This is a video about how to make and use a mold.
The mold is for making a grave marker for a pet. It can be used over and over should you want to do this again or perhaps make one for a friend that has lost their pet. Over the years this is the 3rd mold that I have made. I did experiment with letters that can be purchased at hobby shops. These letters can be pressed into the wet concrete to make the name, date etc. However, our family liked the hand made, less perfect ones. They just seemed more “homey” and personal for this type of application.
1- Make the mold. I used a skill saw and scrap plywood. To make the back of the mold, after I made the sides, top and bottom, I put them together and placed that onto a piece of plywood to trace the back. It can be put together with nails or screws except for the bottom which needs to be attached with something that makes it removable. One of my earlier molds used 2 post and 2 wing nuts to allow the bottom to be removed.
2- Obtain the concrete and spike(s) (a spike is a big nail that is carried by most any hardware store). The purpose of the spike is for it to be pushed down into the ground to help keep the headstone straight and in place. After you have the size spike that you will be using, drill a slightly larger hole in the center of the bottom. This will allow the bottom to be removed after the concrete hardens. When you remove the bottom, it will simply slide off of the spike through the hole.
3- After the concrete is mixed (use as little water as possible), and poured, lightly tap all around the sides. This will allow the air pockets/bubbles to come to the top. This tapping will help give the finished product a smooth appearance. The top can be smoothed with any flat, straight object. I place several paper towels across the top of the concrete to absorb any water that comes to the top, usually during the first hour after pouring. Before I start lettering I use the straight edge to take away the paper towel marks. You will be surprised just how much water surfaces from this small amount of concrete. You do not need to purchase a sheetrock knife as shown in the video.
4- The lettering can be done with any nail shaped object that you feel is the best size. When you start to make the letters, you will know if you need to switch to something else (a different “larger” tool).
5- I like to leave the headstone in the mold for a couple of days, but it can be removed carefully, the next day. If you used any type of oil on the sides after you have removed the bottom it will come out easily with a few taps on the mold with a hammer.
Note: As I’m sure you will see, I am not a fast talker, I do not rehearse, or go from any outline or script. Just an old Southern guy that shoots from the hip. I hold my cell phone in one hand and just start when the red light is on. Hope you enjoy my little video.