Abatron’s Mold Shop Takes on a Massive 19th Century Newel Post
Abatron’s latest challenge in the Mold Shop has been the recreation of a late 19th century newel post from a Victorian style home in Kentucky. The post, which stands at a height of 4’ 7” and depth and with of 13.5”, is hand carved wood.
“The piece is very intricate and complex, and requires great attention to detail,” indicated Ernest, chief fabricator for this project.
The newel post arrived in Abatron’s shop last week and we spent some time analyzing and reviewing the design of the piece so we could plan accordingly. Fortunately, to ease the complexity of the project, the post has a cap that is removable. This allows us to make 2 smaller molds and castings to form the complete newel post.
A plan was devised to producing a wood case of melamine board (which is ideal for castings and forming) around each piece. Each case will be filled with MasterMold 12-8. After the mold is removed and cleaned, each mold would then be used to make the new casting using WoodCast light-weight epoxy casting compound.
Today the new cap casting, which stands 10” tall and is 13.5” wide and deep, was completed. It was pulled out of the mold yesterday, cleaned, and given finishing touches today.
Also today the main piece, which stands 3’ 9” and is 13” wide and deep, was pulled beautifully from its mold. The mold was so large and complex that fiberglass reinforcing rods were used throughout the mold to give it improved strength when standing tall, and to save material. The mold did its job as it retained all the intricate detail of the post, and held its form perfectly.
After the post was removed, the mold was cleaned thoroughly, and a new coat of Abhesive 15-C release agent was applied to the mold and left to dry, as the crew gets ready to pour the its casting tomorrow. The pour will require several subsequent pours, to prevent too much heat from the exothermic reaction of the epoxy and foam forming.
Check back with us tomorrow for more updates on this project.