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All you need to know about Empire Molds

What we Discuss

1. What does 'One Piece Mold' really mean?
2. Comparing Black Molds vs White Molds
3. Key points / Takeaways 

Once the forms are vacuum formed, they are then cut to final shape and all the burrs are removed.

1. What does 'One Piece Mold' really mean?

Our Empire Molds are manufactured from one sheet of HMWPE (High Molecular Weigh Polyethylene). The sheet is heated up in an oven and then vacuum formed over aluminum tooling and cooled before being removed and trimmed to size. 
We use HMWPE as it offers a more durable and consistent finish compared to HDPE.
We have these molds created in 1/4" and 1/8" thickness so that they are malleable enough to pop your cured piece out easily. This is also why the walls are on a slight 7% angle.
The flange around the perimeter strengthens the form and gives us a spot to attach hold down bars so your wood pieces don't float up in the resin.

2. Comparing the two molds

We have used a clamp here in the middle to keep the form flat to the work surface.

White Original Molds

This form is best used when you have the following shop set up:
- A Planer: Useful to flatten the board after it comes out of the form)
- Clamps: The thicker walls are more rigid and therefore will require more clamps to keep flat
- Soft mallet: The tool we recommend for hitting your project out of the form. Watch a video example here

Do not over tighten the hold down bars or else the form will begin to flex in on itself. This white mold is formed out of thicker material compare to the black mold. This means it will be more rigid and may be harder to clamp flat. We find this mold is best used when you have a high turnover operation set up as the thicker walled form will be more durable longterm. 

Watch this video of how you can take your project out of the form without any mallets or tools!

Black Edition

This form is best used when you have the following shop set up:
- Clamps: This form does not come with any attachments for hold down bars so you will require clamping blocks and clamps to keep your wood pieces flat to the bottom of the form
- Sander: Since these forms are made out of a thinner material compared to the white forms, they are easier to hold flat to your work table and don't require you to machine flatten them once they come out of the form. 

Since this form is manufactured out of a thinner material, make sure you are using a reputable resin brand so it doesn't stick to the walls of your form restricting you from getting your project out easily.

If your form has welded edges there is the risk it will crack overtime after continuous use. 
Empire Molds do not have any seams so you will never have to worry about epoxy leaks again!

3. Key Points / Takeaways 

We use Empire Molds exclusively in our shop for any project that allows it.
There are lots of forms on the market and all of them have their pros and cons. It is up to you to decide what is the best mold to use for your shop set up based off the tools and space you have. 
There is no perfect form on the market, BUT they will speed up the process making your projects faster and easier to complete! 

To pro-long the lifespan of your form, you can spray Mold Release on the inside walls. We recommend using a reputable brand of casting resin as well. Cheaper resin brands could stick to the sides of the form which could give you difficulty getting your project out of the form. 

Shop for these molds HERE or HERE