Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Been working on a set of pipe rests to go with my grenade pipes.
Wanted to make them in the shape of a hand, with a nice large dish in the middle to hold the pipe bowl. After a little trial and error, I came up with a cost-effective method that produces a pretty nice result. Here's a finished set:

How I made them:

First step was to lifecast my own hand. I held a billiard ball and dunked my hand into a bucket of alginate. Once the alginate cured, I removed my hand from the bucket, but left the billiard ball in it. Poured in plaster and let it cure. When I broke open the mold, this is what I had:

Pictured with a pipe, just for aesthetic purposes.

The next step was filling in and sculpting any details that were lost due to bubbles in the plaster. The gray primer helped me identify trouble areas.
Wood filler worked quite nicely for this particular job. Lots of sanding.

I painted it and got prepared to mold.
This part of the process doesn't have any photo documentation. In hindsight...bummer.
Poured a one-piece mold, with the bottom of the pipe rest as the pour spout. I mixed up some fast-cure resin and poured 50-60g into the mold. Couple tablespoons, really. Not much. Capped the mold with a piece of acrylic and rolled the mold around in my hands to rotocast the resin. Set aside to finish curing for an hour before demolding.

What is left is a hollow casting. I turned it upside down and drilled two holes in the bottom; a pour spout and an air vent. Mixed up plaster and poured it in the spout until the casting was completely full. The charm is that they are soft to the touch--shouldn't scratch pipes, yet heavy enough to hold even very large pipes without tipping over.

Cured, cooled, and ready to primer.

Primered and ready to paint. Rustoleum plastic spray paints were my choice. Gloss black.

Final pieces, before they went to their new owners.

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