rich while I’m still young and you
can have mine.)

Does anyone have projects where they need a lot of plastic watch
crystals in random sizes and shapes?


Hi Richard:

I’d like to clear up one point. I can’t speak for all other
silicones, but our 4X and RTV-RP silicone molds won’t stick to
plastic surfaces of any kind. I don’t know about Polyurethane RTVs,
which many people think are silicone. I don’t know if they will
stick. Polyurethane tends to revert over time, so maybe there is a
problem with long term storage in plastic drawers.

If anybody has a mold that sticks to anything, just dust it a bit
with talc.

Zero-D Products, Inc.
precision engineered materials solutions