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Lifter Casting


By Dewey H.

The supplies to make a bubble lifter include a master from which a mold is made, silicone rubber, catalyst, pigment, and a good digital scale.

The chemicals must be mixed and weighted precisely or the rubber will not set and ruin your mold.

The first step is to "paint" the silicone inside of the mold to ensure no bubbles appear in the final product. This is call the impression coat.

The mold halves are then joined together.

After the impression coat dries the inside of the mold is then "painted" two more times with fresh silicone rubber to build thickness and strength.

After the silicone coats dry (about 8 hours each coat) the lifter can be carefully removed from the mold. Small plastic rings are added inside the ribs to allow smooth collapsability.

NOTE: Although casting the bubble lifter is relatively easy, getting to that point can be quite complicated for the average builder with no experience in mold making. The master must be perfect if casting with rubber since there can be no patching up after the cast is pulled from the mold. The chemicals that make the rubber mold must be precisely measured and mixed. Most rubbers only allow a 3% error before the rubber won't set at all. Silicone rubber can be expensive also at about $110 per gallon but for this project it is perferred because of it's coating properties and strength. Overall this project requires above average skills to complete.

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